Rooftops – Chapter 2

Ahhh, I’m so sorry this took forever to post. Back to school stress, summer homework, (finally) taking drivers ed and getting my permit, and the start of field hockey season totally kicked my ass :( but i won’t bore you with my excuses, so here’s chapter 2! thanks for being patient.

*****

Rooftops – Chapter 2

~Anthony’s POV~

I sighed as I idly channel-surfed. You would think that there would be something decent on TV on a Saturday night. But, no such luck. Maybe because it was three in the morning. Whatever.

Usually I never stayed up this late, but for some reason my body refused to let me sleep. I had already exhausted every possible intellectually-stimulating activity that would prevent boredom from taking over, which left me sprawled out on the couch watching mind-numbingly boring reruns of sitcoms older than my parents. It was way too late to hang out with friends, and also way too late to blast music (my mother didn’t really appreciate the loud sounds of heavy metal blaring in the middle of the night, though I couldn’t really understand why).  Even the internet grew boring. What had the world come to?

The boring programs and overly-bright screen seemed to be doing the trick though, because I slowly started to feel my eyes grow heavy with inevitable sleep. With another exaggerated sigh, I dragged myself off the couch as the seventh Viagra commercial played in the span of less than two hours (seriously, were that many sexually frustrated men watching TV at 3:30 AM to warrant that many consecutive ads?). I figured that was probably more than enough TV for one night.

***

~Kalel’s POV~

I ended up waking up stupidly early for a Sunday morning, so at about 11:00 I decided to go bother Anthony so I wouldn’t end up spending my entire day bored out of my mind. That’s the nice thing about being right next door to your friends.

After knocking on his window and receiving no response, I sighed and walked downstairs to go through his front door. His mom was at work, so I didn’t bother knocking. Not that I usually would anyway; Anthony’s mother is like my second mom, and I spend so much time over there that it’s not like she’d care.

“Anthony!” I called once I closed the door. “Anthony, where are you?”

“He’s still in bed,” Jack, Anthony’s younger brother, said as he walked back from the kitchen with a Capri Sun in hand, plopping down on a beanbag chair. He looked like he was playing X-box.

“Your mom’s at work, right?” I asked.

“Mmhmm,” he said through a mouthful of chips. “Can you go wake him up? I’m hungry.”

“Sure thing. Thanks Jack,” I giggled as I made my way up the stairs, taking the familiar path to the room I had spent countless hours in (not in a sexual way, get your mind out of the gutter).

“Anthonyyy,” I said, dragging out the ‘y’ as I opened the door. “Wake uuppppp.”

“Jack, fuck off and make your own lunch!”

“Aww, I’m hurt,” I joked, giggling at Anthony’s less-than-enthused reaction.

He peeked his head out from under the covers, eyes still heavy with sleep. “Oh. Hi Kalel.”

“I was under orders to wake you up.”

“Let me guess. From Jack?”

“Hmm, I don’t know if I’m allowed to disclose that information.”

Anthony slowly sat up, rubbing at his eyes. I pretended not to notice his blanket falling, revealing his naked, and impressively toned, chest. Hey, he may be my – 100% platonic – best friend, but it’d be stupid to deny that he’s pretty cute. Or, really cute. But whatever.

“Kid is twelve and can’t even make his own god damn mac and cheese…” Anthony mumbled, sleepily grabbing for a shirt on the floor.

“I’m surprised your mom left you to babysit when you were still sleeping,” I laughed.

“She didn’t. She woke me up an hour ago. I went back to bed.”

“What a great big brother you are,” I replied sarcastically.

“Jack is twelve. He can handle himself. Michael  is seven. He’ll survive.”

I laughed as we made our way down the stairs, Anthony still stumbling with drowsiness. “I have awakened the sleeping beast!” I joked, my hands held high in mock triumph.

“’Bout time,” Jack called from the living room. “Glad to know someone can wake you up, Anthony. I’ll just call your little girlfriend over every weekend.”

I giggled and Anthony just rolled his eyes, not even grumbling his usual, “we’re not dating, Jack,” which he seems to say at least twice a week. Jack seems set on the idea we’re dating, but he’s not the only one. A lot of our other friends used to say stuff about it all the time, but either they grew tired of it or realized that it’s never going to happen.

“Where’s Michael?” Anthony said instead.

“In mom’s room watching TV,” Jack replied.

After making sure his seven-year-old brother was actually watching TV and wasn’t dead, Anthony returned to the kitchen. I hopped onto the counter while he sifted through the cabinets, probably looking for something to eat.

“Kaallelllll,” Anthony whined.

“Whaaattt?” I replied in the same fashion, swinging my legs from my perch on the counter.

“There’s nothing to eat.”

“And that’s my fault?” I rolled my eyes and chuckled.

“No, it’s just your responsibility as my friend to deal with my complaining.”

“Hmm, I don’t remember agreeing to this.”

“Oh you did. When we agreed to be friends.”

