Chapter 27

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"Hmm." Our eyes met as they cut from his work to me, curiosity marking his features.

"You said your father gave you a break so why are you working?" I inquired.

"Well," he closed his laptop and put it on the coffee table in front of him. "I was just finishing a project, it's nothing big."

"Oh," I exhaled, relieved. "That's good to know."

Kerrick was working tremendously hard but not as excessive as before. His father seemed to have noticed his effort because he gave him a break, which he rightfully earned.

He rubbed the back of his head and looked at his work with a shrug. "I'm glad most of my paper work is done."

"Me too."

He slouched back on the couch and I stared at him before noticing something and rising to my feet.

"Kerrick, your button is loose."


"Your shirt button is coming loose," I went over to the small table at the corner of the room and took out my sewing kit from a draw.

I motioned for him to stand and he did so reluctantly, then I started unbuttoning his shirt. My hands froze when I realized what I was doing and I could feel his concentrative gaze on me but I didn't meet it and just continued unbuttoning his shirt.

He pulled his shirt off when I was finished and I sat across from him and worked at re-stitching the button back in place. When I returned it to him and his fingers brushed against my hand, something burned within my chest.

"Thank you."

"It's nothing really."

"I mean thank you for taking care of me. No one ever gave a damn about me before."

The feeling in my chest burned deeper when I looked into his unfathomable eyes but this time I didn't want to tear my gaze away.

"Kerrick, what was growing up like for you?"

He lowered his gaze and sat back in the couch again, seemingly searching for an easy answer for my question.

"It was difficult."

"Oh, okay."

"My mother couldn't have cared less for me and I didn't even matter to my father."

"That can't be true." I defended. He lifted his gaze and met mine but I didn't feel harshness radiating from them. "They might not have been the best parents but they must've thought of you." I opted instead.

He leaned back and gazed at me with a sad smile.

"Do you know when I was ten, I fainted at school and my teachers brought me to a hospital? That's how I found out I had diabetes. I was there the entire day, waiting for my parents to come for me but they never came. Everyone else had their parents visiting them but mine never showed. I knew they never had time for me but I thought that for once, I would've mattered. If it wasn't for a nurse who knew who my father was, I don't know how long I would've been there."

"That must have been awful."

"It doesn't bother me now because I know where I stand."

"What do you mean?"

"It doesn't matter."

I wanted to dig deeper into what he was saying but I decided to let it go.

"What was growing up like for you?"

"Oh," I stared at my hands, caught off guard by his sudden question but I smiled and straightened myself up. "I didn't have many friends and no one wanted to play with me because I didn't have a mother."

"That sounds cruel, why would anyone do that?"

"They were afraid I would over hear them talking about their mothers and I would feel bad or maybe they thought that while playing with me I'd break down and cry if I remembered my mother. None of those things ever happened but no one ever played with me."

He stared at me utterly speechless but I smiled and tucked a tendril of hair back behind my ear.

"I did eventually make friends though if you can remember, friends who were just the same as I was."

"What do you mean?" He rose a brow at me, confused but I nodded again.

"Samantha and Victoria lost their mothers as well and Daniel never knew his father. We're all broken and have been through a lot but we help each other because we know what the other is feeling."

Kerrick looked down at his hands, even more confused than before. His shoulders were taut while he took in my words and he seemed lost in thought. Even though he lost his mother when he was a teenager, in contrast to when I was a child, I could see that he wasn't over it yet, especially since he didn't look like the type to go to anyone for comfort.



"No one gets more than they can carry, but that doesn't mean you have to carry your weight on your own."

He rose from his seat without meeting my eyes and left the room but my gaze still followed him until he disappeared around the hall. Recently, something was off about him because whenever I talked with him his eyes were always glazed over with sadness. His movements and actions were doused with sorrow but he never argued with me when I asked him what was wrong, he only shut me out.

For the rest of the day, I worked near him and watched him closely but I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I eventually gave up. As dusk approached, I sat on the steps at the back of the house and looked up at the evening sky, mauve, cerise and saffron splashed clouds lingering across the horizon.

I smiled, thinking of my father and friends and the evenings we passed together like this, but it thinned down when I remembered how I had shut them out. I slouched over and sighed until I heard Kerrick's footsteps as he came outside and sat beside me quietly but it didn't bother me at all, having him near.

"You must hate me."

My gaze cut across to him surprised but I didn't say anything and the only thing I could do was stare at him.

"I don't blame you, I'm a miserable person and my entire existence has been nothing but misery. I've always been miserable regardless of whether I've gained or lost anything. As long as the earth doesn't swallow me up this instant, I will continue to be miserable but I would rather be miserable and be here with you."

I went quiet but I didn't take my eyes off him. His gaze was locked on the sky listlessly as sadness blanketed his entire appearance.

"You don't deserve to be around someone like me, you don't deserve to become what I am. A person who can only hurt." He laughed bitterly, and shook his head. "Yet here I have you, listening to my problems and woes." He smiled at me again, meeting my gaze this time as he got up and went inside.

I still couldn't speak but even If I could, I didn't know what I'd say. I sat back and watched the last of the tinted clouds float towards the horizon, night slowly creeping up as the last of the evening sun faded.

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