Chapter Twenty-One. Hot Chocolate and Pancakes makes the pain fade away.
Song for this chapter: Ed Sheeran-Kiss me.
Pressure was dooming over me like a ticking time bomb strapped to my chest but I had no control of the timer. I never knew when it would go off or where I would explode, so I had to live my entire life walking on eggshells. Today was going to be a stressful day, I had to talk to Blake about everything and explain to him that I never regained my memory back and the odds are that I never will.
And to top it all off:
Dread was washing over me as the clocked ticked, as the hours flashed by in a blink of an eye, the minutes were going by quicker than my flashing heartbeat. All because of one white envelope, I didn’t mind helping Angie at all. But I knew how much Grayson would refuse to have the cafe in his name, this wouldn’t be something he wouldn’t accept easily. But if this is what Angie wanted then this is what I had to do.
Leaving the cafe yesterday, I had told Grayson I had left my phone in the car and was expecting a phone call any minute. It was all a lie obviously but it was a lie I needed to tell, so Angie could give a real goodbye to Grayson without me there lingering around.
They had been in there for around ten minutes before he came into the car, a box of more than two brownies in a little box for me. I assume Angie didn’t tell Grayson about her passing away soon since he seemed happy, cheery almost. Not exactly the reaction you would expect someone having if they were just told someone who you treat like family doesn’t have long left on earth.
I only got minimal sleep, but I think if I hadn’t passed out yesterday I would have been up all night staring up at my ceiling or scrolling through my phone. The alarm went off and that was when I had wished I had gotten more sleep than I had, my eyes were begging to be shut closed for another two hours at least and my body wanted to lay in bed for all of eternity. The sheets have accepted me as one of their own, I can’t betray them now.
I kicked my legs on the bed, begging for it to just snow out of no where and they’ll call it a snow day. I lifted my groggy self up out of bed, my hair crazy like I was just in 90 MPH wind, dark bags under my eyes and I had skin paler than Snow White’s.
With a few small steps, I made my way over to Gabriela who was sleeping on her stomach like she usually does. I really don’t understand how people can do that, if I try sleep that way it feels as if my breathing is restricted.
″Time to get up Gab″ I groggily spoke as she soon let out a loud groan. I began tickling her sides which usually did the trick. As soon as I started she started to giggle and bury her head in her pillow.
″I’m giving you a few more seconds, just until I get your clothes″ I told her, she nodded her small face and snuggled into her sheets as I walked over the wardrobe that really needed to be fixed since it had one door by now.
I picked out just some skinny jeans for her which I think are adorable along side a floral printed t-shirt and her small knock off converse from Target. I lay out everything on her bed once I was done and made my way over to the side of her bed and turned her on her back and startled to tickle her stomach.
″Come on, Gab″ I chuckled, tickling her more making her kick her legs from under the duvet. ″I’ll give you to the count of three and if you are not up and getting ready you aren’t getting any of your beloved pancakes, instead you’ll get some porridge″ I threatened, ″I just know how much you love that″ I joked, my voice laced with sarcasm. She really a big phobia of porridge for some reason, she said it’s like eating vomit from a bowl.
″Three″ I began, raising a brow at her. I knew she wouldn’t make it passed two.
″Two...″ I teased tantalising slow. Before I could get to even think about saying ‘one’ she shot up from the bed, wiping sleep away from her eyes with the back of her hands. She yawned as she threw her duvet beside her and made her way to the end of the bed.
I smirked at her then picked out clothes for myself, I decided on wearing my converse, Grayson’s denim jacket, black ripped jeans and a Nirvana tee. I then ran to my bathroom, thankfully getting there before Jackson had the chance to.
Once inside I quickly got dressed and brushed my teeth, throwing my pyjamas into the laundry basket since I would be getting a shower when I came home. I then brushed my bird nest looking hair and put it into a high ponytail. Once that was thankfully all over with I put on a bit of concealer under my dark under eyes and filled in my brows a bit but since I naturally had full eyebrows I didn’t have to do much to them besides pluck them when needed.
I made my way down the creaking stairs and into the kitchen to make me and Gabriela some pancakes. Taking out all of the ingredients, I could hear Gabriela’s small legs making there way down the stairs and walk into the living room to watch some random Disney show.
The pancakes were served on two white glass plates within a few minutes, I then squirted some fresh cream on top of them and put on crispy m&ms on Gabriela’s and honeycomb bits on mine.
″Gabriela! Pancakes are ready″ I called and within seconds she came rushing into the kitchen with a big smile on her face, I moved the plate away from her though before she could stuff her face. ″Did you brush your teeth?″ I asked her with a brow quirked up.
She nodded her head and smiled showing me her teeth with some missing, she looked like a gummy chicken. ″Good″ I smiled and then pushed the plate to her.
″Thanks, Libby″ She said before devouring down the pancakes like that green slime monster in Ghostbusters. I laughed at her as I shook my head, how so much food could fit in such a small body never fails to amaze me.
