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Don't Kill Me Now (Either) Part 2
I could hear the sounds of hospital. I knew what had happened to me. I knew where I was, what was happening. I also knew it was a miracle; I'm alive.
I was listening to the frantic conversations of the doctors and nurses, my dad, but only one voice overruled the steady rhythm of the machines beside me, that indicated I was still breathing: Claire's. Before I was here, in the hospital, I was in a drunk-driving car wreck. I was the drunk driver. It wasn’t anything different that I was drunk. The only thing that changed from every other time I was drunk was that this time I wrecked.
I left the party early, tired of listening to drunken girls’ screeching voices and the loudness of the whole place. As I was driving away from the house, I realized how drunk I was. I debated to pull over and call one of my friends (I didn't really have any friends, but I had those people I was nice to in case of times like these, when I needed a designated driver). I decided no, I could make it the few miles it was (twelve) to my house.
When I came to the stop sign I was to turn at, I didn't see the car coming from my left. By the time I realized, it was too late. I didn't hit the brake on time and my car crashed into the Mini Cooper that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Cooper went sliding into the railing caddy corner from my car, spinning both them and me.
My car smashed into the railing on the other side, crushing me. Pain rippled up my left leg, pain I'd never known before, all the way up my body. I felt like I'd fainted, but next thing I knew, I was standing outside the car disconcerted, shredded clothing, no pain, blood all over me. I looked up from myself and saw the real me, the human me, my body, in the smashed car. His head was bloody, looked like a smashed watermelon. His shoulders were limp. The car door was completely indented, cutting into his legs, the steering wheel bent unnaturally.
As soon as I realized I was looking at my dead body, I ran. My feet just ran away, leading me where I did not know. I wound up at a random house I'd never seen before, walked up the minimal steps to the porch and into the door that lead to the kitchen.
The first thing I saw was her gorgeous face, her sad, pained, depressing, dark brown eyes. She looked up, directly at me, but I didn't think she should be able to see me. She did though, I could tell, the shocked look on her face explained that. I didn't know if I should say something, communicate somehow, or just leave it alone.
No one else could see me; they were all busy drinking themselves to death (like me). The beautiful girl sat her beer on the table. I smiled at her, as if to say 'good job, now leave it there'. I decided I would try to talk to this girl, but obviously not here, that would be strange. I nodded my head towards the door I just came from, and walked out it, to sit on the curb (the curb no person that's alive should sit on) by a stop sign.
It seemed like it took her forever to get here, but right as I was about to give up on her I could hear her footsteps closing in on me. I didn't look up quite yet, and she said 'I'm not sitting there.' She seemed a strong personality; I liked that about her. I let that sit for a minute, just going back over her words, beautiful voice still ringing through my ears, magnificently. 'Yeah, I know."
We began to talk; I tried to tell her to stop doing what she was doing to herself. Suddenly I knew a lot about her: her name, her past, her problems, her pain. I knew it. I felt it. I savored her name, beautiful as it is, matching who she is. I pondered over her past, regretting it. I ached for her problems, wanting to make them my own to take them away from her. I yelled at the pain she felt, trying to make it stop. Awhile into our talk, I hurt her feelings. She looked too deep in thought, but her solitude brought out even more of her beauty and dazzling eyes. Her dark brown, perfect eyes were her best feature, they showed her soul. Her long, curly, black hair only increased the beauty in them. I wanted to brush my fingers through her hair.
She’d gone to check on a girl that sat, drunk, on the porch. When she returned, I told her my name, because she asked.
I was looking at the wreck, regretful. I could feel her eyes penetrating the back of my head, so I turned to look in her beautiful eyes, trying to burn the picture of them into my head, figuring I'd be stuck as a ghost, and I wanted to keep that beauty with me forever. I don't know why, but she reached out to put her hand on mine. It was perfect, her hand. I couldn't actually feel it though, just the weight of it. That stung, I wanted to feel the warmth, the silky skin, the beauty of her hand. I felt a sudden pull to kiss her, to just reach in and steal a kiss from her, but if she denied, I'd accept that, I promised to be okay with that. But as I put my hand on her perfect face, and leaned in to kiss her, she didn't pull away. When I couldn't feel that either it stabbed me in the chest, and a light bulb hit me.