“Well, then it’s your responsibility to take me to Wendy’s. Put on your shoes,” I laughed, quickly turning it back on him.

Anthony fondly rolled his eyes, but complied and started walking towards the front door where his shoes were. “It’s not fair. You girls always win arguments.”

“Not my fault, babe,” I joked.

Anthony just shook his head in disbelief and called for his brothers. “Michael, Jack! Get out here, we’re going to Wendy’s!”

***

~Anthony’s POV~

Sooner than I would have liked, it was Monday morning. Considering how fucked my sleeping schedule became over the weekend, I didn’t get the sleep I needed; even if I did hit the snooze button four times. I also had a headache. Fantastic.

After stumbling around my bedroom to try to find clean clothes, and somehow managing to not fall asleep in the shower, I finally my made my way downstairs. Kalel would be at the door at any moment, since we drove to school together. Forgoing breakfast, I simply grabbed a bottle of Mountain Dew. Hopefully the caffeine would perk me up. I wasn’t really hungry anyway.

Sure enough, I heard her knock on the door a few seconds later, followed by her entering and closing the door behind her.

“Hey,” I heard her call out, fatigue lacing her voice as well.

“Hi,” I mumbled, grabbing my bag and walking down the front hallway, yelling out a quick goodbye to my family.

“Can you drive? I’m too tired,” I asked Kalel before rubbing my eyes.

“Anthony, you know I hate to drive.” Usually I drive us everywhere, mainly because Kalel doesn’t like to, but also because I have my own car and she doesn’t.

“Please? I’m exhausted. I don’t wanna wreck.”

“Fine,” Kalel sighed, grabbing the keys from my hand and plopping down in the driver’s seat. “But I get to control the radio.”

“You’re the best,” I joked, messily kissing her cheek.

“Ew! Get your spit off me!” She laughed, rubbing her face on her shoulder to clean some of it off. Kalel then worked on the task of scooting the driver’s seat forward. “Ugh, you’re so much taller than me, it’s not fair.”

I just laughed and laid my head on my arm, which was resting on the window. We didn’t live far from the school, so we pulled into the busy parking lot less than ten minutes later. Apparently I had fallen into a weird state of half-consciousness, because I felt a hand on my shoulder as we pulled in.

“Anthony, wake up!”

“Don’t wanna,” I mumbled.

“Come on, we’re gonna be late,” Kalel said hurriedly, shaking my shoulder harder. “Let’s goooooo.”

I finally complied, since I didn’t need any more tardies on my attendance record. We had a habit of being late a lot.

“Hold on,” Kalel said, walking over to my side of the car as I was stepping out. “Your hair got messed up. You must have been laying on it.” I let her run her fingers through the long fringe, fixing it into some state of presentable. She could probably make it look a lot better than I could anyway.

“There,” Kalel said once she was done. “C’mon, we gotta hurry!”

We joined the other students hastily rushing into the building, eager to get inside so they could be out as soon as possible.

Once inside, Kalel and I separated into different corridors. We didn’t have any classes together until the afternoon, when we had the last two periods (Biology and Government) together. Of course we wished we had more of the same classes, but it was better than nothing. I still had most of my other classes with my friend Ian, so it worked out well.  Ian and I met in sixth grade and had been practically joined at the hip since. Ian was pretty much the male version of Kalel, certainly not in looks or personality, but in the “best friends” factor, if that makes sense. We purposefully designed our schedules so that we would have the most opportunity to have class together, which totally worked, because we had five of the same class periods, plus lunch. That would never have worked with me and Kalel, because she’s taking a ton of electives like Japanese and Intro to Fashion and Design or something like that. She’s also in a special English class that’s focused more on writing due to her top-notch writing skills.

I entered my first period class – Algebra 2, what a fun way to start the morning – and sat in my usual spot next to Ian.

“Hey man,” I said, stifling a yawn behind my hand.

“Hey,” Ian replied, stealing my bottle of Mountain Dew and taking a swig.

“I would punch you in the face for that if I wasn’t so tired,” I said with my best attempt at a glare. Only Ian could get away with stealing something as sacred as Mountain Dew.

“Sure you would. Your emo hair and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt is sooo menacing.”

I barked out a laugh at Ian’s comment, but the laugh quickly turned into a nasty cough. I sat there for a good thirty seconds just hacking, expecting to cough up one of my lungs are something. Does coughing out an internal organ warrant being allowed to go home? ‘Cause that sounded pretty great.

“Dude. Are you like, dying?” Ian asked as he got out his notebook and started copying down the night’s homework.

“Maybe,” I answered, internally groaning as I saw the large amount of problems written on the board. “If I die, will you do the homework for me?”

*****

sorry this is such a shitty update after being away for like forever. it’s still exposition, which i absolute hate writing, but this plot definitely needs a lot.  things will get more interesting soon, promise.

thanks again for being patient!

Chapter 1

Masterpost 

twitter: @SmoshyJalex

thanks for reading!

