Monday State of Mind Excerpt

Austin Texas Breathlessly

Garrick woke squeezing the air out of Ava and she fought to release his arms and legs coiled around her, calling out his name breathlessly.

The phone ringing on the nightstand broke his subconscious embrace, freeing her from his potentially deadly grasp.

Ava reached over to the phone and puffed “Hello” into the handset.

Garrick rolled over onto his back staring at the white void beyond the ceiling.

He was understandably embarrassed, was hoping to avoid the expected discussion with Ava, let alone relive what had caused his subconscious panic attack.

As Ava talked on the phone, Garrick rolled off the bed and walked into the bathroom. Soon, Ava joined him wrapping her arms around his soapy body as he showered.

She kissed his back as she said, “That was Maw… the girls are on their way back and we’re meeting up with them in Lockhart for dinner. We have just enough time to shower, and change before heading out.”

She squeezed her arms across Garrick’s chest, her hands filled themselves with his pecks as she spoke into his back, “Garrick… is there something you want too, or need to talk about? I’ve never had a man hold on to me that tightly before. It was kind of scary, and I can only assume you were having a bad dream of some kind.”

He turned around in her arms, kissed her before quieting replying, “You’re right, it was just a bad dream. Sorry if I hurt you.”

Ava nodded, knowing there was more to it; more to him. She returned his smile, then kiss his lips. She pushed the issue saying with heartfelt sincerity, “I will respect your privacy, but, if you’re going to do something like that to Elsie, you really should consider telling her why.”

Garrick nodded before the two playfully washed each other; Garrick thought about Ava’s suggestion and knew she was right; as much as he wanted to, needed to, wake up next to the same woman every morning, at some point he was going to do the same thing to Elsie; or worse.

He could not hide the truth of his condition; he was going to have to tell Elsie at some point, “I’m just not sure if I’m ready relive that again,” he told himself.

As they dried each other off, he continued struggling with an on-going internal debate about leaving Elsie with Amanda and Avery, taking her with him, or, telling her the truth. He was also debating if he should, “Just quietly disappear again, and deal with my own problems… by myself,” he thought.