The Girl Who Wished To Fly..

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by MiraiNikki021209, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. [​IMG]

    Ari, a 16 year old girl with long black hair and pale red eyes and pale skin, sat by her window, watching the students go home from school. She longed to be like them, not just to go to school like them, but to go outside. She wanted the warmth of the sun on her skin and the feel of grass on her feet.

    You see, Ari was sick. Very sick. And the doctors had no clue what was wrong with her. To put it bluntly, she was on borrowed time. Everyone feared she would fall asleep and never wake up. They prescribed her medicine she had to take constantly and she was weak. She could never walk more than a few feet without needing to sit down and catch her breath.

    She sighed, her gaze following a pair of kids, one boy and one girl, who walked by her house every day. She envied them. They always were laughing and joking. They seemed like good friends, best friends. She use to have friends. Before her family found out she was sick in middle school and took her to the countryside for peace and fresh air.

    Slowly, her small pale hand reached for several pill bottles, uncapping the and shaking a few in the palm of her hand. She places them one at a time on her tongue, taking the cup of water to her left to swallow them.

    Being alone in this house, having no one to socialize with, often made her feel trapped. Like she was a bird locked away in a cage and the only thing she longed for was to stretch out her wings across the sky. Like all she wanted to do was fly..
  2. Arin hated school, or perhaps just the state of his life in general. Day in and day out, each day was exactly like the last. Get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat, then go to school horrendously late and struggle to stay awake through the day. After successfully, or more often unsuccessfully, staying awake, he’d walk home and essentially do nothing. It was such a drag. He thought this over as he walked home, the same route he’d taken many times before. Why do I even go to school? I’ll probably never even leave this town.

    He wore his normal gray basketball shorts, (though he no longer played basketball) and black t-shirt with a pair of old worn out blue skater shoes on his feet. He carried no backpack, or carrying case or anything at all that recommended he was coming home from school. Why should I bring a backpack, when I don’t take anything home? He thought harshly to himself. He kicked a nearby rock, sending it flying across the sidewalk making small click noises as it did so. There were a few other students scattered here and there walking home around him, but he paid them no mind. Even though he went to school with them they were practically strangers to him.

    He stopped a few feet away from the rock he'd kicked, for no reason in particular besides the fact that his thoughts disturbed him and he felt he should think them through. He ran a large hand through his brown, nearly red tinted hair, letting it fall back to it’s normal resting place just above his eyes. He looked around. It was a beautiful day, the sky a deep blue that promised no trace of bad weather, and the sun still burnt brightly. Off in the distance, above the sound of the students walking home around him he could hear birds chirping. His intense thoughts caused his eyes to wander. He ended up staring at the house he’d not noticed he’d stopped in front of. Maybe I should drop out? It’s not exactly like I have anyone forcing me to stay in school. He saw movement in one of the windows in front of him. He stared closer, not realizing he was doing so as his thoughts continued, I’m sure some of the students would be happy to have me gone. Maybe even some of the teachers. He stood there in the middle of the sidewalk, staring at the girl in the window with a blank expression on his face. I guess it wou- wait a second. He blinked a few times after realizing what he was doing, but not taking his eyes off her.
  3. After swallowing her medication, Ari let out a rather long, shaky sigh. Though the sigh was followed by an equally shaky deep breath, trying almost desperately to draw back the air she carelessly let escape from her frail lungs. She starred out the window with a dull, longing look she always wore throughout her days. Always longing for something more, something she was told many times she could no longer have. But oh well. She can't fight what's been placed before her. Whats done is done and the easiest way to live with it would be to accept what's inevitable.

    As her gaze wandered, she spotted a boy, standing in front of her house looking back at her. She blinked in surprise. Was he looking at her? He couldn't be. She was so pale she could practically pass for transparent. But no one else was home. Why was he standing there? Was he afraid? Did she appear to look like a ghost to him? She squinted, leaning close enough to the window for her breath to fog up the glass.

    She's seen the boy before. He always seemed different from the other students. He never socialized with them though she always guess it was because his friends lived somewhere else. What should she do? She thought for a moment before she let out a heavy breath on the window to fog it up, then with a shaky hand she wrote two simple letters on the window to him. She simply wrote 'Hi'.
  4. Arin watched intently the girl through the window, his train of thought about school disappeared replaced with wonder at what she was doing. He followed her fingers as the message was traced in the fog. Although confused, he couldn't help but to smile, “How strange.” He waved towards the window.I wonder if she’ll see my hand through that fog.

