And if there wasn’t . . .
I finally looked over at where he sat next to me, his elbows casually braced on his knees. The small fire in the middle of the hut threw shadows across his face. He was hot as hell, like bottled sex, and I was the one with the cap.I’m not avoiding you or anything.
Going to class, minimal conversations revolving around only stunts and homework, and showing up for the excursion doesn’t count. Your mom spooked you, he guessed.My dad made some memorable comments, I answered. They didn’t change anything, I just…needed a few minutes.You had a few days, he retorted. I’m not in a rush. I’ll wait forever for you to figure out that I’m in this, but I’d rather you come to me when you’re spooked. I can’t stop that little mental fight you’re already in with me if I don’t know it’s going on—if you can’t let me in your head.
He was completely right. It chafed me to admit it, but he really was. Okay. You’re right.I’m just watching hell freeze over.
Shut up, I said, leaning into him. Talking to my parents was hard. They put me back together when you… I trailed off. It wasn’t fair to keep shoving our past at him. If I was going to actually be with him, then I couldn’t drag him through that mud over and over.
When I left you, he finished. Look, I fucked that up. It changed us both, and we have to be able to talk about it. Your parents rightfully hate me because they saw the aftermath. If I saw that, I’m sure I’d hate myself a hell of a lot more than I already do.I don’t believe a sister could do such a thing.
But I also never would have believed that Bay could leave me, and she did. I saw her go.It is agony to cry when you can’t make a sound, when you have to stuff your pillow into your mouth, almost choking yourself so that no one will hear the timbre of your real voice. No one knows how much that hurts, not even the loved ones who want to keep you safe.
I miss Bay so much, and I am so angry with her. If she were here, I would cry out at her. I wouldn’t care who heard. How could you leave me? My throat aches as if I’ve already screamed myself hoarse.When was the last time Bay and I fought? I wonder. Before our mother’s death, we used to fight all the time, because we were sisters in a shared, small world—room, temple, city—and because we were different and the same.