I worry about him, he’s healing slower than he should but the doctor woman said it was normal. I suppose I should trust her, I don’t remember that we’ve ever broken any bones before. I worry so much about him. He tosses and turns a little when he sleeps and he whimpers when he does it. I don’t know if it’s because he’s in pain or because he’s having bad dreams. I know he doesn’t want to share his bed so I try to keep my distance and I let him just sleep though I watch him from his doorway for a while when I hear him start to shift in his bed a bit.
He’s been quieter over the last two days though he’s barely eaten anything. I really want his arm to be better, I want his bruises to be gone. I don’t know that Zora will take us to that hill ever again. At least not until he might ask to go back. We can find something else for exercise and to see what we’ll eat on that one night a week.
I managed to get him to drink some broth tonight before bed. I stayed a few steps back as I watched him step out of his bed and slowly walk to the bathroom where he made use of it and washed up a little with a soft cloth. He was back in bed after that and he bid me goodnight so I excused myself to my room.
He’s trying to be so strong, it breaks my heart. I’m supposed to be the one to protect him. Not that I could have kept him from falling, I was several feet ahead of him though I heard him slip. If he’d been ahead of me I might have had a chance at catching him. I wish I had. It’s going to haunt me the way what that man did to him those years ago still haunts me. Maybe not in my dreams but in my darker waking moments it does.
I don’t know how long it takes me to get to sleep or how long I have been sleeping when I hear the door to my bedroom ease open. I keep it open just a bit so I can hear what’s going on in his room. I sit up, eyes wide, afraid someone might be in our apartment though I know that’s virtually impossible.
There he stands, my brother, his eyes wide and wet. His bad arm protectively around his ribs.
“I keep on having nightmares.” His voice is so soft I can barely hear him but I do. I just scoot to the side and pull back the sheets before I hold both my arms out. This used to be our old shared room after all. It’s messy now and there’s not much of him that remains but it still was our shared room.
He walks in, actually closes the door—to keep the monsters away, it’s what we’d do before—and he moves towards the bed before crawling into it and pressing his face against my shoulder. His eyes are wet and it breaks my heart. I refrain from just pulling him against me, I know he hurts and I don’t want to worsen that.
Instead I just slowly lower myself down and he follows. Before long we’re just settled comfortably, I’ve pulled the sheets back up to our waists since the room is warm and he’s settled against me, his face to my shoulder, his good arm under him. I wish he’d just settle on his back for the sake of his ribs but I know better than to argue with him. It’s easier to let him settle the way he wants. I just want him to find some comfort and be able to sleep.
When I finally drift off, I wonder to myself if I’ll think it was all a dream and I’ll find him gone from my room. It wouldn’t be a first, I want him to feel protected so badly that I know I often dream of just staying with him in his room to keep him safe from nothing and everything.
Morning comes warm and pale through the windows, another rainy day. I don’t mind though I know I have to get to the library to help Armin in a couple of hours. I wish I didn’t have to but I promised I would help him and it’s a paying job. I understand that I can’t just skip out on paying jobs. Plus I know Armin needs the help, he’s nice.
Maybe, just maybe I can persuade Mira to come with me, he can settle behind the desk. Armin told us how to scan books that were being taken out of the library or brought back in.
When I turn my head, I see nothing but a mop of his own hair and my lips curl into a pleased sort of smile. I didn’t imagine him coming in to my room last night. The smile is short lived, it dies as soon as I recall that he came in because he was having nightmares. He came and he sought safety, his eyes were wet. I couldn’t protect him.
I sigh and pull him gently closer to my side. I inhale the scent of him for a moment before I let it go. He shifts lightly at my side and I close my eyes to fight back the desire to go crazy. I feel like I failed him and I hate myself for it. I’m stronger than that.
It takes some convincing on Zora’s part more than Mira’s to get him to come with me to the library. Once we’re there, it doesn’t take half as much work to persuade Armin to let Mira have the desk. He’s taught us, he knows we can handle the desk work. At least the book going out or coming in part. Using the computer for anything else—like telling folks where certain books might be—is something else altogether and we’re not as comfortable.
Not that it’s much of an issue, there are three computers on a desk not far from the front desk where students can try to find if the book they’re looking for is in or not and where exactly it might be. It’s a new system but it works, from what Armin has told us and they can look for their books that way. If they’re too lazy to do it, they’re too lazy to read. That’s what I think.
Mira looks pleased to be out of the apartment and I feel a bit of pleasure swell in me. I did something right for once. Who knows, maybe being out and about might help him heal faster. I know it’s unlikely but it’s a thought lost in the valley of the rest of those thoughts that have crossed my mind. I just want him to be well again, I want to see him smiling and not see him wince when he gets up and walks around. Just a few more days for his ribs, a few more after that for his arm then we’ll be all set.
I want my brother to be happy. I’d do anything for him, anything at all.