“Just give me a minute out here.”
Things to do today:
1) Breathe in.
2) Breathe out.
— Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Breathe in. Sara opens her eyes. She’s in bed, the covers pulled up to beneath her eyes. Her face feels tight, swollen. The room is bright, too bright. She rolls her eyes and turns away from the window, slipping back under the darkness of her eyelids.
Images flashing too quickly to follow. A bouquet of dark crimson roses in her arms. A procession. Her mother. A stranger with a sad smile. Strangers, all with sad smiles. Black shoes and black pants-black shirts-black ties-black eyes-a frame-a portrait and-
There’s a hand on her shoulder. It’s resting on the blanket. Its weight is comforting. That is, until it starts moving. The hand is… moving? It’s gripping her, swaying her slightly. A voice, muffled, comes through the comforter. It sounds tired and vaguely frustrated.
“Sometimes I wish I had your- OW!”
“Sorry, sorry! You wish you had my what?” Chloe grunts as she tries again.
“Your hair. It’s so nice and smooth, and wavy,” Emma winced as the brush ran into another knot.