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Being Her

A series of one-shots in Claire's perspective throughout the series For Her.

Um, will not go in any order. they come as i get bored enough to write them. PSSSTTT if you want a new story, go review with her!

26. True Gratitude

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 531   Review this Chapter

And so I was able to continue. “Sometimes it was worse than that… he’d tell me to do something and I’d do it wrong and he’d shout and throw something at me… or throw me at something. That’s how the ribs broke. That was the stairs. A flight and a half… it was a big house, all lined up. He didn’t like the way I’d folded his socks,” I admitted. I’d lied about that when I was little.

I didn’t really fall.

Quil’s arms tightened around me, strangely still comforting even though I could scarcely breathe. I knew it was a natural way to comfort someone, by touching them, but I’d never been able to stand it, not until this very moment, when for the first time it felt right. “Oh, sweetie. I’m so sorry.”

My mind was a hundred miles away, though. I was thinking of another day, when I’d tried to run away, to this safe place in Quil’s embrace. That had led to the worst day of my life, in all likelihood.

I could feel, as though it was still happening, his hands on my shoulders. It was as though I was still shaking and crying from fear and turning my head aside so he wouldn’t see, screaming in pain because I was only seven years old and it hurt. I could feel the hairs on my neck blown aside from his breath, and I couldn’t bear it.

I didn’t know that I’d be able to tell the rest of this story. “Do I have to talk about… the other things?”

His response was exactly the one I expected. “No. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to. This is just about you, honey, about helping you and helping me know what you need. That you can talk about when you’re ready, or never. It’s up to you, Claire.”

Despite the fact that I’d anticipated this, I exhaled in relief. “Thanks, Quil. For everything.”

“No, Claire, thank you. For being everything.”

The memories were still there, choking me. I grabbed Quil’s arms and pulled them still tighter around myself, like a vice or maybe a shield. I could feel the warmth of his arms burning away the terror.

Well, Quil, now you know. The one thing you’ll never know, though, is how very much I owe you.

I couldn’t put it into words. I didn’t know how to say it, without speaking about the other parts of my time in hell, the things I couldn’t bear to tell even him. He’d never know just what I’d gone through, and thus he’d never know how much I owed him.

Yet he knew some of it. And even though he didn’t know how much I owed and needed him, he was still here, protecting me, keeping me safe.

I felt the first tear slide out of my eye and down my face.

The last time I’d cried had been when it first happened.

There was a sense, almost as though I’d broken a spell, of freedom.

Another tear joined the first.