"Mindy!" She faintly heard his voice. "Come on!"
Mindy groaned, turning on her side - but instead she hit a solid form. It was hard and muscular. Mindy felt her heart race as she peeled her eyes open.
He was tapping her shoulder from an odd angle, a worry line drawing his eyebrows together. Mindy looked up at him from his shoulder, trying her best to push off of him.
"You okay?" Mindy asked, catching on to his worried expression.
Tom watched her closely. "You were doing it again,"
"Breathing weirdly," Tom replied, frustrated.
Mindy nodded. "It's okay. It's supposed to happen. It'll go away,"
Tom looked slightly more relaxed, but Mindy could see that he was still troubled. He helped her sit up, keeping a hand on her arm. Mindy gently took her arm away, trying her best to breathe evenly.
Oh crap. Oh fudgenuggets. Mindy cursed to herself.
Each swallow of air came in harshly, and out like rasp. Mindy struggled to even out her breaths, placing a hand on her collar bone. Her chest felt heavy, like it was filled with lead. Mindy leaned her head back onto the couch, her throat aching.
Gasping, she felt it get worse. "Inhaler,"
Tom nodded, practically running over to the counter. A few seconds later he had returned, already ready to push the button. Mindy opened my mouth and the inhaler went in.
Mindy felt the usual spark of surprise as the medicine pierced her tongue. She breathed it in, feeling it course down her throat.
Mindy shifted from her uncomfortable position, sitting upright. She felt her head lighted slightly and finished off her deep breathing, trying to get Tom to take the inhaler out of her mouth.
"Tom!" She tried to say, but it was muffled.
Tom blinked. "Oh my gosh, I am so sorry,"
He took the inhaler out of Mindy's mouth, letting her breath. Mindy relaxed into the couch, her throat still feeling sore.
"The doctor said for me to give you this antibiotic every day," Tom said, handing her a pill and some water.
Mindy nodded, looking down at the pill. Oh gosh how she hated pills. Oh come on! Toughen up, buttercup. It's time to face the music!
Whatever that meant, Mindy thought as she took the pill in her hand and carefully placed it on the back of her younger, swallowing it with a gulp of water.
Mindy gagged. It didn't go all the way down. Holy crap it was stuck in her throat!
Mindy took her glass back from Tom, who had held it for her. Gulping down as much water as possible, Mindy gasped.
After guzzling the whole glass, Mindy panted on the couch. "It's stuck,"
"No, it's not. It only feels like it is. You really don't take pills, do you?" Tom asked.
Mindy shook her head, trying not to think about it. She hated pills. They were so awkward and overused.
Tom sat back down besides Mindy, rubbing her back with his fingertips expertly. Mindy let out a moan as she leaned into Tom's shoulder.
"How do you to that?" She groaned into Tom's shirt.
"My aunt was a massage therapist," Tom said, sounding uncomfortable.
He stopped for a moment, and Mindy felt like she was drowning. Why did he stop? Come back!
"What's wrong?" Mindy asked, trying to hide her disappointment.
Tom shook his head. "I just haven't heard from my aunt in a while. It's all good,"
Mindy frowned, her eyebrows turning in. "You never talk about your family. Tell me about them,"
Tom shifted so that Mindy was lying on her back, her head propped up on Tom's lap. Mindy relaxed, feeling comfortable and safe. She reached for Tom's hand, absentmindedly rubbing his knuckles with her thumb.
"Well," Tom started, clearing his throat. "My mom and Dad met in high school. She was a soccer jock and my dad was a straight A nerd.
"They were really good together. They loved each other. And my mom had me. I am obviously the oldest in the sibling range,"
Mindy didn't know that Tom had siblings, and felt stupid for not asking before.
"I have a little brother. He's fourteen right now. Cutest troublemaker you will ever find. But I used to have a little sister,"
"Used to?" Mindy asked, confused.
Tom nodded. "She died in childbirth. With my mom,"
His voice cracked. Mindy could tell that it was a sore subject. She found herself squeezing Tom's hand, attempting to comfort him.
Her heart broke for him. They both knew what it was like to have an unfinished family. Mindy smiled sadly at Tom, who returned the small gesture.
"Life really was never the same," he continued. "Dad didn't talk as much. Was much more carefree. That's why Jonas is how he is,"
"My little brother,"
Mindy nodded. "Right,"
Tom gave a small smile. "I've tried to forget it, you know? Tried to make it a part of my past that I never needed to look back at. But it haunts me, Mindy. It haunts me. I don't know how to get rid of it,"
"You can't get rid of it," Mindy commented quickly. "And you shouldn't. Things like these don't go away. But we need to know that they all - somehow - happen for a reason.
"I know it seems hard, I really do. But we have to push through it. Okay?"
Tom smiled down at Mindy. "As long as you are working with me,"
Mindy grinned goodly up at Tom, almost forgetting what they had been talking about. She looper he soft fingers with his long and nimble ones, letting out a small sigh.
Author Notes: Anyone think they are going too fast?
Anyway, I love y'all and hope to hear from you!