I pulled away from her, and slid my hand out from under hers. As she opened her eyes, I was already walking, walking away from her, towards my body that laid in an open body bag on the ground by the wreck. I quickly got there, and sat down by my body, sliding myself into it, trying to bring it back, to make it live, breath. I saw her running towards me as I did so, but I didn't stop. And then it all went black again. I was gone.
It took a while, but finally I could feel the pain again. The pain of my dead, cold body, that shouldn't have felt a thing. I could hear her heavy breathing over me, and footsteps closing in on her, on me, on both of us. "Can I help you with something, Hun?" A deep voice asked Claire. I forced myself to come back, to make everything okay. I tried to make my heart beat. Suddenly, I felt a thud in my chest, and I slowly, faintly sucked in a breath of oxygen through my nose. I wanted to smile, but my body wouldn't allow it.
Claire began to scream passionately, "HE'S BREATHING! HE'S BREATHING!" I felt the pain, the desperation, the love in her voice, more than I'd ever felt before. I felt her pain, the same pain I ached. I knew her desperation, I was frantic myself. And I loved her love, because I loved her too.
I still couldn't move any part of my body other than my heart. It was a struggle to keep the oxygen in me, to keep my heart beating. Claire was my purpose. If she weren't there, I wouldn't be either. But if I had been here without her, I'd just give up. I'd let go. There'd be no reason.
I could hear her steady breathing beside me, her soothing hum to “Baby Come Back”. Yes, I know that's not a soothing song, but a ridiculous one. Obviously she soothed herself with things like that, the little things that cheer her up. I wanted to chuckle, but I was still too far away. I sang the words in my head as she hummed them, "Baby Come Back, you can blame it all on me". But there was not a thing to blame on her.
I heard her sigh. I felt her hand slide into mine. I tried to squeeze, I'd heard how people in a coma can do that. It didn't work though.
She laid her head on my shoulder, the kind of thing that normally would’ve made me smile, brush her hair behind her ear, kiss her forehead. Instead, I felt her sobs as she stopped humming. I felt my heart clench up, stop beating. I forced it to beat. I forced it to live. I could not die. My heart rate picked up, and I tried to squeeze Claire's hand again. I felt my finger twitch, and her head pull up off my shoulder. Her gasp was the next thing I heard, followed by my dad's voice asking, "What, Claire?" Was he actually concerned? I was surprised he would even be here. "His finger moved." She told him.
Nothing else was said until a voice I didn't recognize said, "He could be waking up soon. We will keep an eye on him. Are you sure you don't want to go home and get some sleep?" Obviously it was a doctor. "Its 3 in the morning," he continued, "and he won't be going anywhere." He gave a slight chuckle, and the hand I still held in mine squeezed painfully.
"No," Claire snapped. She started humming again, but it wasn't the same song before, it was slower, softer, something I didn't recognize. "Eric, you have to come back to me. I have to be able to kiss you and not be afraid of you disappearing. I want to be able to feel your skin, your breath. You have to wake up." I'm trying, I wanted to say. I need to feel you. I need to be able to hold you. But of course I couldn't say it. I squeezed my fingers to her hand, to signal what I'd tried to say. "Eric?" She asked.
I wondered if I could talk without opening my mouth, to moan, groan, hum. I tried, and heard a moan come from inside me. She laughed, a joyful laugh, that would’ve made me smile. "Eric, I know you can hear me. I just wish I could hear you." I groaned. "You know, I had to scream my head off to get you here: and to get myself in your room. They weren't going to let me, but I pretty much made them. I'm a very convincing person." She kind of laughed, lightening the mood. I squeezed her hand again.
The Paramedics put Eric on a stretcher, and into the Ambulance. They wouldn't let me ride with him, but they let me sit up front. So I did.
There were two ambulances. The other one contained the two people that were in the car Eric hit. I didn't know much about them, except they were both girls and one of them was in worse shape than Eric, but she still had a pulse. They were going to life flight her but they didn't because it would’ve just taken longer than driving the 2 and a half miles to the hospital they would’ve taken her to anyways.
