Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about one character trying to sell something to another. That could be an idea or something more literal. I combined this with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of using ‘grill’ somehow in the post. I have Jonas here, trying to convince his family(particularly his older brother here) that he really is fine. But, will they actually buy it?
“I don’t know why you have to keep grilling me.” Jonas slumped down in the chair at the table.
“I don’t know why you think that’s what I’m doing.”
“That act might work with criminals, Toby, but I’ve known you for more than two decades. You don’t have me fooled. You’re trying to get a confession out of me.”
“We just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I told you I am. You and Mom both stood there and watched me take all my pills. Obviously I’m fine.”
Toby snorted. “Brother, you are so far from fine. You’ve been trying to act like you are for days, and we bought it because we wanted to believe it. Things wouldn’t have gotten so bad if you’d told us how you were feeling. But, no, you thought you had to act all tough.”
“I wasn’t acting,” Jonas grumbled.
Toby laughed softly. “You also didn’t tell us how you were reacting to those pain pills. Otherwise we might have realized it wasn’t typical, and you could have gotten them changed up sooner. How long will it take you to learn that if you have a problem, you can come to us?”
“I thought it was just the way it was.”
“You little fool,” Toby said, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Now, tell me how these ones are making you feel. If there’s a problem, we’d rather be able to know it before we find you passed out on the floor again.”
Jonas snorted out a bitter laugh. Yeah, he’d rather avoid that too. And be treated like an addict, when all he’d been trying to do was make the pain stop for a little while.
“Better,” he admitted. It helped that his brain wasn’t trying to convince him that the pain was about ten times worse than it actually was. “They don’t make me nearly as foggy as the others did, so I actually remember what I do after taking them.”
Toby stepped back and looked satisfied. “Good.”
“So you actually buy that I’m fine finally.”
Toby snorted. “Nope. You can sell that one as hard as you want, baby brother, but I’ll never buy it. And it’s okay. You don’t have to be fine all the time.”
“Why not? You are.”
Toby shook his head. “No, I just finally learned it’s okay to lean on someone else. I understand you’ve always been the one to help others. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with letting others help you now. It took me three decades and a wonderful woman to teach me that. But, I always figured you were smarter than me.”
“Well, at least I was able to sell you something.”
Toby chuckled and hugged his shoulders tight. “I’m so glad you’re still here.”
Jonas was, too. He was really glad his mistake hadn’t been fatal.