Holding On: Chapter 24
Catch up on Chapter 23 of willwriteforhearts' story right here!
They said there’s not much more to do then wait for my side to heal, which sounds a little less than fun. I guess that’s what you get for running around with broken ribs, right? It could’ve been worse, a lot worse, and it’s kind of a miracle that it isn’t, so I won’t be complaining too much. It just hurts like hell is all.
It’s kind of weird with Thomas being locked up. Mom’s still getting out of the habit of calling him “Tommy” and just calling him in general; she’s a mess. But not the same kind of mess she’s been for the past year. For the past year she’s walked around like a corpse with a smile, but now I can actually see something living in that head of hers. Something in a lot of pain, of course, but at least there’s something I can talk to.
She’s leading me out of the hospital and no, she’s not looking at me, but she’s actually holding my hand and helping me. Nick decided to stay with Sam a little longer. She hasn’t woken up yet.
Admittedly, I’m still a little mad at her. Maybe a lot. “Yes?” I snap, voice a bit too unfriendly.
Her grip on my arms loosens and she looks almost scared. We get on an elevator and are shipped down to the first floor in awkward stillness with a doctor on the side opposite us. He asks us how our day is going but I only mumble and Mom gives him an airy smile, as if she didn’t hear what he said in the first place.
Nick calls us to say he’ll get a bus home and I almost laugh when Mom tells him not to be there for too long, and to be home before dinner. She hasn’t said anything like that for God knows how long. It’s nice to hear.
“Do you want to eat something?” She squeezes my arm in an unfamiliar way, but I know she’s trying.
“I’m not that hungry. But thanks.”
She nods and looks ahead, stopping us as we get on the sidewalk right outside the hospital, staring out past the bushes trimmed to look like perfect circles and the cigarette butts under the no smoking sign.
“I’m sorry, Alice.”
A little late, Mom. My chest tightens and I lean against her a bit more, not really knowing what to say.
“Things will get better. I promise.”
So she’s breathing. That’s good. And sometimes her eyes even move around under the eyelids, so that’s good too, right? Maybe I’ve been staring at her for too long. I wonder if she’d be freaked out to see me drooling over her if she wakes up. I move back a little bit, just in case.
This all vaguely reminds me of some kind of modern day Sleeping Beauty. Not that I’m thinking about kissing her, or anything.
Whoever said that was your job?
Aren’t you supposed to make me feel better about myself?
Well, I’m sorry if I sound a little sour. My wheels have been filthy for an entire day and a half and you’ve been talking nonsense. You need to sleep.
For what, a couple hours?
I look at Sam and thoughts about leaving suddenly seem very unimportant. I don’t really need to sleep.
That’s what people who need to sleep say. You’re being obsessive.
I’m not being obsessive!
I look at Sam and freeze when I realize she’s looking back this time. Her breathing is shallow and she looks disoriented, eyes flicking around the room in a daze.
“You’re in the hospital. You’ve been out for a while.” So much for Sleeping Beauty. I sound like one of the doctors in this hospital dramas instead. “And uh, it’s me, Nick.”
That ruined the hospital drama effect.
Will you please shut up for a second?
She smiles and closes her eyes again. I panic, not wanting her to go to sleep just yet, but she opens them again before I can do anything stupid. “Is everyone okay?”
“Yeah. Everyone’s okay.”
Her eyes travel downwards and I realize she’s looking at Wheelchair. Her smile lessens a bit, eyebrows furrowing. “You should’ve told me, stupid.”
“I know.” I would love to curl up and die now. I flare up a second later. “Not like you told me everything, either.”
She laughs a little but cuts herself off, hand traveling up to touch the bandages on her head. “That’s true.” Pause. “How long since it happened?”
“A little more than a day.”
“Oh.” Her eyes move to meet mine again. “Why’re you still here? Where’s Alice?”
“She went home.” I hesitate. “I wanted to make sure that you were okay.”
She grins. “They have doctors for that.”
My eyebrows furrow and I cross my arms defensively. “Yeah, well, I said I wanted to make sure.”
She closes her eyes again. “Thank you.”
I slump in my chair, suddenly getting a wave of sleepiness. “No problem... do you think it’d be okay if I just fell asleep here?”
Laugh. “I doubt they’ll kick you out.”
Looks like the Sam and Nick romance still has a shot, despite all the drama! Do you think these two will get together before the story ends?