Only Skin - Chapter 5 (The first 1k words)
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Chapter 5: Only I can feel guilty about something that doesn’t even exist.

He’s holding tight to my little hands as he swings me around in circles in the back yard. I can feel the steel, firm grip of his, and I know that I’m safe.

The wind blows by me, faster than ever before. Leaves rush past and it’s warm and I’m staring at him, looking happily back, laughing with me. I know that, no matter what, he’d never let me go. He’d never hurt me.

Leon doesn’t let anything hurt me as long as he can help it. Because there’s a difference between allowing your son to venture out into the world to meet and see things, to experience life, and to be careless with your child; to let him come into harm without concern. And Leon’s always known which was better for me.

Swinging in circles like this is our favorite pastime activity besides for making fortresses out of the pillows and blankets.

He’s my partner in crime and he will always be here for me when I need him.

He’ll always catch me when I fall.

Leon is the one that kisses the boo-boos, and takes me to the doctor when I’m sick. He’s the one I need more than anything or anyone in the world. He’s my father and he loves me.

He’s the one I trust to be there forever; until he’s not. Until he isn’t.

Until he wasn’t there at all.

You shouldn’t ever put your trust in someone like that. You shouldn’t ever depend on them with your whole life. Because even your shadow leaves you when you’re surrounded in darkness.

Janice stops walking and turns back to me, “Have you ever experienced other things?” her eyes flicker to my shoulder and then away suddenly, but I’m positive again that it’s distinctly my odd, caving left shoulder that she’s glancing towards, “Things that were intense, like that?”

“Like what?” I ask, watching the finger she traces along the line of her jaw in thought.

“Sadness?” She offers, “Anger? Hatred? Terror?”

At her words, there are a few things that flash in my mind, I’m sure you can guess what. When I cried in the shower, when I broke the table, when Ben bit me, or after Ben bit me... Terror like I’d never known. Sadness, pain and hurt at her inconsideration, her lack of care for me. Overwhelming anger to the point that I couldn’t control it.

“Your head is tilting, honey,” Janice says and I come back from my memories, “I’m guessing you have?”

Her eyes are really on my shoulder now.

“Why do you keep looking there?” I ask finally.

“Your shirt,” She says softly, “It’s just... It doesn’t seem right.”

Of course it doesn’t, “It’s nothing, they all do that,” I say, turning away and walking back down the aisle with her, moving to top wear.

“But you’ve felt overwhelming feelings before?” She asks thoughtfully.

“Yeah,” I say, trying not to grit my teeth, “Mostly because of you. I got so angry when I broke the table–”

Janice interrupts, “My lovely Oak table, that was your grandmothers.”

I look back at her, “I’m sorry. I–I couldn’t control it. It just took me over. And I was sad, so sad that I cried. I got so emotional. And there was the letter from my highschool teacher–”

“A letter?” She raises a brow, “A letter from your teacher made you cry?”

I nod.

“It was overwhelming. That’s been the only real word I can think of to explain it sometimes.”

Janice picks a few shirts mindlessly, holding them up to my chest, “‘Overwhelming’. Anger you couldn’t keep in until you broke something, like my counter. Sadness until you cried. And then there’s happiness.”

“You don’t even know,” I say slowly, remembering it, “None of the other emotions even compared. It was heavy. It had substance. Nothing else... nothing else has changed me like that.”

She smiles as I explain it, walking on through the clothing racks.

“The things you’ve mentioned, the emotions,” She says, looking me up and down, “Have they been constant?”

“Like how?”

“Well, have you been having strong emotions incessantly? For the past few weeks?”

“Yes,” I answer honestly and she keeps nodding, thinking to herself, “Why? Is that important?”

She takes us from the clothes, back into the body washes and shampoos, “It’s like the opposite of what you’ve been going through before that.”

“I thought so too,” I agree.

“Can I ask you something, and it might sound weird?”

“Of course.”

Really weird,” She says, giving me a look, “But you have to answer honestly.”

“Yeah m–...” I stop, pressing my lips together as I fight the word from coming out. I see her eyes widen and then I turn away, trying to avoid that reaction, that longing in her stare, “Yeah, Janice, I’ll answer honestly.”

Her hand touches my arm and I force myself to look at her general face but she just nods weakly, grabbing down the type of shampoo I use.

“Have you ever...” She pauses and then looks up at me, “Have you ever done something strange? Something you couldn’t explain?”

Her question is odd, and I’m curious to know more before I answer, “What do you mean, exactly?”

“Something like,” her hands start waving about her, obviously a trait that I picked up, “Just... not normal? It’s hard to explain.”

I shake my head slowly, watching her curious expression, “No, I don’t think. Why?”

“No reason,” She says, “Sooner or later, but I was just... Just wondering.”

This is just a teensy bit less than 1k, but any further would've been going through a cut scene and snipping off like three lines into it, so it didn't make sense. If you want more you can become a patron fer only $1 (or more if yer awesome). If you don't, you can always follow the project, free things come in all the time. Also, feel free to chat here about it here.

It's been a while since I've updated, but I promise the weekly updates will be coming back. I just got super busy. XP Soon there will be more than just this book up here. I'll be posting my werk from Etsy as well.
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