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Nicib
April 22nd, 2015, 10:15 PM
An excerpt from what I hope to a full length novel someday.. lol, maybe someday...

Chapter 3


My head hurts. Did I smack it into something? I'm trying to piece together why I was in my bed, if I was really just asleep, and why do I have this sensation that I've seriously cracked my skull. I start to notice it's no longer light outside as I begin to shift around in bed and just as I've realized I missed my chance to meet Mickey and get out from under this endless spanning roof, I spot him. He's propped himself up in a chair against the corner, asleep. I can't help but smile, he had to have given Kelli so much hell to get her to let him stay in here. I just stare at him, trying to figure out what happened. Last thing I remembered was running from the classroom. I can still feel a hint of seething anger lingering in my blood and then I recall everything. The standing up, the running, and the colliding into an burly orderly and then hitting the ground... with my head. I sigh and shift back down into the bed, I'm certainly not going anywhere now. I wonder if Mickey was disappointed, he probably was. I'm trying not to think about why I even freaked out. I'm so used to being numb, that when I do feel the slightest bit of anything, it's rage. Rage that I'm alive, that I exist at all. I shouldn't be here. Why doesn't anyone else get that?

I watch the steady rise and fall of Mickey's chest. The way he's positioned, his breath is steady but quiet. It's barely a whisper in the dark. I wonder if he is always so quiet, or if he snores like most men do, like a passing freight train. I'm reminded of a time I had forgotten. As I roll onto my back again, I hear it...

"You've never been camping in the winter? It's better actually, just need a little heat," he says.
The way he says heat, it feels like he's devouring me with his eyes and smile. I think if he'd have winked, I would have burned into a full blush. I can't stifle a small knowing laugh. "I think I have more than a little."
He chuckles and it blooms across my skin, straight into my heart. I'd swear we'd only know each other a short little while, but I was already in love. I loved this man. It was so much different than anything I had ever felt before....

And then I feel a shift in the room and drift back into myself. An ache settles in my chest as I further recall that trip with him. The slightest bit of rain... the quiet air around us... the hike up and the over the rivers edge... the way his eyes bore into mine... the way we played cards and he touched me... the feel of moaning into his mouth as he pushed into me... and then listening to him sleep... I start to settle myself before the ache in my chest expands to the rest of me. I look over at Mickey, he's moved slightly. He looks so uncomfortable in that small chair and his tall frame. I wonder briefly if I'm allowed to get up and then I think, I don't even care. I just want to feel safe tonight.

*****

"Mickey, I told you you could stay in the chair, not in her bed... Out. Now."
Kelli's command booms me awake. Mickey groans and rolls to get up.
"I made him Kelli." I sigh.
"I don't care, the doc is coming and he won't appreciate Mickey's display of loyalty in here like I do," she points to Mickey briefly, "Get going. She'll be down to breakfast right after."
I sit up slowly, mindful of my head and turn to give Mickey a smile as he strolls out the door. He smiles back just for me. Kelli starts probing me, asking about how I feel, what I remember. I'm not surprisingly tight lipped. She rolls her eyes and hands me my toothbrush. I look at her inquisitively. "You are resting as much as possible today, you got it? I'll wheel you down to breakfast and then I'm sure you can handle it all from there. You have to take it easy."
"I'm not letting anyone "wheel" me anywhere. I'm sure I'm fine enough to walk."
"Certainly fine enough to speak coherently now, isn't she?" Dr. Thomas walks in and stands near the foot of my bed.
"Yes, our Raven is as fierce as ever." Kelli responds and sets a small cup of water on my nightstand. I rinse my mouth and set it back down. "I'll be back in a few mins to take you down," she says and leaves much quieter than which she came.
Noah moves to take a seat at the edge of my bed, glances for the door once more, and settles close enough to me my legs can feel the heat of him. He doesn't say anything at first and we just stare at each other a moment.
"Are you all right?" He asks and breaks up the silence trying to stifle us.
"Oh, Noah I'm fine, really. Stop looking so... concerned. It's not like I haven't...," and I wave my hands a bit in the space between us to finish my thought.
"I know. I have to check up on you, make sure you're okay enough not to stay in the infirmary." I hear the faintest bit of remorse in his tone. He's feeling guilty. I suddenly feel like telling him, shouting at him, that I told him so. I decide in this moment, I will not pity him. I won't suffer a fool.
"I'm fine... really. Please Noah, I- just don't." I turn my head away and move to get out of bed.
"Elle, let me help you at least. Need to make sure you can actually walk." He moves to take hold of my arm to bear the weight of me but I shoo away his approaching hands. I swear if he touches me, I'll slap him and then kiss him, right in the light of day.
"I can walk Noah, I was up last night. Will you please tell Nurse Kelli I'm fine to get around?" I plead at him with my eyes... please don't confine me more than I already am.
"I'll walk her down and stay with her." Mickey says this as he strolls right in and takes my hand in his. I feel myself flush. I can't tell if it's the stark warmth and size of his palm or the fact that Noah's eyes are boring holes into it that makes me feel like I'm about to burst. Mickey gently pulls me with him and I find my footing and follow. As we pass through the doorway, I shift my head to meet Noah's eyes. I can tell he wants to say something, the way his lips are slightly parted, but he remains still and stoic as he nods goodbye.

