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Reborn Wife: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Reborn Wife: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

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My marriage to Mathias was supposed to make me the happiest woman in the world. Although I knew he didn't love me, I thought he would fall for me once I showered him with all the love I had to give. Five years passed and Mathias still didn't give a damn about me. Instead, he met his true love and cut all ties with me because of her. He showed her off; something he never did for me. His abandonment pushed me into depression. I was broken in every sense of the word. Even on my deathbed, my so-called husband didn't come to say goodbye to me. When I opened my eyes again, I found myself reborn. I was still Mathias's wife and it was two months before he met his true love. In this life, I refused to be hurt by him again. After talking some sense into my head, I asked him for a divorce in other to escape being heartbroken like I was previously. Mathias tore up the divorce papers time and time again while also shutting me down. "Rylie, stop all this nonsense! Playing hard to get doesn't work anymore!" To show him that I was dead serious, I went ahead to file for divorce. Only then did he panic. He abandoned the "woman of his dreams" and came to my side. "Please give me a second chance, Rylie. I promise to do right by you. You'll be the only woman in my heart from now on. Don't leave me, okay?" A war broke out in my mind after this apology. On one hand, I didn't want to be hurt again. And on the other, I didn't want to let go of the man I loved so dearly. What should I do?!

Chapter 1 That Girl

Oldston's streets were alive with the ebb and flow of traffic.

I'd occupied a corner seat in Blossom Restaurant for two hours, my attention occasionally drifting to the counter. There, a young lady donned in a sky-blue apron was engrossed in the art of crafting drinks.

She was petite. Based on my judgment, she barely reached 5.3 feet and was likely lighter than 100 pounds; her skin was soft and smooth, completely speckless. Her thick, raven-black hair was styled into a high knot, and her crescent-shaped eyes glistened when she laughed.

"Would you care for a refill, ma'am?" She approached, her smile undiminished.

Her presence momentarily distracted me, pulling me from my reverie. Fortunate, perhaps, that I too was a woman; the alternative might attract unsavory labels.

"Yes, another black coffee, thank you," I replied, my tone courteous and my smile reciprocating her warmth.

With an agile grace, she furnished me a new cup of black coffee. She lingered for a moment, choosing to impart a cautionary note. "You've had two cups of black coffee already, ma'am. It may be invigorating, but excess isn't advisable. Perhaps save some craving for your next visit?"

Her words floated through the air, melodious like the chime of wind bells.

I glanced at the black coffee before me and rose, gathering my bag. "Alright, let's take care of the bill."

Thrilled by my acquiescence, she promptly completed the transaction. "Your total comes to 15 dollars today, ma'am. Will you be paying with cash or through mobile payment?"

I completed the payment with minimal fuss and exited the unpretentious establishment.

"Ma'am." Lanny Mills, my chauffeur, greeted me as I emerged, extending a respectful nod as he opened the car door.

"Home, Lanny," I instructed softly, a meager smile on my lips.

As the car hummed into motion, I leaned back with my eyes closed. Yet my thoughts kept circling back to the young waitress, her countenance suffused with the flush of youth.

So, she was the woman who, in a year's time, would compel Mathias Murray to part from me at a great cost, even if it meant severing ties with his family.

In this newfound life, the first thing I'd done was seek her out, observing her covertly in her workplace.

What intrigued me so was deciphering what she possessed that could stole away the man I'd loved for nearly a decade.

In my previous life, I never had the chance to meet her, only stumbling upon a name and some scattered photographs. Mathias shielded her as though she were an invaluable gem. Despite my losses, I never even saw the face of my competitor.

She was young, beautiful, innocent, kind, and full of life, attributes that fit her perfectly.

Her only shortcoming was her lack of a prominent family background, in sharp contrast to Mathias's high-standing reputation.

Lanny's voice broke into my thoughts. "Ma'am, today marks your wedding anniversary with Mr. Murray."

Slowly, I opened my eyes, feeling momentarily disoriented.

This year would be our fifth anniversary. In previous years, I'd spent the entire day preparing—a candlelit dinner, anniversary presents—even though I was a complete amateur in the kitchen before marrying him.

Now, I was 27, and he was 29.

"I'm aware," I said, massaging my temples, a knot of unease forming within me. "There's no need to remind me."

Maybe Lanny sensed my departure from past enthusiasm, prompting him to mention it.

But it begged the question: why was I always the giver? Why must I be the one in love? These questions haunted me in my past life as I faced my final moments. For Mathias, I ended up sacrificing it all, culminating in a tragic end.

Deep in thought, the car halted in front of our home—a luxurious estate gifted by our parents for our wedding.

Unexpectedly, Mathias's car was parked there. He was home.

My emotions were a tangled web. Having experienced death once, what expression should I wear when facing the source of my prior sorrows?

I had expected to despise Mathias. He had driven me—his wife of five years—to the brink, ruthlessly causing damage to my innocent parents and leaving my family shattered.

But seeing him again, my animosity had ebbed, replaced by something akin to relief.

In my previous life, Mathias had offered me a civil divorce, assuring me a lifetime's worth of shares in the Murray Group. I had declined. For nine years, I sought his love in vain, only for another woman to capture it within a year.

I had resorted to every means to win him back, even if it led to high-stakes confrontations and a struggle for survival.

But those events had not yet come to pass. Rather than dwell in bitterness, I'd prefer to rewrite that painful chapter.

"Why are you lingering in the doorway?" Mathias, lounging in the living room with his long legs crossed, barely looked up from the dwindling cigarette between his fingers. He tapped the ash into an ashtray, regarding me with his characteristic detachment.

He had set the terms on our wedding day: what we had was a union of convenience, a mutual agreement for long-term cohabitation, devoid of any emotional attachment.

"I wasn't expecting you to be home," I replied, bending down to slip into my grey Hermes slippers. Designed for comfort rather than aesthetic appeal, they were nothing extraordinary.

My thoughts drifted back to the young waitress in her blue apron, accented by a tiny, cheerful red flower.

A stark contrast to my own costly yet drab attire.

Suddenly loathing the slippers, I flung them aside and trod barefoot into the living room.

Mathias arched an eyebrow at my unshod entry. "Opting for bare feet?"

"Yes; didn't feel like confining them," I said, settling into a seat across from him.

"You're acting out of character. Something on your mind?" His voice, lighter than usual, even contained a hint of mirth.

"If only you knew you're sitting across from the past, while your future waits elsewhere," I mused inwardly.

My gaze fell to my gaunt feet; they seemed so devoid of vitality.

They were nothing like Olivia Singh's; hers were slender yet displayed a robustness, a firm suppleness that mine distinctly lacked.

The solitude that had spanned five years of our marital life had sapped my interest in nourishment, reducing me to a skeletal frame.


"Hmm?" He grunted in response, too engrossed in his phone to look up.

Dressed in a sleek black shirt and trousers, his impressive height and striking visage had ensnared many a heart.

I lifted my eyes from my own skeletal feet to the man who sat before me. My voice came out slightly raspy. "I want a divorce."

The room turned cold the instant my words hung in the air, only to be shattered by Mathias's scoff.

Setting his phone aside, he met my gaze with icy eyes. "Rylie Fletcher, what's your angle this time?"

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