Through The Thickets

Reads: 78  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 4

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lainey's father is in the hospital, often forgetting who she was. Anchor is a boy who can't stop thinking about her. Twisted ends of Through The Thickets.

Submitted: September 06, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 06, 2010

A A A

A A A


This was bad, the swallowing cold, the gripping fear. This wasn’t how things were. This wasn’t how they should be. They were breaking all the rules and everything Solaine knew to be was slipping away like fine hair between her fingers. He was so tempting though, promising her the world. But he was lying, he’d left her in the blistering cold that night, he’d left her to die.
 
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a fatal brain disease that often claims the victim's life within a year of onset. It affects one out of every 1,000,000 people, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Visual disturbances, trouble with coordination, memory lapses, blindness, weakened extremities and behavior changes are the symptoms of this condition. Most people with the disease are around age 60.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/21691-list-rare-fatal-diseases/
 
Lainey let the sun warm her back as she sat at her window seat on the way to the hospital. The bus reeked of gas, something dying, and old things but she loved the trip she took every day after school to visit her father. She liked the feeling of warmth on her back as she stooped over in an attempt to hide from the people.
It wasn’t that she was disfigured or anything-she found herself to be quite pretty-but the people on the bus always had shadows to hide from. She saw it in their eyes, the way they moved. It was like everyone in the town was splashes of grey and she liked the comfort of the cool grey. She peered out the windows and looked onto the streets where teenagers pranced about on the warm summer day, like dots of color in the grey city.
She tucked her pale yellow hair behind her ear; she felt it tickle between her shoulder blades in the tank top she wore as the bus came to a slow and steady stop. She waved to the grey bus driver who gave a slow smile that wasn’t quite there to her as she stepped off and into the warm heat of summer. It wouldn’t last long, a month more and then fall would invade the summer winds and she’d be left with the cool breeze of autumn.
The hospital was white in the grey town, it reeked of clean and death and although this was Lainey’s least favorite place she waited all day to see her father and a simple fear of hospitals wouldn’t stop her. She went up the steps and waived at the nurse she’d often seen in her visits. “Morning, Lainey.” She was greeted as she steered through the halls of sickness and found her father’s room.
Today was a good day for him; she could tell by the way he sat in his bed reading away. Only did her thoughts turn when she realized he was reading the book upside down. “Daddy?” She questioned as she watched him stare intently at the book.
He peered up and looked her up and down in her shorts and tank top-back pack slung carelessly over one shoulder. “Daddy?” She tried again and she cringed outwardly with the look of sheer confusion he held. “Do I know you?” He asked, his brow furrowed as he ran a hand through his sandy blonde hair he’d managed to keep from graying. She sobbed slightly, turning on her heels as she tried to run from the room as fast as she could.
They’d told her this would happen, that this was inevitable, but it still hurt her that her father didn’t recognize her. The nurses gave her gazes of worry and pity but she couldn’t care less about them. Her backpack banged against her shoulders in a numbing pain but she didn’t stop running until she reached the river and her ankles and feet ached from running in flip-flops. 
She shook off her shoes and back pack, dipping her feet into the water that’d already began to chill. Her tears made small splashes in the water and she dipped her fingers in.The water comforted her and she liked the way the fish would swim towards her and brush her skin like a small and gentle caress of comfort.
“Laine?” She heard him whisper behind her, he might’ve said it but he was far away and she didn’t feel like him seeing her-torn and broken. She twisted her hair over her shoulder and looked up at him-his eyes the first she noticed, like a warm breath of sunshine, and then his deep brown hair that seemed to have its own will where it sat on his head-some patches sticking up and some laid down-and his smile-oh his smile-she loved the assurance it gave her.
“Hey Jeremy.” He said something gently to the people he was with then started towards her. “What are you doing? Are-Are you crying? Are you alright?” He asked as he ran up to her, his voice low so the people he walked with wouldn’t hear. He looked almost upset that he had to take time from his busy schedule to check on his poor old neighbor. “I’m fine. Really. It’s okay.” Her voice quivered and her hands trembled but she didn’t want him to notice how vulnerable she was. She didn’t want him to know about her dad.
“You don’t look okay. Want to come hang out with my friends? We all could go grab a bite to eat.” He offered as he held his hands out with his palms up like an offering, but he looked like he wanted her to say no-and by the way a brown haired girl bounced from foot to foot she knew why. But that was his thing-not hers, he hung out with grey people anyways. “No, I just want to sit by the water a bit. I’ll catch you by the apartments later though.” She offered with a fleeting smile as her toes curled into the sand where they still stood in the water.
“If you’re sure…you know you’re welcome at my place anytime.” She nodded but couldn’t muster the courage to smile again and he left her, for the better she supposed. But she couldn’t help but wonder if he didn’t notice the pleading in her voice when she silently begged for him to stay-just the two of them.
He watched her-it was wrong but how couldn’t he?  The jealous rage he rarely felt flooded through him when she spoke with the boy she longed after.Why couldn’t he long after him like that? Was he too arrogant? Too stand-offish? Too…off limits?