When we reach the cafeteria, most everyone has cleared out. I'm beyond grateful for it. There is only so much stimulation I can handle in a day like this. Despite being able to walk, I feel like I've smacked into a wall, which essentially I did, a wall of a man. I ache all over, and would have actually relished a day in bed. There must be a weariness in my eyes as Mickey looks down at me and stops us to sit.
"Did you sleep? You look worse for the wear," he says.
"I did for a while..." I start to pick at the food in front of me, with faint interest.
"Elle. We'll try again."
I shake my head and wince, forgetting myself. "No, I know Mickey, I'm not worried." He stares at me and then scowls.
"Bullshit El, you ran." The tone of his voice shocks me a little. I'm used to Mickey's vehement and determined personality, but he takes me by surprise and my eyes open wide to really see him. I realize very quickly I can't pretend to be listening. "I'm not going to give up El," he continues, "we've been through this 3 times." Then he sighs, like those words have been a heavy weight upon his chest.

*****

Mickey's tone rings in my ears, rattles against the inside of my mind... Bullshit El, you ran...
I sigh. I don't want to lay here and feel his words. They feel like little knives, cutting into me. But after a rather awkward time this morning, I told Mickey I just wanted to go back to my room, alone. I feel a very familiar emotion grab a hold of me. I shut my eyes tightly and try to force it's way out of me. It's been a while since I've felt this... defeated. I don't want to think about the truth in his words. I can't face the reality of what he says. I shouldn't even be here, I shouldn't exist.

"I see you're resting. That's good."
I hear Noah's voice and it shatters the rhythm of my emotional denial.
"Despite how tough I seem, I'm feeling a bit soft today." He approaches me slowly, arms and hands at his sides. I feel my cheeks heat with knowing where those hands have been and I steel myself against it.
"You do look worse for the wear."
I laugh quietly. "That's exactly what Mickey said. Maybe I've outdone myself this time."
"I'm just glad to see we all care enough to make sure you see your way out of it...," he says as he smiles at me.
"You're just saying that because you have to... because you want me to want to live.... I just want to rest Noah," I say as I turn my head and eyes away from him. I feel him move to sit on my windowsill, and the memory of what we do there together flashes through my mind.
"I just want to know why this happens Elle.... what do these episodes mean? Are you trying to get away from something?" He lowers his voice and continues, "Does this keep happening because of me?"
There's something in me that wants to relent, wants to give him the answers he seeks. But I can't let him have this, it doesn't belong to him. "Noah, what you and I do in the cover of night has nothing to do with anything else about me." There is a finality to my tone that I know he can recognize. He's heard it since the moment I've arrived, this seething, angry woman who wishes she'd have just died in that bathroom months ago. He doesn't argue and remains perched at my window, where he's found me in the night countless times. He stares at me with deep cerulean eyes. At night, I never really see them, its so dark they just seem black. I get lost in them, I forget myself in them.
"I didn't mean to upset you Elle."
I sigh, "You haven't... I'm just tired... It's probably the worst time to try and understand everything just yet. Patience never suited me."
He laughs, "No, no it has not. But you're right, you should rest. I'm sorry, I'll go." He moves to stand and walks to the side of my bed. I feel his fingertips graze the side of my arm, from wrist to shoulder, and I close my eyes. I wish for a tiny solitary second that I were in another life, where everything I'm feeling isn't rooted in something I've lost forever.... cemented in the confines of a ghost that seems determined to haunt me.
"It really bothers you doesn't it?" I ask, just as I feel his presence retreat from the bed. I don't turn to look at him, keeping my eyes shut.
"I think you know it does. Maybe someday, it will actually start to bother you too."

