Stage I

Both literally and figuratively speaking, poor Grace is trapped in her head as she deals with health issues and her own discontent in life.

As the illness drew closer, she leaned more heavily on the stories of her hard-cover novels. They flaunted certainty and understanding, keeping her constantly sifting and searching through them. Her own mind whispered the answers to her, but she couldn't hear them behind her determination.

Soon enough, the wave overcame her. She was thrust into the darkness of the flu before she could find her answers.

Down in the pit, deep inside her body, her knowledge was trapped. The only words she could grasp were those on the linings--her anxiety in her brain, mouth, and toes.

Her newfound trepidation molded her heart into the shape of a cashew, wringing out her favorite memories and her most optimistic quotes. Stimulation to be productive and happy were now gone. She, herself, was now practically and ultimately gone.

Her disease digested her maintainable routine. Its product of wobbly knees and an unsteady balance depleted her appreciation for even the simple richness of a cinnamon roll.

Wound around herself over her unmade bed sheets, she tossed and turned with a sheen of sweat slowly accumulating over her forehead.

The daisy-fresh yellow duvet became littered with beige and unforgiving tea stains. The kitchen sink had more plates stacked on top of each other than napkins stacked in their basket. The only plants that remained unaffected were the watercolors. The only sadness that wasn't displayed in her living conditions was the salt of her tears, and those were very easy enough to find--just look to her eyes.

The door creaked and groaned of rust when Kyle peeked in. His bleached-white shirt and smile didn't fit well with the surrounding clutter.

"Grace?"

The power in her name shattered the feeble atmosphere. Kyle hesitated. No response. He swiftly strided through the two-room apartment, stopping only at the door to softly knock.

"Grace?" He tried again, but softer.

The girl behind the door mumbled enough for him to recognize her voice. He turned the knob and tried to absorb the disheveled state of his girl and her room.

The End

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