The Fallen Angel

The Fallen Angel

A Story by kyrie
"

A heart-wrenching piece from a book I have yet to write.

"

Lisa turned off the lights.  No one would ever know what had really happened.

 

*   *   *

                Kenna tugged her blanket off the bed and crept down the hall as silently as she could.  She missed a step and a creak pierced the silence.  She stopped abruptly with a sharp gasp and listened, holding her breath.  Usually if she did that Lizzy would softly whisper her name and tell her to come in her room, saying it was okay and not to be scared.  Tonight, she heard no such whisper.  Maybe Lizzy was sleeping soundly.  But Lizzy is always a light sleeper…  She dismissed the thought and continued down the hall.  She snuck into Lizzy's room, but . . . Lizzy wasn't there.

                "Lizzy?" she whimpered softly, scared. 

                Lizzy, where are you?!  In her mind, she was screaming.  Taking a shaky breath and trying to stay as calm as she could, seven year old Kenna decided to check the bathroom.  What she found there was so horrifying… something no seven year old should ever have to see.  Tears streamed down her face.  A blood curdling cry pierced the silence of the night as innocence was torn from the very heart of a child.

 

*   *   *

                Julius Watson jerked out of bed and stumbled towards the cry.  The first thought that came to mind was that Kenna had had a nightmare, and all this in one second.  And then he stopped cold.  This was no ordinary cry. 

                "Kenna?"  he yelled, alarmed. 

                The shrieks continued to come, but not from her room.  He turned and stumbled towards the dark bathroom from which the shrieks came, ice cold blood thinly making its way through his veins.  Distantly, he heard Avery call to him, wondering what was wrong.  He entered the bathroom and picked up Kenna, thinking she'd was sleepwalking in a nightmare.

                "Shhh, it's okay, it's�""

                And that's when the words choked in his throat.  Kenna screamed enough for both of them as he took in the horrifying sight.  In the bluish darkness of the night, pools of black swirled on the floor, still flowing from two gashes on his daughter's back.  He turned and felt something crunch under his bare and now bloody feet.  He fought back a wave of nausea as he slowly moved his foot through the puddle.  Looking down, he saw a pill.  And then another one.  And another.  Dimly, he wondered how many she'd swallowed before . . .

                "Avery!" he yelled, but thinking better of it, he walked backwards out of the bathroom and raced down to the end of the hall.  He thrust a still-wailing Kenna into his wife's arms and said,

                "Call the ambulance and tell them it's an emergency," he said. 

                As he made his way back down the hall, he realized how stupid that must sound.  Dismissing the thought, he stormed to the linen closet and got towels, as many towels as he could hold.  He raced back to the bathroom and put them on his daughter's wounds.  Something circular and plastic rolled to one side.  He glanced down and sighed with relief, thinking she'd only taken the sleeping pills. 

                In order to do his work faster, he turned on the light.  The first thing that caught his eye was the second, completely empty bottle.  No . . . she'd taken all of the blood thinners too?!  No wonder there was so much blood.  The second thing he noticed was the knife, soaked in a thick puddle of his daughter's blood where a few chunks of flesh floated lazily on the surface.  Next his daughter's bluish skin.  There was no way the ambulance could get here fast enough. 

                "Julius?" Avery said softly, her soft footsteps coming towards him.

                Avery couldn't see this.  The kids couldn't see this.  Not one other member of his family would see this, not after what it had done to Kenna�"and no telling yet exactly what that was. 

                "Stay out of here!  Just watch for the ambulance to come, all right?  Keep the kids safe."

                "Julius, what's wrong?!"

                "Nothing, just stay�""

                That's when the words scrawled across the shower tile finally registered.  He stepped closer, blood pooling and ebbing around his feet.  Two words, giantly splayed against the tile in her blood.  I'M SORRY. 

