The House

Chapter 10

Him

Gavin told his room what he could about his afternoon with Delilah without turning into a lovesick poet. How she had a thousand smiles, how she was smart and unafraid even though when she stood close to him, she was positively tiny. All around him, the room grew warm.

“I’m exhausted, though. Talking to her wipes me out. It’s like she just looks at me and it pulls every thought I have from my brain. I couldn’t keep a secret from her if I tried.”

The room cooled.

“She’s already been here, Room. She knows about all of you, so you’re not even a secret anymore. Plus, she thinks you’re all wonderful.”

The edges of Blanket lifted up, wrapping Gavin in its embrace. Who knew that the objects inside House could be collectively sensitive, so possessive, so meddling?

“Do you watch me when I’m out there?” He’d always wondered this, and the conversation with Delilah tripped that same curiosity again. When he was little, something from House would always accompany him on walks or to school. But as he grew older, he had the sense that House wanted him to feel like he could be independent, even if he was never really alone.

He suspected House did watch over him most of the time, though he never completely understood how. Through a network of trees or wires buzzing dully in the sky? He’d never bothered asking, because he’d never really cared before.

But now he needed to know whether he could be alone with Delilah if he wanted.

“Do you, House? Do you watch me all the time?”

The room didn’t warm or cool. The blanket neither tightened nor loosened. No answer.

“That’s what I thought,” he said quietly.