“Why couldn’t it have been me? After all, I was the one that was tearing my own family apart. I could never do anything right, and they were the ones that had to pay for everything I did wrong. Then I had to drag you into this mess. Why couldn’t it have been me? It should have been me!” Cora exclaimed, burying her face into the silk comforter. Alex flinched at her words. He raced over to the bed and literally jumped on Cora; the bed creaked under the added weight. He laced his fingers through hers and kissed her knuckles.
“Don’t you ever think again, for one second, that it should have been you, because everything happens for a reason, and there’s a reason why you’re still here. I know what happened is terrible, but please… I beg of you, do not wish what happened to them upon yourself. You’re not only dishonoring the sacrifice they made for you, but it’s killing me to hear you talk like that. Just give it time; it won’t heal the wounds, but it’ll make them better.”
It was several moments of silence before either of them spoke, and for that time being, Alex gently caressed the side of Cora’s face, one of the few humanoid gestures of affection that he had mastered in such short time.
Cora finally gazed up at him. “You smell like a Dumpster. I’m going to run a shower for you.”
“I haven’t had a shower for a long, long time.”
“It’s hard for me to believe that you could live in a forest.”
Deep inside both of them, they could feel the butterflies they’d dreamed about, they could feel the intense pull that was like gravity; pulling them together like the two poles of a magnet. It wasn’t at all like the movies, or what Alex had read about in his books, it was an entirely new experience and something that felt so familiar and natural. Alex believed it was what falling in love felt like, minus the out of control feeling and the overwhelming emotions that blinded you. It felt like Cora was always there, as if he had known her his entire life.
Cora bounded away from Alex and flounced away in the direction of another door, which was next to the crimson-curtains that shielded the floor to ceiling windows. This door was where the rickety bathroom existed, and was one place Cora knew both her parents spent a lot of time relaxing in, despite the rough shape it was in. She forcefully opened the door and crept into the dark; she could feel Alex’s eyes burning into the back of her skull. He waited patiently, as he had before, and watched as the lights flickered on. The seconds ticked on brutally as he anticipated the running of water from the tap, the shuffle of feet and the gathering of toiletries. But when Cora screamed bloody murder, there was no hesitation in running to her side.