Another Step

Seth is afraid, and has been, of the world and everything in it. After a incident (later explained in the story) this fear pops up and causes him to hie in his house, this being the only place he feels safe. But when his father is close to death, he finally comes out of hiding to be there for him. That's when he meets Scarlet, a girl that takes away all the pain and fright. But when he sees the person who caused all of this, what will happen? Will he fall apart all over again?


2. The Second Step

I held my father’s hand with two of my own, my thumb carefully moving over the pale skin of his hand. His skin was smooth, letting my thumb glide easily over his skin, moving upwards with every bump of his knuckles. Sitting here beside my father was great, to be perfectly honest. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been able to sit down with Dad and just be there; even before I moved out we didn’t have a time like this. At least, not for a year or so before I moved out, too busy with life. But now I wish I had paid more attention to him, to let him know I cared more.  

Yet, even sitting here listening to my father talk, it didn’t help much with my need to get away. I could feel it, my stomach aching, my finger’s itching, the feeling of something crawling up my throat as the need to vomit became more and more noticeable. From taking a quick glance at the clock, I knew I had only been in this room for thirty minutes. Though, it was already too much. I needed to get out, then and there. At least out of the hospital, where death’s scent didn’t fill the halls, and hopefully to my hotel room, where I could at least feel a bit of safety.

Maybe I could have waited a little longer for Dad to finish his story, sat down and pushed down all these feelings for a bit longer and then left politely. Yes, I could have done that which would have left my father feeling nice, possibly. But I couldn’t push it down right then, I had to get away. I had to before I really lost it, where all I would be able to do was grip my head tightly in panic.

So, the only option I saw was to get out, now. While I still could.

I stood abruptly, the chair I was in clanging back against the floor. My fingers curled into fists as I whispered a quick goodbye, breaths coming out as raspy pants instead of the calm breaths they should have been. If I was normal, if I wasn’t broken.

After saying my goodbye I fled the room, running down the halls and to the staircase beside the elevator. I flung open the door, feet flying down the steps as I struggled to stay up, almost falling a few times. It was like this the whole three floors down, my feet stumbling down each flight until I reached the very last step, jumping off to slam the door open. That’s when I broke into a sprint, dashing out of the door in a race for my car. My lung’s burned, a cramp twisted into my side from all this activity, but my head didn’t care – I didn’t care. I just wanted – needed – to get away. And I did just that, I got away. I got in my car. I drove to the hotel. I got out of the car. I went to my hotel room. I closed and locked the door. I did everything to get away, my actions fueled by desperation and fear.

Not necessarily the best combination, but, okay in this instance. For once I got into my hotel room, I could breathe just a bit again. My efforts, everything I did, worked and I leaned against the wooden door in relief, letting my arms drop to my sides, one hand clenching the hotel key tightly.  All my adrenaline was gone, that I knew from how my blood didn’t seem to pump anymore, how my heart no longer raced.

I let myself slide down to the ground, at first okay with the fact that I was somewhere safe. But then the realization hit of how weak and vulnerable I was.

How could I have let myself become something like this? Once before I was so strong, so ready to get out into the world and show everyone what I was made of. What happened to me? How could I have changed so much?

The incident. Yes, that was why. The Incident had caused all this, all this pain and heartbreak, this fear. For a minute, I let myself think of it, my guard down as I remember how it all started.

“Can you help me for a minute?” he had asked.

Then I noticed what I was doing. “No, stop it!” I yelled at myself, shaking my head angrily. No, not again, I wouldn’t let myself that memory again.

That’s when there was a knock on the door.

Surprised, I looked up and slowly got to my feet, cautiously looking out the hole in the door. I then saw a girl, my eyes going wide at the looks I saw.

She was a girl almost as pale as me, her skin appearing to be smooth and soft, going along well with that pale skin of hers. Her hair was a beautiful bright red, long and coming down past her shoulders to rest upon the beginning of her breasts. Her red hair was accompanied by grassy green eyes which seemed to glow with life, something that was just beautiful to see. I looked down a bit at her clothes to see her wearing a nurse’s uniform.

Cautiously, I opened the door.

Immediately, a smile appeared on her pink, frosted lips as she saw me, her head tilting to the side. “Hi, I’m Scarlett,” she greeted, reaching her hand out to shake mine.

I nodded, whispering my own name. “Seth.”

She nodded, pulling her hand back, as if knowing I wasn’t going to shake it. “Well, Seth, I saw you at the hospital. I saw you running off and honestly got worried,” she admitted, scratching the back of her head while looking down. She then looked back up. “So, after talking to your father, I’m guessing, he actually asked me to check up on you.”

My eye’s got wide, but then she dropped a question I wasn’t sure on how to answer: “Can I come in?”

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