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166. Closed Door, Open Hearts (II)

Logan’s chest coughed out a snort.

He pressed the side of his fist over his mouth. His head snapped to the side. He stayed still and listened. When he didn’t hear anything, he tucked his legs into a cross under his thighs. Then, he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his bent knees.

He glanced at his window.

The inside of his head had gone quiet. The darkness faded when the light came. Nothing disturbed his track of mind. The waters had cleared up. Peace had been restored.

Logan sighed contentedly.

What boring stories did she mean? He wondered with a chuckle. If it hadn’t been for her voice constantly talking over his own thoughts, he might have stayed in that black pit longer. Her narrative caught his consciousness’ interest.

Once it focused on Alex, and her alone, it didn’t take long for him to come back.

So that was her past…, he mulled over. The reason why she became aloof and detached. Why she ended up homeschooled. How old was she? She must had been young to have the impact that it did.

Did she cry just now?

No, Logan shook his head. He didn’t hear it. She sounded close but she held it together. A full smile bloomed on his face. That meant her wounds were healing. Soon, she’ll be able to face the world unshackled by her fears.

He couldn’t wait to see her conquer it.

“Skye is my ex-girlfriend” Logan finally spoke. He figured it was his turn open up, “I’ve known her even before we dated. As a reckless boy, I didn’t want to hang out with any girl. The only way I knew her was because she was Jae’s friend. Anyway…”

He cleared his throat, lifting a leg and pointing its knee upwards, “After mother died, it was hard for everyone in the family. Skye just permanently moved to town a while later. She didn’t expect the gloomy atmosphere. Jae and dad held it together. It was me who refused to leave my room.”

===

Eyes closed, a 14-year-old Logan screamed.

The afternoon sun rose in the sky, beaming through his window. His blanket layed on the floor and exposed his spaceship pajamas. Every inch of the cloth was covered in wrinkles. His dark hair looked more disheveled than usual. His legs thrashed on the bed, kicking the air randomly.

“Mother!” He shouted again, “Mother!”

Her figure continued to walk away from him… as if she couldn’t hear him. The empty white room closed in as Logan ran to grab her hospital gown—anything to keep from leaving. The distance between them neither shortened nor extended. He looked down, thinking if they were on a treadmill. He found nothing of the sort.

Still, he continued to pump up his legs.

“Logan… Logan, wake up” another voice joined the fray. It came from all directions and echoed in his ears, “Logan, you have to wake up!”

Logan’s eyes fluttered open. A girl his age stared down at him. The sunrays behind her made her into a silhouette. Her black hair fell off the sides of her face and tickled his. Her brows knitted in concern.

“Skye?” Logan whispered with a hoarse voice, “What are you doing in my room?”

Skye bit her lip and shifted her eyes towards the floor, “Uncle Steve went out for a bit. Jae is wearing headphones while he’s playing on his computer. I came when I heard you scream.”

She gazed at him again, noticing the bag under his eyes, “Couldn’t sleep again? It’s almost 3pm. Everyone was told not to disturb you.”

Logan sat up. A sharp pain pierced the side of his head. He groaned and placed a hand over it. Rotating his torso, he searched for the painkillers on his nightstand. He took out a pill and popped it into his mouth. Then, he drank from the water bottle next to them.

“That doesn’t look good,” Skye scolded. She stood up, feet on the floor, “You should eat something before you drink medicine.”

“It’s supposed to be safe even on an empty stomach” he protested, brushing it off with his hand. He scooted back under his blanket and laid his head on the pillow, “I’ll try to get some more sleep. You can go.”

Skye puffed out her cheeks. His behavior ticked her off. He probably hadn’t eaten last night. He shouldn’t go long without food or his internal organs would become wonky.

She grabbed the blanket and yanked it off.

Logan immediately sat up, glaring at her pissed face, “What the f*** are you doing?”

Skye slapped her hand on his lips. His jaw stinged from the impact and his head tilted backwards. Skin scraped against his teeth. His tongue tasted the iron tang of blood.

“No cursing!” She scolded, “Don’t make your mother worry about you. She must feel helpless since she can’t come here and take care of you. You should let her rest in peace, not stress her.”

“What do you know?” Logan complained. He rolled his eyes, “It’s not like—”

He swallowed back his words, remembering Skye’s deceased father. She never talked about it but he knew he died when she was young. The topic had been tagged as taboo. His pictures couldn’t be found anywhere.

It was almost like he never existed.

Which was impossible according to biology.

“Fine!” He grumbled, hopping off the bed, “I’ll go get an apple or something. Stop nagging me.”

He stood almost a head taller than her. Their toes nearly touched. His eyes had sunken in but their green color glowed vividly. His cheeks had thinned out over time. Skye could almost make out the nooks and cranny of his skull.

If skeletons could be good-looking, Logan would be on top of the list.

Said skeleton made a face, cocking his head to one side, “What is it? Did you fall for me?”

Skye’s eyes widened and both of her brows rose up. An appalled squeak leaked out of her closed lips, “Since when did you become so arrogant?”

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“Then, why are you blushing?” He replied. His shoulder bumped against hers as he walked by. He headed for his bedroom door. His stomach decided to grumble, increasing his appetite.

What should he eat?

His feet pattered on the floor and down the stairs. Part of his vision seemed blurry from the sand in around his eyes. He picked them out with his fingers, entering the kitchen. He grabbed an empty glass and filled it with warm water.

He drank it in one gulp.

Then, he craned his neck, pulling his sleeves up. He washed his hands and upper arms before checking the food supplies in the pantry and the fridge.

“Should I call for a servant?” Skye asked from the doorway. She leaned against the frame, her arms crossed over her chest. Snacks in this house were usually composed of fruits, cookies and biscuits. Unless he’d want some cereal, nothing would satisfy him.

“No, it’s fine,” Logan answered, not turning around. His hands reached into the pantry and stuffed the crook of his arm with ingredients. He hummed to himself, “Let’s see…”

He placed them on the island counter. Then, he turned to the drawers and cupboards, grabbing kitchen tools. He pulled out all the cloves of one garlic bulb and placed them on the cutting board. He set the flat side of a knife over them, slamming his fist to crush them. Then, he put the blade down and picked out the skin.

“You’re cooking?” Skye exclaimed.

“Of course, I’m cooking. It’s one of the things mother taught me and I may look like s*** but I don’t want people cleaning up after me for my own decisions” Logan snorted. He proceeded to mince the garlic. The knife chopped fast that it barely touched the board.

Then, he moved on to the onions.

His hands paused from moving. His head looked up and saw a dumbfounded girl at the kitchen entrance. He placed the knife down, glaring, “Are you just gonna stand there while I cook?”

Skye jumped on her heels and flinched. She hadn’t noticed that she blanked out. Her eyes watched everything. From the way Logan moved his sleeves up and washed his hands under the sink—to how he took one look at the food supplies and yet, he already knew what to make.

Was he really 14?

“Do you need any help?” She offered. The mushrooms next to the cutting board must need some washing.

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“No, I don’t” Logan responded curtly. He went back to his onions, “I actually prefer to be alone while I cook. I don’t want to sound rude and make you leave but I’d love some privacy.”

Skye pushed herself off the frame, the corners of her lips turned down, “Well, if you need anything, just call for someone. Please don’t slice yourself or burn anything.”

“I’m sleep deprived, not drunk” he rolled his eyes, “Anyway, cooking isn’t hard. I can focus enough to get it done without mishaps. You can come back when I’m done. The soup and bread would be too much for one person.”

“Really?” A new light shined in Skye’s eyes.

“Make me repeat myself and I will take it back.”

“Consider me gone. Buh-bye.”

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