Blame It On The Pain Episode 15
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🧏 Blame It On The Pain Episode Fifteen:
And right now… she looks nervous. “Are you in some kind of trouble, Alyssa?”
She quickly shakes her head. “No. I mean, why would I be?”
I shrug and lean back against the booth. Her response should put me at ease, but it doesn't. “I have no idea. But if you were, you know you could tell me. Right?”
Fear crosses over her face and before I can stop her…she's hopping out of her seat and running toward the exit.
I quickly track the waitress down and pay the bill before running after her.
When I finally step outside, I find her leaning against the side of the brick building facing the alleyway. She's rubbing her temples and breathing frantically. My chest tightens and I'm struck with the overwhelming feeling of wanting to wrap her in my arms and protect her from the world.
Instead, I gently reach for her arm. “Hey,” I say. “It's okay. I won't let anything hurt you, Alyssa.”
Her eyes spring open in both surprise and fear and she immediately pulls away from my touch. It's almost like she's a frightened animal and can't comprehend that someone would show her an ounce of kindness.
It's utterly heartbreaking.
She pushes off the building and begins walking down the alley. “I'm sorry, but I have to go. I have to go home, now,” she calls out.
I stay a few strides behind her. I'm close enough that I can watch her make it to her car safely, but not so close to cause her to freak out again.
After she reaches her car, she pauses briefly. “Thank you for lunch. I'll find a way to pay you back for it.”
I shake my head. “Absolutely not. In fact, I'm going to make sure you get paid from Luke. He should have never let that happen to you in the first place.”
She worries her bottom lip between her teeth. “That's not necessary,” she whispers. “I don't want you getting into any fights on my behalf, but thank you anyway.”
She slips inside her car and puts her key in the ignition.
I jog up to her. “When can I see you again?”
She looks down at the steering wheel. “I don't do relationships, Jackson.” I open my mouth to protest but she stops me. “That includes friendships. I've already let you in so much more than anyone else and I haven't even known you for 24 hours.”
I stuff my hands in my pockets. “Maybe there's a reason for that, Alyssa.”
And there is…I just have no idea what it is yet.
All I know is that I'm so drawn to her.
And it's not just because she's incredibly attractive, either. It's so much more than that. I have this urge to just want to take care of her, and be there for her.
But most of all…I recognize the pain in her soul…because I live with it every day.
She puts the car in reverse and begins backing up. “I'll call you, Jackson,” she says before she rolls up her window.
It's only after she's more than halfway down the block that I realize she never gave me her number…and she doesn't have mine.
BLAME IT ON THE PAIN : EPISODE 11 – 20
I grip the steering wheel and fight back the wave of nausea. I feel my pulse pounding in my ears and I swallow another big gulp of air.
What the h'll is the matter with me?
I mean, besides the obvious panic attack of epic proportions that I'm going through at the moment.
Why in the world did I just tell a guy I hardly know such personal things about myself?
Granted, it was nothing he wouldn't have found out about me sooner or later, but still.
Another round of tremors plague my body and with a cur$e, I pull over to the side of the expressway. The rain is coming down hard and big droplets splash against my windshield. I close my eyes and listen to the steady rhythm as it continues to fall.
After I'm certain that the worst of the episode is over, I start the car and resume driving.
I wasn't always like this.
Once upon a time, I used to be normal, happy, even.
And up until a few years ago, I had never experienced a true panic attack. In fact, I used to thrive and work best under pressure- something I must have inherited from my father.
I used to wonder if there was a specific number of tears I could shed that would bring back a missing piece of my heart.
Now, I know, there isn't- because I'm almost positive I must have cried them all during the entire year I was 10. Not a day went by where I didn't wake up to a soggy pillow or fall asleep to one.
Then I turned 11. That's when I learned to stop crying…because tears wouldn't bring him back. Tears were nothing but a complete waste of an emotion and they never solved anything.
I also learned, that sometimes; children are actually the ones to take care of their parents.
Needless to say- My mother didn't handle my father's death well.
Not that there really is a “way” to handle the sudden death of the man you've loved since you turned 16…but I'm certain that becoming an alcoholic isn't the best way to cope.
Especially when you have a child to raise.
However, we made the best of it.
She made sure to put a few bucks aside for food and bills before she blew it all on booze…and I learned to effectively lie to the concerned neighbors and teachers; like when she didn't show up to my recitals, or parent-teacher conferences.
Or even worse- when she did show up. Looking like a million bucks, slurring her words, and making an over dramatic spectacle of herself.
Those were the worst. Then after we went home she would apologize profusely for being a horrible mother while crying on my shoulder.
I, of course, being a good daughter- would assure her that she wasn't ho…rrible and that I wasn't angry with her. Then I would fix her something to eat and snuggle up with her on the couch while watching the news.
For whatever reason, it was her favorite thing to watch and the only thing to calm her down when she became really out of sorts. Probably because she didn't have to feel so ho..rrible about the reality of her own fked up life while she watched other people's lives falling apart every night.
As crazy as it sounds. I think subconsciously- the reason I wanted to become a newscaster was so that I could find a way to reach her and connect with her, in my own way.
The day my father died destroyed our happy life.
But the day John Travine entered our lives…demolished our shitty one.
I was 15 when he began dating my mother. I have no idea how they met. I can only assume that it must have been at her favorite corner liquor store.
TO Be Continued