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Stable Ground 10
“We were outside. Climbing a fence. I got my pants stuck and lost my balance, then I fell and the pants ripped. Well, apparently, so did my skin.” I confessed. He laughed at my explanation, leaving his chair to stand at the foot of the bed. For the first time, I looked down to my leg and understood why Olivia had to leave the room. The gash was long, thick, and dark, deep, red. Never before that moment did the sight of blood make me sick. Maybe the pain of it made my head spin, rather than the blood itself. I would say that, not admitting to weakness. Stubborn, as always.
I turned my head away, into the pillow on the bed, facing the corner that Jonathan occupied. He smiled and came over to kneel at the ground beside me. “Hurt?” he asked, trying to distract me. Jonathan brushed a few strands of my spiraled hair over my shoulder, blocking my view of the doctor. I focused on him, his face, and tried to hold back the sobs that rose in my chest.
“Partly,” I breathed. He kept smiling at me, softly and beautifully.
“Sam?” I heard the doctor say, along with the sound of a metal cart being pulled through the curtained area, stopping beside the doctor “I’m going to clean it out. It will sting, okay? Just hold your breath. Have you had a tenuous shot lately?” he asked. I heard the clang of two metal objects and dreaded the next part.
“I don’t know,” I answered. He lifted my leg gingerly and secured a towel beneath it. I decided to peek at that moment, which was a big mistake. The doctor- who’s name I now noticed I didn’t know- was about to a poor a clear liquid in a plastic bottle onto my leg. The second the liquid made contact with the wound, it seared. Fire danced on my leg, painful and not going away.
I turned my head back towards Jonathan, biting my lip in a failed attempt to distract the pain. He, too, tried to distract me.
“Did you walk under a ladder or something?” he asked. I opened one eye to look at him with curiosity. “You have really bad luck,” he noticed. The pain in my leg began dying down, not much, but enough to allow me to speak without the threat of crying.
“I don’t have bad luck,” I corrected, “not since you came along,” I laughed timidly. He smiled, about to oppose, but the doctor cut him off.
“I’m going to stitch you up, now, okay?” the doctor asked, which I would really have appreciated him to stop doing. If he kept asking me, soon enough, I would say no and run away. Limp away. “Then we’ll get you a tenuous shot and you should be good to go.” I sighed at Jonathan as the doctor left the room, probably getting a sewing machine.
“You’ve never had stitches before, have you?” he guessed, most likely by the look on my face.
“I hate hospitals,” I grumbled in reply, sitting myself up further on the pillows. Jonathan proceeded to move the magenta chair closer to my bed, smiling.
“That’s a ‘no’ then?” I made a face and looked down at the deep gash where skin and muscle had once happily lived.
“It’s not that bad,” I lied. He laughed and slowly reached his hand up to my face. He hesitated before carefully tucking a piece of stray hair behind my ear. I felt my face go hot, and knew how pink my face got in that kind of situation. Jonathan’s hand lingered by my face after the hair was secured. He looked at me thoughtfully, smiling softly.
Suddenly the curtain whipped open in the loud silence and the doctor was there. Jonathans hand flew back to his side and I looked away swiftly. My face reached a peak of hotness, and I had a feeling Jonathans was a shade deeper of pink, too. The doctor must have realized that he interrupted something, so he paused in the doorway with his cart of painful objects and an apologetic look on his face..
“Oh, I’m sorry, was I-” He wavered in the doorway before entering fully into the room and parking his cart by the foot of my bed. A nurse entered behind him and turned to wash her hands, turning her brunette hair to me. “This is Laura, she’ll be assisting me,” the doctor said.
“And your name is?” I prepped.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t believe I forgot. Dr. Pierce,” he said, putting another pair of rubber gloves on after shedding the first. The nurse, Laura, came over and put gloves on, too, examining the cart in front of her. I studied the cart, too. Shiny objects, needles, and pointy metal tools sat on the top in an orderly line. I gulped and Jonathan looked over to me, smiling. My face turned red again when he looked at me.
“Alright,” Dr. Pierce began, clapping his hands together and opening his mouth to say more.
“Please,” I begged him and Laura, “just do whatever, I don’t need to know,” Dr. Pierce smiled and bent down to begin. I turned my attention to Jonathan, who smiled and nodded his head. I shuddered and Jonathan put his hand on mine that was resting on the bed beside him. I realized that I hadn’t shivered from the cold, but rather from the idea of needles and such. I didn’t move my hand. I studied our hands, which looked so odd together, mine small and pale from loss of blood, or so I thought.
“Just so you know,” I told Jonathan matter-of-factly. I cringed suddenly as I felt a long needle being injected into my calf, closing my eyes tightly. Jonathan moved his hand from on top of mine, and held it in his own instead. I put pressure on his hand, focusing on the warmth of it as the doctor removed the long needle from my leg. I opened my eyes and continued as though there was no disturbance. “I’m not done fighting with you, yet, about what you did, can do,” I reminded.
“I figured you weren’t,” he predicted correctly. I smiled at him menacingly and began laughing at myself. He laughed, too, probably wondering what we were laughing at.