27. After the Storm

She doesn’t sit up.

“They figured out Clarke needs more sedatives,” she mumbles flatly when Lye enters her room.

He pulls her glasses out of his pocket. The left lens is missing. “They should have you a new pair by the end of the week.” He places them on the pillow beside her head.

Miranda’s fingers curl around the hem of his shirt. “Thank you,” she murmurs.

He sits on the bed beside her and runs a hand through her hair. “It’s growing back,” he says lightly.

She doesn’t answer.

He brushes her hair until she cries herself to sleep.


Where to Begin

24. Penpals

Clarke,

I appreciate your compliance this week, especially in public. I realize you’re anxious to let off some steam, but I’m going to need you to stand by a bit longer. Shou is still tagging along, despite several pointed hints that he wasn’t wanted. I’d rather not introduce you.

—Miranda

Floors creak all night. It’s annoying. —C

Clarke,

I can’t believe you of all people are spooked by this place. It’s an old building. It’s just settling. Try to ignore it.

We’ve got an evaluation with Dr. Smith tomorrow, so I’ll need full control.

—Miranda

When are we leaving? —C


Where to Begin

20. Miranda Doesn’t Want to Make Friends

She whirls, furious, on Dr. Smith. “You’re setting me up on playdates now?”

“He’s around your age.”

“You just don’t want me hanging around Lye anymore because his continued hospitalization demonstrates how incompetent you are.”

“Did Lyman tell you that?”

As if he would! “He didn’t have to! I’m not an idiot!”

“Just show him around. Think of the privileges, Miranda.”

If she does it, she’ll get to borrow two books at a time from the library, so she yanks open the door and bares her teeth at the new boy. “Welcome to Oz. I’m Miranda. Nice to meet you.”


Where to Begin

19. This is Shou, Afraid

When the nurse’s fingers brush against his skin as she removes the blood pressure cuff from his arm, he winces. She doesn’t notice.

“So where are you from?”

“New Jersey,” he rubs his arm where she touched him.

“No, where were you born?”

“New Jersey.” But he knows what she’s asking. “But my parents are from Japan.”

“That’s so exotic,” she croons.

A familiar anger swirls in his stomach, but he does his best to tamp it down before he does something he’ll regret later.

Then it’s back to his intake form. “How old?”

“Fifteen.”

“How tall?”

He winces. “Five-three.”


Where to Begin