Looking For Now[l.h]

in which a lost boy tries to fix a broken girl.

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9. Quinne

We wait. We wait in utter silence that makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs, simply because I'm not supposed to. I can't stand the tension hanging in the air as Walter, Ashton, and I huddle in the back corner of my room; away from the door and the window.

As soon as someone had yelled the warning, Walter had come in and ordered me to get back against the wall. Ashton came in minutes later because he had been walking down the hallway and wanted to make sure I was okay.

I part my lips to ask what was going on, but Ashton shoots me a warning glare that closes my mouth again.

One. Two. Three. Four. I count the seconds in my head until there is finally a sound again at three-hundred and eighteen.

There is a banging on my door, and Ashton's face pales. Walter holds up a finger to me, silently telling me to stay put and I do so as he quietly walks over to my locked door. My stomach twists in anticipation, but it also aches for an unknown reason to me.

My heart stops as Walter quietly demands to know who it is through the door.

"Luke. Let me in," I can barely hear the voice on the other side of the door. I turn to look at Ashton and watch as his face floods with relief. The door slowly creaks open just enough for Luke's slender body to slip through, then Walter locks it up again.

"What's going on?" Ashton breathes once Luke and Walter have joined us in the corner.

"I think a level three got out," Luke replies quietly, his eyes trained on the door as though he's expecting it to open at any second.

"Then what were you doing in the hall?" Ashton exclaims, earning a smack in the gut from Luke telling him to keep his voice down.

"I was checking to make sure everyone was in their rooms and this was the last room I had to check."

The room is filled once again by an eerie silence as we wait for I don't know what. Maybe we are waiting for someone else to give us the clear signal, or maybe we're waiting for the escaped psycho to barge right in.

Minutes fly by, and I look down at my watch, before I know it, it has been a full hour.

"I'm going to go check," Walter whispers, and Ashton grabs his arm before he can move.

"Are you kidding me? That's the worst idea ever, and do you know how pissed my mum will be?" Ashton hisses under his breath and Walter yanks his arm from Ashton's grasp, but doesn't move.

"Well if he can't check how are we ever going to know when to leave?" I surprise everyone by speaking up, although I keep my voice down.

"Someone will tell us," Luke answers without looking away from the door. His pale blue eyes are fixated on it as though he truly believes someone will come in at any minute. His towering frame is slightly hunched over with one foot in front of the other like he is prepared to lunge at anyone who steps in the room.

Minutes pass and soon it is 3:31 AM. I look to Ashton warily and he gives me a lopsided smile trying to reassure me it will be over soon. I hear shouts in the hallway and my heart race sky rockets as my palms begin to sweat. Two male voices are yelling at each other, but they are moving farther away from my room.

Soon they have completely disappeared, and a loud voice booms down the hallway, "coast is clear!"

I let out a sigh of relief as everyone disperses from the corner.

"Hey, Ash, can I talk to you in the hall? Then we need to report to Leigh Anne," Luke says in a hurried tone, and I'm almost curious to find out, but I'd much rather everyone leave my room and let me be.

"Sure," he replies raising an eyebrow at Luke curiously, but not saying anything else on the matter, "see you around Cora."

"Bye," I answer simply as the two boys exit my room along with Walter.

***

"Hey, Cora over here!" A familiar voice calls, but it isn't Ashton or Luke. I turn in the direction of the voice and see Calum sitting alone at a table in the cafeteria. I take my blueberry muffin and walk to sit with him. It's better than sitting with one of these crazy patients.

"Hey," I look at him, and see that he's eating a muffin too, normally the boys don't actually eat here, he must have gotten hungry.

"Ashton told me to tell you that he and Luke had some stuff to do for Leigh Anne, so I came to eat here today," he smiles brightly. He's got such an upbeat spirit, it's hard to feel like you're in a mental hospital around him.

"What about Michael?"

"He came down with a cold last night, so I was lonely in my wing anyways," he admits, "so, how do you like it here so far?"

"Not much."

"Right. I guess most patients don't like it here. Did you like the party last night?"

"Not really," I say truthfully and feel slightly bad for being so short with him when he's obviously willing to out effort into a conversation. His brown eyes shine with enthusiasm and I feel bad that he has to work here of all places. It must kind of dampen his spirit.

"I must say, I was a bit disappointed in the cake this year," he jokes, and I fake a laugh for his sake, "do you want to do something in the rec room after breakfast?" He must really be lonely.

"I'd really rather go back to my room and sleep."

"Oh come on Cora! You should try to get out a bit and maybe talk to other patients, that's what the rec room is for. At least play a round of gold fish with me?" He looks up at me with pleading eyes and sticks out his bottom lip slightly, pouting. I give in.

"Fine, just this once," he fist pumps and I genuinely smile at his energy.

