The stormy conditions outside made the wind blew hard which causes the palm tree branches to be whipped against the bedroom window, making a tap-tap-tap sound. Whilst Max, in a deep sleep, slept like a baby – sucking his thumb – Miranda was tossed & turned fitfully as she was having a nightmare then all of a suddenly, she was sat bolt upright in bed. Her blue eyes blinked in the dark, her heart racing so fast it felt like it would burst out of her chest.
Max doesn’t really notice that anything is off until Miranda flinches when the lightning flashes through the window. She is sprawled across his body; nose buried in his neck but he still feels the jump of her muscles every time his room is illuminated by the violent storm outside. His fingers stumble along her spine. Her nails dig into his ribs, clutching at him tightly.
“Miranda,” he murmurs. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine,” she says softly, pressing her lips to his skin. He relaxes into the mattress & lets his eyes wander to the window, content to watch the storm outside. The bright lightning flashes violently & then thunder is booming across the sky, shaking everything down to its very core. Miranda yelps & yanks the sheet over both of their heads. Her eyes are screwed tightly shut & her breath is coming out in short little spurts. She’s scared of storms. No, scratch that. She’s absolutely petrified. She’s nearly having a panic attack in his bed. He’s completely at a loss, so he does the first thing that comes to his mind. He scoots down on the mattress to bring his face eye-to-eye with hers, brushing her hair off of her cheek.
“Miranda,” he calls softly. Her scared blue eyes meet his but she isn’t seeing him. He finds her hand & laces their fingers together, trying to ignore the way hers are trembling. Oh, Miranda. “Hey,” he coaxes, bringing her back to him. “It’s ok.” Her voice is wavering when she says his name.
“Yeah. Yeah, you’re ok. You’re safe.” She lets out a shaky breath, then tugs on his hand & pulls his long body over hers, a human shield. Her arms curl around him tightly, keeping him there; just keeping him. There was a silent.
“It started when I was a little girl,” she begins quietly after a moment. “We were at the static caravan near a beach, one summer. It was pretty bad storming brewing & one of the big tree felled down nearly hit our van. I can still hear the sound of it splintering & hitting the ground right outside my window.” She takes a shallow breath. “I went into my parent’s room & I always woke my dad up whilst my stepmum slept & we went to the kitchen/living room area & he used to make me a hot drink & we used to sit on the couch.” She smiled softly at the memory. “& he just cuddled me until I fell asleep.”
“Oh,” he whispers, unconsciously holding her tighter & his smile grows & he brushes his lips across her forehead before growing serious again. “We can watch a movie if you need to.” She contemplates for a minute before shaking her head.
“I’m ok right here.”
“You’re sure?” She extends her neck to capture his lips.
“I feel safe.” He hears the unspoken with you that she didn’t clip onto the end of that sentence & he smiles against her mouth, pressing another kiss there. She doesn’t need to say it, because he hears it all. She struggled with a fear that isn’t easily overcome but with him, she feels brave enough to face it head on. With him, she is able to find her strength.