*****

I sleep the remainder of my day away right where Noah left me. Nurses come and go, checking on me. Kelli keeps giving me a very satisfied looking smile because I'm doing what she wants. I don't even care that she was right.
Mickey's words continue to cut me from the inside. And he's not been back for me since the morning. He's actually mad at me and I hate it. I even hate that I hate it. It shouldn't matter what he's said... even if its true. I feel myself shut that possibility off before it roots too deep in me. He doesn't matter and neither do I. And it's easier not to care, then to own up to my own disillusions.

LOLeah
April 23rd, 2015, 03:20 AM
I really liked this! Distinct voice and POV, I'm very interested in the characters and this crazy love triangle. I've gone through and made notes on just a few little things I noticed.

An excerpt from what I hope to a full length novel someday.. lol, maybe someday...

Chapter 3


My head hurts. Did I smack it into something? I'm trying to piece together why I was in my bed, if I was really just asleep, and why do I have this sensation that I've seriously cracked my skull. I start to notice it's no longer light outside as I begin to shift around in bed and just as I've realized I missed my chance to meet Mickey and get out from under this endless spanning roof, I spot him. He's propped himself up in a chair against the corner, asleep. I can't help but smile, he had to have given Kelli so much hell to get her to let him stay in here. I just stare at him, trying to figure out what happened. Last thing I remembered was (Would "remember is" be more appropriate to stick with the present tense telling?) running from the classroom. I can still feel a hint of seething anger lingering in my blood and then I recall everything. The standing up, the running, and the colliding into an (a) burly orderly and then hitting the ground... with my head. I sigh and shift back down into the bed, I'm certainly not going anywhere now. I wonder if Mickey was disappointed, he probably was. (Commas feel a little out of place here in the last 2 sentences. But replacing all of them with periods makes it pretty choppy...dunno. lol) I'm trying not to think about why I even freaked out. I'm so used to being numb, that when I do feel the slightest bit of anything, it's rage. Rage that I'm alive, that I exist at all. I shouldn't be here. Why doesn't anyone else get that?

I watch the steady rise and fall of Mickey's chest. The way he's positioned, his breath is steady but quiet. It's barely a whisper in the dark. I wonder if he is always so quiet, or if he snores like most men do, like a passing freight train. I'm reminded of a time I had forgotten. As I roll onto my back again, I hear it...

"You've never been camping in the winter? It's better actually, just need a little heat," he says.
The way he says heat, it feels like he's devouring me with his eyes and smile. I think if he'd have winked, I would have burned into a full blush. I can't stifle a small knowing laugh. "I think I have more than a little."
He chuckles and it blooms across my skin, straight into my heart. I'd swear we'd only know each other a short little while, but I was already in love. I loved this man. It was so much different than anything I had ever felt before....

