Kai stared back at her, concern touching his brow. “Are you OK? Sit down here.” He pointed to a chair beside the bed.
Wren shook her head. “I’m fine,” she said even as she stepped over and sat down. She gathered her thoughts as best she could and focused on her brother. “Don’t worry about me. I’m just nervous to be here, I guess.” She winced at how selfish she must have sounded. “Sorry.”
He half-laughed. “It’s all right. I don’t think there’s any nice way to talk about me being in the nuthouse.”
He sounded fine. He looked like himself. Tired, maybe, but unmistakably her little brother. “How… how are you doing?”
He did laugh at that. “Great.” He looked around the room. “Bored. Mom said she’d bring me some books.” He turned his head to look out the window. “I want to go home.”
“I bet.” Wren struggled to think of what to say. “Is there anything I can bring you?”
“There is something. Could you come back tonight and let me use your laptop for an hour or so?” He shook his head. “My guild is probably pissed at me.”
“Yeah, I guess so, as long as your doctors are OK with it.” Kai shrugged at that and went back to looking out the window. Wren watched him, trying repeatedly to find any hint of his presence with her mind. It was strange; different from the limited access she’d had to the mind of the fox. She’d felt the presence of the fox, but after a point there was a barrier. With Kai there was simply nothing. As if he did not exist.
Kai turned back and found her staring. “Stop it.”
“Quit acting like I’ll freak out.” He let out an explosive breath and climbed out of the hospital bed. He was wearing light cotton drawstring pants and a t-shirt. Wren wondered when their mother had gone home to get them for him. “I wish they’d let me out of here.” He crossed his arms over his chest and went to stand by the window. “What did mom say to you?”
“Uh… not a lot.”
He glanced back at her. “She told you not to talk about what happened?”
“…Yeah.” She glanced around pointedly. “But nothing else has happened since we saw each other last.”
He smiled, then looked down for a moment, thinking. “I don’t remember what happened anyhow.”
“Only a little bit. We got home from your place, I went downstairs. I was going to raid with my guild at midnight. Mom says I went for a walk around ten or so. I kind of remember walking really far and feeling really tired but I had to go somewhere important or something. Then I just remember being pulled out of the water. I was cold.” He grimaced. “I lost my phone.”
Wren frowned. It sounded frighteningly similar to her own experience in some ways. “How long were you in the water for?”
“Not long, I guess? Some people saw me wading out. They called 911.”
“So you didn’t nearly die?”
“No.” He raised an eyebrow. “A little hypothermia. I guess I tried to swim away from the rescuers so it took a bit longer than it could have but I’m not a great swimmer.”
“Did you hurt yourself?”
“I scraped up my left leg pretty bad somehow on some rocks or something.” He pulled up his pantleg and propped his foot on the edge of the bed to show her his calf which was scored on the outer side with fresh scabs and scratches. “Other than that just some recovery time and then straight into the psych ward.” He lowered his leg. “They want to rule out a brain tumour or anything like that, too, so I have to have some scans.”
So Kai wasn’t healing abnormally quickly. He hadn’t died and come back. He seemed remarkably normal, if distracted by his circumstances. She couldn’t figure out his immunity to her mental perception but in general he seemed not to be going through the same thing she had been.
Tags: Chapter Five