Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by thegirlthatwrites

Beep.

 

Beep.

 

Bee-

 

“Gugh!” I gasped when my eyes opened to blinding brightness.

 

“She’s awake, she’s awake,” a voice whispered somewhere in the white abyss that surrounded me. 

 

            There were more people talking, so many at once and with such fuzzy voices I couldn’t distinguish any of them. All it did was give me a headache, and suddenly I was aware of just how much pain the rest of my body was in. I couldn’t keep down another gasp as the pain fully registered.

 

A flurry of activity suddenly occurred around me. The voices amplified despite remaining indistinct, each trying to grab my attention. The talking along with the rest of the sounds in the room, of beeping and bopping and feet shuffling, became too much. I didn’t even realize I’d squeezed my eyes shut again in an attempt to escape from this strangely vivid dream.

 

            It took almost a full minute for me to realize this was no dream of any kind. I pried my eyes open again with my head turned to the side, seeing a blurry image of my mother and father staring at me. The more into focus they became, the more evident the concern on their faces were. Seeing them reminded me that this was not the first moment of my life. The last time I saw my parents was before Conor and I went for our brief camping trip, we’d argued in the car over music, we’d been making s’mores, and then…

 

“Where’s Conor?” I croaked out, but in my mind I was screaming at them to tell me where my brother was. “Where?”

 

“Shhh, sweetie, shhh,” my mother insisted, just as a doctor moved to block her from my sight with a painfully white and clean jacket.

 

“Ms. Devlin, you’ve been unconscious for a very long time,” an unfamiliar and technical voice spoke. I looked up, staring at the chin of a very official looking man holding a clipboard. “You must be very startled and disorientated.” He sighed, as though he was having a hard time with just speaking. Meanwhile, a shooting pain ran through my shoulder and up my neck, causing me to flinch. “You suffered from a fairly severe animal attack. We’ve taken very good care of you.”

 

“And Conor’s okay,” my father’s voice broke in, his irritated tone almost enough to make me smile. “You can’t leave that out.”

 

“Hmph. Yes. Your brother is doing fine, considering. Thankfully, neither of you were harmed beyond help, but you’ll be here for a little while longer.”

 

            I opened my mouth to try to speak again, but was quickly shushed by my parents, the doctor, and a nurse that now tried to edge her way around the doctor to adjust one of the IV’s running into me. My gaze slowly turned from the people in the room up to the stark white ceiling. Wasn’t white meant to be a calming color? All it did was set my nerves at edge, and I wanted nothing more than to bolt upright and try to run off the pain that seemed to seep deep into my bones. I tried to lift my neck up even slightly, but a gasp of pain escaped my parched lips before my brain could entirely process the sharp, tearing feeling in my neck.

 

“Careful, careful!” the nurse barked at me. “That’s where the bite is!”

 

            My eyes widened, my hand immediately lifting to try to feel along my neck. All my aching fingers could feel was gauze, but the pressure was enough to cause another minor shoot of pain and extreme discomfort. My lips were starting to tremble as I turned my neck �" slowly to avoid pain �" and tried to focus on the nurse who had gone back to her work. She acted as though she hadn’t just dropped an atomic bomb on my brain.

 

“B-bite?” I asked, my question coming out on a shaky breath. “Wuh…what…”

 

“Dear,” my mother began, moving forward quickly and grasping my hand. I could feel the sprain in my wrist when she applied pressure, but I couldn’t bare to ask her to let go. “We were hoping you might be feeling better before we talked to you. You and Conor…you were attacked in the woods. By an animal. Uh, the police think it was a wolf.”

 

“Wolves, uh, haven’t been in this part in a long time, so there’s no real prey for them,” my dad cut in.

 

“Adam!”

 

“Sorry…”

 

            My mother continued to hold my hand and tried to prop up some of my pillows as I sat up more in the hospital bed. My legs were covered, but I could feel the cuts and bruises that seemed to be on every inch of my skin. When I tried to bend my knee, I could feel the painful tug of a particularly deep wound near my knee that likely had stitches in it. There were various places all over my arms that needed stitches, and it took one deep breath for my body to give away my abdominal and back bruises. I felt along the side of my body through the gown, able to feel the stiches on my side. A couple of my fingers were broken and casted. The biggest pain of all was under the giant gauze covering my neck and even a good portion of my shoulder.

 

            All these injuries, and I could not recall a single memory of how I got them. I remembered speaking to Conor as we packed up to leave, and then there was nothing, as though my brain hit a wall on the drive down memory lane. How were they so sure it was an animal attack? Was there a witness? Who called the attack in? Were Conor’s injuries as extensive as mine? More so? Did he remember more than I did?

