Chapter 13

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Anne's Pov 

I opened my eyes to a small  painting mounted on a plain wooden wall. I could hear sounds of water again, but this time it's from a faucet rather than the crashing waves of the ocean. A minute or two go by before I can see definite edges in my surroundings, the lines of the wooden planks running up and across the room, the door frame and the ceiling. 

The pain is a constant throb in my stomach, ribs and my cheeks. I know that I should probably not move an inch, as it would most likely make everything worse, but I couldn't help it. With a wince of pain and a small gasp, I slowly push myself off the patchwork quilt cover into an upright position. Tilting my head to see where the water is coming from.

Phillip was standing in the small bathroom in our shared room. If I stretched a bit more, causing another couple of shocks of pain to run through my veins, I could see the water slowly turning pink as he washed his hands. Blood from his knuckles I would assume. Not long after he turned around, giving me a clear view of him. His knuckles were bruised and cut while he had a small cut on the corner of his mouth but other wise seemed unharmed.  Phillip's expression seemed still, almost pure stasis, as he examined the cuts and dried his hands with a small towel. 

I don't remember what exactly happened to be quiet frank. I really only have one memory of getting here, and even that is a single fragmented image: icy blue eyes that curled with concern and the gentle sway which only meant that he was carrying me. 

Closing the door behind him, Phillip stepped out of the bathroom and begun to walk towards me. I considered closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep but then our eyes meet and it is too late. Phillip looked at me for a while before he sat down on the corner of the bed. I could see his hands much more clearly now -  the purple and red bruises which were emphasised but the dried blood remaining.

"Your hands," I croaked, noticing how strained my voice must of sounded.

"Are none of your concern," He replied as he looked at my bruised cheek. It wasn't rude or anything like that, it was almost implying that he didn't care about what happened to him, only wanted to focus on what was happening with me. 

I'm probably crazy to be completely honest. 

He hands me a wet wash cloth to place on my cheek in order to stop the swelling. I reached out to touch the cut on the side of his lip but stop when I realize what i'm doing. 

What do I have to lose?  I ask myself. I pressed my fingertips lightly to the side of his mouth. 

"Anne," he says speaking against my fingers, "I'm all right." 

"Why were you there?" I asked letting my hand drop. "I heard Barnum go back into his room and went to go see where you were. I heard a muffled scream." 

"What did you do to them?" I say. 

"Two of them ran, the other I took the infirmary once I got you back here," He says. "I just said that it was a drunk brawl between him and some other guys."

"He's in bad shape?" 

"He'll live," he replies. He adds bitterly, "in what state, I cannot say." 

I know it isn't right to wish pain on other people just before they hurt me first. But white hot triumph races through me at the thought of the man being in the infirmary, and I squeeze Phillip's arm. 

"Good," I say. My voice sounds tight and fierce. Anger builds inside of me, replacing my blood with bitter water, consuming me. I want to break something or hit something. But instead I feel a few small tears fall out. God! I hate being vulnerable like this. 

"We are getting off this train in the morning by the way. At Spain, we will finish the journey on land." Phillip announces quietly and his thumb gently skimmed my cheek. 

"What?" I gasp, trying not to move too much in order to lessen the pain in my side, "I'm fine. We can stay on the ship." 

"No, Barnum believes that it would be best if we got off in Spain in the morning. Finish the journey on the train." 

I didn't bother arguing. I knew that it would only end with myself in pain from all my bruises. Phillip got up and helped me settle back down onto the bed. Pain rushes through my body in sharp burs, but I try to ignore it, stifling a groan. 

"You can let yourself be in pain," He tells me, "It's just me here and I would never think any less of you if you did." 

I bit down on my lip. There are still a few tears on my face but neither of us mentions or even acknowledges them. 

"Get some rest, I'm going to go talk to Barnum and Miss Lutz, who was quiet flustered when she heard of your wellbeing." I give a small smile, trying not to move the edges of my lips to much. 

He doesn't think any less of me? 

Even when I'm weak? Vulnerable? 

Could he possibly...care about me? 

No, that would never happen. He just wants to get to Paris and I want to find my family. Nothing could ever happen. 

Nothing would ever happen. 


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