43. Delicate Love

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"Life doesn't get easier

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"Life doesn't get easier. We just get stronger."

MAYA

When dad and Mia left to visit a friend downtown after Cayden with much effort convinced them that they had nothing to worry about because he'll stay and spend the day with me, we both went downstairs and ordered pizza.
Cayden insisted on ordering two pizzas.

"We have been studying for three hours. We deserve two pizzas," he had said.

Admittedly, it took me zero seconds to agree.

We climbed onto the couch and after throwing a few suggestions back and forth, we settled on the movie Ralph Breaks The Internet. However, we just ended up turning away from the TV to face each as we talked about anything and everything while the movie played out in the background.

I asked Cayden if he took any medication in addition to talking to his therapist. He told me he used to take pills for depression, causing me to recall that night when Cayden had a panic attack and I found a bottle of pills in his closet.

"They help me but they also have their side effects, like I get headaches and get nauseous. Plus, they make it hard for me to sleep, which is already an issue. I prefer my sessions with Miles over antidepressants. It's different for everybody though," he explained.

Listening to every word, I nodded and then Cayden asked me a question he had been clearly curious about for a while. "When I had a panic attack that night, you helped me through it so well. How did you know what to do?"

I shuddered when the horrible memory flashed through my mind. Letting out a heavy sigh, I gave him a sad smile. "I've actually had a panic attack once. It was one night with John, moments after he," I paused to swallow the lump in my throat, dropped my gaze to my lap and fidgeted with the hem of my tank top. "Did what he did."

"Do you maybe want to talk about him?" He asked, carefully. "You said you've been thinking about Heaven, April, your mom, and John a lot. Let's talk about them. Dad always says talking about it makes it a lot easier. Holding it inside destroys you."

My head jerked up and Cayden smiled faintly to me. I had only talked about John with Bree and Mia. But Cayden had read my diary. Even though dad and Mr. Standall had read it too, it was different with Cayden. Talking to him would be different. I could tell him my dark and dirty secrets, and I knew he wouldn't judge me.

Thus, I inhaled a deep breath and gave it a try. "It's so hard for me to forget him. His face, his eyes, his breath, his skin, and his hands all over me. Whenever he crosses my mind, I close my eyes and keep reliving all those nights. It makes me sick."

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