chapter twenty four

AJ swallowed hard before turning to face me. I heard him. When he finally looked me in the eyes, I was the one who couldn’t really stand to face him. Turning my gaze away from him, I focused my attention to the pale green chair beside my bed.

“Are--are you alright?” I heard him ask. His voice was unstable. I couldn’t believe it. HIS voice was unstable.

“Why do you ask?” I replied as sternly as I could, and at that precise moment, I wasn’t doing my best. “Is it any of your concern to begin with?”

I heard him take a sharp breath, pausing for a moment before he spoke again. “I know how you must be feeling right now, but you gotta know that we went through the same thing out there, and I want to be here for you, Cass, I really do.”

I laughed, a laugh so cruel it even startled me. I faced him, lookng him dead in the eyes. “You think you know how I’m feeling? Do you, AJ? Well, you’ve got another thing coming: You DON’T know how I’m feeling, and we did NOT go through the same thing out there! You’ll NEVER know even HALF of whats going through my mind right now because YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO--” I broke off, partly because I choked on my sobs, but mainly because I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t tell him what I had been put through.

AJ, on the other hand, wasn’t about to leave the subject alone. “What it feels to what? Cassie, what were you going to say?”

“Nothing. I wasn’t going to say anything,” I told him, still not breaking contact with his gaze. “I’m just...a little out of it. I need rest.”

“Are you sure you’re going to be--”

“I’ll be fine,” I said quickly. Feeling a fresh set of tears forging its way through, I turned away, facing the wall. “I just need sleep.”

I waited for what seemed an eternity, until he finally gave a long sigh and walked out of my room. Once again in solitude, I released the tears, allowing them to drop on my already wet pillow. What a day...

[chapter 23 | chapter index | chapter 25]