    He lowered his arm, searching around for some way to communicate back to the girl. He felt irony at the predicament, No backpack, so no paper. I guess that’s out of the question. He couldn't write her out a message. He looked over to the rock he’d kicked which lay a few feet away. He pondered it for a second, trying to deduce why his mind had picked it out of all things as he searched for how to talk with the girl. Then he remembered way back, into his childhood when he played outside. He’d often grab rocks, preferably ones with sharp points to them, and use them like chalk, scraping white messages into the cement.

    He walked over, reaching down to grab the jagged rock. It felt warm and chipped in his hand. He walked back into view of the window, kneeling down to the sidewalk and scraping his message, making sure to double up the lines to make it more visible. He paid no mind to the students who looked at him skeptically, crossing the street to the other side when they came to close. After he was done he moved to the side, admiring his handy work. Printed on the sidewalk in a large font was a nearly duplicate of the message in the window. “Hello” it read.
  5. The girl have a small smile, a little amused at the boy. She found it funny that he went through the trouble of finding a rock to use to write when she could see him wave just fine. But, she figured she might as well see how well the two can keep a conversation. After all, it's not often she can socialize with new people.

    She thought over fogging up the window again, but that one time already made her out of breath. So instead, the girl held up one finger for the universal sign meaning "one moment please" and stood up. She shuffled across her small room, taking slow and careful steps as if she were afraid to break something. Ari opens the drawer to her desk and took out her sketch book and pencil.

    Shuffling back to her chair by the window, she sat down breathing heavily in attempts to fill her lungs with some much needed air. Looking down, she turns to a fresh page and wrote down one simple question in neat handwriting and held it up to the window for the boy to see. The page read "how are you?"
  6. Arin couldn’t help but to laugh a little as he watched the girl disappear from sight. Why am I doing this? He thought, a needle used to pop his momentary joy with the girl, I could be home already, doing…… something else. He stood with a look of contemplation on his face. While he thought he started to scrape off the message with his shoe, sending squeaking noises from the sole. He could feel the heat transfer through the thin worn material that protected the bottom of his foot to his skin, heating it up. Doing what? He thought. He glanced towards the window, his eyes lighting up as the girl reappeared. She looked to be writing something in her lap.

    Watching as she finished her writing and held the paper up to the window, any thoughts he had regarding leaving just seemed to vanish. Like they’d never existed or even crossed his mind. By this time he’d managed to wipe off the majority of the message, having just a C shape left of the O in the last letter, which left his foot feeling rather hot. He began to feel a sweat form on his back from the heat of the sun, though he hardly seemed to notice. He squinted to see the message, first observing the girl which lead him to notice she was out of breath. She must’ve run across the house to get that pen and paper. He concluded. He then read over the question, re reading it a few times.

    That’s a tough question to answer… He thought to himself. But there really is no reason to bring this girl down because of my own dilemma. He grabbed the rock and began carving out his next message. He found he needed to make his message small and curt so he could spare the rock which was slowly shrinking in size as he scraped it on the sidewalk. When he stepped back the message displayed on the sidewalk read “Good & U?” He placed the rock in the pocket to his shorts, leaving his hand wrapped around it staring up towards the girl with a slight grin on his face.
  7. The girl, who found herself still smiling and thinking the boy was a little silly for still standing there on such a hot day, watched him write a new message. She noticed the rock in his hand appear to be smaller. She contemplated for a little bit, thinking she must be keeping the boy from a good dinner and a well air conditioned home. He must be wanting to go home soon. Besides, there wasn't much more the boy could write with. Though, oddly, the thought of the boy leaving saddened the girl. Ari found this odd message game to be fun. She thought that if he left, she wouldn't have anything else to do. She can't make him stay though, the boy has a life of his own.

    Blinking, she realized as she thought she was still staring at the unanswered question. Looking down, she turned the book over and thought of how best she should answer. Should he leave soon? It would be rude for her to have him stay.

    She began writing down her reply, pausing once in the middle of it to let out a series of coughs that's shook her frail body. Though once she stopped she quickly finished writing. Ari held up the sign again for the boy to read, the page saying "I'm fine. Shouldn't U B home soon?" She peeked out from the side of the book and flashed him a small warm smile.
  8. Arin watched the girl smile, Such a beautiful smile he thought to himself, staring up at her. He watched as she scribbled down another message. Why did she stop? He thought looking up to the window as she began to cough, Is she sick? That would explain why I've never seen her at school. He’d not realized this until his mind pointed it out to him, I’ve never seen her at school….. Not that I’m there enough to tell but still, I think I’d remember seeing someone like her. All the while he just stared at the window, blinking occasionally.

