“I think it’s time to get some sleep,” Gary said, leaning back to look into her sad eyes.
“Thank you,” Calla said, roaming his face with her eyes. “I needed that much more than you know. I feel like I’ve been holding that in for a very long time.”
Gary smiled and rubbed her cheek with his thumb. “I’m here for you if you need me. I want you to know that you don’t have to hold back anything.”
She smiled shyly as his thumb brushed her cheek lovingly. Gary’s eyes went from her pretty pink lips to her lowered gaze and he inches closer to her face without realizing it as the moment took over. When Calla met his eyes, she could feel his warm breath on her lips and she instantly became nervous.
“I guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow then,” she said, breaking the trance he was in.
Gary cleared his throat and stood up. “Yeah… Sleep well and if you need anything, my door is open.”
He closed her door slightly, leaving a crack. Calla quietly stood up and watched him climb into bed from the small opening. She was about to close the door all the way but changed her mind as she thought of the moment they had. Smiling to herself she climbed into bed and watched the door to see his light turn off.
It wasn’t but an hour or two later and Calla woke up from a deep sleep. Her heart was racing as anxiety took hold. She placed a hand over her heart and breathed heavily.
“You’re okay,” she said to herself. “Everything is okay…”
Calla closed her eyes and swallowed hard. She could feel tears from anxiety coming.
“Gary…” she said as loud as she could. “Gary… Gary…”
It felt like her chest was closing in when Gary entered the room, quickly turning a lamp on. He climbed on the bed next to her and held her closely, rocking back and forth, stroking her hair to help calm her down. She started sobbing uncontrollably, trying to get out of his embrace.
“It’s okay, it’s me,” he said softly in her ear. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”
Her body was still tense so he thought fast and started singing a melody. He could feel her body going limp and her sobbing was subsiding and soon she was quiet.
“Everything is alright,” he said, kissing the top of her head.
Gary leaned back a little to look at her face. She had fallen asleep and he didn’t want to move. Jay peeked in the doorway with concern.
“Is everything okay?” Jay asked, now standing at the foot of the bed.
“I think so. She’s asleep now,” Gary said, trying to move.
Jay held his hands up in front of him. “Stay there. She’s calm and asleep.”
Gary hesitated but didn’t move as Jay smirked and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him. Calla laid there peacefully, she snuggled closer to Gary, wrapping her arms around his waist. He couldn’t help but smile at this. He took in this moment deeply as he felt her warmth, took in her scent and eventually he drifted off the sleep.
The next day Calla slowly opened her eyes, forgetting where she was for a moment. She sat up and rubbed her eyes then stretched. Gary was sound asleep sitting up.
“Oh dear,” she said, trying to slide out of bed without waking him up.
She stood at the side of the bed, looking at him, studying him. Her emotions and trust issues were so messed up from her ex’s abuse. Calla wanted to trust Gary so badly, but with every negative overthinking thought made her build up those walls she knew he was trying to break down.
Calla snapped out of her trance when there was a soft tap on the door and Jay peeked through. She smiled at him and put her index finger to her lips.
“How’d you sleep?” Jay whispered. “I know you had a rough night.”
“For the first time I slept pretty good,” she said with a refreshing smile.
“Well that’s also because you had Gary holding you,” Jay winked. “He has a soft spot for you. Take it, he’s an all around great guy. But he favors you deeply.”
Calla nodded, looking at Gary as he finally began to move around. “I can see that. I’m trying so hard to trust you guys and him.”
Jay smiled. “I understand the hesitancy with trusting us, hun. You’ve been through so much in your life and it’s going to take time to learn to trust again. That’s why it takes special kinds of people to show you that not everyone is a bad person.”
Calla leaned her back against the wall next to the doorway Jay was standing in. She took in every single word knowing the truth behind it. It bothered her knowing how Gary was trying to gain her trust but she was just scared to accept it.
“Take your time, hun,” Jay added, resting his hand gently on her shoulder. “Gary is a patient guy.”
With that he gave her one last smile and went back to his room. Gary grunted as he stretched and opened his eyes. Calla was still leaning against the wall thinking about what Jay said.
“Good morning,” Gary said, swinging his feet over the edge of the bed. “How’d you sleep?”
“Better than I would’ve if I was at my ex’s house,” she said, grinning. “Thank you for staying with me.”
“Of course,” he said standing up. “I’m going to go take a quick shower. Can you see if Joe Don is awake?”
She nodded and watched him leave her room. Calla stood there for a few more moments before stepping out of her room and going across the hall to Joe Don’s room. After she knocked on the door he opened it within seconds.
“Morning,” he smiled. “Is everyone up?”
“Yeah, I was sent to check on you,” she said, turning to leave. “Gary is in the shower and I think Jay is as good as ready. I’m going to get dressed. Gary’s room door is opened for you if you want to head in there.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Joe Don said.
Calla went back to her room, closed both the door and the linked door to Gary’s room and locked it so she could get dressed in peace. She pondered the day’s events as she wondered what would happen. Nothing was going to ruin this day for her, not even her ex. She went to pick up her phone and as tempting as it was to see if he texted her, she quickly turned it off and factory reset it. Calla knew she would need a new number in order for the calls and texts to stop.