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 34: The Absence of God

Robert and I basically spent the weekend holed up in my apartment. We downloaded the British version of The Office because Robert was absolutely appalled I hadn’t seen it. And Robert forced food into me; this was getting easier as time went on. I think I can probably eat about half of what I would have before all this shit… So I guess it’s only a matter of time before my stomach expands back to its normal size. If that’s even how it works; maybe my therapist-lady knows? It’s something to ask about, anyhow.

Anyway, after the weekend I was feeling relatively well-rested – Robert having stayed the night Saturday and Sunday as well – and well-fed. It was the first time in a long time that I felt something other than complete emptiness; like the end of my life wasn’t just around the corner anymore. I still wasn’t myself, but I felt like there was a possibility of some normalcy returning to me. I mean, I still flinched whenever Robert would accidentally – or purposely, as the case may have been sometimes – touched me or brushed against me if I wasn’t expecting it, but once I remembered he was harmless my heart would stop racing! So, that’s success.

My second therapy session went good. We sort of focused on the topic of sex and what I thought about it – no good, anymore. What I used to think about it – used to be fantastic. Silently added ‘especially with Robert’ to it – not something I thought she needed to hear about, though. And how I felt about how I currently feel about it – not happy; it kind of puts a bit of a limit to any future relationships I might eventually want.

Oh well, that’s probably not something I’m going to have to worry about for quite a while. Aside from Robert, I can’t imagine being comfortable around any guy… And Robert is not an option. That’s my silent mantra, recently. Robert’s a friend. Just a friend. You can’t even let him touch you without moving away. Just a friend. At least I got my inner voice on my side this time. It’s usually pretty good at being an opposing force; not this time, though.

Joan also said that it was fine to not use the sleeping pills if they were just making for a worse sleep. I mentioned about Robert staying the night and being there to help me through the dreams. She seemed pretty interested in all that he was doing for me, but we didn’t really get into any details as that was near the end of the session. I made another appointment for next week, maybe that’s something we’ll talk about later. Not that there’s too much interesting going on…

Robert stayed a couple nights during the week as well, just sleeping on the other side of the bed. I’d usually wake up once or twice a night from the nightmares, harming Robert only once – I head butted him under his jaw and he gnashed his teeth together. No serious damage, at least!

Anyway, it’s now Saturday night and I awake with a jolt. I find myself with both my arms wrapped around Robert’s left arm and my head resting on his bicep. From what I can make out in the darkness, his head is turned toward me and he is still fast asleep, despite the phone ringing on my bedside table.

I unravel myself from him and pick up the phone and flip it open. “Hello?” I mumble, my voice tired.

“Ehm, hello? Is Rob there?” I hear a woman’s voice on the other end.

Oh fuck, I answered Robert’s phone? You’d think a completely different ringtone would give it away, but not enough for me. And then there’s the fact that I have recently purchased an iPhone, and they most definitely do not flip open. Shit. “Er, yes. I’m sorry, one second,” I finally say into the phone, mentally berating myself some more.

I flip the light on and sit up slightly as I poke at Robert. I whisper, “Hey, wake up.” That doesn’t seem to work, so I say it louder, “Robert, wake up!”

That seemed to get his attention, his eyes open drowsily. “It’s not morning already, is it?” he asks, a lopsided smile adorning his face. I grimace and shake my head. “Oh… What’s up, something wrong?” he asks, his voice full of concern now.

I shrug, “I accidentally answered your phone…” I hold it up, trying to cover the mouthpiece.

He smiles, “That’s alright. Who is it?”

“I don’t know. A British woman. You forget to mention that you’re dating someone, Robert?” I half-joke. I try to make it sound like a joke, but to be honest… I just wanted to know.

He shakes his head, “Of course not. Here, let me answer it.” He takes the phone and looks at the ID, “It’s my mum.” He puts the phone to his ear, “Hey mum… Sorry about the wait, we had a bit of a phone mix-up.”

I settle myself back into bed as he says this, ready to get comfortable and get back to sleep. Then I hear, “Whoa, slow down mum. What’s happened?” He pauses, “When?” I can hear the worry in his voice as he sits up straighter in bed. I follow suit, wondering what the conversation held.

