Tagging you from Review Tag!
Wow. You were really in your element with this story. Sometimes when I read something, I feel like I can tell when an author is outside of their comfort zone. When they're having a difficult time getting things to turn out the way they want. In this story, I didn't feel any struggle or indecision on your part. It felt like you knew exactly where you were going with this and what you wanted to say and it all flowed beautifully.
The dark, grey imagery you built around Victoire at the start of the chapter was a perfect compliment to her mental state. I liked the hazy way that you blurred the details together, putting sort of a soft focus on everything. Then the man with the yellow umbrella comes along and made for a great contrast. But he quickly goes away, like all of Victoire's flashes of emotion.
Dom and Louis were really well written. If Vic is 25, I suppose that would make Louis no older than maybe 18 or 19. Their dialog sounded right at home in the middle of a very tense, uncomfortable moment where they're both trying desperately to think of the right thing to say to help Vic come out of her shell without saying the wrong thing that will only make things worse. Visiting a loved one in a hospital is always awful that way.
Having her father be the one who finally manages to start to get through to her was a good decision, I thought. I've always imagined her as more of a daddy's girl, not in the tomboyish sense but in the sense of having him wrapped around her finger. The way she responds to him -- mechanically at first, and gradually with more feeling -- reinforced that bond.
Her weeping confessions to Teddy were heart-breaking, but also really positive in a way. But the end of the story, I was really rooting for her. It felt good to see her break out of her shell and come back to the world, even if it happened in a very sad way. You wrote that section with a lot of finesse and sensitivity.
As far as suggestions, I have one very small thing and one thing that's more far-flung and theoretical. The small thing is a typo I noticed while reading:
Says you willingly took you meds yesterday! - your meds
My crazy idea is that I would have loved to see you write this in first person narrative. To me, it would have fit so perfectly with the way that Victoire had turned completely inward for so much of the story. The way that she was mostly a passive observer to her own life. I also think it would have increased the emotional impact. But that would also be a major rewrite, so take it for what it's worth.
Overall, a very nice job!
Author's Response: Ugh, you have no idea how frustrated I am right now (not because of your review, your review is amazingly awesome) but because I had just written a long, thoughtful respond and then my internet crashed and I lost it all!
Anyway, thanks so much for the review - and I'm sorry it takes me so long to get round to responding to them, especially when they're so great. I'm so glad you thought I was in my comfort zone with this piece, because I felt really nervous writing and even posting it. I'd never written anything like it before, so it's a relief to hear that it's not a total fail!
I'm glad Dom and Louis are characterized well because I was a little anxious that they'd stick out like a sore thumb - and I couldn't imagine anyone but Bill getting through to her, so I'm happy you thought it was a good decision.
Funny enough, I had actually decided before writing this that it was going to be in first person. But then I started and...third person happened. I don't really know why, but that's the way it came out. But I agree, it would be interesting to see how this story, at the end especially, works in first person.