Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ninety-Two







Jesse couldn’t even remember the drive to the hospital, sitting silently with her hands clasping her knees. Still living in hope she’d wake up and this would all be just a dream. The crank of the handbrake pulled her back to earth with the plain white building they’d parked in front towering over her. Clutching her chest, she felt her heart sink.

“Hey, it’s going to be ok…now come on, let’s go see the boy” Richie said squeezing her knee gently.

Closing her eyes she took a deep breath, letting her hands relax and pinged open the door. The walk down the long white corridor was a blur despite nurses bustling past and doctor’s muttering scrutinizing clipboards as they went about their business. All oblivious to the woman walking the lonely walk of heartbreak.

She waited holding her hands on her arms as Richie asked at the desk where they could find him. After a few disagreements and heated words with the reception clerk he came back over.

“Can’t say that the security is bad in here, Jesus Christ” rubbing his forehead he held out his hand.

“He’s in ICU, come on Darlin” he took her hand and led her slowly towards the lift. Once inside she sank against the wall gripping the bar behind to stop her legs from giving way completely. He was in ICU, oh god it was bad. And it was all her fault.

Mazes of corridors and people blended in to one until she was standing in the doorway of the room. Two hands on her shoulders gave her the support she would need to open the door and walk right in there but her hand stilled on the knob. Her heart hammered wildly in her chest as she snicked the door and slowly pushed it open like it weighed a hundred pounds.

And there he was.

Tubes coming from his mouth and arms, the shrill beeping of a heart monitor and the low hiss of the ventilator was all she could hear.

Her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped “Oh Jon” was all she could manage. The man that could move mountains and fight through storms was motionless. She blinked away the room as it became blurry.

His upper body a kaleidoscope of purple and blues, and the soft lines of his face curved around the cuts and gapes littered across his skin. She pulled away from Richie’s grasp steadying herself on the cold steel bar at the edge of his bed. What has he done to you? Jesus Chris. Oh Jon, my beautiful Jon.

His chest rose and fell steadily through the help of the plastic tubes, god so much plastic. Picking up his hand she slid slowly down into the chair Richie had pulled across for her. She brought it to her cheek and closed her eyes, desperate to feel any sign of life inside of him. “I’m so sorry baby” she whispered letting the tears free fall, biting back the sobs that threatened to avalanche from her throat.

The warmth of his hand offered her little comfort. What was wrong with him? God, please wake up baby. Please.

“Jess” Richie’s low voice whispered “The doctor’s here” she opened her eyes and laid down his hand carefully, patting it down delicately as if it would break.

She turned to look up to a middle aged man standing next to Richie, who only reached his shoulder standing with a clipboard.

“Jesse? I’m Dr. Ross. And before we start, it looks worse than it actually is. Most of this is a precaution until Jon comes around…” he began adjusting the thick black rimmed glasses on his nose.

“What’s the damage Doc?” Richie asked. Thank God for Richie, Jesse doubted she was capable of stringing a sentence together right now.

“He was brought in unconscious and scans have shown he’s had a few blows to the head, but no permanent damage as far as we can see”

As far as we can see? What the hell did that mean?

“So he’ll be ok?” Richie prompted twisting his hand into a fist while the other one stayed firm on Jesse’s shoulder.

“He should be, we’ll know for certain when he wakes up” the Doctor confirmed.

“So he still could have damage?” Jesse blurted out bring her hand to her neck, the vice around her heart tightening. Oh god, anything but this. Anything.

“There is a very small possibility but his reflexes and vitals are all excellent, so we’re very hopeful. One of his lungs has had a bit of impact so we’ve put him on the respirator to assist his breathing so he doesn’t have to work as hard to breathe while his body heals”

She nodded biting down on her lip, hoping if she bit hard enough she’d wake up. Brain damaged? How would she ever live with herself if that happened, god... how would she tell the kids?

She looked back at Jon clear surgical tape spanned across his nose “What about this?” she asked pointing.

The doctor relaxed his stance folding his arms creasing his white doctor’s coat. “It was out of place, we thought it was broken at first but we’ve just shifted it back into place” he paused “that’s what’s causing the black rings under his eyes that will become darker as the bruising comes up, all normal body responses” he assured them both.

“He should be fine, but the next twenty four hours are crucial to just make sure all his vitals stay stable and so his head can given the all clear… we’re confident though” he handed Richie his card “I understand the confidentiality of this, so if there is anything you need or want to ask just give me a call anytime”

“Thanks doc, we appreciate that” Richie said before the doctor exited.

Stroking Jon’s hand with the tip of her finger she fell quiet again, the numbness radiating through her body, It sounded hopeful but the what ifs kept niggling at the back of her mind.

“Jess, did you want me to ring Carol?” Richie asked “Or the kids?”

She shook her head “I said I’d do it. I should go back and see them, and explain it to them they deserve nothing less” she said firmly. Especially since it’s my fault their daddy is like this.

“Jesse, this is not your fault” Richie said breaking her thoughts.

“No, I didn’t actually hurt him but if I’d pressed charges this wouldn’t have happened” she wiped away the tears with the back her hand “Chirst Richie, what if he’d died? What if”- she was pulled up by a pair of strong arms and turned to face him.

“Jesse listen to me, don’t play that game. Its over, he’s going to be ok…its Jon he always pulls through you’ll see” he held her shoulders and then shook her gently.

“Its not your fault, and he wouldn’t blame you. He’d kick my ass for letting you even think it Darlin, ok?” he asked seriously. She nodded into his soft brown eyes before he pulled her in tight for a hug. “We’ll get through this, I promise you we will”

She sighed into his arms before pulling away “Thanks Richie.” The overwhelming urge in her feet was to run, the longer she sat here staring at him she had to go.

“Just stay with him, I’ll go and see the kids” she quickly said rubbing her chest. She had to get out. She had to leave. Now.

“Jesse wait-“but the door clicked behind her. She ran down the corridor to the exit, the clicks of her heels belting furiously against the lino until she found the safety stairwell. Leaning back, she pressed herself against the cold brick wall. God, how could this be happening? How could she do this to the man she supposedly loved? Sliding to the floor in a heap her hands found her face, and the tears flowed out.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great chapter! At least we know Jon will be okay. Now, Jesse just needs to forgive herself!

Linda

Jovi's Willow said...

Great chapter! More please!!!