"I must warn you, I'm pretty beast at gold fish."

"We'll see about that."

***

After lunch, Walter leads me back to my room, but on the way I notice two voices speaking in hushed tones down the corridor. I walk slowly behind him trying to get a glimpse in the conversation once I recognize Ashton's voice.

"... what does this mean?"

"I don't have a fucking clue. Your mum won't tell me anything." I depict the other voice as Luke's. He sounds beyond irritated with Leigh Anne. That makes two of us.

"You know she's not allowed too..." Ashton defends his mom.

"I don't care. I want to know how he knows her."

"Well, we could always..."

"Cora are you coming?" Walter's gruff voice interrupts my eavesdropping and I nod my head before following after him.

I lay down on my cot waiting for Leigh Anne to come in pondering the bit of the conversation I heard.

It's probably nothing. I wasn't supposed to hear any of it, but I can't help but wonder what exactly they were talking about. Whatever it was really worked Luke up, or at least it seemed to from his tone. Ashton, on the other hand, seemed more confused, like he was trying to fit the pieces together.

My mind tries to come up with all of the different scenarios that could be happening within the walls of this institution, but they're soon interrupted by the one and only; Leigh Anne.

"Good afternoon Cora, are you ready to begin?" She comes right in, I've noticed she's completely given up on knocking.

"You could knock," I point out swinging my legs over the edge of the bed to face her.

"I'll remember that next time. Where should we start today?" She presses her lips in a thin line and waits for me to answer.

"I don't care."

"Cora, if you don't start trying to get better, I'm afraid I'm going to have to reassign you to a different counselor. There are only a few others that work in this wing, and I would really appreciate your cooperation to make this work," she sighs heavily and looks at me with wary eyes.

"I don't need to get better."

"I don't think there's anything wrong with you, but there is a reason you were lying on those tracks and I intend to find out why, so that you will never feel that way again."

"Maybe I tripped."

"I think we both know that isn't true Cora. Now this is taking us no where, so why don't we talk about middle school, yes?"

***

My session with Leigh Anne didn't last long at all today. I think she's getting sick of me. Good. A few minutes after she leaves, I follow silently behind Walter to get my dinner in the cafeteria. We are having turkey sandwiches tonight, and they don't look half bad. Usually the food makes me want to puke just looking at it.

I go to the seat that has become my usual seat; next to Ashton and across from Luke in the left corner.

"Hey Cora, sorry about breakfast and lunch, we had to check up on another patient, Leigh Anne's orders," Ashton explains although he avoids eye contact and from the piece of their conversation I heard earlier, he's lying. I simply nod my head in return. "Calum wasn't too annoying was he?" Ashton jokes.

"Not at all."

"Good."

A few minutes pass in comfortable silence. I think the three of us have come to the realization that I'm not one to start conversation, and neither is Luke, so after Ashton tries we're done talking. I don't mind not talking, it isn't as awkward as I thought it would be, and the boys don't seem to mind either.

After I eat about half of the sandwich, my stomach twists with uneasiness and I feel like I'm going to throw up, or something. Maybe it's just bad cramps.

"I'm going to the bathroom," I tell them, and Ashton points in the opposite corner to a restroom.

***

"Go away," I choke out between sobs as someone knocks on the bathroom door. I've been in here for fifteen minutes, and after what I saw, I don't plan on coming out. Blood. It took me a while to piece it all together, but then it hit me. I lost the baby.

I pull my knees to my chest and hide my face in the fabric of my sweatpants, silently willing the pain to go away. I didn't want it in the first place, I shouldn't be this upset, right? But a piece of me is missing now. The little boy or girl I could've loved is gone, before it could even step into this world and share the passion that I once had. I have never felt this way before and I cannot simply describe the feeling. It is a whole new pain to me. It's worse than any time Elias has ever beaten me, or a worse feeling than the countless times he would throw a string of insults at me. It leaves me feeling empty, and helpless. I feel like I've done something horribly wrong, but I don't know what.

"Cora, you need to come out," I recognize Luke's voice from the other side of the door, and my sorrow turns to anger. He doesn't know what's going on, he just needs to fuck off.

Instead of replying to him, I slide my legs across the floor and put my feet against the door in an attempt to keep him out. I don't want him in here. I don't want anyone in here, I just want to be alone. No one knew I was pregnant, no one will understand my grief. My baby is gone. The stress of all of the events in the past week must have caused my miscarriage, and now it's dead.

I let myself come to the full realization of what has happened and I choke back the sobs waiting to escape, instead I let silent tears roll down my cheeks and squeeze my eyes shut pretending I'm somewhere else, somewhere not here. My whole body goes numb, and the only thing going through my head is the idea of the little child I was suppose to have. Finally, realization hit me: I've lost someone I never had but yet the world's crashing down on me. I barely notice when my legs are moved aside so the door can swing in.

