I wake up heavy with sleep, reluctant to get up out of bed. Getting out of bed would mean having to see Zuriel. My heart does a flip at the thought of seeing Zuriel. My Zuriel. But at the same time I feel uneasy.
"I could just stay in bed all day," I muse. The idea is appealing, and I almost decide to go back to bed when someone knocks on my door.
"Brie? Are you awake, sis?" I hear Caleb call from the other side of the door. I almost don't answer so I can just go back to bed, but then I think better of it.
"Yeah, I'm up...sort of," I answer with a sigh. "Come on in."
Caleb strides through the door with his signature grin plastered to his face. He makes his way to my bed and collapses onto me, hugging me tight. I hug him back just as tightly.
"I missed you," he says.
"I know. I'm sorry I put you through all that shit," I reply quietly.
I feel his grip tighten around me. "Don't leave again," he whispers, hurt evident in his voice. "I can't lose you. I already lost mom and dad, I can't lose you too."
"You won't lose me, Caleb. I promise."
Caleb pulls back and grins widely at me. "Well, now that you're officially back, we can get back to our normal routine again."
I look away from him, unable to meet his shining eyes. He seems to notice this and I hear him move closer again.
"Brie? What's wrong?" he asks, concerned.
I can't look at him, not when I'm about to rip those happy thoughts from him. "I...I'm not sure if I'm ready to stay here," I say quietly, glancing up to see his reaction.
He stares at me in silence, his face blank of any clue as to what he's thinking. We sit in silence for what seems like an eternity before he responds.
"What do you mean?" he asks. His voice is rough as it trembles with emotion. His eyes are gleaming with pain and confusion.
"I'm just not sure if I'm going to stay here, Caleb," I repeat, holding back tears.
He is silent again before replying. "This is about that demon isn't it?" I stay silent and jump when he yells. "Answer me!"
"Dammit, Brie!" he yells at me, anger written on every feature of his face. "You can't do this! You have Zuriel! He loves you and you love him!"
"But Rin loves me too!" I yell back, standing so that we are face to face. "At least, I think he does. And I think I still have feelings for him too..."
Caleb runs a hand through his hair roughly and groans in frustration. He begins to pace around the room and I watch him as he grows more and more upset.
"Why are you being this way?" Caleb asks coldly. "When Mattia told me that you had your memories restored I thought it meant the end of these crazy shenanigans! How can you still love him after you remembered that they killed our parents?"
My silence at his question seems to trigger something in Caleb. He goes quiet and still, not moving a muscle. His body is tense as he turns to me slowly. "You...forgot them," he states, not even posing it as a question. "You willingly chose to forget pur parents."
"No, I didn't forget them, I only forgot their deaths," I correct him. His eyes narrow at me and he steps up to stand in front of me, seeming to tower over me. His face shows only disgust and anger as I continue to speak. "I don't want to hate them, Caleb. They're my friends..."
"They're demons, Brie," he growls back. "You picked demons over your own family. How does that make you feel?"
My lip trembles and tears threaten to escape as I reply. "They're not all bad. Why can't you see that?"
He shakes his head and steps back, turning to leave. Tears glide down my cheeks as he stops just in front of the door. He doesn't turn to look at me, only continues to loom at the door as he speaks.
"I never thought you would end up this way, Brienna," he says. I flinch at his use of my first name. "Don't come home, just stay away from me. You're not my sister anymore. I don't know who you are..."
And with that he leaves my room, shutting the door firmly behind him. I sink to my knees and struggle to hold back the sob caught in my throat. Tears are pouring my down my face and my breathing is shallow. I bury my head in my hands and left shoulders shake with the sobs that rip from my throat.
That's the way Mattia finds me in the next five minutes, sobbing and shaking on the floor of my bedroom. She says nothing, only goes to my side and squeezes me tightly. She helps me from the floor and helps me to my bed, laying me down gently on the soft mattress.
Over my sobbing I can hear her chanting quietly to herself as she strokes my hair softly. As her chanting proceeds, I can feel myself getting more calm. My eyes begin to grow heavy with sleep and I look at Mattia in confusion.
She smiles at me and says, "You need rest, Brie. Go to sleep."
I want to say no, want to stay awake and cry out my despair. But instead I nod and snuggle myself I to my pillows and blanket with a sigh. As I begin to drift into sleep, I feel one final tear slide down my cheek, leaving a salty trail behind it.
Those closest to you can be the ones who hurt you most.