I wander back down the stairs, hands gripped tightly in worry. Perrie appears in the doorway, concern written all over her face.
"Is she..." She begins, shooting a look up the stairs.
“She’s in the bathroom,” I tell Perrie as she thanks me before slowly heading up the stairs. I drift into the kitchen and take a seat on one of the bar-stools, rubbing my hands over my face in frustration. She’s covered in bruises, slash marks and scars… her body was so frail and thin... it wasn’t right. No one should ever have to go through something like that.
“What is that smell,” Louis exclaims, walking into the kitchen with shopping bags. He scrunches up his nose as he places them on the side and glances down at Harry who was still crouched on the floor; squirting disinfectant on the tiles. Harry stands up and places the dirty tissues into the bin beside him.
“Puke,” Harry says simply, sighing slightly with a look in my direction.
“What happened?” He asks Harry before taking a seat beside me.
“Crystal,” I murmur and I hear Louis sigh under his breath.
“Is she okay?” He asks after a moment and I shrug.
“I don’t know. She won’t let any of us near her, will she?” I look up to see Harry and Louis exchanging a look.
“What?” I demand, irritably.
“Aside from Perrie, you’re the only one.. I’ve seen that she is.. willing to be around.” Harry says carefully, washing his hands under the tap in the sink. He dries them off and I break eye contact, looking down at the granite work-surface infront of me.
I glance up at the clock. 4:42pm. The sun was low in the sky, drenching the room in a warm glow. I run my fingers absentmindedly over my arms and shiver swowly at the feel of the bumps and scars that run across my skin. There’s a knock at the front door and I wait, listening as someone is greeted and steps inside.
“Crystal?” The door to the living room is pushed open and I look up from where I’m seated. Perrie greets me with a smile and steps to the side, allowing Mai, the nurse, to step inside. She was still wearing her scrubs with a large knitted cardigan over the top. She gives me a quick glance over before smiling warmly.
“Afternoon,” She says cheerfully and Perrie leaves us alone, saying she’s going to make some tea.
“Hiya.” I reply and sit upright as she places her bag onto the floor and sits cross legged infront of me.
“So,” She begins, pulling a pen from her hair and tapping it on the floor.
“How are you feeling?”
I’d heard this question so many times since being here and to be honest, I in didn't really know the answer myself.
“Better,” I say and ponder.
“I’ve eaten.” I add quietly and Mai’s eyes fill with hope and glee. I shake my head slowly.
“But I threw up, almost immediately after.” Shame creeps into my tone. Mai just nods, her face unreadable.
“Do you mind?” She asks, pulling scales from her bag. I stare at them for a while whilst Mai gently lays them down on the floor. I shake my head ever so slightly and I look down at my hands as she turns them on. I slowly stand up and slip off my socks. Then, with bare-feet pressing against the cold plastic, I stand on them and look across the room at the wall. I step off when I hear Mai mumbling something to herself. She asks me to step off so I do, quickly resuming my place on the sofa. As I'm putting my socks back on Mai writes something down on her notepad before placing it back into her bag. She begins talking to me about how her daughter was pregnant and having problems with the father. But I wasn't totally listening. My mind kept drifting to thoughts of what I was going to do and where this was actually going.
"Mai?" I ask, after she's finished speaking.
"Yes, dear?" She stands up and straightens her cardigan, pulling her hair tighter to her head.
"Is... I mean... what exactly am I doing here? What am I going to do when I have to leave?" I ask slowly, looking down at my fingers in my lap.
"Oh, Crystal." She takes a seat on the sofa beside me and put's her small hand over mine.
"Don't worry about it. I just... we can't let you go back home. Not just yet. This is the best place for you," She smiles at me and I strain to force one back. Then she stands up and says her goodbyes. The door to the living room slowly closes and I sigh deeply, pulling at my hair roughly. Hushed voices can be heard from the hallway but I place my hands over my ears, not wanting to here what they were saying about me.