And then I feel a shift in the room and drift back into myself. An ache settles in my chest as I further recall that trip with him. The slightest bit of rain... the quiet air around us... the hike up and the over the rivers edge... the way his eyes bore into mine... the way we played cards and he touched me... the feel of moaning into his mouth as he pushed into me (hot!)... and then listening to him sleep... I start to settle myself before the ache in my chest expands to the rest of me. I look over at Mickey, he's moved slightly. He looks so uncomfortable in that small chair and his tall frame. I wonder briefly if I'm allowed to get up and then I think, I don't even care. I just want to feel safe tonight.

*****

"Mickey, I told you you could stay in the chair, not in her bed... Out. Now."
Kelli's command booms me awake. Mickey groans and rolls to get up.
"I made him Kelli." I sigh.
"I don't care, the doc is coming and he won't appreciate Mickey's display of loyalty in here like I do," she points to Mickey briefly, "Get going. She'll be down to breakfast right after."
I sit up slowly, mindful of my head and turn to give Mickey a smile as he strolls out the door. He smiles back just for me. Kelli starts probing me, asking about how I feel, what I remember. I'm not surprisingly (unsurprisingly?) tight lipped. She rolls her eyes and hands me my toothbrush. I look at her inquisitively. "You are resting as much as possible today, you got it? I'll wheel you down to breakfast and then I'm sure you can handle it all from there. You have to take it easy."
"I'm not letting anyone "wheel" me anywhere. I'm sure I'm fine enough to walk."
"Certainly fine enough to speak coherently now, isn't she?" Dr. Thomas walks in and stands near the foot of my bed.
"Yes, our Raven is as fierce as ever." Kelli responds and sets a small cup of water on my nightstand. I rinse my mouth and set it back down. "I'll be back in a few mins to take you down," she says and leaves much quieter than which (how) she came.
Noah moves to take a seat at the edge of my bed, glances for the door once more, and settles close enough to me (that) my legs can feel the heat of him. He doesn't say anything at first and we just stare at each other a moment.
"Are you all right?" He asks and breaks up the silence trying to stifle us.
"Oh, Noah I'm fine, really. Stop looking so... concerned. It's not like I haven't...," and I wave my hands a bit in the space between us to finish my thought. (This is probably weird of me but I love well expressed hand motions.)
"I know. I have to check up on you, make sure you're okay enough not to stay in the infirmary." I hear the faintest bit of remorse in his tone. He's feeling guilty. I suddenly feel like telling him, shouting at him, that I told him so. I decide in this moment, I will not pity him. I won't suffer a fool.
"I'm fine... really. Please Noah, I- just don't." I turn my head away and move to get out of bed.
"Elle, let me help you at least. Need to make sure you can actually walk." He moves to take hold of my arm to bear the weight of me but I shoo away his approaching hands. I swear if he touches me, I'll slap him and then kiss him, right in the light of day.
"I can walk Noah, I was up last night. Will you please tell Nurse Kelli I'm fine to get around?" I plead at him with my eyes... please don't confine me more than I already am.
"I'll walk her down and stay with her." Mickey says this as he strolls right in and takes my hand in his. I feel myself flush. I can't tell if it's the stark warmth and size of his palm or the fact that Noah's eyes are boring holes into it that makes me feel like I'm about to burst. Mickey gently pulls me with him and I find my footing and follow. As we pass through the doorway, I shift my head to meet Noah's eyes. I can tell he wants to say something, the way his lips are slightly parted, but he remains still and stoic as he nods goodbye.

When we reach the cafeteria, most everyone has cleared out. I'm beyond grateful for it. There is only so much stimulation I can handle in a day like this. Despite being able to walk, I feel like I've smacked into a wall, which essentially I did, a wall of a man. I ache all over, and would have actually relished a day in bed. There must be a weariness in my eyes as Mickey looks down at me and stops us to sit.
"Did you sleep? You look worse for the wear," he says.
"I did for a while..." I start to pick at the food in front of me, with faint interest.
"Elle. We'll try again."
I shake my head and wince, forgetting myself. "No, I know Mickey, I'm not worried." He stares at me and then scowls.
"Bullshit El, you ran." The tone of his voice shocks me a little. I'm used to Mickey's vehement and determined personality, but he takes me by surprise and my eyes open wide to really see him. I realize very quickly I can't pretend to be listening. "I'm not going to give up El," he continues, "we've been through this 3 times." Then he sighs, like those words have been a heavy weight upon his chest.