                "Oh Lisa . . . "

                Tears spilled over his cheeks and he turned back to her, frantic now.  He checked for a pulse, but was so nervous he couldn't find one.  In the light, she looked so much worse.  Her face and arms were blue, from lack of blood and oxygen, no doubt.  The siren's wails almost matched Kenna's, and their addition to the night's chaos made him start.  Before he seemed to blink twice, he was in the back of the ambulance, praying like mad that God would save the life of his daughter.  He would never forget the look on Avery's face when they'd rolled Lisa out on the stretcher, nor would he forget Kenna shrieking madly, clawing her way out of her mother's firm grasp and clinging to him.  Being an ex-marine, he easily hefted the girl up and gently pushed her head into his shoulder to muffle her cries.  Somewhere along the way, he'd shoved on a pair of jeans and some socks and shoes.  Kenna, on the other hand, was only in a nightgown.  Her curly hair hung tangled down her back; her hair had always grown fast.  He kissed her forehead, and whispered,

                "She'll live, I promise."

                Kenna simply stared at him, her coveted blue eyes solemn and thumb firmly in her mouth.  As they wheeled Lisa to an emergency operating room, she stared at her sister's lifeless form.  God, what is happening?  he couldn't help but ask.  Kenna began coughing, and it sounded like liquid was gathering in her throat.  Julius' gaze snapped to his younger daughter and he set her down, kneeling before her.  It didn't take long for him to realize that in her fear she'd bitten her thumb hard enough to draw blood.  He gently pried the thumb from her mouth and wrapped the small finger in his night shirt.  He hugged her close to him and murmured,

                "Didn't I always tell your mom we had to break you out of that?"

                She stuck her uninjured thumb in her mouth as soon as the other was removed and leaned into his shoulder, silent tears streaming down her cheeks.  Julius picked her up once more, and she rested her injured thumb delicately on his shoulder.  He found himself pacing, unable to stand still, as they operated in the fight to save Lisa's life.  The hours that passed by seemed like another nail in her coffin, another mound of dirt on her grave.  He wasn't sure how many times the thought that Lisa was dead crossed his mind, only that it was too many to count.  And he didn't know how many times he cried out in shock and confusion to God, but that he'd prayed more in this one night than he could ever remember. 

                Avery called him once, saying that Lisa had left a note that said if she survived the attempt, then to never let Colt anywhere near her.  He dismissed the news for the time being, thinking it absurd and irrational.  All Lisa could ever talk about was Colt; surely she didn't mean to push him away.  They hadn't, however, spoken in several weeks, but maybe they'd broken up.  People did crazy things for love…he should've warned her that love was not all it seemed.  It was something you had to work for.                There was no such thing as falling in love, but Lisa had definitely hit the gas when she'd met Colt.  He was well aware that once his daughter set her mind to certain things�"well, it was impossible to get her to stop until she got what she wanted or reality smacked her in the face.  Lisa's aggression was something to be dealt with.  If he ever saw a smack in the face, this was one.  There was a long road ahead for his family, but he was sure that at the end of it they'd find healing.  Lisa was a levelheaded girl�"when she wasn't driven by aggression�"but suicide wasn't something she would consider.  Well, evidently it was…but she won't do it again.  Will she? 

                Kenna shifted again, and he tried to set her down.  Just like every other time, she tightened her grip and clung to him, refusing to leave his arms, afraid to lose another person she loved.  Julius straightened and gently rubbed his daughter's back.  She hadn't said a word, and he figured she was simply too scared.  There were certainly no words for him to find; the only reason he was remotely holding it together was because of his military training, no doubt.  He'd seen death from many angles, even straight to his face, but it'd never been so close, so personal.  For Lisa to do something like this . . . what had they done wrong?

 

*   *   *

                Nicholas sat at the table, head down and eyes closed.  How could Lisa have done this?  He wasn't angry, not really.  He had friends that'd gone down that road, never to return.  He'd seen his best friend go down into the grave, and was only able to survive because he understood.  Nick knew better than most the reasonings behind suicide, but more importantly he knew that some people could not be stopped once they headed to death's door.  He couldn't bring himself to blame her for trying to kill herself, he just wished she'd told him how to take care of Kenna and Casey.  He'd always admired the way she seemed to take care of all of them, keep the house manageably clean, and still be a good student in school.  A lot of times he felt that their parents never gave her a break, and he wished so badly that he could do something.  But what could he do?  He wasn't smart like Lisa, he couldn't handle all the responsibility.  Lisa, why did you have to go?

                "Where did Lizzy go?" a small child said softly.

                Nick looked up to meet Casey's questioning gaze.  He picked up his little brother and said,

                "She's in the hospital."

