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    Nephylim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

My Brother Daniel - 4. Chapter 4

The sun is warm, and halfway through the afternoon story, Daniel falls asleep with his head in my lap. There’s going to be a fight performance in a little while and I know Daniel will want to see it, but for now I’m content to simply sit and watch him sleep. Dear God he’s beautiful when he sleeps. He could be snoring, farting and spitting fire and he’d still be lovely. Dammit, where’s my mind going? What am I doing?

Even since we kissed I’ve been plagued by fear and doubt. Am I taking advantage of him? Even though I feel something for him I’ve never felt before, how can I be sure he feels the same. I can’t be sure he’s even capable of feeling the same. He seems so childlike and yet there’s also something about him that isn’t childlike at all. It’s intelligent and full of wisdom. He’s certainly capable of feeling emotion. He’s full of them, but what if part of his…condition means that all his emotions are fleeting? I’m as afraid of being hurt as of hurting him.

Or am I being totally unfair? If Daniel had been ‘normal’ I’d be on cloud nine right now. The most beautiful person I’ve ever met just kissed me and wants to have a relationship with me. Isn’t that what everyone dreams of? Isn’t that what I’ve dreamed of? Why does everything have to be so complicated?

I promised myself this would never happen again. After the disaster of last year I promised myself I’d never fall in love, never put my heart on the line, never put myself in a position where I could get hurt, like I was then. That didn’t last long.

But I’m different now, stronger, more stable. What happened last year will never happen again. Daniel wouldn’t deliberately hurt me, and even if it ended it wouldn’t end like that. It’s all different now. But is it? Is it different? Am I different? Would it end differently? The fact is, I don’t know and that terrifies me. I find myself rubbing my arm again.

“You look like you’ve found a penny and lost a pound.”

I look up, startled. It’s the woman with the mirror. She sits down on the grass nearby and smiles her smile. It’s a knowing smile but not patronizing – warm. That’s what it is, warm. For a moment, an irrational pain stabs at my heart. She looks so motherly and caring. I wish she was my mother.

“I was just thinking.”

“I’d have imagined your thoughts would make you smile, not frown like you’d just found out your favourite dog died.” She nodded at Daniel with a wink. “That was some kiss.”

“Shit. You saw?”

“Just about everyone saw. You weren’t exactly taking steps to hide it.”

“He took me by surprise.”

“Are you ashamed? Sorry?”

“No, of course not. Well, I’m not ashamed, at least.”

“And sorry?”

“No, not really.”

“Say it like you mean it.”

I turn to her and Daniel stirs, murmuring something in his sleep. Automatically, I stroke his head and he snuggles deeper into my lap and drifts away again.

“No,” I say firmly. “I’m definitely not sorry.”

“I didn’t need you to tell me that,” she says.

I rub my face and sigh. Not sorry, no, but that doesn’t make it any easier, not really. I’m supposed to stand by my decisions, accept the consequences of my actions. At least that what I’ve told myself, promised myself. This is the first real test – well apart from moving and that was so easy compared with this.

“I think you’re being unfair to him.”

“What?” That’s about the last thing I expected her to say. “What do you mean?”

“You’re worrying that you’re taking advantage of him, and that his feelings aren’t real, and will fade.”

“How do you know what I’m thinking?”

“It’s human nature.”

We’re both silent for a while. I lean back on the grass, supporting myself on my arms and tilt back my head, luxuriating in the sunshine on my face. Daniel stirs again and I shift my weight onto one arm to stroke him. He murmurs something, yawns and sighs, then settles again. I leave my hand on his hair, unconsciously toying with it. He has such wonderful hair, especially when it’s loose as it is now.

“He cares about you. A lot.”

“How do you know?” I didn’t mean to snap but that’s how it comes out.

“Your touch sooths him. He feels safe with you.”

“He is safe with me. No one will hurt him when I’m near.” The ferocity surprises me, then makes me smile.

“Is his heart safe with you?”

