Chapter 3

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Hi guys! I'm in Japan right now, snowboarding and maybe breaking my neck but not so breaking my neck :D

So I hope you like this story so far, I wrote it while I was on the ski lifts (my phone nearly dropped and my fingers were numb) SO APPRECIATE BRUHS :')

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It hurt.

Not her chest, but her head.

That's what you get when you pass out. Collapsing like a rag doll often involves some weird knocking around.

Em could hear the soft hissing, and the familiar feel of the plastic mask over her nose and mouth.

She peeped open her eyes.

White walls again.

Em decided that she was equal parts tired and lazy to sit up, so she focused on passing time by looking at her breath condensing on the mask.

In, Out.

In, Out.

If her lungs could do that really like 24/7 it would be great but no they just had to be oversensitive like some whiny bitch.

And contrary to belief, the doctor and your entire family doesn't miraculously pop into the room the moment you wake up. That's drama.

Em thought about random musings, like how rain was supposed to be snow, but we were too warm on the surface.

Then she heard a soft rustle.

The rustle of a bedsheet.

She craned her head to the side, and there he was.

Her roommate in this two bedder room.

His dark hair, still messy, rested on his forehead, a few sweaty strands still plastered on the skin. His long dark lashes moved a little. He was having a dream. The same plastic mask, hissing and covering over his nose and mouth. His breath in a steady calm rhythm too. In. Out. He looked peaceful, unlike the gasping Asian who came in hours ago, in a heap. His shirt had been changed into the hospital's clothes, white puffy sleeves... A small elephant print... A giraffe--

Wait. Animals.

She looked down on her own shirt.

Animal prints too.

They had been moved to the pediatric ward.

Great.

Another soft rustle of bedsheets shook her to her senses. He shifted again, and his eyelids fluttered. He mumbled something in some weird language. Chinese?

Shit.

Em quickly pretended to be asleep, shutting her eyes as naturally as she could. Steadying her breathing. In. Out.

Does he feel scared like I do, facing these white walls?

She didn't hear any movement for the next few seconds. Did he catch me pretending?

She let out a small exhale of relief as she heard him trying to sit up, coughing a little as he did.

The door opened, and Dr Jacobs finally came in.

"Ah, my two asthma kids." He checked the clipboards. "Hello there, Mr Hanyu. Are you feeling better? Any tightness in your chest?" He asked.

More rustling, more coughing.

"Hey take it easy, you need that mask. Now turn around, I'll check your lungs with the stethoscope," Dr Jacobs said, and there was the soft clinking sound of the stethoscope being retrieved from his pocket.

"All good," he updated. "You can be released in maybe about two days, nothing to worry," he reassured.

"Now, the next one." Dr Jacobs' footsteps could be heard. New shoes, Em mused.

"Emma, I know you're awake. I saw your stats from the nurses' station." He drawled, chuckling a little.

"Oh come on," Em said, her voice a little hoarse. "You know I hate you calling me Emma."

"Well then, Etc, you prefer that?" He chuckled again. "Turn around," he asked, tapping Em on the shoulder.

After a quick check, and Em complaining "The stethoscope is cold", Dr Jacobs left the room, after calling her Emma again.

The room was left in awkward silence, and Em could sense the Asian boy staring at her.

"The walls are always white. Pretty dull, huh," she mumbled, looking at the small card on her bedside table. It was from Mum. Probably just to check that she was still alive. Oh hell yes she was.

"The walls of every house and every building is white, but it's the people in them that make them colorful," he whispered.

"What's your name?" Em asked, still looking away, not wanting to let him see the wistful look on her face as she stared out the window.

"Yuzuru Hanyu."

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