for the time being

It feels strange to essentially be alone, though not so much being alone as I’m used to that but to be alone in a new place. Their apartment is much smaller than the house I grew up in but still it feels big, it feels empty. I suppose it isn’t so much ‘smaller’ in this case as there are less rooms, a lot less rooms; they’re spacious however and I know that it’s because I’m healing up and I’m stuck here that I feel as though everything is big and wide and echo-y. For the time being, I can’t do anything else but stay here and just sort of be still, not do much of anything.

I could look through Mira’s books or play a few of Agni’s video games but it doesn’t help with this quiet, empty feeling. Soon, I hope, I’ll be in better shape and I’ll be able to get back to helping them out at the library since I now have lost my other job. Not that I can complain, it wasn’t much though it was an income I had worked for and deserved. I’ll find better once I’m fully healed up.

I stare at the ceiling of Mira’s bedroom, settled on his bed and I think I’m almost able to forget that I’m where I’m at, my mind begins to drift off into the world of dreams when the phone rings. There are no landlines in this apartment so I know it’s my own cellphone. The ring is foreign however so it’s a number I don’t know. I have the numbers of every people I speak to frequently saved in my phone, with a particular ringtone to it so I know who is calling when they do.

Sitting up takes some work but I manage it after a few moments. By the time I’ve moved to a seated position however, the phone has stopped ringing and I reach out for it. I look through it and locate the missed call information. The number rings no bell so I leave it there.

Going crazy while I heal up is not part of the plan so I look around the bedroom a moment, as if to try to get my mind to latch onto something I could do, anything. It’s the sight of Mira’s swimming trunks that catch my attention, they’re sitting on his towel on the chair settled in front of his desk. I hadn’t done much swimming the day before but it had felt wonderful and the water had done wonders for my aching body.

Swimming it was going to be, then.

It takes me some time to get up because I decided on the stairs, a bad move on my part as I ache terribly when I finally make it out on to the roof and into the solarium protected pool area. The air is warm, almost humid-feeling and I close my eyes, appreciating the almost jungle-like feeling of my surroundings for a moment. It reminds me of that trip I had taken with Magali and Élodie and our mother. We’d been so young then. Dad had taken Niall off to hunt as his initiation to being a man and mom had taken the rest of us out into the jungle.

I leave my towel up on the hooks settled along the wall and I carefully unbutton my shirt. Yesterday turned out to be a mistake. Putting shirts on is hard enough as it is but I had in mind to swim with my shirt on, that, as an idea on its own, not a bad one but when I got out of the water and it was time to change into dryer clothes, I couldn’t manage. The shirt was sticking and it was requiring too much effort for me to be able to get it off, I had to ask the twins for help. So for now, buttoned shirts until my ribs stop killing me.

As I’m alone in the pool and I can only assume that Alexis and Eoghan won’t come up, I have no issues with leaving the shirt on the side of the pool. My bruises are healing up. They’re still far from a pretty sight but they’re healing up and it’s all I care about. I take my shoes off and I slip into the warm water with a sigh.

If this still was summer-time, I would complain that the water is too warm but right now, it is just the perfect temperature and I feel slight aches and pains lessen as I ease deeper into the water until it is up to my shoulders. If they had a hot tub or a Finnish sauna, then I’d be all over that as I’m pretty sure it would help ease these aches even more but I take what I can get and this is plenty for the time being, it feels wonderful.

I don’t try to swim as I know that moving my arms in this way right now is a stupid idea. Instead, I find a few floating noodles and I set one beneath my knees, the other at my shoulders, I set one beneath my neck just for the sake of being balanced and I let myself float away.

At times I think I’m a fish. I love spending time in the water and I remember how long it used to take my mother to get me to come out of the pool at all. When I was old enough to wash up on my own and no longer really require baths, I was bummed, I remember that too. Showers were a waste as far as I was concerned, in the tub I could waddle a bit, I could enjoy the presence of the water, I could wash up. I couldn’t really enjoy the water as much in the shower though I adapted well enough.

I must have dozed off, when my mind focuses on the present, I feel myself being carefully pushed away from the wall of the pool. I try not to stiffen, I don’t know exactly in which part of the pool I’m at and I can’t handle the deep end if I start to flail upon realizing my feet don’t touch the ground.

“Don’t worry, Cyrille, just getting you back into the shallows, I can only imagine you’ve drifted in your sleep though you do look like a prune.” The voice is amused but gentle, warm. I shift my weight just a little and I notice that I’m in shallow enough water to get to my feet and I do that. Near the deep end, Eoghan crouches lightly before he moves to sit with his legs in the water. I blush lightly and rub the back of my neck.

“I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“You’re not intruding. If I didn’t want people in the pool, I wouldn’t have had it set up, though really, it was Lex’s idea. How are you feeling?” He sounds genuine and I carefully pull myself out of the pool, going for my towel. I do look like a prune at this point and I chuckle faintly.

“I still ache but I think I’m slowly getting there.”

“Mira did mention something about you not taking your medication.” I feel my cheeks flush and I don’t know if I should feel anger or something else altogether that Mira has found the need to mention this part at all to anyone. “Don’t worry, he’s just fretting about you and he mentioned it in passing. I can understand your fear, Cyrille, but you shouldn’t let yourself feel your pain because you’re worried about addiction. Your first priority should be getting better, then, if there’s an issue with a desire to keep on taking the pills, we work with you one day after the other to get you over that.”

He shrugs as I slowly walk over and I sit down next to him. He really feels familiar to me and I can’t put my finger to it. I swear I’ve seen him when I was younger though it wouldn’t make sense for how little he’s aged, though if he’s like Agni and Mira, if he’s gifted like them, maybe it’s a side effect, maybe they don’t age the way I do.

“I’m just afraid, I don’t want an addiction. I’ve seen what it can do to someone and I’m terrified that it might happen to me.”

He touches my shoulder, the motion almost brotherly and I feel something try to shatter in me. Niall has never really been brotherly in my presence, from the time we were young, it felt as though he saw me as competition of sorts. I shudder and Eoghan only smiles at me in that same, brotherly fashion I’ve seen him smile at the twins.

“One day after the other, Cyrille, that’s all we have.”

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