At The Edge Of Hopelessness

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The War Within.

Austin sat on the beige-colored couch at Dr. Lockhart’s clinic – he was waiting for Dr. Lockhart to be done with his patient before he could go in and talk about his sister’s progress. Austin and Leah’s mother, Sandra complained about Leah having nightmares again for the last few days. Leah had them for about a year after the incident but after she started to open up with Dr. Lockhart, her nightmares slowly faded but now, they were back. Leah doesn’t know that Austin has come to visit Dr. Lockhart – she would have never approved of it but since Sandra has been so worried about her daughter, she asked Austin if he could have a chat with Dr. Lockhart. Austin blew his cheeks out and unlocked his cellphone – there was another message from Emmett. He heaved a sigh and without opening it he locked the phone and placed it in his jeans pocket.

It has been three days since Emmett came back to New Orleans. Since he touched down in the city – he has been trying to get in touch with Austin, but he is not ready to talk to him or see for now. Emmett might have visited their old house – where Austin and Leah grew up but left after the incident. Austin moved to an apartment closer to his work but he visits his mother’s sister almost after every other day. Austin exhaled and leaned back to the couch – he looked up at the ceiling as his mind went back to the old days. He remembers how Leah used to bemused with the thought of independence – it hurts Austin to see his sister like this. She tries hard to play unbothered by her blindness but he knows that she struggles each day. She got used to the darkness in time, but he can never forget the year after the incident – it was mayhem for Leah, and the worst part for him was that even he could see the chaos unfolds in front of him – he couldn’t do much to help his sister. It felt like his hands were tied. He still wishes to turn back time and stop that horrifying night.

Just a few hours before the most traumatizing event of Leah’s life unfolded – she was crying her eyes out on the rooftop. She was embarrassed – beyond embarrassed. Leah was so dejected that for a single second thought of her jumping off the roof came to her mind. How was she ever going to face Emmett? What is she going to tell her brother? She was pathetic. She should have listened to Alesha and Austin. It was a bad idea. What was she even thinking? What made her think that she will ever be able to cross Emmett’s mind. The embarrassment soon turned into anger – she was angry with nobody else but herself. How stupid can she be? When will she ever learn?

There was an ache in her chest. Her stomach had knots in it – she wanted to throw up. She pushed her hair back and let out another sob. She couldn’t stay here anymore – she had left. She needed to leave. She doesn’t care if it was close to midnight – she could stay here for another minute. She roughly wiped the tears off her face. She was sure that by now her nose, cheek, and eyes were red – she knows that when she goes back downstairs people will stare at her, ask her what happened, whisper – point – but she didn’t care. She just needed to get away from Emmett and his girlfriend. With a shaky breath, she forced herself to get up on her feet. She unlocked her phone and dialed Alesha’s number, she had to ask her to come and wait for her by the car. She can’t tell Austin about anything right now – she will let him know when she sees him at home or maybe – never.

Leah stumble her way downstairs – bumping into many of Donna’s drunken friends, some of them didn’t care while others pushed her away or yelled at her, “Hey! Look where you are going, bitch!” she ignored the name-calling – she didn’t care. All she wanted to do was escape. Leah looked down at her phone, her tears fell on the screen of her phone as she dialed Alesha’s number but she never picked up. When she came down to the first story of the beach house, she let out an exasperated sigh and pushed her hair back with her hands – she looked around – trying to find Alesha but she was nowhere to be seen. Leah let out another sob and tried to make her way down to where Alesha’s car was, maybe she will be able to find her there. With shaky hands, she tried to call Alesha again, but she didn’t answer. There were a few closed doors on the first level of the beach house, she didn’t want to open and see behind them, but since she was so desperately trying to find Alesha, she decided to go and see for her in one of the rooms – hoping that her best friend was alright.

Reuben was standing on the terrace – staring down at some of Donna’s friends dancing, drink, and having fun when he stood upon the terrace – alone, with a cigarette in between his fingers. He still wasn’t sure whose birthday it was, Emmett’s or Donna’s. He sighed and looked down at his wristwatch – it was about to be ten in the evening, the midnight was approaching slow for Reuben especially after he and Eleanor argued. He felt like an idiot for being so advanced with her, especially when they were at a party. He knows that Eleanor is not a girl, who would have sex at any place – but at that time Reuben felt an intense need to be with her. He was a foolish man – he tried to apologize to Eleanor but she asked for some time and went somewhere with Alesha, Leah’s best friend. Reuben decided to give her the space she needed – this was not a place where he could talk to her. He just can’t wait for midnight, so that he could wish his best friend and be out of this place, it wasn’t like Emmett will even notice his absence – he was too busy being with Donna and her friends.

