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Point of retreat, p.27

  Point of Retreat, p.27

   part  #2 of  Slammed Series

Point of Retreat
 


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  brain. It’s too early to give you any more information at this point. Until we get her into surgery, we won’t know the extent of her injuries. I was just coming to speak to the family. Do you need me to go relay this information to her parents?”

  I shake my head. “She doesn’t have any. She doesn’t have anyone. I'm all she's got.”

  He straightens up and walks back to the doors and presses the button. He turns around just as they open. “What’s your name?” he asks.

  “Will.”

  He looks me in the eyes. “I’m Dr. Bradshaw,” he says. “I’ll do everything I can for her, Will. In the meantime, go back to the waiting room. I’ll find you as soon as I know something.” He turns and the doors close behind him.

  I slide down to the floor. She’s alive.

  ***

  When I get back to the waiting room, Kel and Caulder are the only ones there.

  “Where’s Gavin?” I ask.

  "Joel called. Gavin went outside to meet him," Caulder says.

  “Did you hear anything?” Kel asks.

  I nod. “She’s in surgery.”

  “So she's alive? She's alive?” He jumps up and wraps his arms around me. I return his hug.

  "She's alive," I whisper. I sit down and gently guide him back into his chair. “Kel, she's hurt pretty bad. It's too soon to know anything at this point…but they'll keep us updated, okay?” I reach over and grab a tissue from one of the many boxes of tissues scattered around the room and hand it to him. He wipes his nose.

  We all sit there in silence. I close my eyes and think back to the conversation I just had with the doctor. Were there any hints in his expression? In his voice? I know he knows more than he’s telling me, which scares the hell out of me. What if something happens to her? I can’t think about it. I don’t think about. She’ll be okay. She has to be.

  “Anything?” Gavin asks as he and Joel walk into the waiting room. “I had Joel grab you a shirt,” he says, handing it to me.

  “Thanks.” I give Gavin his jacket and pull the shirt on. “Lake’s in surgery. She’s got a head injury. They don’t know anything yet. That’s all I know.”

  Gavin nods.

  “What about Eddie?” I ask. “Have you heard anything else? Is the baby okay?”

  Gavin looks at me wide-eyed.

  Joel jumps up. “Baby?” he yells. “What the hell is he talking about, Gavin?”

  Gavin stands up. “We were going to tell you, Joel. It’s still so early…we…we haven’t had a chance.”

  Joel storms out and Gavin follows after him.

  I’m such an idiot.

  “Can we go see Kiersten?” Kel asks.

  I nod. “Don’t stay too long. She needs her rest.”

  They both leave.

  I’m alone. I close my eyes and lean my head against the wall. I take several deep breaths, but the pressure in my chest just keeps building and building and building. I try to keep holding it all in. I try to hold it in just like Lake does. I can't. I bring my hands to my face and break down. I don’t just cry. I sob. I wail. I scream.

  Thursday or Friday, January 26th or 27th, 2012

  Now that I have you back, I’m never letting you go. That’s a promise. I’m not letting you go again.

  Chapter Fourteen

  I’m in the bathroom splashing water on my face when I hear someone talking outside the door. I swing it open to see if it’s the doctor, but it’s just Gavin and Joel. I start to shut the door again when Gavin reaches his hand in and stops me.

  “Will, your grandparents are here. They’re looking for you.”

  “My grandparents? Who called them?”

  “I did,” he says. “I thought maybe they could take Kel and Caulder for you.”

  I step out of the bathroom. “Where are they?”

  “Around the corner,” he says.

  I walk around the corner and see my grandparents standing in the hallway. My grandfather has his coat folded over his hands. He’s saying something to my grandmother when he catches a glimpse of me.

  “Will!” They both run toward me.

  “Are you okay?” my grandmother says, brushing her fingers against the bandages on my forehead. I pull my head away from her.

  “I’m fine,” I say.

  She hugs me. “Have you heard anything?”

  I shake my head. I’m getting really tired of this question.

  “Where are the boys?”

  “They’re up in Kiersten’s room,” I say.

  “Kiersten? She was involved, too?”

  I nod.

  “Will, the nurse is asking about paperwork. They need it. Have you finished filling it out yet?” my grandfather says.

