Chapter 23: I care about her


As they arrived at Aria's home, Jay noticed faint music coming from inside, and the door was slightly ajar. Jay immediately became concerned, and his protective instincts kicked in. Aria was confused as she had never seen him so serious before.

Jay tightly grabbed Aria's hand and slowly pushed the door open. As they entered the living room, a middle-aged man was sitting relaxed on the sofa and eating chips. Then Jay saw Cathy in the kitchen pouring some juice into a glass.

Immediately Aria said, "Why are you guys here? When did you come?" Later, Aria introduced her dad, Tim, to Jay.

Jay felt a sense of discomfort settle in his stomach. He knew that he and Tim had never been particularly close, and he couldn't help but feel like an outsider in their family dynamic. He tried to push his feelings aside and engage in the conversation, but he couldn't shake the unease he felt.

As they talked, Tim suddenly turned to him and said, "Jay, can we talk for a minute?" Jay could feel his heart rate pick up, and he nodded nervously. They stepped outside onto the porch, and Tim lit a cigarette.

a man and woman sitting on a rock
a man and woman sitting on a rock

Tim said, blowing out a cloud of smoke. "She had been in relationships before, but she has never been close with anyone. I have met everyone in her life, so I know who she trusts and cares for."

Tim looked at Jay and said, "Thanks for looking after Aria, she is quite a handful." Jay responded, "No sir, she is the brightest and strongest person I have ever met. She brings calm and happiness to people's lives."

Tim nodded, his expression serious. "I know that, son," he said. "And I respect how you feel about her. But I need you to understand that I'll always be looking out for her too. And if anything ever happens to her, I won't hesitate to take matters into my own hands."

Jay could feel the tension between them, and he knew that he had to tread carefully. "I just want to take care of her," he said. "She means everything to me. I want you to know that I'll do everything in my power to protect her too."

They stood in silence for a moment, and then Tim put his hand on Jay's shoulder. "I hope you know that I don't mean to threaten you," he said. "I just want what's best for my family."

Jay nodded, feeling a sense of respect for Tim's honesty. They went back inside, and the rest of the evening passed without incident.

As Jay was returning back to his home, Aria went to see him off. She gave him a reassuring hug and said, "Thanks for the beautiful memories you have created." Jay smiled at her and said, "The pleasure was all mine" and he kissed on her lips and forehead.

To be continued..

Previous Chapter

Chapter 22: The Maze of Life

Next Chapter

Chapter 24: The blank space between us