The walk to his room felt far longer than he knew it was. Like his body was fighting his desires to get the truth out. Looking at the window of his room, the blinds in their way, suddenly he felt like he was treating himself as an animal to be caged. The thought made him uneasy, and the scents in his room didn’t help on that, even if it was more or less his den.
Taking a breath, Alex went for the cord of the blinds and pulled them up. Watching every move his parents and Bailey made outside, he moved to unlock the window latches. Although he did it slowly, Bailey’s ears and head went in his direction as soon as they unlocked.
“Stay calm, boy.” The window didn’t open quietly, which he expected. It slid open loudly enough to tip off his father and his head turned in response.
“Alex, that you?” his father asked.
His words froze in his throat as he heard that. His arms were starting to tremble, made no better when Bailey started sniffing at the air. “Gotta stop acting like a coward. Just say something.” Taking a breath as his mother began to talk, he finally responded. “It’s me.” His reply came out barely louder than a mumble, making the growling tone in his voice sound more.
“Is something wrong? You hurt yourself?” his mother asked.
“Then why does your voice sound so hoarse?”
Alex paused for a minute. Bailey was now standing at attention and staring in his direction with some minor growls. An action he was certain his folks would notice. “About that, I need to tell you both something.”
“Well, come out here and do it.” His father’s reply was welcoming. “Get yourself some dinner.”
Although he didn’t want to, the offer was enticing. Being in an open space felt more comfortable than this, but he didn’t want his folks to immediately see him and get frightened. “Come inside for a minute. I’ll tell you, and then I’ll eat.”
“Son, what’s going on?”
“Just trust me, dad. You have before.”
His folks looked at each other for a second and then got up from their seats, heading for the side door. Bailey stayed right on their tails, with a brief warning growl sent at his owner. Although wanting to growl and get him to stop, Alex refrained from doing it.