Heavy Soul - Shey Stahl

For Janet

“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.”

~ Author Unknown

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Emily Bronte

Chapter One – Chase

Sometimes I stare at my ceiling as I drift out of sleep. It’s not that I enjoy being awake in the middle of the night, but it seems lately I have no choice. My brain has turned into an alarm that goes off whenever I feel her near. It’s certainly not a conscious decision. It’s just the way it is.

Usually when this happens, I wait. I wait because I know, sooner rather than later, I will hear the window creak open and, as she has for the last few months, Quinn will carefully climb through for the sole purpose of crawling into bed with me.

The window creaks as she slides it open carefully, like she’s trying not to make a sound. As always, it sticks on the edges so she leaves it open before making her way to my bed.

It’s not the first time she’s let herself in my room just before the sun rises, when the night’s still dark, and I hope it’s not the last.

If all I have are these moments, small slivers in time when she allows this, I’ll take it.

Most people would think, good for you, man. Chick in your bed in the middle of the night. Score, right?

Yeah, not so much. You see, Quinn is the first girl I ever loved, but she also has this lucky title of first girl ever to break my heart.

She isn’t crawling into my bed in the middle of the night because she wants me. No, Quinn is crawling in my bed at night for no reason at all. At least, that is what I can assume since she never talks to me. She just lies beside me while I gently rub her back, and when she feels it’s time to leave, she does.

Tonight I decide to try something a little different. I want her to tell me it’s not over for us. I don’t know why, I just do. “What are you doing here?” I ask as I rest my chin on the top of her head, her cheek pressed against my chest.

She must not expect me to say anything because she adjusts to look at me with a wide-eyed surprise. It takes a minute before she answers and even then, it’s not really an answer.

“Shhhh.” She places her fingers to my lips, silencing me, before curling into my chest, her face buried against my shoulder.

I breathe in deeply. She smells like rain and ocean air. She smells like my childhood. So many memories lie with this one girl. From the time we met on the playground when we were five, until eight months ago, she was mine.

We lie in silence for an hour, my arms wrapped around her shoulders holding her close. Every time we’re together like this, it’s harder and harder to ignore the feelings I still have for her.

“What does this mean?” I ask this a lot it seems. I know the answer, but I’m curious if she’s ever going to explain it to me. I guess in some ways that could be my fault. She comes to me for comfort. Quinn has always known she can fall to pieces before me and I will always be there holding it all together, for her.

My question causes her body to go rigid. Drawing back, she chews on her lips as if deciding, a nervous energy swirling in her face. Her eyes look lifeless, a colorless photocopy of the girl I used to know—the girl I gave my heart to. “It’s nothing.”

It’s not nothing.

“I have to go.” Quinn untangles herself from me, sitting up. I don’t want to let her go but she’s closing herself off.

What surprises me is she doesn’t leave. Instead, she sits on the edge of my bed with her eyes trained on the window.

When I least expect it, she twists around. “I’m sorry,” she chokes out, drawing back to look at me. Her hands move from her lap and cradle my face, her eyes shifting from my eyes to my mouth.

Gently, she leans in and places a soft kiss on my lips. It lingers, giving me hope that she will see I have nothing but love for her. I think she’s going to pull away but she doesn’t and plants her hands on either side