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The Other Conversation

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Life works out differently for everyone; that was what she knew. She also knew there was a plan for everyone. It did not have to be ruled by some god serving out injustice. It was just what was. Now she felt like this couldn't be right, because this was not how her life should turn out.

It was all blinding lights, everything surrounding her, but nothing including her. Fall was something that came every year, but this year it seemed so unexpected; too soon. The years had passed, just like that. Forgotten, dusty lobby art in the storage room. Her glory days long over.

A car slowed down in front of her. The rain a few minutes ago had been left rain drops to dry on the windshields, and the light from the streetlights reflected in them. The man inside rolled down the window and looked out at her, his eyes squinted at her fragile frame curled up on the bench. The bus stop sign dug into her small back.

Without any words shared between them, she stood up and let her worries grow in the pit of her stomach. Picking up her bag that had rested next to her, she put it by her feet on the floor of the car, closing the car door behind her. Inside was much warmer than on the outside, and almost instantly she started sweating.

The man put a hand on her thigh, squeezing it softly as he started the car again, driving away from the bus stop and leaving the mess behind them.

Life had a plan for her, she truly believed that, but she was not so sure the plan was working out so well for her.

She locked herself inside the guest room for five days. A blind offered darkness and the thick cover offered warmth she had not felt for a long while. It was something other than the biting cold that never left her, that grew and seemed to settle inside her. Somehow, it was still there, in her chest, spreading out in her body with every heartbeat. Chilling. Nothing could warm her anymore; she felt she was forever banned to be frozen.

She picked at the food she was given. She knew she had to eat, she had left to survive. What would be the point in starving to death then?

He stood in the door way and watched her sometimes. All life had seemed to have been blown out of her; all she did was stare at the dark walls, boring holes into it. Once she had been so alive. Now as she lay there, he thought she could've been dead.

Not even the tears could fall, she found when the alarm clock in the room next to her made itself known for the sixth day. The eerie silence within her startled her suddenly and she knew she should cry; it would be the natural reaction for her, but instead she continued to stare at the same wall, listening to the sound of life just outside the door.

"No, Less, don't disturb her, she needs rest," a man said in a low, but stern voice.

"But she's been sleeping for very long Daddy. She needs to wake up now," a little girl said, her voice just as innocent as she wished to be.

Something should get a reaction out of her, but she had put everything in order inside of her and nothing seemed to be able to put one thing out of its place. Structure was her friend and enemy, keeping her sane but locked up.

"I know, but she's sick. Remember when you were sick and needed to rest?" The girl did not answer. "Well, now Ally needs to rest too, so that she can get healthy and play with you soon." Sick was what they called her. Locking herself in a room that wasn't even hers, running away from the family she had created. Bit by bit she had left that place, until only her body stood in the doorway, waiting for that step to take, the signal to be given. Was it strange that it did not come, or was she waiting for something inevitable?

Tears would not come, but she had cried too many times, so maybe she had dried up. Maybe there was no emotion left in her anymore.

Words weren't anything until she met him; not in the same sense anyway. She knew how to speak, how to write, how to read. Somehow he had learned a new way to use these words. Eyes, body and soul, everything could speak. Kind and gentle was his approach, his words could be vicious, but his body could be soft. Anger wasn't a part of him. He was hard to grasp. With a scar running down his cheek, he was vulnerable; his story more sad than most. She wanted to protect him and to be a part of this strange communication.

The first time they saw each other, her simple way of approaching him and speaking to him did not impress him. To him, she was like all the rest. She was no beauty in his eyes, and it was a breath of fresh air; he was looking into her more than looking at her. Despite being easy on the eyes, she had a gentle and frail posture, and he saw this. Saw her smooth way of moving her arms, her soft smile put on her face without any strain, the way her chest would rise as she let out a sad sigh. He saw everything yet nothing at the same time.

He was not handsome, but his body language was a charming beauty that had any woman wanting him. He did not act through words, he did not say any lies, but his body did every day. All women could be his to collect in a box inside a dusty drawer. Young and old, they were all his if he wanted, but she enchanted him in her mystery. Words could tell him what her body did not, but that was nothing that interested him. He wanted her body, but not for her beauty, but for the story only it could tell him.

The floor was hard and cold underneath her feet as she sat up suddenly. Quickly, she ran across the wooden floor, the balls of her feet bouncing loudly, startling the man and his wife from their sleep, who wondered where the source of this sound could be when their daughter was lying between them drooling in her sleep.

Her sweaty palms were freezing against the porcelain, gripping it as hard as she could, thinking that maybe she was close to breaking it.

He grabbed a hold of a baseball bat, slowly inching down the hallway, paranoid as he looked around for an intruder. The house was dead quiet now; gone were the sounds of feet, gone were the sounds of painful sobbing. Left was this silence.

Every room was searched by him, slowly opening every door to get a thief caught in action. Empty rooms were all that faced him, until he opened the bathroom and saw a lithe figure looking down into the shallow depth of the toilet bowl, frozen. In one second he had raised his bat, and in the next it had fallen to the ground, clattering loudly, and his wife came running, expecting the worst.

