Moonlight spilled in through the wavy window panes and sheer curtains, casting soft blue over the bedroom.
Sleepless, I studied my surroundings—the aged family photos, the antique dresser, the stenciled ladder-back rocking chair—and found the sense of permanence they offered somewhat comforting. Knowing one of the matriarch’s of his family had sewn each green and blue patch by hand made the quilt feel like an embrace, and I held it tight like a security blanket.
I didn’t know Josh. We’d barely spoken since I’d opened my eyes. He didn’t know me either. I didn’t even know me. Still, the faint sound of his breathing in the next room reminded me I wasn’t alone, that my protector was nearby. I guess when you desperately need a hero, you’ll attach that title to anyone who’ll wear it.
He hadn’t turned me away or betrayed me when I begged him not to call the sheriff even though I couldn’t give him a reason why. In my desperate state, that made him my champion. Even so, I was panicked and fighting to remain still while every part of me wanted to run.
It’s okay. You’re okay. He’s right in the next room. He’ll hear you if you scream. He won’t let anyone hurt you.
I repeated those words in my head over and over, but while they kept me from bolting out the door, they did nothing to bring me peace. The night seemed endless. If not for the sound of his breathing and the tick-tick-tick of the clock, I would have thought time itself stood still...