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9. Recovery

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Colt’s apartment had the best security that there was. He pulled Irish from whatever she was on to stay with me at all times on the inside. And there was a small army on the outside. I didn’t see Colt for a while, but I imagine that he was conspiring. He had sent Irish to try and make me feel better, hoping that, as a girl, I could bond with her better. She crept in slowly, trying to make the least amount of noise possible. And she was good at it. But I couldn’t go back to sleep once I was up. After falling asleep on Colt, I couldn’t sleep that peacefully again. It didn’t make sense, that I was abused by a guy but needed one to sleep better. I watched her creep in though.

“Hey,” I whispered.

She jumped, almost falling over. Her eyes locked on mine as she staggers to sit down at the bedside. She looked alert for a moment then sat back, calming down.

“Hey, feeling better?”

I shake my head. I feel filthy, still covered in dirt and blood. Colt didn’t want to embarrass me. I could understand how he felt. This was a situation he was unfamiliar with. He didn’t know how to deal with it. Even Irish seemed a bit distant.

“I think you just need a hot shower.” She looked at the bed, thinking about it. “Scratch that, a warm bath wouldn’t kill you.”

And she got up and started the water. I heard it distantly. Everything was still blurry, the colors were a little off; the lines weren’t as crisp as they should have been. She came back and gave me a hand, leading me shakily to the bathroom. She asked if I would be all right. I told her I would. I was looking the place over, the bright light hurting my eyes. Seeing the problem, she reached up and removed a few of the bulbs.

“Better?”

I nodded and she smiled back.

“I’ll be outside if you need anything. Try not to drown, huh?”

I laughed a little, the most I could muster up, changed, and sank into the water. Everything hurt more, the cuts, everything, I had sharp pains everywhere. I washed out all the cuts, the bruises, got out the blood and dirt. Tears were running down my eyes in rivers while I did this. I sat and soaked for what felt like half an eternity, my head resting back, eyes closed. My throat was tender all around. I had bruises on top of bruises. I never fully healed from the last adventure. And Linkon knew it. He knew how and where to hurt me. My body tensed up just thinking about him. The memories repeated, no matter how hard I tried to shut them out. Over. And over. The tears just wouldn’t stop. After awhile, when I was thoroughly numb but also thoroughly refreshed, I crept out of the tub. Looking over, I found a clean set of clothes waiting. They weren’t mine; my first thought went to Irish. She was all types of wonderful in more ways than one. I changed painfully, opening the door slowly, my torn and stained clothes balled up in my hands.

“I’ll take those,” Irish said insistently, jumping up from where she was sitting. I dropped them into her waiting hands and she rushed off to dispose of them. I assumed she was trying to remove all reminders of the event. She came back after a few minutes, smiling tiredly.

“Feeling better?”

I thought about it. Mentally, I’d be a little weird for a while. But physically I was better. My hair was soaked, dripping down my back. I moved slowly over to the bed, sitting down, a towel wrapped around my shoulders. I thought some more before whispering:

“A bit.”

My voice was small and raspy. Irish kind of winced hearing it, then decided that it might be better for me to write things down for a while until it was back to normal. If normalcy could ever be resumed. Irish smiled a little bit of a grin as she handed me paper and pencil, then moved to sit next to me.

“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.

I shook my head slowly. Any quick movement sent such sharp pains that the room would spin. She nodded her acknowledgment, getting up slowly. She told me she would go see if she could find any sort of food. I nodded at her.

“Colt’s a guy, I doubt we’ll find anything edible, but I’ll try,” she said, smiling wide. I wanted to laugh, but just smiled back at her. I felt like a mute, lost in the realm of sound. Everything was new and different. And every so often…spinning. She moved off to ransack the place while I sat.

I tried to just clear my mind. I needed to get out of this place. Not Colt’s apartment. This town. This city. I needed to get far away, run until I couldn’t run anymore. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t get anywhere.

While I was sleeping, I had a dream.

I was dreaming that I was walking. And this guy, young, possibly a street demon, was running. I was watching him get nearer and nearer. And the closer he got, the more I started to think. When he got close enough, I stepped in front of him. He wasn’t running in a frantic kind of way. It was a casual, slow pace. He came to an easy stop when I moved out, his shirt drenched in sweat. He stood doubled over, panting loudly, his hands on his knees, looking up at me.

“What are you running from?” I asked him. My voice was perfectly clear, there wasn’t a bruise on my whole body. I was as I was before all this. He raised his head, but didn’t answer. I looked around, making gestures with my hands to emphasize my point as I ranted.

“What are you running from? For that matter, where are you going? Do you know where and when you started? Do you have a plan for what happens when you stop? Can you tell me any of those things?”

And he straightened up, wiping sweat from his forehead. And he shook his head. I knelt down and cried, staring up at him. I wanted any sort of answer, any idea at all. The more I cried, the more attention he paid. Eventually, he dropped down to a knee, taking a hand to raise my chin up, so my eyes met his.

“There are no answers because there aren’t any real questions.”

I still didn’t understand. He smiled and pulled me up with him then he ran off again. And that was that. I didn’t get it. I woke up and raked my mind. Until it hurt. Which wasn’t that hard, considering. But it didn’t make sense, as most dreams tend not to. Either which way, I tried to disregard what happened – on both the real and surreal levels.

I came back to reality. I had to deal with it one way or another. This was the real. This was the now. I had to deal with it in one form or another. I wasn’t really hungry; I was just shaky. I sat on the bed for a while trying to think of what to do now. And when that failed, I curled up and tried to go back to sleep. It didn’t take long before I was back to dreaming.

For the next few days, all I did was slip in and out of the waking. I slept for hours on end, woke up for awhile, and slept more. I was feeling better, slowly making progress. Colt would come and go, check in, then disappear. Irish looked like a train wreck. She would stay up for days on end, always watchful. It took me awhile, but she finally consented to sleep. I don’t think it was consent…she just kind of passed out in a chair one day. It was kind of funny. Irish’s a stubborn girl – she’s up there with the top dogs. When she says that she won’t do something, it’ll be a cold day in Hell before it happens. She wouldn’t sleep, and yet, she was out. It was kind of funny. Maybe you’d have to be there to understand.

I wasn’t briefed on what was going on. Colt didn’t want me to worry about things. And when Irish was just too exhausted to keep up with things, they had Dusk take shifts here and there. It kept him out of trouble. Another issue off of Colt’s shoulders. I didn’t know the latest. All I knew was that nobody important was dead or dying. I knew that the war was still going on. I knew that neither side had established a major foothold. The bar and circus were still operational, despite major and minor setbacks alike. And here we stood. And from here, it was just a matter of edging forward. Inch by inch, but the end would come one way or another.

That transitory state exists until the next big collapse, the next major emergency. Until the calm was again interrupted – because nothing could remain so tranquil for such an extended period of time. After all this is said and done, do me a favor?

Define: Impossible.

Because I’m just dying to find out what “impossible” means these days.

I want to know who bought the rights to reason.

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