Searching for Home: Chapter 20

searching5homeTitle: Searching for Home
Authors:
Chelle and Nikki
Rating:
PG

Taylor glanced up, seeing that she was right. Her eyebrows were knitted and she had a true expression of part fear and part worry on her face. He felt sorry for not having told her from the beginning. Taylor wiped his hands on his napkin and then took a deep breath.

 Chapter 20

“Brianna, promise me that we can stay friends.” Taylor said without looking at her.

Brianna felt a knot in her stomach. It had mostly been small talk about everything but the reason for this dinner up until this point. With every minute that passed, both Taylor and Brianna grew more nervous and uncomfortable, but both for different reasons. Taylor had just broken an awkward, silence.

“Yes, we’ll stay friends. Taylor, please. Whatever it is just tell me. You’re starting to worry me ya know.”

Taylor glanced up, seeing that she was right. Her eyebrows were knitted and she had a true expression of part fear and part worry on her face. He felt sorry for not having told her from the beginning. Taylor wiped his hands on his napkin and then took a deep breath.

“It has something to do with your mother. Just partly though.” He said quietly.

That statement caused Brianna’s interest to get higher. “What?” She asked, her voice a little bit louder.

“Remember I told you about that dream I had about you?”

“Uh huh.” Brianna nodded.

“I didn’t tell you the whole thing.”

“What didn’t you tell me?”

“The lady, your mother. She was talking to me. She kept saying things like ‘Go talk to her.’ and ‘She needs to know.’ It was really strange. When I saw the pictures of your mother, I knew that was her. She was the one in the dream. She kept saying ‘Go tell her.’ And whenever I asked what I was supposed to tell you, she’d just smile. It finally hit me what it was she was telling me to tell you, why she kept telling me to go talk to you.”

Brianna’s eyes were wide and she was listening intently to Taylor. She barely noticed that he had stopped talking as his words slowly floated through her mind. She quietly asked, “What? What was it that she wanted you to tell me?”

Taylor said something. His head was down and he had said it so softly that Brianna couldn’t even make sense of his statement. Although she tried hard without having to ask him to say it again. She could tell that whatever he had said was hard for him to say and she had the thought that he didn’t want her to hear him.

“Taylor?” Brianna said softly. Taylor glanced up. “I’m sorry but I didn’t hear you. What did you say?”

Taylor nearly fell off of the chair. Oh you have got to be kidding me! Taylor thought. I have to say it again. He knew that saying it out loud would never get any easier if he couldn’t do it now. So, he took a deep breath and said the words again.

“I love you.”

Brianna blinked a few times and then put her hand to her face. “Oh wow.” she let out a shaky sigh. “Uh, you mean as a friend right?”

“No, I mean that I have loved you since I met you. I really, really care about you. All I’ve ever wanted is to tell you that and I wanted to protect you from what you were going through. I wanted to make you feel like everything was going to be alright, that I would take care of you.”

“Taylor…”

“Brianna, I haven’t had these feelings for anyone since Andrea. When she left, I didn’t think I’d ever love someone again. I thought it’d just be me and Trixie for the rest of my life. Andrea took away all of my trust in people. But I trust you. At work, I was always barely able to get through the day. I constantly thought about you and I lived for the times when you and i would pass each other in the hallway.”

“Taylor…”

“I know we agreed on just friendship, especially with us working together, but I can’t. All this time I’ve spent with you has only made it worse. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long. And then all that stuff with your mom and everything, I knew I couldn’t tell you then. It would have been too much for you. I can’t hold it in anymore though. I really think I’m in love with you. Now whatever you want to do with that information is completely up to you. But I had to tell you. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you sooner and I’m sorry to spring this on you.”

“Taylor…”

“I really think we can make this work. If you want to try.”

“Taylor…”

“Brianna I know that…”

“TAYLOR! Would you let me say something please!” Brianna quickly lowered her voice as she began to giggle. “I’m sorry but you just wouldn’t let me stop you.”

Taylor snickered, trying to suppress his laughter. He realized that he’d been somewhat rambling and that Brianna had been trying to say something. “I’m sorry. What did you want to say?”

“Well,” Brianna put her hands down from her face, as she had covered them to hide her slight embarrassment.

“I wanted to say, that, I really care about you too. I’m not sure if I can call it love, but there’s something there. I’ve never been able to deny that. It’s just that… it’s weird. I mean, what would Zac and Isaac think? Wouldn’t they be uncomfortable working with us and us being together. And Trixie.”

