Chapter 32 - He is my safe place

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Scott insisted that we all have the five-course meal.

I know, right? Five courses? They might have to roll me out of here.

But Scott assures me that each course is small, so I'll be fine.

We're waiting for the first course to come out, which is wild onion soup. Thank God Jason is eating the same thing, or I wouldn't be kissing him later.

"So, what do you do back home in New York?" Scott asks me.

"I recently graduated." Six months ago, and then I was coasting, unsure of what to do-until I got sick, and then I knew what to do.

"What did you graduate in?"

"English literature." I pick my wine glass up and take a sip.

"Book lover?" he asks.

"Yeah."

"Jason, did you show Samaya the library?"

"I did."

"And I've got my eye on moving in there," I joke.

"Well, you'd be more than welcome. You're a much prettier sight than Bert," Scott says, making us all laugh. He takes a drink of his wine and puts his glass down. "What about your parents, Samaya? What do your parents do?"

I freeze in the middle of lowering my glass to the table. The temperature in the room drops a thousand degrees.

I know Jason is tense beside me. But I can't look at him.

Then, I feel his hand cover mine, the one I am clenching into a fist in my lap.

The moment Jason's hand touches mine, I feel grounded. His touch brings me back to the now.

My eyes go to his. The look in them washes over me like a safety net, catching and holding me carefully in place.

I release the breath I was holding. I put my glass the rest of the way down and moisten my dry lips before speaking, "My parents passed away."

Passed away.

It sounds so calm, so easy, when said that way.

Nothing about how they died was calm or easy.

They died because of me.

But I can't say that out loud because it would make them feel uncomfortable.

And if I'm being true to myself, I don't want Jason to know.

I don't want to change the way he looks at me. And if he knew, it would change. He wouldn't like me or think of me in the same way.

I don't want to lose that in the time I have left with him.

Jason's hand is still covering my fist. Relaxing my fingers, I turn my palm over to meet his. Our fingers slide together, joining that one part of our bodies.

I can feel Jason's eyes on me. But I don't look at him.

Because I'm afraid, if I do, I might just crack and break.

So, I look at Scott. His expression hasn't changed, and I appreciate that very much. He's not looking at me with sympathy that I don't deserve. He's just looking at me.

"I am sorry to hear about your parents, Samaya."

"Thank you."

I really hate saying thank you, but what else can I say? Don't apologize. It was my fault they died. I killed them. No, I definitely can't say that.

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