Working Title: Leaves
By Dana Quell

It was the time of the year when the leaves start turning and life begins to slow down and settle back into a routine. It was colder than it should have been, it being only the middle of October, but all of the cold and the frost seemed fitting. The sky, although almost a dark grey colour, seemed to be void of any clouds and this, too, did not appear out of place. The dark red and yellow leaves hanging by thin fibres from the trees only served to contrast the stark sky as the bitterly chilling wind flew through the dark branches and loosed dying leaves from their prisons. It was a time of transitions, to be sure, although some transitions were not as prominently displayed as those taking place in nature.

From the small window of his third story hospital room, he could see these changes taking place outside but could not feel them. For once in his life, he wished he could step outside in the cold and revel in the leaves that had already fallen to the near frozen ground. He had never much appreciated the cold before, but now, trapped as he was in this lifeless and dull hospital room for the second week in a row with no control over the heat that blasted from the vents, he felt like if he could not get out of this stifling warmth he'd go insane. As if he hadn't already gone insane.

Who could blame him? He had not been allowed out of this room for two entire weeks, save the few times when he was scheduled for PET scans. He was woken up at all times of the night so that nurses could get blood samples from him or change his IV. He was told when he could or couldn't have visitors; he was told who could or couldn't visit him. He was told when to go to sleep and he was told when to wake up. His free will was eliminated; his spirit was bored and restless.

The only thing that had kept him from becoming certifiably insane was the visits she paid him. They were rare indeed; she had never had much free time in her schedule to begin with, and when she was free, she sometimes couldn't conjure up a ride to make the long journey from town to the hospital.

She was something, and, to him, she wasn't just something. She was everything.