34. The Story

Lye spent most of the afternoon putting the story together. All he wants now is a nap. 

“Why? For how long? Why?” Shou demands.

“A day or two. Until they’re sure she isn’t a danger to herself or others.”

“She isn’t dangerous! That’s crazy!”

Lye massages his temples. “She assaulted an orderly and tried to dig her way out of a mental hospital. Sounds dangerous and crazy to me.” 

“It isn’t fair!”

“Fair!” Lye throws up his hands. “Nothing is ever fair! The sooner you learn that, the happier you’ll be.”

Shou shakes his head then, without a word, leaves.


Where to Begin

33. The Buzz

The door is locked so Lye goes in through the broken window. Miranda’s shoes, still in their cubby. Miranda’s glasses, still on the windowsill. 

He pauses when a key turns in the locked door.

Two orderlies enter.

One unrolls plastic sheeting and holds against the window. “The way he just stares up at the house.”

The second tapes it in place. “Someone should tell Dr. Smith.”

The first snorts. “That the neighbor’s weird? Hiram would probably hire him to get ‘some real local flavor.”

Lye slips out the open door. 

“Ha! Like someone from White Haven would ever work here.”


Where to Begin

32. Breakfast, Sans Miranda

“Where is she?” Shou repeats. “Do you think something happened?”

Lye snaps his book shut, tucks it under his arm, stands. 

“Where are you going?” Shou’s chair squeals as it slides across the floor.

We, nothing. You stay here.” Lye points to Shou’s chair, until Shou sits. “I’m going to see if she’s in her room. New dosage might have her tuckered, you know how it goes.” He means to be comforting.

Shou bites his lip, looking undecided. Finally, he nods.

Lye slouches out. 

Alone, Shou’s hands shake. “It wasn’t me,” he mumbles, though no one asked. “I couldn’t have.”


Where to Begin

13. Miranda vs Therapy, continued

Miranda is beginning to seriously dislike that legal pad. And all of Dr. Smith’s incessant scribbling. “It’s rude to write when someone’s talking to you,” she points out, quirking an eyebrow at the doctor.

“I’m just taking notes.”

To Miranda’s consternation, he doesn’t even look up when he says it.

She toys with the idea of letting Clarke out if only to get Dr. Smith’s attention. But Miranda isn’t vindictive, and she’s afraid of actually hurting people. “You do realize that most communication is nonverbal, right?” She asks. “And if you aren’t looking, you’re going to miss most of it.”


Where to Begin