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It Ends with Us

It Ends with Us Summary


Here you will find a It Ends with Us summary (Colleen Hoover's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

It Ends with Us Summary Overview

The story begins with Lily Bloom, who is reminiscing over her abusive father on a Boston rooftop, where she happens to meet Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon with a tragic past of his own. They strike up a deep conversation, sharing their most intimate secrets and forming a connection. However, Ryle's admission of his preference for one-night stands and no-strings-attached relationships causes Lily to hesitate, even though she feels drawn to him. Six months later, Lily crosses paths with Ryle again, this time when he comes to aid his sister, Allysa, who has become Lily's friend and employee at her new flower shop. Despite their mutual attraction, they agree to avoid each other due to their differing ideas of relationships. Meanwhile, Lily revisits the past through her old journals, particularly her teenage love, Atlas, a homeless boy to whom she lost her virginity and who served as her protector from her abusive father. Lily's past and present collide when Ryle confesses his feelings for her, leading them to begin dating. However, during a dinner with her mother, Lily unexpectedly encounters Atlas working as a chef in a restaurant. Despite the shock, Lily keeps her past relationship with Atlas a secret from Ryle. Their relationship hits a snag when Ryle, in an outburst of anger, physically assaults Lily, reminding her of her father's abusive behavior. Later, when Atlas intuitively suspects Ryle's abusive tendencies, he warns Lily to leave him, solidifying Ryle's jealousy and escalating his violent behavior. Despite Ryle's confession about his guilt over accidentally killing his brother, the root of his anger issues, and Lily's initial forgiveness, their relationship continues to deteriorate. Ryle's violent streak culminates in a brutal attack on Lily after discovering Atlas's phone number, leaving her severely injured. Lily's pregnancy revelation further complicates matters, leading her to allow Ryle back into her life platonically. When their daughter Emerson is born, Lily decides to divorce Ryle, unwilling to subject her daughter to the cycle of abuse she endured from her own father. Despite Ryle's heartbreak, they agree to share custody. Eventually, Lily reconnects with Atlas, who tells her he is now ready to offer her the life she deserves. Ready to move on from her tumultuous past, Lily embraces the chance at love again with Atlas.

chapter 1

Just hours after her father's funeral, Lily Bloom finds herself alone on a rooftop, contemplating life and death. Her solitary reflections are interrupted by a man's angry outburst over a patio chair. Noticing Lily on the ledge, the man, worried for her safety, convinces her to step down. This stranger is Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgery student whose sister owns the top floor of the building. A quick connection is made, with Lily revealing her dream of owning a flower shop, poking fun at how it aligns with her floral-themed name. The two open up to each other about their respective hardships, recognizing the rarity of such honesty in daily interactions. Lily shares the abusive history of her father towards her mother, while Ryle reveals his recent loss of a patient - a young boy accidentally shot by his brother. They discuss the heart-wrenching consequences of such a tragedy on the surviving brother's life. Lily explains her silence during her father's eulogy, unable to find anything positive to say about him. Ryle, openly attracted to Lily, discloses his disinterest in marriage or children, preferring casual flings instead. Lily is conflicted, as she usually only gets involved with potential long-term partners. Their intimate conversation is cut short when Ryle's work calls him away. Before leaving, he captures a photo of Lily as a keepsake of their unexpected encounter.

chapter 2

Returning home, Lily has to tolerate Lucy, her roommate who can't stop singing. She receives a call from her mother, and they both deny the silent protest Lily made during her father's eulogy, opting to claim it was just her being emotional. Lily reflects on her mother's habit of ignoring uncomfortable truths. Diving into her teenage diary, she revisits her past through the letters she wrote to comedian Ellen DeGeneres. During this period, she recalls discovering Atlas, a high school senior, living in a vacant house behind hers. Lily covertly assists Atlas, providing him with food and clothing, even allowing him to use her shower. She keeps his circumstances secret, ensuring they avoid detection, knowing her parents, mainly her father, would be furious if they found out. In the present, Lily gets a second call from her mother, who is contemplating moving to Boston following the death of Lily's father. However, Lily is against the idea of her mother relocating to her city.

