TITLE: If I Fall
I still had one week to back out. One week to come up with a way to tell Brian that he'd bought all of that climbing equipment for nothing. One week to dread the disappointed look I knew my brother would give me when I told him I still wasn't ready to go climbing outside.
Brian whistled an off-key rock song and I heard him clanking around his room like he'd been doing for the past fifteen minutes. I fell back on my bed and looked at the ceiling. My stomach twisted, its tightness climbing up my throat.
He'd been trying for months to explain how exhilarating it would be to feel the warm breeze across our skin, the rough rock under our fingers, the smooth flow of adrenaline through our veins. Way better than the controlled conditions in the rock gym.
But I liked control. Control was comfortable. Control kept me safe.
The whistling stopped and Brian tapped on my closed bedroom door. "Ready, Bren?"
I pulled myself off my bed and opened the door, trying to look normal.
Brian saw through me, as usual. "Hey, we'll focus on our technique a lot today and make sure you're ready for next week, okay?" His concern held an underlying tone of hope that I couldn't smash by putting off our outdoor climbing trip once again.
I tried to shake my worries away and followed him out of the house. We were just going to the rock gym, same as every Saturday.