Wasted Time

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"Thias?"
I try again -
and again, he doesn't
say anything in reply.
It hurts to see my
usually cheerful brother
brought down so low.
He normally is the one
who appears to be
calm and collected,
joking around with the rest of us
and never letting anything
affect him very much.
The fact that his argument
with Sara was able to
upset and provoke him so much
both frightens and irritates me.
Sara has always been
like a sister to me -
so how could she do this
to my brother?
To all of us?

He doesn't move
when I sit down beside him
on the edge of his bed
and rub his back,
which is so tense
that I wouldn't be surprised
if it broke under the strain
of his obvious sadness.
Well, more than sadness,
I'm sure, but
I wouldn't know
for sure how he's feeling now.
I've never given
my whole heart away
to someone like he has
to Sara.
After a few minutes,
I instead reach around to
awkwardly hug him
and make the mistake of saying,
"It's gonna be
all right, Thias-"

"Don't even give me that,"
he suddenly snaps
in a muffled voice,
startling me back for a second.
"You don't even know
what happened.
How can you promise me
that it'll be all right?"
He abruptly lifts his head
to glare at me -
or through me, more like -
and it's then that I see
how red and blotchy
his eyes and cheeks are.
He looks miserable, sure,
but above that, he looks furious.
I don't think that
he's mad at me though.

"I know that you and Sara
got into a huge fight,"
I tell him,
keeping my voice low and steady.
"I know that you've been
screaming at her
over the phone
for at least an hour,
and Eddie had to go
and sleep in Mom and Dad's room
because of it.
I'm just trying to help,
all right, Thias?
I'm not the bad guy here."

He finally just sighs,
and I know that
he agrees with me.
"I'm sorry,"
he breathes, rubbing his eyes.
"I didn't realize that I
was being so loud.
I'm sorry."

"Don't be."
I reach over to hug him again,
and this time he
returns the gesture,
leaning down to
bury his face in my shoulder.
The tear stains on his face
wet my shirt, but I
don't dare move away.
If there's anything I can do
to help my brother when
he's so obviously heartbroken,
I'll do it, even if it means him
crying all over me
in the process.

"Do you want to
talk about it?"
I ask after a while of
patting his back
and letting him sag against me.
"Maybe you'll feel better
if you get it off your chest."

But he just shakes his head
against my shoulder.
"I'll get mad again,"
he mutters,
"if I even think
about the things she said.
I don't want to get
mad at you again, Matty.
None of this is your fault,
and I don't want to accidentally
take any of it out in you."

I just nod my understanding,
and we sit there in silence
for a long time,
him holding onto me
as though his life depends on it,
and me rubbing his back
in the only show of comfort
that I know to give.
Before long, the door
to his bedroom swings open,
revealing Mom, who lays
a nearly comatose Eddie
down on his bed moments later.
Euni is hanging in the doorway,
staring in with an expression
that looks curious and worried
all in one.
As I watch, Thias
shoots her a look
and silently shakes his head;
she just nods before
turning away
and disappearing from sight.

Mom goes to leave, too,
but Thias stands
and stops her with
a hand on her arm.
"I'm sorry about that,"
he tells her quietly.
"I didn't mean to make
Eddie get to bed so late.
It won't happen again."

Rather than reply,
Mom does the opposite of
what I would have expected
and pulls him into a hug.
Thias seems surprised, too;
the tense set of his shoulders
doesn't loosen, even when
she releases him and
pulls back to look him
in the eye.
"Don't waste your time
on someone who is going
to have this effect on you,"
she tells him.
"It's not worth it.
She isn't worth it
if this is how
she treats you in the end."

I can't help but feel
as though she knows something
that I don't.
Thias just nods silently,
and she turns to leave,
leaving the door open behind her.
I take it as
my cue to leave, too.
Getting up, I head
out the door to my room,
intending to get some sleep
now that I've been up
far past the time I had planned
to go to bed.
"I love you,"
I tell my brother
as I walk past him;
he just nods, looking distracted,
but I can't blame him.
After I'm out, he
shuts the door softly,
casting me into the darkness
of the hallway beyond.

×

I know I said this last chapter,but Thias makes me so sad and he needs all the happiness. My poor baby. What happened between him and Sara will probably be explained at some point, but not until later. It's not really that exciting of an issue, anyway.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback!! It would be very much appreciated <3

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