chapter 3

Half a year later, Lily leaves her job and uses her inherited wealth to purchase a store she plans to convert into a florist. Her mother is simultaneously awed by her audacity and worried about the venture's success. A woman named Allysa, seeking a pastime rather than a paycheck, requests employment. Recognizing her need for assistance, Lily hires Allysa for a modest wage, eliciting Allysa's excitement. They promptly begin clearing out the store and quickly bond over Lily's bold, non-traditional vision for the flower shop. As Lily tidies up the store, she injures her ankle. Allysa contacts her husband Marshall and her brother for assistance. They happen to be at a local bar celebrating "onesie day," where patrons wearing onesie pajamas enjoy free beer. Marshall and Allysa's brother arrive at the store wearing comical pajamas, and Lily realizes that Allysa's brother is Ryle, the man from the rooftop. They feign a first-time meeting before flirting when Allysa and Marshall exit. Allysa returns to catch Ryle admitting his desires for Lily, which shocks Allysa, who believes the two just met. Lily dismisses the incident and tells Ryle that, although she finds him attractive, their desires diverge. Ryle admits he often thinks about Lily and suggests maintaining distance. Allysa urges Ryle to assist Lily, but he declines, not wanting to be alone with her. Allysa deems her brother inconsiderate.

chapter 4

Lily sprains her ankle and Ryle, advising her to rest for a week, results in her confined to her apartment. With the aid of painkillers and plenty of time on her hands, she resumes reading her old diaries about Atlas. During her adolescence, Lily routinely invites Atlas over after school when her parents are not around. They relish watching Ellen, and she is pleased to see Atlas enjoying the show as well. She provides Atlas meals, access to their shower, helps with his laundry, and shares her father's old clothes with him. Atlas expresses regret, but Lily finds fulfillment in caring for him. Noticing Lily's interest in gardening but the lack of suitable tools, Atlas refashions some gardening tools for her, a gesture that deeply moves her. In her journal, Lily recalls her futile attempts to prevent her father from abusing her mother. Unable to intervene, she seeks solace in Atlas's company. The comfort she finds in Atlas's arms reinforces her belief that he is the antithesis of her father. Fast forward to the present day, as the painkillers take effect, Lily dwells on Atlas, which alternatively fills her with sadness. Contemplating Ryle, on the other hand, stirs up mixed feelings of anger and sadness. However, she takes comfort in the fact that she had the opportunity to meet Allysa.

chapter 5

After recuperating from her ankle injury for a week, Lily returns to her store, pleasantly surprised by the progress Allysa has made in her absence. Later, at home, Ryle appears at her door. Having gone through 29 apartments in search of her, he earnestly pleads to sleep with her once, blaming his inability to focus at work on his obsession with her. Lily contemplates his proposition, but as she showers, Ryle falls asleep in her bed. They end up sharing the bed innocently. Upon waking, Ryle regrets his actions and assures Lily she won't see him again. Lily feels let down but chooses to prioritize her flower shop.

chapter 6

Over seven weeks since Ryle's visit to Lily's flat, she and Allysa host a gentle launch of their florist business. Ryle is the inaugural patron, evoking mixed emotions in Lily. He purchases flowers, prompting Allysa to inquire if they're for a woman. He selects purple lilies, which Lily finds amusing due to her name's likeness. Allysa questions whether Ryle plans to bring his unknown companion to her forthcoming event. He declines and queries about Lily's attendance. Lily struggles to gauge his intentions, attempting to remain vague. However, Allysa firmly insists on Lily's presence at the event. Upon his exit, Allysa realizes he directed the flowers to their own shop and berates her brother's foolishness. Lily, however, realizes the flowers are intended for her, as indicated by the note accompanying them that simply reads, "Make it stop."