                Casey shook his head, being misunderstood.

                "No.  Where did she go?"

                The realization of what Casey was asking finally hit him then�"he thought Lisa was already dead.  Nick shook his head and said,

                "Lizzy's not dead, Case."

                Nick cleared his throat, realizing he was starting to get choked up, and forced a half smile to the surface.  No, Casey, she's not dead yet.  Just half-dead.  The doctor's will work their magic and they'll fix her.  She'll come home, as good as new, I promise.  The sarcasm brought a bitter taste to his throat.  No, Lisa couldn't be dead.  He wouldn't let that be true. 

                "But she's close, right?  After she dies . . . where's she gonna go?"

                Nick stared at his little brother, stunned.  Casey continued,

                "She's gonna go to heaven, right?  She was a good person, and she went to church, and she loved everybody… She did love us, right?"

                "Of course she did," Nick whispered, his heart breaking at Casey's words and the tears that streamed down the child's face.  "If she dies, I'm sure she'll go to heaven."

                "But if she loved us, why did she leave?  Why would she die if she loved us?"

                Nick hugged his little brother tightly.

                "She still does love us, Case.  She's not gone yet, she's not gone."

                Now they were both crying.  Although he'd long ago stopped questioning matters of death and simply come to accept the ordeal, he couldn't blame Casey for his questions.  The kid was, after all, only seven years old.  He wasn't sure which was worse, Kenna's screams or Casey's questions.  In reality, he didn't really know.  He'd long ago become apathetic to both life and death, and with no strong objections to either he often found himself sitting on the fence.  Fence-riders could be accepted by most, except the die-hard fanatics who thought only their way was right. 

 

*   *   *

                Kenna still wouldn't let him set her down, and he still couldn't stop pacing.  The hours had long ago started to run together; he didn't know what time it was anymore, and he didn't care. 

                "Sir?"

                Julius turned sharply.  A nurse stood, seeming almost scared, timidly holding out a cup of coffee.  He accepted it gratefully and took a sip.  It was a little weak for his tastes, but he wouldn't complain. 

                "It's not the best in the world, but it calms the mind."

                He nodded silently, shifting Kenna in one arm.  She sat up and stared at him, hope beyond the fear in her blue eyes.  He smoothed her light brown curls and kissed her forehead.  The hope faded to a disappointment, and but that was soon gone and he was met with a blank stare with fear creeping in again.  The nurse caressed his daughter's arm.

                "She's precious," the nurse whispered.

                He nodded and smiled softly.  A closer look at the nurse and he noticed tears gathering in her eyes.  He frowned slightly with concern.

                "Are you all right?"

                She turned away for a moment to dry her eyes, then said in a wavering voice,

                "I'm fine, really.  It's just that . . . I had a daughter once, and…"

                The tears came again, and he steered her to a seat.  For the first time since entering the hospital, he sat.  The moment passed, and the nurse said.

                "I'm sorry about that.  She went on a few years ago, but…"

                "It's not something you ever get used to," he said softly. 

                And it wasn't.  The death of his brother three years ago had proved it true.  The kid had been a pest and a troublemaker, but solid in morality and faith.  Matthias had been a good man, all twenty-three years of his short life.

                "I just wanted to tell you to hold on to them tightly, but any tighter and they'll be gone."

                "It's a fine line," he agreed.

                "I have my rounds to make.  God bless you, sir."

                He smiled and nodded.

                "The same to you, and thank you."

                The thanks was for more than just the coffee, and they both knew it.  She nodded and went about her work.  With Kenna situated on his lap, he was able to finally rub his neck.  The dizziness and disorientation hadn't set in yet, but he was sure if he gave it enough time it would.  Sometimes his doctors said his blood was as thick as his head.  He wasn't sure if that was true or not, but it hurt for his blood to make its way around up there, he knew that for sure.  The migraines had started as minor disturbances, but they'd grown dramatically throughout the years.  They had him on blood thinners to help, but if he skipped a dose or two of the medicine he'd definitely suffer the consequences.  Blood thinners.  The very thing that had given his daughter a gateway here.  The anger in him welled up so quickly it surprised him.  Before he knew it he was hurling insults at his Maker.  He quickly silenced his thoughts when a voice intruded.

