Aimee finds Gerard's English Assignment.
Looking around Gerard’s room, Aimee noticed a new superhero drawing on his walls; it was a girl with no hair, a thin, dying girl with eyes that seemed to look out of the paper and into the soul. Above her right shoulder was the words “The Patient”
Aimee stared at her for a while before noticing Gerard’s English folder dumped on his desk. The subject of his assignment had been a well-guarded secret, he didn’t even tell Mikey (Aimee had badgered his younger brother when Gerard had yielded no results), yet here was his folder, just sitting there. Sneakily, with one eye on the closed door, she rifled through it to find his creative writing assignment.
I do not love
But I cannot help myself turning my face to be warmed by her smile.
I cannot help but hold my breath
When she laughs, and a butterfly alights on my palm,
One breath and it will disappear.
Beneath my arms she will snap,
Into a thousand shards of life, destroyed by these hands.
It breaks my heart to see her ghost of a smile
The ghost of her once vibrant self.
Once, I dared myself not to look at her all day
But it was like living in the night.
I never thought my heart was capable of love,
But I find I love her more than life itself
I would take her place in a heartbeat
I surrender a heart beat every minute in her company.
I see the most beautiful person in the world
I just wish she saw it too.
When Gerard came back down to his room, he saw his English folder open at the poem. Aimee was nowhere to be seen.
Aimee ran until her heart was about to burst from her ribs, she ran from the pain, the love, but mostly, she ran from the truth. Her toe snagged a loose piece of concrete, and she went flying onto the gravel. She lay in shock for a moment, processing how on earth she had gone from vertical to horizontal in a matter of seconds. Finally confirming that she wasn’t hurt, Aimee got to her feet and took a good look around. Nothing. She had no idea where she was, but, she was a Jersey kid, so being lost wasn’t too scary. She just wished she had taken a jacket, November frosts were notoriously unfriendly.
Aimee kept walking, warming herself up, and losing herself in motion instead of in thoughts. She wound up at a primary school God only knew where. She sat down on the swings, even though she wasn’t large, she had to cram herself in. Her arms dangled uselessly from her sides, the chain cutting into her shoulders. She freed herself from the swing set, ignoring the ominous creaks, and tried sliding down the slide, the blue plastic leeched to grey stone in the fading light. Her hips got stuck halfway down, and she stood and walked down. She walked underneath the monkey bars, hands lightly tapping a tattoo on the metal. She realised that she didn’t fit anymore. In reality, she was an ant, in a massive world, but here, she was the giant in a world too small for her.
I am Alice in Wonderland she thought. Watch me fall.