chapter 7

Lily attends a party alongside her friend Devin, who is acting as her date despite his homosexuality. Devin identifies Lily's interest in Ryle due to her reactions, while Ryle's jealousy is apparent when he learns of Lily's date. While at the party, Lily stumbles upon a photograph taken by Ryle on the night they met. She later confronts Ryle on the roof, accusing him of sending confusing signals. Amidst her frustration, she insists on leaving the party with Devin. However, before they leave, Ryle intervenes, requesting time with Lily. He carries her to a room in his sister's apartment, where he expresses his thoughts and feelings about Lily, emphasizing her influence on him. In response to his vulnerability, Lily suggests he prove his intentions by abstaining from sex. He consents, and they fall asleep together. The following day, Lily reveals to Allysa, Ryle's sister and her employee, that she knew Ryle before meeting Allysa. This prompts Allysa to question Ryle's suitability for a relationship, leading to an awkward discussion in Lily's presence. Ryle departs for the hospital, leaving Lily admiring his appearance in his medical scrubs.

chapter 8

Lucy, Lily's roommate, announces her engagement and subsequent move out. This leaves Lily to live alone, providing her with ample time to delve deeper into her journals about Atlas. In her teenage years, Lily recalls the camaraderie between her and Atlas as they watch Ellen, leading her to question the story behind his unique name. As the weather grows colder, she resolves to provide him with some blankets for warmth. A shared interest in gardening bonds Lily and Atlas, as he correlates the nurturing needs of plants to those of humans. This comparison, along with a playful wrestling in the garden, leads to an intensifying of feelings from Lily's side toward Atlas. A sudden escalation in domestic violence within Lily's family lands her in the hospital with a head injury. Her mother instructs her to lie about the incident, which disheartens Lily. Amidst the chaos, she forgets to provide Atlas with the blankets. His frozen hands remind her of her oversight, stirring feelings of guilt within her. Atlas, upon noticing Lily's injury, reveals his own history of abuse and neglect. His mother's failure to protect him from his abusive stepfather led to his leaving home. Lily, empathizing with his painful past, allows him to sleep in her room, offering him respite from the cold and the abandoned house he's been residing in.

chapter 9

Lily, after perusing through her adolescent diary, is filled with sorrow for everyone, particularly her mother. Noticing missed messages from Ryle on her phone, she decides to call her mother. Ryle is on his way to see her, drained after a lengthy surgical procedure lasting 18 hours. All he desires is to drift off to sleep beside Lily. In response, Lily massages him, prompting him to express his belief that she is the greatest thing that's ever occurred in his life. Subsequently, they make love for the first time. Ryle echoes Lily's previous sentiment, likening her to an addictive substance.

chapter 10

Lily is curious about Allysa's reasons for working for her, and Allysa reveals it's due to her struggle with infertility. Lily receives an unexpected dinner invite from Ryle, which includes her mother. Allysa is taken aback, as Ryle has never shown interest in meeting a partner's mother before. During their dinner, Ryle and Lily's mother get along well, and then Lily is shocked to find Atlas is their waiter. She meets him privately at the back before returning to the table, remaining mostly silent as Ryle and her mother converse. To prevent Ryle from returning, she feigns dissatisfaction with the restaurant, as it's Atlas's workplace. Ryle departs early due to a morning surgery, and to Lily's surprise, Atlas is waiting near her car. Unintentionally, Lily gives the impression of a longer relationship with Ryle, while Atlas shares that he's been seeing a woman named Cassie for a year. Lily acknowledges Atlas's apparent happiness, but he expresses regret about their timing, wishing they'd met earlier. Upon their farewell, Lily breaks down in tears in her car.

