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The others part 9
The boys leave at last.
"So what were you two talking about that you came in so red-eyed?” Solila pounces right away.
“Can I at least turn on the light? Sheesh.” I turn to pull the cord thing.
“I actually already know. Hear me out! Kenton sensed your thoughts racing and was concerned. He did a one way connection with you, and connected with me. So we could “hear” each other and “talk”, and we could hear you and Brayden but you couldn’t hear us. Don’t be mad. We weren’t planning on it, but Kenton caught the word parents from you and was immediately worried.” Solila explains
quickly, complete with air quotes.
“Yeah. I feel like I should be mad, but I’m actually kind of glad you did. Saves me some explaining. (looks at me sympathetically.) I just (adjusting, sitting up) I just don’t know where to go. Where to look to. I wish I had mastered linking earlier, so if I was within oh, I don’t know, but close, I could find them. But I didn’t, because I was so lazy! (slam fist on the bed in anger at myself). If I tried harder, and was more… I don’t know! Or watched out for them, or something! Why was I such a… a… naive CHILD?!?!? A BABY, WEAK AND AFRAID OF MY OWN SHADOW!” my voice is rising as the anger at my stupid self grows.
“Desiree, stop it! It’s not your fault, and you know it! And be quiet, will you? You’re going to wake up the…
“Solila open the door right this second! Or the door will no longer be there!”
“…guys. Great. (Her hand is waving all over in the air as she shoots me a look. Then sighs and gets up.) One sec.” Brayden bursts through the door with Kenton close on his heels. He drags me to the couch again, or tries to. I stubbornly hold back so Brayden turns and looks at my messy face and crazed eyes.
“Come on, Desiree. We’ve all got to talk about this. This is what happens when you bottle it up.” Bray says softly, looking at me, sympathetic and begging all at once. Then I feel bad.
Look at me. How can I drag them all down like this? I let him lead me to where Kenton and Solila are sitting cross legged on the floor, my mind racing, going through flashbacks. My breathing quickens with each flashback.
Me coming home, no parents, both cars still there. Finding both the cell phones in the chargers. Walking through the snow without a jacket to Solila’s. Her mom opening the door and quickly ushering me inside. Me explaining. Me over at Solila’s house calling home again and again, hanging up at the answering machine.
Solila’s mom telling me I can stay overnight at 9:30pm. Seeing the look in her eyes, telling me that she loves me as a daughter and I can stay there as long as I want. No parents the next day. Going down to the station and filing the report. The mysterious typed message telling me that my parents are alive, but not free to come home or free to do really anything.
The handwriting I knew as my mother’s on the bottom, and then my father’s. Telling me they loved me and that one day we would be together again. As though they would die. Even as a frosh, when this happened. The police telling me they had no leads, but would keep the case open if anything came up. I was able to read the coldness. They’re adults. You are probably a naughty child, and they ran away. The police have more important things to do. I could read Kenton’s anger towards the officer, and I knew I was right.
By now my eyes are wide in pain and fear, and I’m completely unable to catch my breath. Brays arms are so tight against me that it isn’t helping. But I don’t want him to move. If he moves or leaves he may never come back. Same with Solila and Kenton. Kenton. He must be in my head, and Solila and Brayden. Breathe. No, no no. Don’t let me go. His arms tighten. Yes. I can’t take anymore loss, anymore deception. Breathe. Blink. Breathe. In. Out. In. Out.
I slowly relax, melting into Brayden. Then pulling away.
“It isn’t healthy for all of you to have to deal with this.” I deliberately think.
“Sarah, it isn’t healthy to bottle it all up.” Kenton sounds angry with me scolding. I flinch away, and his voice softens. “I’m sorry, I’m mad at myself and all of us for not thinking about it.”
“Don’t. I’m sorry.” I think as Brayden’s arms tighten even more. I don’t mind. I think it’s the one thing “anchoring” me, if you will, to the ground.
“Sarah, can you talk?” Brayden asks, voice tense.
“I don’t think so. I’ll lose it even more.” I make it sound very apologetic.
“It’s ok, sweetie. Just asking. Why don’t we all move to thought? It’s easier.” Braden loosens one of his arms to smooth my hair out of my face, and then holds me close again.
“What did you all get?” I’m not sure I want the answer, but it’s a starting point.
“All of it, not only the flashbacks. Every single thought.” Solila answers, the one person who will give it me straight.
“Hey now. I’d tell you.” Brayden sounds hurt.
“I know, but you’d try to protect me first. Same with you, Kenton. Don’t deny it. But you, Kenton, would be driven by not wishing to killed or hurt. Ha..” I think; a sad attempt at humor.
“No need to try, this isn’t funny business.” Kenton says, serious for the first time, since, well, I don’t remember.
“Brayden, I know why, but the poor girl’s gonna be squeezed to death. Loosen up a bit buster think of her instead of what she wants.” Solila notices. Crap. They heard that too? Dang!
He loosens up noticeably, and a flare of desperateness, and a feeling like I’m drowning in an ocean of loneliness. Fear. Pain. All floods back. Just like that, his arms are around me. The feeling of helplessness slowly, very slowly fades away.
“Yeah, I don’t think she minds all that much.” Brayden replies, resting his chin on top of my head, so I know he’s there.
“KENTON! Open access to all thoughts now!” I demand only to him. They hear everything about me, all I get are deliberate thoughts. So not fair! He obliges. First thing, I hear Brayden’s thoughts.
‘You should’ve watched for signs. She never should have bottled this up. She doesn’t trust you, because if she did, she would’ve told you. What if she hurt herself? It would be all you fault, you stupid stupid boy. Stupid and selfish. That’s all you are. The only thing you can do is hold her? Pathetic.
‘Kiss her deeply, then, take her away from this state where her parents were taken. Run. Run away with her. Marry her, and maybe that will show her how much you love her, and that you will never betray her. Quit telling yourself your both too young, time doesn’t matter when you both have eternity. You know you would die without her, or if anything happened to her.
‘She’s so thin. She’s lost weight out of depression. She needs someone who can keep her warm all night, and listen and understand her, and have fun. You know her better than anyone, and vice versa. Why are you waiting so long? (his arms tighten noticeably more.) Why did you open your mouth about California? Stupid stupid boy. Now stop thinking about her, and pay attention to her.’ Brayden’s thoughts hit me like a truck.
I search Solila and Kenton, and noticed after trust they retreated. Now my thoughts run rabid.
Look what you did! Brayden feels horrible now. God. Go and hurt everyone close to you. Brayden deserves better. Someone not as messed up. Not as…bottled. He deserves the world, but instead he’s stuck with you. He doesn’t want to hurt you. Selfish, selfish girl. Ruining lives for her personal gain. Selfish. Why’s your heart still beating? Hasn’t all this pain made it stop from sheer pain of loss? Or perhaps GUILT? Why don’t you just give up and….
My heart pounds faster. Kenton and Solila retreated again. They’re thinking something back and forth.
“Desiree... We need to go, now. We need to talk.” Brayden sounds rushed. Kenton and Solila get up.
“No. just us. Kenton, retreat out of our thoughts., Same with Solila. All of us. Unlink us.” I hear him sigh then demand.