The River Speaks
The fire crackles and I can hear the river flowing down the hill. Ruby blows out a rough breath and stomps her hoof on the ground. Aiden sits by the fire and all I can think about is what he said earlier about how rivers remind him of everything he's trying to avoid.
Quietly, I sit down beside him, handing him a canteen of water.
"What did you mean when you said that rivers remind you of everything you're trying to avoid?" I ask gently. He glances a glance at me and then looks back at the fire, clearing his throat.
"Nothing. It doesn't matter."
I pause slightly.
"If it didn't matter, you would have no problem telling me." I say. He doesn't speak, so I decide to push a little bit further. "Aiden, come on. We're stuck in the woods tonight, at least tell me something."
He looks down at the canteen in his hands and sighs.
"I put up walls when I was eight..." he hesitates. "It wasn't really intentional, but my parents got divorced and some other things happened and well...it messed me up pretty bad." He takes a sip of water and sighs again, rubbing his chin. "It was mostly there to protect the scattered pieces of myself that I didn't want anybody to find, like glass in a way...and I was protecting a child from picking up the sharp pieces." He takes a deep breath. "And then she came along and knocked them down brick by brick until I was completely exposed. And I waited, I guess for her to fix me...but all she did was make it worse. She just added more glass until there were cuts all over me. She left me with nothing but more damage, so now I'm just hollow...and I'm terrified to look inside. I want to glue myself back together, but what if I cut my hands?"
"That's..." I search for the right word. "Intense. I thought you were just-"
"Egotistical? That I only think about sex?"
I feel bad, but I nod. "Pretty much yeah."
He nods a little before turning to look at me, angling his entire body towards me.
"There's a lot that you don't know about me."
THE COVER IS BY @nerdfpiper