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Chapter Two

Chapter 2
As Wendy began to drift into consciousness, she could sense light above her through her eyelids. Blinking, she found herself staring at fluorescent lights rolling by above her. She began to panic when she tried to sit up but couldn’t- she was strapped to a rolling gurney.
All of a sudden, the pain came surging back. Her shoulder felt like it was on fire and her whole body ached.
Wendy moaned.
“Oh! Oh, Wendy, thank God you’re awake!”
Wendy rolled her eyes back and saw Roxanne rushing alongside the gurney with a relieved expression on her face.
“Wha- what happened to your face…?” Wendy grunted.
The whole left side of her face looked puffy and bruised.
“Tessa slammed my head into the bus wall by my ponytail, remember? But forget about me, are you alright?!” she exclaimed, panting as they turned a corner, paramedics calling out instructions to each other.
“Oh, never bet-” Wendy coughed, then groaned. “-ter. Ugh, my shoulder’s killing me…”
“Oh, Wendy… Tessa was relentless. When you were out, she kept going strong. Once the bus driver called an ambulance, he called the cops on her. It took him and two guys on our bus to pull her off of you and keep her down. Wendy, when I get my hands on her, I’m gonna-” Roxanne tensed.
“No, no, don’t even think about it. She’s fast for a girl her size. And even stronger than she looks.” Wendy wheezed. She stared at the ceiling. “I can’t believe things escalated that quickly. Is Lea okay?”
“Yeah, I think she’ll be okay. I told her I’d help her look for her doll tomorrow- but she was mostly worried about you. She told me she felt like this whole thing was her fault.” Roxanne replied shaking her head, holding the door of the emergency room open for the paramedics to push the gurney in.
“No… no way. I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to… well, if I wasn’t in the hospital…” she paused. “I shouldn’t have let things get so personal. I shouldn’t have let Tessa get to me… I still can’t believe I punched her… I’ve never done anything like that before.”
“How could the things she said not get to you?” Roxanne put her hand on Wendy’s arm, who flinched. “Oh, sorry… I mean, given Tessa’s size, punching her probably wasn’t the smartest choice, but I definitely don’t blame you for-”
Just then, two nurses entered the room.
Wendy tapped the tall brunette nurse on the arm, then winced from the movement.
“Ah, I noticed a lump on the back of my shoulder that I’d never seen before- I was wondering if someone could check if it was-” Wendy paused to cough. “-anything to worry about while I’m here- I don’t normally get doctor’s checkups.”
As Wendy spoke with the nurse, the male nurse patted Roxanne on the shoulder.
“Mind if I ask you some questions about your friend?” he asked kindly.
“Ah, sure.” Roxanne nodded, glancing at Wendy being checked out in the big, white room before she walked away.
Once the two of them were seated in a pre-op room, the nurse pulled out a clipboard.
“Okay, I’ll need to know some information about your friend. Name?” he asked.
“Wendy Walker.”
“Seventeen- her birthday’s November 3rd, 1995.”
“Okay, what are the names of her parents?”
Roxanne was cut off. At that moment, Miss Turner burst into the room.
“Sorry about the delay, I had to finish the last couple minutes of Wheel of Fortune,” she said, chomping her gum. She flipped her frosted blonde bangs out of her eyes as she took a seat.
Roxanne raised her eyebrows. “I sent you a text saying to meet me at the hospital; Wendy was hurt.”
“Well, it didn’t sound very urgent…” Miss Turner trailed off, checking out the handsome nurse.
Roxanne rolled her eyes. “Anything that has the word ‘hospital’ in it is gonna be urgent,” she sighed.
Miss Turner leaned forward and held out her hand to the nurse. “Hi, I’m Marsha Turner. Nice to meet you, Doctor.” she smiled sweetly, lingering in her hunched position to show off her plunging neckline. Roxanne gagged.
The nurse shook her hand. “Ah, nice to meet you too, although I must say, I’m not a doctor, I’m a nurse,” he chuckled nervously, obviously feeling awkward.
“Oh.” Miss Turner’s face fell slightly, disillusioned.
“So, I’m guessing you’re Wendy’s mother?” he asked, pulling his hand away to grab his pen.
“Oh, heck no… I mean, ah, no, I’m her guardian. She and Roxanne here both live at my home for girls,” she replied, caught off guard.
“Oh, okay…” he said, writing down information. “So, how exactly did this happen?”
“Well, their parents… died…” Miss Turner cocked an eyebrow.
Roxanne put her head in her hand.
“No, no, I men Wendy’s accident…” the nurse replied with a weird expression on his face.
“Well,” began Roxanne. “Wendy was in a fight on the bus… it was mostly the other girl; she dislocated her shoulder, I think, and knocked her unconscious. She was beating on her pretty hard… she may have even cracked a rib or something…”
“I see…” he mused. “And I heard her mention something about a strange lump on her shoulder earlier, although I realize that’s unrelated to her accident today…”
“So, what are we talking cost-wise here?” Miss Turner interrupted.