<3 Rachel

Something Better- chapter 25

I don’t know how to introduce this. So, here’s the last chapter :)

Something Better- chapter 25

~Anthony’s POV~

Finally, after an excruciatingly long few days, I’m cleared to leave the hospital.  That wretched place become a million times more unbearable when I realized that Kalel lost part of her memory.  This all could have been avoided.  We would have been fine and well and healthy if I hadn’t crashed my car.  Above all, we could have been happy.  Happiness seems like a distant emotion now.  Distant and out of my reach.

That evening was fine and happy, but I was a fool for thinking all of the problems would just magically drip away. It’s my fault for thinking everything ends in a happy ending.  It doesn’t.  Nothing ever does.  That’s just the world we live in, and there’s nothing I can fucking do about it.

It’s a Friday, so I have a whole weekend before I have to return to school on Monday.  That also means I have an entire weekend to do the make-up work I didn’t feel like starting when Ian gave it to me on Tuesday.  I’m really regretting that now, but I didn’t feel like doing anything while I was in there.  Even playing video games and watching TV didn’t spark my interest.

The drive home is nearly silent.  I make small-talk with Katherine, although she pretty much dominates the conversation.  That’s fine with me, because I just can’t wait to get home and sleep.  I’ve been sleeping a lot lately.  Sleeping is nice.  It’s an escape where I can go anywhere I want.

As planned, as soon as I reach my house I make my way into my bedroom.  The familiarity of my bed is nice.  It’s so weird thinking I’ve been away in the hospital for a week.  The warm sheets are such an improvement over the scratchy and dry sheets at the hospital.  Just one more thing I hate about that place.

I lay in my bed for a while.   Even nestled tightly in the soft sheets, sleep won’t come; probably because I can’t stop thinking.  What will school be like on Monday?  Will people even know that I’ve been gone for a week?  I wonder if Jen knows.  Maybe she feels bad that she put us in this position.  It’s very easy for me to say that she doesn’t; but the better part of me thinks that she might.  How far can a person really take revenge?  Well, that’s just one more thing I’ll never know.

The idea of going to school sounds awful with one fourth of our group still missing.  I guess we haven’t been a complete four for weeks with all the stupid drama, but maybe that’s what makes me miss it so much.  We were whole for a few hours a week ago; we’re close to it now.  Or rather, were close.  Well, I don’t even know.  There’s still a small prospect that we could make everything okay again; however the more realistic part of me says we may never be the same again.

Somehow, with all of those intrusive thoughts, I’m able to fall asleep again.

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

It’s Saturday now, meaning I got moved out of ICU two days ago, on Thursday.  Yesterday I spent my time mainly sleeping; I guess the pain meds they’re giving me are making me drowsy.  When I wasn’t sleeping, I just watched TV.  The small television in the hospital room only has five channels, but that’s fine because I don’t have the energy to click through any more than that.  So far today, I’ve slept more, watched more crappy TV shows, read a little bit, and even walked around the hospital.  I was bound to the hallway, but it felt good to just get up and move.  Being trapped in that little room is driving me crazy.

I’ve been recording every single move I make as a mental note.  After I overheard that conversation between my parents and nurse about my memory loss, I’ve been mentally tucking every small thing away for fear that those will be taken away too.  Between rounds of TV watching, reading, and sleeping, I’ve been trying to remember what happened after I went to the mall.  I know something happened, but I just can’t find it.  It feels like someone just cut my head open and took that away.

It feels like it’s right in front of me, but I’m just not fast enough to grab it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone walk through my door.  Thinking it’s just a nurse, I ignore it and keep my eyes trained on the novel I’ve been staring at but not really absorbing.

“Hey you,” I hear a familiar voice.   Not the familiar voice of a nurse, but the familiar voice of my best friend.

“Melanie!” I say excitedly as I tear my eyes off of the book pages.  She walks over to me and gives me a tight hug.

“How are you doing?” She asks with a bit of a wince, like she’s expecting the worst.

“I feel a lot better, actually.  Just bored.”

Melanie laughs.  “When do you get out of here?”

“Sunday!” I say, not able to contain my excitement of being able to go home.

“That’s awesome! Oh, and Ian says sorry he isn’t here.  He’s hanging out with Anthony…he’s not doing the best.”

“What’s wrong with him?” The last thing I can recall about Anthony is that we were broken up because he kissed someone else, yet I’m still weirdly concerned about him.

“It’s a long story…well, what’s up with you?  How are you passing the time?  It must suck here.”

I sigh.  “Trying to remember.”

“Oh yeah, I heard about that…”

“Melanie,” I say, looking into her eyes. “Can you tell me what happened?”

She breathes heavily but nods.  “What’s the last thing you remember?”

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

“Anthony, wake up.”

Someone’s voice wakes me up, but I make no move of getting up.  My face is buried in my pillow and there’s even a gross spot of spit on my chin where I must have drooled.

“Anthony, seriously.”

