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The sun is peeking through the clouds, leaving the wind cool and refreshing. The hospital doesn't fit the mood of the day. It looks like a penitentiary, something I've always wanted to see for my own amusement, but never actually cared about searching out. The walls are old and brick, uniformed pieces carefully woven together into a flawless design. It seems indestructible, stable, except for the few cracks, hardly noticeable to the naked eye. The missing pieces expose the layered texture underneath, cold and stale. Its vulnerability to the weather has worn it down over the years. When I walk inside the front sliding doors, I find in myself an overwhelming sense of confusion. Everything looks beautiful. The nurses walking around seem happy. The walls look as if they were just painted, and are a light sky blue. Everything is organized and clean. I would have never guessed that such an awful looking place could be so pleasant. Still, I remember why I'm here. The threat of a smile disappears as I am lead gracefully to Heather's room. She is dying. I can't believe this is happening, I think to myself, trying to hold back the tears that keep attempting to slide down my face. I shouldn't have stood by while you got worse. I open my eyes to see Heather, still lying on the hospital bed, motionless. The air is so silent. The only thing that breaks through it is the sound of the heart monitor they've cleverly attached her to. The steady beating reassures me that she is still alive, but haunts me with the fact that she is still here in this prison. "How are you doing, honey?" My mom asks from the doorway, breaking my train of thought. How long has she been standing there, watching me? Watching this?I quickly wipe the few tears away that escaped down my cheek and grab Heather's lifeless hand. I try to sound brave, throwing out "I'm fine." It feels like I'm pushing the words from the pit of my stomach. I sniff. "I want to make sure that I don't miss her when she wakes up." I drift away from this conversation, noticing the expression on Heather's sleeping face. It almost seems peaceful. Maybe she has finally escaped what she's been running from. My mom seems anxious. I can't see her because my chair is facing away from the door, but I can feel her. I can feel the tension in her. She breaks the silence again by saying, "They said it may take a couple of days for her to wake up. She really hurt herself this time." She walks over and puts her hand on my shoulder, trying desperately to reassure me by her warm touch that things are going to be fine. "Why don't you come home? You need some rest. You've been here for two days watching over her." She waits for any response from me, but I let the silence stream through the air again. I feel like such a bad friend for even considering it. I am so tired, but I can't leave her. It is my fault she's here. "No," I begin in a defeated tone. "I'm going to stay here with her until she wakes up." My mom squeezes my shoulder and kisses me affectionately on the top of my head.
directly in front of me (with his back toward me). I'll never forget the expression on her face. lowered at my side. It's now like the moment is frozen in time. His eyes are clear red and stare through you. I don't even know if I can touch him. and so he wanted her to have it. watching silently. For the first time since I was very young. The spirit is perched on the back of the couch. There is no time. I lay here in agony for half an hour. before we started…started seeing them. but it is not a moment. Heather is crouched in the center of the room with the dagger her dad bought her in India. Tears are trying to escape my eyes. I lay my head on the crisp white hospital sheets. I don't want you driving right now. Why aren't I moving? She breaks her frightened stare on him to look over at me. I lay in the silence. I can't use it. We are all stuck in this moment. it is only a split second in time. but her affection comforted me somehow. but I wouldn't know what it feels like because I've never touched him. only taller with pitch black skin. One by one. screaming "Help…me…" without making a sound. "Okay mom. waiting to strike. and I doubt I'll ever see anyone this frightened ever again. I'm trying so hard to think of the good times we had had when we were younger. I can't move or even breathe." She starts walking towards the door as she's finishing her sentence. and I never plan on it. he bought it for her because he thought it was pretty. He tried to attack Heather before. They look as though they can read your thoughts if you stare back for too long. feeling Heather breathing beside me. Why aren't they moving? I suddenly realize the irony of my situation. My mother and I never get along. right next to Heather's stomach. Before I know it. . No thoughts run through my head. No one is moving. I have a large kitchen knife in my hand. He isn't what you'd think of when you think about evil spirits. She was also paralyzed."Okay hunny. focused completely on Heather. the trails of tears eventually fade away. but call me if you decide you want to come home. waiting for the others to make their move. but she sliced through the air at him. making them both retreat to the places they stay motionless at now. seemingly for minutes." I look over my shoulder at her to catch the last half of her smile as she walks out the door. Little did he know that she'd need it so badly one day. I really feel like she is my mom. I hear nothing but the beeping of the heart monitor again. She searches through my dazed expression for an answer. I've never seen anyone this frightened before. more trailing down old paths after the last fit before my mother came in. The texture of it seems scaly. He didn't know why he'd bought it for her. drive safe. ***** I am in the corner of the room. He looks like a man. I'm paralyzed with fear and indecision.
