As they moved through the renovations business, Maphira took point, allowing Rylee to fall back and chat with Vai. They hadn’t spoken alone in the time since Vai had supposedly switched sides, but now wasn’t the time to catch up either.
“Mai seems off. What did you do to her?” Rylee asked, sure it couldn’t be good. She didn’t think Vai would answer the question, but she had to try.
“I told her.”
“You told her what?”
Vai gave Rylee a sharp look. “Rye, I told her.”
It sunk in what she meant, and suddenly she didn’t care about the mission. What did pretending she was interested in bathroom renovations in the Melbourne CBD matter when something so huge had happened?
She managed to regain her composure enough to respond. “That’s great. How did it go? I’m sure she’s just a little surprised.”
Vai shook her head solemnly. “You don’t get it. There was never a chance for us. You disappeared out of Maphira’s life for years – you didn’t see how disinterested she was in her relationships. That’s not the kind of person she is. One of the bathroom designers for Melbourne homes here could hit on her and it’d go straight over her head.”
It hurt, but Vai was right. She hadn’t been in Maphira’s life enough in recent years to know that side of her. “But you’ve been hooked on her since we were all teenagers.”
“At first, I was too shy to tell her. You know that. Gosh, how many times did you get me to try? But you know, times were different back then. It wasn’t as normal as it is now, that sort of thing. And as the years have passed and I’ve seen that side of her, it slowly sunk in that there was no future for us. I was bitter and angry for a long time. I’m over it now, though. That’s just who she is, and I love her for it, even if it has to be from afar.”