Finishing up our pancakes which were splendid by the way I put our two plates and glasses into the sink for me to wash up after I come back from school.
I took Gabriela’s small hand in mine as we walked to the bus stop together, I could tell Fall weather was starting to near in. The leaves were starting to turn all shades of red, brown and orange and the sun was less warmer as the days passed by. You know what means: cosy nights in by the fireplace watching classic Disney movies and drinking hot chocolate with a blanket draped over me and Gabriela as we snuggled close to each other.
″Libby″ Gabriela’s soft voice spoke, her big blue eyes shining up into mine.
″Yeah?″ I answered with a smile.
″There’s this boy in my class I like″ She told me shyly, her face flushed.
Oh no, no, no, no, my baby sister can’t already have a crush on a boy in her class. She’s too young, but kids will be kids. There’s nothing wrong a cute little innocent crush.
″Oh really?″ I crooked a smile at her, my brows raised with amusement, ″And what is this boys name?″ I asked.
She smiled down at her shoes as we walked, if we weren’t walking i’m sure she would be jumping from one foot to the other with nervousness and would be twirling her dark brown hair between her fingers. ″Harry″ She answered shyly, diverting her eyes away from me.
″And does this boy happen to have been in a band called One Direction?″.
She had once done that to me about a year ago, she said she had a crush on a boy named Theo. I was about ready to confront this little boy because my little sister is way too young for a crush but turns out she was talking about Theo James, the hot actor. I got to give it to her, he was a fine piece of pie.
She giggled and shook her head, her sleek hair flying all over the place like she blew a hairdryer at it, ″No, Libby. He’s in my class, silly″.
I chuckled at her sweet voice, ″And what did I say about boys, Gab?″ I tested her, putting a hand to my ear waiting for her to answer me.
She sighed dramatically, ″I’m not allowed a boyfriend until I can spell supercatufatulickthisexspelleallydoscious″ She tried say the song from Mary Poppins but she ended up saying a load of random words that sounded similar to the long word itself.
I laughed at her attempt, she will never be allowed a boyfriend. We stopped at the bus stop just as the bus pulled up. I pulled Gabriela into a quick hug and knelled down so I was eye level with her, ″I love you Gab, and now tell that Harry friend of yours to watch his back because your big sister is watching you at all times″ I joked, giving her a kiss on top of her head.
She giggled, ″Whatever, Libby″ She sassed before she hopped onto the bus but gave me a wave with a bright smile before she went to take a seat. I mirrored her actions before thanking Glen for the millionth time this year.
Nearing my house, the wind blowing my hair, I noticed a car but not just any car, a car that didn’t fit in around here. It was Grayson’s, as I walked closer towards the car I could see Grayson leaned against it, his hands running through his always perfect hair.
″Hey Gray″ I greeted once I neared closer to him, immediately I could tell something was off, not by something he said, or something he did, it was just the atmosphere around him. He turned to me with a sad smile, it was fake. His eyes were bloodshot and I couldn’t tell if it was from him crying or from a lack of sleep, his hair was dishevelled and pointing up into all different directions.
I walked closer to him and studied his pained face. ″Gray″ I whispered, placing my hand on his cheek. ″What happened, are you okay?″ I asked concerned as he just stood there, not uttering out a single word, it scared me how much of a different person he looked.
I didn’t ask anything else or even say a single word, I just took him in my arms and hugged him as tightly as I could taking in his pine tree and cotton smell that always brought comfort to my heart. He was hurt, I wanted to help him but I didn’t know how to.
It broke me seeing him like this and not his outgoing smiley self. The Grayson in front of me was not himself, he was just merely a part of him that he tries so hard to keep bottled up inside but he’s letting it all out now.
He placed his head on my shoulder as his shoulders slumped down and he cried. He cried like there was no tomorrow, it wasn’t loud but it agonisingly painful to hear his muffled cries from my shoulder and there was nothing I could do to help him.
I rubbed my hand up and down his back, the other hand running through his hair comfortingly, ″Baby, what’s wrong?″ I whispered into his ear. Baby, I hadn’t used that one before.
″I-it’s Ang, She died last night, Lib″ He croaked out painfully, he let go of my waist which he held onto to greatly as he cried. His tears were still streaming down his face as he tried to steady his breaths which were shaky by now.
I wiped his stray tears with my thumbs, and gave him a sad smile, ″Gray, I’m so sorry. What can I do to make you feel better?″ I spoke sorrowfully, my eyes looking between both of his eyes with concern, my hands still holding his face.
″I think I’m going to stay home today, Lib. I’ll still drop you to school, I just″ He breathed out, his voice was hoarse as he spoke and it was low like it was burnt from fire. My poor Gray, it broke my heart seeing him like this. I just wanted to snuggle with him and make him pancakes as I threw a blanket over him and listened to everything he had to say.
″I just need time, she was all I had left of her. I don’t know what to do Lib″ He whispered out, his eyes still glassy, his face pained and pale and he had bags under his eyes. I brushed away all of the thoughts that came to my mind at the mention of ‘her’. It wasn’t the time to think of this mysterious girl when Grayson was in a moment of need.