chapter 11

Lily delves deeper into her adolescent diary entries, recounting taking care of a seriously ill Atlas. Faking illness herself, she remains home from school to nurse him, drawing strength from Finding Nemo's message of perseverance. Lily sees herself in the character of Dory, urging Atlas to endure through difficult times. Atlas contemplates a move to Boston to live with his uncle before enlisting in the Marines. As the pair's relationship intensifies, they share their first kiss, with their shared time consumed by growing affection. When their romance is publicly mocked by a school bully, Atlas prevents Lily from retaliating. During a power outage, they bake cookies, and it becomes evident that Atlas has a remarkable ability to cook. However, a darker event overshadows this when Lily's father brutally assaults her mother. Lily bravely tries to intervene, but is stopped by Atlas. When her mother witnesses the aftermath, she advises against involving the police. Atlas departs for Boston soon after, leaving Lily heartbroken. In present day, Lily struggles to read her journal's final entry. She receives a text from Ryle, expressing that being with Lily feels like a reward. Another text arrives from her mother, expressing admiration for Lily's achievements in dating a doctor and running her own business.

chapter 12

The successful launch of Lily's flower shop prompts her to think about hiring more staff. The window display features a steampunk-themed centerpiece with an old boot utilized as a unique vase. After a busy day, Lily and Allysa head to a bar with Ryle and Marshall for a onesie-themed gathering. At the bar, Allysa makes a surprising announcement of her pregnancy, which is met with great happiness. The conversation also reveals that Ryle and Allysa, who are close in age, have a third sibling who tragically passed away in their childhood. Lily is shocked by the revelation, but the evening remains enjoyable. Upon returning home, Ryle introduces himself to Lily's leaving roommate as her boyfriend. The night concludes with the two making love, marking it as one of the most memorable days in Lily's life.

chapter 13

Lily and Ryle's bond and affection intensify. Their moments of intimacy are filled with conversations about their respective families. Ryle expresses his views about his mother: she's domineering, critical, and pious. Yet, he can't help but smile as he speaks about her. His father, on the other hand, is a practicing psychiatrist. However, when the topic of his brother, Emerson, arises, Ryle is noticeably reticent. A voicemail from Ryle's mother reveals her anticipation to meet Lily, which Ryle shares with her. Lily reciprocates this excitement, expressing her eagerness to meet Ryle's parents as well.

chapter 14

Ryle and Lily exchange playful texts as he makes his way to Lily's place. She's in an apricot alone, getting a casserole ready for him. On arrival, his enthusiasm is evident; he is thrilled about his upcoming major surgery to separate conjoined twins and seeing Lily. In a speakerphone conversation with her mother, Lily learns from Ryle that they will be taking Marshall and Allysa to Bib's to celebrate their pregnancy. Lily attempts to dissuade him from choosing Bib's, where Atlas works, but fails. A forgotten casserole leads to a kitchen full of smoke and a ruined dinner. Ryle, in a hasty move, burns his hand attempting to retrieve the casserole from the oven without a mitt causing the dish to shatter. Lily finds humor in the absurdity of the situation, laughing at the impending clean-up. An angered Ryle, nursing his burned hand under cold water, shoves Lily causing her to fall and hit her head. Immediate distress and heartbreak wash over Lily as she recalls her father's apologies to her mother, much like Ryle's. She accepts his apologies and his affection, permitting him to kiss her and they make love. Afterwards, they tend to each other's injuries and continue to reconcile. Lily warns that a repeat of such event will lead to her leaving him instantly. For the first time, they confess their love for each other.

chapter 15

The quartet, Lily, Ryle, Allysa, and Marshall, venture to Bib's to rejoice in Allysa's forthcoming child. Allysa becomes alert to Lily's injury, which leads to Lily's discovery that Ryle has fabricated a story to his sister about Allysa's accident. Lily is relieved when Atlas doesn't appear throughout the meal. However, during dessert, the chef--who happens to be Atlas--congratulates Allysa. He catches sight of Lily's injury and Ryle's bandaged hand, causing him to leave abruptly. Lily retreats to the restroom, where Atlas follows her, urging her to leave Ryle due to the physical harm he has inflicted on her. Lily defends Ryle, prompting Atlas to draw a comparison between her and her mother. As Lily counters that Atlas is making her uncomfortable, he apologizes, stating that his intention is only to continue their protective relationship from their youth. Upon exiting the restroom, Lily is confronted by Ryle who is incensed that she was alone with another man. Atlas provocatively threatens Ryle with dire consequences should he harm Lily again. In this confrontation, Ryle realizes that Atlas is Lily's former lover. Ryle crudely insinuates that Lily only slept with Atlas out of pity, leading to Atlas throwing him out of the restaurant. The night ends with Ryle and Lily exiting without bidding farewell to Allysa and Marshall, and Ryle driving them home. Ryle expresses his pain at seeing Lily with Atlas and gives her an ultimatum. She reassures him, insisting there's nothing between her and Atlas.