*****

Mickey's tone rings in my ears, rattles against the inside of my mind... Bullshit El, you ran...
I sigh. I don't want to lay here and feel his words. They feel like little knives, cutting into me. But after a rather awkward time this morning, I told Mickey I just wanted to go back to my room, alone. I feel a very familiar emotion grab a hold of me. I shut my eyes tightly and try to force it's way (I think you could get away with just saying "it" here) out of me. It's been a while since I've felt this... defeated. I don't want to think about the truth in his words. I can't face the reality of what he says. I shouldn't even be here, I shouldn't exist.

"I see you're resting. That's good."
I hear Noah's voice and it shatters the rhythm of my emotional denial.
"Despite how tough I seem, I'm feeling a bit soft today." He approaches me slowly, arms and hands at his sides. I feel my cheeks heat with knowing where those hands have been and I steel myself against it.
"You do look worse for the wear."
I laugh quietly. "That's exactly what Mickey said. Maybe I've outdone myself this time."
"I'm just glad to see we all care enough to make sure you see your way out of it...," he says as he smiles at me.
"You're just saying that because you have to... because you want me to want to live.... I just want to rest Noah," I say as I turn my head and eyes away from him. I feel him move to sit on my windowsill, and the memory of what we do there together flashes through my mind.
"I just want to know why this happens Elle.... what do these episodes mean? Are you trying to get away from something?" He lowers his voice and continues, "Does this keep happening because of me?"
There's something in me that wants to relent, wants to give him the answers he seeks. But I can't let him have this, it doesn't belong to him. (<---Very compelling to me.) "Noah, what you and I do in the cover of night has nothing to do with anything else about me." There is a finality to my tone that I know he can recognize. He's heard it since the moment I've arrived, this seething, angry woman who wishes she'd have (she had) just died in that bathroom months ago. He doesn't argue and remains perched at my window, where he's found me in the night countless times. He stares at me with deep cerulean eyes. At night, I never really see them, its so dark they just seem black. I get lost in them, I forget myself in them.
"I didn't mean to upset you Elle."
I sigh, "You haven't... I'm just tired... It's probably the worst time to try and understand everything just yet. Patience never suited me."
He laughs, "No, no it has not. But you're right, you should rest. I'm sorry, I'll go." He moves to stand and walks to the side of my bed. I feel his fingertips graze the side of my arm, from wrist to shoulder, and I close my eyes. I wish for a tiny solitary second that I were in another life, where everything I'm feeling isn't rooted in something I've lost forever.... cemented in the confines of a ghost that seems determined to haunt me. (Love this part.)
"It really bothers you doesn't it?" I ask, just as I feel his presence retreat from the bed. I don't turn to look at him, keeping my eyes shut.
"I think you know it does. Maybe someday, it will actually start to bother you too."

*****

I sleep the remainder of my day away right where Noah left me. Nurses come and go, checking on me. Kelli keeps giving me a very satisfied looking smile because I'm doing what she wants. I don't even care that she was right.
Mickey's words continue to cut me from the inside. And he's not been back for me since the morning. He's actually mad at me and I hate it. I even hate that I hate it. It shouldn't matter what he's said... even if its true. I feel myself shut that possibility off before it roots too deep in me. He doesn't matter and neither do I. And it's easier not to care, then to own up to my own disillusions.

So yeah, just a few tiny things but this is great. I was recently warned about overusing adverbs. I saw a few that I could take or leave in this. Another part of that advice I got was to edit them ALL out (or highlight them or something) and read the work without them and see which ones really add to the story and which are superfluous. Overall I would love to read more of this story!

