Thirteen

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We found the key easily and let ourselves inside. It was warm compared to the outside weather and smelled of old wood. The floor creaked under our feet as we walked and searched for the light switch.

Melissa and I decided on the downstairs bedroom considering our bodies were too fatigued for stairs. Dad would have to settle for one of those when he got here.

It wasn't until I set my bag down in the bedroom that Melissa approached me.

"You're bleeding," she claimed as she reached up to my head.

There was a throbbing that I hadn't been aware of until she had mentioned it. I figured it had been whatever had fallen on me in the warehouse. Now that the adrenaline of our past situation was wearing off, I could feel the pain in all its glory.

"I'm fine," I lied, hoping it wasn't that serious.

She gave me a frown. "I'll look for a first aid kit."

I watched her disappear into the bathroom as I rolled my eyes. She was such a mom sometimes, but in this situation I found it... cute. Honestly, if she hadn't been around on this trip, I'd probably be dead. What we had just went through confirmed that.

I joined her in the bathroom just as she pulled out a first aid kit from the medicine cabinet and patted the counter.

"Sit," she ordered.

I hopped up and faced her. We were eye-level at this point as I pulled my hair back, making sure she had a good visual of the wound. In the meantime, she wet a washcloth.

She cleaned my head in silence as I watched her. The crease in her brow let me know she was focused on getting the dried blood off my face. I found my eyes trained on her like she was the only thing in existence. Maybe I was just trying to focus on anything other than the nagging pain in my heart.

"What are you thinking?" she whispered without looking up.

It was such a loaded question, mostly because I was thinking about a lot. Where was Anna? Had that man been telling the truth? Had they really known where Paige was? Did I ruin the only opportunity to save my sister? Was I losing my mind because of it? Was Alvin betraying us? Were we fighting a losing battle? Was I ever going to see my sister again? Or would I die before I got the chance?

Would my life ever be normal?

"That man was right," I mumbled. "When he said that I wanted to be the one to kill Paige. It's true."

That's when Melissa's silver eyes caught mine.

I felt like I was on auto-pilot. As if my ability to feel had been stolen. Like I was numb.

"I think I'm losing it," I confessed.

My voice trembled at the end of the sentence. I looked down as Melissa finished wiping the wound with the cloth and started dabbing some alcohol around it.

I closed my eyes at the burning sensation that surrounded the gash. The pain was a nice reminder that I could still feel something, at least physically. That I wasn't completely numb yet.

Melissa dropped the alcohol swab in the trash, then she looked at me. We were close. Like inches apart, considering she had herself wedged between my knees. It was silent between us apart from our breathing.

"You're so used to suppressing your pain..." She unwrapped a bandage. "That you're forgetting how to feel."

I watched her place the bandage on my head.

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