                "Mr. Watson?"

                His head flew up to meet a doctor, gloved hands suspended in the air and stained with blood.  His daughter's blood, which had bled so easily because of his blood thinners.  Guilt washed over him, but fear grabbed him first.  Julius was sure his precious firstborn had died. 

                "It was a hard fight, but fortunately she wasn't able to swallow too many pills.  Taking the blood thinners actually helped her, causing her to pass out before overdosing."

                "Is she alive?  Tell me she's alive!  Tell me!"

                The doctor peeled off glove and put a hand on his shoulder, forcing him to look him in the eye. 

                "She's alive, and she's stable.  She's resting."

                "May I see her?" he asked, calming down, finding the due gratitude and respect for the man who God had used to save his daughter's life. 

                The doctor nodded and led him to an ICU room.  Through the glass walls, he saw Lisa's still form underneath the covers.  Somehow, he couldn't believe that she was alive until he touched her, held her, and promised her everything was okay.  The good doctor left him alone, and Kenna wriggled down from his arms on her own.  As soon as her feet touched the cold hard floor, she froze, as if feeling everything for the first time since getting here.  He gently rubbed her shoulder blade as he led her to Lisa's bedside.      Julius fought tears as he stroked her honey-brown, silky soft hair.  What could drive her to go to such lengths?  Had they really pushed her so hard, put her under so much stress? so much pressure?  This time the guilt found a strong foothold, but he fought it back with the hope that at the end of what was sure to be a difficult, long road, there would be healing. 

                "Lisa?" he whispered, voice tight and strained. 

                Her eyelids fluttered slightly and opened; tears formed in her eyes.  He grasped her hand and as the tears streamed down her cheeks, he found his own cheeks wet.

                "I'm sorry, Daddy.  I'm so sorry."

                "Shh, shhh," he said, releasing her hand to wipe her cheeks.  "Don't worry about talking, there'll be plenty of talking to do later."

                "But, Daddy�""

                He put a finger on her lips and kissed her forehead.

                "Not now.  You'll need your rest.  Besides," he said, rubbing Kenna's shoulder, "you have a visitor."

                Lisa tried to sit up, but he put a hand on her shoulder and gave her a warning look.  Lisa was never one to take enough time to care for herself before she cared for others.  She was kindhearted like that, but he wanted her to take time for herself.  She'd kill herself if she kept this up.  She already tried.  The realization smacked full in the face, and he had to work hard not to break down right there.  He couldn't let this get to his head, or he'd hate himself as much as he used to hate war enemies. 

                Julius picked up Kenna, but she managed to get down.  Lightly as a feather, she lay down next to Lisa and closed her eyes.  She'd sleep there, if he let her.  She'd probably sleep there even if he didn't let her.  Kenna was willful yet innocent, only a child.  He feared, however, that that innocence had taken a tremendous blow tonight.  Lisa lovingly petted her sister's hair, and a strange revulsion snuck into him.  How could Lisa be so caring and so gentle after what she'd put Kenna through?  Swallowing a couple times removed the bitter taste from his mouth, but it didn't erase the thoughts from his mind.  They'd haunt him for more time than he bargained for. 

 

 

*   *   *

 

                "Just keep Colt out of this.  All of it."

                Avery frowned at her daughter, concerned.

                "Well, I figured he'd want to know, so I called him right after your father called… He needed to know, honey."

                "No, he didn't!" she cried.

                Lisa turned on her side and faced the wall with agonizing pain her price to pay, but it was minimal compared to the guilt.  The private room was a blessing, especially considering their financial situation.  Thank God for insurance.  She wondered if she could restrict access on her room, if only to keep Colt out.  She never wanted to see him again.  Ever.  Okay, maybe not ever, but not for a while.  A long while.  Stupid Coltthoughts, I wish I could shoot my brains out to silence them forever.  If she said that out loud, they'd put her in the rubber room for sure. 

                A sigh quivered out of her as the tears started to fall once more.  It seemed like she couldn't stop crying for her life.  Kenna, Colt, Casey, her parents�"it didn't matter who it was, the tears came.  She let them fall silently, not bothering to silence her sobs.  Her father's hand rubbed her back, but it only made her cry harder.  It reminded her of Colt's hands, always so soft and gentle, always there to wipe her tears and hold her.  If she could curl up into a ball and cry, she would.  But no, the bandages restricted practically any movement she had, and if that wasn't enough, the pain was.  The doctors said she was lucky not to be paralyzed, seeing how she'd given herself some good cuts across the spinal cord.  They'd stitched her up, but they had a long way to go with her mind. 