She was obviously willing the other boy to stay with her but he brushed her off so easily it angered him. She was precious to him-and he tossed her aside like she was nothing. He saw her turn back to the river, her tears landing in the shallow water. He stepped out of the shadows next to her and offered a weak smile-nothing else.
She looked at him and smiled feebly-it was sugar coated with sadness but he revealed in it. He took her hand, squeezing it gently. She didn’t slip it out of his grip but let it sit there like a steady comfort. “I’m Solaine.”  She said after a long while, her toes didn’t move from the water. “Anchor.” She let a low laugh out-it was strained but it held traces of something similar to sunshine. “It fits you.” Her voice was a soft caress to him and she leaned gently on him.
“Care for a coffee? Something warm? You must be freezing.” She looked absently at her feet-as if studying them like appendages that weren’t hers. “I think I am…” Her voice trailed off and she took her hand from his. “But I have to go.”She turned swiftly and picked up her bag and flip-flops. “Can I walk you home?” He offered, wanting to stand with her a moment longer.
“That’s fine-but thank you.” She declined politely. He was in too deep to give up so easily, and as she slipped so easily from his grip he reached out and set his hand gently on her shoulder-but she jumped at his touch and he cringed away. “Solaine, you really look like you could use a friend. I’d feel bad if you didn’t at least let me walk you.”She looked away a moment-pondering.That was a start.
“Well I took the bus here so how about coffee? I guess I could do that…” He smiled, feeling as if he face would crack from sheer happiness. They walked across the street next to the river and into a coffee shop, sliding into the booth with ease. “What can I get you?” He asked as he pulled out his wallet. “Oh that’s fine, thank you. I don’t want anything.” She politely declined. “Hot chocolate?” She laughed, and nodded, blushing slightly in such a cute flush of blood to her cheeks.
He’d only seen her twice in his entire life, that first time when she’d first visited the hospital. But it was like she was his, not that he stayed about all night dreaming of her but his thoughts would eventually drift toward her and he would find himself wondering questions he’d never thought of other girls. What was her favorite color? Favorite food? Favorite band? Why was she at the hospital? How did she get the shallow scar on her forehead above her eye? Did she know her eyes were a beautiful shade of blue that reminded him of summer skies? He wondered how her skin would feel when she hugged him or how soft her lips were if they were to gently brush his.
He sat the hot chocolate in front of her, blowing the steam away from his as she looked out the window and into the city. “I’ve always thought this place was…colorless?” He said, propping his head on his hand as his elbow sat on the table.“Really? I call it the Greyplace. Like theirs splashes of color here and there but the city just…stays grey. I wonder what it would’ve been like way back when? Like maybe the town has a dank past that keeps it this way…” She trailed off, not taking her eyes from the window.
He watched her, from the corner of his eye and smiled at her.She was smart too. “Would you like to talk about what happened? Or…not?” He offered, placing his palms up on the table like an offer. “My Dad…he’s in the hospital. He forgot me today…” She said quietly, her voice like a whisper as it caressed his eyes. “I’m sorry, that must be hard.” Was all he said, stretching his hand over the table. She gently slipped her hand into his and smiled at him. “Your kind, Anchor.” Was all she said as she smiled at him and he felt as if he’d burst with joy.
Eventually she slipped her hand from his and they both sipped their hot chocolate, polite conversation between each other. He found out she lived with her Dad’s ex-girlfriend who was nice enough to let her stay, she liked all the bright colors that she could find and wasn’t too fond of dark colors, yes-the pale blonde is her natural color, and that her mother left her and her father when they were young.
He told her bits about himself, his father and mother traveled a lot so he lived alone at his apartment and that he was going to a community college the upcoming fall for teaching. He told her he loved children, that he worked at a bookstore on the other side of town and that she should stop by because no one ever visited him.
She contributed she was starting her senior year at high school and was terrified about it, that she didn’t have a whole lot of friends besides Casey, her best friend since first grade, and her neighbor Jeremy that admittedly didn’t really like her. 
By the time they finished they were chatting animatedly and only did they realize they were far too late home when the waitress came up and asked them to leave because it was time to close down the coffee shop.
“So much time passed…” She said as he walked her to the bus stop, gently cradling her hand in his. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” He said lamely with a shrug as fireflies flitted about the sky and danced around the grey city. When they reached the bus stop Solaine checked the bus stop schedule and cursed under her breath. “Something wrong?” Anchor asked as he placed his hand on her shoulder. “I missed the last bus!” He laughed at her, and took out his car keys. “I’ll drive you. No problem.” 
They walked in comfortable silence to his car and she gave him directions to her house, which he found delightful to be only a few blocks away from his work. When he told her so she smiled and shrugged. “Maybe I’ll come visit you tomorrow. When do you work?” They were still holding hands he noticed with a slight jump in his chest. “Noon to five.”He answered as she slid her hand away and began to open the door slowly, as if waiting for something.
“Solaine?” Anchor whispered as his fingers grazed hers. “Yeah?” And with a bout of braveness he didn’t know he had Anchor leaned in and gently kissed her, her lips tasting of the hot chocolate they’d drank earlier. “Bye.”He said as a slow smile filled to the brim with happiness came to his lips. She blushed but smiled none the less. “Bye.” She whispered, looking at him one last time before getting out of his car. What a good day. If only this wasn’t her dream.


© Copyright 2017 TeenageAnarchist. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Young Adult Short Stories