chapter 16

Atlas pays a visit to the flower shop, and Allysa comments on his good looks. He extends an apology to Lily, regretting his claim that she behaved like her mother. Additionally, he presents her with a gift that he had purchased three years ago, anticipating a future encounter with her. Atlas scribbles his phone number on a sticky note from Lily's desk, instructing her to call him if Ryle ever mistreats her again. Lily assures him that won't be necessary. She often feels an urge to cry in Atlas's presence. After his departure, she unwraps the gift, revealing Ellen DeGeneres's memoir, 'Seriously ... I'm Kidding.' The book is autographed by Ellen herself, bearing a note that reads "Atlas says to just keep swimming."

chapter 17

Lily chooses to delve into the final chapter of her adolescent journal. Within it, she recalls Atlas' unexpected return from Boston to celebrate her 16th birthday. Lily learns that Atlas had been contemplating suicide the night they first crossed paths, but her presence altered his decision. Atlas implores Lily not to wait for him as he embarks on his Marine Corps journey, pledging to return when his life situation sufficiently improves. Lily responds by assuring Atlas that she will seek him out if he fails to return. Atlas gifts her a magnet bearing the words 'everything is better in Boston', and they make love for the first time, confessing their love for each other. Their intimate moment is abruptly interrupted by Lily's father who, having overheard their conversation, unleashes a violent attack on Atlas. The subsequent chaos results in both Atlas and Lily being rushed to the hospital - Atlas due to the assault, and Lily due to a panic attack. No one provides Lily with information about Atlas' condition, and she is left to grapple with the shame her father insists she has brought upon the family. Despite a derogatory comment from Katie, a childhood bully, Lily vehemently refuses to believe she was brainwashed. Finding no solace from penning her thoughts in her journal, Lily decides to cease writing altogether. In the current day, Lily recalls being informed of Atlas' recovery and wondering when he would fulfill his promise to return. She commemorates their love by getting a tattoo of a heart Atlas had once carved for her. Despite acknowledging her lingering feelings for Atlas, Lily is determined to prioritize her relationship with Ryle.

chapter 18

Lily is anxious about her first meeting with Ryle's parents, fearing they would disapprove of her cohabitation with their son. However, Ryle's mother interacts with her in a teasing, affectionate manner, making Lily feel welcomed into the family unit of Ryle and Allysa. Lily and Allysa have a heart-to-heart in Allysa's room, expressing their anticipation about the unborn child's arrival in the coming two and half months. Lily experiences a baby kick, fuelling Allysa's excitement for the prospective parents, Lily and Ryle. Though Lily voices her uncertainty about Ryle's readiness for parenthood, Allysa believes his love for Lily will override any hesitations. Allysa broaches the topic of marriage, to which Lily admits she would say yes to Ryle. Overhearing their conversation, Ryle confesses he'd marry her without a second thought, leaving Lily both embarrassed and elated. Overwhelmed by happiness, he proposes an immediate marriage in Vegas.

