Runaway
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 9
Jonah

 My notebook wasn't on the table where I left it. I turned to Luke. "Have you seen my dia- my journal anywhere?" The word diary sounded pathetic and girlie to me.

"Yeah, it's on the mantlepiece," He replied, combing his hair down.

"Why?" I wrinkled my nose. Then something occured to me. "Have you been reading it?"

"No!" He replied, looking mortified that I'd even think that. "Of course not. It was in the way on the table, that's all."

"Sorry," I said. "It's just... there's stuff in there I don't want anyone to know about."

"I know. It's private, you said."

"Yeah," I smiled at him. If I'd told Blain it was private, he'd have read it anyway. Probably have beat the crap out of me because of some of the stuff I'd wrote too. "Thanks."

"No problem," He said. "I need to make a phone call. Help yourself to cereal and stuff if you want." He went into the bathroom and I heard him murmuring on the phone. I got a glass of milk but didn't really feel much like eating.

I ran a hand over my forehead, sighing. My eyebrows needed doing. Okay, I know it was a strictly girly thing, but when you're in... my line of work, appearance is everything. If you don't look good, you don't get business. Some of the tricks even liked me to wear makeup. I didn't really mind, depending on how much they wanted. A little bit of kohl on my eyes was fine by me, but some of them liked me in a full mask of the stuff. I hated it.

Luke came back into the room, putting his phone into his pocket. "I'm not going into work today," He told me.

"What? Why?" I wrinkled my nose.

"I want to look after you," He said. "You seem... ill."

"I'm fine," I denied, shaking my head. He tiltled his head, peering at me.

"Oh? How're you feeling?" He asked.

"I feel okay. Normal," I said.

"And what's normal to you?" He raised one eyebrow. "Any stomach cramps? Head pains? Aching joints?"

"No," I said. Then I thought about it. Actually, my stomach did feel a bit knotted up. And my head was hurting. And my elbows and hips ached like Lord knows what else. "Well." I added. "A little. Is that not usual?"

"Not really," He smiled. "I'll take you to the doctor, if you like."

"Oh. Thanks," I didn't really know how to react. I hadn't been to see the doctor in about ten years. I couldn't remember why I'd had to go.

"And we're going into town," He told me. "You can't just have three outfits and two pairs of boxers. I'm buying you some clothes."

"You don't have to do that," I mumbled, flushing.

"I want to," He smiled.

I felt elated, happy. I hadn't had that in a long time.

***

I defltated considerably when we got to the doctors surgery. It was awful; the walls were painted bright turquoise, though they were mostly obscured by posters and fliers. "I've changed my mind," I hissed at Luke. "I don't want to be here. Can't I go back to your place?"

"No. Look, it's probably nothing," He told me. "But I just wanna make sure."

"Why? It's not like you're my dad or my brother or anything," I sighed. "Why would you care about me?"

"Well. You're my friend," He shrugged.

"Friend?" I repeated. I'd never had a proper friend before. I smiled. "Thanks."

"No problem," He replied. The tannoy crackled into life suddenly.

"Jonah Carter. Doctor Fothergill will see you in room five now," A woman's voice said. I swallowed as I stood up. I turned to Luke.

"Come with me?" I felt like a baby asking, but I was nervous. Luke smirked.

"Are you scared of the doctor?" He said, standing up and following me out of the waiting room.

"No!" I snapped. "I just don't know where to go."

"Okay then," He didn't sound as if he believed me. I would'nt've if I were him either. I mean, it wasn't the best excuse in the world. Luke took me to a room at the end of the corridor and pushed the door open. I took a deep breath before I went in.

A lady with a short haircut was sitting behind the desk. She must've been the doctor. She smiled at me. "Hello," She had a posh, clipped accent. "You must be Jonah? I'm Doctor Fothergill."

"Hi," I replied.

"Please, have a seat," I sat in the indicated seat. She smiled at Luke. "Hello Mr Rothery. Haven't seen you in a while."

"Mm. I've been keeping healthy," He sat beside me. The doctor laughed. She peered at me. "Now, we don't have any medical records for you, Jonah," She informed me.

"Er..." I turned to Luke for guidance.

"He's only just moved into the area," He said. "He didn't have a doctor where he used to live."

"I see," She raised her eyebrows. "Right. And are the two of you related?"

"No," We said, simeltaniously.

"Right. And is there anyway I could get in touch with Jonah's parents?"

"Probably not," I twiddled my thumbs. "I'm in foster care. I never knew my parents."

"Ah," She scribbled something down on her notepad. "So is Luke your foster father?"

"Er... no," I shook my head. "I just turned seventeen, see. Luke and I... we're... flatmates."

"Right. And your previous foster parents?"

"Er... they're out of the country at the moment," I lied. "In Australia. Second honeymoon. I don't know how long they're gone for."

"Right," She looked up at me properly for the first time. "And how did you get the bruises?"

"I was mugged," I said, quick as a wink. "Walking home from the shop yesterday. Two kids."

"I'm sorry to hear about that," She said. "So. What seems to be the problem?"

"Jonah's been suffering a bit of discomfort," Luke jumped in. "What was it you said, mate?"

"Erm... I have a bit of a headache. And my stomach hurts. And my arms ache," I felt like I was complaining too much, but the doctor didn't seem to care.

After she was done examining me, she turned to Luke. "Nothing unnatural," She said. "Just ordinary headaches and stomachaches. The aching joints... probably growing pains. Just ordinary painkillers will do."

"Sure?" Luke asked.

"Positive," Doctor Fothergill smiled. I was relieved. With me doing what I'd done, I was convinced I was going to die early of AIDs or chlamydia or something.

At least now I knew I was relatively healthy.

 

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