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The door opened with a creak. A creak that was like every time Lily had snuck through her window or through the house to do something her parents wouldn’t approve of. Every incident of it compounded into one noise. It was the closest comparison to how she felt right now.

It swung open so wide that Lily had to pull her legs in tighter to stop the door bumping into her knee. One hand continued to grip the shard. That hand was trembling. Lily’s other hand was clasped over her own mouth to stop the tiniest whimper from escaping. Lily didn’t breathe.

The senior only had to take two steps in and turn.

An eternity passed. Lily could hear the girl breathing. Lily still didn’t breathe.



The door slowly closed again.

Lily continued to hold her breath, her lungs feeling like they were going to burst and end her game right there, until the footsteps receded down the hall. Then she let go of her mouth and gasped for breath. She stayed there for a while, breathing each breath of musty asylum air like it was the freshest mountain breeze. Her breaths were damp and noisy and came accompanied by a lot of sniffs as her nose leaked, and tears continued to roll down her face.

After a long time, she tried getting to her feet. It took a couple of tries.

Then she opened the door slowly. As silently as she could manage. It took some more time for her to summon the nerve to stick her head out and look down the corridor. No-one.

The door to the room Tina had died in was wide open now. Tina’s body, the pool of blood surrounding it. The damp, gurgling noise Tina had made when the glass made contact echoed in Lily’s mind.

She should… she should close Tina’s eyes or something. That was what… what was meant to be done, out of respect.

Lily took a couple of steps forward before the smell of blood really hit her, and stopped her dead in her tracks. She tried. She couldn’t move any further. She covered her nose and mouth again with her hand, eyes screwed shut. The smell remained.

This changes nothing.

Lily opened her eyes, staring down at Tina. When had she last seen Tina? Had it been on the bus? On the compound? During one of their trips into the desert? Lily couldn’t remember. It was blocked out by the sight of Tina’s corpse.

This changes nothing. Continue with the plan. Find somewhere safe.

Lily stopped covering her mouth and reached for Tina again. Shut her eyes. Pay respects. Her hand shook, fingers outstretched, before clasping into a fist and withdrawing. She took a step back, still looking at Tina. She opened her mouth to say something. A distressed gurgle, vaguely similar to the noise Tina had made as she died, was all that came out.

She turned her back on Tina and fled.

((Lillian ‘Lily’ Caldwell continued in Would You Believe? This Isn't Me.))
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Rückenfigur · One-on-one Therapy