I groan, not wanting to open my eyes up to the bright light escaping through my blinds.  Or rather, was escaping, because I can tell that someone opens them to allow even more intrusive light in.  I groan again.  I still have a headache and that’s not helping.

“Jesus Christ, I know you have a serious concussion and all, but you’ve been in here for hours.  Get up, Ian’s here.” I can identify the voice as Katherine’s.  I perk up a little knowing Ian’s here, and finally pull my aching head out of the huge mound of sheets and pillows.

“Hey dude.  Comfy?” Ian chuckles.

I yawn and sit up, pulling on the t-shirt I must have discarded before I fell asleep.  “Immensely.”

Ian sits on the spinny office chair and kicks his feet up onto the corner of my bed.  “How’s the concussion?”

“Hurts like shit,” I groan.

“Well according to your sister, you’ve slept for the majority of the past week, so how would you know?” Ian jokes.

“Hey, in my defense, the pain meds cause drowsiness,” I retort, a smile creeping over my lips nonetheless.

“Fair enough.  Want to go do something?  You can’t tell truthfully tell me you’re not bored.”

“You read my mind,” I say, and move to roll out of my bed.  It doesn’t go as gracefully as planned, and I end up on the floor.  “God dammit.” I chuckle.

Ian laughs at me but offers me a hand nonetheless. “Where are we going?”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I say once Melanie is finished telling me the entire story.  It’s so far-fetched and strange that it feels like it is made up.

“I know, it sounds weird huh?  Kendyl coming to tell us what actually happened…but that’s what actually went down.”

“I don’t even know how to take that,” I rub my head where a frustrated headache is forming.

“I know.  I can imagine it’s hard for you,” Melanie says consolingly.

“I know you’re not lying, but it’s just so weird…God, I just wish I could remember!” I yell.

“Hey, don’t get too worked up,” Melanie says, squeezing my shoulder. “The doctors say you might get it back in a few days.”

“And what if I don’t?” I groan, inevitably tearing up.

“We’ll figure it out then.  Just rest up, okay?  I need you back at school.  It’s been so freaking boring!”
Melanie says, and I laugh.

Time passes, and Melanie and I sit and talk about stupid little things until visiting hours are over.  I’m sad to see her go, especially because she’s my only form of entertainment in this stupid place, but I’m so glad she came.  She’s such a great friend, and I can remember that much.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

It turns out that my mom actually doesn’t want me to leave the house because of my concussion, so Ian and I just hang out there instead.  We try to play Pokémon, which was really fun until the flashy lights started to hurt my head.  Instead, we just get on my computer and mess around online.

“Can I ask you something?” I randomly ask as we click around and change the layout of smosh.com, just for the hell of it.  I just randomly blurted it out, and I would be kind of embarrassed if it wasn’t Ian.  We really don’t have much shame around each other, which is what makes everything fun.

“What?” Ian says nonchalantly as he clicks around the screen.

“What are we going to do if Kalel doesn’t remember anything?”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

“And that’s why I kissed him.  And I’m so, so sorry.”

“I missed you so much, Kalel.”

“Can we start over?”

“I’m addicted to your love, don’t you know that you’re toxic?!”

“Kalel!!!”

I awake from a short nap with a start.  My mind feels jumbled, like I just spent the last half hour on a spinning amusement park ride.  Slowly, gradually, I begin to wake up more.

What were those voices?  The things they were saying were so random.  No one’s in this room; it’s like they came from my head.  Was that some kind of dream?  It doesn’t make any sense.  I think I heard Kendyl’s voice, Ian and Melanie’s voices mixed with my own, and above all, Anthony’s voice.

Was that a dream…? I think to myself, trying desperately to decipher what just happened.  At first I can only remember the voices, but after a few minutes I start to picture some images too.  The four of us screaming “Toxic” in a car, Kendyl talking, and, most puzzling of all, me hugging Anthony. They’re really hazy, as if I’m seeing them from a different world.

What the hell kind of dream is this?!  Everything is random, and it’s never happened before.

At that moment, it clicks.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

“What are we going to do if Kalel doesn’t remember anything?”

“Stop being so negative, Anthony.  The doctors said she might start to remember stuff in a few days.”

“Might.  What if she doesn’t?” I groan.

“Then we’ll tell her what happened.”

“It’s not the same,” I say, inwardly wincing at how much I’m complaining.

“I didn’t say it is.  But it’s the least we can do.”

“Yeah, I guess…”

“We’re not having any more drama.  That was stupid,” Ian continues, turning to look at me.

I nod.  “I just hope she isn’t pissed.”

“Stop being such a downer.  Who knows, she could get her memories back soon and everything will be fine.”

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

At that moment, it clicks.  I’m getting my memories back.

I almost forgot the story Melanie told me.  Each hazy little image I can remember fits, and they begin to become more and more clear in the span of a few minutes.  Kendyl talking was her telling us why she kissed Anthony.  Why she did.  Oh my gosh, I can remember her story!  I can remember.

