Two weeks passed in which we did nothing. The doctors occasionally spoke to us. We were required to attend dinner every day but other than that we were free to do as we pleased. In that time no one really learned more about anyone else than we already had. That Kevin kid paid barely any attention to the girl he was supposedly in love with and spent all his time instead outside with some random girl no one knew. We all silently agreed on banding together and didn't tell the doctors. One of the twins, the quiet one, could always be found in the kitchen with the doctors' nephew. Kevin's girlfriend would sit at her window and gaze out at Kevin with pained eyes. The not quiet twin and the cutter, Lisa, seemed to have a fondness for sitting together on a bench in the garden. And Amber became something of a ward for me.
It seemed ironic to me that I, someone who couldn't even really take care of himself, got the job of taking care of someone else. Every morning I would bring her coffee and breakfast on a tray that we would share. Some mornings she would just sit there quietly, staring pensively into her coffee and barely picking at her food until I fed her bites, making her eat. Other days we would sit on the bed for hours just talking. Amber told me all about her life, her time with Hunter, her struggles with his death. She asked me about my life, my scars and my almost faded bruises- but I never told. The memories were still too fresh and too painful. And she didn't need to know. Amber had enough troubles of her own.
"Time to get up," Dr. Ruby opened Clayton's door and leaned her head in. He sat up with a groan and looked at his phone which read 7 in the morning. Apparently his peaceful two weeks were done.
The pain was still there, like a deadweight in her chest, but she could talk about it now without bursting into anguished sobs. Think about it without feeling like she needed a drink. A strong one, at least. A small one still sounded very pleasant most the time. Clayton had helped her more than she thought any one person could help another. He was gentle and attentive with her. He treated her not as a lover as Hunter had, nor he didn't treat her as a child who needed coddled as others had. Instead he acted towards her as one acts towards a much cherished friend.
Mornings with him were lazy and slow. And, most notable, comfortable. They could talk for hours or sit in silence and both felt fine to her. She liked being with him. It was comforting and calming. That lasted a good two weeks before she was woken early one morning by the female Dr. Stewart.
"Please be down to the dining room in ten minutes," she requested. Amber let her head fall back onto her pillow with a frustrated groan. What the hell was this? The sun had barely even risen in the damn sky...
She'd been promised that when she came to The Manor her perspective would change but it had been two weeks now and everything still looked bleak. Gray. Dark. Uninviting. She still looked in the mirror every night for hours on end wondering why she couldn't work up the fucking balls to just do it! There was nothing in her really worth living for anyway. Mother was gone, her father was psychotic. Every time she came close, though, the image of Bix the last time she had seen her came to mind. That hurt expression of a child who didn't understand. She couldn't let Bix go on forever thinking she hated her.
Multiple times Lisa had picked up her phone and dialed in her friend's number. But each time something stopped her and she hung up after a couple rings. Once, Bix had picked up.
"Lisa?" she'd asked. Lisa hadn't said anything. "Lise, I love you!" Bix had said. "I love you so much. Please say something. Lisa I miss you!" The sound of her friend's voice had paralyzed her. Beatrice sounded so similar to how she had, but different too. More grown up, more mature. Like someone who had seen life and that change hurt Lisa. She'd hung up and hadn't called again. That had been two days ago.