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Ah, it felt terrible to hear Amanda's confirmation, no matter how much Lucilly knew it was true. She should not have, but she did, for reasons she should not have, but which she did have.

And still, Amanda blamed her not, for the place was - as she put it with much verbal elegance - a seventeen different kinds of messed up, a seventeen different kinds to drive a man or a young woman mad and madder.

Lucilly hang her head in shame, not ready to meet Amanda's eye, a few tears dropping from her face into the floor here and there.

Amanda wanted Lucilly to calm down. Lucilly wanted Lucilly to calm down. Yet she could not. She wanted to be courageous, she wanted to be helpful, she wanted to be useful. She wanted all that, all of that in spite of her fear and hear grief and the tears and the vomit and the pain in her stomach. Oh, why could it not be so easy to say 'I am brave' and simply be brave afterwards?

Lucilly raised her head, and she raised to meet Amanda on an equal level. She nodded, sniveling and with tears still, but she nodded to affirm that her body had calmed down a bit, and so did her mind.

She wanted to go to a comfy bed, or a bed at all, and to simply lie down and sleep. She had hoped it would give her comfort, and if she was particularly lucky, she would awake the next day in her own. She knew such were mere delusions, she knew as much, and so she did not voice her wants.

"I will try my best, I promise."

Ah, she said it like that, and yet she was unaware of her own word's meaning. How could she promise her best to Amanda, if her promises to herself are so easily broken?

"We should... we can go back if you want."
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Notes from an Even Smaller Island · Intensive Care Wards