Nicholas slipped quietly through Alana’s back door. Having cleverly gained entry the night before; he had the freedom to roam the house anytime he liked. Not that he planned to alert either occupant to his presence. For now, he would simply hide in the shadows and wait. He wanted her whole; healed.
Judging by the conversation he heard drifting from the living room “healed” was a long way off. As he eased down the hallway one of the voices, Matt’s he assumed, grew louder yet his tone was gentle. Nicholas smiled. Poor guy was fighting a lost cause and he didn’t even seem to care.
“I’m telling you, sis,” Matt was saying, “if you’d just stop thinking about that asshole you’d be able to move on a lot faster. It’s not good for you to hide out here night after night.”
“Let’s see how quickly you move on after having one of your best friends killed right in front of you,” Alana snapped balling her hands into fists. “You’ll see then how hard “moving on” actually is.”
Dear Lord, why couldn’t people just get off her back? Why did they feel this need to tell her to forget? Didn’t they think she would if she possibly could? Did they think she got some perverse kick out of reliving Paul’s death and her attack every time she closed her eyes?
“Lana, you gotta stop thinking like that. It’s like I said before, get out there. Find you a good guy and have yourself a couple of chubby babies. That’s been your dream since you were little. You shouldn’t let it die just because some psycho showed up.”
“And it’s like I told you. Kids are not an option. I won’t bring one into a world as cruel as this one.” She laid her head on the arm of the leather couch and sighed. Mere feet from her Nicholas felt like jumping for joy. He had heard that right after all. Knowing she didn’t want a family would make turning her so much easier. “You want kids so all fired bad, you go make a few. I’m pretty sure there’s a few girls out there that would just love to help make that happen.”
“No, no, no,” Matt said shaking his head vigorously. “I think I’d enjoy being an uncle a lot more than being a dad. Least that way I can spoil the little boogers and then give ‘em back to you.”
“You’re not helping your case any. You realize that, don’t you?”
“Maybe not,” he shrugged. “Really, all I want is for you to be happy again. I don’t think I’ve seen you smile since you met Ben. Certainly not since Paul passed a-”
“Dammit Matt! Paul didn’t just pass away. He was murdered. Killed right in front of me, because of me! If I hadn’t been so blind he might still be alive.”
Nicholas felt the sudden surge of anger flow through him like a shot. It took everything he had not to rush to her side. He’d never felt the need to protect anybody before, but with her it was different. He didn’t want her to feel pain of any kind. Anger, in his mind anyway, was the worst kind of pain. The kind that breeds misery.
“Yes, blind. I knew Ben was unstable, but did that stop me?”
Matt slid off his recliner to look at her eye to eye. He hated seeing her this way. All he really wanted was to have his sister back the way she used to be. Alana used to be so confident so outgoing. People would literally light up when she walked into a room. She’d had such a bright future ahead of her. If Ben had just let her go she still would.
“Tell me this,” he said keeping his voice low. “You told Paul about the problems you’d be having with him, yes?” she nodded. “He said and I’m using his words here, that he could care less, correct?” Another nod. “Then how is what happened to him your fault?”
“I should have said no, Matt,” she said. She got off the couch and started towards the steps. “No would’ve saved his life.”
“I give up,” he said, shaking his head. “I can’t help you if you won’t open your mind.”
“I don’t want to open my mind. I want y’all to let me live my life the way I want too. Why is that so hard for everybody to understand?”
“Because none of us want this for you.”
“And that’s why you can’t see what’s best for me.”
She turned away from him and trudged to her room. Tonight would be another night of fitful dreams and sweat soaked sheets. Ben had been on her mind too much today to avoid it.
Little did she know there would be someone there from now on to make sure bad dreams never bothered her again. Her waking thoughts however, he would do nothing to stop. If there was to be a good relationship between him and Alana one day, she had to face each one head on.