“I’ll never hurt him; not in any way.”

“Do you think he’ll hurt you?”

“Not deliberately.”

She nods slowly. “You’ve been hurt before and you’re afraid.”

“Are you a bloody witch or something?”

“Actually, I am, but that’s not why I know what you’re thinking. I’m a psychologist and I recognize the signs.”

“Signs of what?”

“All kinds of things.”

“Like what?” I sit up straighter. With anyone else I might have told them to bugger off and mind their own business, but there’s something about this woman that’s kind of…comforting. She feels safe. Can I tell her why I’m so afraid?

The woman sighs and leans back, giving me the strangest look. Irrationally, it occurs to me that it’s the kind of look a mother would give. I think my mother used to look at me like that, but it’s hard to remember. It’s hard to remember anything that happened before last year. It’s not that I can’t remember, it’s just hard, and I don’t want to.

“Well, like your arm – the way you keep rubbing it and tugging the sleeve down when you’re feeling pressured or vulnerable.”

“What? I…. What has that got to do with…?” I almost fall over. If Daniel hadn’t been asleep in my lap I might well have run. My heart’s pounding and my mouth’s dry. She doesn’t know. She can’t know. No one here knows. No one.

“When did it happen?”

“What? When did what happen?”

She says nothing, but gazes at me with deep sympathy in her eyes, waiting. The pressure is unbearable. Should I talk to her? Why should I talk to her? I haven’t talked to anyone, not really, not even my own shrink. Could this be the time? Why should this be the time? Maybe, because the sun is hot and the grass is green – and Daniel is asleep in my lap.

“Last year.”

“What happened?”

“I fell in love with the wrong person and he betrayed me in the worst possible way. Everyone betrayed me in the worst possible way.”

“What way is that?”

I take a deep breath and release it slowly, realising I’m shaking and trying to stop. “He outed me.” I close my eyes and his face is as clear as if he was standing in front of me. It’s laughing, mocking me, feeding off my pain.

“I take it, it didn’t go down well.”

I laugh. I can’t help it. “That’s the understatement of the year. No one knew. Not my friends, my family, no one, and not one of them took it well. He announced it in the middle of the refectory at college in front of everyone. They all laughed. Some of them shouted…things. He laughed. I’d begged him not to and he laughed in my face, told me I was weak and cowardly. I begged him but he did it anyway.” I shudder at the memory of the catcalls and mocking laugher that surrounded me, chased me out of the canteen and followed me through the halls.

“That was wrong of him. No one should make that choice for someone, force it on them. How did your friends and family react?”

“Friends? What friends? I thought I had friends but after that they treated me like a pariah. In the end I stayed away from college and hid out in my room. I pretended to be ill… until my parents found out.”

“How did they find out?”

“He told them. He came round asking why I wasn’t at college. He asked my parents if it was because everyone knew about me being gay.”

“That must have been a shock to them.”

“Not so much of a shock as it was to me when my father burst into my room and dragged me down the stairs by the front of my shirt. Andy was laughing. He was always laughing. Not like Daniel laughs. Mocking. Arrogant.”

“What happened?”

“I just stood there while Andy told them everything. Everything we’d done, everything we’d talked about, everything we’d dreamed of.” I laughed at that. “Everything I’d dreamed of and he’d stored away. My… my father threw him out, then he beat me and threw me out too. Told me to come back when I’d straightened out. I never went back.”

“Where did you go?”

“I spend the night in the mud under a bridge, and the next day I stole a Stanley knife from a DIY shop.”

“How bad is it?”

“I didn’t do much damage to the ligaments and tendons, thankfully, although I still can’t completely straighten the last two fingers on my left hand.”

“Was it a serious attempt?”

“Oh yes. My life was over, in all but the fact I was still breathing, so why not finish the job? They got to me in the nick of time, or so I believe. I was unconscious.”

“That must have been hard to get over. Did you make peace with your parents?”