“Ah, well, I suppose it mostly depends on whether or not an operation would be necessary… although if that lump really is cancerous, it could be rather costly to have it removed, especially if the cancer has spread…” the nurse replied, rubbing his chin.
“What?! I can’t afford cancer!” the woman exclaimed.
Roxanne gave her a dirty look. The nurse raised his eyebrows.
“We’re barely getting by as it is! I don’t even have the money for my monthly massage!” Miss Turner continued, throwing up her hands.
“Monthly massa- so that’s why we couldn’t pay the electric bill last month…” Roxanne scowled.
“I mean, sure, every once in awhile I’m able to squeeze in a pedicure…”
“What?! Miss Turner, we need money for winter coats! And groceries! And the water bill! Speaking of, did you pay that?” Roxanne narrowed her eyes.
“Oh, now that you mention it, I don’t think I did… I had to fit in my laser hair removal appointment. Trust me, I needed it. Momma was gettin’ hairy.” Miss Turner nodded.
“Ugh! I can’t believe you. You’re so selfish! We girls are suffering from your lack of responsibility!” Roxanne blurted out.
Miss Turner smacked her on the leg. “How dare you! Who changed your alls’ diapers?!”
“Mrs. Bartley,” Roxanne crossed her arms. “Our neighbor.”
“Who?” Miss Turner wrinkled her brow.
“The same woman who rescued us from that shady babysitter you left us with when you went to Mauii!” she exclaimed. “Oh, this is hopeless! What about Wendy’s medical bill? I don’t know what we’ll do if she actually does have cancer!” Roxanne bit her lip.
“Well,” the nurse cut in. “I’d have to consult Wendy’s doctor, but I think there’s a solution for your problem- the possibility of a big bill and not a lot of money? There’s an experimental treatment Wendy may be eligible for if she does, in fact, have cancer.”
“Oh, good. We’ll do that.” Miss Turner replied, gathering her purse and standing up.
“Uh, hold on- we need to ask Wendy first- you said this treatment was experimental?” Roxanne asked nervously.
“Yes- but all of the tests so far have been promising. Wendy would be the first trial. Now, because of the treatments’ experimental nature, you wouldn’t have to pay for it- she’d get paid for volunteering.” he replied as Miss Turner’s eyes widened.
“You all would pay us?” Miss Turner’s jaw dropped.
“She would be paid, yes.” he said. “Quite well. It would be sent straight to her savings account.”
Roxanne glanced at Miss Turner and could practically hear cogs turning in her head. She’d find a way to get ahold of that money.
“Um, I’ll talk to Wendy about it… see what she thinks.” Roxanne said, slowly standing to her feet.
“Oh, I’ll do it. I think it’d be best if she heard the news from me…” Miss Turner stepped towards the door. “Thank you for speaking with us, Doctor.”
“He’s a nurse,” Roxanne whispered, following her out the door.
“Oh, right.” she snapped her fingers in indignation.
“Ah, Miss Turner? I’m going to the bathroom- her room’s on the third floor. Just ask the receptionist.”
Roxanne chuckled to herself as Miss Turner, whose lack of punctuality had just been used against her, sped off. She waited for her gullible guardian to enter the elevator, then she quickly walked to the receptionist’s desk down the hall.
“Ah, excuse me? I’d like to see Wendy Walker, please?” she asked politely.
“You’re going to have to wait about forty-five more minutes, hon,” the lady said, checking her computer. “Your friend just had some anesthesia when they popped in that shoulder of hers.”
“Oh… okay…” she sighed. She’d have to stall Miss Turner- it’d probably take her less than forty-five minutes to realize she’d been duped. Roxanne hoped she’d be able to reach Wendy first- she didn’t want that greedy woman to guilt her into giving her the treatment payment for some reason- or worse yet, try to pressure her into doing something that could be potentially dangerous. She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and called her home phone.
Bridget, a younger girl at the home, picked up.
“Hello? Who’s this?”
“It’s me, Roxanne.”
“Did Miss Turner find out I faked being sick to get out of school?!” Bridget exclaimed.
“Do you really think she’d care if she’d noticed?” Roxanne asked impatiently.
“Oh, um… no. Duh. But anyway, what is it?”
“It’s kind of a long story, but I need you to stall Miss Turner- can you do that for me? Like, call her or something.”
“Oh, yeah, sure. I’ll call her. Bye!” Bridget laughed, hanging up.
Roxanne glanced up and down the halls. A couple minutes later, she heard the elevator door ‘ding.’ Miss Turner came racing out, holding her cell phone to her ear.
“Roxanne!” she huffed. “Bridget’s on the phone- she says the house is on fire- I gotta go!”
She could hear Bridget screaming her head off on the other end like a maniac.
“Oh! My baby!” Miss Turner yelped as she ran out the door. Somehow Roxanne knew she was talking about her designer purse.
Awhile later, she got the ‘okay’ from the receptionist, then made her way to Wendy’s room, just down the hall. She quietly walked inside and pulled up a chair next to the bed, lightly tapping her hand.
