"Hey Joz... what's up?"

"Joz, what's wrong? You don't look so good..."

"Josie? Josie, are you there? Can you hear me?"

"Josie, what the hell? What's going on?"

"Why the hell are you shaking, what's going on? JOSIE?! Oh my god... Help! Someone help!" He looked around the school hall frantically, but no one seemed to have noticed what was going on. A teacher approached him.

"What seems to be the problem Mr. Mccrall?"

He couldn't believe his ears, "'what's the problem?'!" He boomed, "'what's the problem?'! Are you fucking kidding me, sir?! Look at Josie!"

She lay in a crumple heap on the ground shaking uncontrollably, her eyes were closed. If she hadn't been shaking, you would have guessed she was sleeping. The teacher took one look at her and stepped back.

"What's wrong with her?" he asked, eyes scared.

"She's passed out, she's shaking and she's GOD DAMN NOT BREATHING!"

The teacher looked bewildered; "Is she epileptic?" he asked.




"Does she suffer from-"


All of a sudden Josie started screaming bloody murder. She no longer looked like she was sleeping, her face was contorted in pain, hands clawing at her own face.

"Shit..." gasped Reilly. "What the fuck is going on?!" He knelt down next to Josie, he had no idea what to do. All he knew was that he wanted it to stop, he wanted her to be okay.

He pried her hands away from her own face. Her nails had actually cut into her skin, the skin under her eyes was already bleeding and the wounds on her cheeks were just starting. She tried to break his grip, to get back to tearing her face apart. Reilly was scared witless.

"Josie!" he screamed at her, he had no idea if she could hear or understand him. "Josie stop! You're hurting yourself!" He was starting to shake as well now. "Josie.." he begged. "Josie, snap out of this... please... god damn it, Joz... Wake up!"

In less than a split second; she did. In one swift movement she stopped screaming, opened her eyes, sat up and stopped shaking. Reilly was so surprised he fell over. Josie was breathing heavily, sharp, ragged breaths. In addition to the blood on her face, her cheeks were very red. Her brown eyes started well-up with tears and she started shaking again, but a different kind of shaking this time, shaking with fear.

"That's it." He said to her, sitting back up. "Come on, I'm taking you to the nurse until the ambulance arrives." She shook her head frantically, Reilly noticed that the idiot teacher was still standing there. The asshole hadn't even called the ambulance. "Ok..." he said, trying to sound calm and sure of himself so as to not make Josie's situation worse. "No ambulance, just come see the nurse, please." Again, she shook her head frantically. "Do you want to just go home?" To this she just sobbed and threw her arms around Reilly's neck. As shocked as he was, he patted her on the back and told her it was going to be okay, not even knowing what had caused this. Josie never let her feelings out, even to Reilly. Whenever he asked how she was, she'd become uncomfortable, so he had learned to just stop asking. Maybe this was a breakdown, from bottling everything up. Reilly didn't know what to think as she sobbed into his shoulder.

"Do you just want to go outside to get some fresh air?" he asked quietly, whispering the words into her curly hair. He felt her nod into his shoulder. "Ok," he said quietly, taking her hand and slowly standing up, pulling her gently to her feet. When at last she stood, he found her eyes were closed and her head was pointed towards the floor. Reilly placed his hand under her chin and tilted it upwards, causing her eyes to open. She looked exhausted. Reilly tried to reassure her with a fake smile. As he started leading her towards the exit, he noticed what a huge crowd they'd attracted. Josie hated large groups.

What was it about that girl? So strange and unlike everyone else...

Reilly lead her through the group of people, pushing his way through. Finally, they made their way outside. They reached the spot where they would usually sit at lunch. Reilly looked at the low wall, usually she could just hop up, using a break in the cement as a foothold, but there was no way she'd make it up there by herself today...

"Josie?" he said to her softly, she was looking at the ground again. "Josie, I'm going to put you up on the wall, ok? I'm going to have to pick you up to do it, I don't want you to try and get up by yourself." She just nodded. He placed his hands on her wait and picked her up. He marveled at how light she was, and how narrow her waist was. She only wore old, baggy hand-me-downs from her sister, even if she was 17, so he had no idea what her figure was like. But now he knew just how tiny she was. He put her down carefully, afraid of breaking her, she seemed so fragile to him now. He hopped up on the wall beside her just as the school bell rang, she made to get down from the wall but Reilly stopped her.

"No," he said. "You're not going to class in the state you're in."

She opened her mouth, about to protest but Reilly stopped her. "You have a perfectly valid excuse and I, being a certified life saver and all, have a duty to fulfill by watching over you." She actually smiled, Reilly smiled back; progress.

"Just relax," he reminded her calmly. "And make sure you let me know when you're feeling better, don't talk till then."

They just sat in silence, Reilly made sure that he didn't sit too close to her; he knew that she didn't like having people in her space, she hated it in fact. Anytime someone stepped too close to her, she would step back, or grow ridged if she couldn't escape.

After fifteen minutes of silence, she still looked scared as hell.

"Josie, it's over now, just try to relax, everything will be okay and-"

"No," she cut him off, it was her first time speaking this morning, her voice seemed strange. "It's not over, it'll never be over, and nothing will ever be okay again..."

Reilly didn't know what to say to that, he didn't even know what she meant. He wouldn't push her to tell him, she would tell him when she was ready. Hopefully.