A Necessary Struggle- Episode Nineteen

Feelings Are Overrated

Numb. Like a mouth full of lidocaine. Numb. Like a leg being sat on too long. Are numb like Alyssa. After downing five Kamikazes, four Alabama Slammers, three Woo Woos, two Jägerbombs, and one Mind Eraser. Alyssa was limp in Samuel’s arm as he lugged her up the stairs. Her head bobbed, shaking her silky coal tresses with each stair he ascended. Samuel nudged Alyssa’ bedroom door open with his foot. The doorknob knocked against the teal walls. Incandescent moonlight from the open window rained over them as Samuel made his way over to the full-sized bed. The mattress dipped down from the weight of Samuel’s knee as he leaned onto the bed. He placed her onto the teal and white comforter like a father would lay down a nestled newborn.

“Is Har here?” Alyssa asked nuzzling on the goose-down pillow.

Samuel pulled Alyssa’s butterscotch Sperry’s off her feet, “No ones here.” He covered her still body with the sky blue knit blanket.

“Can you stay?” Alyssa’s hand faintly latched onto his shirt. “Until someone comes.”

Samuel sighed scratching his growing fade, “Sure.”

Alyssa’s hand dropped from his shirt and fell onto the bed. “Talk to be so I won’t think.”

“Talk about what?” Samuel pulled out the black desk chair, dragged it along the wood floor. He plopped his body down emitting another sigh.

“I don’t know.” Alyssa pulled the blanket over her shoulder keeping her eyes shut although the moonlight tempted her to spring them open. “Anything.”

Samuel undid the laces of his gray and black Adidas Superstar sneakers as his mind scavenged for something to talk about. “I have a Mass Com. exam on Friday.”

“Really,” Alyssa muttered.

“Yep.” Samuel kicked off his shoe. “Been studying for it too.” He kicked off his other shoe. “But this stuff with Harmony has hijacked my mind.”

“How?” Alyssa asked flipping over to face the direction of his robust voice.

Samuel rolled the chair over to Alyssa’s bed and propped his legs up on the mattress. “She has…a sister.”

“She told us.” Alyssa scratched her button nose.

Samuel yawned heavily causing his eyes to water. “I don’t like it.”

“Why?” Alyssa inquired smelling the alcohol brimming in her breath.

“I don’t know.” Samuel shrugged watching the lot Honda Civic out the window. The car scrolled through the parking lot in search of a spot. “I guess…I don’t want to share her.” He scratched his head again. “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean…you don’t want to share her?” Alyssa tucked her arm under her pillow. “You share her with us.”

“That’s not the same.” Samuel stuffed his paddle hands in the pockets of his red sweatpants. “Y’all are friends not family.”

“We live together,” Alyssa said. “Go to school together. Get breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Comfort each other. Celebrate with each other. Cheer for each other. Isn’t that what families do?”

Samuel nodded unconsciously answering Alyssa’s question but with her eyes closed she didn’t see. “It’s not the same. They share DNA. Blood. Harmony has the whole other family…that I’m not apart of.” He took a breath. “Grandparents. Uncles. Aunts. Cousins.” He took another breath. “They’re not my family. They’re just hers.”

The room was quiet from a moment with only the sound of a car alarming chirping in the background. Samuel leaned over to see is she had fallen to sleep. Her eyes were closed but her eyes were closed before when she was talking. Samuel dropped his feet off the bed, shaking the mattress and Alyssa’s body.

“So, you like you’ll lose her,” Alyssa muttered.

Samuel sighed. He thought she was sleep. Thought he could sneak downstairs and watch some TV until one of the girls came home or fall asleep on the couch. “No. I’m not afraid of losing her.” He propped his legs back on the bed. “But maybe we won’t be as close. I mean…for Thanksgiving…will she be with us…or with them. The same for Christmas…will she be with us at Nana and Poppa’s…decorating sugar cookies with Iris, Taylor and Tyler while we sneak and drink some of Uncle Lionel’s spiked eggnog. Or will she be with them partaking in new traditions…creating new memories…becoming apart of their family.” He exhaled heavily.

“Harmony’s your sister.” Alyssa breathed out. “Nothing and no one can change that. Not because it won’t be hard but because she won’t let it.” Alyssa yawned. “She stayed up all night tutoring you in the ways of Thomas Paine, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes for your mid-term freshman year, or when she jumped down your RAs throat for telling you, you couldn’t play Tupac and lets not forget the time she drove all the way to Brenham because you ran out of gas and left your debit card on your desk.”

“Okay.” Samuel pulled his hands out his pocket. “I get it.”

“You may have to share her but you’re still going to be her baby brother.”

“I know.” Samuel tsked. “I still don’t like it.”

“Well, it could me worse.” Alyssa pulled her legs up into her body, now in the fetal position. “You could’ve been raped.”

Samuel rose to his feet but his heart sunk. He nibbled on his bottom lip watching Alyssa drift to sleep. He leaned over her, swiped her hair off her face and kissed her forehead, “I’m sorry.”

A little smile came to Alyssa’s face. “It’s not your fault.” She softly patted his face. “But thanks anyways.”

Samuel pulled the blanket back over her shoulder, “If you need anything…I’ll be downstairs.

Alyssa nodded surrendering to the Sandman.

Samuel closed the blinds. “Sweet dreams.” He muttered before cracking the door behind him.

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