“I missed you so much, Kalel…Can we start over?” That’s Anthony and I making up.  I can suddenly picture the scene: we were standing in the food court like idiots, holding on to each other and never wanting to let go.  That was when we agreed to get back together.

We must have crashed after the four of us were messing around and singing “Toxic”.  That’s the last of what I can remember…but I think that’s all.  It’s like a newly discovered movie that I keep playing over and over.

I’m overcome with joy.  I’m not a half-crazy.  I’m not partially empty.  I’m Kalel Cullen, who caught her boyfriend Anthony Padilla kissing someone else and later learned that he was innocent.  The other girl, Kendyl Rogers, did it because of being blackmailed by that awful person Jen Calstar.  And now, with the help of my friends, Ian Hecox and Melanie Moat, everything is almost back to normal.  Almost.  When I get out of here in two days, it will be completely normal.

*****

{Sunday}

~Anthony’s POV~

“Change the channel, this show is stupid,” I say as I absent-mindedly write something down in my notebook.  I’m finally chipping away at the huge amount of homework I have to make up, and Ian and Melanie are over to help me learn the lessons I missed.

“Aren’t you supposed to be reading anyway?” Melanie laughs as she too works on homework.

“Yeah, but this is boring,” I laugh as I close my book. “I’m starting something else.”

I put one book away and grab another, but I barely have time to open it before the doorbell rings. “I got it,” I say, thankful for a little break from the mounds of schoolwork.

“Good, because I’m way too comfortable to go get it for you,” I hear Ian joke.  Melanie replies with something like “you lazy ass”, but I can barely hear it by the time I reach the door and open it.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.  Standing on my porch, still a little sickly-looking but as pretty as ever, is Kalel.

I stand there with my mouth wide open, barely able to form a coherent thought. Luckily, Kalel breaks the silence.

“You haven’t seen your girlfriend in over a week and that’s your response?” she jokes with a huge smile.

“Wait..what..you…?” I stutter, trying to make sense of what she just said.  Girlfriend.  Has she…finally…

My thoughts are cut off when Kalel speaks again.  In a sweet voice, she softly says, “I can remember everything now.”

My stomach does a flip, but in a good way.  Those five words sound so perfect.  “So you know about Kendyl…and everything at the mall…and how…” I trail off.  Kalel nods and steps forward.  Without a second’s hesitation, I pull her into a huge hug.  A huge weight has just been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel a lot better now with her in my arms.

No more fighting, no more drama, no more depression.  Just two couples, or four friends, finally back to doing what we love most; dealing with high school and having a fantastic time doing so.

Luck may have evaded us completely for a long time, but I think it’s definitely on our side now.  Ian was right; I shouldn’t have been such a downer.  Because even though it’s rare, sometimes things do work out perfectly.

The End. 

 

chapter end notes here! http://racheltheattacker.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/something-better-thats-all-folks-chapter-end-notes/

Something Better- chapter 24

Hello ^_^ so this took me so long. I have no excuses. I just had a rough few weeks, haha.

whatever though ENJOY! :D

~Kalel’s POV~

I feel a faint sense of impact, and then the sensation of spinning; but it’s completely overshadowed by what follows.  The hard, intense touch of Pain’s fingers overtakes every part of my body.  I can’t even pinpoint where I feel it.  I must have screamed, but I barely even feel capable of doing that.  I want it to come to an end, a merciful, joyous end, but it feels like it never will. Seconds feel like hours.

Eventually, the spinning comes to an end, taking with it the ear-splitting sounds of screeching cars and screams.  I don’t even want to think about whose mouths they belong to.

The end finally comes; the feeling of blissful sleep slowly creeps over my body, sending me into unconsciousness.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

After what seems like forever, the nurses finally leave the room.  As soon as they’re gone, Katherine sits across from me on the hospital bed and starts to explain everything.  I don’t even have to ask her to, she just knows I’m desperate for the information.

“Don’t worry, Anthony. Everyone’s fine,” she reassures me.

“Are they…are they injured?” I ask, feeling almost no relief at her words.

Katherine slowly nods grimly. “Ian got away with only some scratches, bruises, and a bloody nose.  The same for Melanie, except she also sprained her wrist.  They’re not in the hospital, they’re fine, don’t worry.”

I let out a breath I wasn’t aware I was holding.  “And Kalel?”

Katherine looks hesitant, but explains regardless. “The car hit you at a diagonal, on Kalel’s side.  She got the worst of it…they won’t tell me much…”

“What did they tell you?” I prod.  I can tell she doesn’t want to tell me, but that doesn’t stop me.

She opens and closes her mouth, uncertain of what to say. “Katherine…” I say, my voice sounding more threatening than I meant it to.

She sighs.  “A few broken ribs, cuts and bruises, bad whiplash – they still won’t tell me what that’s going to do to her head and neck – and a ruptured spleen.  She’s…umm…in emergency surgery right now.”

