The Stillness Of You

By: Julie Bale

Matt was silent for a few moments and I knew I was going to have to help him out. He had always been a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve. It’s one of the things I loved the most about my brother and I knew he was worried. If he had known that I had laid in bed for the past three hours, wide awake, struggling to hold on to my racing mind, he would have freaked. He would have torn my room apart looking for the klonopin, and he would have shoved that shit down my throat before you could even say klonopin.

There would be a big scene and he certainly wouldn’t be leaving for the Cape without me. And that wasn’t acceptable. I’d already cost him so much and he needed time with Heather. Quality time. God, the guy hadn’t been laid since I had moved in with him because his girlfriend stopped visiting from Manhattan and he was too protective to leave me on my own.

It had to stop.

“Matt, I’m good. Really. You don’t need to worry about me.”

His light eyes were so expressive and I saw the worry though he said nothing. He was thinking that I wasn’t ready to be left alone. That he couldn’t trust me to be left alone.

He was thinking of that night almost nine months ago. The night when he’d been called away from a game in Chicago because his baby sister had been found wandering the campus of her Liberal Arts College in upstate New York, half naked, ranting like a crazy person and threatening to kill herself.

I saw that night reflected in his eyes and it brought tears to my own. It took a moment for me to push back the emotion. I thought of my run. Of how I would throw on my Nikes and put one foot in front of the other for five miles.

I thought of how tired I’d feel physically and of how empty my mind would be. Some mornings it was the only thing that got me out of bed.

Slowly, I swung my legs across the mattress until they dangled inches from the hardwood floor and propped my hands along the edge. “Matt,” I said softly. “I feel good. I feel…settled you know? The pieces inside me, the ones that used to move so fast I was never able to catch my breath, well, they’re not moving anymore.”

That was a lie, but at least they weren’t moving as fast and for me that was a win.

God, it was so hard to describe what I was feeling. What I used to feel before. Before Oak Run. Before the diagnosis. Before the pills inside my dresser drawer helped to make everything better. Clearer.

“Seamus said it would be good for me to have some alone time.”

He wasn’t buying it. “You’re alone when I’m at work.”

“True, but that’s not what he meant and you know it. I’ve been here for three months Matt. The time for baby steps are over. I need this.”

“G, I don’t know.”

“Matt, you need to drive to the Cape and you need to have lots of hot, horny sex with your girlfriend.”

He made a face.

“It’s true. If you don’t fuck her this weekend she’s going to give up on you and find someone else to give her orgasms.”

Of course I would be fine with that, but for whatever reason Matt liked Heather, and he had liked Heather Newcastle for nearly two years now. Though, my train of thought was that if he was serious about her she’d be sporting a diamond on her ring finger and she wasn’t.

Thank God.

I saw him waver so I jumped up and hugged him. “I’ll show Ben around and help him find a place, okay? And you’ll be back, what…” I stepped back, a gentle smile on my lips. “On Monday? We’ll be good. I’ll be good, I promise. And Ben, well, he’s not some serial killer or anything, is he?”

“No, but he is the future of the Flyers so, G, I really need you to be careful, okay?”

“I can handle Ben Lancaster.”

“It’s not you I’m worried about.”

“Seriously, Matt. I’m not crazy Georgia anymore. You don’t need to worry.”

Matt grabbed me close once more. “Alright. I’ve got my cell and I’ll have my laptop with me, so if you need to talk, just…”

“Yeah, yeah.” I pulled away. “I’ll call you.”

Matt strode toward the door but paused before leaving. “G,” he said softly. “I love you.”

Top Books