Back again! Apologies for the delay! This week has been unbelievably busy shifting around. But I’m finally back, and will (hopefully!!!) be more active over the next few weeks!
So — what you’ve all been waiting for: Episode 6! And I’ve done something ‘interesting’ with it. This episode (and the next few) are written from Emilia‘s perspective, not Mei’s. Hopefully, this episode will be the one that begins to draw things together. There are definitely secrets. There are so many secrets…and there’s very little people can do it about it…!
Just to recall: in the last episode, Mei’s brother, Hiro, had run away from home and showed up on their doorstep, where he spent time with the group. The same evening, Mei walks in on an argument that has exploded between Tristan and Delilah. No one knows what’s going on, and Tristan says nothing about it. But Mei isn’t that concerned. It’s really Emilia that gets the brunt of it…
So, here’s episode 6. Again, please let me know what you think, and if you aren’t already, you can follow me by entering your email address in the left sidebar and on Twitter @tmir92
The Red Thread
I sighed, as I organised the paperwork that Dr Yeates had given me and which Siobhan had doubled by giving me all the patients’ files to organise, whilst Mei was dealing with other paperwork in the office. I sighed. All I could do was sigh.
“Hey,” I heard above me. By now, it wasn’t a surprise. I looked up to face Tristan, his hands in his pockets, his whole body slightly scrunched up, slightly shivery, and his hair dripping. Sweat? I looked outside, and sighed even more deeply.
“For God’s sake! On the day I decided to leave behind my umbrella, and walked to work?!” I cried out. I slumped back into my seat, but then jolted forward against the counter and exchanged gazes with Tristan. “You okay? You look a bit wet…” I asked, trying to irritate him. He just rolled his eyes at me, before walking off, and was eventually found by Siobhan, who commanded a nurse to immediately fetch him a towel, before accompanying him to the adult ward once again, her face quite serious as she waved her arms around informing him about something or other. He just dried off his hair as he listened. No Yue today, huh? What was up with that? I sighed. I looked out of the entrance doors to the ward: the downpour was constant, and by now, it had become darker, both because it was the late afternoon and because of the immense cloud-cover. I finally began to acknowledge the sound of the rain crashing against the roof above. How did I just realise that now? Was I that distracted? I sighed. Why on earth had Siobhan given me so much frigging paperwork?!
I moved around aimlessly that day. Mei and I had different lunch times, and had swapped shifts for the day: I was on ward-duty in the morning, and she had been assigned the afternoon one, which did mean I could leave earlier. The rain continued to crash the roof of the building, only forcing me to sigh once more. But in this rain, I might as well just wait around for her to catch a ride in a taxi back home. Just my luck.
I clocked out at five, and by now, whatever window I looked out of only showed the lamp lit-up streets, and cars with their floodlights on to drive through the immense rain that was constantly falling. Did the BBC really predict this weather? I pulled out my iPhone. Weather, weather, weather: 5pm, 70%. Well, that was a lie, wasn’t it? I stuffed my phone back into my pocket. More like 200%. I suppose I could only kill time in the cafeteria. I left Siobhan a message for Mei to meet me there when she finished so that we could go back together. Maybe I should text Tristan so that he could come back with us, if he was still here. I reached into my pocket for my phone, but hesitated, stopping in the middle of the hospital walkway, and then quickly shook off the thought. If he was stupid enough to come without an umbrella in the rain, he could walk back by himself.
As I walked through to the cafeteria, not even the distinct clip-clop of my high-heels could be heard over the unceasing movements of nurses, patients, visiting family, porters, the constant safety beeping of the weird hospital truck thing that occasionally showed up in the most random places as it moved from ward to ward picking up and dropping off things…pharmacists, and the people who worked in the WHSmith and Costa – oh, and the hot guy who worked in the M&S. Oh, forget that. I definitely wasn’t in the mood for that. As I passed M&S, I looked in and saw him organising the sweet section, his green apron on, totally on it. Nope. I walked on. No matter how annoyingly handsome he was, I was not in the mood. Today…I was not in the mood…
“You weren’t listening in, were you?” was the first thing she asked when it happened. I wish that were the case. I wish that I didn’t have to hear the things that were said that evening. Almost a week had passed since then, and yet it still bothered me. As I was walking through the hospital, I stretched. How could anyone be so cruel to leave their lover at such a bad time in their life? Hah. I could…but I already knew that I was a cruel person…I don’t think I could have found a more cruel way of breaking up with him other than the way I did…my god, that Yue still really pissed me off…my phone started to buzz in my pocket, and I pulled it out. Speak of the devil…
“What?” I answered, abruptly.
“Where are you now?” Yue asked.
“Where in the hospital?”
“So, you’re done for the day, right?”
“I suppose so. Why?” I confirmed, just turning the corner into the cafeteria.
“Wanna meet me?”
“Can’t I see my best friend?” Best friend, huh? That was new. I pushed open the door.