“Wendy?” she whispered.
Wendy groggily opened her eyes. “Roxanne? Is that you?”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s me. Are you doing okay?” Roxanne asked.
Wendy sighed deeply, looking tired and broken. “Yeah, I think so. I got a biopsy scheduled for later today to check out that lump… mole… thing. Goodness knows we haven’t been getting regular check-ups and probably won’t ever get them, if we have to depend on Miss Turner to get us here.”
“Yeah… speaking of the lump… and Miss Turner… we were speaking with a nurse in a pre-op room, and he was telling us that if you did happen to have cancer, you would be eligible to volunteer for an experimental treatment- I think I tipped him off that our funds are, ah, less than stellar when I was arguing with Miss Turner- he said… let’s see… he says the results of previous tests were promising, but you’d be the first to try it. And he said you’d be paid a lot for doing it.” Roxanne paused and looked around the drab, off-white room. “I really hope you don’t have cancer…”
“Oh, me too… I can’t believe this is all happening right now. This has been the worst day ever…” Wendy rolled her head back and groaned.
“I really felt like I had to tell you about the treatment as soon as possible- Miss Turner was probably going to guilt you into doing it, and say something like, ‘It’s the least you can do for the girls- we could really use all that money to pay the bills,’ and then turn around and spend it on shoes or something. I just… I don’t want you to feel like you have to go through with this, if it’s necessary. And if she tries to pull any “for the children” stuff on you, don’t listen to her- we’ll be okay. I’d rather have our water and lights shut off forever that to have something bad happen to you from that experiment…” Roxanne gave her a sad smile.
Wendy took her hand. “Thank you, Roxanne… for everything. So… you said the tests for the treatment were good?”
Roxanne nodded. “That’s what he said.”
“Then… if it turns out I do have cancer I think I’d go through with the experimental treatment… it’s not like we could pay for anything anyway. But I wouldn’t give Miss Turner any of the payment… I’d send it to your savings account to keep it safe while I’m recovering, so she can’t spend it deceitfully. I know you’ll use it to help the others and take care of them,” Wendy exhaled.
“Are you sure?” Roxanne asked. Wendy nodded, then sighed. She turned on a T.V with a remote sitting on a small table nearby as Roxanne settled in beside her.
She straightened Wendy’s blankets. “What do we do now?”
“Now…” Wendy swallowed. “We wait.”
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This book has 37 comments. Post your own now!

Elphabalover72 said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:09 pm
I really love the emotion and the characters are well developed. You just have one misspelling. "Te," is supposed to be, "the."
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:46 am
Thanks, and sorry about the typos- I tend to type faster and sloppier when I'm excited about what I'm writing! :)
EternallyReading said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm
I like where you're going with this. Usually I'm not a big fan of third person, but I think it really works here. There were a few places where you skipped some words, but overall it was grammar mistake free. I think you've done a great job on character development as well. Keep up the good work :)
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Thanks! I was so excited to post the first chapter of my story that I didn't want to wait until the next day, so I ended up typing it out and posting it at around 1:00 in the morning. So that's my explanation for the typos. I'm glad you liked it anyway, though! :)
bluearmadillo2000 said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm
What an amazing story! I hope you post the rest soon. I really like the way that it is more realistic than some orphan stories where they live in a dump with obviously evil people as your characters have a huge range of personalities!
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:23 am
Thanks a lot for the comment! Yeah, I tried to vary the personalities as much as I could- I've always pictured the girls' home keeper, Miss Turner, as a bony, middle aged lady who wears way too much make-up, rather than a frumpy Miss Hannigan... :)
lucybrown said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm
Wow, I really like this.  The idea you have here is very creative and intriguing.  I like your characters and the part on the bus where Tessa took Lea's doll from her was a very well written scene and it really brought out your character's personalities- it had a lot of great emotion in it as well.  I also like your dialogue- it's very realistic and powerful.  Some suggestions that I have:  I couldn't picture your characters very well.  You don't... (more »)
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm
This is very helpful; thanks for the comment! I'll keep all of this in mind. :)
Jared K. said...
Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm
Great Work! Your setup is one of the best ive seen, and on top of that, your characters are interesting right from the get-go. Cant wait for the next part
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:48 am
Thanks a lot! I tried to make my intro seem sort of heroic. :)
writesomethingalways This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm
I really like it so far! Do you have more chapters yet? Nice cliffhanger..... lol, I'm definitely anxious to see what happens next.
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm
I'm so glad you like it! I'm thinking maybe next time I submit work it will be the rest of the story... I'm about halfway done writing it. Thanks for the comment! :)
writesomethingalways This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:04 am
Awesome! Can't wait to see it! You're welcome!
Island-Star replied...
Mar. 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm
This is really good! I like the action and emotion in the story. I want to read more! :)
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm
Thanks! There'll be even more action and emotion when the 'metal' part comes into play! :)
meggles said...
Mar. 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm
this is great! Can't wait to read the rest!!
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:49 am
Thanks for the comment- I think next time I post, it will be the rest. :)

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