If I'd had any doubts that Damien had issues before, I don't now. The nurses had carried him back over to his bed when he fell asleep on me, and his mom had come in with something wrapped up in foil for him a little later on. When she saw he was pretty much dead to the world, she sat with him anyway, putting the thing wrapped up in foil on the little cabinet by his bed.

She sat with him for the whole two hours it took for him to wake up, crying quietly to herself. It was awkward. At least, it was awkward for me, because she was beyond the point of caring who saw, and Damien was out cold. And then, bless her, when he finally woke up, he spent a good few minutes trying to persuade her to kill him - well, I think that was what he was trying to get her to do - before he had a go at getting out of bed when she kept refusing. That's when the nurse came over and stepped in. He fell over and another nurse came and shut that curtain thing around his bed, so I couldn't see any more, though I heard his mom crying more and him whining quietly about something.

I feel kinda sorry for his mom. Not enough to get up and hug her or anything. But y'know. Just kinda sorry for her. What did she do to deserve this? What did she ever do to deserve such a fucked up kid? When she comes out from behind that curtain, I can see her asking herself the same question. I kind of hope that she'll realise I know Damien and maybe talk to me. I've not talked to anyone apart from him and Campbell since I got here, so any kind of conversation with someone semi sane would be welcome right now.

But she doesn't come over, and I don't get conversation. Instead, I just get a nurse shoving a plate of... something at me. Is that supposed to be food? I don't know, but I don't think I want to eat it.

I dump it on my bedside cabinet and slouch down against my pillows, wondering how people keep themselves from going even more insane in here.

Damien's mom comes back a while later with a coffee and looking a little better. Like she's gone to clean up in the bathroom and had a break outside or something. I wish I could do that. Fuck hormone therapy and surgery. Right now, I'd be happy with just a quick walk around town or a trip to the cinema. Anything.

She realises I'm watching her, and glances over at me as she pulls back the curtains around Damien's bed again. I guess if I want conversation, I'm gonna have to start one. I look at Damien. He doesn't look so great. He's sprawled on the bed, half under the covers. Like when they were putting him back in bed, he refused and they just couldn't be bothered.

"Is he, um... How is he?" I ask. She looks sort of surprised.

"D'you know him?"

"Kinda," I nod, "we're at the same school."

"I'm surprised. He never seems to go in," she mutters, flashing an almost disappointed look at her son.

"I don't see him around much," I shrug, "just enough to know who he is." She looks me over, like she's scrutinizing me, searching for something. "What?" She lifts her shoulders a little and sits down next to Damien. I can't talk at you across the ward, y'know. Usually, I would take that as a sign she doesn't really want to talk, but I'm too bored to care. I give her a couple of moments to herself.

She takes Damien's hand again, like I saw her do earlier. Only this time, he doesn't squeeze back. It's not like he's unconscious, he's just too sedated to do much right now. He mumbles something quietly, turning his head slowly to face his mom. I don't catch what he said, but I think it was something like ‘I wanna go home now'. His mom nods and holds his hand a little tighter.

"I know, honey. Soon. I promise." He murmurs something else that I don't really hear. "Not yet, honey. You gotta stay here and get better." She sounds kinda patronizing, but I guess she's genuine about what she's saying at least. It's not like she doesn't care. She rubs the back of his hand with her thumb, holding back more tears. I s'pose maybe I shouldn't try to talk to her again.

With a sigh, I go back to staring at the ceiling, hoping that something interesting happens soon. 


The End

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