As it becomes harder and harder to breathe. sliding down my neck and slipping on my shirt. its starting again. I'm so sorry. Heather. When he stabilizes enough to hold himself up. Squatting on the table. he peers at me with pure anger.Then she looks back at him. I raise my head from Heather's side to look at her. They wrestle on the floor. trying to be strong for her. But I know the truth…it is already too late. He turns his head back around again and flies at Heather. both scrambling like wild dogs. Don't look at me like that. "I never meant to scare you. He looks at me blankly for a few seconds before hysterically laughing at me." I started. I hold her in my arms. I can't let this happen to her! I run at them. Tears begin to well in my eyes. The spirit squeals in pain. no. What was that? What did I do? What did I say? I don't even know what language that was…Suddenly I look down at Heather. very snake-like." I start heaving. I think. What the hell am I supposed to do?! I consistently ask myself like an autistic child stuck on a thought. standing there with the knife still raised at my side. I don't really realize what I've done. "I'm so sorry!" I whisper to the sleeping body. She's never fought anyone before. I'm breathing heavily with my eyes transfixed on the wall where he disappeared. he closes his eyes to yell at me in unrestrained anger. Tears are still trying to escape. a few slip out down my cheek. She's looking at me with a worse horror than she looked upon the spirit with. ***** My eyes are closed. When I try to stand to call the nurse. and peers at me. The sound that comes out of his mouth is a lion and an angry man. At the top of my lungs I exclaim "N'eish de h'eai m'a!" and stab him. He must know what she's doing because he swings his head around. "Please. Finally my rage overtakes me. I search frantically around the room for my inhaler. He opens his eyes and disappears into the wall. It sends chills down my spine. dropping the knife and trying not to cry. I wake up crying out. "No. I'm so frightened. screaming angrily. She is shaking and crying. I fall to the floor." I run to her. I stand before the two of them on the carpet and point the ridiculously large kitchen knife at the spirit. This isn't about you! I can feel him thinking. I blink emptily. He flies back and seizures on the table. she doesn't know how to fight. Oh no. I remember… . I can hear Heather's screams and see her shiny dagger flying through the air. dropping to the floor beside her. My will versus the actuality of the situation are tearing me into pieces.
And I never did anything to help her. I look behind me at the door. I didn't know what to do. but unnerves me. I walk towards her to sit across from her (so the candle is in between us) and stare into the candle as she does. I haven't been real sure si-since it happened. "I have no idea where we are. She is slender and pale. lit candle with her eyes transfixed on it. How could I possibly know where I am?"No. But these things fail in comparison to her eyes. unsure tone. her deep. I can feel the silence on the air. She makes me feel so guilty. if not completely. and she couldn't cope with that on top of all her other perceptions of things changing so rapidly. I feel weak. Even though she is sitting down. "I have to make sure I'm alive. I can tell that she is tall. I look at her. Her skin seems to be-glowing. It isn't all that comforting. as if asking "Are you you again. "Feeling the blood run helps me believe its all real. Suddenly I realize I have no idea where I am." I hate her for looking at me like that. surprisingly enough. I think. so I look back at the candle. I have a sudden feeling that I'm not in Heather's hospital room anymore." . Heather started cutting herself. I'm not even sure she is human. I changed. Why am I lying down? I stand. one door. there is a woman sitting cross-legged in front of a small. No. How do I know you? I obviously have never seen you before. Her hair and nails peek out from the large black cloak and hood she is wearing. Shit. My thoughts quiet down. frightening me.After that day. It's dark with only a faint light. white." I hated the way she'd always look at me after saying that. beautiful voice vibrating through the silence. It makes her distrust me some. you know?" She'd always say in a shaky. I don't know why I can tell she is female. There are no windows. her eyes are still closed and she is concentrating completely on this conversation. I hesitantly open my eyes. then ahead of me to the woman. Both are long and well trimmed. and I changed what she thought of as real. how did I get here? What is this place? The feeling of being lost doesn't frighten me. or that person I saw fighting?" It's as if she thought that I might have turned into one of those spirits by trying to fight it off." I say in a shaky tone. They are bright silver. I know it's my fault that things have come to this in her eyes. In the middle of the room. I look at her. Are you another spirit? Are you here to kill me too?These ideas pass through my mind like flickers in the flame before me. and there was a breeze coming in. They have some intense mystic quality to their light that draws you into them. What is happening? "Do you know where I am?" She asks. What a ridiculous question. every time. I would have remembered the sense of your being. I lowered my head to the floor and stared off into nothingness. I feel my inner voice bouncing with laughter. She closes her eyes. unable to contain my thoughts while this being before me radiates with perfect calm and clarity. I know you. I left the window open. they don't look real.literally.