"Cora, what's wrong?" A concerned voice comes closer and through my eyelids I see a shadowy figure crouch down beside me, "Cora, what happened?" I hear his voice, but it sounds very distant. It sounds as though he's talking to me through a wall.

A hand reaches out to lightly shake my shoulders willing me to respond. I slowly open my eyes to meet the pale blue ones staring back at me.

"It's gone," I hear my voice, but don't know how I said the words. My throat is dry and my tongue feels thick as I watch his blue eyes fill with confusion and concern.

"What's gone?" Luke whispers. I shake my head and bite my lower lip to keep it from trembling, "please, Cora, I don't know what you're talking about."

"The baby. My baby," I choke out before pulling my knees back up and hiding my face as my chest racks with my crying.

Strong arms embrace my shaking body, as I muffle my tears in my sweatpants.

"Shhh," he whispers, "I'm so sorry. I had no idea," he mumbles, and he does sound sorry, but I don't need his pity.

"I'm fine," I struggle to keep my voice steady, and lift my head up, and he retracts his arms from around me. I pull my sleeves to cover my hands and wipe at my tear-strained cheeks trying to hide any evidence, "I'm fine," I repeat more to myself than Luke.

"Do you want to talk about it?" He asks.

"No."

"Are you sure? This is doctor-patient confidentiality if you do," he raises his eyebrows questioningly. He looks worried for me, and it annoys me.

"Yes. I just want to go to my room," I whisper standing up. I wipe at my cheeks again, and brush off the front of my sweatshirt trying to regain my composure before I step out.

"I'll walk you there." He offers standing up.

"Walter can," I say, not wanting to have him press me any further about what happened.

"Fine," he says and all of the emotions have left his voice again. He sounds like his normal self, who doesn't really care about anything. It's almost like I imagine the concern previously I'm his voice, that I imagined he was even slightly worried.

As he walks away, the rooms seem to get darker. My heart seems to beat faster, and I suddenly call his name. It was barely a whisper, but it causes him to turn around. We looked into each other eyes for what seems like forever. The outlines of his irises were a soft cerulean- the irises itself a watery sapphire. He slowly walked towards me, and soon enough I stood in front of this odd boy as tears spilled from my eyes.

"Cora... don't," he wraps his arms around me, and I stand in his arms as a wave of shock showered over me. Does he care? Why does he care? I wiggled out of his grip, as his height towered over me.

"I just feel like the world is crashing down on me," I pathetically whimper. He lowers down, stares into my glossy eyes and holds my cheek.

"Cora, together we can make it while the world is crashing down on us. I'm here," he mumbles before turning around, and I almost think I heard him wrong. It's like I imagined the whole scene. He leaves me in so plate confusion, but I shake the thoughts from my restless mind ready to go back to my room and be alone.

I walk straight to Walter waiting in the doorway. I can feel Ashton watching me. He's probably confused, but honestly, I hope Luke doesn't tell him. I don't know why I told Luke. I just couldn't come up with a good enough excuse for me sobbing on the bathroom floor in time.

 

8.  Quinne

"Are you okay?" Walter asks noticing my puffy red eyes. I nod my head, and he gives me a look that says he doesn't believe me, but continues towards my room anyways.

Almost as soon as I lay down, I fall asleep. I didn't sleep at all last night and today has felt like a whole week, so I welcome the darkness to take me away from this world for a while

"Hey, Cora?" Elias turns to look at me from his position on the couch. It's Friday, and in celebration of finishing another week of college, I went to his dorm for pizza and a movie night. Everything was going great.

"Yes?" I smile as I turn to face him. His crystal blue eyes looking at me expectantly. I could get lost gazing into them, they were so intense and bright.

"Do you think we'll ever have kids?" I furrow my brows in confusion. His question has completely thrown me off guard. We've only been going to the same college for three weeks, and we don't even live together.

"I-I mean maybe one day. Way in the future," I add just to clarify, causing him to chuckle.

"Good. I like kids. I think we'd have a little girl, with your curly blonde hair, and my blue eyes. She'd be gorgeous," he grins to himself showing his perfect white teeth.

"You're so weird," I laugh at him and his absurd randomness.

"What? You've never imagined our children?" He asks stunned and I shake my head, "I like the name Quinne."

A/N okay I know the miscarriage scene may seem unrealistic, but I googled it and it is very common to miscarry in the first trimester, and when this happens you just kinda continue your period like normal. My gosh if my mom went through my search history I'd be screwed haha! Anyways hope you guys like the chapter, please give me feedback and VOTE & COMMENT (: edit in the side bar, love you guys! Thanks xx

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