                "Keep him away for me."

                "Who, Colt?" Avery asked, confusion clear in her voice.

                Who else? she wanted to say in a voice dripping with sarcasm.  Instead she kept her tone flat and without feeling.

                "Yeah.  Don't tell him anything else, don't let him in my room; don't let him call me.  And don't make me talk about him."

                "Honey, you two were so in love, what happened?  Did you two have a fight, or did you break up?  If you did, honey this is normal teenage stuff, you didn't�""

                "He got me pregnant!" she shrieked, drowning out her mother's words.  "He got me pregnant, and I aborted the baby!  I killed a child!  Don't you know what that makes me?!  I'm a murderer!  I deserve to die!  That's why I did this!"

                She couldn't hide any longer, she couldn't keep this a secret, and she ripped open the back of the hospital gown to show the bandages.  If she'd died, no one would've ever known.  She'd never have to tell them what'd really happen.  Why had she escaped death?  She wanted to die now more than before, even though she hadn't really wanted to die.  Lisa thought she'd die from the guilt, so she tried to die before it ate her away.  The attempt had only ended in wanting to die even more, and started a vicious cycle not easily broken.  This craving for death was not normal.

 

*   *   *

 

                The silence echoed in the still room in the wake of Lisa's confession.  The silence, save the anguished cries of his daughter.  They echoed in his head, nightmarish cries that would never cease to haunt him, even in death.  He sat on the edge of her bed, and started to hold her, just like he'd done when she was little and had nightmares.

                "Don't touch me!" she said loudly.  Quieting a little, she said again, "Don't touch me.  Please, just.  Don't.  Touch me."

                He froze.

                "Leave.  Both of you…just leave me alone, please?" she cried in a small voice.

                She started to cry, and Julius was sure his heart would break.  How did this happen?  How could his fifteen year old daughter have gotten pregnant?  And if that wasn't enough, how could she have aborted the baby?  It was too much for Julius to handle, and he found himself lost in the sight of her bandages.  The tears spilled out of his eyes as he tried to scoop her up in his arms as gently as he could.  Father and daughter cried, tangled in arms, drenched in sorrow and guilt. 

 

*   *   *

 

                Perhaps a demon of its own kind.  There was none like it.  Brutal and tormenting�"relentless.  Yes, this little demon was not small at all.  It'd eat at you from the inside out, but it wasn't even real.  It's all in your head.  Or so they wanted her to believe.  Either way, it was somehow being wormed out of her mind, either through all the medications or something else. 

                Lisa stared out the window, building her determination like laying bricks for a foundation.  She knew what she had to do now.  After getting through all of this, she would never hurt her family so much again.  She vowed it.  She swore that when she got out of here, she'd take care of her brothers and sister.  She'd handle things for her parents, so they wouldn't have to worry about her.  She'd help Nick start to care again, because she knew that even though he acted fine, he was still really messed up because of Dylan's suicide.  She'd somehow try to make it up to Kenna, who was still frozen inside her fragile shell of silence. 

                The door swung open, pulling her from her thoughts.  The nurses always came to check on her, not liking the fact that she would retreat to her room, close the door, and stay there for hours until it was time for her to go to group therapy. 

                "You have a visitor," the nurse said quietly.

                  This nurse was younger, nicer.  Lisa didn't mind so much when she extracted her from her room to lead her to the pain of therapy sessions and the small comfort of visitors.  She glanced over her shoulder at the nurse who stood in her doorway and then back out the window.  It seemed to be early afternoon.  Usually no one visited until the evening�"not for four more hours, at least.

                "What time is it?" she asked softly.

                "A little after two."

                Lisa digested this fact, and asked a question she already knew the answer to.

                "Who is it?"

                "I think you know who," the nurse said.

                Lisa simply nodded.  She reached back to wheel herself around, but as soon as she lifted her arms her back cried out in pain.  She winced, and the nurse helped her.