 

“Mom, Mom,” I muttered quickly. “Conor…”

 

“He woke up last night,” my mom responded, shuffling to move out of the way of the nurse as she began to examine me. “He’s down the hall. He broke one of his arms and has a fairly bad ankle sprain. And, uh, some cuts and-” Her voice caught midway through, and she tried to cover it up with a cough. I gritted my teeth against the pain as I squeezed her hand. “Thankfully, neither of you sustained severe brain trauma. But he should be healed well enough before the school year begins. Both of you will.”

 

“We bought at least a ton of healing tea,” my dad added, trying his best to be helpful. “Your beds are waiting for you at home. We got some nice candles, too.”

 

“You’ll be home soon, baby.”

 

 

            Soon wasn’t soon enough. After Conor and I became fully conscious and were technically “functioning”, we both had to have a few bedside meetings with a psychologist, a therapist, and a couple police officers. Unfortunately, being awake and aware meant being able to taste the hospital food. All I wanted the second I was discharged was a plate piled high with anything and everything greasy and awful for me, but my parents had already informed me of their foolproof way to get my brother and I back to our best through a healthy diet. Every time my mother visited, she had a new list of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in hand that she heard had great healing qualities. She even downloaded hours of soothing music and healing hypnosis on our phones for Conor and me to listen to.

 

            Being led out of the hospital could not have been less glamorous. I was expecting sunshine, nature sounds, and perhaps a few strangers turning to smile at me. For the past couple days, that scene and the idea of an entire pizza just for me were the sole focus of my dreams. Instead, we were greeted by unclean pavement, a dark, cloudy sky, car horns blaring and people swearing out their windows, and incoming patients who certainly didn’t look like they would appreciate the three hour ER wait. Beside me, Conor didn’t seem as disappointed in the exit as he limped along in his boot cast.

 

“We haven’t breathed fresh air in days,” I reminded him quietly. We’d come to a pause as our mother insisted we didn’t walk any further and wait for her and my dad to pull the car up to the curb. Some of the people walking in were beginning to stare at us with the most dismal expressions I’d ever seen. “You could look a bit more excited.”

 

“I wasn’t expecting a parade,” he retorted.

 

Hmph. I was.” That was the most fantastical of my dreams.

 

            You never realize just how terrible the streets in your town are until every inch of your body seems to be bruised, broken, or cut, and each bump in the road becomes a few seconds of all-over torment. Our parents continually fussing over us and asking how we were didn’t make matters any better, especially when we got home. Every door was opened for us, a hand was on our arm or shoulder to guide us as if we were blind, and the second our feet were through the door we were instructed to get some rest.

 

“We’ve been resting all week, Mom,” Conor pointed out to her. “I actually had some laundry to do before our trip.”

 

            Both Conor and I started toward the stairs, only to have our parents intercept us with worried looks.

 

“No, no, it’s too early for stairs,” my mom insisted, guiding us toward the living room. “You’ll stay in here for a week until you can climb stairs.”

 

“I can climb stairs, Mom,” Conor pleaded, but my mother was already starting to quote research she’d done on proper recovery time for injured ankles.

 

“Am I allowed to walk upstairs?” I asked my father out of the corner of my mouth as we watched from the doorway.

 

“Might want to try before your mother can stop you,” he replied before pressing a finger to his lips with a hushing sound.

 

            It wasn’t my sneakiest or my quickest maneuver ever, but I did manage to get upstairs before my mother caught sight of me. Even with my door closed, I could hear her and Conor arguing over what he could and couldn’t do, as my father occasionally cut in with his two cents, which could tend to make no sense. My phone was resting on my bed, fully charged, and looking almost brand new. It must have been given to my parents after I was admitted, and seeing it was honestly like finding the Holy Grail lying on my pillow. My earphones weren’t far away, which meant it would only be moments before I could block out my family’s arguing voices until it was all quiet on the Devlin front again.

 

“Oh, S**T!”

 

            I froze with my hand outstretched toward my headphones on my nightstand. I knew that sound all too well. It was the sound of my mother realizing she’d just forgotten something very important.

 

“Maeve!” my mother called up the stairs. “I left my purse at the hospital!” Relax, Mom, there are worse things. “Your father’s going to have to drive me back! We’ll be back as soon as we can!”

 

“Okay!”

 

            It wasn’t a relief, necessarily, to have my parents gone already, but then again…it kind of was. Whenever I was awake in the hospital, one of them was there in my room or just down the hallway in Conor’s. I was beginning to forget other people in the world existed aside from my family and hospital staff. To get to the hospital and back was at least an hour’s trip, and at this time of night? It’d probably take them just that long to get there, let alone search for my mother’s purse. They were reluctant to leave, knowing exactly what would happen the moment the car was out of the driveway.

 

“Maeve! I’m coming upstairs!” Conor called. “If I fall and die, you can have my presidential edition of Who’s Who.”



© 2016 thegirlthatwrites


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Added on March 17, 2016
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Author

thegirlthatwrites
thegirlthatwrites

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I just really like to write, and there's not much else to it. more..

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