Three Months Later
They sicken of the calm, who know the storm.
- Dorothy Parker
Three hours of surgery, three days in the hospital, three weeks of therapy, three months in pain. Three months of my life I will never get back.
Guess who's the hero now?
They made a big deal out of it. Gave me that stupid Milly-J.-something award for heroism, too, the same one they gave Cole. I know he got one too, because everyone thought it was strange, with both of our mutual connections to Zephyr. She makes everyone around her a hero. But that wouldn't happen if she wasn't the one who needed saving all the time.
The week after I got out of the hospital, Dad, Emilee, and I went out to dinner with that little girl and her family. Turns out her name is Molly. Turns out she's Ryan's half sister. After the dinner he pulled me off to the side and thanked me profusely for saving his precious little sibling. Then he fed me a bunch of bullshit about how he's been seeing a counselor and is trying to work things out. It was probably supposed to make me feel bad for him, but I wasn't about to regret beating him up.
I haven't heard from Zephyr since that day in the hospital. Sometimes I wonder what's going on with her, what she's up to. But I can't be around her like that all the time.
Someday she's got to learn to be her own hero.
I have talked to Cole a little bit though, and surprisingly we get along alright. He doesn't spend much time with her anymore either, except dropping by every now and again to see if she's taking her medication. He told me she's not going to go back to school at the start of this year. I don't know if she's being homeschooled instead or just dropping out in general, and I don't know that he knows either.
I wouldn't exactly say that we're friends, but we're definitely not enemies either. He talks to Zephyr to make sure she still is taking care of herself, and I talk to him because I want to know the same. He called me first a few weeks ago to tell me how she was doing, which I thought to be an incredibly thoughtful gesture. I haven't tried to call her or anything, though. There's not really any words left to say, and I think we're both coming to terms with the fact that even though we thought the 'nothing' meant everything, it was not the case; everything was really worth nothing at all.
I spend most of my time isolated in my room. I can't go outside much anyways because of my skin; where the burns are is still tender and gets sore easily, and I guess the few grafted spots - my right forearm, my right calf - can get sunburnt easily. I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt. But I'm not going to say I regret it either.
Now, through the tiny gap - the one I've never been able to either find or cover - that must exist around the edge of my windowpane, I hear wind rushing. A storm is brewing, supposedly. Or at least that's what Dad told me a few hours ago when he headed out to chase it. It's September and no one is chasing anymore; none of the storms are dropping funnels so I don't know what he thinks he's after. Emilee went with him. She's been chasing with him lately, ever since he finally grew a pair and popped the question a month and a half ago. They're planning some jubilant little ceremony coming up in a few months. They're both excited, so I pretend to be, even though nothing is really exciting anymore.
|Emma Roberts||as Zephyr Collins|
|Max Thieriot||as Cole Rees|
|Reed Timmer||as Kaelum Bennett|
|Miles Higson||as Dustin Bennett|
|Matt Bush||as Nick Collins|
|Mark Salling||as Ryan Bellman|
|------ [minor characters below] ---||as ---------------|
|Sara Paxton||as Heather Jagger|
|Toby Hemingway||as Clay Jagger|
|AnnaSophia Robb||as Chessie Rees|
|Reese Witherspoon||as Emilee Reuter|