                "I really don't want to," she said quietly.

                She'd had the option to refuse visitors, but they took that away when she started to isolate herself as she had.  They thought she was going to try to seclude herself from the world, and insisted she interacted with people.  This specific interaction, however, she saw no benefit to.  It was the right thing to do, she knew.  It was yet another thing on a very long list of things she knew she needed to do.  So she would do it. 

                Before the nurse wheeled her out into the visiting area, she paused at the mirror.  Lisa took in her fatigued appearance.  She'd never cared much about looks, knowing she had what it took.  What it took for what?  To get pregnant?  She dismissed the thought and sighed.  Her hair was still chestnut brown, sleek and shining.  She smiled to God, thanking Him for the little things to be happy about.  Her eyes had changed, however.  No longer did they hold that mischievous look, nor did they tease.  They weren't dull, but set with determination.  Look too closely and you'd find the apology for what she'd done, but she wouldn't look that close.  Not today.  No need to go down a road already journeyed thousands of times.

                She whispered,

                "Okay."

                The nurse nodded and wheeled her out to meet a visitor she hadn't set eyes on in what felt like a lifetime.

 

                He sat in a waiting chair, anxious.  Mrs. Watson had called and told him about it, but then he hadn't heard anything since.  The only thing she would say was that Lisa refused to talk to him, and after a couple days she coldly told him to stop calling.  He hadn't heard anything since.  Until yesterday, when he'd gotten a call from Lisa's psychiatrist, saying for him to come to the facility to visit Lisa, and then giving him a list of rules to follow when he came.  He didn't mind�"as long as he could see Lisa, he'd be fine.  He'd walked out of class, told the office he had a doctor's appointment, and left school.  He'd been told to come at two, and he'd made sure he was here at ten minutes before. 

               

                The nurse rolled her into the visiting area, and she wasn't surprised by the shock on his face.  Her parents had done well in making sure no one knew anything about what had happened, except for Jessie, who she'd poured her heart out to.  Obviously, he hadn't expected her to look so tired, or more so to be in a wheelchair.  Tim, one of the male nurses, had accompanied them. 

                "Would you like to sit in a chair or on the floor?"

                She pointed to the floor, and Jenni, the female nurse, grabbed a large cushion off the couch and set it on the floor so as to support her back as she leaned against the couch.  Lisa folded her arms so that Tim could lift her out of the chair and onto the floor.  She liked Tim�"he was a gentle man, grandfatherly, but strong.  The first time she'd asked to sit on the floor, they were a little leery.  Once they found it decreased her back pain, which helped her to focus more, they figured it wasn't so bad.  She'd never complained about the pain before that, of course, but there had been that time when she'd passed out in group therapy.  That hadn't been good. 

                "You all right?"

                She simply nodded, but he said,

                "Lean back a little to ease the pain."

                She nodded, offering him what the staff insisted was a rare glimmer of a smile.  He beamed and winked at her, then left.  Jenni informed them that Doctor Woodrow would be there in no less than five minutes, ten at the most, and then took her leave as well.  The pain was unbearable, despite taking Tim's advice and the cushion behind her back.  Served her right, she supposed, seeing how she demanded to be moved to inpatient treatment only a day after the surgery that saved her life.  She was paying the price for her stubbornness, but the pain only gave her determination to do things right this time, starting with getting out of here as soon as possible.

                Dr. Woodrow ended up being there sooner that Jenni had estimated.  He sat in a chair across from the two of them, and gave Lisa a wink.

                "Floor, as always," he said.

                She nodded.  Lisa glanced at Colt, who sat still, eyes glued to a spot somewhere.  He was nervous.

                "Need anything before we start?"

                She hesitated, and then shook her head 'no'.  Dr. Woodrow frowned at her hesitation and said in a more serious voice,

                "Lisa?  Do you need anything before we start?  Remember that there's a difference between complaining and asking for help."

                She sighed at his words, words she'd heard so many times since coming here.  They said she was as thickheaded as her father sometimes, and she knew she was stubborn.  Looking down at her hands, she mumbled,

                "May I have some painkillers?"

                Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him nod and go get some.  She slid her gaze over to Colt, and they shared a long look.  There was so much that needed to be done here.  A small cup with two little red pills was handed to her, and she took them and the water gratefully.  She stared at the pills for a moment. 

