Warning: This story mentions many of the feelings and thoughts that may go through a victim of PTSD’s mind. I am personally effected from 2 different sources of trauma and my life and brain is an absolute mess so I guess just be careful if you get triggered by PTSD - depression - self hate - thoughts (only thoughts) of self harm.
Ashton only drove down the road before be pulled over to give me one of my pills and a bottle of water. Once he was sure I had taken it, he drove and stayed silent. He has a habit of keeping the car in neighborhoods which he told me he does so I can be more comfortable. I don’t want to be alone in my own head but I don’t want to put Ashton through this.
“I’m sorry” I say, voice hoarse from crying.
“It’s not fair that you all have to tip toe around my problem. It’s not like any of you did this to me.”
“I don’t think any of us tip toed around anything just now.” He gives a half smile, trying to lighten the mood, it doesn’t work.
“The fact that you all carry at least one of my pills on you at all times just in case something happens isn’t normal. I don’t even have one of my own.” I’m frustrated at myself, at the situation, at my stupid head and this stupid idea that for some stupid reason just because Luke got mad at some stupid thing I did that he was going to hit me or or or….
“Is that you talking or is that the PT-” I’m relieved that I’m torn from that though but still upset.
“It doesn’t matter which one it is. All I am doing is being a shitty person and ruining things that I have no right to ruin. What the hell gives me the right to come in to Luke’s life and disrupt it all the time. Every single time I freak out, you all put your lives on hold and that’s fucked up. That’s not right, that…”
“That is what family does.” There is a certain tone that Ashton uses when he is stating a fact. He only uses it when he is positive that something is a fact so for him to use it now has me feeling worse.
“I don’t have a family.” My parents gave up on me the second time I was in the ‘home’ as they called it. They said that I was old enough to know how to handle my problems. I was an adult now and should realize it and stop being such a brat, starving for attention and an easy way to be lazy. High five, mom and dad! Great parenting.
“Did you ever stop to consider that Luke chose you for a reason. Out of all the humans that he could have picked, he picked you to be his girlfriend. When this happened to you, Luke didn’t give up like them. He stayed and we all stayed because that’s what a real family does. They come when you call for help the same way that you go to them when they need it.”
“How have I ever helped?” I don’t know what he is getting at but I’m curious to see.
“Easy” he laughs a deep belly laugh that actually makes me want to smile. I don’t, but I kinda want to. “You are always there when I get home sick and want to braid your hair like I used to with Lauren.”
“You cook us dinner all the time which saves us so much money and it’s comforting. Plus, we love watching you cook.”
“You watch me because you are scared if you do-”
“Last week, even though you were sleeping, you woke up and watched 3 movies with Michael until he fell asleep because he was sick.”
“He wouldn’t stop coughing, I had to help.”
“That’s what I’m talking about. You don’t actually have to do any of those things but you do them because you love us and you want us to be okay and happy and healthy. You do it even if you are sick yourself or tired or sad or having a problem. You’re talking like you have come in like a tornado and locked us all up but you haven’t.”
“In just one episode, I managed to run out on my boyfriend for just raising his voice, run away from my best friend who was only trying to help and pulled you from doing whatever you were doing. I don’t even give you the choice to help, I did just realize that Calum was helping. I didn’t have to bother you with this too. I bet if Michael was home, I would have fucked up his night too.”
“Just stop it with that” he breathes through his nose and lets it slowly out of his mouth. I’m sure Calum will be okay as soon as you are back to yourself and Luke, I bet he is just waiting for you to come home so he can fix it.”
“See? He shouldn’t have to fix anything at all, he isn’t the one who broke it…broke me” I’m frustrated again but the pill is making me sluggish.
“I didn’t mean it that way.”
“Every time I get scared, someone gets pulled back from doing something.”
“Can I tell you a secret?” He smiles as he pulls back up to the house. He must have realized that I’ve calmed before I did. I nod my head yes. “You don’t pull us back. Most of those times whichever one stays with you, didn’t want to do that activity. We don’t lose out because of you. You give us someone to hang out with when one of us doesn’t want to do it.” The car is in park and Ashton turns to me. We don’t move for several minutes but the door opens and Luke stands just inside. I look at my hands figuring out what to say.
“He wants to take away my freedom.” I’m finally able to say exactly what I’m feeling in a way they can understand.
“Is that how you see it?”
“Yes. How do you see it?”
“I see it as him trying his damn hardest to protect the girl he loves.” He shifts so his face is in my peripheral and I look at him. “I know you can protect yourself but that doesn’t mean you always have to. Let him take control every once in a while. Think of it this way, alright?” His tone is soft. “You know how you sometimes say that you need to feel needed? That you are scared that you could be replaced?”
“Yeah” I say, both of us upright now.
“He needs that too. He is scared that if you only need him for protection and if you don’t need him for that then what do you need him for?” My head snaps to look at Luke and his eyes dart between me and Ashton before he takes just one step outside the door.
“He.” I’m reaching for the door before I answer him. I understand what he means and my heart breaks a little more if that is possible. I don’t want Luke to ever think I don’t need him.
and although I’m uncomfortable, I don’t move. I keep my thoughts calm and tell myself that I have to allow Calum to hug me like this. I may feel trapped and out of control but Calum doesn’t see it the same. He needs to feel physical touch to confirm I’m near. He can’t protect me if he isn’t close enough to touch me. When the boys pull apart from me on either side, Luke ushers me inside with his hand playing in my hair.
“Can we have a movie night?” I ask, quietly, head against Luke’s side. Luke makes a small grunt in agreement and sits down next to me on the couch.I want to apologize for ruing their night and I want to tell them how much they mean to me but all I can do is sit there.
“Did you give me the big pill or th-” I pause for a large yawn “the small one?”
“Shh, just watch the movie” he answers. Before I know what movie we are even watching,I was asleep. I woke slightly as someone carried me but it wasn’t Luke, it wasn’t his scent. When I noticed I pushed back slightly to try and get down.
“It’s just me, sweets. Luke couldn’t carry you because his arm fell asleep.” Calum’s familiar voice sounded deeper through his chest.
“You should hav-”
“It’s fine. Just close your eyes” he stops momentarily to open the door with his foot.
“Nope. Don’t even go there. I’m not taking a sorry, I’m not giving one. It happened, it’s over.” He didn’t seem mad, just sure that he didn’t want to talk about it. It wasn’t like I was in a position to argue anyway. I fell Luke pull me to him some time later. I don’t know how I got lucky enough for these guys, but I’m going to have to do something to say thank you.
I know this is a bit different from the other 2 but I thought since we had a Luke part and a Cal part that we could try an Ash part. Let me know what you think - bad and/or good