  I shake my head. “I haven't started it yet. I don’t feel like doing paperwork right now.” I begin walking back to the waiting room. I need to sit down.

  Gavin and Joel are seated in the waiting room again. I guess Joel is temporarily carving pumpkins regarding Eddie’s pregnancy. Gavin looks awful. I didn’t notice before, but his arm is in a sling.

  “You okay?” I ask, nudging my head in the direction of the sling.

  “Yeah.”

  I sit down and prop my legs up on the table in front of me and lean my head against the back of the chair. My grandparent’s take the seats on the wall opposite of me. Everyone’s staring at me. I feel like they’re all waiting on me. I don’t know what they’re waiting on. Waiting for me to cry, maybe? To yell? To hit something?

  “What!” I yell at all of them. My grandmother flinches. I immediately feel guilty, but I don’t apologize. I close my eyes and inhale a deep breath, trying to figure out the order of events. I remember talking to Gavin about Eddie, and I remember Gavin yelling. I even remember slamming on the brakes, but I can’t remember why. I can’t remember anything after that…up to opening my eyes in the car.

  I bring my legs off the table and turn to Gavin. “What happened, Gavin? I don’t remember.”

  He makes a face like he’s tired of explaining. He explains it anyway, though. “A truck crossed the median and hit their car. You slammed on your brakes, so we weren’t involved in that wreck. But when you slammed on your brakes, we were hit from behind. It knocked us into the ditch. As soon as I got out of the car, I ran to Layken’s car. I saw her get out so I thought she was okay…that’s when I went to check on Eddie.”

  “So you saw her? She got out on her own? She wasn’t thrown from the car?”

  He shakes his head. “No, I think she was confused and must have passed out. But I saw her walking.”

  I don’t know if the fact that she got out on her own even makes a difference, but it somehow eases my mind a little. My grandfather leans forward in his chair and looks at me.

  “Will. I know you don’t want to deal with it right now, but they need as much information as you can give them. They don’t even know her name. They need to know if she’s allergic to anything. Does she have insurance? If you give them her social security number, they may be able to figure a lot of this out.”

  I sigh. “I don’t know. I don’t know if she has insurance. I don’t know her social. I don’t know if she’s allergic to anything. She hasn’t got anyone but me, and I don’t know a damn thing!” I lay my head in my hands, almost ashamed of the fact that Lake and I have never even discussed any of this before. Didn’t we learn anything? Didn’t I learn anything from my parent’s death? From Julia’s death? Here I am, possibly facing my past head-on again…unprepared and overwhelmed.

  My grandfather walks over to me and wraps his arms around me. “I’m sorry, Will. We’ll figure it out.”

  ***

  Another hour passes with no word. Not even about Eddie. Joel goes with my grandparents to take Kel and Caulder to the cafeteria for food. Gavin stays with me.

  I guess Gavin gets tired of sitting in the chairs because he gets up and lays down in the floor. It looks like a good idea, so I do the same thing. I put my hands under my head and raise my feet up into a
chair.

  “I’m trying not to think about it, Will. But if the baby isn’t okay…Eddie…”

  I hear the fear in his voice. He can’t even finish his sentence.

  “Gavin…stop. Stop thinking about it. Let’s just think about something else for a while. We’ll drive ourselves insane if we don’t.”

  “Yeah…” he says.

  We’re both silent, so I know we’re both still thinking about it. I try to think about anything else.

  “I kicked Reece out this morning,” I say, doing my best tear our minds away from reality.

  “Why? I thought you guys were best friends,” he says. He sounds relieved to be talking about something else, too.

  “We used to be. Things change. People change. People get new best friends,” I say.

  “That they do.”

  We’re both quiet again for a while. My mind starts drifting back to Lake, so I reel myself back in. “I punched him,” I say. “Right in the jaw. It was beautiful. I wish you could’ve seen it.”

  Gavin laughs. “Good. I never have liked him.”

  “I’m not so sure I did, either," I say. "It’s just one of those things where you feel obligated to the friendship, I guess.”

  “Those are the worst kind,” he says.

  We're silent again. Every now and then, one of us will lift our head when we hear someone walk by. We eventually become too tired to even do that. I begin to drift off to sleep when I'm sucked back into reality.

  “Sir?” someone says from the doorway. Gavin and I both jump up.

 
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