Chapter 17

During one of these dreams, I heard Ross's voice saying, "Rosie, wake up!" I came to as I felt him shaking my shoulders. I blinked open my eyes to find desperation-filled pale blue eyes under a mess of ash-coloured hair.

"Ross?" I asked sleepily.

"Rosie!" There was a wild look of hysteria in Ross's eyes that made me sit up quickly. Had something happened?

"Ross, what's wrong?!"

"You were saying stuff, Rosie! Stuff that you can't say."

I was swearing in my sleep? That didn't sound likely. Ross wouldn't be this upset just because I'd sworn. I wasn't even sure 7 year olds knew what swearwords were.

"What'd I say, darling?"

Ross looked depressed. "You said you love Jack," he said quietly.

He woke me up because I said I loved Jack?! I could've exploded. I kept my cool, though, and asked, "And that upset you?"

Ross nodded.

"What exactly did I say?"

"You said you love Jack and you miss him and ... and you want to be with him."

Ross looked like he was on the verge of tears.

I struggled to understand his devastation at such a simple fact. He knew I loved Jack, didn't he? But I was thinking too much of his 22 year old self. I realised this when I saw how he reacted to my next statement.

"You know I love Jack, Ross."

Ross looked horrified. "You what?! But you said you won't leave me! You said you loved me! I need you, Rosie! Jack don't need you! I love you Rosie! Don't leave me!"

He threw his arms around me and held onto me tightly, even though I was trying to push him away gently. I was annoyed at his total reliance on me. I was allowed to love other people. I had to stay calm, though.

"Ross," I said softly. "I'm sorry. Of course I won't leave you, and I do still love you."

Ross let go of me and sat down. "And you'll promise you won't love Jack?"

I almost envied his simple way of thinking. The view that this is right and that is wrong and there's no way that the two concepts can ever intertwine.

I sighed. "I promise I won't love Jack."

Ross broke out into a wide smile. "Great. And we won't talk to him unless he talks to us."

I sighed. "Okay, Ross. Now just get back to bed. And if I say anything else in my sleep, don't wake me up again."

Ross's face fell. "You don't care?"

"I do care. It's not very nice to wake people up in the night time, though."

"What if I have a problem though and it's got nothing to do with what you've been saying?"

I sighed again. "Then by all means wake me up. Just don't expect me to be overly cheerful."

Ross seemed satisfied. "Okay Rosie. I'll see you tomorrow, then."

He stood up and bounded back to his bed.

I snuggled back down into the comfort of my sleeping bag.

"Night Ross."

"Pleasant dreams, Rosie."

"You too, Ross."

***

Monday 29th November

            Today was an absolute nightmare. I'm starting to wish I hadn't brought down Ross's wall. Is it really for the better if I have to endure this? There was an awfully good reason why I didn't want to be a parent until I was much older. Thank goodness there was no school today.

I hope this ends soon.

***

            I woke up quite early. Last night, Lily had told me I was free to make my own meals and snacks and basically to treat this place like home. Before wandering downstairs for breakfast, I snuck a peek at Jack's sleeping form. Only his head was visible under his duvet. I had a sudden urge to stroke his hair and kiss him...

I quickly shut the door. What was wrong with me?!

            I hurried down to the kitchen, shocked but curious as to the nature behind my intentions.

Lily walked in while I was munching on some random cereal I'd poured myself out.

"Morning," I said.

"Good morning, Rosa. Did you sleep well?"

"No, not really," I admitted.

"Oh, that's a shame. Do you want a potion to help you sleep?"

"I think I'll be okay. Thanks for offering, though."

"You're welcome."

            Suddenly, there was a panicked yell of "Rosie?!" from upstairs.

Lily's brow furrowed. "What's up with Ross?"

"Long story," I replied, standing up. "I'd better go see to him."

The End

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