Courage

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." E.E. Cummings

The girl in the silver nightgown walked to the window to stare at the rain pounding loudly against the glass. Each was loud like the sound of snare drums in her ears and echoed just the same. She would wait forever she thought, until her lover returned from the fields of war. She was never the kind of woman to follow her man to war, there were other, more important things to do without being fired upon in the field literally dying for a cause. There were lives to preserve at the back and she would do so until her dying breath.

Hugo leaned back in his chair to examine one of the final paragraphs of his short story. Was it clear and concise? Did it have visual appeal? Could he picture everything clearly in his mind's eye? It would do for now until he reached the end and could start editing his errors and change his wording if he needed to. Words were his lifeblood; stories gave him sustenance and power of life and death, in both the physical and metaphorical senses.

There was a knock at the door.

Hugo jumped a foot in the air and rapidly buried his papers under his dictionary and thesaurus nearly knocking over his inkwell and sending his quill into the wastebasket.

"Come in!" Hugo grinned widely and posed as if he had been expecting someone for the past five minutes to greet his sister who had apparently torn herself away from her textbook for a visit down the hall. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow, seeming to know he was hiding something. "Oh, it's just you." Hugo uncovered his short story and started digging his quill out of the wastebasket so he could continue. "What do you want Rose?"

"Mum and dad are fighting downstairs again."

"What are they fighting about this time? Politics? Work? What exactly Aunt Audrey's pudding was from Sunday night? They have an entire list of things to bicker about, Rose." Hugo had gone back to focusing three-fourth of his attention to his story. Rose moved to go sit on his bed. "If that's it, I'm almost done with this story and-"

"They're arguing about you."

"Oh…" Hugo cleaned off his desk and shoved his story in a folder. He motioned for Rose to stand up and as she did so, Hugo slipped his folder under the mattress. Sharing his stories with Rose was one thing; his parents were another matter entirely. Especially after he had let it slip to his mother he wanted to be a writer and she had referred to it as an impractical aspiration.

That comment had a strong sting to Hugo's ego. It was no secret that Hugo adored his mother; they had a very strong relationship when he was younger. They both shared a passion for language, facts, and structure. There was something in his mum's comment though that had made Hugo edgy about really telling his mother (or father for that matter) about what he was working on behind closed doors or inside his own head. Stories and ideas he would have had no problem sharing with others as a child suddenly became private intense affairs with himself and his quill. It became easier to lose himself in his own head, just himself and his thoughts working together to find the characters that were running around his head with their stories trailing behind them in images and words.

It was hard to talk to those he cared the most for about all the things he saw without even leaving his room. The people, a forest in a long winter, a city of stone that disappeared with the rising sun were just a few things he saw. In five words she had fed him doubt to nibble at in the silence of his room when the words would not come.

"What have they accused me of doing this time?"

"Mum is wondering why you don't leave your room, dad says they should leave you be because you are a teenage boy and they like to do things alone."

Hugo reached for the half full three-day-old bottle of water he kept in the bottom drawer of his desk to take his nighttime medication and promptly drank the rest of it, to help get the image of being walked in on in that kind of private moment out of his head. There would be a lot of yelling he imagined, mostly from him.

"She also thinks you are depressed and should see a therapist."

Hugo propped his chin on his hand and gave Rose a tired even stare at this bit of information. "I'm sure Aunt Audrey likes me, do you think she'll take me in?"

"You just want full access to her book shop."

"I will gladly put up living with Lucy to do so."

Rose laughed, "She's not that bad." She went to sit on the bed and pulled her curly red hair out of her face. "Seriously though, I think mum might get her way on the therapy thing. Dad seemed to agree that you don't get out enough or do anything besides sit in your room when you are home. You don't invite anyone over or leave your room and their worried."

He did things. Nothing he cared to explain to his parents after the last time he had tried to do so. Therapy was his idea of a nightmare, someone prodding inside of his head hoping to diagnose him as unstable or try to get him to talk about himself. Hugo did not like talking about his feelings or what was going on in his life, it was easier to put those issues in his life on the people who ran through his head. They always seemed more able to deal with life that he was, they were brave, stronger and cleverer than he could ever hope to be.

They did have a point though. How could he expect to write about life when he was barely living himself?

Hugo took a deep breath and braced himself. His parents would be upstairs and in his room in an hour at most if previous arguments about him were any indication, (it sounded like this one was coming to a close anyway), he had better get ready to put his foot down with mother. She had a few good points; he did need to get out more. Though Hugo refused to go to therapy, but he wanted to write and Merlin help him, his mother would just have to accept that this was one thing Hugo would not give ground on again.

Oo0Oo0

A/N: I have been here. I have gone to therapy, not for this particular thing exactly but very close. The whole story itself is actually pretty amusing, but still, that's a story for another day.

Prompts used:

Silver

Nightmare

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." E.E. Cummings