I came in late again, which has sort of become routine over the past few days. I threw my coat onto the couch and started to climb the stairs. I was about to enter my room when I caught the sound of faint whimpering. I froze in place as I listened more closely. The whimpering was followed by soft exclamations of "No!". I slowly followed the noise all the way to Isaac's door. Why is Isaac whimpering? That's not like him.
"Isaac" I call out softly as I tap on his door, but I get no response other that whimpering. I slowly twist the doorknob and crack the door open.
"Isaac" I call out again but still no response. I push the door a bit wider open and that's when I catch sight of Isaac thrashing around in bed whimpering and murmuring "No!" My body suddenly acts for me and I'm knelt beside his bed shaking his sleeping figure.
"Isaac, wake up" I command in a soft voice.
"No!" Isaac yells shooting to a sitting position. I see him looking around blindly for a second before he sees me and puts his hands over his face.
"It was just a bad dream Isaac" I say trying to comfort him. I can tell he is a bit embarrassed that I witnessed his outburst. He just nods with a small hiccup. Wait, is he crying? I reach up and genteelly remove his hands from his face. I see his puffy eyes and his tear stained cheeks and my heart sinks. Isaac tries to look away but I turn his face back to me.
"There's nothing to be embarrassed about Isaac" I whisper sitting on the bed with him. He just buries his face in my chest as he continues to cry and it is oddly comfortable. We just sit this way for a while to give Isaac some time to calm down. I find myself unconsciously rubbing his back. Finally Isaac pulls away and looks up at me.
"I'm sorry, you shouldn't have seen that" Isaac says biting his lip and I can tell he is still a bit embarrassed.
"What was the dream about anyway Isaac?" I asked in a gentle voice. Isaac flashes his eyes to the ground.
"It was about my dad" He whispers. By those few words I can already guess what the nightmare was about. I already knew that his dad used to beat and abuse Isaac, both verbally and physically. Isaac looked so vulnerable at that moment that I reached forward and pulled him into my lap. He seemed a bit startled at first as he tensed up, but he slowly relaxed.
"It still haunts me Derek" he murmured "the dreams never go away." I smoothed his hair back a bit.
"I know, but it does get better Isaac" I mumbled in his ear. Isaac just nodded softly.
"You need to get some rest, you have school tomorrow unlike me" I informed him as I had him lay down. I slowly got off the bed and started to walk towards the door when Isaac's small voice stopped me.
"Um....will you uh, stay?" he asked in a bit of a nervous tone. I knew I was on the line here. These weird feelings going through me right now after cuddling with Isaac, how I felt empty just standing here. There was something here, I don't know what that something might be, but there was something.
"Sure" I whispered coming back and laying down next to him. He rested his back against my chest as he closed his eyes.
"Thanks" he said in a quiet voice.
"No problem" I said with a small smile. I just laid there listening to Isaac's heartbeat as he fell asleep. I saw his smooth forehead open to the world and I wanted to do something. Isaac was asleep so there wasn't any harm, right. I leaned over and kissed his forehead before settling back in. I'm determined to find out what this is.
Meanwhile little did Derek know that Isaac was still awake and that kiss on his forehead made him get butterflies in his stomach and a small smile on his face.