When we got to the hospital, they wheeled Eric in with me trailing right behind them. When we got to the room, the paramedics wouldn't let me in. They said only doctors were allowed while they revived him. I screamed as loud as I could that I was going in that room, I screamed over and over, demanding them to let me in. I broke into hysterics. After a few minutes of my never-ending screams, they let me go in.
Shortly after, a man that kind of looked like Eric, only a lot older, walked in the room. He gave me a questioning look. I didn't reply.
"Who are you?" He asked.
"Claire." That's all I said. There wasn't much more I could say.
"Oh." He still didn't sound satisfied. "Well, I'm his father," he nodded towards Eric.
Of course, I thought. His loving and caring father. Although, I did give him kudos. If this were me, my mom wouldn't have bothered to come.
I stood, watching the nurses talking to the doctor, evaluating Eric. I heard them say things like "Fractured arm", "3 broken ribs", "bruised skull", and "shattered leg". It was painful even for me. The doctor and nurses took him into a different room to reset his arm and leg, stop the bleeding, and mend his ribs.
I sat in the hard plastic chair that was by the absent bed of Eric's, and stared at the kitties that were printed on the ceiling tiles (probably to be cute, but it was just creepy). By the time Eric and the nurses got back, it seemed hours. I pulled myself closer to him, and slid my hand in his, humming the most ridiculous, non-soothing song on the face of the planet: Baby Come Back. I have no idea why. But it kind of mellowed me out, while I waited for him.
His dad still stood by the doorway; just standing there, sometimes answering and asking questions between the nurses. I sighed, and laid my head on Eric's shoulder. After a while of thinking about how we could be, I felt something in my hand move. Then I realized it was him; it was his finger. I gasped.
"What, Claire?" His dad asked.
"His finger moved." I told him.
The doctor came back in the room as I said that, and replied, "He could be waking up soon. We will keep an eye on him. Are you two sure you don't want to go home and get some sleep? Its 3 in the morning, and he won't be going anywhere." I clenched my teeth as he slightly chuckled. I squeezed Eric's hand as hard as I could, holding him to me.
I snapped at the doctor, "No.
“Eric, you have to come back to me," I said. "I have to be able to kiss you and not be afraid of you disappearing." I felt a tear run down my face. "I want to be able to feel your skin, your breath. You have to wake up." He squeezed my hand and moaned. I don't know why, but that made me laugh, a happy laugh. "Eric, I know you can hear me. I just wish I could hear you." He groaned at me. "You know, I had to scream my head off to get you here. And to get myself in your room. They weren't going to let me, but I pretty much made them. I'm a very convincing person." I laughed again, trying to lighten things up. He squeezed my hand again: I liked that. I just wish it was more. And as I said that, I saw the corners of his mouth turn up into a smile. I gasped again, the beauty of it shocking me all over again.
"Eric? Eric, wake up. Just open your eyes. I need to see your eyes." He didn't do it, but he rubbed his thumb along the side of my hand. I kissed the palm of his hand.
The doctor came back in and asked if he'd communicated again in any way. I nodded and told him. "Well, we should let him rest right now, we don’t want to push him. You should go home, get some sleep, and come back around 10 tomorrow." I debated. I figured it would be better for Eric, to let him rest. I got up, nodded, kissed his forehead and pulled my hand out of his.
"Good night, Eric. I'll be back in the morning."
His dad walked over to him, sat down, and simply said, "Come back, son. We need you here." He got back up and walked out the door ahead of me. As I started to walk out the door, I heard Eric groan again, turned and looked at him. His eye lids fluttered, and finally opened. I smiled. "Wait," he struggled to get out, and he shot a small, delirious smile back at me. "I love you, Claire," he said in short spurts of air, struggling. I gave a shy laugh, as I felt the heat occupy my face.
I looked in his eyes and said, "I love you too, Eric." I blew a kiss to him, and walked out the door to get a Taxi to take me home for the night. I'd be back in the morning.