The leather of the couch stuck to my legs as I shifted, pulled my feet beneath me and curling against the arm rest. I shivered slightly, sitting in the living room in my panties and t-shirt, my blanket having carelessly slipped away and down to the cold wooden floor. I stared aimlessly into the dark, only barely able to make out the shape of the large TV in front of me.

I fought the urge to leave the house. Adam, asleep in his bed, Athena curled up on his back. This house is home now, I reminded myself. But my thoughts kept slipping back to the night before, to how it had almost felt normal, sitting in CiCi’s with my parents, Derrick and Crystal. Andrea hadn’t been there, though, so it hadn’t felt quite right. Sometimes I miss the way things were, to the point where I get out of bed to get away from the nightmares and sit in the living room, thinking about car rides to Colorado and dinners in the living room around the TV.

I felt sick again. My skin hurt, I’d drenched my pillow in sweat, I hadn’t kept my food down and I was too tired to sleep well. Memories of car wrecks and arguments kept slipping into my head while I dozed, somewhere between awake and asleep.

I shook my head. I’ve lived on my own for nearly four years now. I’m twenty years old. Yes, things would be easier if I went back home, but I simply can’t do that. I don’t accept help unless I absolutely can’t do it on my own anymore. My parents taught me that, and it made me absolutely determined to keep from accepting help if there were other ways, other available options. I swiped at my face, rubbing the moisture into my t-shirt. My toes hit the floor and I felt my way through the library and kitchen to the back door. Standing on the small balcony, shivering, looking out at what parts of the city I could see from there; fighting the urge to slip into a pair of jeans and get on a bus and go anywhere. I wanted to move, to slip out and not come back. I want to simply go away.

My thoughts turned to Adam, sleeping in his bed, peaceful. I knew I wouldn’t make it without him. I shut the door behind me as I stepped back inside. My feet led me to his bedside and I sat down, Athena looking up at me curiously, her whiskers lightly rubbing against my hand. I wrapped my arms around Adam’s shoulders. Things will be okay.

My brow furrows as I glare at the screen of my laptop.

You miss Joelle. Write about her. But I can’t pick a particular memory. I’ve spent the last six, almost seven years with her — how can I pick just one? I keep running through memories of her; of going to the lake and sitting on the dock to talk for hours; shivering in the freezing cold as we ran up the sidewalk to the college; Joelle standing on a stage, belting her heart out and showering the world with tinkling silver notes that angels would envy. Walking the streets of New York with her and Mo; singing on stage at Carnegie Hall and glancing over to see her radiant smile. The shocking amount of gratitude that filled me at the amount of concern she felt when I told her that I might be sick, when I told her about the wreck, when I told her about the little one; the way she’d throw her arms open wide and tilt her head back in the middle of the mall, music soaring from her mouth. The way she has a song for absolutely every possible situation.

Yes. She is my other half.

I just sent her a text: I miss you in amazing amounts. :[

She helps me with boy situations, with work, with school, with life decisions. I just wouldn’t be me without her.

Thanks, lady. ❤


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