Chapter 6: Your Life Without YouA Chapter by Sarah J Dhue
"Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right." -Marilyn Monroe
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! .................. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Jack's face was constricted in pain................. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Jack's mouth was agape, blood flowing......
David's eyes flew open, he was covered in sweat. He looked around. He was really groggy, his head still hurt from hitting it. He was in a busy lobby of a big building. As he looked around, he could tell it was a hospital.
"Wonder what I'm doing here..." he thought.
He walked up to a nurse, "Excuse me, ma'am, where am I?" he asked. She walked right past him to a waiting, middle-aged couple.
"That was rude," he thought.
Then he saw Jack. He ran towards him. His face was filled with worry. He was following a doctor, or male nurse; David wasn't sure which.
"How is he?" Jack asked the man.
"I'm fine, Jack, I'm right here."
Jack continued to walk, listening intently to the man.
"Hey, you could slow down, I am okay," David said, aggravated, "Jack, come on, man." He reached for his shoulder to grab and stop him. And his hand went right through him.
He stopped in mid step, his mouth hanging open in shock. He wasn't in his own clothes. And he was even paler than usual. He stood for a moment longer, turning his hand over repeatedly. He rubbed his hair, his arm. Grabbed his shirt. He could feel himself. Why couldn't he feel Jack?
He realized he'd lost Jack and started down the corridor to find him. He found him in a hospital room and was slapped by a horrid realization. He wasn't in his body.
It was terrifying, but it only made sense. Jack was sitting by David's body, laying in a hospital bed, sleeping. Yet, here David stood, taking it all in.
"Am I... dying?" he thought, looking at his arm again. It was slightly translucent, "... could this really be the... the end?"
"He's in a coma, so he probably won't be able to hear you," the male nurse said, "I'll leave you now." He left the room and Jack walked over to the chair next to David.
"David," Jack said, sitting by the hospital bed, "You've gotta come back. You know I can't do this by myself and... even though we're twins... you've always been my little brother, always twenty minutes younger," he smiled and laughed quietly. Then his tone turned serious again, "come on, David, the only reason you're here is because I almost got killed and now... you know I can't do this by myself. Come back. Come on David, come back!" A tear was forming in the corner of Jack's eye.
David felt a tear forming in his own eye. He and Jack had never been very close, even as kids. They hadn't been the nicest to each other. In fact, at times they'd seemed to hate each other. But something had made him rush to
"Jack," David said, "Jack... it's not your fault. I decided to come back... I insisted on going to McCormick's with you."
Jack just sat by the bed, looking at David's body.
"You can't hear me... can you?" David said, looking down sadly, "I'm sorry."
He walked out of the room, he couldn't look at his body any longer, it was just creepy. He headed down the hall, he needed time to think and clear his head.
Jack followed shortly, sitting on a bench outside the room and resting his head in his hands.
"Jack," Red came around the corner, looking concerned.
"Hey," he said looking up.
"Dad said you'd be here," she turned into the room and stood just inside for a moment. Then she came back out; pain was in her eyes and expression.
She began to walk down the hall, "Red," Jack said, clearing his throat, "There... there's someone else."
Red stopped and looked back at him.
"I just wanted you to know," he looked back at the floor.
"I knew that," she said, tears welling up in her eyes, "But I still love him, even if he doesn't love me, and that's why I'm still here."
She sat next to him and took his hand. He looked up at her, "This is too familiar Red... sitting in a hospital with someone we care about in intensive care, that could be dying. Only this time there are only two people waiting outside on the bench instead of three."
She squeezed his hand. They sat in silence, and even though tension hung in the air, she found herself mostly at peace. She looked over at him. His hair was wavy; he must not have been at home long enough at any time to straighten it. He had a serious expression on his face, trying to hide his fear. He looked strikingly like his father.
His expression looked somewhat like the time Jack had wrecked his bike, David laughed at him and Jack had ended up giving David a black eye, which was exceptionally ugly due to David's albinism.
Lots of time must have passed, because Red was awakened by Jack getting up and gently sitting her hand on her thigh. She didn't feel like getting up; she was too emotionally worked up and tired.
"You okay?" he asked when he saw her look at him.
"Mmm hmm," she mumbled, closing her eyes and leaning her head back. The last thing she saw before drifting into unconsciousness was Jack walking down the hallway.
David had been avoiding his room for several hours. He just couldn't stand seeing himself lying there, in a suspended state; standing on the line between life and death.
He had also grown quite lonesome, even though he was surrounded by people, he couldn't interact with them. They passed by, sometimes even through him, and didn't even glance at him.
That was when he saw her sitting outside his room and not Grace. He didn't know why he thought she'd be there; she probably didn't know and hated him now anyway.
He felt a strong affection for Red as he looked at her, sleeping outside his hospital room. She was the sister he had never had and he'd never felt that he needed a sister, Red had always been there.
He took a quick glance into his room. His face was blank and it made David think about why his face expressed no personality; because he was standing outside the room, looking at it; not from it.
Jack walked out of the apartment; he'd taken a shower, slept for a few hours, and straightened his hair. He saw Grace walking in his direction and couldn't help but feel hostile towards her.
"Hey," she said awkwardly; she had only talked to Jack once or twice and even then it was really brief.
He acted like he didn't hear her.
"Is David in?" he stopped abruptly.
"Why do you care?" he said through gritted teeth.
"I, uh, wanted to apologize for the other day... I was very upset and I acted really stupid."
"No, he's not in and he won't be for a while."
She frowned, "Why not?"
Every muscle in his body tensed. He hated her at that moment; she'd said she hated his brother and now she was asking to see him almost like nothing had happened.
"He's in a coma," he was trying to control himself, but he felt his temper boiling.
"What?" she looked confused.
