Chapter 7

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"It's Josh, can I come in." the traditional hunting cry of the young Mr.Ramsay.

"Fuck off." I said. 

"Please."  I suppose that in a really weird way my fuck off had been encouragement.  It was the first time that I had spoken to him in three weeks.

"Fuck off." I repeated and waited for his reply.  As much as I was repulsed by it, a part of me wanted him to keep talking, a part of me wanted to open that door and let him in.

"I'm sorry, okay.  It's just......I couldn't......I had blood....the cuts....and I...please.  Let me in.  I'll explain."

Before I could stop myself, I felt my lips move and form the words "Fine then.  Come the fuck in."

I gasped at my own words.  What had I done?

As I watched nervously, the door opened slowly, bringing Josh with it.  As I still watched, it closed again, sealing us together.  In one room.  For the first time in almost a month.  Still nonspeaking, he moved toward me on the bed.  I watched him intently and our eyes met.  His held mine and I couldn't find the strength to look away.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he sat on the bed.  Just as slow, a single hand rose towards me.  For a second I thought he was going to try to grope my breast, but before I could do or say anything at all, I realized that he was feeling my ribs.  When he realized he could feel each individual rib, I saw a single tear ooze out of his eye, and run down his face, eventually leaving a small dark spot on my comforter.  That was all.

"I........" he began.  I still said nothing.  "Your ribs......."

I looked at him imploringly, begging him with my eyes to go on.  "I just..........I just lo.........I don't know how to say this."  He cupped my face in his hands.  "So I'll just show you." the last came out in a whisper as Josh moved his hands toward his face, bringing my head with it.  Our lips met.

And we kissed.  Just Josh at first, but soon my lips began to move too.  We sped up, needing this.  Even me, I needed it as if I had been waiting for forever for this moment.  Suddenly, a dam had burst somewhere deep inside of me.  And that's when I decided to break it.  Suddenly, I had something to live for.  I had Joshua Ramsay.  Somehow this one kiss worked better than anything else had.  The suicide watch, the urges of everyone to eat, the new, plastic mirrors that don't break, and if they did wouldn't be able to cut my skin.  This worked.  Without warning I didn't want to die.  Without warning, I was hungry again, and I actually wanted to eat. 

We pulled apart at last, both gasping for breath.  Josh looked at me nervously, as though expecting me to explode again, to yell at him and send him out of the room.  Again.  Looking at his face, the eyes nervous, my insides squirmed with guilt.  I didn't want him to be afraid of me.  He didn't deserve that.  I smiled and relief broke like a great wave over his face.  His whole body relaxed and he smiled right back.  God, I loved that smile and still do.

"So." he said "Hi."

We just stared at each other for a moment, and then burst out laughing.  We laughed until (happy) tear flowed down out cheeks, until we had to hold our sides for fear that they would fall apart at the seams, until it hurt.  Finally we hiccuped ourselves back into seriousness, both still grinning like idiots.

"So." Josh repeated "I trust my work was satisfactory?" he wiggled his eyebrows and stuck his tongue out.  That broke us up again and we were howling like ten year olds again, clutching our sides and rolling around on the bed, until I fell right off.

"You okay Eb?" Josh called over the edge of the bed, still struggling to keep his giggling to a minimum.

I moaned.  "I think I'm broken."

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