I could not figure out why my pencil still wouldn't move. That time, instead of me drawing without realizing it, the page before me was unbearably blank and seemed to taunt me with how empty it was. My hand clenched my pencil so tightly I was sure it would eventually snap in half. A headache was starting to form from how I kept trying to force ideas into my head, which obviously wasn't working.
"Alright," Minho sighed from where he was working on his Map for the day. He had been using my mess of a dresser as a makeshift desk, having shoved aside the clutter enough for him to draw. I looked up at him as he stood from the chair he had brought in the room. "Your brain is going to combust if you stare at that paper any more intently. What's up?"
"I can't draw," I grumbled, feeling the childish desire to throw my sketchbook across the room. The urge to tug at my hair presented itself. It was one of my frustrated habits.
"Maybe I can help," Minho offered, then collapsed on my bed. He propped his head up with his arm and bent one leg in a model pose. "I can be your muse."
I shook my head and chuckled at his antics. But before I could reply, my door opened and Frypan came in. He took one look at Minho's pose and shook his head with a bewildered expression.
"I don't even want to know about what I just interrupted," he said, walking further inside until I could see a plate in his hand and a water bottle in the other. "A snack, as requested."
I closed my sketchbook and tucked it between me and the wall to my left. Minho moved so he was laying relatively normally, his legs half-supported on my bed and his elbow propping the top half of him up. He seemed to eye me curiously.
"You didn't have to bring it to me, Fry," I said, feeling guilty about him coming here to deliver my food. "I could've gotten it myself."
"Now you have to pay me back." Frypan shrugged and handed the warm plate to me. He set the water bottle beside me on the dresser, where it dripped condensation onto the splintery wood. "You are welcome."
I smiled at him and took the plate. "Thanks."
Minho watched him go, eyes following the Cook's every movement until he shut the door behind him when he left. Then he adjusted himself so he was scooting closer to me in some sort of army crawl.
"Why are you getting food before dinner?" he questioned as his eyes swept over my plate of mashed potatoes. "Do you have some sort of potato fetish?"
I scoffed (which was more like blowing air out of my nose quickly) and swallowed before responding. "No. My leg was just hurting ever since yesterday, so I asked if he could serve me more portions with that bone-mending stuff from the Creators."
"Did you strain yourself too much at the Banishing?" Minho asked skeptically. When my gaze drifted away from him, he scolded me. "Nadia. Why didn't you tell me?"
I shrugged and pushed the potatoes around my plate with my fork. "Didn't wanna worry you. Besides, I'll be okay."
"Nope, too late. I'm worrying."
"And I'm Albert Einstein. Except I'm not, and you're not fine."
I decided to not respond and instead shovel a large bite into my mouth so I didn't have to. Minho huffed and shook his head before placing a hand on my elbow. His touch caused me to look over at him. The expression on his face was both troubled and concerned, a perfect mixture that warmed my heart to know he cared.
"Just promise me that you'll tell me if it gets too bad," he said.
I nodded. "Yeah, promise."
Except I wasn't sure if the promise was genuine. I had a habit of not knowing what was "too bad" until it was too late.