The Stillness Of You

By: Julie Bale


I turned in a full circle, my decision made as I nodded.

“Yeah, it is.”





Chapter Six





Georgia





I was up at my usual four in the morning staring at the bottle of klonopin in my hands. I’d shoved it beneath the underwear in my top drawer because I hated looking at it, but this morning I sat on the edge of my bed, fingers running along the top of the container as I stared at concrete evidence that yes, I was damaged.

I wasn’t whole or normal, no matter how much I tried to forget about what the pills I took meant, or how when my mind started to race, it was enough to freak me the hell out and I would eat klonopin like it was fucking candy.

I was afraid to take the drug on a regular basis because of Zoe. She was a girl I met when I was in the hospital and she’d been totally addicted to klonopin. She lived and breathed the shit and it made her into a real life zombie. The Walking Dead had nothing on her. She was a boring, washed out walker, who did nothing but read the same book over and over again and haunt the halls of Oak Run in pajamas with little pink panthers all over them. God, she didn’t even wash her hair unless one of the nurses helped her.

I had a feeling she traded sexual favors from some of the other patients, in exchange for their klonopin. Drugs were easy enough to hide if you knew what to do.

I knew I was supposed to take klonopin regularly in addition to my regular dose of lithium, but I was so afraid of the addiction and how the pills made me feel, that I’d been weaning myself off them for several weeks now. I wasn’t having too much trouble sleeping and I hadn’t had a manic episode since the infamous walk through the quad next to my dorm dressed in only my underwear, brandishing a confiscated steak knife.

I wasn’t back there anymore. I wasn’t. I was good. I was calm and as long as I kept taking my lithium I’d be fine.

I’ll be fine.

With a sigh, I fell off of bed and tossed the bottle back into my underwear drawer before crossing the room to stand by the window, so that I could look into the dark. This was my favorite time of day, this little slip of time between sleep and awake and down there it was quiet and calm.

It was also officially the Fourth of July and Ben wanted to celebrate. He was thrilled that he’d managed to get hold of the real estate agent in charge of the house, and he was to meet with her on Saturday, the fifth.

He was making an offer. He was here to stay.

I let my blinds slip back into place and paced my room a bit, my mind reeling back as I thought of the night before and how I’d fallen under his spell as surely as if he’d made me drink a Ben Lancaster potion.

I wanted him in a way I’d never experienced before, not with anyone. Not even Travis Bartlett, the guy I’d given my virginity too after months of heavy petting and night that had included a bottle of vodka and a half a bag of weed. This was different. This was grown up and real and I had no clue how to deal with it.

I wanted Ben Lancaster in a way that ached. It was as if in the space of a few days, he’d leeched into my bones or his soul had somehow melted into mine. Was that even possible? Or was I delusional?

I glanced back at my underwear drawer, a frown on my face. Had I overdone the lithium? Should I be taking the klonopin or was my mind just scrambled and confused? Was it possible that I was reading everything wrong?

An image of his dark eyes assaulted me and my heart jumped. No way had I misread things. What I was feeling was real. It was real and it was amazing.

Ben Lancaster was like the yummiest piece of chocolate ever. And it wasn’t just because he was the hottest guy I’d ever met. Sure, he could give any movie star a run for their money with his tall, dark good looks and a body to die for. He was completely and utterly lickable, fuckable and wildly successful. But I’d been around guys like him before—I’d fucked guys like him before—yet he was different.

I didn’t want to fuck Ben. I wanted to matter.

Ben Lancaster was the whole package. He was smart, funny, with a wicked sense of humor. He had his shit together. I could tell. The guy wasn’t out partying every night, banging chicks because he could, and trust me, if he wanted to have sex with a different girl or two every night he could.

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