Everyday Hero Pt.2
My eyes flutter open for a moment, letting small bits of light filter in. My vision if fuzzy, my mind blank. There is an odd rhythmic beeping in the air and the sensation of something cold coursing through my veins…. I can feel something placed over my face, providing me with air. As things slowly come into focus, I realize where I am, but not exactly why. My hospital room is dim and warm, unlike the world outside. I can hear the rain pelting against the window panes. Tick tick tick tick. I take a sharp breath but cringe as pain shoots through my gut. ‘Fuck’. I-I remember… I was in the bathroom… I took a butterfly photo then… someone came in with a gun a-and. I’m broken from my thoughts when I realize that I’m not alone. There’s a young blond standing at the edge of the room holding a clipboard. I try getting her attention by saying something but all that comes out of my mouth is s a rather pathetic squeak. The nurse looks over at me and smiles warmly, “Hello,” she says “It’s nice to see you’re awake”. I nod, still unable to say anything. I try sitting up but once again I cry in pain. “Hey, easy there kid. You’re fresh outta surgery, and I don’t want you to re-open your wound again,” The nurse says, laying me back down. ‘Surgery?’ I think to myself. “What you did back there was pretty brave… you’re a real everyday hero, Max”. I nod again and allow the nurse to flash a light in my eyes and check my vitals. “Everything looks good… I’ll let you rest now, You’ve earned it. The doctor will be back within the hour to check everything else”. I give her a quick thumbs up and wait, watching as the nurse leaves. The moment the door clicks closed, I lift up my covers and see a large piece of gauze taped down on the middle of my stomach. I close my eyes again, the person… I-I think I remember who it was… Prescott… Nathan Prescott. He’s the one who shot me but, how am I a hero? There must have been someone else there, someone I saved. Shit… I don’t remember… All I do remember is something about the color blue….blue… blue. I was with this person when I got shot, them and the school security guard… David, I think. He… He told me to hold on but I could tell from the look in his eyes that I probably wasn’t going to survive. So… how am here, how am I still alive? I Remember… dying… I remember seeing darkness all around me and then… all at once, a bright light. Fuck, my head hurts to much to much to think about this weird shit. I open my eyes again to see I’m in a different room, a smaller one with cream colored walls. ‘Did I fall asleep again?’ I think to myself, ‘How long have I been out?’. The oxygen Mask covering my face has been replaced with an odd plastic tube that stick is my nose, and I no longer feel the I.V in my arm. My mind is still a bit fuzzy so I’m guessing that I’ve been given some sort of drug to help with pain. Anyways, as I look around the room, I realize that there’s someone beside me, holding my hand. It’s a young girl, about my age, her head is resting on the bed… she’s asleep. I look at her curiously… I-I remember seeing her in something like a dream but… it felt more like a memory. It’s something about her, maybe it’s the punk outfit or the tattoos… or her… blue hair…. blue. I close my eyes again, my head suddenly bombarded by a vision of sorts. How could I forget… she’s the one person who means the world to me. I remember now, I remember my powers, Rachael, Nathan, The ‘Dark Room’, The eclipse, the tornado, the freak snow a-and… “Chloe…” I mutter, gripping her hand tightly, feeling as our fingers intertwine. She stirs a bit and sits up, rubbing her eyes. “Max?” She says still half asleep. I smile as she realizes I’m awake. “Max… oh, oh my god you’re awake!” she cries, throwing her arms around me. We hug for a while before I pull, holding her face in my hand and just… looking at her. She’s beautiful. Our eyes lock as I slowly move in and kiss her. I can feel the surprise on her lips but after a few seconds she relaxes and kisses me back, placing her hands behind my head. “I love you, Max” she whispers quietly once we pull away. “God, do I love you”. I smile and giggle a bit, my laughs turning into full blown tears as I hug Chloe again. “Hey, It’s okay, It’s okay” she says, stroking my hair. I honestly don’t know why I’m crying… I’m just relieved I guess… I’m alive… She’s alive… I-I finally did something right. “Max… I… I read your journal,” Chloe whispers, “I’m sorry you had to go through all that, especially just to keep my ungrateful ass alive”. “It was worth it,” I say, my voice raw and hoarse. “You are worth it”. “I hope so,” Chloe replies, hugging me tighter. She holds me for a while longer until I build up the courage to ask what really happened to me. She pulls away, avoiding my gaze. I grab her hand and await her response. “You got shot…” she begins. “A-And well, uh.. You… went into shock from blood loss and… and your heart stopped for about 2 minutes before the paramedics were able to get it started again, Max, you… you died… right in front of me. I thought… I- I thought I’d lost you,” Chloe pauses, desperately trying to fight off tears, but they come anyway. “I have no fucking idea how you survived but… you did… Thank God you did… a-anyways, you were rushed to the hospital and right into surgery. They were able to get the bullet out… but…”. She hesitates for a moment, which frankly scares me half to death, “You slipped into a coma right after”. I swallow hard, “H-how long was I out?”