Chapter 1: Part 1

Maybe I should’ve taken some time to admire the world around me. Maybe I would’ve fallen for the facade: there were large poplar trees with an array of blue leaves, and the grass, which went on for miles even in the fog, was white. White as snow. The sky was pale. And light gray clouds whizzed over me. 

Of course, none of this dawned on me the moment I opened my eyes: I was too busy searching for air, for something to soothe my heaving lungs and efface the panic in my mind. At the same time, my eyes flickered between open and closed as I wheezed. 

People, loads of people, passed by in the course of a few minutes. Their eyes hovered over me maybe for a moment; then they moved on as if they hadn’t seen me. As if this was normal. To see a helpless woman writhing in the grass. 

But, one person stayed. To say the least, he was handsome. There was some extra luster to his slightly tanned skin. His chin was the smoothest of his features, a telltale sign of infrequent shaving. He must’ve been in his mid-teens, I surmised before closing my eyes again. Sixteen, maybe. 

His stare at me deepened. He seemed to grab his lower lip with his teeth and emit a low hum. My heart rattled against its cage. I almost thought he, like everyone else, would leave. But then, he ceased from humming and chuckled. “You look lost.” And he knelt at my side. 

Once again, my eyes squeezed together. 

While bathed in the darkness of my closed eyes, I felt the boy’s soft fingers against my forearm. In any other circumstance, I would’ve muttered a malediction that turned anyone who crossed me to stone. This, however, was different: I couldn’t move, for one; for two, there was no fog in my brain to cast a hex. My body ached too excruciatingly to let me gather fog in my mind. 

“It will be okay,” the boy muttered, seemingly over me. “I’ll get you to the infirmary.”

My eyes grew heavier and heavier until my lashes were blocking my sight of the boy. My ribs sobbed for oxygen. My vision became blurrier and blurrier, and the boy’s voice more distant and distant. “It’s okay. You can go to sleep.” 

Now, six hours later, or so the nurses claim—I don’t exactly find them trustworthy, or, in any matters, honest—I’m in the last room of the infirmary, the one which takes longest to get to. No wonder I’ve been waiting for an entire half-hour when those medics told me the doctor would be in shortly. 

They also tell me that they performed an operation on me while I was unconscious. In one of my lungs, they implanted some device—the name was so foreign, so exotic, I couldn’t say it if my life depended on it—to provide oxygen.

You’re out of the ozone layer, the words from the slender nurse named Aimery echo in the back of my brain. No air. I remember her plum hair. As she pivoted on her heel to the door, muttering the words, “Doctor Kingsley will be in shortly,” the silk braid swayed against the small of her back. 

I know that my writing is not as popular as my poems/songs are. Honestly, the attention they get is amazing, and I’m glad that my poems resonate with you all, and I’m hoping that as you read on, my writing will too.

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