John Oberon
April 24th, 2015, 07:40 PM
It seemed pretty murky and vague to me. Here's what I THINK I understand: Elle maybe tried to kill herself somehow for some reason, or perhaps she has some kind of worsening episodic illness, and she's landed in some kind of care facility, whether mental or physical, I don't know. Apparently, her failure to die enraged her, and she attempts an escape, but runs into an orderly, smacks her head, and knocks herself out. She finds herself back in bed, with Mickey dozing in a chair. She has a flashback to some kind of camping trip with some guy, I don't know who, and they have sex. Mickey is perhaps a boyfriend or some kind of lover, but maybe not. Apparently, he was lying with Elle in her hospital bed at Elle's request, but ostensibly nothing happened, and Kelli the nurse/friend orders him out of the bed and into the chair. Mickey expresses his concern for Elle and we discover she's experienced whatever this is three times. Noah comes to visit Elle, he is apparently Elle's boyfriend, or soon to be ex-boyfriend, or maybe he already is an ex, don't know, but he is uncomfortable with whatever Mickey's relationship is with Elle. He expresses his concern for Elle.

In short, I have no clue what's happening. You'd think after 2K words, I'd have a good grasp of the situation, but I don't know squat. I don't really know who any of these people are or their relationship to each other or what the main issue is. It's all just fog.

AnnPreston
March 22nd, 2017, 06:20 PM
I added some suggestions hope it helps.



Chapter 3


My head hurts. I would use a different word rather than hurt like describing how it hurts. Did I smack it into something? I'm trying to piece together why I was in my bed, I believe this should be why I am in my bed. if I was really I would take out the word really as it is not needed. just asleep, and why do I have this sensation that I've seriously cracked my skull. I would make this something like and why does my head feel like someone hit me over the head with a baseball bat or something like that. I start to notice it's no longer light outside How does she know that? as I begin to shift around in bed and just as I've realized I missed my chance to meet Mickey and get out from under this endless spanning roof I have no idea what the endless spanning roof means, I spot him. He's propped himself up in a chair against the corner, asleep. I can't help but smile, he had to have given Kelli so much hell to get her to let him stay in here. I just stare at him, trying to figure out what happened. Last thing I remembered was running from the classroom. I can still feel a hint of seething anger Describe the anger instead of telling us she feels anger show us like clenched teeth or fisted hands etc. lingering in my blood and then I recall everything. The standing up, the running, and the colliding into an burly orderly and then hitting the ground... with my head. I don’t think she would fall hard enough from running into an orderly I think that if you did some kind of struggle between her and the orderly it would work better. I sigh and shift back down into the bed, I'm certainly not going anywhere now. I wonder if Mickey was disappointed, he probably was. I'm trying not to think about why I even freaked out. I'm so used to being numb, that when I do feel the slightest bit of anything, it's rage. Rage that I'm alive, that I exist at all. I shouldn't be here. Why doesn't anyone else get that?

I watch the steady rise and fall of Mickey's chest. I want to know more about how Mickey looks I can’t picture him at all right now. The way he's positioned, his breath is steady but quiet. It's barely a whisper in the dark. I wonder if he is always so quiet, or if he snores like most men do, like a passing freight train. I'm reminded of a time I had forgotten. As I roll onto my back again, I hear it...

"You've never been camping in the winter? It's better actually, just need a little heat," he says. Is this Mickey?

The way he says heat How does he say heat? You could do Mickey’s voice was low and husky., it feels like he's devouring me with his eyes and smile. How does her body feel? Warm, shivers, tingling? I think if he'd have winked, I would have burned into a full blush. I can't stifle a small knowing laugh. "I think I have more than a little."

He chuckles and it blooms across my skin, straight into my heart. I'd swear we'd only know each other a short little while, but I was already in love. I loved this man. It was so much different than anything I had ever felt before....

