Free BrokenHearted by Brooklyn Taylor

Book: BrokenHearted by Brooklyn Taylor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brooklyn Taylor
my eye, and she is rolling her eyes with a look of disgust. Well, I’ll be damned. I like her even more now. 
    I fill Max in on Dad’s details. I tell him how he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and how right now, he also has pneumonia. I explain how it’d spread, and he didn’t have long left, how I saw the tears in Mom’s eyes, and the look on my dad’s face as if he already knew and was not too shocked when he heard. I can count how many times I have cried on one hand, but right now, I just keep thinking of my parents going through this. It is all I can think about, and the guilt eating at me is destroying me.
    “Look, Trevor, I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but you knew he was sick. I’ve told you that every time I went to see him or ran into them that things weren’t looking good.”
    “I knew he was sick but I couldn’t—”
    “I get it. But how many fucking times do we have to go through this?  Like it or not, your dad is dying.” He pauses; I think more for his benefit than for mine. He begins to back up, and I feel the tears building in my throat. The lump is getting harder and harder to swallow.
    “He knew more than you did at the time. He was trying to protect you. It has been almost ten years, and I think you need to—”
    “I can’t tell you that. All I can tell you is that this is your last chance to make it right. At the very least, tell him you know what he was trying to do. And let it go. If for no one else, do it for yourself.”
    “I failed him … and my mom. Maybe I could’ve done something?”
    “Maybe? But doesn’t really matter now,” Maxwell says.
    “I just … I’m not ready to lose—”
    “No one ever is,” he agrees.
    I know he could see I was hitting my breaking point. Maxwell had lost both his parents early on in his adult life, so I trusted that he knew what I was feeling. Or course, he didn’t leave trying to cut them out of his life as I had, though.
    He gave me a pat on the shoulder and then finished what was left of his drink, trying to signal that the conversation was getting too serious by lifting his arm to get Ryann’s attention. He held up four fingers, and she busied herself preparing whatever his order was that she seemed to understand from across the bar.
    “Sadie is waiting for me … If you want, we can get rid of her and go back to your place, pick up some more beer, and chill. Or we can go to mine, and I can beat your ass in some Grand Theft Auto?”
    “Nah … I am going to down another drink and then head back to the hotel.”
    I continue looking down at my drink trying to filter what he just said to me. And every bit of it was the truth. The truth hurt just as it always has.
    A few minutes later, Ryann brought us some drinks along with Sadie, who was smiling from ear to ear as if I had held Max hostage and she hadn’t gotten to spend time with him.
    Ryann laid out the drinks in front of us, waiting for everyone to take the small shot glasses.
    They raise theirs for a toast and wait until I raise mine. Ryann smiles and looks right at me. “To life.”
    I smile and drink the burning fluid down, thinking about how I had wasted so much of it.
    Maybe I could kiss her, and she could ease some of my aching … a kiss wasn’t love … it was just a kiss. And she was worth kissing. I just wasn’t a good enough man to kiss her. She didn’t know that yet, though. I closed my eyes to think about it for a minute and pretend I remembered what it felt like to want to feel a woman on my lips, a woman I liked. And I did like what I knew of her, but that really wasn’t much.
    Ryann takes our shot glasses and goes back to the bar.
    Max and Sadie talk to me for a few minutes, and then I stand up, excusing myself. “I am outta here, man.”  Max and I meet our hands in our handshake, and I head to the restrooms before making my walk home. 
    When I walk out of the restroom, I see Ryann waiting.
    “Trevor …”
    I lean over

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