I’m bored today, so I decided to look at story prompts on Pinterest, pick one and go from there. I also hold the right to change the prompt if changing it causes me inspiration.
Today’s prompt: “What are you so afraid of?” “You.”
“What are you so afraid of?”, he said as he stared into my eyes with his own storm grey ones.
“Me”, I whisper as I drag my eyes down from his gaze and hide my face in my legs. I’m still sitting on the floor in the corner of the room with my legs pulled to my chest. It seems he always knows when something is going on. How does he always seem to know?
“Why are you afraid of yourself? You know you can tell me anything, right?”
I can hear it in his voice that he is being completely honest and try to make myself even smaller than I feel. Will he be mad that I’ve kept all of this a secret for so long?
I sigh. There is no point just sitting here in silence because I know for a fact that he won’t leave until he knows I am okay or at least safe. But how can he protect me from myself?
“I haven’t completely honest with you.” I don’t even know why you are still my friend. All the others have left. “I get these terrible thoughts that tell me to hurt myself, and lately they have been getting stronger. I am afraid that one day I will not be able to control them. That they will take over,” I mutter with my face still buried in my legs. It feels like I can’t breathe, the air comes in gasps or not at all. “Just leave me alone. Please.” Please.
“I can’t. I can’t leave you to deal with these demons all on your own. You have know idea how much I understand what you are going through.” He sighs and I hear him move the boxes I had used to create a wall between me and the world. I lift my head just enough to see him slide down the wall as he sits down next to me, but curl up again before he can notice. He places his hand on my back. “I understand completely Kenna. I won’t make you tell me everything now because I hope you will tell me yourself when you are ready, but will you tell me one thing?” I don’t respond, but it seems my breath is coming a little easier now. He continues, “How long have you been feeling this way?”
I lean into him, his hand falls to my side and he pulls me closer to him. I can feel the rhythm of his breathing and I feel my own breathing slow to match his. Should I tell him? How much should I tell him? Will he leave like everyone else? We sit like this for a few minutes before I finally lift my head and let my body relax a bit.
“It’s been a while.” My voice cracks as tears threaten to run down my cheeks. “I don’t remember exactly when it began, but it has been getting worse.” I turn my head so that his stormy eyes meet my golden brown ones. When he looks at me, I don’t see pity or contempt. I see concern. He actually cares. Everybody else just brushes it off and tells me it’s all in my head, which drives me crazy because that exactly the point. It’s in my head, but I can’t control it like they all seem to think. He believes me, and I feel like he actually understands. “I know,” I stutter, “I know I should get help. But I’m afraid. What if they can’t help me? What if I feel like this forever?”
He looks straight at me when he says, “I promise, we will find something that helps. And until we find whatever it is that helps you fight these demons, I will be right here, right next to you, whenever you need me. And you know that I am a man of my word Kenna, I have kept every promise I’ve ever made to you, haven’t I?”
I turn my head and look out at the room. When did it get so cluttered? I guess I haven’t been cleaning very often. “Yes, yes you have Dillon.” I rest my head against his chest. The tears make their escape and roll down my cheeks. “I could never have asked for a better friend. And I can’t let you go through all this with me. It sounds like you’ve already been here and gone through this. I can’t let you come back.”
When he speaks, I hear his voice crack. “Kenna, don’t you see?,” He holds me close. “That is exactly why I have to help. I have been there before, but I didn’t get out on my own. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had a whole support system behind me. My mom, my doctors, my best friend. They were there to help me, and I finally feel like I’ve found my purpose. I’m supposed to help you the way they helped me.”
Sitting here, with Dillon’s arms wrapped around me, I feel better than I have in weeks. I feel hopeful for the first time in weeks. We will get through this together. “I guess it’s settled then, I’m gonna go get some help,” I say quietly.
“And I’m going to be here every step of the way,” Dillon whispers. I feel a small smile start to form.
This room is a disaster. I stand up and take in the hazard that has become of my room. I hear Dillon stand up beside me. I place my hands on my hips, and ask “Can you help me with something first?”
“Anything,” he says.
“Can you help me clean the catastrophe that is my room?” I turn to look at him as he surveys the room as well.
A smile spreads across his face, and he says, “That is a very good first step. Messy rooms make everything else seem worse, even the demons. And, this isn’t that bad. You should have seen my room when I was in your place. I mean like I couldn’t see the floor. It was just gone.”
And before I know it, I find myself laughing and smiling.
“There’s my girl. Let’s tidy this up. Then we can grab frozen yogurt and figure out where you want to start on your path to normalcy,” he says as his smile gets bigger and I can see it in his eyes.
As we are making progress on my room, I turn and see Dillon folding the laundry I had been meaning to fold for months. From across the room, I say, “Hey Dillon.”
He responds with a, “hmmm”.
He turns to look at me now, as he says “For what?”
My eyes meet his as I say, “For everything.”
“Kenna, nobody should have to go through all this on their own. I am happy I can help.”
We finish cleaning my room and as I take the key out of my apartment door, Dillon smirks. I suspiciously ask, “What?”.
“Last one to your car has to pay for the fro yo!,” he shouts as he starts running toward the parking lot and my assigned parking spot.
I laugh and make my way to my car, taking the first steps on the road to normalcy with my best friend and making a detour to buy his some well deserved frozen yogurt.