Status: A work in progress.

Everything But Time is Running Out

Upfront and Personal

Frank was most likely the only reason why I managed to stay sane inside the hospital. Between the strict and redundant schedule, the constant monitoring and the curfew, I felt like I was reliving kindergarten all over again. It had only been a few days, but with going to Group and faking interest in other's thoughts, feelings and problems, plus obviously going to meals because food is life, I had managed to build up a whopping 20 points! Frank told me that during his re-eval, the doctor said a few more days and he should be able to go free. Hearing that made my heart ache a little, but it's not like we had a special relationship or anything. I mean, we were binny buddies, stuck in this psych ward and just trying to build enough points to leave the place. I'm absolutely positive that outside of this place, we will never meet again. So why does that make me feel down?

It's 5:00 on the dot and here's CNP Nick here to take my vitals again. Surprise. I'm still alive. I quickly get dressed, as quick as my leg would allow, and headed toward Frank's room. He was still connected to that computer thing so I patiently waiting in the hallway for him. As I was standing there, I overheard the nurse say to Frank, "So, I hear you're being discharged today! Congratulations!" I'm not sure what the look on my face was like, but my body kinda did a double take and stumbled a little bit. I listened further. "You're vitals are perfect Mr. Iero! If you'd like, you can walk down the hall to sign your release papers after going over a few thing with Dr. Evans."

I don't know why, but I ended up hurrying to the cafeteria. Was I avoiding Frank? Shouldn't I also congratulate him and wish him for the best? I suddenly felt scared and anxious. When would I get out of here? How long would I be by myself in this falsely preppy place? I had gotten so used to having Frank to talk to, to keep me company. Stupid. I should know better than to get attached to useless relationships such as this one.

I picked up my fork and poked around at the food. Moron. Eat your food or else you won't get your points.

Point. I had totally forgot. I can now ask for a plastic shaving razor. I excitedly stood up, but then remembered to not show enthusiasm. It's be way too obvious.

I left the cafeteria and walked down the hall to the supplies office and rang the bell. A nurse was there instantly.

"Uh, hi," I said nervously. The nurse just stared at me. "Uh, I just wanted to ask for a razor. I mean, for shaving. You know, armpits and stuff..." I babbled.

"Name?" he asked.

"Kara Lee," I said. He signed into the computer and typed in some stuff. It took a few minutes and I could feel myself sweating underneath my gown.

"Kara May Lee... You have 20 points. Would you also like your civilian clothes to change into?"

"Yes, please!" I smiled. Today was turning into a great day. Clothes. Razor.

He unlocked a drawer and took out a singly wrapped pink plastic razor. He went to hand it to me. My hand shot out at it, but when I grabbed it, he didn't let go. I felt as if his eyes were x-ray lights gazing into my soul and I almost peed my pants just thinking that I was going to get caught. "Be careful not to cut yourself," he warned. I was puzzled by his statement. "These plastic razors aren't the easiest things to use," he added. I nervously giggled.

"Uh, yeah, I know what you mean. I'll definitely be careful," I promised as he let me take the package. I awkwardly walked away toward the showers.

"Miss Lee," he called back to me. I froze. Slowly, I turned to face him. "You clothes..." he said, holding a bag that had what I assumed were my belongings in it. I quietly signed with relief as I hurried to grab the bag, softly thanking him.

I showered and shaved and then managed to break loose one out of two of the blades from the razor. I tucked it in my towel as I walked across the hall to my room. Relieved that I was successful, I hid the blade in my clean underwear, tucked away in the dresser drawer and got dressed. For once, I couldn't wait until curfew.

As if my body knew the anticipation, I suddenly felt sleepy. Nothing like a nap to fast forward time, I thought. I fell asleep in less than five minutes.


When I woke, I saw it was dinner time. I felt my stomach grumble and made my way to the cafeteria, yet again. As I was eating, I felt someone sit next to me.

"Frank!' I exclaimed, totally taken by (delightful) surprise.

"Binny buddy!" he yelled back. "Where've you been, sugar? I've been waiting for you all day!" I looked at him, confused, my eyebrows crinkling together.

"What do you mean?" I asked. It was his turn to look confused.

"Kara," he started, "we always go through routine together. We've done this every day since you got here." I merely blinked at him.

"I know," I said slowly, "but you were released today."

"What silly news is this?" he laughed. "No way was I released today. I'm still here for at least another week!" Okay, now I know I was at the right room this morning. The nurse said Mr. Iero and I absolutely saw Frank there getting his vitals taken. Why is Frank lying to me? I pretended to be mistaken.

"Oh, I swear that was you! Maybe I heard wrong," I offered.

"I know you heard wrong," he smirked, patting my head. "Hey! You took a shower today!" And with that, he sniffed my hair and hugged me. "Ooooh, my Kara smells so fresh!" I blushed. My Kara. I could get used to hearing that.

I playfully pushed him off of me. "Yeah, Frank! And did you notice anything else new about me?" I hinted by turning toward him, arms outstretched.

"No way!" he yelped. "New clothes already? You're a pro! How many points do you have now?" Gosh. His excitement is that of a child's. I love it.

"I scored 20 points this morning!" I bragged. I noticed his smile falter slightly, but it quickly grew brightly right back on his face. He high fived me and went on to eagerly tell me how I'd be due for reevaluation soon. Thank God for that.

After dinner, I made my way to my room. Feigning tiredness directly after dinner, and Frank insisting on walking me to my room, we made our way to my room in silence, which was weird for Frank. Usually, he had some sort of story to tell, but no matter. My mind was preoccupied with other things, such as a certain shiny toy hidden inside a pair of underwear.