“I didn’t have a chance. They didn’t come to the hospital, wouldn’t answer my calls and when I came out they wouldn’t answer the door. I had a message, through my sister – who can hardly bear to talk to me any more than they can – that when I ‘straighten myself out’ I can go back. As if that’s going to happen.”

“How do you feel about that?”

I can’t help but laugh. “Now, I believe you’re a psychologist. Don’t worry, I’ve been through all this with my own, thank you. Three weeks in a general hospital and a month in a psychiatric hospital with no visitors and no calls gives you plenty of time to think…and talk, and talk, and talk.”

She nods. “Do you—?”

I lose the second half of the sentence because something brushes my cheek and makes me jump. When I look down, Daniel’s eyes are open and meet mine, causing a shot of electricity to shoot through me and almost make me jump again.

“I’m so sorry, Rayn,” is all Daniel says but I see so much more in his eyes. I know with absolute certainty he would never dream of doing anything like that to me.

“I’m sorry, Daniel,” I say, surprised at the catch in my voice. I’m even more surprised when Daniel wipes away the tears I hadn’t been aware of shedding. “I didn’t want you to know that?”

“Why not? I told you about my pain.”

“And the last thing I wanted was to burden you with mine. It was a long time ago. I’m over it now.”

Daniel gives me a shrewd look then scrambles to his knees and takes me into his arms. He doesn’t say anything, just holds me and that’s what breaks me. I start to sob and once I start I can’t stop. All the while Daniel holds me and rocks me and whispers things I don’t hear.

Finally, the sobs begin to subside and I realise both of them have their arms around me. As soon as she realises I’m calming, the woman, whose name I still don’t know takes me by the hand and raises me to my feet. “Come on,” she says. “I know where we can get a decent cup of coffee.”

With Daniel holding my hand on one side and the mysterious woman on the other, we make our way down the hill to the very bottom and then to the car park where a large motor home is parked, conspicuous among the cars. The woman fishes a key out of a pouch at her waist and opens the door, motioning us inside.

Sitting on the soft seats in the caravan, with Daniel beside me holding my hand, things start coming back into perspective and the world doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Daniel leans against me, with his head on my shoulder. He’s been absolutely silent this whole time and I figure it’s because he doesn’t know what to say. I feel a little bad about that. What’s he thinking? What’s going on inside his head. When I start thinking about Daniel, I realise he’s shivering. Is he frightened for me? Oh God what if he’s frightened of me? Whichever it is isn’t good.

I put my arm around him and pull him closer still. “Are you alright?” I ask him. “It’s okay. Everything’s okay now.”

Daniel looks up and blinks at me. His eyes seem enormous and so…haunted. I brush back his hair, realising for the first time that he’s really upset. What have I done? I’m such a selfish bastard.

“I’m sorry, Daniel. I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m okay, I promise. Sometimes it’s hard when you remember bad things, but it’s good in the end.”

“Is it? Is it good in the end?”

“It’s better than bottling it all up inside. I thought I could do that. I thought I could run away from it and it would fade away and get better, but it doesn’t. It just grows inside you until something like this bursts the bubble and it all comes out. I feel better now.”

“Not talking about it is bad?”

“Not talking about anything important is bad. You know that.”

“Yes. I…I know that.”

Daniel swallows hard and bites his lip. He looks as if he’s about to say something but turns his face away and that’s when I realise there’s something more; something more than being worried about me.

“What’s wrong? You look sad. Were you that upset by me crying. It’s alright to cry, you know.”

“I know,” he says softly.

“Then what is it?”

Daniel bites his lip harder and shoots me a look, a very uncertain one. Then he hangs his head. While he’s still silent the woman lays two mugs in front of us. “I hope you like tea,” she says and sits down.”

Daniel gives her one of his quick smiles but goes right back to contemplating the carpet. “What’s wrong?”

He glances up at me and I have no idea what to make of the expression in his eyes.

“Daniel?” the woman says. “Is something wrong?”

I’m still holding Daniel’s hand and I can feel he’s shaking. What on earth is going on? “Daniel? What is it? Look at me.”

