Chapter 9

I've been lying in my bed for hours now just staring into the dark space that constitutes my room. I twirl a piece of hair mindlessly, trying not to think about him, about Peter. I only want to talk to him. I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut.

Finally sick of sitting still, I stand up and pace back and forth, back and forth. I hear a voice, and for a lingering moment, think its him, but I realize it's coming from down the hall. I put my ear up to the door and hear them: it's an older man and he's shouting. By the volume of his voice it sounds like he's a good 20 feet away still.

"No, stop! I don't want to go, I don't want to! Let me GO!"

I cringe back from the door just in time, because as their feet block the light coming in through the crack between the door and the floor, a heavy thud reverberates against my door. The man's protests are silenced immediately. Something slides down the door, and the light goes out. I have to throw my hands over my mouth to keep from crying out.

There's a shuffling noise and couple of grunts, and then the light filters back into my room as the people continue down the hall. I back up from the door, slowly, one step at a time, trying to regain control.

What just happened?

"Hey. Hey kid, you there?"

My head whips to the right and I practically dive to the wall. "Peter, thank God," I say. "Did you just hear that? What happened? It was right outside my room, Peter."
"I know, I know," he whispers. His voice is strained. He doesn't say anything else.
"Peter, are you okay?" I ask. Neither of us says anything for a few moments, and I picture the worst. Is he tired of me? Am I imposing myself on him? Or is he hurt? Maybe something has happened to him, as well.

"I'm okay, I think. I feel funny- I can't describe it. Almost weak. Tired."
"Are you sick?" I cannot specifically recall being sick, but the memory of the feeling is still there: groggy, weak, my head spinning and cloudy at the same time.
"Maybe," he moans. I feel for him, but there is nothing I can do. Absolutely nothing. I feel useless. It's becoming a common sensation lately.

Thinking only of comforting him, I say, "I'm sure they have medicine. They can get you healthy."
"Yeah. Yeah, you're probably right..."

I don't know what else to say. I guess he doesn't either, because we sit there in complete silence. Eventually I lay down on the floor so my face is right in front of the hole. I can't see anything, of course, but it helps to know that I'm that much closer to him. I hear a scraping noise and then quiet, and I realize that he's laid down as well. I smile. I wish there wasn't a wall between us right now.
"Hey Peter?"
"Shh" is all that comes from the other side of the wall. It's not a kind way of quieting me either, it's rushed and harsh. I freeze and keep my mouth shut. And then I hear it.

The End

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