Chapter 2


There was a heaviness in every limb as I tried to move, as if something heavy like sand had pooled in every corner of me, making it hard to bend or lift myself where I was trying to go. The chill on the hardwood floor as my feet dragged along it only made it worse as I walked into the kitchen, sitting up to the small island, as I tried to wake myself up. Mornings themselves would be better received if I could just stay in the softness of my bed, it was safe there, comfortable, and no one intruded on the moments spent curled up in bed, it was the kind of peace I longed for all the time. 

I couldn’t bring myself to turn the lights on, it was probably odd that I was sitting alone in the dark, but it was also odd that they weren’t turned on already, as I’m usually the last one up. As I tried to gather myself enough to function, the only window in here caught my attention, the light cream-colored curtains fell in such a way that a small gap existed between the panels. 

The small sliver of light peeked through the window, creating only a fine line of light through the darkness. I couldn’t help but parallel my feelings to it. I felt consumed by darkness lately, unable to create more light, no matter how hard I tried. I reached my hand for the stream of light, but I wasn’t close enough, how fitting.

“You hungry Love?” Dez’s voice pulled me from spiralling further as he walked into the kitchen, “never mind, you should eat, I’ll make you something.”

His soft brown hair was always perfectly in place, but stubble was starting to form on his face. It seems to be a new look he’s going for lately, something that helps him look manlier I guess, or maybe something that was trending at the gym this week. 

“Just toast please,” my voice came out monotone and he furrowed his brows at me, I forced a smile his way, “I’ll try to eat more at lunch.”

He seemed satisfied with that answer as he began to fix it up for me. His normal morning smoothie made the blender roar for a minute before he slid me some of it with my plate. I didn’t really need the extra protein since I stopped working out when dad died, but his hazel eyes studied me until I took a sip. 

“Today will be good, you’ll see,” Dez’s voice tried to reassure me, but he knew I wasn’t prepared, not that I could see a time in the near future that I would be, so life went on. He was always there for me, but he wasn’t good at finding words to console me lately. I could tell he was trying, but everything was hard now, and it wasn’t something either of us could make better. 

I had to go back to school today, the first day of my last year. I should be excited to reconnect with my friends, but I didn’t want to face all the looks they would give me, and hear about how much I missed out on over the summer. I had been locked away for almost two months now, refusing to venture out of the house unless Dez dragged me. It seemed like if I could just stay in the house, I could remember him, and every time I stepped outside, everything just reminded me of how alone we were now. 

Even thinking about leaving was making my chest heavy, I could feel the tingling behind my eyes as a tear escaped, and I quickly brushed my cheek to wipe it away. 

“I doubt it Dez, but it’s not like I have a choice, this school doesn’t offer an at-home option.”

“Brianna, moving forwards doesn’t mean forgetting him,” I could feel his eyes roaming my face, but I couldn’t make myself look at him. I don’t know how he was moving on so well, he took less than two weeks when dad died to grieve, before he just decided one day to act normal. Dad died a little over two months ago, ripped from us by a car accident, and I still felt just as suffocated by it as the day we found out. 

To be fair, dad was rarely home. He was always travelling around for the insurance company he worked for, leaving nanny’s and then Dez to look after us, so maybe Dez just doesn’t notice the big change in our lifestyle without him here, but the finality of it has me stuck in some grief stage I can’t get past. 

“Besides,” Dez started again, “I’m sure Ryan will be happy you’re going. You guys haven’t even seen each other since. Unless you’re not a thing anymore?” He looked at me waiting for an answer, and it looked like he was partially afraid of what it would be, he knew he blurted out such a sensitive question like it was nothing. 

“As far as I know, we are, but who knows,” I shrugged, “I haven’t seen him in two months, so I guess we’ll see how awkward this is today.” Ryan had sent me text messages almost daily, it took me a while to respond to them at first, but he was gentle and understanding about everything. We talked on the phone every now and again, but it wasn’t the same as seeing him in person. 

“I’m gonna go get ready, he’s actually supposed to be my ride this morning,” I checked my watch, “in half an hour.” 

After I excused myself, I went upstairs to gather my things, it wouldn’t take me long to get ready to leave, I basically just had to pick out clothes. My hair was naturally curly and surprisingly looked decent this morning, so I left that blessing alone before I tried to fuss with it, and it turned on me. I grabbed a nice mustard yellow dress, with a lightweight cropped jean jacket, and some sneakers as I text Ryan. 

Me to Ryan: You still ok to pick me up? If not, Dez will drive me.

Ryan: Of course babe! You know I miss you and those lips *wink emoji*

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