    There’s that girl. And that one two. He went over his mental checklist of people that stood out to him. How could I not remember that one, the little goody goody… He thought sourly. He shook his head, realizing that he’d been sitting there blankly while the girl held the message up, Dang it. He scolded himself. He looked up to the window and slowly mouthed the word “Sorry” Before turning back to the message he’d scraped moments ago, “Didn't have much time to clean the canvas this time.” He spoke to himself. Oddly though, he didn't feel rushed. For some reason, I feel like she’s patient enough not to get mad at me. Or anyone for that matter. He looked over his shoulder to the window as he began to erase the message. He held up a finger, signifying just one second.

    Finally moments later he’d managed to erase most of the message. He grabbed the rock from his pocket, and began work on his next message. Scratch, scratch, scratch I should really get some paper. Scratch scratch scratch But more importantly why aren't I home? Scratch scratch scratch I guess I don’t really have a reason to stay. Scratch scratch scratch But then again, I don’t really have a reason to go. Scratch scratch Crack. He looked down to the nub of the rock he’d been using. The small piece had split in two, leaving a fine chalk on his hands. He turned to the window, a piece of the rock in either hand with the unfinished message “I can” printed behind him. He’d intended for it to say “I can stay” not overly too conscious about what he was writing as he was deep in thought. He looked with a sad expression on his face up to the window, Why am I now upset? His list of questions grew, with no real answer behind them.
  9. She looked at the message. What does that mean? "I can" what? She thought it over, to her self hoping the ending would have been that he could stay there longer. But if so, why had he finished writing? Had his rock shrunk down to a point where he could no longer use it? If that happened, would he have to leave?

    Her thoughts continued to clog her mind until her gaze traveled to the boy. She grew slightly shocked. Was he sad? She thought for a moment, then looked down at her note book. Ari didn't want him sad. Her gaze moved back up to him as she closed her sketch book and turned to her window. The girl shuffled, moving so she sat on her knees and opened her window slowly. She was slightly surprised by how easily the window opened. When was the last time she opened it on her own? She usually never opened it. And if it ever was open, it was opened by her mother in attempts to cool off the room.

    Once the window was opened, she smiles at the boy, picking up her notebook and pencil and held the two out the window as far as she could to the boy without having to get out. Her smile grew a little at the warm feeling of the little sunshine she got on her wrists when her hands poked out of the shadows of her home. She hoped the thing the boy was upset about was that he could no longer write and she also hoped that giving him the pad and paper would cheer him up a little.
  10. The simple act of her offering him paper wiped the saddened expression off Arin’s face. Strange how such a simple act can have such a profound effect on one's emotions he pondered. He turned back quickly to the message he’d been writing, I guess it’ll stay here until the rain washes it away. He turned around to head to the window, glancing towards the darkening sky, Which won’t be for a long while. He noted, seeing as there was no clouds whatsoever in the sky. Incidentally, he failed to note that the afternoon had begun to slowly shift into the evening. It took him some time to write out those messages and to erase them, though oddly enough he didn't feel like much time had passed. It was as if time itself didn't affect him.

    He shifted his attention to the girl as he drew nearer to the extended notebook and pencil. He wanted to ask her so many questions now that the window that blocked them had been opened Who are you? Why are you inside? Are you sick? Could we not just talk normally now that the window’s open? He scoffed at the last question, I’m enjoying this game too much for me to want it to change to a normal conversation. He then stood under the window, the extended arm high above him. He stared upwards into her smiling face, an awe struck expression on his face, Even if I did want to ask her a question, I don’t think it would be able to come out. He thought back to the last time someone looked to him with such kindness.

    Quickly, he bent down and leaped up, easily reaching the notebook and paper with his extended hand. As he took the supplies he thought to himself, I hope I didn’t hurt her. He’d pulled the notebook and pencil out with quite some force, though not of his own desire but rather instinct. Keeping his eyes on the girl, he slowly started to back up with the supplies in hand, fixing his shirt which had crawled up when he jumped.
  11. She released the notebook quickly enough so the force of him grabbing it wouldn't harm her. She even chuckles at him as he adjusted his hair, finding it look a little funny when it stood up. He kind of looked more wild like that. She smiles and stood up, moving back towards her desk and grabbing another sketch book. This time she moved a little slower and timed her breathing so she wouldn't be as out of breath when she returned.