chapter 19

Six weeks post their Las Vegas nuptials, Lily's mother expresses her disappointment over not experiencing a traditional wedding ceremony for her daughter. She suggests that having a grandchild will compensate for the missed occasion. Lily and Ryle are basking in marital bliss, their love evident in their intimate moments at home. Lily is preparing for a dinner with Marshall and Allysa when she hears an unexpected commotion from another room. Upon investigating, she finds out that Ryle has discovered Atlas's number within her phone case, having called the number and heard Atlas's voice on the voicemail. In a fit of rage, he hurls Lily's phone against the wall, causing a wave of fear to wash over her, as she worries about impending harm or abandonment. As he storms downstairs, she follows him, only to lose consciousness. Upon regaining consciousness, she finds herself in their bedroom with Ryle attending to her injuries and instructing her to keep still. A combination of concern and anger paints his face as he explains to a confused Lily that she tripped and fell down the stairs. However, she distinctly remembers being pushed. This realization brings a tide of sorrow and grief, that is only intensified when he accuses her of lying about the incident and leaves the apartment in a huff, leaving a devastated Lily behind. Ryle then returns, seeking the truth from Lily. She assures him that there are no romantic ties between her and Atlas, causing a sense of relief to wash over Ryle. Despite this, he continues to reiterate that she fell, prompting Lily to ask him to leave the apartment.

chapter 20

Upon witnessing Lily's injuries, Allysa urges Ryle to disclose the truth about the incident to Lily. Confused yet willing, Lily agrees to hear Ryle out. He confesses about a childhood tragedy wherein he unintentionally caused his brother Emerson's death by shooting him. He admits the incident left him shattered, leading to his occasional uncontrollable fury bouts. Lily, in her kindness, forgives him but insists that he must distance himself when he feels anger towards her in subsequent times.

chapter 21

Lily continues to worry about Ryle's unpredictable anger. Conflict arises when he expresses a desire to relocate to Minnesota for a high-profile medical job, while she is unwilling to abandon Boston. After a heated argument, he leaves to calm down and later agrees that they can remain in Boston. At this point, Lily feels vindicated in her decision to stay in their relationship. Unexpectedly, Ryle presents Lily with a new apartment in the same building as Allysa. Despite having made the purchase without consulting her, Lily is thrilled with the apartment and the proximity to Allysa and Marshall. The quartet celebrates this new development over a casual dinner of Chinese food on the floor.

chapter 22

Lily's floral store is shortlisted for Boston's top new enterprise, Ryle begins a program in Cambridge, and Allysa commences childbirth, all in a single day. Ryle and Lily visit the newborn, christened Rylee in honor of Ryle. Everyone is instantly smitten with baby Rylee. Lily is struck by the enchantment of the day.

chapter 23

Returning home after time with the baby, Lily finds Ryle in their kitchen, holding the Boston magnet Atlas gifted her when she turned 16. His demeanor is peculiar, and Lily is unsure whether he's upset or feeling sexual. He questions her about the origin of the magnet, but she conceals the truth to avoid causing him distress. Ryle begins to initiate intimacy, then abruptly stops to probe her about the magnet again. He becomes forceful, causing Lily physical pain. He pushes her to remove her top and read a newspaper feature about top Boston businesses, which includes Bib's, Atlas's restaurant. Atlas explains the restaurant's name signifies "better in Boston," and dedicates it to a significant woman in his life. Overwhelmed, Lily retreats to the bedroom where she discovers that Ryle has come across her journal detailing her past with Atlas. He confronts her, demanding to comprehend why Atlas still holds such a presence in her life. Scared, Lily tries to convince him to back off until he can calm down. However, he insists that he's not angry and instead desires to prove his love for her is greater than Atlas's. The situation escalates, resulting in Ryle assaulting Lily, and she loses consciousness. As she regains and loses consciousness intermittently, Ryle apologizes, then falls asleep. Lily, with a forehead wound impairing her vision, fails to locate her keys. In desperation, she resorts to the only person she can think of—Atlas. Despite hating herself for it, she calls Atlas, having memorized his number instinctively. Atlas arrives and tries to confront Ryle, but Lily insists they leave. As her dizziness worsens, Atlas carries her to his car. On the way to the hospital, she insists on avoiding Mass General, where Ryle works, still shielding his career despite her situation, which fuels her self-loathing.