He did not know if this was good or if this was bad at that time, the shock of seeing her outside the confines of their guest room was too much for him to take. Despite that her gaze was just as dead as before, now he could see that she was breathing, that she had enough power in her body to keep herself up. But this was not natural, the way she was holding the porcelain bowl with a deathly grip, her body tense in a way he had never seen before. Fear was what he saw, fear of something he could not understand.

She gaped, gasped, her mouth forming but no words falling from them. There was a need to explain all of this, but it was gone before it was uttered. He ran up to her, took a hold of her body, and hugged her to his chest like she was a small child again. Her body was small and almost weightless on his knee, her bones hard against his chest. The smell of sweat and vomit tickled his nose, but he did not notice as she collapsed against him. His wife flushed the toilet as silent sobs wrecked her body. This was bad, he decided, as he carried her back to the darkness, even though all he wanted was to take her out of there.

It confused her now, how they managed to say so many things with only a few words. But the looks they passed as they put her in bed spoke volumes, they were so loud that she had to close her eyes. They weren't silent, they couldn't be silent, because they didn't know what silence was. A part of her looked down on them, but a part of her wanted this simple life where bodies couldn't scream.

Once again in the soft and warm bed she quickly turned on her side, curling up in a ball hugging her stomach. Tears started to press behind her eyelids, but they wouldn't fall. Nausea was holding a soft grip on her stomach, constantly threatening to grow into something more. This was wrong, she was sure of it, but somehow everything that was wrong managed to happen anyway. She did not believe in God, and this was possibly one of the reasons why.

It was a grey zone. Nothing seemed to matter; every reaction was stored as soon as it could be taken under control. Nothing was black and nothing was white. She floated there, in and out of consciousness, noticing some things, and others slipping past her attention.

Together, he and his wife took her to the bathroom, and slowly his wife took off her clothes and put her in the bathtub. The water hit her naked skin, and suddenly there was life in her. She tried to push his wife away, tried to get away from the water, and no one could understand why. She sobbed, cried for the first time, her cries couldn't be translated as anything other than fear.

"It's only me, Allison, it's Dana," she soothed her, ignoring her husband's worried knocking on the door. Soon she calmed down again, and Dana once again tried to wash her. This time she stared at the tiled wall, her body tense and uncooperative.

Dana's heart broke as she washed her body, she had no idea what had happened, she did not want to know. Seeing what it all had done to her was enough.

When he had carried her back to bed, she once again curled up in a ball, hugging her stomach tightly, and Dana and he shared a look. Something more was going on, their looks said, and then she threw up again.

The second time she met him she was running around in the ER in search for something that had gone missing. Frantically, she opened every storage space she could find, expressing her aggravation at the nurses from time to time. Then she bumped into him, and he smiled at her, his body radiating such calm that she instantly could smile back at him without any strain.

"Charlie," he said, smiling at her. Every letter seemed to be pronounced softly, and she felt like a puddle on the floor.

"Yeah, I remember you from last week, " she responded, "I'm Allison."

"Yes, it's a very noble name, isn't it?" He laughed in a bored way at his own joke, his voice still as smooth and clear as before, and his laugh softer than any laugh she had ever heard before.

Despite the scar running across his cheek, despite the fact that is appearances were nothing extravagant; she found that he was the most beautiful man she had ever laid eyes on, and she couldn't for the life of her understand why in that moment. Later on she would learn, the secret would be hers too, she would be captured in this beauty, but not as a companion standing by its side, but as a prisoner for life.

"Well Allison," he flashed a crooked smile, "I'll be off, but I will see you soon." There was no doubt in his voice, and this made her strangely happy. He confused her, this man, because barely minutes after meeting him for the second time she would marry him if he just asked her. It scared her, how easy he could pursue her to do anything, but at the same time she did not care, this man had caught her interest more than any other man before him.

She turned around again as a nurse announced that she had found what she had been looking for, and she flashed an absent smile at her, and started towards the bathroom.

She passed House on the way to the bathroom, barely noticing him, just offering him a weak smile. It did not occur to her then that this was the first time he'd seen her since she quit three weeks ago. Charlie was stuck on her mind.

There was nothing wrong with her memory- she could remember the words, how to form her lips and force the sound from her throat. She knew how to grip a pen, and how each letter was drawn, like a painting, scribbled down on a paper. She could easily make letters words and sentences, write a short story and a poem if she forced herself. Maybe not well, but it could be done. But it was the purpose behind this she had forgotten - the meaning of that sort of communication. It was the shrieks, the shouts that startled her, they were the cause of words, but the harmony of the silent shouting was amazingly less stressing, and she did not want to cause stress.

The last time she had used these words were when she messaged her brother the week before. She had been desperate, and no one had understood what she was shouting at them, no one could see that she was missing. Her eyes had found theirs, pleading to them to see her, but somehow they managed to see past her, see past everything.

She had turned invisible.