I pulled him into my arms again and whispered words of encouragement into his ear as he listened intently, ″It’ll be okay, Gray. Just remember what you told me, she’s a star that will always shine brightly when she looks down at you with a bright smile on her face, proud of all of your accomplishments, proud of the amazing person you are″.
He nodded his head as he kept his chin resting on top of my head, my arms wrapped around his waist as I listened carefully to his heartbeat. ″I think we should both ditch school today, you can come inside to my house, I’ll make you pancakes and hot chocolate and we’ll watch movies together with the curtains closed and a candle lit. My Dad always said pancakes and hot chocolate makes the pain fade away″.
″Lib, you can’t miss school because of me″ He admitted in a pained voice, I could tell right off the bat his mind was somewhere else by the way he spoke. It sounded distant, like it was in a whole other world but his body was stuck here.
″It’s okay, Gray. I’ve only missed about two days, one day won’t hurt and I wan’t to be with you. I can’t leave you alone, not now, not ever. Let me help you″ I whispered into his ear gently, soothingly.
He pulled us apart from each other and smiled, it wasn’t big or bright but it was real and that was more than I could have asked for in this moment in time.
″What about Blake?″ Grayson questioned. That’s the thing about Grayson, if he is breaking in the inside he stills go out of his way to ask about other people and never thinks about himself first which is something he needs to do more often, especially now.
″That’s not important right now″ I answered him truthfully giving him a sympathetic smile. ″What’s important right now is you and you only so let’s not think about anything else. Let’s just get you some pancakes and hot chocolate while I put on some movies, okay?″ I chuckled, trying to crack a smile on his pained face.
He just nodded his head and gave me a pained smile as I took his big hand in mine and brought him inside my house. Thankfully last night Jackson left to stay in Olivia’s since he didn’t want her to trigger me to pass out again which would not happen but you know he doesn’t need to know that.
With his hand still in mine I brought him into my living room where he sat himself down on the couch, ″Make yourself comfortable, Gray. I’m just going to get the hot chocolate and pancakes ready″ I informed him with a small smile, my voice bright trying to ease any tension there might have been.
Once the pancakes and hot chocolate were made, I put the two hot chocolates on a brown plastic serving tray Jackson robbed one time from McDonald’s when he was drunk while yelling, ″Ronald ain’t got nothing on me″.
I also put on Grayson’s pancakes on the tray, and made my way carefully into the living room where Grayson was seated with a grey knitted blanket over him. My Grandma made that for my Dad before she passed, it still smelled like her fresh cotton clothes and bit of lavender she had in vases around her house. It still makes me sneeze to this day.
But I guess you just have to make consequences for the things you love.
″Here, Gray″ I smiled as I placed the tray on his lap and took my hot chocolate from it and placed it on the coffee table in front of the couch as I made my way over to the TV to put on a movie but soon realised Grayson must have put one in himself.
I smiled at that simple move but it was progress and I was proud of Gray for doing something so simple but yet might have been so hard for him to do at this moment. I turned back around and took my hot chocolate in my hand and sat myself next to Grayson who was slowly but surely eating his pancakes with a faint smile on his face.
″Gabriela was right, your pancakes are amazing″ Grayson stated with a bit of light in his voice as the movie trailers were starting to finish, but there was no expression on his face at all. His voice was void of any emotion and it scared me.
Not that I was afraid of him in any way shape or form but because I wasn’t used to seeing him like this. It was different but I knew I just needed to be there for him and hopefully it would all be okay.
″I told you they were″ I smirked even though he had his dull eyes kept on the TV, ″I didn’t know what to put on them, so I did what both me and Gabriela like. Fresh cream,honeycomb and crispy M&M’s, I can change it if you don-″ I was blabbing on but was cut off by Grayson’s finger being placed against my lips.
″They’re perfect, Lib″ Grayson assured me with a groggy voice like he had just woke up but I could tell it was his voice tired from crying.
″Thank you″ he whispered. His emerald green eyes were shining brightly into mine, it’s strange because even if his smile was no longer there his eyes still shone brighter than New York City at night. I think his eyes were the first thing I fell in love with, his eyes were what made me believe in the cliche love at first sight.
I smiled at him as my face started to burn crimson, not from embarrassed or from getting shy but at how he was managing to speak through his pain. I was so proud of him, I know when I’m crying I shut everyone out and just cry and cry until my voice becomes raw and my eyes start to hurt until the very next day.
But Gray was opening up to me and I’m so grateful he’s making progress. I know how hard it can be to do it, before I met Grayson I was afraid to even show anyone my true feelings and emotions but Gray taught me it’s okay to feel, to cry, to be in pain. Because we are all human beings with feelings that can change on a daily basis depending on what happens that particular day, it was okay to let it all out.
Grayson has always been there for me when I needed him and now it’s my time to do that for him.