Chapter 68: Letting Go

Tina stared at her legs.

Her parents were here now; they were talking to the doctors. She wasn’t paying attention, but the word ‘options’ was coming up repeatedly. It didn’t matter anymore, she’d stopped listening when they told her she’d probably never be able to move them again.

She glanced up at the doctor, and immediately had to look away. His pen, his lab-coat, even his tie were all inherited from his father. He power had grabbed onto everything both doctor’s and all of their patients had placed into them.

She hadn’t looked away quickly enough. She felt the bile burning the lower half of her throat as she forced herself to take slow, deep breaths.

“Tina.”

A hand on her shoulder brought her back into the present.

“Tina.

She kept her eyes closed until she was sure she was looking at her doctor’s face.

“I’m fine,” She choked. “It’s just a lot to take in.”

The doctor nodded and looked to her parents.

“It might be best to keep her here another few days. That way you can discuss how best to handle her new situation.”

Her mother couldn’t speak without sobbing.

“We’ll see what we can do,” her father said.  “Thank you for everything.”

The doctor nodded and walked out of the room.

Her father turned to her. “Are you going to be all right here tonight? One of us can sleep on the chair if-“

Tina shook her head. “No. Please. I think I can manage for tonight.”

Her father nodded reluctantly. “One of us will be in first thing in the morning okay? Call if you need anything. No matter the time. Got it?”

Tina painted a smile on her face and nodded. Her mother leaned down and wrapped her arms around her, letting her tears soak into the hospital gown.

When she spoke it was muffled and quiet, but Tina understood.

“I love you too mom,” she said. “Make suere you get some sleep tonight, okay?”

Tina felt her gown shift under her mother’s head as she nodded. After a moment, her mother reluctantly let her go and stepped to the side. Her father hugged her too, much more briefly and less mess, but just as caringly.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” her father replied with a nod.

She watched the door close behind them, and she kept watching it until the smiling nurse came in.

“Is there anything you need to do before we turn the light out?”

Tina shook her head.

“Okay. Just remember to press the button if you need anything.”

The smiling nurse flipped the switch and shut the door behind her.

She would have been in complete darkness if not for the small reading lamp above her head. A small part of her wanted to turn it off immediately; her power had a hard time picking up on anything she couldn’t see. But her power wasn’t going away anytime soon, and she couldn’t’ avoid looking at anything of value for the rest of her life.

She started by focusing on the small mirror next to her bed. It was cheap;, mass produced, but enough people had stared into it at some of the worst times of their lives that it couldn’t help but pick up something of them.

She was so focused on the mirror that she almost didn’t notice the second face reflected alongside her own.

The mirror flew through the air and landed further down on her lap. Tina quickly checked each direction and behind her. There was o one to be seen. She tentatively reached for the mirror again. The face was still there, sitting beside her.

“Sorry about that. I probably should have given you some warning.” His voice was quieter, less powerful, but she knew it all the same.

“You were inside of my head.”

He nodded. “Good. I hoped you’d remember that; I suppose that I have their intrusion o thank for your recollection.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m you,” the man said. “Or rather, I’m a part of you mixed with something else. Most of me has been here since the day you were born. Although, neither of us were quite aware of that at the time.”

“Azriel.”

The man nodded. “When he healed us, he left a little piece of himself behind. Not enough for either side to suffer, but enough to change my nature, if only the tiniest amount.”

The man seemed antsy, as if he despised being trapped in the mirror almost as much as she was stuck in this bed.

“I’m sorry, and I’m sure you have many questions. But I am afraid that I can only keep myself visible to you for so long. I hope you don’t mind if I hurry.” The man began to pace within the confines of the mirror. “I want to know what you’re going to do next.”

Tina stole another glance at her legs. “I don’t know if there’s anything to do,” she said. “I can’t control the suit right if I don’t have legs.

“Nonsense. You might never fly around again, but that doesn’t stop us. It can’t stop us.” The man sounded overly certain, maybe even desperate.

“A wheelchair bound hero isn’t exactly what the world is screaming for,” Tina said. “I would die if I went out there like this.” She vaguely waved her hand towards her legs. “I think it would be best to just…let it go, and move on.”

“But-“

Tina turned out the light. She could talk to her delusions when she felt less crazy for doing so.

She heard his voice muffled in the back of her mind, but it wasn’t anything she couldn’t ignore, just the faintest murmuring in the background lulling her to sleep.

Tina closed her eyes and tried to push the thoughts of the day out of her mind. It couldn’t be done; even without the mirror man’s voice, her own thoughts crashed around inside her head like thunder.

She tried in vain to push them aside for hours, until exhaustion finally won out and she fell asleep.

She dreamed of flying,

 

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