"WHY are you looking at me like that? "
Eddie and Nate had just taken a table at The Gravitude and Nate had a perplexing look on his face.
"I'm weighing the consequences of giving someone with a head injury a beer verses refusing one to someone who most likely needs one. "
"Dude, I've gotten worse on the slopes. Besides, it's been, what, almost an hour now. I got a slight bump. I don't have a concussion."
"OK. ONE beer.,
"One beer. Fine . "
They placed their order and sat in silence for a while. Eddie really didn't know what to say, and Nate seemed content to let him sit in silence. Finally Eddie broke the silence.
"What did Pierce have to say? "
"The usual. He'd prefer Brodi get evaluated at the hospital behavioral unit, but, it's not like anyone's making any trips tonight. "
Eddie nodded, "And what do you think? "
Nate took a sip of his beer and studied Eddie for a moment. "I think that if he wakes up coherent, we can let him make that decision. He knows he has PTSD. He usually manages it pretty well. This stalking thing is still fresh. It's brought up a lot of ugly memories for him. He just need to regroup. "
Eddie nodded. "I never realized until today just how bad it must have been. Even after Lauryl showed up, I think I just assumed it was a college crush gone overboard. I never realized..." Eddie's eyes went wide. "The scars on his arms...she did that, didn't she? "
Nate nodded but said nothing.
"Man. I.." Eddie sighed, took a swig of his beer, then took a deep breath to start again. "I'm going to be honest here. It's going to sound douchey, and you can punch me in the face afterwards. "
Nate narrowed his gaze . "OK."
"When I look at someone Brodi's size. ..he's huge, he's built like a tank..and I think about them being victimized, especially so violently...it honestly scares the hell out of me. I mean, look at me. It wouldn't take much to take me down. "
"Maybe not. .."
"That's not encouraging. And as far as his PTSD, how do I know how to not trigger it? What if I touch him in a way that flips him out? How do I know what his triggers are? I've already made the situation worse, how do I keep it out of the toilet? What do I I'll..."
"Whoa, slow down, dude. As far as the first thing, I can't answer to that. I could walk outside right now and fall off a cliff or get hit by a car. .."
"Again, not encouraging. "
"My point is, sometimes random things happen. All we can do is keep our eyes open. None of this is Brodi's fault. He didn't ask for Miss Fatal Attraction."
"I didn't say I was blaming him. I said I was uncomfortable."
"Uncomfortable is heaven compared to what he's going through. Now, as far as knowing what triggers him, just ask him. I'm sure he'd rather tell you than flip out on you."
"But he's never talked about any of this before. "
"SHE JUST SHOWED UP A MONTH AGO. Stop bringing your ego into this. "
Edie looked down, realizing he was acting like a jilted friend again.
"So...what do I do? "
"Do you really regret telling him you'd rather stay in the dark? "
"Yes. " He said without hesitation.
"Then prove it to him."