Once we were there, I turned to Frank to say goodnight. His usually smiling face was completely serious and it made me itch with unease.

"Kara?" he started. I just watched him, waiting for him to continue. "Uh..." he hesitated. "So... do you mind if I come in for a little?" I had not expected this and, even though my heart was beating on overdrive at the fact that a super hot guy was asking to come into my room, it was also beating for something else that I couldn't stop thinking about.

"Frank," I scolded. "You're not allowed in girls' rooms. You know this. You'll get points taken away." He just looked down, shuffling his feet aimlessly.

"Kara..." he started again. "I know." I froze, completely speechless. "And from your reaction, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about." Damn. Double damn. What the hell is going on?

"...How...?" I breathed. I... followed you," he admitted. "I went to breakfast looking for you but then I saw you headed toward the supply office, and I waited while you took a shower. I saw you hide it, Kara." He confronted me. "You need to give it to me."

"Or what?" I automatically said. Shit. I really didn't mean to get defensive.

"Or..." he said, "I'll alarm one of the nurses of a suicide risk." Hot damn! Did he just threaten me? And to think I just got that damn sign taken of my door.

I gasped at him, like a mentally retarded fish. He took a step closer to me as I took one backward. "Kara, I'm really not trying to burn you here," he reasoned. "I really am a true friend to you and I just want the best for you."

"You don't know what's best for me," I argued, briskly walking toward my dresser. Frank literally charged at me before I could reach it. "Stop Frank! Right now!" I ordered as he grabbed my wrists and held them in front of me. He used his body weight to push my back up against the dresser.

"Kara, please!' he begged. "Please give it to me. You're about to make a huge mistake."

"You don't know anything about me. You don't know how my life is supposed to be," I violently whispered. "You don't know shit. All you know is whoever I act to be in this shit hole of a place. You don't-"

Suddenly, I felt heat against my face and ever so soft lips to mine. My eyes widened as I saw Frank's eyes closed shut. He let go of my wrists and cupped my face gently. I found myself kissing him back, all anger disappearing, deepening the kiss.

What is he doing to me?


Frank and I sat on my bed in silence, in darkness. He had snuck back in once the nurses checked on each of us for curfew. Don't worry, I wasn't unsupervised long enough to grab a certain pair of underwear.

Frank's hand was holding mine. "Kara," he whispered. I squeezed his hand to let him know I was listening. "I'm gonna reach into the dresser drawer, okay?" I didn't respond, but he stood up and walked over to it. He expertly found my secret as if he had always knew it was there. I'm sure he did. He made me turn around so I wouldn't know what he did with it. When he sad back down on the bed, I turned to face him.

"Kara," he said softly. "I'm going to tell you something and I don't want you to get offended." I remained motionless and silent, but patiently waited for him to speak again. "The truth is, I really was up for discharge today, but I refused to sign the papers." He paused, perhaps waiting for a reaction. I didn't have one. "The truth is, I was still apprehensive after they took down your suicide risk sign." He sighed. "I couldn't leave here with you staying all by yourself because I had a feeling something bad would happen." I couldn't find any words for what he had just admitted.

We continued to sit in silence. He started tracing lines up and down my arm with his soft fingers. I closed my eyes, taking in the light touches. It felt extremely calming until he started fingering the old scars on my inner arm.

After a little bit, he says aloud, "You know... instead of collecting lovely marks such as these, you should really consider a needle and gun."

"HA!" I laughed. "Finally someone who speaks so direct!" His eyes instantly widened with the realisation of his unfortunate wording.

"N-no!" He stammered, "God, how morbid are you exactly?" He, then, chuckled lightly. "Nah, babe, I was talking about a tat gun."

"Hmm..." I thought aloud. It was then that I remembered all of Frank's tattoos. How did I never pay attention to them before? I guess I was so enamored by his lovely face, his eyes.

Frank yawned, breaking my train of thought. "Alright, sugar. Time for beddy-bye, now that I'm sure you're safe for the night." He kissed my forehead as he went to tuck me in. "See you tomorrow, Angel." Then he was gone.

Frank Iero. You'll be the death of me.


The a few mornings passed by and, as I was getting my vitals taken, I heard the same spiel that Frank got. Oh, you're up for re-eval and possible discharge. Congrats, hun! Blah blah. But actually, I was excited as hell to hear it.

I was cleared by Dr. Evans for discharge after evaluating my psyche and the condition of my leg. The stitches were now gone, but it was still technically healing so be careful not to reopen the wound. Wash it daily in the shower, yadda yadda yadda. Ironically, Frank was right there with me as we both were released from our prison. I walked outside for the first time in weeks and it felt so pleasant feeling the sun shine down on me.

I looked at Frank and there was a bittersweet look in his eyes. "Well, sugar," he said, "we did it. Made it out alive. You take care, okay? No more gruesome foul play crap." I simply nodded as he hugged me goodbye. Are we really parting this way?

As he walked to his car, parked in the "blue" parking lot for long-term patients, he looked back at me, smiled and waved. I tried to mentally take a photo of that smile for my memory. I watched him drive away and signed. Well, now what?

I started to head home; the subway was in the opposite direction of my place of resting, so I just headed home on foot. The walk from here was only maybe a half hour anyway. Then I'd have to face my roommate, who probably was the one to find me in the bathroom. Fabulous.

I put my hands in my pockets to notice something there. It was a crumbled piece of paper.

Cheer up, doll.
It'll get better.

xo 525-0025
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