Status: Finished

Golden Slumbers

Help Me

I caught Oli today. We were alone among the shelves again. “Oli, you need to talk to me.” “No, I don’t,” he said, but the upturned curve of his mouth told me I was okay.
“Tell me what’s wrong?” I leaned forward and put a hand on his thigh, feeling the hard muscles tense beneath my palm. I didn’t know Oli was built. Hot.
His eyes flicked to my hand and back several times before he relaxed, giving me the smirk he uses to keep people away. “S’no big deal, Till. Everything is cool.” I moved closer to him and took his hand. It’s bigger than mine, callused and grease stained. I liked how perfectly we fit together.
When he didn’t shy away I kept speaking. “Please, Oli? I just want to know you’re okay.” Oli sighed and dropped his head, making dark hair swing across his face. He chewed on a snakebite before replying. “It’ mom. She’s not, uh, right.”
“What do you mean?” I thought he meant she was abusive, which made me angry. No one was allowed to hurt Oli. “Y’know my dad died?” I nodded.
It had been in the newspapers and everything when it happened. I can still remember the picture of Oli as they pulled him from the wreck, his small body limp and broken.
“Yeah, course I do.” “His death anniversary was over a week ago.” Oli spoke calmly, but I saw his jaw twitch as he grit his teeth.
“ mom, she goes to her bed for a week, doesn’t do anything else. But, now....” He trailed off, and I realized how hard it was for him to do this, admit there were imperfections behind his chilly façade.
I ran my thumb across his palm, trying to comfort. It worked. Oli breathed in again, and held my hand tighter. “It’s been longer than a week, and she’s still in bed. I dunno what she’s eating, and work is calling, and the bills are coming in....” I jumped a little when he collapsed into me, leaning his head on my shoulder.
We were sprawled on the Library floor, my back pressed against the cool cement wall. Oli’s torso was on top of mine. I could hear his heart, beating slightly too fast. He took a shuddering breath. “I can’t stop this. I don’t know what to do.”
Oli smells like vanilla, which is unexpected. Must be his shampoo. “Uh....” I tentatively touched his hair, and he rubbed his head along my hand like a cat. I didn’t know this new side of Oli, the one that was lost and alone, needing comfort from my touch. If he wasn’t himself, I’m pretty sure Oli would’ve been crying.
I stroked his hair, murmuring kind words. Eventually he looked up at me, face so open for a second I ached to kiss him, take his lower lip between my teeth. I kept talking, but I don’t think he was listening, cause all Oli did was stare at my mouth, wetting his lips with a pink tongue. Yum.
“You okay now?” I immediately regretted saying that, cause he rolled off me, turning gruff again. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, I’m good.” It was only as we left the Library that he gave me a gentle push with his shoulder. “Thanks, Till.” I smiled. “Anytime.”