Taylor smiled. Another thing that he’d begun to love about Brianna was her concern for other people before concern for herself.

“Zac and Isaac can deal with it. I mean, Andrea worked with us for a while. And Trixie, well, what about her?”

“I guess so. But Trixie, how will she handle it? I don’t want her having a hard time or hating me because she thinks some girl has come to take her daddy away from her.”

Taylor laughed. “She won’t. I can explain things to her.”

“But Isaac…”

“What about him?”

“He’s already told me that he didn’t want anything going on in the office. He told me that a while ago. That if we wanted to spend time together that we needed to keep it out of the office.”

“So we will. We’ll just be sure and get our work done and he’ll be fine with it. He’s just a perfectionist and workaholic. He doesn’t want anything to keep one of us from not doing our job or slacking off. That’s all he meant.”

“Taylor, I just…”

“Tell ya what. Let me talk to Isaac and Trixie and if I think there’s gonna be a problem then we can stay friends, and forget this conversation ever happened, alright? It may be difficult but it’ll be worth it for us to not mess everything up. We’ll just have to deal with it the best we can.”

Brianna smiled and nodded. “Good, so for now, we’re friends.” Taylor said, raising his eyebrows. “If we’re gonna be working tomorrow we better try to get soem rest.”

Taylor flaged down the waitress for the bill and he and Brianna stood up and walked over to pay the cashier. They walked out and got into Taylor’s car. As he drove back to her apartment, Taylor kept the conversation casual and light, not ever bringing up their previous conversation. He walked Brianna to her door and with a smile and quick hug, they said goodnight.

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Brianna caught herself smiling when she started to dry her hair. She had just gotten out of the shower and was standing in front of her bathroom mirror wearing a pajama set. She was rubbing through her hair with a towel.

Soon her smile faded though. She couldn’t stop thinking about Trixie and Isaac. She was sure there was something that would keep her and Taylor from going any farther than friends. She knew Taylor was right about Isaac. His concern would be what happened at work.

But Trixie. Brianna didn’t think that Taylor would go against his daughter’s wishes and couldn’t ever ask him to. It would be hard but if his daughter didn’t want them together for whatever reason, then they wouldn’t be. Brianna knew she’d have to accept that and not pursue anything if there was any possibility that Trixie would have a hard time. It had been just her and Taylor for a long time and Brianna wanted to be in that picture but she was in no way willing to force her way in. She took a deep breath and quickly combed through her hair. With it still damp, she climbed into bed and laid down.

“Oh momma. I wish you were here. I need you to tell me what to do.” Brianna said out loud to the picture of her mother. She then glanced at the small photo of Anna and Ray together that was framed next to the photo of her mother. She had placed them side by side.

“I wish any of you were here. Why did you all have to leave me?” Brianna felt tears coming to her eyes and willed them away. She had certainly cried enough about her family in her mind and wasn’t going to anymore if she could help it. She reached up and turned off her lamp. It wasn’t long before she was asleep.

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“Brianna.” The voice called softly. “Briiannnnaaa!”

Brianna glanced up and looked around. She saw her. As beautiful as she ever was… her mother.

“Oh Brianna. There you are.” Julie laughed. “Now it’s time for bed.”

“But…” Brianna started to protest.

“Now I’ve already told you that everything will be alright. Don’t be worried.” Julie said.

Brianna realized she was in her house, her old house. The house where she grew up.

“Brianna, it’ll be alright.” Her mother said in a soothing voice.

“Momma, I’m really scared.”

“It’ll be alright.”

“But what if…”

“Shhhh, Don’t worry. Come on now, come to bed.” Julie’s arm stretched out. Brianna took her hand and Julie led her to her old bedroom. “Don’t worry.” she said softly as Brianna climbed into bed. “It’s going to be alright.” Brianna laid down and calmly shut her eyes. Her mother stroked her hair and continued to whisper “Don’t worry. It’ll be okay.” Brianna felt herself drift to sleep.

Suddenly, Brianna sprang straight up in bed. Her heart racing and her breaths fast and short. After a moment, she turned over. She glanced at the picture of her mother as she laid back down. As her breathing began to slow, she smiled.

“Thank you momma.” She said as she reached over and pulled the photo onto her chest. She laid there for a few minutes, just holding the photo close to her. She then placed it back onto the night table and turned on her side to face it. Within a few minutes, she had fallen back to sleep.

*Chapter 19 / Chapter 21*
*Go Back to Chapters Index*

This fictional story is hosted at Gifted Ones
with permission from the author Chelle.

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