Chapter 1.

When he entered, all he could see was white. The walls were white. The furniture that he could see was white. If he lived here, he would probably go insane

"Hello there!" He heard a voice from over to the side. He whipped his head over to where the voice was located, and spied a stout, middle-aged woman with a bob haircut. "Are you here to visit someone?"

"Yeah. I came to see my dad." He told her. Going up to the cream-colored desk to talk to her more easily.

"Right! What your full name and your age, please?"

"My name is Aurelio Rivera and I'm nine." He told her matter-of-factly.

"Nine? Where is your mother?" She asked, obviously shocked.

"Erm…" He rocked back on his heels, as if he was thinking. "Mom's at work right now. I took a bus by myself. Mom says that I should visit dad every week at least." And his therapist said every day… He didn't want that, though.

"Alright. Your father's name is Emilio Rivera, Yes?" she typed something into her desk computer.

"Yep." He gave her the most real smile he could give, trying to masquerade his fear.

"All right, he's in room 13B, upstairs. Would you like me to help you find your way?" She asked

Aurelio shook his head and looked up at her. "I'll be fine. Thank you!"

While going to his father's room, he thought about him. He was scared. He didn't want to see his father. He wanted to run and hide. He closed his eyes and tried to shake his nervousness away.

"Watch it!" He heard a voice. He opened his eyes and was greeted with the sight of a girl who was around his age, with long blonde hair and light brown- almost golden- eyes. She didn't look to happy. "I thought boys were stupid, but I didn't think they were this bad!"

"Hey! That's mean!" He countered. This girl was something like what his mother described as a 'pocket rocket'- A tiny girl with a big attitude.

"Well you were the one flapping you're arms about!" She yelled.

He threw his hands up in frustration. "Whatever!" He shouted back

She gave herself a second to calm down, and gave him a smile. "What's your name, kid?"

He stared at her, like she was as weird as a tap-dancing pig. "Okay, how did you do that?"

"What do you mean?" She asked sweetly, a big smile still displayed on her face.

"You just went from angry too happy in less than a minute." He deadpanned

"I just took a deep breath. It helps. My name's Ayla, what's yours?"

"Aurelio. Nice to meet you, Ayla"

"Nice to meet you to, Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeo," She dragged out his name and giggled. "What are you here for? Do you want me to take you for the grand tour?"

"Ah… Sure. And don't call me that." He would have to keep an eye on this girl. She definitely wasn't a visitor.

"Alright," She spun on her heel, going to the left of the white hall. "This is the Mess Area. We all eat here. The food is real good, and they have buffet things 24/7. That's where I was going, but that doesn't matter now. Follow me!"

She walked twenty steps forward and stopped. The quick stop made him crash into her.

"You're so oblivious, silly!" She laughed, facing him.

He stared at her for a moment. "What does oblivious mean?"

She gave him a blank smile. He could almost hear the ticking of her thought process.

After a couple of seconds, she concluded her thinking, she whispered "…I have no clue." And the two broke out into laughter.

"You're so weird!" He told her.

"Thank you!" She laughed back. Once they had finished their laughing fit, she decided to move on, leading him to a staircase. "This… Is the male rooms! Tah-dah!"

He laughed again

She marched childishly to a hall opening. "This!" she used her arms to point down the hall, "is the women's dorms! When I'm sixteen, I'll go into these dorms!"

"Okay!" He said with excitement. This day was going way better than he thought.

She moved one step ahead and pointed to a doorway right next to the hall. "This is the rec. room. Most of us hang out here and talk all day. Oh, by the way, if one of us threatens another, we get put into a white room with fluffy walls and no windows and we can't come out until they say we can!"

How strange. He wondered if his father had been put in this room. "Umm… Okay."

"And now the last one!" She ran all the way down the long hallway, leading him by the hand, until they reached a fork in the path. "This way!" She pointed to the left side, "Is the boy's rooms! And this way!" She pointed to the middle, "Are the bathrooms! And finally!" She pointed to the right side, "Are the girl's rooms! Come with me!" She walked down the right path.

"Where are we going?" He asked looking around at the other rooms. White doors with numbers and the names of patients on them.

"My room! It's cool, I promise!" She told him

"Okay?" He answered back. He felt awkward that he was going into a girl's room. Especially because they had just met.

They came to the room labeled 18D and stopped. Displayed on the nameplate under the label was 'AYLA RUTHENBURG'

She opened the door and walked in. "Come in! Don't be shy!" she waved him in.

He did exactly that, and took in the appearance of the room. Contrary to the whole hospital, this room was painted in a light baby pink, with a cheap steel single-sized bed and small stacks of books, toys, and other personal items.

"Do you like it? Huh? Huh? Huh?" She jumped every time she said a word

"It's… nice. Yeah." He told her. If this room was either green or black, he would happily live here.

"I know, right?!" She drawled, dropping onto her bed.

For an hour or so they talked about their lives, what they wanted to be when they grew up and their interests. Then they heard a bell, and over the intercom, a person announced that visiting hours were over for that day. He recognized the voice as the lady from the front desk.

"Good bye! It was great meeting you, Ayla!" He headed out the door of the room.

"Will you visit me again?" her voice sounded desperate.

He whipped around to face her and his face softened. "Of course I will. I'm coming back next week. See you soon."

"See you…" She whispered as he ran out.

He ran out of the building, hoping that maybe if he went fast, the week would follow him.