Tue. May 28th, 2024

Episode 6

“Do you remember what happened?” the female one asked, pushing her blonde bangs out of her face. The nametag on her coat read Dr. Styles. “Your accident?”

 

Nodding, I winced as I once again tried to prop myself up into a sitting position. I really needed to stop doing that. “A truck hit me, right?”

 

“Yes,” she responded, scribbling something down on her clipboard. “If you’re up for it, there’s a few tests were have to do to make sure you have no memory damage.”

 

“Uh, yeah, sure. Might as well get it over with.”

 

Chace cleared his throat awkwardly. “In that case, I’ll head out… Rosie, do you want me to bring some outside food? No one was lying when they said hospital food is gross.”

 

“Yes,” I said at once. “I’ve had it before.”

 

Laughing, he stood up from his chair and slid his jacket on.

 

“Right. I’ll stop by and tell your parents you’re up too. What do you want?”

 

“A Shirley temple,” I told him. “And a sandwich from Subway.” “BLT”

 

I blinked, surprised he knew that. “Er… yeah.”

 

He wagged his finger at me. “Don’t give me that look. I do pay attention when we

 

talk, you know.”

 

“Yeah…”

 

Leaning down, he gave me a quick kiss before waving. “See you later, Rosie.”

 

 

I stared after him, a bit in shock. Even I didn’t remember when I told him what I liked on my sandwiches. Turning to the doctors again, they gave me sly little smirks. A blush spread across my face. “W-what?”

 

“You’ve got yourself a pretty good catch,” Dr. Styles informed me. “I swear, that boy hasn’t left your side for more than five seconds. He even has his father bring him food.”

 

“His father?” I echoed. What was his father doing here?

 

She nodded. “Yep. Anyway, why don’t you take some painkillers and then we start? It’ll be over before you know it.”

 

“Sure,” I agreed easily. Tests were always easy…

 

✅✅✅

 

Two hours later, I was finally back in my hospital ward, resting on my bed with a Shirley temple in one hand and my sub in the other. Chace sat to my right, easting his own sandwich while my parents stood on my left, yapping away at me. Only part of mind was focused on their words, while the other was fixated on my food. Tube food really didn’t do much for hunger.

 

“You gave us quite a scare three days ago,” my dad told me, shaking his head. “Your pulse was erratic. Doctors thought maybe you were going into shock, or something. Though, I think you scared Chace the most.”

 

At that moment, Chace choked. “Oh, shut up,” he muttered as my dad grinned at him. “You guys should have been more scared.”

 

I raised my eyebrows. “So was it just a false alarm or something?” My mom shrugged. “No idea. I think you just wanted to frighten us.”

 

“Sounds like it,” I responded with a grin. “Oh well. So after that I was out for another three days?”

 

All three people in the room nodded.

 

 

“Huh. So that’s a total of six days, right? That means today’s Thursday… Ugh. Braille lessons…”

 

“Braille lessons?” Chace echoed.

 

My eyes shot open. “Um…”

 

My parents exchanged looks. Then my dad stood up. “Brenda, mind coming to the hospital café with me? I think I want a coffee.”

 

“You read my mind,” she said quickly, swiping her purse off the floor. “Be back in a bit, Rose.”

 

With my eyes, I begged them to stay. I wasn’t ready for this. All the courage I had before was gone. “Dad,” I pleaded.

 

He shook his head at me. “No coffee for you.”

 

“Fine,” I snapped just as they shut the door.

 

A small frown appeared on Chace’s face. “What about these Braille lessons?”

 

“I, um…” Swallowing nervously, I clenched the bed sheets in my hand. “I have something to tell you.”

 

He tilted his head to the side. “Yes?”

 

“I… My…” A lump in my throat formed and I grimaced. Why did I have to be so emotional all the time? It was really beginning to tick me off! In fact, the whole situation pissed me off. If Chace hadn’t said that he didn’t want any more life-changing thing in his life, it would’ve been ten times more easier to tell him. But then again, it didn’t exactly change his life. Only mine. And if he wanted to leave, he had the chance. I’d give him the chance.

