Paper Ashes

[For the Name on Your Wrist Competition] She cries. He sighs. She smiles. He files. She writes. He lights. She dies. He lies.


2. The Meet

His dyed blue hair hung around his face. What a face. Pale skin offset dark eyes and eyebrows. Subtle cheekbones gave him a sharp look, like a blade. His clothes were a simple pair of black jeans and a blue shirt, but they looked good on him. He was lean, but he had muscle. Adrella studied him with cold calculation. He was attractive, that much was true. Although the reason for his intrusion into her room was, as yet, unknown.

"Hello?" she repeated. The response was barely a whisper, but she heard it.

"I didn't expect this. You didn't say that it was this - that you were - are you in pain?"

"No. It doesn't hurt anymore." Adrella averted her gaze from the network of bandages that practically held her together. 

"Ty. Is me. I'm Ty."


"I thought you'd be older."

"So did I."

The fifteen-year-olds stared at the walls of the hospital room awkwardly.

"What do you do? For entertainment?"

"I write letters to my friends. Phones won't pick me up through the bandages."

"Are you alone a lot?"

"Of course."

"Are you lonely?"

"Even when I'm not alone. I can't touch. Not really."

"Can I sit?" Ty gestured to the chair beside the bed.

"Feel free."

"So," he said, now seated, "Is that why you replied to me? That you're lonely?"

"I suppose it is."

"I can't stay long. My Dad's at the bar right now but he'll be home soon. Could you, maybe, write to me again?"


"Okay. I don't really know much about you, huh."

"You know more about me than I know about you."

"True. Erm, well, my favourite colour is blue, as you can probably tell, my favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, my favourite film . . . "

Adrella relaxed to the sound of his voice and closed her tired eyes.

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