Chapter Twelve

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"Your little brother never tells you but he loves you so
You said your mother only smiled on her TV show
You're only happy when your sorry head is filled with dope
I hope you make it to the day you're twenty-eight years old

You're dripping like a saturated sunrise
You're spilling like an overflowing sink
You're ripped at every edge but you're a masterpiece
And now you're tearing through the pages and the ink


You were red and you liked me 'cause I was blue
Then you touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky
And you decided purple just wasn't for you

Everything is blue
His pills, his hands, his jeans
And now I'm covered in the colors
Pulled apart at the seams
And it's blue
And it's blue

Everything is grey
His hair, his smoke, his dreams
And now he's so devoid of color
He don't know what it means
And he's blue
And he's blue

Everything is blue

Everything is blue

Everything is blue

Everything is blue."

-Halsey, "Colors"

                I watched rays of late-day sun stream and dance through the dirty window of the blandly decorated, beige-colored room.

"That was about the time I called the DHS lady a twat," a cocky, young man said with all the smugness that comes with an unawareness of one's low IQ. He slouched down in one of the uncomfortable, plastic chairs we were perched upon, arranged in a circle.

                I glanced over at the shaggy-haired kid I'd conversed with earlier at the vending machine—Evan. He'd started the session across the room from me, but had somehow ended up beside me, begging Skittles off of me after he'd destroyed his in five minutes.

                Evan raised his light eyebrows pointedly at me, his smile more than a little amused.

                I'd soon discover he looked that way often.

"I can understand your frustration, Daniel, but..." the instructor began.

"How's that gonna get your son back, man?" Evan chortled, splaying his hands out and shaking his head at Daniel in wonder. "Think the lady you called a twat is just gonna hand him over now? Don't you want your kid?"

"Evan, remember, we only speak out of turn in our individual sessions," the instructor gave him a chiding look, huffing out a sigh of exasperation.

"Are you hitting on me?" Evan queried, deadpan. He looked askance at me, winking playfully while I grinned behind my hand.

I couldn't help but notice how sad his eyes looked—even when he smiled.

** ** **

"So... it's not much, but I mean—you're welcome to anything I have," Evan said shyly, pushing open the old, creaking door and gesturing around. "My roommate Jake lives here too, but he works a lot, so..."

He flicked on the kitchen light, illuminating a small, cramped living room and a galley kitchen. The dated, weathered counter was covered in a variety of bills, beer bottles and food wrappers. I glanced to my left, spotting through an open doorway a drum set that took up practically the entire, tiny bedroom it was crammed in.

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