"Wait, how?" She asked despite herself. Avery smiled before walking back over to the bed to sit down.
"Magic," he whispered and Faye let out a small giggle at his joke before she could stop herself. The word brought her back to when she was a young child and the two of them would play in the garden together. The pair would spend hours outside and a few times Avery had taken her to this beautiful garden that he called The Sanctuary. They could never stay long, Avery had always been worried someone would find out they were there. But Faye would never forget how bright the colours were, how luminescent. How the trees were purple and blue and the flowers seemed to dance in the glittering sunlight. But all of that had been before she realised she was sick. The happiness from the memory faded as reality kicked her straight in the stomach. Faye knew better now. None of that had been real no matter how real it had felt.
"Hey, where did you go?" Avery asked, putting a soft touch under her chin and turning her towards him. His concerned look just made her more aware as the seconds ticked past that she must be having some sort of episode. His reactions would mirror hers, even if she didn't realise it. Faye turned from him in silence, flicking the radio off before reaching in her bedside drawer for her tablets. She had forgotten them this weekend and her mind was clearly already fracturing because of it.
"Faye?" Avery continued but she ignored him, taking the tablets out into her hand as she counted out two. As she rose to stand and get a drink, Avery appeared in front of her and took hold of her wrist.
"Faye could you hold up for just a second. I'm sorry ok. I shouldn't have done it, I know you hate it when I do. I didn't mean to confuse you but you're not crazy ok? So just put the tablets down and we can continue talking for a bit. Yeah?" Avery tried to reassure her but instead it fuelled her. The hallucinations obviously wouldn't want her to take the medicine that made them go away. Or dampened them atleast in Avery's case. Faye tried to pull from his grip but he refused to relent.
"Faye just talk to me. Then I'll let you go,"
"I don't want to talk. Don't you understand? This always happens when I indulge you, I forget. I forget that you're not real and my grip on reality slips. And normally I don't even feel it. Until it's too late. I can't keep waiting till it's too late," she replied, emotion thick in her voice as she threw the blue and white pills forcibly to the back of her throat and swallowed them dry. They felt like rocks sliding down, as if they were desperately trying not to. She gagged a little as if the pills were trying to claw their way back up, instantly regretting her choice.
"Are you ok?" Avery asked, his grip on her wrist softening as he placed another on her shoulder. Faye shrugged out of both as she ran to the bathroom, in case the pills actually managed to find a way back up. She swung her bedroom door open wildly, ignoring the sound as it clattered off the white wall, yet another wall that would have to be painted no doubt.
Faye reached the bathroom and immediately cradled the cold, white ceramic bowl. Her stomach heaved in waves, the pills refusing to stay down. She groaned as another wave crashed through her.
"Here, drink this," she turned and looked up to see Avery stood there with a glass of water. His eyes were full of concern as she took the glass from his hands, gulping large mouthfuls intent on forcing the tablets down.
"Thank you," she squeaked out as she stood back up, reassured that the pills would stay where they needed to be now. She dropped her gaze as she moved past him and back into her bedroom. Hopefully neither parent had heard her, not wanting to explain why taking her pills had made her almost vomit. She didn't turn behind her to see if he would follow, she knew he would. He always did.
When she walked into her bedroom once more, taking in her ruffled purple bedspread and dishevelled pillow, she turned the radio back on softly. Avery followed behind and shut the door, standing awkwardly next to her as if he didn't quite know what to say. Faye sat heavily on the bed, knowing shortly the meds she had taken would start coursing through her veins, dragging her consciousness kicking and screaming into a world of slumber.
"I'm sorry," he breathed and Faye knew he was, she could feel it as if the emotion was palpable in the air around them. She reached over to Avery's hand in a fumble, giving it a silent squeeze.
"I know. It's just I forget when I'm around you. And then reality slams into me like a foot to the chest and it's like I can't breathe. Everything's just...harder," she explained. Faye saw the sadness in Avery's eyes at her statement and held his hand even tighter, pulling him to sit by her side.