Reluctantly, Daniel raises his head and gazes at me. His eyes are very bright, the pupils dilated. He looks scared. Finally, he sags against me and puts his head on my shoulder. “I made my Dad go away,” he says in a lost voice. “He hurt me, too.”

“Your father hurt you?”

“Yes.”

“How did you make him go away?” the woman asked.

“I don’t know. He just… wasn’t there when I…when I came home. I heard… my mother say… I put him away, but I…I didn’t really understand. My mother… cried a lot. He…he…I…saw him…once and…and then I…came to live with…S–Sara.”

Horror stabs at me. ‘Put him away’? Now isn’t that a loaded phrase. I glance up and the woman is looking at me. She looks sad and concerned. “What did your father do to hurt you?” she asks gently.

Daniel starts to shake even more and I hug him tightly.

“Did he hit you?”

Daniel nodded. “He hurt me,” he whispers.

Unconsciously, I rock Daniel and suddenly he turns to me and throws his arms around me sobbing.

“Daniel. Daniel it’s alright. It’s alright. You don’t have to say any more. You don’t have to do anything, just please don’t cry.” I hate his father. I don’t know him. I don’t know what he did to Daniel, but for making him cry like this, I hate him.

“My…my ma…mam ha…ha…hates…m…me.”

“I’m sure she doesn’t, Daniel,” the woman says. She kneels in front of him and puts a hand on his knee. “How old were you when this happened?”

“I…I do…don’t know. A…a long…long time…ago.” He’s hiccupping from the sobs, his speech more broken than ever.

“Were you just a little boy?”

Daniel shrugged. “I was…was at…at school.”

“What kind of school did you go to?”

“Far away.”

“A boarding school?” Daniel nods. “For people who are special, like you.” He nods again. “So you were home from school and what happened?”

Daniel shakes his head. “I…I don’t know. I…remember…. He…he hit me. He was…shouting at…me. Ca…calling me…me names and…and he…he hit me.”

When Daniel lapses into silence the woman prompted him.

“Did he hit you very hard?”

“Yes.”

“Where did he hit you?”

“Lots of places. My…my mother was…screaming and…and he…he…he hit m…me over and over. He…he said I was…was ru…ruining his life.”

I hug Daniel tighter and he rubs his face against my t-shirt.

“What happened after he hit you?”

“I…don’t know. I was asleep.”

The woman and I exchange glances. “Did you go to the hospital,” she asks. Daniel nods, keeping his face buried in my body. “How long were you there?”

“I…don’t know. A…a long time, I think.”

“And your father went away because of what he did?”

“Yes.”

“You know that wasn’t your fault, don’t you? He hit you and that was bad. He hurt you, Daniel and if the police took him away it was because of what he did, not what you did.”

“My…my…m…mother said…she said….” I’m ready to hate her too, if that bitch tried to pin things on Daniel. “She said it…it wasn’t m…my fault but…but she c…cried and…and other people sa…said it was m…my fault.”

“What other people?” Daniel shrugs.

I stroke his hair and back. “I know it wasn’t your fault, Daniel. You were a child and there was nothing you could have done to deserve that. Your father’s a bad man to have done that to you.”

“I…I kn…know.”

“Oh hell, Daniel.”

“Thank you for telling us this, Daniel. It must have been hard for you.”

Daniel turns his face and peeps at the woman.

“Yes,” he says.

“It’s going to be alright. It’s over a long time ago. You’re not with your mother or father anymore. You’re all grown up now and you have someone else to take care of you. Someone who will take care of you much better than they did.”

Daniel looks up at me with a shy smile.

“Damn right, Daniel. I’m going to take care of you like you’ve never been taken care of before. I won’t let anyone hurt you ever again.”

His wonderful, sunshine–filled smile burst over his face and he throws his arms around my neck and kisses me. I can’t help myself but let my arms find their natural place around him, and kiss him back.

