Wednesday, July 22, 2009

#0030 | 07/22 | 06:51 AM

I didn't sleep.

I got up earlier than Anna (usually she sneaks back to her room before the dawn hours) and went downstairs and checked the infirmary.

I don't know. Maybe I expected a bloody scene, Henry standing over a bloody rag doll marionette figure. That kid - still didn't know his name - crying silently in a corner, rocking back and forth, whispering the word mommy over and over. And Henry himself, in a crimson streaked apron, standing over the room like a daunting figure, the butchering instruments clutched in his grasp.

But it wasn't the case at all.

There was no excessive blood on the floor, or stained on Henry. The only hints of the red liquid were marks that ran along the mattress that the woman lay on, eyes closed, breathing calmly in the early morning glow.

Henry was sitting on a chair leaned against the eastern wall. He was snoozing, his head leaned back lazily, an uneven snoring emanating from his flaring nostrils.

The kid had been sitting next to his mom, propped up on a chair next to her bed. At first I thought he was asleep too, but at the sound of my approach, his small form shook to attention and he turned to face me.

I still remembered the way he looked at me yesterday, the burning anger and loathing I'd seen in his dull, shocked eyes. He knew I had been the one who had shot his mother. And he despised me, as he rightfully should.

So I didn't exactly know how to react to him now.

A brittle moment passed between us, during which his eyes narrowed speculatively and my eyes (well I don't really know what my eyes communicated) stared back before he visibly relaxed and turned around in his seat.

"Thank you."

I blinked then. Or some other stupid shit. I was lost. Was he thanking me for shooting his mother?

"If you hadn't gone to get the doctor's stuff, my mom would..."

No, I disagreed. I reminded him that I was the idiot who had placed his mother in danger in the first place, it was only right that I right my wrong.

He didn't say anything in response to that. I walked forward to stand beside him, to survey his mother. She was pale, but she didn't look as drawn and tired as she had yesterday. She would recover in time.

The doctor, the kid said, promised that she would recover with due time and care. She had been lucky, as none of the three bullets had clipped any essential internal organs. Had they, it was doubtful he could have done anything to save her life.

And we waited there for a few minutes, just watching her breathe, when he said:

"But thanks anyways."

I wanted to argue, but I didn't. I just sighed. Whatever.

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