I was staring out the window, my back turned towards the door. I wrapped my arms around myself, and for the first time in a long time, I just let myself cry. I was just so tired.
Someone knocked on the door and pushed it open at the same time. As quickly and discreetly as I could, I wiped my cheeks dry.
“Logan? Hey, I wanted to talk to you.” At least it wasn’t one of my brothers. It was Chuck, from next door. “Logan?” He repeated, this time sounding more concerned than curious.
I plastered on my most convincing fake smile, and turned around to face Chuck. “Hey there, I was just getting a moment of silence.” Chuck wasn’t fooled.
“Logan,” he said simply, and crossed the space between us in three quick strides, and pulled me into a hug carefully. He didn’t say any of those stupid things that people have been saying to me all week. He didn’t say “It’s going to be alright,” or ask me what was wrong. He just wrapped his arms around me and held me as I cried again. I rested my head against his chest. I was vaguely aware of the fact that I was leaving a nasty wet tear spot on his shirt, but I couldn’t make myself care.
“It’s just so much, Chuck. It’s my weight to bear, and I will, but I didn’t ask for it and it’s just so much.”
He waited for a moment, before gently pulling me away, just far enough so that he could look me in the eye, but keeping me close enough that I was still in his arms.
“Logan, you are the strongest person I know. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through. But until I walked into this room I wouldn’t have even guessed you were having trouble with it. Now, I’m not stupid enough to think it caused you no stress or hardship, but you don’t let it show. I understand you don’t want your brothers to see you crack, but I want you to know right now, you don’t have to stay strong for me if you don’t want to. If you ever need a moment to just be a little weak or let it out, I’m here for you, okay?”
I nodded. In the moment, I didn’t think that I as going to take him up on that offer again. Right here, right now, yes, I needed Chuck. But I had absolutely no intention of breaking again.