Chapter 62

Dyllan woke up in his bed, his covers wrapped around him like a fuzzy forcefield – keeping out all the anxieties and confusion that filled the world. For a short while he seriously considered pulling the covers tighter and hiding in his bed for the rest of the day. Or maybe the rest of the week.
…He had to face reality eventually though. Even if he didn’t feel even remotely okay, or even just fine, he still had to get up. Staying in his room, stewing in the fumes of his own frustration and regret… it would only make things worse.
“Hey, Sweetie?” The voice of Dyllan’s mother resonated softly through the blankets wound around him. “Are you alright?”
Twin urges caught words in Dyllan’s throat, leaving him silently pondering whether to tell the truth or lie. “…I’m not sure…”
“Oh…” His mother was quiet for a while, unsure what to say. “You don’t have to go to school, you know. I could look into scheduling some appointments with your old psychiatrist instead…”
“No.” Dyllan pulled his covers tighter, memories of thought doodles he wished he’d never seen flooding through his mind. “I don’t like her.”
Complete silence filled the room, until finally, after what felt like an hour, Dyllan’s mother hesitantly broke it. “I… I came across something yesterday. One of your father’s old sketchbooks.” She was quiet again for a while. “He always said he wanted to become an artist when he left the military. Normally, he’d parade his drawings around the house like an excited toddler hoping to get their work pinned on the fridge… but this book was different. He made me promise to never look inside it, and to only ever show it to you if you were experiencing the strange mood swings he went through when he was younger… and he wasn’t around to help you through them.” The sound of a book hitting the wood of Dyllan’s bedside table rang out. “…I’m ashamed to say I broke that promise and looked inside it years ago, during a moment of weakness – around the time his death really started to sink in. Can’t say I understood any of it, but you might. Maybe it will help with… whatever you’re going through.”


A note from the author ninja:

A death in the family is never easy for anyone.

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