“Jason…” Jessica started, an abundance of caution making her choose her words extra carefully. Like she thought some kind of monster was lying dormant inside of me. “I know how you feel.”
I huffed and took a sip of my coffee.
“I’m serious!” she suddenly erupted. “You keep forgetting that I lost my mom and dad too, remember?!”
Her sudden outburst was enough for me to stop drinking. I set my mug down on the table in front of me and clasped my hands together, elbows on knees.
“Jess, you know good and well that I know that.” I said while cracking my knuckles, not looking at her, or at anything in particular.
“Well you don’t act like it!”
I stood up abruptly and walked away, to the middle of the room. Behind me, Jessica recoiled as I stood. She still hadn’t returned to her original seated position when I turned to look back at her.
She’d seen me stand up suddenly and walk away before. I had a habit of trying to physically distance myself from my problems, as if that were even possible.
But this time, she flinched.
I was right. She did think there was a monster inside me.