The pain is too strong to sleep. I try and forget about it, but the slightest movement sends searing pain throughout my body. Flashbacks of being whipped, of drowning, and of being kidnapped swirl in my mind. It’s too confusing to sleep, everything is a blur.
I decide to simply lie in my bed, listening to the pattering of the rain on the roof. Atleast they’ve fixed the leak. Isaac lies next to me. He came in late last night, furious. Not that he had to do my work, but that he wasn’t allowed to help me or see me.
His brows are furrowed as he sleeps, and his forehead wrinkled. He may be dead tired from a double shift, but he’s still restless.
I watch his chest rise and fall slowly.
“Thank you” I whisper uselessly, knowing he can’t hear me.
“For everything. For taking care of me all this time. For being my brother when my real one was dead. I’m sorry I was so harsh on you when we met.”
“You know something crazy? When we were leaving Janice’s farm, I thought why wasn’t it you? I thought you didn’t deserve to be the free one. I couldn’t be more wrong. You weren’t being a jerk. Okay, well maybe a little. But you didn’t mean to. You just...you built these walls. You were protecting yourself.”
I pause to gather my thoughts.
“But the truth is...now I can’t imagine life without you protecting me.”
I swear his eyes flickered, but the dim light of the fire isn’t enough to tell.
It’s hard to look at him sometimes. It’s like when he’s happy, I see Tom in him. The Tom that would be today if I hadn’t left.
I don’t remember my emotions for Tom anymore. They’re numb. I don’t think I miss Tom anymore, I think the pain is different. The anger. It’s at myself.
Was I a bad person?
Scratch that. AM I a bad person?
I don’t know.
I try to close my eyes and rest, but I just can’t sleep tonight.