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Screaming. Constant screaming. It's so loud and goes on for so long
that you can't stand any more. And it gets louder. More persistent.
More unrelenting. Louder and louder and louder until you can't see how
to stop it. But you have to stop it. To stop the pain. To stop the
hurt. To stop everything

* * *

"Room 309. Lily Halliwell. She's yours. Quite an interesting case. The
notes are all here," he held up the clipboard he was carrying and
handed it to Dr. Quinn. "Patricia, I don't need to tell you how
important it is not to get involved. Be her friend. But don't make

Dr. Quinn nodded.

"None of us have been able to get through to her. She refuses to eat;
we have to feed her on a saline drip. Sometimes she tries to rip it
out. She's too thin; it's quite a shock to many people. But she's not
in any immediate danger." He sighed, "It's a sad sad case. Nobody
quite knows why she's like this. She's been here since she was
sixteen, and refuses to speak to anyone. We thought she needed more
specific treatment. Just one person that she can learn to trust and
identify with. That's why we got you in."

"I'll do my best."

They stopped outside a restricting metal door. Plain. Simple. No
personality. Just '309' carved into it about two thirds of the way up.
With no indication of what was going to be on the other side.

"Lily lives in her own little world. And nobody can get her to leave"

He opened the door. Dr. Quinn looked at the girl, her bony, angular
features jutting out from her thin face, making her look almost
skeletal. Her lifeless long black hair made an stark contrast with her
pale skin, making her look deathly pale. And she was staring. Just
staring into space with chocolate brown eyes that sat in hollow
sockets in her gaunt face. Lily turned her head, and her blank

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detached eyes seemed to look straight through Dr. Quinn. She idly
wondered what on earth was going on inside Lily's head. Would she ever
know? She felt a sense of inadequacy. What if she couldn't do this?
What if she couldn't do what was right for Lily? But she had to try.
If she didn't then there was no hope left.

"Trust me…I can do this."

* * *

"It's nothing! It's all nothing!"



"What is?"

"What's the meaning of it all?"

"The meaning of what?"


Dr. Quinn sighed. She'd lost count of how many times she'd had this
conversation with Lily over the past six months. But it had to be
done. If she got past this, it would be the first step on a long road
to recovery. But she knew from bitter experience that the first step
was always the hardest.

"I can't do this," Lily whispered, a lone tear trickling down her pale
cheek. "I can't do this… I can't do this! I can't do this! I'm
scared…I'm so scared!" She started shaking. "I need help. You have to
help me. You have to!"

"That's what I'm trying to do."

"You keep saying that. But you don't know. You can't see inside me!
You can't tell me how I feel!"

"I know that. But if you told me how you felt, then maybe I would be
able to help."

"I want to go home."


"With Skye. I need him. He needs me. I want to go home. Please. Just
let me go home." An apparent change had come over Lily's face.
Anxiety. She looked like a five year old who couldn't find her parents
in a supermarket. "I just want to go home."

This was the first time Dr. Quinn had heard Lily talk about something
that could be considered as 'normal'. Lily continued talking about her
life. Her family. Her boyfriend. Her job. Looking into Lily's brown
eyes, she could see positive emotion for the first time. Hope. And as
long as she had hope, that was the best cure for her. Lily had been
through so much, and yet so little for a nineteen year old girl. Was
it really fair to deprive her of more of the new experiences she
should be facing? She made a solemn resolve to herself that if she did
nothing else, she would help Lily get through this. Give her the life
she deserved. A second chance. She had faith in Lily. She could get
though this. She would get through this.

* * *

Dr Quinn,

It's been five long years since I last saw you. I had my 26th birthday
last month. It was a double celebration - it was also mine and Skye's
second wedding anniversary. We had a baby. A little girl. Named Hope.
Because I really was starting to have hope. I had a husband I adored,
and an beautiful baby girl. She symbolised everything. The future. I
could go on. As long as she was with me. I loved her. Hope represented
all our dreams.

But all that changed. Hope is gone. I have no Hope. She's beneath the
ground. No parent should have to bury their child. It's the worst
experience anyone could face. But I had to do it. I had to be strong.
Because if I didn't do it, then nobody else would. I remember her
funeral. Everyone saying how brave and how strong I was being. But I
wasn't. Not inside. Inside I was slowly falling apart. Piece by piece.

Everywhere I looked there were flowers. The entire church was covered
in them. Lilies. The flowers of death. And I remember thinking, 'Lily.
That's me. All I do is bring pain and fear and anguish everywhere I
go. Through everything I do. To everyone I meet.' It's as if I'm
cursed. If God exists, he's a complete bastard. When my life seems for
once to be going right, something happens. Something bad. Everyone
leaves me. Like Hope did. Like Skye did. I had so much going for me.
And then it was all gone. Skye couldn't cope. He left with my 'best
friend'. So you're the only one still left. I doubt if you even
remember me. Sometimes I think you're the only one who ever cared
about me. But then that was your job.

I can't stop the screaming. It won't leave. I need it to stop. But it
won't. Everywhere I go, everything I do, it's there. Wherever I turn,
the pain is unbearable. It's as if I have barbed wire surrounding me,
and with every movement I make, it digs deeper into my skin. Cutting
into my flesh. Deeper and deeper, until I can't move. I can't think. I
can't breathe. And the pain just gets worse. It won't go away. I need
to make it go away.

I never meant for any of this to happen. I didn't realise it had got
so bad. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. And for the
first time I saw my true self. I saw what other people see. I saw an
empty, hollow shell of a person. And I was disgusted. Repelled. Full
of loathing.

Don't mourn for me. Mourn for those killed in war. Mourn for those
desperately trying to cling on for just a few more seconds. Mourn for
those who don't get a chance. But don't mourn for me. I don't need
your pity.

I look back at my life, at all that's happened to me, and I think 'Why
did all this have to happen to me? Why not to somebody else?' The
problem is, we're all 'somebody else' to somebody else.

I'm sorry. I know you always tried to help me. But it's too late. It's
gone on for too long. It'll never stop. That's why I have to do this.
To stop the pain. To stop the hurt. To stop everything.
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