"Eli, we have to get through this eventually, and I'm going to be here every step of the way, okay? Everything will be fine."
I looked dubiously down at Clare. The prospect of cleaning my room, my sanctuary, out was beyond frightening. It was like being a child and having your favorite teddy bear torn from you and shredded. The thought of an empty clean room and all of my stuff – all of the memories of Julia- gone sent shivers down my spine but it was time to grow up.
I had to do this for Clare, but more importantly I had to do this for me.
Clare's trusting blue eyes gazed adoringly at my face, and I felt the rush of warmth fill every nook and cranny in me. I reached down, running my fingertips down the length of her soft palm before lacing my fingers in hers.
"Well then I guess we have a lot of work to do before Hotel Eli will be ready," It took effort to keep my voice light hearted and I knew Clare wasn't fooled, but thankfully she let it go without comment.
I led Clare upstairs, twisting the combination into the padlock on the door with the ease that came with a year of practice. The lock clicked open and the door opened as far as it could without toppling the stacks of old papers that stood erect behind it.
So far, my room had remained the same mess it had been ever since the day Julia had died. The only difference was the small space cleared for Clare and I to sit when we wanted a break from the work. Clare picked her way carefully through the messy disarray.
"I actually brought something for you, Eli," Clare smiled, hitching her bag off her shoulder and unzipping it.
"Oh yeah?" My curiosity peaked and I sank onto the bed next to her, leaning over her shoulder to get a better look at whatever the bag held .
Clare produced a fancy, brown leather bound journal thick with unused pages. "It's so you will never forget Julia. Everything we throw out, you can write the memory of Julia you have associated with it in here. That way you'll never lose her."
My lips curled up in an infectious smile, my gaze fixated on the comforter below us to disguise the garnet blush spreading across my cheeks. The gratitude for her gesture filled my core, raising gooseflesh on my skin.
I wrapped my hand overtop of Clare's, "Thank you, it's perfect," I murmured, gently taking the journal out of her hand and running my fingers down the smooth leather.
Clare leaned in, pressing her lips against my cheek, "Of course. Now. What goes first?"
This is sort of an experimental story that I think could be really interesting to write. It will include a lot of flashbacks of Eli and Julia as he throws out each thing as well as showing Eli growing stronger.
Good idea? Bad idea? Hate it? Love it?