“Well, is he going to be okay?” he asks as he runs his free hand through his hair. “Yeah, of course I’ll come home. I’ll be there as soon as I can. I just want to know a bit more…”

At this, I get my phone and type in LAX into the internet and pull up the phone number. I get half of Robert’s attention and point to my phone, mouthing that I’ll call. He nods and shoots me a grateful smile. “To Heathrow?” I ask him quietly. He nods again.

“Thank you for calling Los Angeles International Airport, how may I assist you this evening?” A man’s voice comes on the phone almost right away – I guess it’s the middle of the night; probably not getting many calls.

“Uh, hi. I’m looking for your earliest flight to London – Heathrow airport? Preferably a direct flight,” I tell him.

“Okay, if you can hold for just a moment I will look into it for you.”

“Okay,” I respond. He puts me on hold and it goes to some soft rock.

I look to Robert and he’s asking, “What do you mean you can’t get hold of Lizzy or Victoria? You got me and I’m half-way across the world. Fuck.” I still don’t entirely know what’s happened, but I am assuming that something has happened to his dad.

“Thank-you for waiting, miss. Looks like we have a direct flight to Heathrow airport leaving at 06:00 this morning on Virgin Air. Will this work for you?”

“Yes, for sure. Thank you. Am I able to book it over the phone?” He responds in the affirmative, and I start to give him Robert’s information – telling him I was his ‘personal assistant’. It just seemed easier that way. I gave him Robert’s MasterCard number – which I stole out of his wallet – and I was luckily able to answer all the other questions without having to intrude on Robert’s conversation with his mum.

I took down the confirmation number that the guy gave me and thanked him for his help. I wrote down the departure time and the arrival time -12:30 AM, London time. I handed the sheet to him so he could tell his mum when his flight got there.

He took it and looked it over. I watched him close his eyes and nod at something his mum was saying to him. “Okay, mum. I have my flight all booked. I’ll be arriving at Heathrow at 12:30 tonight, okay? I’ll just head straight to the hospital unless I hear otherwise from you after I land. My flight leaves in like 4 hours though, and I have to go grab a few things from my hotel room, so I should really get going,” he explains in a breath. “Brenna booked it for me, mum,” he pauses, letting her speak again. “Yes, of course she’s the one who answered the phone,” he states. I hold back a laugh. He looks at me and smiles a sad sort of smile. “She’s a friend mum. Look, I really have to go… I’ll call you before take-off in case there’s some more information by then, okay? Alright, bye mum.”

I meet his gaze as he hangs up the phone and drops it on the bed. He brings both his hands to his head and lets out a groan, “Fuuuuuuuck.”

“What’s happened?” I ask him, taking one of his hands away from his face.

He takes a deep breath and lays heavily back on my bed, “Looks like my dad had a heart attack. And my mum doesn’t really know anything yet, she’d just arrived at the hospital when she called and no one was able to answer any questions, and she couldn’t get in to see him…”

“Where was he when he had the heart attack?” I question.

“At work. That’s the worst part. I mean, he’s mostly retired now, but sometimes he goes in to help out with sort of… office work. And he was sitting in the office for who knows how long basically dying… One of the owners went in to check on him because he wasn’t answering the phone and apparently he was just lying on the floor…”

I run a hand through his hair, trying to be comforting – his strength, not mine. But it seemed to help, his breathing slowed a bit. “I’m sure he’ll be okay,” I say, letting my hand leave his hair and crawling out of bed. “Now, what were you saying about going to the hotel to pick some stuff up?” I question, grabbing his hand closest to me and pulling him up.
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Song: The Absence of God by Rilo Kiley. I like the song :) Don`t have a lot of time to look for a perfect fit - or even a better fit - at the moment, so this is what you get! It works okay, though! Time for bed for me, though!

Notes: You guys are being spoiled this week! Two updates, holy shit! This one is for bxgurl95, and for all of those who are commenting! Thank you all for your feedback on my question, I didn't receive and 'nays' to the question, so I'm taking that as a good sign ;) You should still be getting another on Tuesday! And I won't be making a habit out of two a week, but I felt inspired to do another one for all you lovely ladies ;) Hope you're enjoying!
Comment, subscirbe, recommend... Whichever ;)

...I only gave it a quick once-over, so I hooope there aren`t too many mistakes! Cheers!