Peer Review by ghostybois (United States)

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By: PureHeart

"How do you feel?"

April's hands gripped into fists, enclosed around the comforting embrace of her blanket. Flickering to the window, her eyes made no eye contact with the woman facing opposite her. Her jaw remained tight, lips dry, the top stuck to the bottom due to lack of speech. She would've stayed like that forever. Besides, therapists annoyed her. 'How do you feel?' and 'Would you like to tell me?' Emotions are not tangible. They cannot be touched, spoken, or expressed. Feelings should not be understood or interpreted; they should be left alone. Feelings were not her priority. In the end they just mess everything up.


She didn't flinch. Tip-tipping of rain on the window pane was the only thing on April's mind. Although the rain poured, lightning striked and thunder rumbled, April wanted to be outside. Instead of being entrapped in a room with a annoyingly caring stranger, pretending to be interested in her problems.

Of course, therapy wasn't her idea. Steph, her roommate, insisted, after noticing April's lack of sleep and abrupt change in sating habits. Merely tutting, April reasoned that therapy will 'only make the problem seem worse than it is.' This was until Steph picked up the phone to arrange April a therapy meeting. April distinctly remembered chasing her roommate around the room, her ridiculous attempt of threatening her with a pillow in one hand and an apple in the other. She sorely regretted not throwing the apple, and the appointment was made.

"What are you thinking?"

April made eye contact for the first time, though her blank expression didn't change. Bessie, the therapist, blinked in response, and waited.

"I'm thinking I'm hungry,"

Sarcasm dripped from her tone, and, through half-lidded eyes, she wrapped her blanket around her tighter. You can't trust therapists. You can't just trust anyone. April was very cautious of that, especially after what happened...

"Do you still think about him?"

There was a distinct crackle or shot from across the country side, unmistakably a lightning strike upon one of the trees. A dismal wind blew, leaves were lead astray, leaving the trees arms naked and exposed. Bessie's voice remained soft.

"I am not an enemy, April."

"Then why would you bring him up?"

People called her quiet, but her brain screamed volumes. No one really understood her. It is lonely being trapped in your head. Companionship, for her, were her wild, thoughts, running free yet remaining strategic and structured, never falling out-of-place. Until he came along. Chapped lips, numb hands, disorderly hair, a shimmer in his eyes. He was mysterious. Not in the sense of being private, secluded and distant, but in the sense that he found a way through optimism, and never once stopped smiling. Even when he was with her, which is something she never understood. When he came, that's when feelings.... happened. April did not know what else to do but to succumb to the oddness of churning tickles in her stomach, and the warmth consuming her cheeks.

"Would you like to tell me what happened?"

Bessie shivered slightly, pulling at the sleeves of her cardigan to keep her wrists warm. Her client mentioned nothing, turning back to the window, back to her disturbing thoughts.

It started with the innocent touch of the hand, here and there. A grin or two from him, a glare from her. Soon, one of them were caught staring at the other. Pupils dilating, eyes growing brighter, soon they were sharing kisses, enjoying the softness if each others lips. April was private, he knew that. She never thought she would open up to anyone, until she met him.

Now all she could do was watch.

Love, betrayed. Hope, relinquished. The built up trust she had in him as he teared her walls down to see the real her, destroyed, like a piece of paper on an open fire, turning to ashes by the second.

He was with someone else. Kissing someone else. April's calculated eyes searched for a meaning, for an excuse. Perhaps, he was drunk? Or tired? Or... No. He enjoyed every bit of the betrayal, savouring the taste of someones else's lips, finding delight in someone else's passion. April dreaded to think that if she hadn't of caught them in on the act, they would have done something utterly unredeemable. 

So all she could do was watch.

Anger rose as the pain in her chest throbbed and grew. Stabbing, digging, pinching, crushing. April thought desperately, How do I get this pain away? Breath becoming irregular, her rapid rise and fall of her chest continued.

"Why are you agitated, my dear?"

"I don't understand! I don't understand!"

Broken-nailed hands gripped at her chest in attempt to release the agony. She hated not understanding. Not knowing. Like a detective with an unsolved crime. Like a lawyer with an unfinished case. Like a solider with an unfinished war. 

Yanking on the handle of the door to the outside world, April gasped, as if for air, as if she had been underwater all this time. Sinking to her knees, her hair clung to her face, soaked by the droplets of water cascading from the cruel sky, she sobbed quietly.

"What would it take to make all of this pain go away?"

Who was she asking? Could anyone hear her? The therapist was still inside, probably writing this down on her notepad of micromanagement, scribbling away how April had deep-seated issues and is crippled from past experiences. There was not salvation, nor trust. 

" It probably won't help the pain,"

The rain seemed to stop drenching her, yet the patters continued around her small frame. From her arms, cradled around her shivering mess of a body, April peaked up, not sure whether to feel disbelief or mortification.

There he was, his outstretched hand holding an umbrella over her, his gaze full of desperation and craving a sign of acceptance.

But it may make the rain go away, instead. "

Italics- April's thoughts/speech
Bold: Him speaking/flashback of him/him in general

Peer Review

I really was just absorbed into this piece. The description, the suspense, everything just made me want to find out what happens.

The flashbacks and April's thoughts really absorbed me into her mind, and you portrayed her emotions very well.

I would have liked to know a little more about the end. Was it actually him there, or was it just a flashback? Is he imaginary, or a product of a trauma disorder? Really expand on that if it is.

The setting is very intimate, and the weather was a great detail. I didn't know exactly where it took place, but I feel like that would have taken away from the story a little bit, since it's so emotional.

This was a beautiful piece! The flow and pacing was practically flawless, and I especially enjoyed the flashbacks. You really immersed me into April's world. Seriously, keep writing!

Reviewer Comments

This was amazing! I'm really glad I was given the chance to read it.