“I suppose so.” As I looked up, I stopped. Seriously?
“Good.” He put the phone back into his pocket. There he was…standing there by the coffee counter, holding an umbrella (to his credit), this time in a heavier, more autumnal scarf, which matched his amber-dyed hair. “Hey,” he greeted me with a smile. I shook my head. Of course he was in the hospital. Where would he be otherwise? By now, I should have been unsurprised that he’d be wherever Tristan was.
He bought me a coffee (without even being asked or commanded), and we found a table and sat down. It was relatively quiet, which of course made Yue seem all the more louder and obnoxious. Occasionally, as I looked over at the till, the cafeteria employees would glance our way whenever Yue started cackling or let out a loud breath of excitement or whatever. Today wasn’t the day for this. The sound of the rain was no longer relaxing; the million times that raindrops collided with the thin pseudo-glass of the roof, my head would throb and the previous numbness whilst I was at the ward-counter as I organised the files had been replaced with a sharp pain in my forehead. I pressed against it with my thumb, to no avail: Yue continued talking and asking questions.
“Do you feel okay? You don’t look well. Maybe you should go and see a doctor? That’s ironic, because you technically are one. Or maybe Mei can check? Maybe you take some paracetamol. I think I have some ibuprofen in my bag. Well, that’s not paracetamol, but it does the same thing, right? What’s the difference between paracetamol and ibuprofen? They never really explained it properly at the chemist.”
“Please, shut up,” I told him firmly, continuing to press my thumb against my forehead. He did, but I knew that the conversation might well have come up at the worst possible moment.
“I’m guessing you heard about everything?” he asked.
“I heard everything. I didn’t hear about everything,” I corrected him. “They might as well have had the argument in front of me and Hiro.”
“Do you think Hiro heard everything?” Yue asked, slightly concerned.
“I genuinely think he put the TV up louder. Me, on the other hand…” I told him.
“Are you annoyed?”
“I don’t think annoyed is the word.”
“Have you told Mei?”
“About something that I don’t actually know about, nor which concerns either her or me? I have absolutely no reason to do so,” I rebuked him, rather defensively. Though, I did wonder… “What do you have to do with it?”
“I’m merely aiding the situation. It’s a situation that needs someone as obnoxious as me involved,” he answered, rather jovially and with a smile. But I knew him well enough to know that this was just Yue’s mask. No matter how much he was hiding behind it, this whole thing was really killing him.
“I don’t want to talk about this with you,” I told him, as I stood abruptly.
“Where are you going?” he asked, seemingly concerned.
“But what about Mei and Tristan?”
“I’m leaving without them.”
“But the rain?”
“Give me the umbrella.”
“But I’m using it…” I just stood there with my hand out, waiting for him to hand it over, holding his gaze. The expression on his face changed, from joviality to that of disappointment. He shook his head, and pulled out the umbrella, then handing it to me.
“And yet, despite how rude and obnoxious you are with me, you wonder why we broke up…” was the last thing he said to me. Actually, no. The last thing he said to me was not that, but by the time I had walked out of the cafeteria, I had actually processed it and at that point couldn’t ask for more clarification. Though, it wasn’t really something that needed more clarification. Wasn’t ‘I like Mei’ as simple as it could possibly have been? I stormed out of the hospital into the rain. What a day to leave behind my umbrella…
By the time I had reached home, I was absolutely drenched from head to toe. The umbrella was useless, and it was also the day I had decided to wear suede boots. As soon as I opened the front door, Hiro appeared in the corridor and watched me walk in, dripping on the carpet as I tried to close up the umbrella, which was incredibly stiff, until I finally just chucked it on the ground by the door, leaving the carpet to soak in the remnants of rainwater. Why the fuck had he told me that he liked Mei? Right now as well? After knowing that I had heard everything?
“Emilia, I’ll get you a towel,” Hiro finally said, suddenly jumping to attention.
“Hiro,” I called him, and he turned back to me. “What did you hear that evening when Tristan and Delilah were fighting?” He didn’t answer, instead completely avoiding the question.
“I’ll get you the towel, and put on the kettle. You should go and change your clothes!” he commanded, as he ran upstairs into the linen cupboard to fetch anything so that I could dry off. So he had heard everything.
I went upstairs and ventured into my room, throwing off my coat by the door. Hiro appeared, and handed me the towel, and then disappeared off downstairs. He didn’t want to talk about it either, I assumed. I shut the door, locked it, and then dried my hair and face, looking out of the window, facing the street, a full-view of the garden and the front gate, where Tristan used to always smoke his morning cigarette. Since Hiro had arrived, he stopped. What was Tristan really doing? Was he just stupid?
I continued to dry my hair, watching the road and rain colliding against it, until finally a car stopped outside, ejecting two people, who quickly made their way to the house in an attempt to shelter from unbelievable storm. It might as well have been a maelstrom. If things got any more serious, it would become one…