Camp NaNoWriMo part 15
The plan was set. Their roles roughly explained so they could at least pretend they knew what would happen once they started. The time for confidence and bravado was over. Now, having gone their separate ways to rest before the mission, was the time when their fears and second thoughts crept in.
“You can still pull out if you want,” his housemate said, once again leaning against the door frame of his room.
“I don’t have special powers like you, but I can still help.” Darius winced at how petulant his own voice sounded.
His housemate studied him, weighing the words in his mind before he spoke.
“I’m not saying you’re weak. I’m just worried.”
“If your niece can go, I can too.”
“We still-” Wilfredo cut himself off.
“We still what?” Darius refused to let his housemate off so easily.
Wilfredo frowned at him. Darius met him with one of his own.
“You really want me to say it?” he challenged.
“We still don’t know what caused your amnesia and night terrors. What if something triggers you and you lose it?”
Darius couldn’t breathe. Wilfredo watched him, lips pressed into a thin line and arms crossed before his chest. Something about the sight made the hair on the back of his neck stand. For a moment…
The thought slipped away as quickly as it formed, but the damage was done. Darius curled his shaking fingers into his lap.
He should be offended. Offended that his own housemate, the only constant presence in his life, had basically just told him to get lost because he was a danger to everyone else. But he couldn’t even glare at Wilfredo, because he agreed.
He looked down at his trembling fists. Like Wilfredo said, they didn’t know what happened to him before his memory loss. They didn’t know his true abilities, his true character, his true history. He was just a shell of a man trying to jump into someone else’s drama.
Yet Baldemar invited him to join them anyway.
“Stay. I can focus better if I know you’re safe here,” his housemate said.
His head snapped up. “No!”
For the first time since his new life, he had a chance to actually help someone else. He was tired of drifting from one empty day to the next. Helping Wilfredo’s family might not change his circumstance, but at least he tried.
He poured all his jumbled mess of determination and desperation and everything else he couldn’t identify into his gaze.
Let me go. Don’t bury me in your kindness. I am stronger than we think.
Finally, Wilfredo broke the silence with a sigh. He released his arms and crossed the room to drop a heavy hand on Darius’ head.
“You’re not a kid. You don’t need my permission for anything.”
No, he didn’t, but if his housemate did insist on keeping him away, he would have listened. It was the least he could do for the one who had put his own life on hold to watch over him.
“Don’t make me break my promise to your mother.”
Darius looked up.
~To be continued~