Without words, he was able to tell her, able to say ‘I can’t handle it any longer’ and she felt his pain.
In a second, relief was turned to fear, and the loud shattering of the bottle sent him to the floor.
The small glittering fragments smelled of metallic and blood. It was painful.
She needed to help him, but how? How was she to heal him? When all he wanted to do was feel pain?
The hospital was crowded, like everyone was dying in the same night.
“Help!” She screamed, glass from the floor just minutes before, digging into her arms and legs.
“He’s dying! Can anyone help?” It was like they couldn’t hear her, it was like they were all deaf and she was silent, they were completely oblivious to his condition. Oblivious to the dying, bleeding boy in the girls arms, red, staining both of their complexions.
It took a full twenty seconds for someone to notice her, dragging him farther into the hospital tars and blood smeared across her face.
He was in the ICU for a few days, when he recovered enough to come home, he was still bruised, and cut, enough to bring tears to her eyes. Though it was an even split of sadness and relief to see him again.
She muttered, sobbing still, standing alone, in front of the boy she had saved. But her words were about how sorry she was, how bad she felt, about getting him into that mess, about not getting him help faster.
“Stop.” He spoke as firmly as possible, tears pricking at his eyes and his throat tensing. “Don’t do this to yourself. This was my mess not yours.” She lifted her head slightly, and his heart broke slightly for her. She still had cuts along her arms and on her legs. Her pajama shorts mid thigh revealed, a larger cut, covered in gauze, swollen.
“But--” She was cut off,
“No. Look at you, I did this, no, why, why were you there? Why did you come back? You would have been fine if you just left me there.” Her eyes lingered to the floor, filled with sadness. He couldn’t handle this, she was hurt because of him, and he was alive because of her.
Her chest tightened, making it harder for her to breath, without crying, and soon enough, she let out a sob. Still standing in the middle of the hallway, facing him. The tears began to pour. The hot little drops of salty water giving a soft thud as each one hit the ground.
It was becoming more and more painful, watching her cry. This was his fault too, but he didn’t want her to see him cry, he didn’t want her to be his hero. He wanted to be her knight in shining armor. Her knees began to shake uncontrollably. Before she could collapse to the ground he took her into his arms, ignoring the sore pain jolting through him with every slight movement.
Could he make her feel better about this? Would she recover mentally from this tragedy she witnessed. No, not tragedy, nor accident, nor crime, or death. They were both alive, with the bruises, and cuts to prove it. They can feel the pain, that only a living person can feel. We feel pain to know that we are alive.
Her energy slowly was regained. The couch he had led her to, was soft, and warm. But every small touch to her cuts gave her pain. He left for a few minutes, when he returned, he carried a warm cup. The smooth, milky, and chocolaty flavor glided down her throat and spread warmth across her chest. Calming her the slightest bit.
He sat next to her on the couch while she slowly sipped the drink, staring into it, mesmerized by the steam rising from the cup. The only thing he felt he could do for her was help her recover and comfort her as much as possible.
When the cup was empty a small clink was emitted when she placed it gently on the side table. She shuddered at the now lack of warmth. But closed her eyes anyways, exhausted from the day.
He placed a fuzzy blanket across her curled up figure. And when he sat next to her, he was entangled in the blanket and she was wrapped around his arm. As if he were to pull away she would loose everything she worked so hard to save.
He didn’t object, as the slightest touch of her hands calmed him, and sent him into the same blissful sleep she was headed toward.
He woke to a brisk shaking. When his eyes opened, the shaking stopped and he was embraced, in a warm hug, bringing the same blissful feeling to him. “Hey, hey it’s alright.” He rubbed her back in reassurance that he was there, and wouldn’t leave. Her crying had become silent.
He took her still curled up figure to lean against his entire side, and just watched the slight rise and fall of her shoulders. Watching the simple movement of life. The simple movement that told him it would be alright.