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Jenneth LeeD

United States

Dyslexic who wants to make a mark in the YA book market. Christian. Conservative. Licensed geek and nerd. Also...now too old to continue accessing this site. If you want to keep up with me:
jennethdyck.wordpress.com

Message to Readers

So there's this thing called Writers' Block that I have....

Enasni

February 12, 2016

"You know, it's starting to get better."

"What? Being here?"

"No," Bruce shook his head, dismissing the guess. "The food. It's not as cold and salty as it used to be."

Enasni wrinkled her nose at the mere thought of Bruce's claim. "Bruce, you're going nuts. The food is awful. You told me the first day here--you said, 'Man, I'd rather starve than to eat their cold, wet noodles and mystery meat. Let my stomach eat itself if it's so hungry.'"

Bruce sniffed, absent-mindedly picking at the old callouses on his feet--a bad habit he developed in a time that was just beyond the reaches of his memory. "Like you've ever tried the food here, Enasni."

Enasni, in the opposite corner of the room, sat comfortably in a beanbag chair. At her friend's words she began to beat on her stomach like it was a bongo drum. "Hey, I wasn't gonna try that junk you so clearly hated. I did exactly what you said: my tummy ate itself a long time ago." She laughed at her own joke, cranking up the pace of her beat on her shallow stomach. Bruce tried to imagine Enasni in Africa where there were real bongo drums. She would like them, he was sure. And he was positive the African natives would like her. They would teach her how to play the drums correctly, teach her to dance, teach her to sing.... He tried to recall a time Enasni did any of that with people, but came up blank. Maybe she sang before he met her.

His friend stopped drumming and frowned at Bruce. "You've got that look again," she said, reprimanding, her features pulling back across her face like a cat's ears go behind its head when it's angry. Her lips tightened, and her eyes narrowed a bit.

Bruce sighed, knowing she read his thoughts. "You would love people, Enasni. They're nice, kind, creative.... There are people who could teach you to do anything you ever wanted. Like fly, or race, or...or play the drums. We could just leave, you know. I have some good friends back home that would like to meet you."

Enasni's mouth shoved itself to one side of her face, a suspicious sneer replacing her frown of disapproval. She laced her fingers together over her torso, elbows propped up with the help of the beanbag. "You know I can't do that, Bruce. I don't do people. I don't like people."

"You like me."

A look of affection passed through Enasni's big eyes. "You're different," she admitted. "You listen to me, indulge in what I have to say. Everyone else I've ever tried to befriend has shoved me out of their thoughts and refused to befriend me. You really think I'd give people a chance after years of being pushed out? Nah, I got you. That's all I need."

"This loneliness is going to drive you mad one day," Bruce promised, a little heat rising in his voice. "You'll lose your mind alone in this room with only me to talk to. Everyone needs social interaction."

"Well I don't," Enasni insisted, pulling back to fit more snugly in her little corner. Her thin arms and long legs wrapping around her like a small monkey. "We've stayed here long enough that I would have lost it by now if I ever was going to. Last I checked, I wasn't just talking to the air, so I'm pretty sure I still have all my marbles."

Bruce stood in frustration, unexpected anger flaring up from his gut. "Oh yeah? Well what about me? What if I lose some marbles? I can't just live the rest of my life here talking to you. I have a life outside that door"--he pointed to the lonely white door situated in the opposite wall--"and I feel like I've been away from it long enough."

Bruce didn't pay attention to Enasni's hurt expression as he made his way across the relatively empty room towards the door. The corner of his eye told him she had not moved from her little red beanbag, but her big eyes were staring at him like she honestly feared he would leave her all alone. He shook the eyes out of his head and reached for the door's handle.

"Please don't go," came the soft, muffled voice to his right. The three, tear-filled words sapped the energy straight from Bruce's arm. Suddenly, the door seemed impossible to open. His shoulders sagged as he listened to the tiny voice. "I thought I was your friend. Your best friend. How do you know there's anyone out there waiting for you, anyway? What if they push you away just like they pushed me away?"

Her tiny little voice broke him. Almost as if in a trace, he watched his hand slide from the door handled. He sighed and turned back to Enasni. Sat beside her. Embraced her. And suddenly realized he was crying himself. Poor little Enasni. He could never leave her.


A man looked on from the other side of the two way glass with a grim expression. His hands were thrust into a white lab coat's pockets, one hand absently fiddling with a stub of a pencil. The sound of a door opening and closing made the man turn to see a young intern--first day--come walking in with his name badge crooked and one of his shoes untied.

I'll make sure he'll fix that by tomorrow, the man thought briefly, looking at the sneakers with distaste.

"Dr. Reeb?" the new kid--maybe twenty?--asked, extending a polite handshake. Dr. Reeb took it and shook it heartily, looking the boy in the eye.

"Ah, you're the new one, right? Ryan, isn't it?"

But Ryan was no longer paying attention. He was looking through the glass at Bruce, huddled in a corner and crying. A wave of concern filled the boy's face as he stared on in disturbed silence.

"That's Bruce," said Reeb. "Been here for years."

"Who's that he's talking to in there?" Ryan asked, almost hesitantly.

Reeb sighed, looking sadly at the man in the cell. "That's his friend, Insanity."

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