The Cure

A medical condition can hurt a girl in the most vulnerable place -- her confidence.
And hurting a girls confidence?
This girl isn't going to recover anytime soon.

Three years after being diagnosed with the unattractive, torturous tourettes, an impulsive action that must be done or the person gets wildly uncomfortable and stressed, Thalia is still searching desperately for something to reduce the impulse.
But it's harder than you think when the antidote is being calm - and in a world Thalia thinks is against her, she battles to keep her head above the waves of a storm she'd been expecting for so long: but an unexpected person changes all of that, and Thalia finds everything she's worked so hard to build up, to protect herself until she's cured, come crumbling down around her.
And then somebody tries to kill her.

Based on true medical issues.


4. The New Boy


"Thalia? Dr Grant has got a surprise for you!" Thalia raised an eyebrow.

She had been visiting Dr Grant for the past three months, and since then, every time she heard the words 'surprise' and 'Dr Grant' in the same sentence, she knew she had to be worried.

But nevertheless, she followed Shelia through the door on the left, and into Dr Grant's Office.

However, he wasn't there. His Office was tidy though, and that hit Thalia where it hurt.

"It's clean," She mumbled quietly.

Despite Shelia's efforts to keep Dr Grant's office orderly, the older man wouldn't have none of it, and never had: Thalia had also tried to clean it, but he wasn't having it either. So now Thalia had finally gotten used to the idea of everything being  everywhere, having it clean, it scared her.

Made her freeze, and crack her neck. "Why is it clean?"

Shelia looked around, puzzled, and then put her hands in her head.

"Oh godforsaken if I actually would have believed he'd listened to me for once." And she moved back towards the door, gesturing Thalia to follow. "Well, I was going to leave it as a surprise, but it seems the Dr has decided to ignore my wise advice, again. .... We've picked up a new teenager, finally, a boy just a couple of months older than you, just under a year I'm certain, and he and Dr Grant are also working to overcome his own problems."
"Bi-polar. He's a Dr Grant take two."

"Oh." And the girls exchanged a look. Shelia laughed, and straightened out her top.

"Don't look at me like that, Thalia. He's nice kid, really. Not as crazy as Dr Grant, I suppose; and I think you two might get along."

"I don't like change."
"I know."
"I don't want to meet him."
"Thalia," And Shelia gave her a gentle smile. "You're going to fine, okay? This boy, his name's Alec, and he's going through exactly what you're going through, although he seems not to be coping as well as you are."

"I've been here three months."

"Yes, and we want Alec to stay for that long as well, so I need you to be nice, okay? You know Doctor Grant, he's challenging enough as it is ... don't encourage him." Thalia hummed quietly, and brought out her stress ball, already clutching it tightly.

"Fine." She finally murmured.

Shelia swung open the door to a new room, one Thalia had only been in twice: Shelia's Office, and she spotted the two men almost instantly.

And she screamed and jumped back as Dr Grant launched himself at the two.

Shelia, however, moved forwards, and despite her petite size, threw the Dr onto her desk: and she hit him. Hard. Round the jaw.

Thalia watched in horror as the two tackled for power, and then she saw stars.

A body had grabbed her, and tackled her to the ground.
And it was all happening way to quick.

She screamed, out of sheer horror and fright, and a face appeared in front of her.

"Who are you? What do you want from me? Why are you here?" The boy's eyes were narrow, and dangerous, and he was heavy. Thalia didn't get a good look at him, but she didn't need to. All her emergency actions kicked into once: she took a deep breath in, and she screamed loud, a high shrill that erupted from her heart, and echoed around the room.


Every inch of her skin was alight with fear at his touch: and she started to spasm. The boy did a double take as he tried to stay in power, but Shelia and Dr Grant, who was quick to recover from his bi-polar episode, had realised what was going on now: and the boy was being thrown off.

Thalia screamed, and curled up, and she was twitching. Her neck was cracking, her vocal humming had turned into loud whimpering: and she was a wreck. Inside, she felt hot and cold at the same time; and she felt the daggers slitting her skin from where the human contact had been.

It's all in your head, Thalia, she tried to tell herself. Stop screaming. He's gone. You're imagining it!

But she was in a fit of despair so bad she couldn't breathe.

She couldn't breathe.

Her lungs were closing in on her: her head was spinning: she was feeling sick.

And there were hands grabbing her, trying to pull her arms away from her face. And she thrashed and screamed, and she was crying too: and she still couldn't breathe.

