The Emotions Game

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Chapter Eleven~Energico: Festival

Heartbreaking lies and heartwarming truths.

Dead? Clips of Ella’s mother flashed through her head, her mother’s bright smile to her marionette sprawled body covered in blood.

It was probably wrong but Ella felt slightly relieved at the news knowing Vanessa was gone. No, not gone, dead.

Ella looked to Nathan, “How?”

“A car crash she was speeding when it was raining they just declared her dead an hour ago.”

If Vanessa was speeding in the rain that would be around the time Ella and Nate were together in the school. Did she find out they were together?

Ella clenched her hands into fists. Was it her fault? If she didn’t talk to Nate none of this would’ve happened. No, it was an accident, a coincidence, right? Ella could hear rapid panting get louder and louder.

“Ella? You okay?”

She felt suffocated.

Looking towards Nate all she saw was a blurry likeness of his face. She could feel the tears stuck in her eyes. Pushing away from the door Ella wobbled trying to get towards her room. Tripping over her own feet Ella fell approaching the stairs. Still with her hands clenched and in such an emotional state she was unprepared for the fall. Ella could feel herself falling sideways and in a reflex, she tried to land using her right hand. Forgetting to open her hand from its clasped position Ella landed on her knuckles.

The force of all her body weight on her fingers made them crack. Pain coursed through Ella’s hand making her whimper.

Nate quickly ran over to where Ella was laying on the floor. Moving her so he could see her hand Nate saw her slim fingers now slightly crooked from the fall.

Watching Nate move around the kitchen Ella sat on the floor still nursing her throbbing hand. Slowly Ella calmed down from her earlier breakdown while watching Nate wander around her kitchen in search of medical supplies. Ella didn’t even know if she owned any medical supplies but Nate’s movement around the kitchen took her mind off the pain in her hand.

Yawning Ella looked to the clock by the living room sofa. Her eyes started to droop, making her pass out before even seeing the time.

“Ella wake up.”

Opening her eyes Ella found herself sitting in a cold white and baby blue painted room. Chairs were spread out in rows and Ella could smell cleansers. She looked up to see Nate looming over her while watching her every move like a hawk.

“I’m cold.” Ella widened her eyes slightly at her bluntness. Was that really the first thing to say to the guy who brought her to what looked like a hospital waiting room?

“Sorry I didn’t mean to sound like that,” Ella moved to wrap her arms together to try for more warmth only to feel a numbness in her right hand. Remembering what happened Ella looked down at her fingers. Compared to her left hand the fingers on her right were puffy and slightly discolored with green and yellow starting to show.

“Sorry about the wait it’s just that we haven’t been called yet,” Nate whispered to Ella

Ella shook her head and slouched deeper into the plastic chair never taking her eyes away from her discolored fingers. The pain had pretty much disappeared other than when Ella tried to move her fingers, not that they actually moved when she tried.

This must be karma, Ella sighed to herself. Nate still stood over Ella watching her every move as if she would disappear if he looked away.

“Ella Claire?” A voice rang out through the almost empty waiting room.

Turning Ella saw a petite looking nurse standing near the entrance to the rest of the medical rooms. Cradling her right hand near her chest Ella stood up shuffling towards the nurse she could hear Nate following her.

Stopping at the nurse Ell turned to Nate, “Nate I’ll be alright alone.”

Nate’s face looked unsure but nodded anyway at Ella’s wish.

“Fine, but I’ll be right here for you if you need anything.” Nate moved to sit in Ella’s now empty chair from early.

Walking with the nurse Ella walked passed dark rooms and shut doors. To a room near the end of the hallway labeled x-ray. The nurse pushed her into the room and gestured for Ella to put her hand on the cold table.

The nurse leaves and the lights slowly dim. Ella sat there for several or so minutes trying to make out items in the poorly lit room. Ella felt a nervousness bubble in her stomach. How was she supposed to play with her hand like this?

The door opened letting light pour in, the nurse from earlier walked in with a slight frown on her face.

“It seems that your index, pointer and right fingers have been broken near the proximal phalanx. It will take a couple weeks to heal but we’ll wrap your hand up and put on splints.”

“By a couple weeks you mean two right?” Ella asked

“More like 6-8 weeks, the angle your fingers fractured was odd and your fingers have moved slightly in the process.”

Curtly nodding in thanks to the nurse Ella followed the nurse to a door right across from the x-ray room. Jiggling the door open the nurse opened the door and turned on the lights. Ella’s eyes widen at the room filled with various colors of wrapping around shelves hanging all over the walls.

“Sit on the table I’ll be right back.”

Ella only nodded not paying attention to the woman’s disappearance. It smelled of hand sanitizer she could see what looked like a hand saw near the corner.

The nurse soon came back with metal splints and gauze looking wrap. Gently the nurse scooped up Ella’s discolored hand and started to work. Ella was still distracted by the room not even glancing as the nurse worked on her misshapen fingers.