 

                Cold.  She was so cold.  The water on the floor felt like ice just melted, but only halfway.  Darkness enveloped her completely but she might've heard soft, barely noticeable cries.  She hoped it wasn't Kenna.  The ice-water swirled.  She couldn't feel it, but she sensed it.  She was only aware of . . . what was she aware of?  She wasn't so sure, she just knew she hadn't left yet.  Left where?  Somewhere important, but where she'd caused a lot of trouble.  She never wanted to come back.  And then she wouldn't have to worry about coming back.  She was floating�"away, free.  She was gone.

 

                "Lisa."

                Her head jerked up, as if on puppet-strings.  Everything and everyone was on puppet-strings around here.  Eyes peered at her, concerned, but her own eyes jumped around everywhere, unfocused, panicking, and disoriented.  Slowly she became aware of the hand grasping hers and the fact that the eyes had a face, and that the face was only inches from hers. 

                "Give her the medicine for her, Jenni," Dr. Woodrow said.

                His voice sounded thousands of miles away.

                "Don't chew."

                The words would've made her laugh, or at least smile, had it been like the old days.  But these were brand new days, ones filled with needles and pills and prodders and pain.  A lot of pain.

                Her mouth was forced open and two tablets dropped on her tongue.  Then water was poured in, and she swallowed out of reflex.  One pill went down sideways, the other diagonally; that was not her idea of pleasant.  Lisa hated when they had to force-feed her pills.  The stupid memories had so much to offer, so much to get lost in.  She wished she could apologize to Colt for making him have to see all this, but then she'd have to explain so much more.  But wasn't that what Dr. Woodrow had said today was for?  Confessing and Explaining?

                "Okay then, let's get started. Colt, is there anything you'd like to say to Lisa?"

                He glanced around.  You adorable little nervous wreck, she thought lovingly.  She wasn't sure how in the world she was doing this right now, but somewhere inside of her she knew that she would always love Colt, at least as a brother.  Colt's eyes filled with tears, and one made its way down his cheek.  He looked at her, and the innocence she'd seen in him�"the one she'd dealt a hard blow to�"it was still there.  He was still just a kid who just wanted a little love.  The sight pained her, and she had to look away.

                "What really happened?" he asked softly.

                Ah, yes.  The little boy who could be wise and mature, despite his naïveté.  The mix was a paradox in him, and it had drawn her to him like a magnet.  She took a deep breath and said,

                "If I tell you, promise me you won't keep beating yourself up over it.  We won't act like this never happened, but we'll acknowledge it and move on.  Agreed?"

                Cool, business-like, flat.  Absolutely no emotion whatsoever, but that was what she needed right now.  Feelings simply got in the way of what she knew she had to do.  He seemed shocked at her response, hesitated a moment, but nodded anyway.

                "We both know that you and I had sex that one night after youth group.  I found out I was pregnant a week and a half later.  You and I both also know that there was no way I could bring a child into a situation like the one it would have been in had I allowed it to live, so I drained all the money from my college savings account to pay for an abortion.  I couldn't live with the guilt, but I couldn't tell anyone the crime I'd done.  So I tried to kill myself."

                Against her will, tears were gathering in her eyes.  She let them, only for the reason that they were for him and not for her.  She could cry for the pain Colt felt.  She continued, only because it was only right he hear these things from her and not from anyone else.

                "i took blood thinners every hour that day, so it would drain fast enough.  That night, I went to the bathroom, and cut a gash in my side, only about three inches wide, but it was deep.  With the blood that came out I wrote I'm sorry . . . "

                She stopped and rested her head in her hands, silent tears falling past her eyes and slipping down her cheeks.  Why did she have to tell Colt this?  A soft tissue was placed in her hand, and she dried her eyes and blew her nose.  After gaining her composure once more, she did not immediately continue.  The next part would be so hard to say, so hard for him to hear.  She didn't want to have to do this, but it was the only thing that would get her out of here faster, and she needed to get back home�"they needed her there. 

                "Can you finish?" Dr. Woodrow said, somewhat kind. 

                She nodded, knowing that if she didn't, he'd do it for her.  She couldn't let Colt hear this from anyone else but herself�"it was her responsibility to confess her irresponsibility.

