“I had a nightmare last night. I woke up and started writing…”
Jayla looked up when her youngest brother trailed off. His face looked slightly darker than usual. Like he was embarrassed by his admission. “You still doing that journaling stuff?”
He shrugged one shoulder. “Gail and the therapist both say it’s good for me.”
Jayla tried not to let the resentment surface at the mention of the woman’s name. She understood, really she did, why that woman and her husband hadn’t wanted to take her in along with her younger siblings. They hadn’t tried to block her access to them and had given them a good home. Something Jayla never would have been able to give them. She still couldn’t even if she was in a better place now, but she still needed to get through college and find a job and a house. And by then even the youngest, Alexa, would just about be out of school.
“Then, you should probably keep it up. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.” She wished someone had given her tools to handle her own nightmares better. Sometimes it didn’t even feel like they went away when she woke up. “Did you want to talk about it?”
He met her eyes for a moment then shook his head. “No, I’m fine now.”
If he wouldn’t talk about it with her, it probably had to do with Mica. And that time in her past she’d rather just forget about. He and Maddix had been old enough to have an idea what was going on, and what their older brother had sacrificed his life for. Alexa had been kept insulated from that as much as she could be. Jayla was thankful for that at least. She didn’t want her baby sister to lose her innocence the way she had. She was nearly the same age Jayla had been when her own nightmare had started.
Jayla would do whatever she could to protect the young girl from ever having to face that. That was a promise she swore to herself she’d never break.