Simon’s door was closed, and she knocked. “Simon? It’s Holly; Abby sent me up. May I come in?”
After a short pause, his voice answered from inside the room. “My God, Holly, this is terrible! What is my life?! Why do I even try anymore?”
Alarmed, Holly opened the door and found a shirtless Simon sitting hunched over upon his bed in a pair of very loose corduroy trousers. Good Lord, he was skinny—even more so than she had previously thought. She could see the delicate, birdlike bones pressing against his skin, the paleness of which was punctuated every now and then by freckles like one hundred ellipses upon his forearms. Though Holly hated to admit it, he was very handsome despite his rather emaciated build. While his face was downturned and twisted with distress, it was still slender, heart-shaped and comely. His fair grey eyes were narrowed now, cradled between high cheekbones and slim, sloping brows, and his unusually full lips were pulled into a frown beneath his cannula.
“Simon, what’s the matter? Are you all right?” asked Holly, rushing forward and sitting beside him.
“My day has been ruined,” he bemoaned, running his fingers through his wispy brown hair. Holly inquired upon his well being once more, and Simon at last straightened slightly and pointed to something at Holly’s feet. She followed his finger until her eyes lit upon a crumpled shirt lying on the tiled floor.
“I don’t understand,” she confessed.
Simon’s hands now held his face instead of his fringe. “That, Holly, is the only shirt I have left besides the one with blood on the collar.”
“And,” his voice was muffled by his palms “and now this one—” he pulled up and gesticulated to the discarded piece of clothing “—this shirt—my very last shirt—has been shrunk in the bloody wash! It has shrunk and now the sleeves barely reach my damned elbows!”
Holly’s concern immediately shifted to profound irritation. “Is that it?”
“What do you bloody mean, ‘is that it’? I have nothing to wear, Holly!”
—The Things That Stay
art, character (c) me