                "I grabbed the bottle of sleeping pills and set them on the counter.  I'd already made sure all the kids were in bed and asleep, and I turned off the lights, thinking it would be my last night's sleep.  With the huge machete that my dad had gotten as a souvenir from Costa Rica, I split my back into thirds with two horizontal cuts, severing my spinal cord both times.  With all the blood thinners I'd taken, I drained like a sink of dishwater.  I chugged down sleeping pills after that, until I passed out.  The next thing I knew, I was looking at my dad, and Kenna was curled up beside me on a hospital bed."

                Silence stretched for several long minutes.  Dr. Woodrow took some notes and then seemed content to study them both.  Colt had all of what she'd just told him to process, so she understood his silence.  She sat quietly herself, needing the silence to sort through the emotions flooding her.  She could handle them, if only a little bit at a time.  Eventually, the doctors wanted her to be able to face the emotions and feeling as they came and know how to handle them so they wouldn't get out of control.  She was happy to cut herself off from feelings entirely until she knew she could handle them.  It was a dangerous thing to do, knowing that she might forget once or twice to feel and never feel again, but that was a chance she was willing to take.

                "So…why are you�"are you . . . paralyzed?" Colt asked, stumbling over his words in fear.

                "No, I'm not.  When I was in surgery, they put a rod down my spine to keep it straight and so when it heals it'll be straight.  I have metal plates to act as braces pretty much cover my entire back.  There's one in two of the thirds, three at the top of my back�"one on each shoulder blade and one in the middle�"and then three on each of my sides.  They keep the wounds closed and help my muscles heal back properly."

                "So…that's eleven metal plates?"

                "Yeah, and a steel rod to boot.  I did some real damage to myself, and everyone else.  I'm sorry for this, Colt.  I'm really sorry."

                She'd turned dry-eyed once more, and she wouldn't be surprised if he didn't believe her apology.  She wouldn't if she were him�"not if it were after someone had manipulated you to give in to your own desires but ruin yourself in the process, killed someone, and then try to kill herself.  She'd done many a wrong by Colt, and the best way she saw to continue was to cauterize their friendship.  She'd be cold enough to freeze him away if that's what she had to do�"whatever was necessary to keep him away.  Steeling her emotions and nerves, she took a deep breath.

                The next half hour was spent sorting through all of this, and Colt cried more than her.  She was well aware of just how alone he was, and she knew exactly how much he'd valued her friendship, but she couldn't hurt him any longer by continuing to be his friend or girlfriend.  That would only be adding a horrendous insult to a massive injury.

 

*   *   *

Tick. 

                Tick. 

                Tick. 

                Inched past eighty, but he didn't notice.  Even if he had, he wouldn’t have cared.  He couldn't have. 

                Tick.  Tick. 

                Creeping steadily along. 

                Tick. 

                One hundred. 

                One hundred one. 

                Tick. 

                One hundred seven.  

                The sweet spot.  Memories.  The awful taste in his mouth told him this would be a sweet spot no longer.  Maybe a short time ago long gone had he done this with fun and pleasure, but tonight he knows not what he does.  He cares not.  A minute goes by, and then an hour.  He is far away from home, for he must lick his wounds before returning again. 

                One eighty.

                Tick. 

                Tick. 

                Tick.

                Boom.

© 2011 kyrie


Author's Note

kyrie
Honest opinion on rhetoric and content. I know it's long, though, but whatever you say is much appreciated.

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Reviews

Wow. This grabbed my attention right away, and kept me glued through the entire story. This was a fantastic read, and I really don't see how I would improve it. You drew me into this world with your great descriptions, and the suspense just kept piling on. Great job!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Awsome job!!!! This was really an interesting story

Posted 10 Years Ago


I really liked this work. It grabbed me, and was a really good read. It was well written, but when Lisa confessed why she hurt herself, it seemed a bit rushed. I suppose it's all relative to the context of the rest of the story though. All in all, pretty good. :)

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on February 5, 2011
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kyrie
kyrie

About
Heya there :D My name is Kyrie (KEAR-ee-ay), but call me Ky. I had an account on here, but it got all messed up, and so I have this one now. I love to laugh and enjoy people. I'm a bit of an ecce.. more..

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