Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty

A Chapter by Ocularfracture
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In the hospital, after the incident, Miranda gets an unexpected visitor.

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The smell of a hospital is very unusual, and thus it is difficult to explain.  On one hand, it is very distinct�"very familiar. You smell that scent, a mangled conglomeration of latex gloves, disinfectants and clean linens, and even if you’re blindfolded, you’ll know where you are.

No matter how long you stay, you never seem to get used to it. Every breath that you take fills your nostrils with bits of wooden tongue depressors and liquid hand sanitizer, reminding you that you’re still there; still a prisoner.

The doctors say I sustained some minor head trauma and have insisted that I remain in their care for at least a couple of days while they monitor me, though all I really want is just to go home, rest and pretend that none of this mess ever happened.

Alice didn’t make it. The officer who shot her had aimed for the arm, but missed and punctured a lung, instead. They say that she may have survived if paramedics had shown up sooner, but unfortunately, they were too late.

Alice’s untimely death has had a mixed effect on me.

It feels like a part of me is missing. At the same time, though it shames me to admit it, I find myself feeling slightly relieved. I’m having such a hard time coming to terms with the entire situation. My life long best friend is gone and never coming back.

She is never coming back because she tried to kill me.

My oldest, dearest and only friend tried to murder me, and died in the attempt. It’s like a bad dream that I can’t seem to wake up from.

Part of me feels incredibly sad for Alice.

She was so afraid of losing her love that she drove herself insane and ultimately caused it to happen.

All she needed to do was focus on treating him better and spending more time with him. Instead, she worried herself sick about things that never would have happened if she hadn’t worried about them in the first place.

But then, a much smaller and extremely private part of me feels relief that she is no longer an obstacle in my life. She will never again be there to keep me from what I want, or take it away from me. She will no longer be able to keep me apart from the man I have come to love. And, of course, she will never again try to kill us.

Floyd squeezes my hand from the chair next to my hospital bed.

“Hopefully we’ll be out of here soon,” he says. “I want to go home just as much as you do. But I’ll be damned if I’m leaving your side.”

I smile, sitting up a little.

“Go home and rest,” I insist. “I’ll be okay here by myself.”

Floyd shakes his head.

“Nope,” he says. “I’m not leaving until you do. Ladies first, they say.”

“But surely you’d like to take a shower, or something. Brush your teeth? You know, freshen up.”

“You trying to say I stink?” Floyd asks, tugging at my hand.

I laugh aloud.

“No, of course not! I just don’t want you to have to hang around here all bored and stuff.”

“I’m not bored,” says Floyd. “And the only place I’m going is to get us some lunch.”

He stands, kissing my forehead.

“I love you, Miranda. I’ll be back soon.”

I smile and watch him disappear through the door, where a moment later, I hear him bump into someone, excusing himself.

His footsteps continue down the hallway, but another set of footsteps ventures closer and suddenly, a man walks through the door, his face obscured by a large vase of flowers.

He strides over and sets them down on the window sill, before turning to me and smiling shyly�"that same shy smile that I saw for just a moment at the lake, right before they brought me here.

“How are you feeling?” he asks, sitting down next to me.

“I feel fine,” I tell him. “I’d really just like to go home.”

He nods, silently.

“So,” I say. “You were following me, weren’t you? I saw your car everywhere I went.”

Alfonso hangs his head, frowning.

“Yes… I’m afraid so,” he says. “And I know that it was awful, and I can only imagine what you must think of me…” He sighs, looking out the window. “I didn’t do it to hurt or scare you,” he continues. “But you didn’t want to talk to me anymore, and I was worried about you, so I wanted a way to check up on you and make sure you were alright. I don’t know… It was a stupid thing to do, and I’m sorry. I really am.”

I shake my head in disbelief.

“So, you… You saw us that night? You saw me…”

“Only through binoculars!” he says. “And it was really dark! I mean, I know that probably doesn’t make you feel any better, but… Think of it like this: If I hadn’t been there, you’d be dead. It was me who called the cops.”

