Chapter Thirteen: Phone Message:

Hisoka didn�t get her. What did this spunky redhead want with him? She sat on the garden bench watching him. The shinigami didn�t hold back anymore.

�Who the hell are you?� he asked. The girl shuffled her feet.

�I told you,� she said. �My name is Carrie.� Hisoka frowned.

�Yes,� he said, �but what do you want from me?� The round-faced girl smiled at him.

�I want to help you,� she told the boy. The shinigami blinked in confusion.

�But why?� he asked. Carrie smiled at him warmly.

�Does there have to be a reason?� she asked. He narrowed his eyes at her and walked off.

�You can�t run away from this!� she yelled after him. Hisoka pushed himself to walk faster. He went back into the building and shut the glass door. He hated to admit it, but Carrie was right. He couldn�t run away anymore. Might as well face it and get this over with. However, he knew what held him back.

I�m not ready, Hisoka thought. I can�t do this. I don�t need any of this; I can do fine by myself!

�Liar,� he heard a whisper behind him. Hisoka whipped around and saw Kohaku looking down at him. The shinigami tried to crawl away.

No! Stay away! Stay away!

�You see it too?� another voice asked. Hisoka turned and saw Carrie standing behind him. He nodded as his stomach turned. She came down and put her arms around his shoulders.

�You don�t want to, do you?� she whispered. The Shinigami shook his head.

�I can help you,� she said. Hisoka turned and looked her in the eye.

�But why?� he asked, �Why do you want to help me so much?� She rested her chin on his right shoulder.

�Because,� she whispered, �I feel that I must.�

�Hisoka!� another voice called. The shinigami looked up. Tana stood in the entrance to the lobby looking at him.

�Hisoka,� she said, �What are you doing here? You have a phone call.� The shinigami gave her a puzzled look.

�A call?� he asked.

�Yes,� the therapist answered.

�Are they still on the line?� he asked.

�Yes,� Tana repeated. �Come with me.� She turned and went into the lobby. Hisoka stared blankly as she walked away. A phone call for him? Jessie didn�t know where he was or have his cell number. So who cared enough to call him in rehab? Curious, Hisoka got up and followed behind.

He found Tana waiting in the lobby. She handed him the phone. Hisoka leaned against the wall with the doctor watching.

�Hello?� Hisoka asked.

�Hisoka?� a familiar�s male�s voice asked on the other line. Melancholy hate filled his soul.

�Tsuzuki?� he asked. The boy gritted his teeth. �What do you want?� he hissed.

�How are you?� his partner asked. Hisoka snorted.

�Fine, thank you,� he hissed. �Why do you care?� Tsuzuki didn�t answer at first.

�I�m not supposed to be talking to you yet,� he told him. �I just wanted to say good luck and get better.� Hisoka didn�t know what to say. Tsuzuki paused on the other line.

�Goodbye, Hisoka,� he murmured. �Good luck.� Tsuzuki hung up without his partner saying a word. The boy lowered the phone to his chest.

Lies, he thought, He is only lying to me! However, Hisoka�s heart hung onto this hope. He wanted to still believe that Tsuzuki really felt something for him. Tana patted him on the shoulder.

�I�ll take you back to your room now,� she whispered. The doctor led the Shinigami back to his room.

Hisoka sat down on his bed. Carrie embraced him from behind. The Shinigami sighed and closed his eyes.

�I�m ready now,� he said in a soft voice. �Tell me what to do.� Her lips gently touched his ear.

�You already took the first step,� she whispered.