Rose Water

Chapter 15

I am far removed from pain… consumed by it. I am brave. I am scared of everything. I am without defect… so far from normal. I am terrified of happiness. I am fueled by insecurity, fear. I am utterly… void. I am barely, existing. I am truly… alive. Ambivalence.

And then… I jump.


I have been in my room for so long now. I am starting to question my ability to leave. I haven't seen anyone, not that they have not tried to see me. I think that I have made it clear that I just want to be left alone. The noises in the house and the food that shows up at the door are the only indications I have that I am not alone.

I have been lying on the bed for so long that the left side of my body has rocked itself to sleep. I hear the knocking on the door but I don't get up. I give whoever it is enough time to leave the door and when I think I am safe I walk over and crack the door open.

"Hello Daphne," Justin says as he pushes past me, food tray held firmly in his hands. He walks over to the dresser and places the tray on top as he goes and sits down on the corner of my bed. He is staring at me, daring me to try and tell him to leave. I let out a puff of air and push the door closed. "Your mom let me in. She went out to run some errands. She said to tell you that she will not be home for a few hours." He gets up and moves over to the food on the tray.

"She didn't really give you anything exciting. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, wow, what are you five?" Justin says. He turns back toward me and bends down by the bed. He flings his bag on the bed, I hadn't seen it before, and zips open the front. He pulls out a crumpled paper bag and pushes it into my hands. "Go ahead and open it. I think you'll like it more than what is on that tray."

I open the bag and there are two slices of pizza and some Dr. Pepper inside. I cannot help the smile that plays on my lips as I smell the pizza. "Yeah, I thought you might like it."

We sit in silence for a half an hour, each one of us wondering what to say. I haven't used my voice in what seems like forever. I haven't wanted to talk to anyone, but this isn't anyone… this is Justin. "I went with him," I say softly. It comes from my lips in a whisper. Justin is watching me, giving me a chance to think, to breathe… to explode.

"I went with him," I say again. I want to cry, but all I feel is anger… bitterness… hatred… fear. I want to cry, but I can't cry, all I can do… is scream. So that's what I do. I scream.

"Daphne," he tries to say.

"I walked out the door and I knew better. Something told me to stop and I walked out the door. I didn't even tell anyone where I was going. He was acting so fucking sweet. Asshole… fucking asshole," I yell. I scream it and I am almost sure that Justin is getting a little scared. I knock the food tray off of the dresser, not caring where the food lands. I turn around and toss my pillow off the bed, ripping at the sheets and the comforter, anything that is not going to fight me back.

Justin is in the corner of the room, watching me lose myself. I stop in the middle of my tantrum and drop to the floor. I let my body fold in on itself and when I feel Justin slide his arms around me I wrap my arms around him and let the tears flow. They come out loud. They come out hard. They come out kicking and screaming… and I feel one step closer to normal.

"It's not your fault," he tells me.

"I know."

"Daphne, who was it?" he asks me. I pull back and we sit in front of each other, legs crossed and knees touching, just like when we were little. We would sit like this for hours, telling each other our secrets and our dreams. Time moves on, we are not little anymore. He has Brian to tell his secrets to, but I don't think he tells Brian a lot of things.

I lock my brown eyes on his blue ones and I know that he knows. "It's not important," I tell him. "I don't want to sit in a court room and have people know everything that happened. I don't want to see the faces of the ones who think I am lying." I stare at him and he smiles a little and nods as he reaches up to wipe a tear away from my face.

"It's gonna take a whole box of tissue to clean you up," he tells me as he pushes my hair back behind my ears. I laughed and rest my head in his chest. "You stink."

"Fuck you," I say as I wipe my nose with my hand. He kisses my head and lifts me up right as I finish the motion.

"You are so fucking nasty. Come on, you need to take a shower." He gets up and helps me up, pushing me toward the bathroom when I am firmly on my feet. An hour later I am cleaner than I have been in a week. "You smell a lot better," he tells me as he opens my bedroom window and lights a cigarette.

"My mom is going to kill you if she smells that in here." He walks over to me and grabs my hand before I can protest and drags me out my bedroom, down the stairs and out the backdoor. I hesitate slightly and he gives my hand a firm yank, pulling me all the way outside. We sit on the back porch, smoking. I am leaning on his shoulder and as he takes a deep pull from the cigarette I am tempted to ask him why it is so easy for him to help everyone else, but he can't help himself. He beats me to it.

