Before You, Always

“Don’t be afraid.”

He was a trembling mess of bones and skin on the floor. The only movement he made was unintentional – shaking fingers, shivering spine. When he looked up to respond to that calmest of commands, it felt like someone else was speaking through his mouth.

“Don’t be afraid? Don’t be afraid? I’m terrified. I can’t do this. I can’t.”

She flashed him one of those effortless, dreamy smiles.”Yes,” she said softly. “You can.”

“…How can you sound so sure?”

She held out her hand, offering to help him up. “Because I know you better than you know yourself,” she said. He stared at her outstretched fingers. He was still shaking when he took them.

“I’m going before you.”


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