Scene Title Solitary
Synopsis Four days since Colette became too scared to leave her home. There's no end in sight.
Date November 20, 2008

Le Rivage, Judah's Apartment

The tenant of this small studio could probably afford a larger space on his budget but, judging from the unique style of his decor, seems like the type of person who would rather spend his money on other things. Several Ansel Adams prints in black and white are positioned strategically throughout the room, stark against the studio's walls which have been painted a light beige colour to lend the area just a hint of warmth. Through the use of furniture and built-in shelving units, the apartment has been divided into three distinct sections: one for cooking and eating, one for relaxing, and one for sleeping.

The kitchen is a barebones affair with outdated tile floors that contrast with the stainless steel appliances and glass backsplash. It also contains a tiny eat-in nook with a circular table, two matching chairs and a plain white tablecloth held in place by a potted jade plant at the center of the arrangement.

The living area consists of a dark leather couch, a matching armchair, a zen-style coffee table that sits a mere foot off the ground and — the centerpiece of the apartment — an entire wall of bookshelves that house several hundred different titles ranging from such classics as Crime and Punishment, Heart of Darkness and The Turn of the Screw to more modern titles like Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. More prominent, though, is the tenant's varied collection of nonfiction which includes works on forensic studies, criminal psychology, philosophy and even indoor botany. On the coffee table rests a copy of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but why this particular title is on display is anyone's guess.

The bedroom area is separated from the rest of the studio by a low wall and a series of thick black curtains designed to block out the light streaming in from the apartments untreated bay windows. Even at night, the area is unusually bright thanks to the placement of a street lamp directly outside this street-level unit. The bed itself is a twin-sized platform dressed in crisp white sheets and a down comforter for warmth.

The bay windows open out to a small patio completely enclosed by wrought-iron bars designed to prevent and unwanted guests from visiting the premises when the tenant is out, and while this gives it the appearance of a prison, the effect is lessened somewhat by swaths of ivy and a meticulously-cared for succulent garden.

Staring at herself in the bathroom mirror, Colette can't help but notice the way her eyes look.

The reddened and puffy look from all of the crying hasn't helped the sunken-in darkness from her sporadic and short sleep, and the stress and anxiety piling up from what happened. She leans against the sink with one hand, the other tugging down the lower-eyelid of her blind eye. She closes the other one, straining to see anything through the murky obstruction, it's like trying to see through a cotton swab, the scarring on her cornea having effectively blinded her. Two years worth of deprivation from depth-perception, and she's still a clumbsy idiot.

Those insecure thoughts cause her to slide down and hug the sink slightly, her bare arms shakily grasping around the porcelain. Eyes fall shut, and Colette can hear one very tired, very weak sob strangle itself free from her lips, echoing off of the curvature of the sink. She swallows, loudly, keeping the noise down so as to not disturb Judah in the living room. She can't bear to cry around him, not after that look, not after the way he seemed so put upon the day of the explosion.

Colette called out for him, weakly, and he looked for all his worth like he was staying out of regret than need. The last thing she wants is pity, or sympathy, or someone who is going to pretend to care about her. She has a hard enough time convincing herself that the one person she cares about most is actually capable of feeling those emotions, she doesn't need a pretend surrogate father as well.

that's too hard to think about, and the weakness in her knees causes Colette to slump down in front of the sink on the fuzzy, teal bathroom mat, her arms wrapping around herself as she scoots back along the backroom floor, back pressed up against the tub. Her dangerously-thin legs draw up towards her chest, flannel pajama pants too thin against the cold floor, bare feet curling toes into the bathmat.

Shivvering a little from the chill down on the floor, Colette manages to muffle another frustrated sob against her knees, sniffling loudly as she tries to dry her eyes on the soft cloth of the pajama pants. Shuffling near the door causes her to bolt up to her feet, the sound of Judah walking past the bathroom to his room, it's enough to make her heart leap out of her chest. If he had come in, seen her curled up on the bathroom floor like that, she can't even imagine how it would make him feel. He doesn't deserve that. No one does.

Turning back towards the mirror, Colette pauses, then looks towards the tub. The girl's jaw trembles again, and she looks down to her bare feet. She's been in here too long, she looks like she's been crying all day — for good reason. Her feet start moving, one hand reaching out to turn on the faucet at the tub. Then, pressing down on the faucet, there's a rattling hiss as the shower cicks on. Steam starts to issue forth as hot water strikes the cold shower floor. She leans against the partially closed glass door, letting her forehead thump lightly against the glass.

"I hate… being so scared." She tries to convince herself that's all it is, fear. Fear of being hurt, not fear of coming to face it, not fear of facing what Anselm talked about in the diner, not fear of the reality that Colette might actually be faced with. She's hiding in here from more than her fears.

But at least the sound of the shower running makes it less obvious to everyone else.

November 20th: ELVIS LIVES!

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 20th: Lies Of Omission
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