everything makes sense. The tears start flooding my eyes. She continues. being punished for her difference. Is that not a wonderful thing?" Everything in my mind suddenly stops. "You've already made one choice. and I'm unable to contain . You've chosen to live with the guilt. sitting here in this nothingness." What is that supposed to mean? I look up at her with a lack of a better response. exaggerated exhale. She opens her eyes to look at me. "Is her misinterpretation of things your fault?" She poses. "You are dying." I look back into the flame. It always made me feel as though I'm not in control of my own body. She breaks her gaze by closing her eyes again. and fear that I've been trying to hide from myself suddenly flood the surface. down my cheeks. My entire body stops beating for a second." I confess with a long. What can I do? I don't know where I am. I hate this! I can't bear the burden of this! She poses an idea that I don't want to consider. "You were brought here because you have a choice. as if there were no way to turn away from the discomfort." I look down. "It was my fault. "That isn't how she observed things. "I can never forgive myself for that. How could it be wonderful to be hopelessly different? She opens her eyes and stares into me. choking. waiting for an answer as I blink emptily at her. "Perhaps she's been 'alone' all along? Perhaps her seeing you as you truly are only helped her to realize that she is different from everyone." She closes her eyes again. surprised at being winded. I'm not dying. "Does this not release her from the obligation to try to be like everyone else. I'm dying…The tensity in me feels like it is going to explode. Oh no. The silence penetrates me as she thinks to herself. There is no way to escape it. for which I am thankful. if she knows she can't?" She keeps staring. "I don't know what to do. First I searched frantically for the inhaler. The look she gave me. She thought it meant that she is secluded from the world. "This is a place between places. then I collapsed on the floor. All the feelings of guilt. but you are not dead yet. This is not possible. it is my fault. letting me grasp exactly what she is saying. The intensity of her stare sends chills down my spine through my soul." She stops and waits. There is only me. I look down at the candle. Calm floods through us both." I close my eyes. I don't know if I'll ever return. I never liked that feeling. fighting back tears again.Then an image of me in the hospital flashes before me." She pauses. You can live or you can die. I don't know what to do." She holds her eyes on me. My heartbeat quicken alarmingly. shame. feeling the aches of my broken heart."This is not earth. I stumble over my words. Heather is. What? How profound. until I realize what she said. She interrupts my thinking. I don't know why I'm here. The intensity of the moment dies down a little so I can breathe. A lingering silence fills the air. Wh-what? I'm dying? She's mistaken.
I awaken. I climb into the chair. the same compassion I looked upon myself with. This time I look at her with compassion." She smiles. I rise to open the window a little more. I've never seen one so beautiful. exaggerated gulps of air as I try to stumble back to my chair from the hospital floor. We say together. and why I don't have to. I smile through the river. I feel an overwhelming sense of compassion for myself. I calm as I look at Heather. None of this is my fault. As my eyes open. The sky is so beautiful. and she is still alive. "all I can do is try to help her see the obviousness of my truths.them. I shield them from the light. She stays motionless in front of me. I need to cry. I understand why I feel so much sorrow. . The heart monitor is still beeping steadily. I take in huge. another cool morning breeze slips in through the screen. This is the reason I'm still alive. Suddenly. As I do. still panting. ***** I can breathe. The sun is coming in through the window. It doesn't matter. wiping my cheeks.
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