When Daniel lets go he picks up the mug and sips the tea. “This is good,” he says. He seems nervous but calm.

“Are you still unsure?” the woman asks with a smile.

I think about how angry I am with the people who hurt Daniel, how sure I am I want to protect him from them and others like them; about how right he feels in my arms, how much I love to see that smile. I shake my head. “No, “I say. “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

Copyright © 2016 Nephylim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Another wonderful chapter! I had been waiting for a new chapter and I'm even more hooked than before. Thanks for such a wonderful story!

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On 01/11/2016 11:13 PM, Roberto Zuniga said:

Another wonderful chapter! I had been waiting for a new chapter and I'm even more hooked than before. Thanks for such a wonderful story!

Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'll try to be more regular in future.

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Loving ur story so far! Daniel is so adorable and lovable, and Rayne is an all around good guy. A very emotional chapter, but both guys handled it well! Looking forward to reading more!

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This is a very touching story, and well told.

 

Daniel is multidimensional and you portray that lovingly and clearly.

 

Thank you for sharing this with us!

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On 01/12/2016 01:34 AM, jaysalmn said:

Loving ur story so far! Daniel is so adorable and lovable, and Rayne is an all around good guy. A very emotional chapter, but both guys handled it well! Looking forward to reading more!

Thank you. There is a lot more to come and I hope I can whip myself into being more consistent with posting

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On 01/12/2016 01:43 AM, skinnydragon said:

This is a very touching story, and well told.

 

Daniel is multidimensional and you portray that lovingly and clearly.

 

Thank you for sharing this with us!

You're welcome. I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

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On 01/12/2016 03:32 AM, avidreadr said:

A great story. Such an emotional chapter, it had me crying. I look forward to more.

If this one had you crying you'd better invest in at least a box of tissues :) Thank you for reviewing. I'm glad you enjoyed

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As always your characters pop. Thanks, I think.
My nine yr old Grandson is autistic and already shows many of the same aspects. He also is becoming aware of how different he is. Will see where this goes but may well ask my daughter to read this.
Thanks for another gift. Steve

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On 01/12/2016 06:52 AM, Gandalf said:

As always your characters pop. Thanks, I think.

My nine yr old Grandson is autistic and already shows many of the same aspects. He also is becoming aware of how different he is. Will see where this goes but may well ask my daughter to read this.

Thanks for another gift. Steve

Thank you so much. Whilst Daniel isn't autistic a we'll find out later my son is autistic and I've loosely based Daniel on a more extreme version of him. If your daughter would like to talk to someone with a 15 year old autistic boy about the practical things I've faced then by all means she can email me at chakira@hotmail.co.uk

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Touching. I love how you made this visit more than just an interest visit to a place that would resonate with them both. And then you put people there who not normally there to be unofficial counsellors. Wow! I saw you made a claim to be the Queen of Darkness. Lol! I know you have this dark side and love to explore that, but you also have an equally romantic side so you also Rose Queen! Lol! Loving the story.

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On 04/09/2016 12:26 AM, Jaro_423 said:

Touching. I love how you made this visit more than just an interest visit to a place that would resonate with them both. And then you put people there who not normally there to be unofficial counsellors. Wow! I saw you made a claim to be the Queen of Darkness. Lol! I know you have this dark side and love to explore that, but you also have an equally romantic side so you also Rose Queen! Lol! Loving the story.

Haha keep the title Rose Queen to the end of the story. Can't help but let the darkness free even when I'm trying not to. I do have a romantic side though, that's true. Maybe the Rose Queen with thorns. Or the Black Rose Queen :D The whole thing at Henllys was based on shows I did there as part of a Celtic re enactment society. Whilst the people are not absolutely those I know they are definitely based on characters I have met and the activities I've been part of.

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M reading dis story for like 2 or d 3rd time.I think I would very much like if dere was an emoji for''Aaaaaawwwwww,so cute".Dat is Daniel n Rayne.Happiness n sunshine n strength n cuteness.

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