chapter 24

Atlas continues to remain in the examination room alongside Lily. Upon questioning, Lily denies any act of assault to the nurse. To her shock, she learns of her pregnancy, struggling to make sense of this new reality. She feels an unexpected connection to her mother in that moment. Atlas then brings her to his residence, a place she finds charming. He resides there in solitude. Lily is left contemplating the societal tendency to question why women stay with abusive partners, without questioning why men become abusive in the first place.

chapter 25

Upon awakening, Lily's senses are filled with the aroma of toast, momentarily assuming Ryle is preparing her breakfast. Her initial joy quickly dissipates as reality settles in. The delightful meal is courtesy of Atlas, and she finds it incredibly delicious. They engage in light conversation about his culinary skills, and she fondly recalls the cookies he baked during their teenage years. As he leaves for work, he beseeches her to stay and leaves her a note containing his contact details and a simple, encouraging message: just keep swimming. Alone, Lily pens her inaugural adult letter to Ellen, expressing her perplexing marital status and her struggle with her lingering affection for an abusive partner.

chapter 26

At times, Lily relishes in her pregnancy, but her conflicted emotions towards Ryle often cast a shadow over her happiness, leading to resentment. There is an interlude of comfort when she spends time with Atlas, during which he takes care of her and they enjoy a marathon of Ellen episodes. The guilt of their intimate couch cuddles battles with Lily's relief in Atlas's company. Atlas mentions his work for the next day, which initially makes Lily uneasy, thinking he wants her to leave. But he assures her of his wish to have her stay, easing her anxiety as she needs more time to process her ordeal with Ryle.

chapter 27

Lily nervously visits the flower shop, on edge about the possibility of running into Ryle. Despite her fears, she manages to accomplish half a day's work, although she's perpetually worried about his arrival. As anticipated, Ryle makes an appearance before lunch, marking their first interaction since his attempted assault on her. Anxiety prompts Lily to scout for potential defensive tools. Ryle reveals he'll be in England for the coming three months, leaving the apartment keys behind and urging her to move back while he's away. As he attempts to exit, Lily stops him, expressing her disappointment that he never asked about her past relationship with Atlas. She is interrupted as Ryle tries to reply, but she silences him with a firm interruption. With his departure, Lily is left with a bitter feeling of regret knowing that the unborn child she carries is partly Ryle's.

chapter 28

Lily attempts to return to her flat, yet she is unable to bring herself to enter. Instead, she retreats back to Atlas's home just as three of his friends arrive. They engage in a game of poker, during which Lily reveals her abusive marital situation. Atlas later joins them. During their game, Atlas acknowledges that Lily once saved his life, prompting Brad to note the poetic justice now in Atlas saving Lily. He is taken aback when he realizes Lily has shared her reality with his friends. A phone call interrupts their conversation, triggering Lily's curiosity about the caller's identity. She suspects it is Cassie, a girlfriend Atlas mentioned when they initially connected at Bib's. His friends, unfamiliar with any Cassie, question Atlas, leaving Lily humiliated. Consequently, Atlas confesses Cassie was a fabrication, sparking anger in Lily. Once Atlas's friends depart, Lily confronts Atlas about his unfulfilled promise to return to her. He discloses his attempt to visit her at university, but refrained when he observed her apparent happiness with her boyfriend. This revelation saddens Lily, especially as she didn't care for that particular boyfriend. She questions him about the lie regarding Cassie, and his reasoning mirrors the previous explanation; he believed she was content with Ryle and didn't want to disrupt her happiness. Feeling overwhelmed, Lily requests that Atlas escort her back to her flat as she needs distance to process her circumstances. He agrees, asking that she only reach out in emergencies as their casual interactions are becoming too emotionally taxing. Atlas departs, only to return a moment later. He implores her to consider him as a potential love interest in the future, assuring her that she remains his most cherished person.

chapter 29

Lily struggles to keep her ordeals secret from Allysa, but Allysa senses that something isn't quite right. Eventually, Lily reveals the entire saga of her turbulent relationship with Ryle to Allysa, as well as the news of her pregnancy. Generously, Allysa presents Lily with a selection of her stylish maternity wear from the past. During this, Marshall unexpectedly enters the room as Lily is trying on the clothes, her pregnant stomach in view. Allysa promptly instructs Marshall to maintain confidentiality about Lily's pregnancy. This moment marks Lily's first experience of excitement about her impending motherhood.

