I squirmed on the splintery wooden bench. The room was too small and the irregular buzzing that crept over the lopsided swinging doors set my teeth on edge. Each burst sent a cloud of rusty orange scattering through my skull.
“Is this okay, Livvie?” Mel leaned over and pressed a slip of paper onto my knee.
I studied it for a moment, still trying to shake off the burning color my synesthesia had painted the world. “Yeah. It’s perfect.” I grinned at her, but my lips trembled so much I’m sure it was more a grimace.
“What about yours?” Mel turned to Hannah who had her paper crumpled in her fist.
She smoothed it out against the taut fabric of her jeans. “It’s good. I don’t think Mom could tell she hadn’t signed it.”
Mel sighed and glanced down at her own scrap of paper. “At least they’re all different. And how close are they going to look?”
Hannah’s eyes roved the enclosed space, photographs curling on every wall. “It’s a business right? They want to make money. I bet they just ask for these things ‘cos they have to.”
“You’re probably right.” Mel stood up and folded her permission slip back into her pocket. “I wish they’d hurry up though.”
“Me too.” I shifted again, my butt numbing against the hard surface. Coming here had seemed a good idea, but now, after almost half an hour on the wrong side of the doors, the stinging scent of rubbing alcohol drifting across us, I wasn’t so sure.