I'm doing a para but don't feel obligated to respond in kind?

Baron was relatively well known for being easygoing. He was fine with being the butt of everyone’s jokes, responding only with a whiny “I’m not stupid” every time Shock or Lock said so, and shrugging off most other insults. Nonna had told him what a blessing it was he hadn’t inherited his father’s hot button temper, but it was moments like these that he almost wished he did. His father’s rages ran hot but fizzled out quickly, moving easily to into forgiving and forgetting. And while Baron was certainly not quick to anger, on the rare occasion that he did get angry, it sat with him, festering under his skin, manifesting as relentless grudges.

It had been days since he’d spoken to Ella or Sienna. He had been furious after both conversations. Sienna had left, without an explanation, without talking to him, telling him she wasn’t even sure if she was coming back, and she had the nerve to tell him not to be mad? How would she expect him to feel after watching her walk out on him? On Ella? And Ella. He knew he was more angry with himself than her, that he couldn’t help her, make her see she deserved better from others. And then he was even more angry with himself for pushing it on her, for not finding some better way to handle things, talk to her. He replayed the fights over and over in his head, the anger gnawing at him.

It had been days since his argument with Ella and he hadn’t left the flat unless it was absolutely necessary, which hadn’t been often, much to his relief. He hadn’t even really noticed how many days had gone by until one day, when his phone pinged him. He figured it was Shock, yelling at him over text to do something, but instead it was a notification. From Facebook. “Today is Ella Glass’s birthday.” it read. Baron was confused. Ella hadn’t mentioned a birthday. But of course she hadn’t. Why would she? As soon as he read it his anger was replaced by guilt. He’d fought with her, days before her birthday. He didn’t even know it was one of his girlfriend’s fucking birthday. He certainly didn’t have anything for her. There wasn’t anything that really spurred a man to action like realizing he’d forgotten a significant other’s birthday.

Thirty minutes later he was showered and shaved, grabbing the keys to Lock’s car. He didn’t have much in the idea for a gift, let alone birthday plans, so he settled for stopping by a florist and putting together a last minute bouquet from what was still available at the end of the day (which wasn’t much, unfortunately). Another twenty minutes and he was at Ella’s door with a decidedly small bouquet, his hand poised in front of the door, hesitating to knock. What would he say? How would she react? But before he had time to knock, the door opened, and there she stood in front of him.