chapter 30

Upon returning home, Lily is taken aback to find Marshall and Ryle at her place, initially inducing fear, then comfort knowing Marshall is present. Ryle and Lily converse in private, where he expresses his remorse about their separation and tentative touches her expecting abdomen. Despite initially reciprocating his kiss, horrifying memories of his violence and attempted assault surface, causing her to pull away. Sensing her withdrawal, Ryle steps back. Just as he is on the verge of departing, Lily blurts out her regret about him being the father of her unborn child. This harsh confession immediately fills her with guilt, as she feels she's mirroring the abusive behaviour of her own father.

chapter 31

Lily proposes to care for Rylee, allowing Allysa and Marshall some solitude. Allysa conveys to Lily that regardless of circumstances, her child is fortunate to have such an exceptional mother. This gesture deeply touches Lily.

chapter 32

Lily engages in an emotionally charged conversation with her mom, revealing her tumultuous relationship with Ryle and her unexpected pregnancy. Lily's fears that her mother would advise her to return to Ryle are unfounded. Instead, she encourages Lily to embrace courage and strength. She emphasizes that Ryle's love for Lily lacks the depth and respect she deserves. Lily's mom acknowledges her deliberate decision not to eulogize her dad in a positive light at his funeral and expresses her admiration for Lily's honesty.

chapter 33

Allysa hosts a baby shower for Lily, and they're tidying up when Lily spots Ryle, who has just come back from England, causing her unease. Ryle proposes to assemble the new crib for the baby and Lily agrees, acutely aware of his pain. When he advances to embrace her, she retreats, leading to his departure. Lily breaks down in tears, recognizing that she needs further time before engaging in another dialogue with Ryle.

chapter 34

After completing a lush garden mural in the nursery, Lily wishes to share her achievement. With no one else around, she turns to Ryle who is greatly taken by her artistry. The atmosphere between them is strained and Lily suggests they have an unabridged conversation. Ryle goes first, confessing his confusion about her expectations and his longing for guidance. Lily responds by affirming that she would never separate him from his child, yet she's frightened by his volatile temper and the potential harm he could inflict upon their baby. Ryle expresses understanding and queries about the possibility of their reunion. Lily, however, maintains that she can't make any decisions about their relationship until after the baby's birth. She pleads with him not to pressure her into reconciliation or show physical affection. She insists that she can only manage one significant life alteration at a time.

chapter 35

During the concluding stages of Lily's pregnancy, Ryle stays at the apartment with her, sleeping on the sofa. Despite no romantic intimacy between them, their relationship appears peaceful. One day, while Lily is on a call with her florist, her water breaks. After cleaning up, Lily presents her pregnant body to Ryle for the first time, allowing him to touch her belly. He responds with gratitude and tells her she's attractive. The birth of their daughter, named Emerson after Ryle's brother, follows shortly. However, while holding Emerson for the first time, Lily requests a divorce from Ryle. She asks him to contemplate what he would advise their daughter if she ended up in an abusive relationship. Ryle admits he'd implore Emerson to seek better and to leave the abuser. They both shed tears as they consider the cycle of violence they're attempting to escape from, a cycle Lily grew up enduring.


Almost a year later, a chance encounter occurs between Lily and Atlas while she's out with Emerson in a stroller. Both in a rush, Atlas mentions he's launching a new restaurant. Ryle's text interrupts their moment, leading Lily to clarify that they are not together but only share custody over Emerson. After leaving Emerson with Ryle, Lily catches up with Atlas to inform him of Emerson's middle name, Dory. Atlas embraces Lily, assuring her that his life is now suitable for her, expressing his readiness for their relationship whenever she is. Lily admits she's prepared and Atlas gives her the comfort of knowing she no longer needs to keep swimming.

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