    Sitting back down, she opened the notebook, thinking of her next question. Maybe she should ask his name? Or maybe how was school? Those are common questions, right? Duh, of course they are. There polite questions. She smiles and chuckles a little again, thinking she was silly for having to think so much on what to ask. Conversations use to come so naturally to her, she never had to think like this.

    Her gaze moved down to the notebook and began writing down the first question she had. Surely it wasn't inappropriate or awkward right? And he wouldn't think she was odd right? Then again, he must already think she's odd since she's a white-as-paper girls who's never seen around town sitting quietly in a house communicating with him by writing. That's about as odd as things can get. But, might as well try right? So she held up the paper with the words "What's UR Name?" On it.
  12. He stopped closer this time, onto her front lawn. I hope she doesn't mind. He took a seat down on the grass, the real reason he didn't want to walk back to the sidewalk. He had begun to feel his legs get sore, and his feet felt tingly from kicking off his messages, his last one still on the cement. He stretched his legs out in front of him, placing the notebook to his side and his hands behind him as he looked up to her.

    Why is she so pale? He thought to himself. When he’d first seen her moments ago, he assumed it was just the way the sun reflected on the glass window that altered his appearance, yet when he looked upon her face from below he unknowingly began to question the complexion of her skin. It took a while for the thoughts to develop into a full question. He added the question to the list he’d accumulated in his mind, most of which he imagine he’d never know the answer to.

    He grabbed the notebook beside him, aimlessly flipping through the pages, I wonder if there’s anything in this notebook. His search drew short as the girl displayed her piece of paper. Arin looked down to the blank page he’d left off on in his lap. He wrote down his name, the writing appearing slightly messy. I guess that comes when you don’t write too often. His mind wandered to school where he barely ever touched any form of writing utensil. He held the book up high above his head, leaning forward to make sure the girl wouldn't have to squint too hard to read it, which also stretched out his legs and back. The circumstances he faced played through his mind as he held the page up, angled so the girl couldn't see his face which now showed one of slight confusion,

    I’m sitting on a stranger’s front lawn, sending written messages to a pale girl through a window.
    Although it sounded bizarre in his mind, he still grinned as he thought it over.
  13. Ari smiles a little, reading his name. Arin, huh? That's a nice name. She smiles and gave the boy a thumbs up, indicating that she liked his name. Should she give him her name? It would be polite. The girl watched him for a moment, seeing how he seemed to be comfortable. Her gaze then moved over to the clock. She's kept here for a while. But she still didn't want him to leave. He was the only person other than her family that she's spoken to. So she didn't bother asking if he should go, he could leave when he wants.

    Looking down, she turning to a new page and wrote down her own name in swirly, big letters. She held it up to him, smiling softly at him. Ari seemed to notice this was the happiest she's been in a while. Which made her giggle, it wasn't like the boy presented her with a puppy. He just sat there and played this sign game with her and that simple act made her happy. Extremely happy. Which, of course, made her smile brightly like a big idiot at nothing. Her gaze moved down to him, watching the boy.

    She began kind of hoping he would be back tomorrow. That the two could do the sign game and maybe, once she worked up the courage and the strength, they could talk instead. She hopped a lot of silly things at that moment that she couldn't even keep track of them all.
  14. "Ari." Arin read her name out loud, looking at the swirly text on the paper. He couldn't help but to laugh at how similar their names sounded, giving off nearly as goofy grin as she had on her face, "Imagine that." He grabbed the notebook he'd placed on the grass beside him, deciding it was about time he instead asked a question to this girl. He flipped to a blank page, writing in a big font, so the message took up two pages and he had to hold the book up wide open in front of him for the whole message to be displayed.

    He sighed at the calmness of his mind, his thoughts finally being satisfied with the situation, though it still had many unanswered questions. He began to become more and more aware of the darkening sky. I don't want to leave though... he found himself thinking. An elderly couple behind him passed by. The older gentleman looked briefly over to the boy who was sitting on a lawn holding out a message to a girl in the window and smiled, continuing his stroll with his partner.

