Thirty One

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April
I wake abruptly in the middle of the night. My heart pounds in my chest as I try to catch my breath. I had a nightmare.

In my dream I was back at the hospital with Jamal but this time he hadn't woken up. The doctor gave us a sad look before pulling the sheet over his head.

The next part was a blur. All I remember is siting at the open casket funeral and then mom drinking again and yelling at dad. The last thing I remember is Jamal's ghost asking me why didn't I save him.

I knew that it was a dream but it felt so real. I had to make sure. Tossing the covers off I climb out of bed.

I open my door and quietly make my way over to Jamal's room. I slowly push his door open.

When I see the rise and fall of Jamal chest as he sleeps I let out a sigh of relief. My brother is okay. Now I can get some sleep before class.

I missed another day of school yesterday. We were all so busy trying to make sure Jamal could come home. I texted Aden and told him I wouldn't be there. He said we got our second writing assignment for class but besides that nothing special happened.

I missed Aden. It had only been a day since we say each other, but I missed him. It was always such a disappointment when we didn't get time together.

I step back and start to close the door. Jamal's body shifts as he turns my way.

"April?" Jamal calls

"Yeah it me. I was just checking on you. You can go back to sleep."

"April what's wrong?"

Jamal pushes himself up into a siting position. I feel guilty for waking him up. He really should be resting.

"Nothing." I answer.

"April."

I sigh and walk into the room. I sit down on the edge of the bed with my legs folded.

"I had a bad dream. You died and everything kind of went to hell." I say playing with my hands in my lap.

"April I'm fine. You heard the doctors. They said the rate at which I recovered was a miracle."

"I know, it was just really scary to see you like that. I don't know what I do if anything ever happened to you or Keith. You guys are such a big part of my life it's hard to believe there was ever a time where you weren't."

"Come here, April."

Jamal says opening his arms. I crawl over to him as hug him. It's almost like we are little kids again and I'm crawling into his bed after having another nightmare about about the boogieman.

Jamal hugs me and this is the older brother I missed. My strong protector who was there when I needed him.

"And I hate that you made us fight." I say.

"I made us fight? I was the one who got punched in the face if memory serves me correctly."

"Yeah and you deserved it. Given the chance I go back and probably hit you twice as hard."

I didn't care how hurt Jamal was now. He was out of line then and what he said really hurt me.

"I'm sorry April. I never should have talked about you like that. I know your not one of those thirsty hoes who always throw themselves at men. You better than any of those woman. I should have never compared you to those filthy b!tches." Jamal say.

He says that but I know he sleeps around with girls like that. Jamal isn't quite man whore that Keith is but he's no saint either. I hate how guys sleep with woman but then look down on them afterword and call them hoes. It takes two to tangle, but that's an argument for another day.

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