Only Forever

Page 105

Chapter 32
Cheer up – to help someone who is heartbroken and miserable be less miserable by stuffing her full of food and drink while watching movies
Igrunt when someone bounces on my bed.
“Leave me alone,” I order without bothering to lift my head to check who it is. It’s obviously one of my sisters. Anyone else breaking into my apartment wouldn’t bother bouncing on the bed.
“Nope. You’re heartbroken,” Ashlyn says. “We’re here to cheer you up.”
I lift my head to glare at her. “How do you know?”
“Beckett told us,” Cassandra calls from the hallway.
I groan and cover my head with the blanket. “Leave me alone.”
Ashlyn rips the blanket away. “Not happening. Sorry. Not sorry.”
“Why do you say you’re sorry if you’re not sorry?”
“It’s an expression.”
“It’s a confusing expression. The whole purpose of an expression—”
“Don’t change the subject.” Ashlyn sniffs. “I think we should force her into the shower before the cheering up portion of the evening can begin.”
“Are you experiencing a keener sense of smell?” I frown. “It’s appalling how lacking the research regarding pregnant women and their sense of smell is.”
“No reason to get on your high horse about the unconscious bias in research studies. Her sense of smell hasn’t increased,” Juniper says as she strolls into my bedroom. “I think you stink, too.”
I lift my t-shirt and sniff it. “I don’t smell anything untoward.”
“Welp! It’s happened. Little Lilac has changed into a real girl.”
I glare at Aspen. “I’ve always been a girl. We took baths together all the time as children. Have you forgotten?”
“I haven’t forgotten a thing, but you’ve obviously forgotten how to clean yourself.” She hauls me out of my bed and pushes me toward the bathroom. “Come on. Get in the shower. We’ll arrange your cheering up while you clean yourself.”
I want to argue with her, but she might have a point. I called in sick to work the day after my confrontation with Beckett and I haven’t been back since. It’s been three days and I haven’t showered, let alone got out of bed.
I should probably be using this experience to study the effect of emotional trauma on a person, but I’m having a hard time caring about science at the moment. I don’t think I credited women who were experiencing heartache yet continued to function as adult humans enough in the past.
I quickly shower. I may agree with the need to clean myself, but I am not allowing my sisters to roam around my home unchaperoned for too long.
When I enter the living room, it’s stuffed with people. In addition to my sisters, Beckett’s sisters are here. I want to tell everyone to go away and leave me to my misery, but I can’t. This is the West family ritual.
“What happens now?”
“We need to find what drink is your poison,” Ashlyn says.
“I don’t want any poison.”
“Stop being literal. She means what alcoholic beverage you enjoy when you’re depressed,” Aspen explains.
“I don’t know,” I admit. “I don’t suffer from depression.”
Juniper indicates my body with a flick of her hand. “You’re suffering from it now. Unwillingness to bathe and wash your hair are symptoms.”
“We can force feed you various drinks until you find one you enjoy,” Elizabeth suggests. I raise an eyebrow at her. Force feed? “I mean you can try.”