 

“I’m going blind,” I forced through gritted teeth. “I have this stupid disease called Cone-Rod Dystrophy which is slowly deteriorating my vision. I have until the end December. You know how I said I was clumsy? I was lying. I’ve never been clumsy in my life. I started falling because my vision blanks out on me. That’s how

 

 

I got in my accident. My vision decided to screw with me and that’s when the truck hit me. And yeah, this is life changing. Sorry for bringing it into your life, Chace.” On his name, my voice cracked. I bit my lip hard, trying to keep my emotions under control. I wasn’t going to break down in front of him.

 

The room went silent. Chace gaped at me, his eyes wide.

 

“Aren’t you going to say something?”

 

His mouth moved, but no words came out.

 

“That’s what I thought. Listen, I get, I’m going to become a burden. You can leave if you want. I’m not going to force you to stay with me. I understand completely,” I told him, my hands shaking. “You can leave…”

 

“I…” Jumping up, he glanced to the door.

 

My heart skipped a beat. He wasn’t really going to leave, was he? There was no way Chace would walk out on me… He wasn’t like that. I was counting on him to not be like that, no matter what I thought, about allowing him to decide, somewhere deep inside me I depended on his kindness. “Chace…”

 

Without another word, he ran out of the room.

 

“Chace!” I shouted, flying into a sitting position. “ Ow! ” Gasping in pain, I slowly settled myself back down on the bed, holding my gut. “Shit!”

 

That wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to leave. He was supposed to stay here. With me. It was Chace after all… Chace wouldn’t run away…

 

“No,” I whispered as tears rolled down my face. I scrubbed them away furiously. “I’m not going to cry… I’m not.”

 

Maybe I’d misjudged his personality. Or maybe I’d misjudged myself. What kind of person was I? Wasn’t this using Chace? Taking his kindness for granted? I’d truly expected him to stick it out with me because I thought he would be too nice to leave.

 

 

That was the honest truth. So how could I be angry with him for doing the opposite of what I expected? I couldn’t. I’d have to face this alone— no, not alone. I still had Katie and my parents… just not Chace.

 

“But I want Chace,” I confessed, squeezing my eyes shut. “That’s all…”

 

Suddenly the door burst open. Surprised, I jumped, earning another painful protest of my stomach. My eyes shot to the front of the room, where all I could see was a gigantic penguin. I blinked, wondering if I was going crazy.

 

Just then, Chace popped his head from around it. “Hey,” he said sheepishly. “I tried finding a teddy bear, but all they had was this…”

 

“What are you…” I began, but my voice died in my throat.

 

Grimacing, he lugged the gigantic stuffed animal into the room, setting it on one of the empty chairs. “I figured I should buy you an apology gift.”

 

My heart lurched. He wanted to apologize for wanting to leave? It wasn’t his fault at all! “You don’t need to—”

 

“I do… Actually, Rosie, I’ve known about your illness for awhile.” “You… What?”

 

Scratching the back of his head, he plopped into the chair next to my bed. “Yeah. I saw your mail that one time. When it was on the counter?”

 

“From that long ago…?” It didn’t make sense. He’d known about it? Why hadn’t he said anything? Why was he still going out with me?

 

“Yeah. I figured since you didn’t tell me, you didn’t want me to know.” Pausing, he laughed. “I know, great detecting skills there. But yeah, so I didn’t say anything about it. I figured you’d tell me when you were ready.”

 

My mind was having trouble processing his words. He’d known from then? That was more than two months ago! “I…”

 

He held up his hands defensively. “You have the right to be angry, Rosie. In fact, you can slap me if you want. That was private. I shouldn’t have looked. I’m sorry.

 

 

To_be_Continued

 

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