Chapter 18 That's What I Want

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Parker cut the engine and rolled out a blanket over the bottom of the boat. Bunching up towels as a makeshift headrest, he stretched out and invited me to join him.

We had stopped in quite a secluded spot, shaded underneath several tall willow trees lining the bank.

"No one can see us out here unless they fly overhead, it's a great place to take nap. Nothing can happen out here honest. Trust me, I'll look after you." He promised.

I stretched out beside him and tried to let the sway of the boat ease away all of my Isabella stressing. After all, worrying was just like praying for something bad to happen. Yet another one of my self-help quotes I tried to hold onto.

"Stop overthinking Jay. There really is nothing to worry about." He noticed.

I breathed deeply.

"What do you worry about Jay? Where do you go in that head of yours?" He gazed at me intently. I could've tried to deny it, but it seemed like he could see right into me.

"I worry about everything." I admitted.

"Everything?" He frowned.

"Sometimes it's just like a constant state of anxiety. I could just be walking along with Charlie as he rides his bike along the sidewalk and the most horrible image will flash into my mind, like he's fallen off his bike into the road and been hit by car. Or when I'm a passenger in a car, driving along say, with Loaf or Taylor, and all of a sudden I see a vision of us trapped in the crushed metal of a wreck."

"I'm not surprised with Loaf's driving. That's a very sensible thing to be afraid of." I smiled. He wasn't being flippant just trying to lighten the mood. I tried to explain further.

"It's not always rational. Take the dodgems for instance. I've never been on them ever."


"Ever. I've watched countless little kids race around the track and it looks like great fun, but I just can't. I worry. I worry about all of it. You know when you first let the crowd in to get in the cars? What happens if I can't find a spare car? What happens if there isn't one free for me? I worry if I do get one, what happens if a little kid misses out instead? I worry about getting stuck. I worry about bumping, I know that's the whole point of it, but what happens if I can't then prevent a head on collision? You guys are always warning against that. It's just simpler not to do it. I then worry about how stupid I'm being, what a weirdo I am and how I'm missing out. I just can't win its exhausting."

The boat rocked gently and suddenly I felt very tired. Parker started drawing large circles on my midriff and the somersaults started in my stomach again.

"Wow Jay. You're amazing."

"Amazingly freak like" I complained.

"No way. You've got all that going on in there and yet no one can tell. You are constantly battling everyday, no wonder you're exhausted. You really need to get out of your own way and give yourself a break. You just need to get out of your head and into your body. I can help you with that," his voice dropped down to whisper and I swallowed hard.

He traced delicious lines up and down my arms and my skin broke out into goosebumps. He was smiling now.

Concentrating on what was happening right in the moment; the sound of the water lapping. The sun rays warming the bared bits of my skin. The slight taste of salt in the air, the sounds of the birds. The proximity of Parker, his familiar smell. The blood rushing through my system as every nerve ending snapped to attention under his touch. The complete absence of my mind's usual monkey chatter.

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