Reuben decided to walk away as he dropped the cigarette before he smashed it with his foot – killing the spark in it. He turned around only to halt to see his other best friend, Milo – standing by the entrance. Milo had his eyes hooded. His shirt wasn’t tugged in like it was before. His hair was messy and his shirt wrinkled. Rueben heaved a sigh, “Looks like you had a good time,” he commented. Milo twisted his mouth as he rolled his tongue to his inner cheek before he smashed his lips together, “I tried,” he shrugged. Reuben blew out his cheeks and nodded, “I am glad you did,” he replied. Milo pushed his hair back and looked away for a mere second before his eyes averted back to his friend, “Look, Reuben – I think we need to talk,” he emphasized at the word ‘talk’. Rueben shook his head and was about to object when Milo stepped closer to him with his hands out -s topping Reuben to talk further, “Just listen to me, okay? I don’t want to fight – alright? And as long as we keep this in us – the more it is going to cause us pain.” Milo spoke.

Reuben looked at his friend – for the first time since the last few weeks – Milo was talking sensibly. Reuben sighed and placed his hands in his jeans pocket. He smashed his lips together before he nodded, “Alright, we can talk but not now – not here,” he said looking inside the crowded beach house. “Maybe once we get back home then talk,” he said. Milo looked at his friend and slowly nodded his head – he wasn’t going to force Reuben to talk to him now – no matter how badly he wanted to do so. “Milo,” Reuben called out his name. Milo looked at his friend who had his eyebrows raised, “Just talk – we are just going to talk, alright?” He stressed on his words to which Milo gulped and only nodded before he turned around and walk away.

In a small pub, a beautiful middle-aged woman waits for her friend. She was beautiful dressed in a beige-colored bodycon dress. Her blonde hair was perfectly combed, her face covered with a very thin layer of makeup. A beautiful diamond ring on her finger yells out for her love for her husband. With a glass of martini in her hand – she waited for her best friend, Raymond. She has been waiting for Raymond for the past half an hour – all her life that she knows him he hardly ever gets late – that night was one of those days. She takes her phone out of her clutch and just when she was about to call him – she saw Raymond approaching her with a sweet smile on his face. She smiled back and rolled her eyes, “Dr. Lockhart, you are late.” She said and stood up – even when she was wearing heels – she was coming a little shorter than Raymond, who chuckled and kissed her on her cheek, “Sorry, Rachel – I had a meeting with one of my patient’s guardians.” He replied and sat on the chair right in front of Rachel.

Rachel smiled, “One of your patient’s guardians?” she repeated his words. Raymond nodded his head as he lifts his finger – signaling the waiter that he needs the service. The waiter walked to him as he ordered whisky on rocks before he passed the young man a smile and looked at Rachel, “Yes, why?” he asked. Rachel smiled, “Is it that girl pretty girl,” Rachel paused before she continued, “Ah, yes – Leah,” she said. Raymond smiled and nodded, “Nice guess,” he replied. Rachel raised his eyebrow, “That was more of an obversion than just a lucky guess,” she shrugged as she sipped her drink. The waiter walked to them and placed Raymond’s drink on the table. Raymond thanked him before the young man walked away. Raymond took a sip of his drink and asked, “An observation?” He asked. Rachel placed her leg over her knee and motioned her foot back and forth with a playful smile on her face, “Oh, I am not an observer but I have noticed that you are very keen about this particular girl woman,” she answered him.

Raymond, the taste of cold whisky on his tongue shook his head, “I don’t know what it is with you and Simon,” he addressed her husband of five years, “Yes, Leah is a very special patient of mine but not because I am attracted to her but because how delicate her case is. I still remember the first day she started her therapy – she was a mess and she comes a long way. It has been five years since I know that girl – she sure is a special one. I really admire her.” He spoke carefully. He didn’t give away any important details about Leah to his friend – he is obligated to keep all his patient’s cases to himself. Rachel smiled and bobbed her head – she knew that Raymond would never utter a word about any of his patients but she still believes that Raymond feels strongly about Leah – maybe even he didn’t realize it yet or maybe he doesn’t want to accept it. There was a small pause before Raymond spoke again, “Why didn’t Simon join us?” He asked. Rachel sighed and leaned back to her chair, “Working,” she replied short. Raymond didn’t ask anything but it was obvious that there were troubles in their relationship – he wasn’t going to ask her about it until she herself speaks of it.

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