    Held up high was a simple question that plagued his mind since he'd stood dumbstruck in front of the girls house. "Why are you inside?" There were many answers to the question, some he could count off the top of his head, She could be sick. Her house is closer than mine, so she could've just gotten home earlier than I have. Or maybe she ditched school half way through the day. The last suggestion brought a flood of memories into his mind. But then why is she pale? Is it her culture? He frowned as the momentary calmness he'd experienced moments before was shattered. Of course his frown was quickly replaced with the grin he'd so often had on his face while talking to her.

    He had troubles thinking of the last time he'd talked to someone like this, especially someone who treated him like a human being and not just some lowly mutt. He moved the book to the side, still holding it high so he could watch her through the window.
  15. She pauses a moment at his question. She knew it would be asked, though she didn't expect it to be asked to soon. Turning to a fresh page, she thought of what to say. Sighing, she eventually knew she might as well tell him bluntly. She scribbled down "I'm sick. Can't leave." Short and to the point. She stared at the last two words for a little while. Seeing them written down made her hate them. And herself. And her stupid disease. And the world for being so unfair. Ari began frowning. Why should she be stuck in the house? She wanted to go outside more than anything. She didn't want to have to be this weak, she wanted to go outside an actually talk to the boy.

    Ari looked up at the sky, noticing how dark it got. She then moved her gaze to him and his unanswered question. Quickly, she scribbled over the part saying she can't leave then held up the paper to him. She'll leave. Eventually. And when she does, the two will talk. She'll just take her medication with her. And maybe find her grandpas old walking cane.

    But the more Ari thought about it, the more she thought of the risks involved. She was allergic to so much out there. Grass. Animals. Most plants. Most bugs. Certain clothes fabric. Not to mention her lungs and heart which always seemed to have some freak shut down once a week. Her frown changed to a more blank face. She was so silly. Assuming so much just cause she had someone o talk to for one day. How silly.
  16. Arin looked up, reading over the words he’d already expected would be the answer. He didn't expect there to be a large scribble following it however, so he moved onto his knees and leaned forward closer to see what it could be. He immediately stopped and fell back, sitting onto his legs as he watched Ari’s mixed emotions, finally ending with a blank stare. It felt wrong to him, as if the expression was out of place on her face, Sure it’s fine when I do it, but when someone who actually has a reason to be upset does it it’s wrong He cringed as his mind revealed the truth to him.

    Hurriedly he grabbed the notebook once more off the ground and tore open a page, feverishly writing down a message. Once he was finished, he took no time to ponder his work or check it over for mistakes, which made it look kind of ridiculous as he held the page up, with a completely stern expression on his face, “Plse smle” The writing was barely even legible, but Arin didn't care. He didn't even notice he’d made the mistakes in his rush, so he held it up with complete confidence, even closer this time as he sat instead on his knees. He felt guilty, and it was shown on his face as he stared up to her.

    If I knew she was sick, why would I bring it up? His mind tormented him. He felt the oddest sensation as his mind made sense of it all, Why do I feel so strongly for this girl? He looked up to her face, and noticed that even through her stern expression he could see the tiniest glint of something he’d never experienced, That’s why. She has hope. Through his stern, guilty expression he still couldn’t help but to laugh at how corny what his mind just said was.
  17. She read his sign, then watched him laugh which happened to make her smile and laugh a little. She didn't know why she was laughing, but she was. Like the laugh was contagious. Maybe she thought his message was funny? But as soon as her laughs settled to giggles which then eventually faded away, she flashed him a big cheesy smile and mouthed the words 'Thank you' to him. But Ari kept smiling her cheesy big smile even as she began thinking of her next question. What should she ask though? Maybe she could ask him if he was hungry. It was around dinner time after all and the boy was still here with her. So she wrote down "R U Hungry?" On her own blank sheet of paper.

    Dinner time..? Her mother would be here soon with a tray of food and some pills for her to take. If Arin was in fact hungry, she could ask her mom to bring some food down to him. And her mother, who always fused and worried over Ari, would of course agree as long as her daughter had some sort of company. Hopefully the boy liked roast beef and mashed potatoes. If not, then maybe Ari could make a sandwich for him.

    Her eyes wandered to the sky. Jeez it was getting dark out. Arin must be growing tired, right? And Aris bed time, yes she had a bed time, would be nearing soon. She looked back down at the boy. Wouldn't his family be out worrying and looking for him by now? She tilts her head a little as she began wondering. Does he live far? He must not live that far since the bus let's him off at the corner. Shrugging, she decided she should really stop worrying. Just enjoy the time she has now an be thankful for it.
  18. His laugh faded away, and he brought the notebook down as his arm was getting a little sore from holding it up. The grin on his face that was shown when he was laughing was still there as he saw her expression change back to a smile, She looks so much more beautiful when she's smiling he decided, still dreading the panic that washed over him moments ago when he believed he caused her smile to fade.