I slam my mouth shut.

“Yeah, see?” Alfonso grins. “Everything happens for a reason. And now that we have that reason taken care of, I can leave you alone and stop following you around.”

I smile, nodding.

“I suppose I should thank you, too, for saving our lives,” I say to him as I reach out to shake his hand.

“Hey, it’s no problem,” he says, his grip good and firm. “So, does that guy make you happy?”

I nod.

“Yes, he does. I’ve never really been happy with anyone before. It’s nice.”

Alfonso smiles.

“Well, that’s good to hear, then,” he says. “As long as you’re happy and someone loves and is taking care of you, then I’m happy for you. You have my blessing.”

He stands back up, stretching.

“Well… I guess I’ve probably bothered you long enough,” he says. “I should get out of here now. But those are for you, obviously,” he indicates the flowers. “And if you ever need anything, you can call me. I’d like to start over again and be friends, if that’s alright. But I understand that you’ve been through a lot, so just take your time. I’ll be around.”

He smiles at me and then bends down to give me a tentative hug.

“Bye now,” he says, shuffling through the door.

As soon as he leaves, I realize that I’m alone now, for the first time in quite awhile, and it feels strange.

Reaching for the remote control, I flip on the wall-mounted television, and surf through the channels, hoping for anything that might take my mind off the sudden loneliness.

Most of the channels seem to be playing either commercials or boring garbage that I could care less about, and before I’ve even managed to find anything interesting to watch, Floyd returns, carting a whole treasure trove of goodies in his arms.

“Gotcha some lunch,” he says, sitting down beside me and spilling the contents onto the table.

He hands me a mini sub sandwich on wheat bread, a small bag of baked corn chips, and a bottle of green tea.

“Gotta make sure you’re nice and healthy,” he says.

I smile and thank him, tearing the cellophane off my sandwich before ripping into it with my ferociously hungry teeth.

As we eat, I continue to flip through channels with a total of zero luck. Finally, I just shut it off and stare out the window.

“So, I was thinking,” says Floyd, turning to face me. “And I realize that this might be a bad time to talk about something like this, but… It’s one of those things I just can’t hold off on. You know?”

I nod my head, pretending to understand.

“Miranda…” Floyd takes my hand, gazing into my eyes. “In the most unorthodox and unusual way ever, I would like to ask you a question. See, I’ve had my eye on you for three years, and now that I finally have you, I don’t want any chance of losing you again, so my dear… Would you marry me?”

All that food threatens to jump right back up my throat and out of my mouth, as my stomach twists itself into a fluttery knot.

“Floyd…” I say. “It’s… I mean, you don’t think it’s soon?”

“I do think it’s soon,” he says, “for anyone else. But we’ve been through something together that most people haven’t, and I think it gives us a kind of special bond. How often do you nearly die with someone? I think that if we can make it through death together, then we can definitely make it through life together.”

Floyd’s eyes are a bit pink, and I can feel that he’s trembling slightly.

“It must have taken so many balls to ask me this,” I say softly. “And honey, I admire your courage. But I’ve never even been with anyone before. How can I be sure that I’d make a good wife?”

“You love me,” he says. “You nearly died because of me, and yet you’re still here with me now. That’s all it really takes.”

I smile so big that my cheeks ache, and tears spill out of my eyes.

“So… Will you do it?” he asks. “Will you be my bride?”

“How could I say no to that?” I cry.

Floyd stands up and wraps his arms around me, embracing me tightly.

“Why,” he whispers into my ear, “would you want to?”

 

 

 



© 2012 Ocularfracture


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Added on April 10, 2012
Last Updated on April 10, 2012
Tags: psychological, trigger song, music, vision, premonition, friends, mental, crazy psychosis, therapist


Author

Ocularfracture
Ocularfracture

Bennington, NE



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I've been writing since I learned how. I'm not saying that 5-year-old work was any good. All's I'm sayin' is that the passion has been there as far back as I can remember. My mother always read me sto.. more..

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