Status: Sorry I haven't been posting again.... I'm hoping in the next 2 weeks to have time to get one out!

Take My Hand, Just Hold On

Chapter 31: Never Let Go

After Brenna fell asleep I was able to pay attention more to the movie. I debated a bit with myself over whether I should sneak out or stay. I ended up opting to watch another movie in case she woke up; I felt like it’d be nice to at least say bye before I left for the night – having checked in to my hotel earlier today.

So, I had just started Y Tu Mama También when I receive a hard kick in the leg from Brenna’s foot. I look over at her still sleeping, but troubled, body. I move off the seat and onto the arm of the couch as I continue to keep an eye on her. She starts a bit of an agonized moan and mumbling words I can’t seem to grasp the meaning of. I feel like I should wake her, but don’t know if maybe the sleep would be better for her considering last night she got none…

I watched her for a couple more minutes as her hands moved to her hair and started pulling at it. And then her moans became louder, almost into screams. I couldn’t take watching it anymore so I decided to try to wake her up gently. Since I didn’t want her to pull her hair out if I startled her awake, I leaned across her and took her hands gently in mine, slowly prying them from her hair. It took about a minute to get them untangled and then I just held them in mine, unsure how to wake her from here. Her legs curled up into her body and her night terrors seemed to subside. I breathed a sigh of relief and let one of her hands go but kept my left hand intertwined in her right. I sat back in a bit of an awkward position and decided to just let her sleep as long as she kept quiet.

***Brenna’s POV***

I awoke in a bit of a daze. I squint one eye open and lift my head slightly, only to have it fall back to the couch right away. I went to rub the sleep out of my eyes but found my hand attached to something else. Another hand? Maybe I should open my eyes a little more. A mess of brown hair and broad shoulders sat in front of me, my arm draped over them.

I unlock my own hand and slide our loosely held hands apart. As I hear his hand fall to his lap I run my hand up his chest and give it a bit of a scratch. I whisper, “Wake up, Robert.”

He starts and turns his head to me, “Oh shit, I’m sorry, I never meant to fall asleep,” were his first words.

“That’s okay, Robert,” I respond, frowning. I look at the clock and make out the hands to point at about 8:20. “Did I sleep the whole night?” I ask, not necessarily demanding an answer. I can’t recall having any terrible dreams last night, so maybe I just got lucky?

Robert raises himself off the ground and takes a couple steps to the free couch cushion. He looks at me and nods, “You seem to have.”

“And… I didn’t,” I pause. I was going to ask if I had any nightmares, instead, I asked “I mean, why was my hand in yours? Or was that just happenstance?”

He flashes me a quick, sad, smile and shrugs in a resigned fashion. “Well, after you fell asleep - I don’t know, maybe like 2 hours after – you sort of… Started having a bit of a freak-out? I assume a nightmare or something? You don’t remember anything?”

I shake my head no and look down at my hands. I could feel the burn in my eyes and had to close them. Freaking out was embarrassing enough; I didn’t want to add falling apart to my list of inadequacies. After a few seconds I knew I could speak without a trembling voice, “That doesn’t really explain the hand-holding?”

“Oh, yeah. Well, I was going to wake you up as it got worse, but your hands were grabbing at your hair, so I was just pulling them free and you seemed to calm down when I just held your hand. So I thought maybe it’d be better if you got some more sleep than to just wake you up…”

“And you were on the floor for this?”

He laughs a little, “My arm was at an awkward position because I didn’t want to drape it around you or anything, so eventually I just moved to the floor. It seemed to be a bit of a better position.”

“Oh,” was all I could say. He held my hand and suddenly my nightmares went away? I guess my subconscious brain could have felt comforted by it, but it still seemed a little strange to me. Eventually, I add, “I guess I should thank you. I slept like 10 hours?”

Robert looked at me and smiles, “Yeah? I’m glad to hear you say that. You know how you could thank me?”

I frown again and answer, “By saying thank you?”

He laughs, “Well I guess that works too. I was just going to try to plead with you to go to the therapist your boss recommended.”

I grimace at the thought. I hadn’t really thought much more about it since Friday. Granted, it is only Sunday, so not that much time has passed… It seems like forever, though. “I don’t know Robert, it just doesn’t sound like it would help. It seems like a placebo. Like, if I expected it to help, it probably would, and if I didn’t, it wouldn’t.”

He cocks his head to the side, “I think there’s a bit more of a science to it.”

I shrug, “It’s just not something I’m interested in trying.”

“Are you interested in trying anything?”

This statement gives me pause, because the honest answer is no. Certainly not the one he would want to hear. I sigh meekly, “How about I just go to one session and see how it goes?” It’s the least I could do for him, I suppose.

“That’s all I ask,” he responds, and I can hear a jolt of happiness return to his voice. Well, at least someone is happier, eh?

“Well, I think I’m going to take a shower, Robert. So… I’ll be out in a bit,” I tell him, looking forward to some time on my own.

“Oh, okay. Well, I’m a little hungry and was thinking maybe I’d go out and get you some milk and cereal? So you have a little something around?”

“Sure, just let me grab some cash,” I respond, walking to my bedroom.

“Hey now, I’ll buy it,” he says, following me until about halfway down the hall.

“Well, you’re getting it for my place, so I insist on paying for it,” I tell him as I walk back out with a twenty in my hand.

“Well, if you insist,” he takes the money from me and folds it in his pocket. “Now, this will buy more than milk and cereal, so I’ll pick up a few other things,” he tells me with a smile on his face.

It seemed like such a joyful smile it made me briefly forget I was no longer the smiling type and I smiled along with him, until I came to my senses, of course. “Well, I’m showering. Take your time shopping; my showers tend to run long nowadays.”
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Song: Never Let Go by the beautiful Tom Waits ;) Best I can tell this is probably about God.. Buuut, in my story it relates to how Robert feels. Plus, it's partly where I took the name of the story from - I reworded it a little, but this is it! <3

Notes: Thanks for the comments and rec's, I super appreciate them :) I feel like this chapter wasn't my best work, but I had to get it out a day early because I'm going into the hospital tomorrow and probably won't be able to write for a few days after :P So it's better to get it up early than late, right?! Anyway, hope you like it nonetheless! Let me know if there's something I can work on ;) See you next Tuesday probably!