He watched as she writhed her body in the chair. The rope was pressing deeper into her skin and he could see the marks from the attempts she made to get out. Tate inched closer to her face as she locked eyes with him. The fragile body that sat in front of him now was not the same one that walked in to this place….
Autumn watched the boy with weary eyes. Her whole body was screaming in pain. She wanted to just pass out. Die at this moment if she could. Anything was better than going through, all this pain. He seemed deep in thought for a long moment. So when his question came, it was both a relief and confusion that struck her. Feel sorry for her? No, he shouldn’t. That isn’t what she wanted. Not really. She just wanted..help. Just a few moments of his time to get her out and she would leave him alone. She opened her mouth to answer, but nothing came out. Fortunately for her, he seemed to have not noticed and continued to talk. He had tried to save someone before. It didn’t work? Did that mean a patient had died here? Oh great. Now she was definitely sure this was the last place she would ever seen in her life. She didn’t hear the last part. Where he said he had made it worse. Her mind was a flurry of thoughts and emotions.
His whole body was showing some kind of internal war with himself. That is what she noticed when she broke her random thoughts to look back at him. He seemed to tug at different directions. It was odd, but she knew that feeling. She had felt it before. Then he simply told her what she had been thinking all along. She didn’t want to die here. Of course she didn’t. She didn’t want to die in general. Not really. At least not now. Her head raised to look at him. Then with relief he walked closer and cut the ropes. Releasing her. He stepped back and she slowly stood up. At this point she didn’t care if he saw her naked. She just wanted out, and he had helped her. She was grateful. She would repay him. Somehow. One day. She looked at him with her green eyes and gave a small, but precious smile. She wasn’t sure hugging him would be appropriate. So she slowly, limped and stumbled her way to the door. Opening it.
She was going to be free. Oh yes. Right? No. Wrong wrong wrong. Any form of luck she had ever had in her life, was totally gone. Waiting for her at the top of the stairs was the doctor. With a wide and knowing grin. Like he had seen everything that had gone on. She frowned and bit her lip. Standing there with wide eyes, like a deer caught in the headlights. Then just like that. He grabbed her and ordered the nurses to clean her up and let her rest for the rest of the day. They led her to her room, filling the bath tub with scolding water and mercilessly dumping her in. She screamed at the top of her lungs. The pain receptors in her body still being completely sensitive. After enduring that bath. They left her to change. She put on one of her night gowns she had brought in a suitcase. Letting herself fall onto the bed. The only comfortable part in this hell hole.
She couldn’t sleep. All she could do was lie there, eyes close and hope to fall asleep. Her pale body was red and burned slightly. She would squirm every now and then to try to get into a comfortable position. It wasn’t working. A few hours of unsuccessful resting. She opened her eyes. Feeling the presence of the boy in her room. She bit her lip slightly, feeling bad. She had did him wrong by not being able to escape. She really was pathetic and weak. Perhaps now, he would forever leave her alone. She didn’t want that. He seemed to be the only ‘friend’ she had in here. She needed some kind of affection. Some kind of human contact that wasn’t so cruel and relentless.
Ultimately when the girl didn’t make it out, Tate couldn’t help but blame himself when his emotions decided to flip. The doctor grabbed her and with the nurses, they escorted her away. He knew he talked too much, just like in the horror movies where the killer blatantly runs their mouth when they think they’re at their high point; when they think they’ve succeeded. “Fuck!” he said under his breath, full of disgust with himself. He didn’t understand how he didn’t sense the doctor. There was no way he was standing there the entire time - that was the only explanation, and even that didn’t seem right. Tate didn’t have problems like this before. None the less, he waited for complete silence to exit the room.
It was later on in the night. Tate sat in Autumn’s room, watching her as she attempted to sleep. He occasionally changed positions in the room. It seemed to be true that the presence of someone else in the room while you slept made a difference to the sleep cycle. She must have fallen asleep at one point, but it was restless. He watched her toss and turn, and when he stood over her - he could see her mind trying to bring itself to consciousness. As interesting as it was, he stopped and backed away when she started to stir more. Tate didn’t want to really wake her up. But it seemed he managed to, he could feel it even without her saying anything.
He pulled the chair from under the desk and pulled it close to the bed, sitting down slowly as he watched her eyes open as he did so. Tate quickly scanned her body before she looked over at him, he couldn’t help but make himself visible to someone he began to empathize with. The burns on her body didn’t look like they felt too good, but they looked like they could clear up in a couple of days. He’d need to find her something for that. “Autumn?” he said out loud, but softly. “I’m so sorry, Autumn. I didn’t mean to ruin your chance. I wanted to help you, I really did.” It was another one of those feelings coming on. He was so angry with himself but he couldn’t express it normally.
He came from behind the door that led to the hallway and laughed lightly. “I didn’t think you’d feel me around.”
"Yeah? I can feel you a mile away. Your…" she used her hands to gesture as if he had a mass around him "A big mass of sadness"
Tate shrugged his shoulders, giving her the white flag. That was a hard one to hide around this girl and he wasn’t quite sure why. “What are you, an empath?”
"No. I just…I can relate" she gave a small smile and scooted over, patting the space. "Come. Sit down. I can’t sleep anyway "
Although he was hesitant, he followed the command like a puppy. It felt a little warmer when he got closer and sat. “I always had that problem, too.” Tate said before he turned towards her. “What’s up?”
Autumn watched as he walked closer and finally sat down. She gave a small smile and tilted her head. “Nothing. I just…I can’t stand the voices” she knew he would understand what she meant.
"I think we need to help you develop a different coping method." he ran his fingers through her hair before placing his palms back on to his lap. "Not that you should have to cope."
Tate sighed heavily before standing back up. Although his energy was low he still felt he could think better when he stood. Or maybe that was faster? Either way, he had to help her. “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I ask you…what would you rather be doing right now?”
Autumn looked at him with half-lidded eyes, as he raked his fingers through her hair. Listening to his words, she wanted to frown. She knew he was right though.
His body leaving the bed made her open her eyes more. She looked at him in question. Head tilted only slightly. Then his question came. Her first thought, proceeding to flow from her lips. “Swimming”
He watched her mouth and heard her response, smiling as he went back over to grab her hands. “We’ve got a couple of options for that.” and instead of pulling her up, he just reached out.
"Pool or ocean?" Tate stood there asking.