14 - Reminiscence

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Not even an hour after Dana and Rebecca had arrived at the hideout, the remaining three members of their group entered into the cellar. Rebecca reached for the gun on the table when she heard the door squeak, but quickly relaxed when she heard Shaun's voice. He held the door for Lucy and Desmond, who looked even more pale than he'd done back at the restaurant. He was mumbling something incoherent and Becca frowned when he practically collapsed on the mattress he'd been assigned. Lucy made haste to feel his forehead for any fever and check his pulse. There was a deep crease between her eyebrows.

"How is he?" Rebecca asked as she crouched down beside her friend, putting a hand on Desmond's forehead as well. He was either fast asleep or passed out already, and his breathing had picked up. He was a little warm, but not feverish. Rebecca didn't know as much about this stuff as Lucy did, but she hoped he'd be okay. Hell, they'd just lost Alex. They couldn't lose Desmond too. She wouldn't be able to take that hit. Not now.

"Worse" Lucy responded. Their eyes met briefly before Lucy's blue ones looked over toward Dana. "How is she?". It was a genuine question. If not for the state of things, Rebecca would've smiled over seeing her friend start to get through the suspicions.

"Broken"

It was the only appropriate word for Dana's condition. Once they got back, she had taken a spot on their mattress and was hugging her knees while the tears slowly streamed from her eyes. Rebecca honestly didn't think the girl could reach such a low point. Ever since they met yesterday, she'd always kept her spirits up. Even after Alex's sudden outburst, she still remained positive. To see her now... It hurt.

Rebecca sighed heavily while walking around her desk and some other equipment to reach the other mattress and sat down gently beside her friend. She dared putting an arm around her, and Dana leaned into her. It became somewhat of an awkward side-hug, but neither of them particularly cared. They both needed comfort, awkward or not.

"He was my brother" Dana silently croaked. She managed to get the attention of all the people currently residing in the room, except for Desmond of course. He was passed out flat and probably wouldn't wake up again for at least a few hours. Rebecca listened intently to what Dana had to tell. It was the least she could do, and possibly the only thing she could do.

"He made it his job to worry about me when I was only a few months old. Our mother was a drunk, and I think she physically abused him when we were kids". She paused for a moment, gathering some strength to keep talking. Rebecca silently took note of how the soft light from the oil lamps made her tear-streaked face take on a look of ... close enough to perfection. It also made her eyes look like a tender orange-y blue.

"He was almost always in pain, but he would always deny it, saying he'd be fine and it was nothing. Sometimes he would say that he'd tripped and hurt himself. I never really believed him, but he was my brother. He was my Alex, and I didn't ask more than once. Thinking back, I probably should have confronted him more often. Alex has never been clumsy, and he wasn't back then either".

A faint smile spread on Dana's lips. Rebecca couldn't understand how she managed to smile in the state she was in. She must've been breaking down inside. Then again, the power of memories was strong, and they were possibly the one thing that kept her from losing it right now. As far as Rebecca understood it at least. She might as well be crossing that line as she was speaking.

"Every day when mother got home from an event with her friends, Alex would tell me to go upstairs. I always listened to him blindly when it came to her, never asked any questions. I went to my room, closed the door and hid under the blanket in my bed. When I heard the door slam shut to mother's room, I hurried down the stairs and found Alex in the sofa. To think it took almost five years from the day I started walking to understand what was really happening after I had rushed up those stairs"

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