“Why are you here?” I ask as I sniffle.
“Have you been crying?” Kevin replies, setting the bowl down onto the coffee table.
Placing the backside of my hand under my nose, I lie. “It’s just a cold.” I reach for a box of tissues nearby.
“I don’t believe you.”
I turn back to him, raise my arm, and point toward the door. “You can leave,” I demand.
“Kat, please. Don’t shut me out. I thought…I thought we were in a good place with each other.”
I shake my head. “Don’t act like you want to be close to me. You and Jo are only using me as some sort of humanity project.”
“It’s not like that at all. We want to help you heal,” Kevin implores.
“I have Robitussin. I’ll be fine.”
“No, that’s not what I mean and you know it. We want to help you heal from what’s made you so bitter about life.”
“Why do you care?” I asked, agitated by his efforts.
“Because I do.”
I sit on the sofa with a huff. “I’m fine.”
“Kat, look at me. You are not fine. Just tell me why and I’ll listen.”
“I don’t need a protector.”
“That’s apparent from the ninja skills you performed the other night.”
I roll my eyes. “I don’t need a babysitter either. I am a grown up.”
Kevin sits beside me, a little closer than I’m comfortable with. “I don’t want to protect you. I don’t want to babysit you. I want to be your friend. Maybe, more than a friend.”
My eyes go wide. I have no response.
“I care about you and I don’t care if you want me to or not. I do and it’s out of my control. And I don’t care whether you believe that I care about you. I’m not trying to use you. Neither is Jo. We’re not going to give up on you–” he points a finger to his chest, “I’m not going to give up on you.”
I take in his words but quickly reject them. “Sometimes, giving up is not your choice to make,” I say, sternly, trying desperately hard not to cry.
“Whose choice is it then?” Kevin asks.
I look at him. “Whoever controls fate.”