"He's in the hospital and he could be dying. Is that enough information for you!?" he yelled at her, turning and practically running down the stairs to avoid her reaction.
David looked up when his brother rounded the corner. He had been sitting by Red, keeping her silent, unknown company. Jack's expression changed when he saw Red sitting there. He sat down next to her, on the opposite side as David.
"Red," he said softly putting his hand on her shoulder and shaking her slightly, "Red, wake up."
She moaned and looked around, then closed her eyes again.
"Come on, you need to get home and you need something to eat," he said, trying to pull her up.
"Stop..." she said, weakly hitting him.
"Red, you've been at the hospital all day, come on."
"I... I can't leave."
"Yes, you can, come on," he stood and helped her to her feet.
"No, no, Jack," she said, "Jack, I can't leave him!" she pulled away from him, "I can't leave him, I... even if he doesn't love me, I love him Jack. I love him."
David was staring up at her. He was feeling a sharp pain in his chest. He'd always known she loved him, or that in high school she had. But he'd figured she'd gotten over him. Apparently she hadn't and now he understood why she looked at him the way she did; why her eyes dulled for a moment when he mentioned Grace.
"Red," he said, but then stopped. He wanted to say something, but he didn't know what to say and he knew she couldn't hear him anyway.
"Red, calm down," Jack said, trying to regain his composure from her sudden outburst, "Come on. Let's go," he put his arm around her. They were rounding the corner and came face to face with Grace.
"Jack, really, I had no idea."
Jack's face twisted into a frown, "What are you doing here?"
David looked up and flew out of his chair, "Grace!?"
"I want to see him."
"You stay away from him," Jack said, pointing at her.
"You just stay away from him! He's my brother, and I'm telling you to stay away from him."
Red wrapped her arms around herself; she was fighting back tears and trying to avoid looking at Grace.
"I have to see him at least one last time."
"Don't say that!" Jack yelled, "You said you never wanted to see him again. You said that to him when he loved you. So stop seeking redemption. Because you won't get any forgiveness from me and he's not really in any state to forgive you either."
Grace stopped short and just stared. Her knees grew weak and she fell against the wall, breathing hard. Red shook off Jack's arm and ran down the hall.
"Red!" Jack yelled after her, following.
Grace looked after them, still breathing hard with silent tears sliding down her cheeks.
"Grace," David said running up to her and wrapping his arms around her. She walked right through his embrace and towards the exit.
"No, Grace, wait," he said, wanting to follow, but his feet were rooted to the ground, "Don't leave me again... d****t! I know you can't hear me, but if you leave there's no one left. I can't deal with this by myself."
She pushed open the door and was gone.
"No!" he yelled, pounding the wall with his fists, "Why? Why me? Why couldn't I just have died? Or just be here now? Why is this happening to me?"
A pain shot through his whole body throwing him to the ground. His heart was beating fast and he couldn't stop sweating. He felt like his lungs were shrinking.
"Is this... what it feels like to die?" he thought, looking towards his room. He tried to get up, but was thrown back down by another shot of pain.
He lay there on the ground, closing his eyes, trying to fight off the terrible pain that had taken hold of his whole body.
"Feel any better?" Jack asked Red as she came out her room.
"Yeah," she said, running a comb through her hair.
"Nice place," he said, looking around, "Your dad's got you all set."
"Yeah," she said, pausing and looking at him. It was amazing sometimes how much he looked and acted like Jeff.
"I'm sorry... about earlier. I had no idea she would show up then."
She bit her lower lip, "I know," she whispered.
"And I overreacted. I should've tried to keep my cool."
"It happens to all of us. She hurt someone important you."
"Not just someone..." he said, frowning pensively.
Red tilted her head to one side, "What do you mean?"
"She hurt David... and she hurt you."
Her voice caught in her throat when their eyes met. She didn't know what to say and she couldn't remember what she had been about to say.
They stared at each other a moment longer. Jack cleared his throat, "So, you about ready to go get some lunch?"
"Sure," she said, nodding slowly.
Grace sat on her couch, curled up and alone. She stared at the old Three Stooges rerun on the TV. She hadn't been able to stop crying since she'd left the hospital. She switched off the TV; the show reminded her too much of him.
When she'd seen him, she'd been angry, but she thought that it would okay later, they'd bounce back and reconcile. And now there was a chance that could never happen, because he was in the hospital dying; and the worst part was, she never got to tell him she was sorry. His brother hated her now, and as much as she wanted to, she couldn't blame him.
She just wished none of it had ever happened: that David had never left without saying good bye; that she hadn't exploded on him upon his return; that he wasn't in the hospital now, in a coma, straddling life and death. Because then, everything would be the way it had been. Perfect.
"How is he?"
"He tried to wake up this afternoon, but didn't quite regain consciousness. He seems to be doing better though, he's more stable."
Jack smiled, "Do you think he'll be awake soon?"
"Most likely," the doctor replied.
"Good," he nodded.
"He was lucky this time," the doctor chuckled nervously, "He suffered a lot of head trauma and came out of it with only a mild concussion. Most aren't so lucky."
"I know. He's one of a kind, doctor."
Just then, David opened his eyes and mumbled "Jack?"
He ran to his bedside, "Yeah... yeah, I'm here." Red was right behind him.
"I... I had the strangest dream," his speech was slurred.
"You can tell me about it later, you need to rest," Jack said, smiling bigger than he had in quite some time. He looked back at Red and she was beaming at him."But," David said, "It seemed so real..." and then he was asleep.
© 2009 Sarah J Dhue
Added on December 25, 2009
Last Updated on December 25, 2009
Sarah J Dhue
In the author's lair, IL
AboutI am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My favorite genres are horror/suspense, paranormal, sci-fi, action thrillers, and comedy. My .. more..