It was Shelia holding her, rocking her to her chest.

"Come on, Thalia, deep breaths: in, and out - in and - DR GRANT! Don't you DARE touch that!" And there was a crash. And then Shelia, the calm and collected Shelia that Thalia had loved and admired so much, was screaming too, over the noise escaping her lips.

Then there was a mask over Thalia's head.

She was lying down, she realised. Her head was in somebodies' lap, and someone was stroking her hair out of her face. The mask had strange air in it: almost instantly, her muscles tightened, and then relaxed. She felt her body slipping away instantly, and through the blur and the pain and the horror, she liked the feel of hands playing with her hair.

She heard the screaming subside, and then, the humming was there, but it went once, twice, three times - and then it stopped.

And Thalia shut her eyes, and fell asleep.





When Thalia regained sense, her body had just about gained control again, and she was lying on a table, with a pillow tucked neatly under her head, and a blanket over her.

She panicked at first.

And she thrashed around as the covers seemed to take shape of a body, and it pinned her to the bed, and held her there, touching her, and making her feel hot and scared and clammy, and the darkness was drawing closer, and eating her alive -

The light was switched hurriedly on, and Shelia was there.

Not her Mum.

Not her Dad.

Not even Jeminia, her sister.


And the younger girl cried a little more at the thought of her Mum not being there to hold her, and tell her everything's going to be alright.

But Sheila was also like a mother to her, and so she settled for the older women to take a seat beside her, and stroke down her hair.

"Shush, Thalia: it's going to be okay."
"Where's my mum?"

"She's on her way."
"Where am I?"

"Still in my Office. You have been out for just over an hour. You're okay though."
"Where's Dr Grant?"

"With Alec."
"Why am I still here?"
"God you like to ask a lot of questions, don't you? Here, come on. Sit up." However when Sheila went to help Thalia to sit up, at the exact same time the younger girl threw herself away from the hands trying to touch her, the door swung open, and two men moved speedily in.

Dr Grant, and a boy. Sheila let out an exasperated sigh, and waved her hands angrily at the Doctor.

"Dr Grant! I told you to wait in your Office!"

"Oh dear lady, one does not just simply wait around to know if people are okay." And squinting over at Thalia, he nodded thoughtfully. "See, boy, I told you she was okay." The boy behind him froze, just for a second, and then he dropped his gaze to the ground, shoving his hands deeply into his pockets.

Sheila got up from beside the table Thalia was lying at, and moved towards Dr Grant. When she stepped under the light, did Thalia suddenly see the woman's face. And she gasped at the mucky wound slashed across her cheek, and ending at her jaw bone.

Even Dr Grant seemed to take a second to compose himself: and then he sighed, sighed!

"Oh, Ms Sheila. Why did you get in the way?" He lifted a hand, and ran a careful finger lingeringly over the wound. Sheila didn't flinch; but Thalia did, just at the thought of somebody touching her, and blushed slightly.

"Because I have a care to protect younger children: and so do you. Launching yourself across the room at them with a knife, and an upset teenager in the room already, was not a good idea, hm?"

Dr Grant stuck his head higher up, and drew his hand back sharply, defensively too.

"I was not launching myself, dear lady. I was simply moving very quickly, and very hastily to see what had caused me to wait so long."

"You had a knife, Doctor. You shouldn't even be here. You have been banned from work for the next two weeks, remember?"
"Nonsense! One does simply not be banned from work."
"One does simply not argue with an angry woman, either, Doctor. Please leave, and close the door behind you." For the first time in a small handful of months, Thalia saw Dr Grant become something other than her bi-polar doctor. He became smaller, fragile, hurt, and the look on his face when his eyes rested on Sheila, the pain in her own eyes, it seemed to break him from whatever cloud he was on: his face fell, and he seemed to realise the consequences of what he'd done.

"I am sorry, my dear lady." And he kissed her hand gently, not breaking eye-contact. Sheila stiffened, and then forced her hand away.

"Leave now, Doctor. And don't come back until you're better."

With a tight bow, Dr Grant looked every bit of his age, and even older; he left with whatever pride he had left. And the silence hit. Hard.

Thalia had finally composed herself when her eyes fell onto the boy that attacked her an hour ago. It took a good couple of seconds to recompose herself again at his piercing stare fixated on her, like she was some sort of meat out in the wild. She swallowed hard, cracked her neck, and took an involuntary step back.