. “A week, 5 days to be exact. You woke up yesterday… it’s Saturday”. I close my eyes for a second, processing all this new information. “There was no tornado, Max… you stopped it… for good” Chloe says, resting her hand on my shoulder. I look up at her, she’s smiling with that trademark cheesy grin. “Were you okay?” I ask, realizing how tired she looks. Chloe nods and stretches out like a cat, “Yeah, I’m alright… just a bit worn out”. “Didn’t you sleep?”. “Not as much as I’d liked too, I didn’t want to leave your side for a second”. I sigh and smile again, absently stroking her knuckles as I continue to hold her hand. “What happened to Nathan?”. “The police found the bastard trying to hide behind his wanna be sugar daddy Jeffer-shit. They both got arrested for drugging and kidnapping innocent girls… a-and for murder”. I don’t say anything in return because I know what comes next. “They found Rachael…. dead and buried in the junkyard… just like your journal said”. I can feel Chloe’s grip tighten around mine as she just seems to loose it. “It isn’t fair, Max” She cries, “She didn’t deserve to die”. “I-I know Chloe… a-and I’m sorry. I-I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better but… *sigh* I’m sorry” I say, trying to comfort my… my… what would we be considered? We sure as hell aren’t ‘Just friends’ after that kiss. “I don’t want you to feel bad for me, okay?” Chloe says as she dries her tears, “All that matters to me is you. You’re awake, you’re alive and you’re alright”. I nod and smile, “I missed you” I mutter quietly. “I missed you too,” She replies, leaning in to kiss me. “So… uh,… would you be cool if I go get your parents,” Chloe asks once we break away, “They’re kinda worried about you”. “Oh… yeah. My parents” I say. Shit… I totally forgot about my parents, I’ve been so focused on Chloe, I sorta forgot that anyone else existed. “Don’t say anything about us, alright?”. “Us?” I repeat with bewilderment. “I’m not going to let you go that easily. You’re hella mine, Caulfield” Chloe says as she walks out the door. I blink a few times… is Chloe my girlfriend now? I blush at that word…‘Girlfriend’. I have to admit, we’ve always been closer than normal friends but, I honestly never stopped to think that Chloe might share the same feelings as me, so I just pushed mine aside. Anyways, my parents rush into the room about 5 minutes later, along with a few of my classmates. Kate, Warren, and surprisingly enough, Victoria. “What the hell were you thinking Maxine! You almost got yourself killed!” My mother snaps as she hugs me tightly. My dad comes up and rubs the top of my head, “We’re just glad you’re alright”. Kate comes up to me and says that she’s been praying for me all week, Warren rants about how brave I was standing up to Nathan. Victoria even exchanges some kind words. I mostly ignore them and focus on Chloe who stands aside, away from the crowd. She smiles and winks, signaling for me to stay quiet. I nod and try to pay attention to my parents as they tell me what the doctors told them about my condition and how long it’s going to take for me to fully recover. “It’s going to be about a month before you can be released, so we were thinking of transferring you to a hospital closer to home,” My mother says, “Your father and I still have to work so we won’t be able to visit you down here”. I swallow hard, “N-No…” I mutter sternly, “Arcadia Bay is my home… I’m not leaving again” Dad sighs and holds my hand, “No need to get all worked up kid. It was just a thought, Nothings been set in stone yet”. I turn back at Chloe who has a worried on her face. Dammit… it’s like the world continuously wants to tear us apart, but I know deep down that we are meant to be together, we are meant to stay together. I continue to pretend to care what my parents and classmates say until eventually, one by one, people start leaving. Now I’m left with Chloe and my dad. My mom headed off about and hour ago, she said she had something else to do because apparently staying with your daughter who just got shot isn’t a good enough reason to stick around. We’re all talking casually, remembering the good times when Chloe and I were just bratty kids and life was simple. “Dude, remember the time we snuck Joyce’s wine and we ended up spilling it everywhere?” I nod, “We scrubbed for hours trying to get the stain out but it never did… huh, we got into so much trouble”. Chloe and I smile at each other, blushing a bit. God, I can’t believe this actually worked, both of us are okay. No dark fate awaits us… at least I hope not. You know, you never really realize just how much someone means to you until you almost lose them. Chloe, she means the world to me, right now she is my world and I’d do anything just to hear her voice, hold her hand, feel her soft lips against mine. I died for her and I sure as hell would do it again.