It didn’t take long for the nurse to finish and give Ella instructions on how to deal with her splint and fingers. Ella still wasn’t really following what nurses words but nodded her head every time she heard the nurse pause when speaking. It worked and Ella was soon back in the sitting room finding Nate sitting fumbling around with his phone.

“I’m done let’s go.” Ella started towards the exit. Nate stood up never taking his eyes away from his phone.

Gliding into the car while trying to be extra careful with her right hand Ella buckled herself in.

Nate and Ella sat in silence throughout the drive back only listening to the soft purr of the car engine. The sun was barely starting to rise but different colors already started to streak the sky from the blackness of night to light pinks and purples.

Ella rolled down the window and put the tips of her fingers out of the car into the cold billowing wind. The cool sensation made her finger’s slightly bend back but Ella kept moving her fingers like a wave through the window.

“Ella I was on my phone a saw there was a carnival going on in the town next door, and I was wondering if you wanted to go?” Nate mumbled

“Like a date?” Ella asked while still wriggling her fingers outside the car window.

“Yeah-I mean no-I mean maybe?”

It wasn’t a definite answer but it still made fireworks explode in her stomach and her cheeks burn an angry red. Ella tried to move closer to the window as if getting away from Nate would make everything better.

“When does it start?” Ella whispered leaning her head back

“Um, nine am-ish I think, so you want to go with me?”

Trying not to sound too excited Ella shrugged, “Sure I’ve got nothing else to do.”

“Great why don’t we grab something to eat since it’s around breakfast time then we can slowly drive towards the carnival.” Ella nodded yes to Nate’s plan watched as he merged onto the highway.

Eventually, they drove passed the exact same Cafe Ella has brought his brother Jamie to after scaring his little ‘friends’ away. A grimace of a smile slipped on to Ella’s face at the memory.

The next few hours passed by quickly with a bite to eat, awful puns and funny stories told by Nate. And soon enough the gates for the carnival opened and the sounds from carnie games filled the air.

Walking through the metal gates Ella watched a large group of younger kids run by and towards the giant slide. Nate gently tugged at Ella’s good hand to follow him. The carnival was pretty empty since of how early it was but Ella didn’t know her way around and would prefer staying close to Nate.

Nate ran a little farther ahead of Ella over the ticket booth. She watched as he spoke to the girl working the booth. The girl gave a bright smile to Nate making Ella clench her good fist in jealousy. The girl was by all means pretty with curly apple colored hair and piercing hazel eyes. Ella turned away from their conversation and waited for Nate to hopefully come back.

“Ella come on let’s go this way.” Ella heard Nate shout to her. Turning around Ella saw the red-haired girl staring at Ella with contempt. Ella shrugged it off and approached Nate.

Ella still didn’t have the best control of her emotions but they had their upsides of giving Ella bursts of bravery that she didn’t have before. Once reaching Nate Ella slipped her hand into his without saying a word. Nate stiffened slightly for a moment though he soon started to walk. They made their way towards the tilt-a-whirl.

The multicolored platters of paint decorating the attraction would’ve made any rainbow proud. Although it was colorful it still didn’t stop Ella from noticing the spots of rust and the creaking sound of her every footstep.

Nonetheless, Nate kept moving forward without hesitation. They sat down huddled by one another in what seemed to be a child’s representation of a purple dinosaur.

The ride quickly started twirling the two of them back and forth pushing them closer together. Ella could feel heat radiating off Nate who was on her right side while a sharp coolness from the air on her left. The difference in temperature made Ella push herself subconsciously more into Nate.

By the time the ride started to slow Ella could already feel the world still spinning around her. She could make out three similar hands reaching out to help her up. Trying to grab the one on the farthest left and she felt was air slipping through her fingers. Again trying but this time for the middle hand Ella could feel warmth when slipping her hand into it.

Ella could feel her stomach churning but could tell if it was in a good or bad way. Holding on to Nate’s hand tightly she walking slowly waiting for the world to stop spinning around her.

Once the world started to return to normal in Ella’s vision she spoke, “I’m fine now you can let go.”

The absence of Nate’s hand made Ella feel a slight ache for at least a slight bit of warmth from him. Nate turned to face Ella making the lines of his face draw Ella’s attention. She tried to memorize every detail just incase she ever missed him. In that moment she decided that she liked his eyes the most.

Her absorption in his eyes left her defenseless and unaware of his leaning closer to her. She barely even realized the distance until they were nose to nose.

It’s was at that moment Ella’s nervous stomach decided to be known. Turned out it wasn’t a good thing her stomach was churning. Nate tried to move back but it was no use, she threw up on his clothes.

Ella looked up and Nate’s shock and tried to crack a joke, “Maybe eating and then the tilt-a-whirl weren’t a good combo.”

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