It feels like someone punched me in the stomach. “Oh, God…” I groan, once again covering my face with my hands.  “What have I done?  I’m so, so, stupid…”

“Anthony, it wasn’t –”

“If I would have just moved out of the way –”

“It was the other guy’s –”

“I was too distracted, I wasn’t paying attention, I –”

“Anthony –”

“I’m an idiot, I’m such an idiot –”

“It wasn’t your –”

“I may have killed her, I could have killed all of them, oh God, what’s wrong with me, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!”

“Anthony!”  Katherine screams over me as she shakes my shoulders.  My entire body is shaking and my heart is beating a lot faster than it should be.

“I’m an idiot, Katherine.  Look what I did,” I whisper.  Tears form in my eyes, but I make no effort to will them away.  “I h-hurt them all.  I hurt them all. I…I…”

Katherine scoots closer to me and wraps her arms around me in a hug.  I don’t care that she’s my sister, I don’t care that we sometimes fight, I don’t care how much she annoys me sometimes.  I just return the hug and bury my face into her neck, wanting more than anything to shut out the rest of the world and to get comfort from someone I love that I didn’t manage to hurt.

“Anthony, it wasn’t your fault.  You had the right of way.  The other driver was drunk and ran that red light.  It’s not your fault.  It’s not your fault,” she whispers into my ear.   I know my body is still shaking like a leaf, and she must notice it too. “Anthony, you need to calm down,”

We remain silent for a while.  I slow down my breathing and Katherine sits across from me with an uncharacteristic worried expression.  I eventually break the silence with more questions.

“Where’s Mom and Dad?”

“At home showering,” as I open my mouth for my next question, Katherine cuts me off. “Ian and Melanie are at school.”  Damn, she knows me well.  “They’ll probably be here soon, actually.” I look at the clock and it reads 2:45.

“How long was I asleep?”

“A few days.  It’s Monday.  You actually woke up a few times, but you were so out of it that I’m not surprised you don’t remember it. They were worried that you might slip into a coma as a result of that concussion, hence all of the stuff you were hooked up to.  Luckily you didn’t though,” she informs me.

I nod my head.  I’m a lot more at ease now that I know what’s going on, but I know that I won’t be completely relaxed until I’m out of this place.  I move my left arm to scratch my nose, but it’s weighed down by a heavy cast.  I forgot that was there.

Katherine must have seen me look at it, because she says, “You know, you had to have surgery on that.”

“Really?” I say in amazement, moving my arm around to see how it feels.  It feels sore, but nowhere near as painful as I figured it would be post-surgery.

“Yep.  They had to re-set the bones.  You broke it in like three places.  One of your bones was sticking out and everything,” she explains, wrinkling her nose.  I chuckle; Katherine’s always been squeamish.

“Why aren’t you at school?” I ask her.

“I needed an excuse to skip and I thought this was good enough,” she smirks as she jumps off the bed and grabs her bag. “Scoot over, fatass,” she kids as she sits down next to me.

“Please, I know you were just going to miss me too much,” I joke back.

“You’re right, I could never handle school without my big brudder,” Katherine says sarcastically as she rolls her eyes.  “Give me your arm, stupid.”

She takes out a sharpie and starts to write on my cast.  As she’s writing, two people walk through the door.  At first I think the nurses are back, but I’m delighted when I see Ian and Melanie walk in.

“Hey!” I say excitedly, my mood instantly improving.

“Hellllooo,” Ian says as he sits in a rolling chair and rolls across the floor.

Melanie shakes her head in bemusement. “Hey, Anthony.  How’s the head?”

“Hurts,” I shrug.  “How are you two?”

“Oh, we’re fine.  School was so boring today without you and Kalel there,” Ian sighs, continuing to roll the chair back and forth across the room.  “How long have you been awake?”

“About a half hour,” Katherine says, not taking her eyes off whatever she’s drawing on my cast.

“What are you, my nurse?” I joke, looking at her.

“Don’t look!” Katherine insists as she bats my head away from her drawing.

“Ow!” I grumble, the quick motion not benefiting my headache. “You’re a mean nurse.”

“Pussy,” Katherine smirks.

“I came here yesterday and you were loopy on pain meds,” Ian laughs.

“Oh God, you’re kidding.”

“Nope,” Ian continues to laugh.  “Got it on camera.”

“You asshole!” I say, but I can’t help but laugh.

“Yep…maybe we should put it on smosh.com.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Would I?”

“I would beat the crap out of you if I could move,” I laugh.

“You’re bluffing!”

You’re bluffing!”

“Pipe down, you two,” Melanie says through laughs. “Those nurses can probably hear you.”

“Done!” Katherine says, capping her pen.  “You can look now, oh impatient one.” I look down at the cast, where Katherine drew a detailed Link from the Legend of Zelda.

“I love it,” I laugh as I read the note under it.  It reads, “from your favorite person of all time <3 Katherine, p.s. stop being a pansy.”

