TBT: Finding Heart Chapter 3



“Wow…” he replies. Instantly his face takes on a strange, confused expression. He seems lost, as if he’s suddenly wondering where he’s at and who he is talking to. I feel as if I said something wrong but didn’t I just ask him who he is? What is wrong with that? Instinctively I frown. In truth, I hadn’t realized I was ever smiling, but I can feel my lips droop at the edges. His face seems even worse as he watches my expression take a dive. 
“What’s wrong?” he finally asks me. 
“Nothing,” I reply. I don’t want to tell him what I’m thinking. I definitely don’t like other people in my head. 
“Something is wrong. You should have just seen your face drop.” 
Fine. I guess I’m going to be forced to tell him. Obviously he doesn’t believe me, and if I pause too much longer he’ll think I’m a freak. Plus I can’t bear to look at his face like that. An angel should never look so worried. “I was just wondering who you were. I’ve never seen you before, anyone like you. I was just wondering why you’re here. But then you seemed to get mad, upset, or something…” I say hesitantly. 
Maybe I really should have kept my mouth shut because now I’m feeling like dashing back to the toilet again. If I puke even one more time today, I’m giving up on trying to hold myself together. I’m giving up on everything. Seems like my body doesn’t want to listen to my mind. The next thing I know I’m pausing our conversation to dash for the stall again. 
After minutes of stomach convulsions from my already empty stomach, I notice someone holding back my hair. I totally forgot that I was wearing it down until I tried to move my head and something held it in place. “Oh sorry,” he mumbled from behind me as he let my hair fall. I smile slightly as I look up to see his face. He’s frowning even more now. It’s verging on scary that his face looks so worried. 
As I stand up, his arms hold me gently. It seems as though he’s trying to help me. In fact, that’s definitely what he’s doing. But why? “Look, I’m not sure who you are, or where you’ve come from, but I’m really not in the greatest shape right now. I don’t know why you are looking at me like you think I’m going to die, but you don’t have to look so torn up about it. I know you’re just like the rest of them. I know you don’t care what happens to me or even know who I am. So why don’t you just go and leave me be?” My voice seems suddenly harsh and I’m astonished I’m talking at someone. It’s definitely not in my nature to be so blatantly mean. 
“There is no way, NO WAY, I am leaving you here like this. Now if you breathe, calm down, and give me a minute I’ll tell you who I am. I can explain why I’m so concerned,” he begins. “If you want to give me the chance.” This last statement he says as more of a question. It makes his explanation seem more intriguing, harder to divert around. In a way I don’t even want to know what his reasoning is. Whoever he is he will hurt me just like the rest of them. That fact I’m sure of. At the same time, he way he makes me question a decision that I’ve already made is confusing and puzzling. Add to that the way his voice just lets words roll off of his tongue like songs sung from the skies. I am seriously questioning my sanity and his humanity. 
“If you insist on explaining, I guess I can’t stop you. I’m not going anywhere and I doubt I can make you leave either.” 
“Good. But can you do me a favor before I start? Can we get out of this bathroom? No offense to you or anything, but this place smells,” he says with a small smile. 
“Sure, but tell me something first. Are you sure you don’t just want to leave so no other girls catch you in the girls’ restroom? Weren’t you the least bit embarrassed when that girl walked in a while ago?” 
“Her? I barely even noticed. Now come with me.” Slowly he reaches out for my hand. While I’m not all into holding hands with guys, especially not guys like this one, I find myself grasping his hand like it’s my last chance at survival. As he begins to pull me out of the bathroom, I realize how much time has passed. There’s a big clock in the lobby right outside of the bathroom door. From it I can see that it’s almost 2:30, almost time to go home. My heart starts to beat louder because I’ve been waiting for this moment all day. Yet it’s also beating faster because I realize we aren’t headed anywhere near the classrooms. Instead we are out the lobby doors, across the parking lot, and down the street. 
I hate walking this street alone. It makes me hold Angel-man’s hand just a bit tighter. Even though the sun is out, this road has a strange way of casting off a creepy feel. While all of the houses are new, occupied, and perfectly built every one of them looks exactly the same as the next. Then, as you come to the end of the street you see a huge forest that towers over the stop sign. I’ve never ventured into the darkness of these trees and hopefully I will never have to. 
Yet as the road turns off either left or right, I find myself following my angel directly into the forest. I don’t even pause to think about what we’re doing. I simply hold his hand tighter and allow my heart to quicken once more. As soon as we are in the cover of the trees, my angel turns to me and breathes a quick sigh of relief. It’s almost as if he was worried about something as we ran away. 
Next thing I know, he is guiding me down a barely visible path, moving slower now. “Where are we going?” I manage to whisper in the sleeping woods. Nothing seems to move here and my voice makes it seem like I am breaking some silent curse that hangs over the place. 
“I have this place I like to go by myself sometimes. I don’t come here often; it’s dangerous for me to be away for so long. I just thought it would be a good place for us to talk,” he explains, “If you aren’t comfortable here, we can turn around now. I would understand.” 
“No, let’s go there. It’s all right. I just haven’t…ever been in here before,” I reply cautiously. Right after I’m finished speaking, he stops walking. I look away from our united hands to see a stream running silently through the middle of our path. Along the bank are flowers of every color imaginable. I can hear crickets making noises and frogs by the water. Everything seems bigger, better, and brighter here. I’m in complete awe as Angel-man sits me down on a blanket. Even though it seems to have been here for a fairly long time, Angel-man seems sure that no one will come looking around for the ratty blue cover. 
“So I know I have some explaining to do. I guess I’ll begin with my name,” he says, looking at the ground, “I’m Brandon; Brandon Thomlinson.” 


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