But the boy made no attempt to attack her again, and instead, dropped his gaze to the floor.

The silence continued.

And then, from the centre of the room, Sheila's shoulders sagged, and she turned to look at the pair on either side's of the room, strangely quiet. Her cheek looked painful, however the blood had dried, and crusted over. It didn't look too deep either: it looked like it would heal without a mark, yet Thalia still grimaced at the sight of it. And then hated herself because of Sheila's broken expression.

"You two okay then?" Her voice was wavering slightly, but the older woman refused to give into her emotions. She plastered a fake smile onto her lips, and stepped closer to Thalia. The younger girl winced, and her gaze fell to the floor as well. "Not the first impression of us you'd want to see, is it, Alec? However, I assure you, this have never happened before. I think Dr Grant has had too much work on lately, and it got to his head, don't you?" She gave up moving to reassure the young girl, and changed tactics for Alec. But his head flew up, and his eyes were narrow, angry, dangerous.

"Don't." It was the first time he'd spoken, and the venom behind it, startled Thalia. He sounded like he had a faint accent, though she couldn't identify where from; and his floppy hair fell across his face, revealing one stabbing grey eye, which was full of hatred and fear all mixed up at the same time.

Sheila faltered, and then thought the better of it. As she went to spark up another desperate attempt of conversation, the door flew open.

And a burst of bright colours and gasping noises erupted the room.

Thalia's Mum.

"Oh my god, my poor baby!" And she threw herself at Thalia. However, the younger girl had expected it once she figured out who it was, and she step sided her mum's embrace, but just by the skin on her teeth. "Oh my god, I am so sorry, Thalia! I forgot! I'm just so, so, so worried! What happened? Are you okay? Are you okay, Sheila - oh my word! What happened to your face?"
"I'm fine, Mrs Stevens, thanks for asking. I just scratched myself a little." Everybody in the room looked to Sheila, who kept her fake smile plastered hard on her lips, and Thalia saw the boy in the corner of her eye raise an eyebrow, and scoff slightly.

But nobody looked his way: and Thalia's Mum didn't see through the lie.


Thalia's Mum was slightly older than Sheila, and it paid off at times like this as her Mum started to fuss over Sheila, ignoring her daughter completely. Thalia was just fine with that.

The younger girl zigged, zagged through the fuss, and came to a neat halt by the door, squeezing harder onto her stress-ball, examining the situation quickly.

The boy, Alec, beside her took a step too close for comfort, and without thinking, she moved hurriedly further away.

He look up, and grinned. It looked strangely perfect on his mysterious face.

"Can't touch people, eh?" It was the first sentence he had said to her, and despite the memory of him attacking her when he was out of his head, she shook her head, inviting a conversation. And he took it, looking back to her Mum and their bi-polar Doctor's assistant blush over the attention she was getting. "I didn't mean to scare you back there. I tried to cover you from Dr Grant. Guess I must've looked pretty scary in your eyes, eh?"

Thalia blinked, surprised, but had enough strength not to turn and stare at the boy. Instead she swallowed hard, and hummed slightly.

Alec had tried to protect her from Dr Grant? He wasn't trying to hurt her?

And Thalia looked further away, quickly, when he looked back.

"He's ill," Thalia managed to say. "Dr Grant. He's sick. Sheila didn't give him his medication today."
"Is that why he flipped out on that woman over there?" Sheila, you mean?

Thalia shrugged - and then her Mum was in front of her, peering anxiously into her daughter's eyes.

"Come on, Thalia, let's get you home, and into bed, before it becomes dark out - oh. Hi. I'm Thalia's Mum." She stuck out her hand in front of Alec as she noticed the boy standing beside her daughter, and then gasped in horror. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry - you don't have ... you know, the same thing as her ... do you?" Alec shook his head, and took it.

"I'm just mad, that's all." Her Mum didn't know how to react to that, and gave him a half disbelieving, half pitiful look, before addressing Thalia again, letting Alec drop her hand.

"Ready to go?" She asked quickly. Thalia nodded, and they moved towards the door after saying goodbye to Shelia - Thalia didn't say bye to Alec.

She walked on straight passing him, brushing past him, not quite trusting him yet, and it was the same for Alec.

Blanked her.

And by the time she'd gotten home, she had almost completely forgotten about the incident with him.

Until she realised he'd stolen her stress-ball on her way out.

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