It only feels like a few minutes pass, but apparently hours later we’re still talking.  At 6:00, a nurse comes in and tells everyone they have to leave because visiting hours are over.  At 6:15, she comes in again, saying, “I was serious the first time. Visiting hours are over, you need to leave.”

Reluctantly, Ian gets off the rolling chair.  “See you tomorrow, Ant.  Feel better.”

“Thanks dude,” I reply.  “Oh…and sorry about, well, you know…”

Ian reads my mind in a second.  “Dude, shut up.  That wreck wasn’t your fault.  Don’t worry about it!”

“I know, but…”

“Listen to Ian,” Melanie adds, capping the sharpie she used to mark my cast. “That wasn’t your fault.”

It is 6:20!” the nurse says as she pokes her head into the door, clearly very annoyed.

“We’re leaving!” Ian says, putting his hands up in mock surrender. “See you later.”

“Rest up,” Melanie adds as she leaves with Ian.  Both of them smile warmly and wave.

I return both gestures.  Despite the fact that I feel like crap, this afternoon was fun.

“Young lady!” the now familiar voice of the nurse yells when she sees Katherine sitting at the end of my bed.

“I’m his freaking sister!!” she snaps back, and I have to suppress a laugh.

~~~~~

~The next day~

I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored.  There’s nothing to do in this place.  Tuesday consists of playing my Game Boy until it dies, trying to sleep, trying to turn my Game Boy back on even though I really know it’s dead, talking to Katherine, and even studying for my exams that are in three short weeks as a last resort.

Normally around this time of year I, like almost everyone in my school, would be stressing about exams.
Unfortunately, I can’t even bring myself to care about them; not with worries about Kalel looming over my head.  They still won’t tell me anything, except that her surgery went fine and she’s in recovery.  Even with the little reassurance that offers, I still can’t stop thinking about her.  I need to know if she’s okay.  I was refused when I was asked to see her, which only adds to the pile of annoyance I have at this place.

Ian and Melanie visit again, and stay just as long as they did the day before.  That was by far the best part of my day.  I wish the stupid visiting hours were longer.

At about 7:00, a nurse comes to do the night rounds.  “How are you feeling, Mr. Padilla?” she asks.

“Fine,” I sigh, not bothering to correct her mispronunciation at my last name.

“Pain meds working?”

“Yes.”

“Nothing hurts?”

“Correct.”

“Are you comfortable?”

“Yes.  When do I get to go home?” I ask, briefly stopping her slew of questions that she’s required to ask.

“On Friday, if no complications arise,” she responds.  She doesn’t miss a beat as she starts questioning me again, something I’ve grown used to in my few days here.

“Can I go see Kalel?” I ask.  It’s worth another shot.

“Who?” I can tell the nurse knows exactly who I’m talking about.  She’s just trying to avoid the question.

Kalel Cullen.  She was in the wreck with me.”

“Oh, yes, well, she’s in the ICU.  No non-family members allowed in there.  I’m sorry,” she gives me the same answer I was given earlier.

After another few minutes, the nurse sets down a tray of food by my bed and finally leaves my room.  I have no appetite, and the gross-looking food does nothing to help it.  I instead push the food around the plate, just like my little brother does at dinner.  I know that by not eating I’m just going to piss off the doctors and nurses, but I’m not the slightest bit hungry and I could really care less anyway.

My newly-covered cast catches my eye.  Katherine’s Link makes me laugh, along with the dragon Melanie drew and the note Ian wrote that says “I can’t draw like those two. But here’s a smiley face. J” Today he left another note that read, “I’m so posting that video…” Despite my boredom, anxiety, and general crappy mood, I can’t help but laugh at my awesome friends.

*****

~Kalel’s POV~

I awake in an unfamiliar environment.  Everything is bright, which gives me a headache.  Something is scratchy against my skin, and I smell something I can only describe as “too clean”.  My eyes slowly open and adjust to the invasive light.

I’m definitely not in my bedroom. In fact, I have no idea where I am.  I try to say something, but my words come out as chokes.  What the hell is this? I think to myself as my eyes focus on something protruding from my mouth.  It’s a hard, clear plastic, and the more awake I become the more I feel like it’s choking me.

I let out a small moan, hoping that someone will hear.  Fortunately, someone does, but no one I know. An unfamiliar face appears above mine.

“Hello, Miss Cullen.  I see you’re awake.  Let me get that out for you,” she says gently as she removes the thing from my throat, which I infer to be a breathing tube.  Why the hell do I need a breathing tube?

“Do you know where you are?” she asks me.  I slowly shake my head, still alarmed.  Where are my parents? Where the hell did I wake up?

“Well, you’re in the hospital.  You got into a pretty nasty car wreck.  Don’t worry though, the other passengers are fine.  You’ve been through the ringer though,” she explains, and I slowly recognize that she’s a nurse.  Her name tag says Cindy.

I must look really confused, because she next asks, “What’s the last thing you remember, Kalel?”

It feels like I can’t even form a coherent thought. Everything’s just buzzing around my head.  After what seems like minutes, I slowly begin to remember what happened.

“I…I was at the mall with my friend.”

“And what’s your friend’s name?” Cindy asks as she checks my vitals.

“Melanie,” I say slowly.

“Do you remember why you were at the mall?”

After a few more moments of struggling, I’m able to gather that thought. “Umm…I think I had just broken up with my boyfriend.  She wanted to distract me.”

“What happened after that?”

I try to sort through the thoughts buzzing through my head, but I can’t bring myself to remember the rest.  I must have been silent for too long, because Cindy says, “Can’t remember?”

I shake my head.  Cindy looks alarmed for a second, but quickly covers the expression up.  “None the matter.  Are you feeling alright?”

“Yeah,” I nod.  I definitely feel odd, but I wouldn’t really describe it as pain, or even discomfort.  It’s more of a dull ache.  Numb: that’s a good word.

“Well, I’ll be back soon.  Press that button if you need anything,” Cindy smiles and leaves the room.  I don’t have the energy to do anything in the empty room, so I merely just close my eyes and fall back asleep.

