Thursday, June 16, 2016

something from the archives: accidents happen - part 2

so i have been doing some editing to these stories. not a ton, but i can definitely see where i lacked some maturity as a writer when i was writing them. of course, i doubt they are perfect even with all the editing i'm doing. i know that one of the biggest problems i have as a writer is that i am not good at establishing setting. and also i'm kind of a disaster when it comes to commas. if there are misplaced commas in this, know that i am aware of the problem.

and with that, part two can be found after the jump. if you need to catch up with part one a handy link has been provided for you.


Part 2

Liz paced back and forth in the small waiting area designated for the patient's families and friends. Kyle had been gone for what seemed like forever, and Liz couldn’t stand her state of inaction. There had to be something she could do to protect their secret. Being in the hospital was the worst possible place they could be. And the fact that no one had come out to talk to them didn’t seem like a good omen. It meant disaster. Because Michael was either hurt beyond repair, or they’d figured out that something was different, that he wasn’t from around here, or anywhere else on Earth. Every moment that passed with Kyle gone and Max and Isabel yet to arrive only increased Liz’s agitation. 

Suddenly a doctor walked out into the waiting room. He looked around and spying Liz began to walk toward her saying, “Miss, are you here with Michael Guerin?”

“Yes, how is he doing?” Liz looked up at him eagerly. Michael had to be okay. 

“He should be fine, luckily even though he wasn’t wearing his helmet; his injuries are less severe than they could have been. He does have a concussion and a severe case of road rash, two broken ribs, a sprained wrist, and a shattered ankle. We’ve set all the bones, and repaired the damage to his ankle as best we could, but he’ll have to stay here for observation for a few days.”

“What do you mean repaired the damage?” Liz asked.

“We had to operate, we needed to put the bones back together correctly or they’d never set straight. He has a screw holding it together, as well as a cast and it’s in traction. Now we had some minor concern over his blood work—“

“You took his blood? Oh God!”

“Miss?” the doctor looked in surprise at the young woman who had suddenly sat down with her head in her hands. Why she would be more concerned about a routine blood test than a concussion was beyond him. “He’s fine. Just a little anemic and his potassium is unusually high. We’re giving him some extra vitamins through the IV, especially iron. And he should stay away from foods rich in electrolytes.”

“That’s it? That’s all you found?” 

“Well, we weren’t running a specialized test, just a CBC. Do you know of anything we should be looking for?”

“No. No, I’m sorry. It’s just...he’s deathly afraid of needles.” Liz chewed her lip as she tried to come up with the most reasonable explanation for her reaction. 

“Yes, we noticed that. We had to sedate him. We had originally only planned to use local anesthesia during the surgery, but we had to go with general, he’s still sleeping it off.”

Liz nodded “Can I see him?”

“I don’t see why not, although you must be aware that he won’t wake up for a while. You are family right?”

“No,” Liz said and noting the doctor’s sharp glance she continued, “He’s an orphan, he has no family. But I’m his girlfriend. Please let me see him. I need to know he’s okay”

“Of course. If he does wake up try not to agitate him, he's likely to be disoriented from the sedation and general trauma his body has gone through today. I’ll send a nurse in to get you once we have him set up in his room,” the doctor said rather sternly.

“Thank you,” Liz smiled at the doctor as he left her alone in the waiting room. She was so happy that Michael was safe, that they were all safe. It was too bad he'd been found before he could take steps to heal himself. Healing the Earth way was slow and painful.

*****

“So we’re safe?” Max asked again incredulously. Kyle had strolled into the room right after the doctor had left, and Max and Isabel had arrived about fifteen minutes later, so Liz had briefed them on the surprising fact that blood tests and hospitals weren’t necessarily something to fear.

“Yeah. At least, a routine blood exam won’t show anything is really different. They’ll just read the levels of what’s in your blood.”

“And the levels are normal?” asked Isabel.

“No. But close enough to normal.”

“So they don’t see the green-glowiness of our cells?” Max asked.

“Nope. The blood test is probably run through a centrifuge, no one is actually looking at the blood through a microscope, which would be the only way to see that.” Liz shrugged as she explained. She was a science nerd after all, and even though she was guessing, she was pretty sure she was right about this.

“Well. Is that great news or what?” Kyle asked enthused.

“You’re just glad you didn’t have to give blood.”

“I’m very attached to my blood. I like it flowing through my veins. Not through needles.”

Everyone rolled their eyes at Kyle’s grimace and turned their attention back to Liz as she explained what else the doctor had told her. “Anyway, they repaired the damage to Michael’s ankle, so he’ll have to stay a few days. I think they have him in intensive care right now. He’s recovering from the surgery and will be under observation for the concussion.”

“Miss?” the group turned to the door where an elderly nurse stood addressing Liz, “Dr Collins asked me to show you to Michael Guerin’s room.”

“Oh. Ok.” Liz stood up to follow the nurse, but held back when Isabel stood up too.

“What about us?” asked Isabel wondering why Liz would get to see Michael before Max and her.

“I’m sorry dears, she’s the only one with clearance, and we’re even bending the rules a bit for her. Now your boyfriend is waiting dear, follow me.”

Liz turned and shrugged helplessly at the rest of the group before quickly following the nurse from the room. She didn’t want to have to stay and explain to Max and Isabel why it was the nurse thought that she was Michael’s girlfriend. She certainly didn’t want to investigate her own motivations behind that lie in particular.

All she knew was that she wanted to make sure Michael was okay. To apologize to him for not taking care of him. For not protecting him.

*****

She walked into the tiny room they’d assigned Michael. He was hooked up to a machine that read his heartbeat, the breaths he took per minute, it was a machine that was beeping with a comforting kind of frequency.

His right leg was raised in a special sling to make the bone-setting process a little easier. He looked so quiet, peaceful lying in the bed. He had bandages on his head and on his neck, arms, and torso, which they had left bare for some reason. Liz’s first thought was that Michael had been working out. Her second was that the bruises looked painful.

She took a seat next to the bed, and watched him. Her warm brown eyes never straying from his face. She watched as he breathed, as he dreamed, as he slept. She watched over him, never noticing the time, not thinking of the others she had left behind in the waiting room, or the fact that the sun had set long ago and the stars were all up in the sky. She watched him. Waiting. Waiting for him to wake up.

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