And then I feel a shift in the room and drift back into myself. Maybe have her open her eyes to get back to reality. An ache settles in my chest as I further recall that trip with him. The slightest bit of rain... the quiet air around us... the hike up and the over the rivers edge... the way his eyes bore into mine... the way we played cards and he touched me... the feel of moaning into his mouth as he pushed into me... and then listening to him sleep... I start to settle myself before the ache in my chest expands to the rest of me. I look over at Mickey, he's moved slightly. He looks so uncomfortable in that small chair and his tall frame. I wonder briefly if I'm allowed to get up and then I think, I don't even care. I just want to feel safe tonight.

You use the word I to start a lot of sentences try to switch it up as best you can.

*****

"Mickey, I told you you could stay in the chair, not in her bed... Out. Now."

Kelli's command booms me awake. Mickey groans and rolls to get up.

"I made him Kelli." I sigh.

"I don't care, the doc is coming and he won't appreciate Mickey's display of loyalty in here like I do," she points to Mickey briefly, "Get going. She'll be down to breakfast right after."

I sit up slowly, mindful of my head and turn to give Mickey a smile as he strolls out the door. He smiles back just for me. Kelli starts probing me, asking about how I feel, what I remember. I'm not surprisingly tight lipped. She rolls her eyes and hands me my toothbrush. I look at her inquisitively. "You are resting as much as possible today, you got it? I'll wheel you down to breakfast and then I'm sure you can handle it all from there. You have to take it easy."

"I'm not letting anyone "wheel" me anywhere. I'm sure I'm fine enough to walk."

"Certainly fine enough to speak coherently now, isn't she?" Dr. Thomas walks in and stands near the foot of my bed.

"Yes, our Raven is as fierce as ever." Kelli responds and sets a small cup of water on my nightstand. I rinse my mouth and set it back down. "I'll be back in a few mins to take you down," she says and leaves much quieter than which she came.

Noah moves to take a seat at the edge of my bed, glances for the door once more, and settles close enough to me my legs can feel the heat of him. He doesn't say anything at first and we just stare at each other a moment.

"Are you all right?" He asks and breaks up the silence trying to stifle us.

"Oh, Noah I'm fine, really. Stop looking so... concerned. It's not like I haven't...," and I wave my hands a bit in the space between us to finish my thought.

"I know. I have to check up on you, make sure you're okay enough not to stay in the infirmary." I hear the faintest bit of remorse in his tone. He's feeling guilty. I suddenly feel like telling him, shouting at him, that I told him so. I decide in this moment, I will not pity him. I won't suffer a fool.

"I'm fine... really. Please Noah, I- just don't." I turn my head away and move to get out of bed.
"Elle, let me help you at least. Need to make sure you can actually walk." He moves to take hold of my arm to bear the weight of me but I shoo away his approaching hands. I swear if he touches me, I'll slap him and then kiss him, right in the light of day.

"I can walk Noah, I was up last night. Will you please tell Nurse Kelli I'm fine to get around?" I plead at him with my eyes... please don't confine me more than I already am.

"I'll walk her down and stay with her." Mickey says this as he strolls right in and takes my hand in his. I feel myself flush. I can't tell if it's the stark warmth and size of his palm or the fact that Noah's eyes are boring holes into it that makes me feel like I'm about to burst. Mickey gently pulls me with him and I find my footing and follow. As we pass through the doorway, I shift my head to meet Noah's eyes. I can tell he wants to say something, the way his lips are slightly parted, but he remains still and stoic as he nods goodbye.

I like the dialogue it’s good. I really love the relationship between Raven and Mickey. I think instead of saying She said he asked kind of thing you could switch it up like she whispered he mumbled etc.

When we reach the cafeteria, most everyone has cleared out. I'm beyond grateful for it. There is only so much stimulation I can handle in a day like this. Despite being able to walk, I feel like I've smacked into a wall, which essentially I did, a wall of a man. I ache all over, and would have actually relished a day in bed. There must be a weariness in my eyes as Mickey looks down at me and stops us to sit.

"Did you sleep? You look worse for the wear," he says.

