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I am Kira. I am 1.

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11. Chapter Ten

 

CHAPTER TEN

It was nice to see Micah walk into the room.

He smiled at me. It was so warm I could have forgotten everything which was bothering me, but somehow even his warmness couldn't battle how bad I felt. The worry inside me was still too strong... I just didn't feel right.

"Hey, Kiddo," he greeted me, coming closer to the bed.

I tried to smile at him but it was hard to. I felt exhausted from everything which was happening but I didn't want him to know that so I kept on smiling anyway. 

He sat down in the chair next to the bed, pulling it closer to me. My eyes fell on him and we said nothing for a little while as the silence ran around the room awkwardly. I cleared my throat and nodded towards Asha to break the lull of nothingness. Micah looked across to her and smiled politely.

"This is Asha," I explained and she did some kind of hello nod at him.

"Hello," he further greeted and smiled again. He was always smiling.

She murmured something before falling back to lay on her bed, looking upset. Somehow I almost felt guilty for it, responsible; someone from my family was here but she had no one.

Micah soon brought my attention back as he asked, "how are you feeling?" A question I didn't like.

I didn't want to reply, letting the pause hang in the air. "It's okay you know," he continued, "to say you feel bad."

I shrugged at him. He sighed at me, not an annoyed sigh, a sad one. He slipped his hand over mine as it laid beside me on the bed and squeezed it gently. I slowly felt better about him being there. It was nice. I had felt cut off but Micah made me feel like I had more of a link to reality. His hand on mine felt more permanent, more secure than the emptiness.

I could feel his eyes sweeping over my face, trying to read what it said. It must have said something bad as he squeezed my hand tighter again. Although we weren't saying anything, the actions spoke for us. My hand was trembling and he was holding on to it, trying to make me feel better.

"What are they going to do to me?" I whispered, gulping in air. I felt so pathetic, the way my words had sounded so weak didn't make me sound more than a scared child voicing their fears... I was just a scared child. I couldn't deny that.

"Hey, it's okay," Micah tried to reassure me again. His other hand reached up to pull my face round gently and I was forced to look at him. "They're going to help you, and they won't do anything unless we say they can, okay?"

I felt myself saying, "okay," but my heart wasn't in it. I wanted to believe him, I wanted to grasp hold of all the certainty he had created but I just couldn't. Something inside me kept on infiltrating the hope, telling me bad things were coming. It was like intuition, screaming in my brain, disregarding anything positive he said.

"Look, I know it's horrible being here but you'll be out soon," he spoke up again with hope clinging to every word. His tone changed slightly when he spoke again, like he was trying to take on a different approach to cheering me up. "And I happen to know, you like chocolate cookies," he said, his voice was almost humorous and he smiled at me knowingly. I raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

He rummaged in the inside pocket of his blue jacket, pulling out a small wrapped parcel of tin foil. He looked behind him carefully before putting a finger to his lips and making a shush sound. Once he was sure no one was around he unwrapped it slowly to show me what was inside. There were two chocolate cookies sitting carefully in the package. I felt my mouth water slightly as I realised how hungry I was and how bad the food I had eaten here so far had been. Pangs of hunger sent a wave of sickness up my body which wouldn't go away.

"Hospital food is yucky so I thought these might come in handy," he commented, passing them over to me. I wrapped them back up more securely, turning to hide them between the pillows. I wanted to savour them.

"Thank you," I said and I managed to let a small smile cross my face. It was a nice gesture.

The warmth and care which radiated off him was shortly cut when Doctor Stevens suddenly appeared behind him. I hadn't noticed him walk in but I was soon alerted to his presence when coldness embedded itself into my body again.

"It's time you were leaving," he said and he glared down at Micah like he was offending him.

"Um, sorry," Micah muttered out quickly looking uncomfortable. "I well, I did only just get here though."

"Visiting hours are over, " Doctor Stevens snapped and I'm pretty sure it was a lie.

Micah didn't protest again, looking at me apologetically as he rose from his seat. He still held onto my hand, rubbing his thumb gently on my palm as though to speak all the words he wanted in a short space of time.

"I'll come and see you again soon," he told me quickly and quietly, trying to shield his words from Doctor Stevens. "Mum and dad will come to. I promise." He held eye-contact with me for as long as he could. 

I nodded at him, feeling the dread and worry in my body seeping back in as he moved his hand away. Doctor Stevens cleared his throat and Micah backed away from me clearly reluctant and annoyed at him but not confident enough to overpower him.

I tried to remain normal, pulling up a forced smile so Micah thought I was okay. He seemed a little reassured but still worried to leave me.

"See you soon," I called after him, trying to make my tone happy and he nodded at me over his shoulder.

Once he'd completely left the room Doctor Stevens presence became more apparent and cold. I wished Micah would come back, the warmness he had brought was being sucked out of me so quickly there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I avoided paying Doctor Stevens attention for as long as possible but eventually I had to.

"Your test results are showing some unusual finds," Doctor Stevens told me and his eyes pierced through the air at me more sharply than before. I couldn't look away now, trapped. 

"What?" is all I could muster as my internal consciousnesses was screaming at me again. Something bad was coming.

"By unusual I actually mean normal," he continued as my confusion spiked again, "you've not displayed the signs of amnesia in your tests like we thought there would be."

I cleared my throat, feeling sweat arising on my palms. "So I'm okay?" I almost allowed myself to be relieved but I thought it was too early to feel like that. I was right.

