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Somewhere Safe--Part 6
Everything was blurry. Hazy all of the sudden. Then slowly I made my way back into the clear.
I saw Joe beside me, holding onto my hand. In all the years I’ve known Joe, he’d never cried in front of anyone; not even his own wife. But he was crying now.
He looked up sharply and then hugged me. “Oh Kathrin. Thank God.”
He pressed a button for the nurse.
“Where am I?” I asked, touching the soft floral nightgown that I was wearing.
“You’re at the hospital.”
My mind automatically brought me back, registering memory. “Because of last night?”
His eyes glinted the emotion concern as he answered,” Kathrin… You’ve been here for three days.”
I shook my head, delirious. “That’s impossible. Last night-“
“Three days ago.”
“That’s crazy.” I murmured, still thinking it was last night. How could I be gone in that dream for three days? Hours, maybe. But days? No.
“Someone is awake!”
I looked to my left. A nurse with a bouncy ponytail and soft curls falling from it was picking up a chart and on the white board ahead of me read,” Nurse Andrea” in swoopy letters that revealed an A grade in English in her school years.
“How are you feeling?” She flashed her perfectly white teeth at me while twisting a chocolate piece of hair around her finger. She didn’t look any older than I was at all and certainly didn’t look old enough to be out of collage with a degree. But I could tell that the way her fingers flitted across the keyboard, typing in something, and the way she wrote without hesitation on the little white board on the wall about my diagnosis that she was skilled and knew what she was doing. And she was beautiful in every physically possible way a girl could be and wanted to be.
“I’m…fine.” My voice was hoarse and Miss Barbie handed me a glass of water that was on the table next to me.
“Thanks.” I set the water back in its place, feeling refreshed by the small amount of water.
“No problem. Are you hungry?”
I shook my head.
Andrea shrugged. “Ok, but you’re going to have to eat sometime.”
She started to walk out of the room but then paused and said something to Joe. I could only make out a few vowels here and there but when I heard the words Gavin, Devin and Funeral all put in the same sentence, I sat straight up.
“Oh My God. Oh Lord what happened to him?”
Joe and Andrea looked at each other for a moment and I feel my heart pounding inside my rib cage and wondered if they could hear it too. I screamed to know what was going on and when Andrea looked at me with sad brown eyes, I already knew.
“Devin died, two nights ago, Kathrin.”
Maybe I had seen it coming and maybe I hadn’t but it hurt all the same. But it couldn’t have hurt as much as seeing him being drunk again, being a monster that I didn’t recognize from movies or TV shows that I’ve watched; could it?
“I shot him. I’m so sorry, he was hurting me and-“
Andrea shot up her hand to stop me. “We know. It’s not your fault, Kathrin. It’s his.”
I blinked. Never in my life have I heard those words spoken to me in one sentence, never heard that one sentence that was as foreign to me as another language. It became clear to me now that I wasn’t my fault he beat me. It wasn’t because of me breaking a dish or not having supper on time or even running away. It was something inside himself that I couldn’t tame. I wanted to love again. Wanted to love Gavin.
The nurse looked up at me from her little chart and softly said,” He hasn’t woken up yet.” I jumped out of the bed and Andrea screamed for me to get back in and called for other doctors to help her but I couldn’t hear anything accept the little voice in my head whispering Gavin, Gavin, Gavin. I ran into the hallway and screamed his name with everything I had inside of me; anger, love, hate. It was all there. Other patients looked at me as if I was crazy but I couldn’t see anything or hear anything above my own heart beating out of my chest.
Doctors grabbed me by the arms, nails digging in my skin so hard I thought I would bleed.
“Get me the Seductive!” A doctor screamed in my ear.
“Please,” Tears were soaking up my face, unveiling my weakness to everyone. “I need to see him!”
I wanted to cry out the pain inside was so harsh and brutal. It was eating away at my heart; and that was the worst kind of pain. The doctor who had black hair and envy green eyes glanced at me.
“Please.” I whispered one last time.
He sighed and Andrea whispered something to him then he said,” Ok.”
I followed behind him closely, shooing away the curious crowd that had gathered. It seemed like we were walking forever, our feet making an erratic rhythm against the tile floor. The man with the jet black hair and I passed by a family room with two little kids watching Dora the explorer help a lost puppy find his way home. On the couch a woman in her mid forties was holding a used tissue and had tears on her face and a doctor sitting beside her saying something and patting her back. I stared at the scene until we rounded the corner and then I saw a person that looked vaguely familiar but all the same I did not recognize. I pressed my right hand to the glass and my other hand to my cheek. "Oh." I sighed at my appearance; appalled by it. Scars cut across my face as if they were a reminder that I was still alive; still had a chance at life. Bruises outlined the story that hadn’t been told just yet and my blond honey colored hair was matted against my ugly face. But none of this mattered to me. Not after the h*ll I’ve been through. What mattered was the people who had stood by my bedside, held me, all the doctors coming to check up on me, making sure that I was going to be okay. That’s what mattered now.
I turned away from the mirror and let Mr. Envy Eyes lead me into Gavin’s room.
If I had any breath before I had entered that room, I’m sure I didn’t have it now. Gavin’s head was bandaged and bruised, much like my own, but it was the look of…nothing on his face made it so much harder to keep away the veil of tears. The door clicked shut, and it was a sound that shouldn’t have made me jump at the suddenness but it did.
“Gavin?” I walked closer to the stranger with Gavin’s name but not his personality that I had come to know so well. His quiet laugh that was so contagious, His smile that could light up a room, His understanding, His hands, and everything that made me love him in so many ways that the thought of me losing him was nearly impossible to remember until now.
The bed wasn’t soft like his was and the smell of sickness crawled on the walls and left their stench, until it became impossible to clean. Impossible to imagine what life was like outside these walls that sucked you in.
“Wake up Gavin. I-I need you to wake up. Please. “
I wanted to tell him he meant the world to me, that I wanted to marry him someday, that he was the only one that would really understand me but the words were caught between my heart and my mouth. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it so hard that my knuckles turned white. A slowly burning need for him to wake up was formed in my soul. “Please. I need you!” I murmured. I couldn’t lose control in a place where control was as precious as gold. “You’re the strong one, Gavin. I’m not. You were the one who pulled me through when Devin beat me. I-I never stopped to think about you. How hard that must have been on you. “
I paused long enough to make sure all my emotions were in check. They weren’t. Tears were streaming down my paled face and I could almost see my heart breaking .
“I’m so sorry. For everything.”
I laid my head on his chest falling asleep to the reassuring sound of his heart beating.