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Outward, the Circles Grow. [5]

Hyle Troy's picture
Submission type:


Silja just stood, closer to the door than the bed. One minute went by, then the second minute. Tuki stood and watched her friend, waiting for an emotional reaction which did not appear. She filled the silence with an outline of what treatment they had given Hanne since she was admitted. Still Silja stood motionless emotionless. Tuki’s description tailed off into silence, she paused before putting her hand on Silja’s shoulder.

Are you OK?”

Silja gave the barest nod in reply. She was staring at her sister as she reclined on the hospital bed. Only a shell with a vacant stare. Her bald head shone under the light, clearly displaying the scarlet and black welts left by both the bullet and by Tuki’s emergency trepanning. As she watched, a crystal of saliva formed in the corner of Hanne’s mouth and crept onto her chin until Nurse Maisie paused from redressing the head wounds to wipe it away.

Tuki broke the silence again.

I know its a shock, seeing her this way. But...” Tuki stopped speaking. Silja was just shaking her head slowly. Her gaze transferred to Tuki and Tuki was at a loss to read the thoughts behind Silja’s icy eyes. Tuki drew breath to speak but Silja spoke first, her voice quiet but cold.


I don’t care.”


In the long silence that followed, Tuki and Silja visibly bristled, two pairs of eyes stared at each other, one disbelieving, the other implacable and cold. The silence was deafening, even Nurse Maisie stopped her deliberations and stared at the girls.


I don’t believe you!” Tuki broke the spell. Silja lowered her eyes. Tuki continued calmly, “You are not ‘that’ person. The Silja I know cannot look at a person… ANY living thing in pain and say she doesn’t care.”

Silja’s eyes dropped even further and Tuki noticed. She moved in front, between Silja and Hanne’s bed, right into Silja’s line of sight.

What happened?”

Silja’s mouth opened and closed as if the words were trying to escape but the bars were far too thick, Tuki’s expression turned from admonishing to supportive in an instance. She knew Silja far too well, this was her best friend. She had seen the guarded Silja before. She knew exactly how Silja worked and like the many times before, she knew how to guide Silja when Silja’s own mind clogged with conflicting emotions. Tuki stepped forward and hugged Silja for a few moments then guided her back into her office.

Nurse Maisie rolled her eyes and returned to redressing Hanne’s bandages. The backlog of work had became even longer.


Behind the closed door, in the quiet privacy of Tuki’s office, Silja opened up. After more than an hour, besides having her long held picture of Hanne being a ‘nice person’ broken into shards, Tuki more than understood why Silja had reacted in the way she had. More than anything, their long discussion was more than overdue. Even close friends can grow apart in isolation from the other. The long bond of friendship had been reinforced.


Phones have a nasty habit of ringing quite at the wrong time. Tuki sighed and picked it up. The voice at the other end was loud, clear and ultra familiar.

Hej skat! Hva så?”

Tuki’s winked at Silja and rolled her eyes.”

Åh, hej Mor. Fint tak.” Tuki coughed “And speak English hmm?”


Silja watched Tuki’s face change from impish cheekiness to downright concern. As the called ended and Tuki put the phone down, she took a while to turn around to face Silja again.

More bad news.” Tuki hesitated. To add more weight to Silja’s load was something she really did not want to to, but she was fully aware that she was the only person who could deliver the news, She took a deep breath and continued.


It’s your Dad. He’s dead.”


Tuki watched Silja’s car until it went out of sight. Her heart was right there in the car beside Silja. Sometimes everything happens at once and words just can not justifiably cover the situation. The sigh came from her toes.



Doctor Troy?” Maisie’s impatient voice broke the spell. Duty called, perhaps thankfully.


Joe Spivey's picture

((I'm getting better, I didn't need the translator :) Worried what Silja will do, she's had a rough few weks.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

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