"I did for a while..." I start to pick at the food in front of me, with faint interest.

"Elle. We'll try again."

I shake my head and wince, forgetting myself. "No, I know Mickey, I'm not worried." He stares at me and then scowls.

"Bullshit El, you ran." The tone of his voice shocks me a little. I'm used to Mickey's vehement and determined personality, but he takes me by surprise and my eyes open wide to really see him. I realize very quickly I can't pretend to be listening. "I'm not going to give up El," he continues, "we've been through this 3 times." Then he sighs, like those words have been a heavy weight upon his chest.

I also think you could give a bit more action into your emotions. So instead of telling us she felt rage show us how she felt rage. Fist clenched, heart pounding in head, red faced, tight lipped etc.

*****

Mickey's tone rings in my ears, rattles against the inside of my mind... Bullshit El, you ran...

I sigh. I don't want to lay here and feel his words. They feel like little knives, cutting into me. But after a rather awkward time this morning, I told Mickey I just wanted to go back to my room, alone. I feel a very familiar emotion grab a hold of me. I shut my eyes tightly and try to force it's way out of me. It's been a while since I've felt this... defeated. I don't want to think about the truth in his words. I can't face the reality of what he says. I shouldn't even be here, I shouldn't exist.

"I see you're resting. That's good."

I hear Noah's voice and it shatters the rhythm of my emotional denial.

"Despite how tough I seem, I'm feeling a bit soft today." He approaches me slowly, arms and hands at his sides. I feel my cheeks heat with knowing where those hands have been and I steel myself against it.

"You do look worse for the wear."

I laugh quietly. "That's exactly what Mickey said. Maybe I've outdone myself this time."

"I'm just glad to see we all care enough to make sure you see your way out of it...," he says as he smiles at me.

"You're just saying that because you have to... because you want me to want to live.... I just want to rest Noah," I say as I turn my head and eyes away from him. I feel him move to sit on my windowsill, and the memory of what we do there together flashes through my mind.

"I just want to know why this happens Elle.... what do these episodes mean? Are you trying to get away from something?" He lowers his voice and continues, "Does this keep happening because of me?"

There's something in me that wants to relent, wants to give him the answers he seeks. But I can't let him have this, it doesn't belong to him. "Noah, what you and I do in the cover of night has nothing to do with anything else about me." There is a finality to my tone that I know he can recognize. He's heard it since the moment I've arrived, this seething, angry woman who wishes she'd have just died in that bathroom months ago. He doesn't argue and remains perched at my window, where he's found me in the night countless times. He stares at me with deep cerulean eyes. At night, I never really see them, its so dark they just seem black. I get lost in them, I forget myself in them.

"I didn't mean to upset you Elle."

I sigh, "You haven't... I'm just tired... It's probably the worst time to try and understand everything just yet. Patience never suited me."

He laughs, "No, no it has not. But you're right, you should rest. I'm sorry, I'll go." He moves to stand and walks to the side of my bed. I feel his fingertips graze the side of my arm, from wrist to shoulder, and I close my eyes. I wish for a tiny solitary second that I were in another life, where everything I'm feeling isn't rooted in something I've lost forever.... cemented in the confines of a ghost that seems determined to haunt me.
"It really bothers you doesn't it?" I ask, just as I feel his presence retreat from the bed. I don't turn to look at him, keeping my eyes shut.

"I think you know it does. Maybe someday, it will actually start to bother you too."

*****

I sleep the remainder of my day away right where Noah left me. Nurses come and go, checking on me. Kelli keeps giving me a very satisfied looking smile because I'm doing what she wants. I don't even care that she was right.

Mickey's words continue to cut me from the inside. And he's not been back for me since the morning. He's actually mad at me and I hate it. I even hate that I hate it. It shouldn't matter what he's said... even if its true. I feel myself shut that possibility off before it roots too deep in me. He doesn't matter and neither do I. And it's easier not to care, then to own up to my own disillusions.