"And easier all at once. It's confusing," she continued, feeling a little sleepy already as her words tumbled out. Her thoughts were a little scattered as if trying to swim through the current of medicine that threatened to drown them out completely. She leant heavily into Avery, knocking him a bit as she did so.
"But I miss you when you're gone," she mumbled out, the meds kicking in quicker than usual this time. An empty stomach tended to do that when mixed with the tablets. The feeling of her head on his shoulder soothed her and she twisted her body so that she curled into his side. His arm came up around her to steady her as she did so, the smell of summer flooding her nostrils. He always smelt of vanilla and apples, making her instantly think of meadows and tall, wide oak trees, their beautiful green leaves dancing in soft summer breezes.
After a while, as Faye drifted firmly into sleep, she stirred as Avery shifted underneath her. The fog of sleep still clouded her senses as she groaned softly in annoyance before rolling onto her side. Avery slid out gracefully as she did so. He stood there silently for a moment as she slept, sweeping the hair from her face gently as so not to disturb her. Her beauty always took his breath away, even when she was screaming at him in anger. He heard the soft click of the door behind him and he moved effortlessly into the corner of her room as her mother came in. He watched as she scooped the covers from their untidy pile on the floor and covered Faye gently. He didn't miss how she swept the hair that had fallen back into her face and stayed close to her for a few moments, taking her in. Avery lent silently on the windowsill as he watched, not wanting to leave Faye just yet but knowing he had to. He waited patiently for Faye's mother to leave, wishing he had the courage to reveal himself despite the ripple effect it would cause. Instead, he waited till her mother was outside the bedroom door, vanishing into the night before the click of the handle.
Faye's alarm was an unwelcome intrusion, her body nor mind truly ready to be awake. She silenced it and rolled to her side, expecting to feel Avery next to her but instead feeling only empty space. She forced her eyes open to confirm what her body knew, that she was alone, the meds clearly having done their job for once.
She stretched out like a cat as a yawn spread through her body. Faye knew she had to get up and get ready for college but she was finding it hard to actually muster any enthusiasm to do so.
After a good ten minutes or so, Faye forced herself upright, her body groaning at being made to move. She tried her best to organise her thoughts, plan what she needed to do before leaving, but the meds still clung to her, making everything feel a little disjointed and foggy. She growled in frustration at herself and swung her legs out of bed, dragging the top half of her deep purple duvet covers onto the ground along with them.
Faye spent the next 15 minutes haphazardly throwing random things into her grey backpack whilst ensuring her notebook and pencil case still lay nestled safely at the bottom of it. She grabbed her favourite green top with a white triquetra on the front and some dark grey jeans before slipping on her well worn white converse. She looked in the mirror and groaned, trying unsuccessfully to smooth out the flyaway curls that were on top of her head. Her eyes shone out from beneath them though, her top a good fit for once, highlighting the green so they sparkled a little.
Faye crept quietly out of her room, grabbing her grey hoody sloppily over her arm, hoping she didn't disturb her mother or father as she left. She didn't want another argument nor another round of questioning before a full day around others. So she sucked in a deep breath before creeping down the stairs, determined to not even breathe in their direction. She sped past the rows of family pictures that donned the white walls. Her mother always said white walls were the easiest to clean and could be livened up with pictures or décor. Also, the number of times they had needed a repaint over the years it helped every wall being the same colour. Less paint to buy.
The morning wind hit Faye's face gently, a reminder that autumn wasn't far off. She pulled her grey hoody on in a graceful motion, shivering a little as she stood just outside her front door. She closed it with a soft click, knowing if it woke her parents she would be long gone before they even made it down the stairs. She walked at a brisk pace down the street to her bus stop despite having little more enthusiasm than a dead horse, eager to just get this week over with before it had even started.