Flash Friday – Excerpt from Lily’s Story 2
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought the following would be a fitting excerpt for today. Enjoy :-).
“Do you really think it’s your fault?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know what to think. I just know what I feel… when I’m not smoking or doing oxy. I’ve tried to give it up but…” He shrugged again and drew in a deep breath on the joint, exhaling slowly. “I can’t handle the way it feels.”
I nodded, looking down at my hands. I knew exactly what he was talking about. Ever since I’d met him and taken that first hit of oxy, I’d known that nothing else would help ease the pain of missing Declan, of what I’d done to him, of knowing it was my fault I was alone now.
Well, not alone now. Now I had Rhody.
But I wouldn’t even know Rhody if Declan hadn’t died.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I couldn’t deny that meeting Rhody had been the best thing that had happened to me this year. But it didn’t mean I was glad Declan was gone. If Declan was still alive, I’d never have known what I’d missed out on with Rhody, and it wouldn’t matter anyway.
I looked up at him, at his rugged facial features that made him look handsome but older than his age, like a teen who had lived through a whole war. His eyes locked with mine, and I studied them; I could read more about him there than anything I would learn from anyone else. The one thing I couldn’t deny was that in Rhody, something beautiful had come out of something tragic.
I blinked. Rhody was leaning closer to me.
I leaned back slightly.
“Come on,” he whispered. “Your eyes are begging me to kiss you.”
I swallowed hard. “You’re high,” I said quietly. “You don’t know what you see.”
“Just one kiss.” His breath was soft and warm against my lips. “If you don’t like it, I promise I’ll never speak of it again.”
I was just high enough that his words and the mere idea of kissing him seductively drew me to him, and just sober enough that I knew I couldn’t afford to make the same mistake twice; so I leaned toward him and kissed him.
He kissed me back, and it was warm and inviting, the feeling that after wandering in a desert for years, I had finally found a place to call home.
It ended too soon, but it wasn’t in my nature to ask for more. I sat quietly, eyes closed, enjoying the hazy feeling that was circling my head and filling me up. I felt a goofy smile playing over the corners of my mouth, but I didn’t care.
After several moments, I felt his hand reach up to brush my hair back from my face.
“Not so bad, was it?” he asked in a soft, teasing voice.
I took a deep breath and exhaled it in a contended sigh.
When I opened my eyes, he was watching me, and what I saw in his eyes made me nervous.
“Rhody,” I whispered, tugging my sleeves down over my hands. “We’re friends. Good friends.” I couldn’t force the rest of the words out, but I hoped he would know what I was trying to say.
He nodded in understanding, but the look didn’t leave his eyes. “Best friends,” he agreed. “Don’t worry.” He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m not going to do anything to ruin that.”
I stiffened. I could feel my face contorting in a way that I knew I was powerless to stop what was coming. It didn’t come on slowly; it was only a fraction of a second before the tears were flowing.
“Hey, hey.” Rhody cupped my face in his hand. “What is it?”
I shook my head and reached up to swipe at my face with both sleeve-covered hands. Taking two deep breaths to steady myself, I forced the tears back.
Rhody watched me for a second. “Listen. I want you to know something. We are friends. And I will never, ever give up on you. Okay?”
I slid my fingers out of one sleeve to grab his hand. “And I will never give up on you.”
“So… do we call this a pact? We’ll be there for each other, always.”
I nodded. “I like that. A pact. I promise to be there for you, and remind you that someone loves you and will never give up on you.”
“And I promise to always remind you that you are loved. I will always be there for you and never give up on you.”
He gave me hand a little squeeze.
I felt a tear slide down my cheek, and I swallowed hard.
No more tears.
Forcing my voice to be steady, I lifted my eyes to meet his. “I need to tell you something.”