11. Time's Up

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I slammed my window shut hard and locked it. It was 5:30am and I felt shattered, unglued. I curled up in bed and pulled the blankets over me, begging for warmth that didn't seem to want to come. It was then that I finally cried, and not a silent tear or two, no. My whole chest heaved with sobs that came from someplace deep inside, fuelled by rage as I punched the pillow, imagining Dawson's smug face. The rage turned to desperation, over a life I would never have, and finally a sadness so clear, I considered just ending it all right then and there.

I don't know when I fell asleep, but I woke up and it was dark, yet again. My clock told me I'd slept all day, and dinner would be ready soon. My head ached and I was starving, had no one tried to wake me up? Ugh, I needed a shower in a bad way.

Only after scrubbing every inch of my skin, I shut off the water. Wiping the fog off the dirty bathroom mirror I looked at my body, hating it beyond words. It had betrayed me, and I couldn't blame Dawson for the events of last night nearly as much as I wanted to blame myself.

I dressed and went downstairs. Dinner was overcooked pork chops and rice, and I scarfed it down like I hadn't eaten in a week.

"Well, look who's awake." Rhea came into the kitchen, smiling sweetly.

"Yeah that flu hit me pretty hard." I mumbled. My voice was hoarse.

"Well, you might want to brush your hair or something, you have a very handsome visitor." My eyes flew up to hers. Who? Harry? Dawson? No, she knew who Dawson was. That left the former.

In the closest bathroom, I found a plastic kids brush and ran it through my wet hair. I shook it out a bit and resigned myself to the fact that I would have to see Harry like this. At least I'd been thoughtful enough to put a bra on under my black nirvana t-shirt. Tentatively, I walked out to the entranceway. Sure enough, there sat Harry, looking entirely too cool for the worn out bench seat by the door. He stood as I approached, holding out a hand politely.

"I'm so sorry to have intruded this late in the evening." He squeezed my right hand with his, holding my eye contact. If he noticed my pajamas, or that fact that I was standing here like one of the walking dead, he didn't show it. His face read concern, not judgement.

"Would it be okay, perhaps, to speak outside?" He asked me. I nodded and lead the way to the front steps. As he closed the door behind him, he hesitated. The walls of this place could hear us if they tried, and by the way he was listening, I could tell he knew that as well.

"I wanted to bring you your paycheck," he handed me an envelope. "Well, it's just cash actually. I wasn't sure if you had a bank account." He looked at me knowingly. "I guess I just wanted to see for myself that this was given to you." I took the envelope.

"Well, thank you for coming all this way." I rubbed my arms from the chill of the night.

"Eve." He was being careful of his words, but his eyes were trying to tell me something. "I- we, got you a thank you gift. For your hard work." Harry pulled a little black device from his pocket, handing it to me. "My direct number is in there." He said in a near whisper as I stared wide-eyed at the phone in my hand. I'd never been given an expensive gift like this.

Realization dawned on me. His concern and this gift. The conversation we had had in his garden...

"Harry do- do you know something?" I zeroed in on him.

Like clockwork, loud footsteps approached from inside.

"Just use it.." he insisted

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