"I have seen three counselors. I hated them all," he tells me as he blows smoke into the air. "I think Brian is getting to the end of his rope with me, hell, I am getting tired of myself." I take the cigarette from him and pull the smoke into my lungs.

"What do you want to do Justin?" He looks over at me with a question in his eyes. "I mean, fuck everyone else. What do you want to do?"

"I want…" he says and pauses as he takes a final pull off the cigarette and crushes it into the concrete of the porch. "I want to be able to breathe… and not feel like I am going to die." He rolls the butt in between his fingers and stares off into the distance. "I have another appointment with another doctor tomorrow. I don't think I am going to go," he says. I bite down on my fingernail and look up at the blond hair that is grazing my face ever so often as the wind runs through it.

"Justin… I think you should go. At least check it out," I say and I can tell that he is not really considering anything. "If you go tomorrow… I'll look into seeing someone too," I tell him nervously. I really don't want to see anyone, but, if my helping myself will push him to help himself, I'll do it.


"We have always done everything together, why stop now?" I reach up and slip my right hand into his left, noticing the fine scars that decorate his arm. We lace our fingers together and sit there in the atmosphere of silence.


I pull my car into my parking space and get out. I walk up to the front doors of the brick building and pause to look at my name, blazing from its space on the steel door, 'Dr. Marc Jacobs.' I pull the steel door open and put the stopper on, repeating the motion for the door on the other side, propping them open. I place my keys in the pocket of my jeans and pluck a lollipop from the pocket of my leather jacket.

I toss the lollipop in my mouth as I come face to face with my assistant, who is also my sister. "Hey," I say as I take the lollipop out of my mouth.

"Hey, you have a pretty easy day today," she tells me as we keep walking. "You have one appointment scheduled. It is a Mr. Justin Taylor; he filled out all the preliminary paperwork and is scheduled to come in at four." I listen to her as I go over to my desk and sit down, turning my computer on. She puts the file in front of me along with a cup of coffee.

"Thanks. Why didn't you open the door for me when I got here this morning? I know you heard me at the door," I say with a smile. She smiles at me and looks around my spacious office.

"You have a key. You are my brother, my little brother, don't get too excited." She turns to leave and stops at the door, looking at me. "You may want to think about making this place look more like… umm, a real psychologist's office," she says.

"I don't want it to look like the same boring ass psychologist's office you always see. Fuck all that shit," I tell her as I start to check my emails. "I don't have time for bullshit and games. If they want a psychologist with millions of plaques on the walls and degrees and shit then they can go somewhere else."

"You have your degrees on the wall," she says. I look up at her and smirk.

I point to a space next to the expansive window that almost fills one entire wall of my office. "No, I have them in one space. It's not the same," I tell her with a smile.

"Whatever you say," she offers before leaving me alone.


"Do you want me to come with you to the appointment?" I ask. I am watching Justin without watching him. He is sitting on the sofa sketching quickly into his sketchbook. "Justin… JUSTIN!"

"Oh, huh?" He asks. His hand is moving over the sketchpad without thought or boundaries. He went to school today and has been drawing since he walked through the door.

"Do you want me to go to your appointment with you?" I repeat. The pencil stops moving and he looks up at me. I can see that he is torn. He wants me to be there and at the same time he wants me so far away from him.

"Can you just give me a ride and… wait around for me?" I nod my head and he moves to get ready to leave. I watch him move around getting ready and I cannot help but to feel a little bitter. I am so angry with him sometimes for coming into my life and making me care about him, and he did it so fast. So fast that I didn't even see him coming. And when I did see him… I was already falling. "Brian," he calls. I break out of my thoughts and follow him out of the loft, locking the door behind me.


Brian stops the car in front of a brick building. It does not look like any doctor's office I have seen before. It almost looks like… "Fuck, it almost looks just like Kinnetik," Brian says as we walk through the doors. I walk over to the woman sitting at the desk and Brian walks around the lobby area.

"Hello, I'm Justin Taylor. I have an appointment," I tell her. For a few seconds she looks at me and I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. She gives me a look that says she doesn't see what problems I could have.

"Okay, just let me buzz the doctor." She buzzes the doctor's office and I hear a voice say 'come in.' "You can go on back, it's the second door on the right," she says with a smile and I think I may like her after all. Brian moves over to me as I walk away from her.

"I'll be here when you get out." He presses his lips to mine and I feel my fingers grip his jacket. He places a hand on my back and applies just enough… pressure.

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