I mumbled, "24 by 25, the ceiling is 24 by 25 tiles."

Maybe by the time I finish counting all 600 tiles he nurses will call my name. Maybe if I count all 600 tiles it'll distract from the pain.

I looked down at my thumb cradled in my hand, wincing when I tried to move it. Okay, maybe something tedious won't distract from the horrible, throbbing pain.

"589, 590, 591, 592…"

My head whipped to the seat next to me, occupying a boy, albeit a cute boy, cradling his nose. His head bobbed with every number he uttered.

"598, 599, 600." He finished, looking utterly pleased with himself.

"You counted all the ceiling tiles."

He turned to look at me, surprise gracing his features. "Oh, yeah, I thought it would distract from the pain. I also didn't think anyone would be listening."

"It's kind of hard not to hear when I'm sitting right next to you."

A light pink tinted his cheeks as he used his free hand to rub the back of neck. He got over it though and asked, "So what happened to you?"

He nodded towards the hand cradled in my lap. I tried to cover my thumb with my uninjured hand. Should I tell him the truth? It's not like I'm ever going to see him again anyways.

I bit my lip, hesitant to give him an answer, "Um, I…I accidentally punched a wall." I lied straight through my teeth.

He chuckled lightly, "Did you tuck your thumb in when you punched?"

I turned my body to fully face him, giving him my best glare, "Don't patronize me, I know how to punch."

He tried to muffle his laughter, key word: tried. "Okay, so what happened then?"

My eyes settled on the curve of his eyebrows as I dug myself into a deeper hole.

"Let's just say punching a Plexiglas window is not the most pleasant experience in the world."

He winced, "Do I want to know more?"

"No, no you don't."

My eyes settled back on tiles littered with tiny black dots. It kind of reminds me cookies and cream ice cream. I could really go from some ice cream right now.

The boy next to me sighed, "My nose is fucked up I think. My friends didn't think I could crush the can with my face."

My interest piqued. I raised a curious eyebrow, "Go on."

"I mean, I crushed the can, but what I found out after was the people usually use their foreheads to crush cans, not their noses."

I stared at him, disbelief written across my features, "Seriously? You didn't know that?"

He simply shrugged his shoulders in response.

I scoffed and shook my head, mumbling under my breath, "Boys will be boys I guess."

I tried to settle back into a comfortable position in the waiting room chair, but see the thing about waiting room chairs, or more specifically waiting rooms chairs in the ER are nearly impossible to find comfort in. One, because the ER waiting room is always full of people with problems. You're lucky if you find an empty seat, and when you do pray to God that it isn't next to someone leaking bodily fluids. Two, since the room is always full of people, there's never any room to stretch out, therefore forcing me to sit up straighter than my mom forces me to in church.

I started to reach into my pocket for my phone, but then stopped because it would be incredibly hard to wrestle it out of my pocket with just one hand. I sighed, leaning my head back against the wall behind me. At least I was lucky to get a wall seat and not one in the middle isle.

"Grace! Grace!" I winced. Maybe if I keep my eyes closed and head tilted back he won't recognize me.

"Grace, just because you can't see me doesn't mean I can't see you." The voice sounded annoyingly close. Too close and too annoying.

"Shut up." I sat up straight and looked at my brother. He still hadn't wiped the stupid smirk on his face ever since he dropped me off here.

"That was pretty epic you know."

I groaned, shutting my eyes again as he relived the moment that just happened less than two hours ago.

"It'll make a hilarious story during Christmas dinner too." He sat up straight, held up his hand and mockingly made his voice in a falsetto that was too high to belong to any girl on earth. "Anyone up for a game of Mario Kart? I guarantee things will get intense. You know, just a couple of months ago I sprained this very thumb playing against Arthur. Of course he beat me, but I told all of my friends that I beat him."

He ended with the giggle that would put the most popular girl at my school to shame.

"I do not sound like that, and you did not beat me at Mario Kart. You won that course but overall I smoked you, and you know it."

He dismissed me with a wave of a hand, "Details, details."


I turned back to the boy sitting next to me, his hand still hovering over his nose.

"Oh shit." I'd be caught in my lie.

"So, Mario Kart huh? Play often?"

If my thumb didn't feel like hell and I hadn't just met this boy I would've smacked the smirk right off of his face.

"Shut up."

He said in a singsong voice, "Things can get pretty intense."

"Shut up."

"Just saying," he dragged out the vowels for extra emphasis. Extra emphasis I didn't need. My brother already made me feel enough like an idiot on the drive here.

I looked at him pointedly, "You're lucky you're cute, otherwise I would've left a Grace sized hand-print on your cheek by now."

"Okay Gracie."

"Don't call me that."

"Whatever you want, Gracie."

There was a sound of frantic footsteps and everyone's attention turned towards the entrance. A mother dragging her daughter, and they were going towards the-boy-with-the-fucked-up-nose.

They stopped right in front of him and the mother pushed her daughter forward. She couldn't have been more than five years old.

Her mother scolded her, "Daisy, apologize. Now."

The little girl harrumphed and crossed her arms, refusing the look him in the eyes.

Her mother's voice raised, her look growing sterner by the second.


"Fine," She uncrossed her arms, "I'm sorry."

Her mother pinched her ear, obviously unsatisfied with her apology. "Daisy. May. Howards."

She averted her eyes to the ceiling tiles and threw her hands up in exasperation. "I'm sorry for smacking you in the face with my pink iPad and giving you a bloody boo boo. It won't happen again."

He tried not to focus on my gaze, as I not so inconspicuously laughed at the unfolding scene.

"Thank you Daisy, I accept you apology."

The mother dragged the girl back out the door and the waiting room returned to it's normal chaos. That is everyone except me.

"What is she, five?"

He crossed his arms, uttering under his breath, "Five and a half."

I smiled triumphantly, "Seems as if I'm not the only fibber in this waiting room."

A deep pink made its way up his neck and to his cheeks.

"Shut up."