Swamped Chapter 38 Page 6

“It was an eye-opener. My brother was a worthless drunk, and he kept dragging me to the bar where I met more of his ilk. Short-tempered, desperate, out of touch with the world… and in that moment, I realized that was me, only I couldn’t use alcohol as an excuse.”

You look down at the ground. Gods, this is hard.

“So I just said to her, ‘I’m sorry’ and then I ran off to my quarters. Couldn’t face what I’d done. She stopped by a couple hours later to see if I was okay. Told her I was, even though I wasn’t. I don’t think she believed me, but she stayed anyhow. I wasn’t saying anything, so she started just talking about animals. I think she was just trying to fill the air.”

“And did that help?”

You shrug.

“Maybe it did. Maybe it just kept me from going all the way over the edge again. Don’t know, don’t even care at this point. Are we done yet?”

“If you don’t have anything else to say, then yes. You’ve told me quite a bit already.”

Shit, you really did say a lot. You didn’t even really notice until now.

“The hell did I tell you all that for?” you say, startled.

“Well, if I were to guess, I’d say that it’s been weighing you down for a while and, without realizing it, you wanted someone to talk to,” Belle says. “I’ll leave it up to you if you want to keep going.”

You’re pretty sure you don’t. You’re still sorting through your feelings right now, and even if you did keep talking you don’t know what you’d move on to.

On the other hand, you really can’t think of anything else to do right now except pay Starling a visit. And this whole session has left you such a mess that you’re not sure if you’re up to that.

What should you do?

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Suggestions:

Reliving this, it’s like you want to apologize to Starling all over again…but you know better, you know she’s comfortable with you. She accepts you, and you’re grateful for that. No one else has accepted you like she has…

…no, that’s not right…Corvus in his own way but also…dammit you do not want to talk with Marshall. Just being around him makes you feel like a shitty person.

Dammit.