"Well there's still something we need to get to the bottom of," he told me. I squirmed uncomfortably at this and wished the conversation was over so I didn't have to hear anymore. I wanted to curl up in a ball but he spoke again, "your black out wasn't just for nothing. We need to find the cause. Now we've ruled out amnesia which seemed a probable problem at the time, we really need to focus on the black out."

I nodded slowly to show I understood, holding on to the covers of the bed to stop my hands shaking.

Doctor Stevens watched my every move with the same blank expression. I wanted to disappear into nothingness, be engulfed by the sheets.

"What do you remember from before the blackout, Kira?" he asked me slowly as though it would persuade me into spilling all my secrets.

I shrugged at him. "I blacked out at school, it was just a normal day," I told him but something must have shown him I had lied as his eyebrows rose at me. He looked like he was in disbelief. 

"And you're sure that's it?" he quizzed me and I felt as though every ounce of my privacy was being invaded. 

I squeezed the fabric tight within my grasp trying not to cry as my eyes stung so badly it was blurring my vision.

"I felt alone... and I panicked I would always be alone," I whispered quietly, remembering how I had felt in the moments before the black out. I had also felt horrified at what was in my brain, all the 1's, but he couldn't know. I couldn't tell him that part.

"You think this is what caused your black out?" he asked me. "You became panicked."

I nodded at him slowly as he almost looked bored with my answer. "I must have just been overwhelmed."

He said nothing in reply, pulling a pen from his pocket and taking the clipboard from the end of the bed. He scribbled something down and replaced the clip board. Nothing in his features said anything more than boredom and coldness.

He turned away as he uttered simply, "very well."

I was glad he was leaving but not happy that he was leaving me without answers again. I didn't want to wait.

"Wait," I called and he looked at me over his shoulder. I gulped, trying to swallow the lump in my throat again as I summoned more words. "What's wrong with me?" I paused slightly and he still didn't look anything more than blankly at me. "Can't you tell me now?"

He still said nothing, turning back around. "Be patient," he said quietly before he continued to walk away.

I wanted to shout after him again but I knew nothing good would come of it. I sunk back into my pillows not able to stop the small tears which leaked out of my eyes. 

I just wanted to know what he was thinking, what he thought was going on. I didn't like the confusion and the waiting and all the silence about it. I just wanted to know and I wanted to know now.

I knew he wouldn't tell me why my brain was like it was, I knew he wouldn't tell me why I had 1's in my brain but I wanted to know what he thought was wrong with me. If my brain scans and my tests came back with nothing, what really was wrong with me? How could there have been nothing bad in them? How could there be nothing to say?

I was sure it would have displayed something but it didn't. I didn't have amnesia either but still my memories were hard to find... how did I not have something wrong with my brain? There was clearly something wrong.

"It will get easier after a while." Asha's quiet voice startled me. I quickly brushed away tears, focusing on her. I needed some kind of reassurance, maybe she would give it to me. I was so confused and sad. I needed something to concentrate on other than the panic in my brain which erupted with spiralling 1's.

She raised her voice a little more. "Once they tell you nothing's wrong, it's just you and your brain that has to figure it all out," she told me and her voice was so dark it almost made me shiver. Goose bumps coated my arms. "They don't know what's wrong with us, they can't see it. So we have to fight it alone... I've been fighting it and you've been fighting it too." She sighed and I saw all the sadness dance across her face in a flicker. She looked like she'd endured so much but she was still sitting here talking to me, not falling back into shadows. I had to do that to. I had to be strong.

She looked more firmly at me. "It will get easier to accept that no ones going to help us. "

"I hope so." I couldn't say anymore. She was right.

They saw nothing was wrong but we knew there was. Only we could find the answers as they wouldn't be looking for them. You can't find something unless you look for it and it's the same with answers.

"We have to do something," she spoke up again and I pushed myself into a sitting position, nodding at her. Somehow she made me feel strong, her words were empowering me. No one would help us so we had to help ourselves. 

"But what do we do?" I asked her, hoping she had some sort of plan. I wanted to find answers more than anything.

She caught my gaze in hers, a flicker of fear in her eyes, and breathed in deeply. "We have to go to the forest."

I let the words draw out, feeling myself shaking again. The forest in my dreams I had been running in, I was scared of something there... but that was the only thing my brain was telling me. Go to the forest. It had been the only message I had understood.

I couldn't understand why my head was filled with 1's, I couldn't understand why my memories were so hard to grasp but my thoughts were telling me the forest was something which had answers... and I wanted answers.

"Where is the forest?" I asked aloud, voicing my thoughts. The forest featured in my dreams but how were we going to find it.

Asha got up from her bed, gestured at me to follow her to the window. I hurried over curiously and followed her gaze as she pointed out into the slowly darkening night. There was a forest of trees behind the hospital, growing tall and foreboding. It looked like the pine trees in my dream... It was the forest in my dream.

"We need to go there," Asha whispered and I felt myself nodding even though fear was tugging at my insides. I wanted to be sick but I had to be strong. If I wanted answers so badly I had to find them myself and to do that I needed to be brave.

I had to be brave.

"Tonight," I said it softly but surely, not wanting it to come out as a question. I wanted to be sure of something. Right now nothing else was certain but I had to be certain on this. We had to try and find answers and this was the place to start. We had to go to the forest like our brains were telling us to.

But I couldn't imagine what we would find. 

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