~~~~~

The next time I awake, I feel unrested.  Just as I was about to fall asleep again, I hear voices in my room.  My curiosity overcomes my exhaustion, and I will myself to stay awake.

“When the car hit, your daughter experienced some pretty bad whiplash.  We’re still not sure what this may have done to her brain,” I think I recognize the voice as Cindy’s.

“What do you know?” that’s my dad speaking now.

“She doesn’t remember the crash, or what led to it.  Kalel only remembers what happened about three hours before the crash took place, and even that seemed hazy.  It’s still unknown whether or not that was the only part of her memory affected.”

“So you mean more of her memory could be gone too?”

“Yes,” Cindy says grimly.  “It’s hard to say.  Hopefully only her short-term memory was affected, instead of her long term.  For now, we want her to rest up.”

“Will she ever get it back?” my mother’s voice asks.

“Hopefully, but it’s hard to say.  Amnesia is tricky.  If she’s lucky, she’ll get it back in a few days.”

At that point, I have no time to ponder anything as my exhaustion takes over.

*****

~Anthony’s POV~

By Thursday, something miraculous happens.  Kalel is moved out of ICU, and the doctors finally allow me to see her.  Visiting hours start at 1:00, and the minutes drag until then.

A nurse helps me into a wheelchair and wheels me to her room, which isn’t that far way from mine.  She looks like she’s holding back a few tears, like she knows something I don’t.  I ignore it, instead dead-set on finally seeing Kalel and making sure she’s okay.

The nurse opens the door to her room.  Kalel’s sitting on her bed, in a robe identical to mine.  She’s reading a book, which I take as a good sign.  Reading is hard for me because of my concussion [1], so hopefully if she can then she isn’t concussed too.

“You have a visitor,” the nurse says, wheeling me in and promptly leaving.

“Hey, Kalel,” I gush as I wheel myself closer to her bed. “How are you feeling?”

“Anthony?” she says with a confused look on her face.

“Yeah,” I nod. “Are you okay?  That crash was awful, I’m so sorry –”

“Why are you here?” she cuts me off.  Her face remains impassive; I would have thought that she would be smiling like me by now.

“What do you mean?”

“We…we broke up,” Kalel says slowly.

The smile disappears from my face, replaced with dread.  “What?  We made up, remember?  We met at the mall and listened to Kendyl, then made up, and hung out with Ian and Melanie all night…”

“No…you cheated on me,” Kalel insists with a hint of a glare.

“Kalel, what are you talking about…”

“What are you talking about?  Why are you even here?”

Reality sets in, and hits me hard.  I don’t even try to explain.  It’s no use.  I instead wheel away, opening the door and going back to my own room.  The nurses give me sympathetic glances; they must have known about this all along.

I feel like crying.  She doesn’t remember.  She thinks we’re still broken up.  She still thinks I cheated.  That time spent at the mall meant nothing. I have to resist the urge to throw something.  What if she never remembers?  She’ll just hate me forever, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing.  As if the past week wasn’t hard enough!  Just my luck.  Just my fucking luck.  I feel like screaming.  Why me? Why us?!  I was close.  I was so, so close.  We were just happy again, and all of that’s been thrown out the window.

I crawl back into my own bed, ignoring my aching body.  I lie back down and fall asleep, with emotions I can only describe as “pissed off at the entire world.” Maybe I’ll wake up and realize this was all a twisted dream.  Maybe.  If I’m lucky.  But it doesn’t seem like luck is on my side today.

~~~~~

[1] I’m going to trust my formerly concussed friends on the fact that’s it’s impossible to read things when you have a concussion, haha :P

Well, I hope you enjoyed :) feedback is much appreciated.

twitter- @Lax_Smosh_Love           email: lax_punky97@yahoo.com

Next chapter will be the last…:): haha, it’s kind of bittersweet. I’ve grown quite attached to this story :P

Thanks to much for reading, and i hope you all have a fantastic life :D

-Rachel

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