Show or Tell?

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The smell of antiseptic causes Millie to gag, a reflexive instinct for the new toxic environment she finds herself in.

She blinks, multiple times, her eyes taking in the unfamiliar room, failing to process to find the coordinates that could ease up her nerves.

She twists her head right and left, the sweat drenching her forehead and hair. Heart beating like a crazy drum inside her chest, eyes squinting as she focuses on the claustrophobic walls around her.

A bright colored room, blinds shut, dim lights coming from the ceiling and a stunning feeling of confusion wrap her sight. She is lying on a bed that doesn't belong to her, nor look similar to the one of the hotel bedroom she booked just this morning.

It has metal rails around it, and from where she is, she can hear a bothersome beep coming from...

A monitor. Vital sign monitor?

This is a hospital room. 

It can't be.

She looks at her hands, careful to raise them to the air, but the energy seems to have completely drained out of her. Her head is heavy, and the nausea blocked in her throat is very close to making her spit her guts out.

But what is making her really feel like passing out is the fact she has managed to survive. She survived, even when the intention was the opposite.

She doesn't know how—she doesn't know why she is still here.

The last thing she remembers is the darkness enveloping her. The morphine pills being swallowed by her mouth, tasting like iron coins. The dizziness, the vomit, the lack of breathing that broke her knees. The convulsions that seemed to never stop, her head feeling lighter as the world faded.

And then nothing. Nothing more.

You think of death as the bridge of the afterlife when, in reality, it's just the void.

"Miss Brown." A man in a white coat comes into the room, interrupting her reminiscing. "You finally woke up."

Millie is surprised to say the least. A stranger is in her same room, and he seems to have all the answers she is looking for. But the question is: is she ready to hear them?

He shuffles near her bed, eyes stuck on her; half-compassion, half-relief are displayed in his glance. She is no more than a clinical case now, and she can get it by one sight.

Doctors couldn't be good actors, that was for sure.

"I am Doctor Laghari and you are at the Los Angeles Medical Center." He shows her a small smile, but Millie can immediately spot the pitiful grimace he's trying to hide.

It tears her apart. That sense of being a waste is still there, a bother for whoever comes to know her.

With eyes deprived of whatever light, she scans him checking the medical chart in his hands.

"Now, how do you feel?"

Miserable. Empty. A waste of space.

She would tell him all of this, but she can't bring herself to spit out a word. It's like she has her voice hidden somewhere, in a specific spot of her throat, but she can't find it for as long as she tries.

Also, unconsciously, Millie feels undeserving of giving answers. Whatever kind of explanation she is going to say next will make people around her feel bad, and miserable. She doesn't want that.

She never intended to hurt anyone. She was conscious of what she was doing to herself. It was vivid in her mind and it was the right conclusion of the story. Nothing held her back.

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