    Arin looked up to the sign. He'd not realized his hunger growing, just as he failed to notice the sky darkening around him until that point. He pondered it slightly, I was gonna have some chips when I got home, The thought of going back to his house dampened his spirits slightly, though he didn't show it, Don't want her getting upset. He thought, his mind growing sidetracked from whether or not he was hungry. He shrugged, I don't want to impose on her really. She is sick after all. He grabbed the notebook glancing briefly at the message he'd scribbled down moments before, Wow, I must have looked like an idiot he grinned, then flipped the page and began to scribble down a message. He held it in his hands, making sure to re read it for errors this time.

    While he was going over the message in his mind, his stomach glad to finally be acknowledged, wouldn't shut up until it got what it yearned for, growling at him with rage using loud grotesque rumbles. He rubbed his stomach, and simultaneously held up the notebook which read, "Not rlly. Im fine" Even though he'd re read the message he still had to compensate with some words so it would fit on one page. He immediately moved his hand from his stomach scolding himself, Way to keep up the facade.
  19. She smirked at him. She could tell that even though his sign said he wasn't, he was hungry. She chuckles at him and turns to a new page. The least she could do was give the boy some food since he was kind enough to sit out here and talk to her. She looked out at him for a moment, then back at her paper and starts writing her next message to Arin. She scribbled down "Wht U Want 2 Eat?" And held it up to him with a pleasent smile.

    She decided not to take no as an answer. The boy needed food and who knew when he would get some if he didnt allow her to get him some now. Just as she held the sign up her mother walks into her room with a tray of food and her medication. "Oh, hi.." She said in a soft voice. "Hello sweetie. I brought you your--.. What are you doing Ari?" Her mother peered past her and looked at the boy. "Who's that?" She asked.

    Ari looked from her mother to the boy, then back at her mother. "Oh. He's Arin." She couldn't exactly explain how the two had met, and her mother understood. So she smiles and stepped closer to her daughter and waved down at the boy. Ari was almost an exact copy of her mother. The only differences was that her mourners black hair was cut short, she had light brown eyes, and her skin was a healthy tan color that made her look younger then she really was.

    Ari's mother was beautiful and she always envied how she looked. Even when he was healthy, she could never really compared. Her mothers hair was always better looking, never tangled as much as Aris. And Ari was always pale, though not as pale as she was now, and her mom as always tan. Her mom turned heads when she walked in a room, Ari only got glimpses. Though she was satisfied she was the one who got sick. If her mom was gone, Ari would be all alone.
  20. He lowered his own sign upon catching glimpse of her’s. Well that went well he thought to himself, scoffing at his attempt of selflessness. What do I want to eat? He repeated the question in his mind, then began trying to shorten the long thought that followed, I don’t really want anything.I don’t want her to stress herself. The thoughts felt odd in his mind though slightly warming. It’d been a long while since he could even remember acting chivalrous. Had this girl treated him the way other’s did, he’d have gladly eaten her out of house and home.

    He began to scribble down some words, crossing them out, and rewriting new ones underneath. This cycle repeated itself a few times before he looked around, trying to rethink his initial message and how he could alter it to be shorter. He glanced towards the window, since looking at Ari’s smiling face seemed to bring to him the exact words he wanted to say. However this time when he looked up his train of thought stopped dead. There waving to him was a woman who looked remarkably similar to Ari. A family member. His mind offered him some salvation for his abruptly ended thoughts. Hesitantly, he waved back, shocked at the way the woman looked.

    Is this what Ari looked like when she was healthy?
    He began to put two and two together, She’s never at school… She’s pale… She looks like a weaker version of her family members…. This isn’t just a household flu is it? For once he allowed his smile to fade as this thought washed over him. He looked down to the paper, quickly scribbling down a message and holding it up for both Ari and her mother to see, “N ything is fine” The message, which had been a compressed version of his actual thoughts, took up two pages, so he had to hold it up horizontally once more covering his face. Not that he minded. He didn’t want to see Ari be affected by his change in emotion. He would hold the sign up all night if he had to, until the point where he could take it down once more with a smile behind it.