I ran my fingers through my raven black hair, trying as hard as I could to concentrate despite my brain telling me something was wrong. I looked around at the rest of the classroom, unsure what to think as everyone else was turning in their tests, and I had just begun. I’ve always been at the bottom of my class, especially with tests. I have testing anxiety, I was told this when I was only in second grade, and I nearly passed out during a spelling test. I have problems with thinking the worst is going to happen, but usually during tests it does. I gazed my hazel eyes down at the paper, still struggling on the first problem. My pencil led broke from so much tension within me. I looked back around the room; I felt like I was spinning, images began to become blurry. I couldn’t concentrate.
“Katarina!” my teacher nearly screamed across the room, despite she knows I prefer Trina. “Are you all right?” I nodded, not wanting to look like an outsider to the class again. Even though everyone already knows I am. I looked at the clock, watching the minutes tick by was detrimental. It felt like a ticking time bomb in my brain, like it was about to explode any minute. I felt my icy cold fingers touch my face, as I began going beet red. I felt a burning sensation within my nose, seconds later I watched a single crimson drop of blood fall from my nostril. The blood discolored the corner of the page, making me bolt to the back of the classroom to get a tissue. “Not again.” I whispered to myself, too embarrassed to ask the teacher for a nurse’s pass. I’ve had these nose bleeds before, they’ve begun to get more and more often. It’s worrying my parents, but honestly, it’s a good excuse to get out of class.
“Katarina.” My teacher said, as she slowly walked across the room, placing her fingertips across my shoulder. My long, sleek hair fell over my face as I held the tissue closer. My dark eyes darted across the room, as I tried to focus on her. “Is it another nose bleed?” she whispered, trying not to compromise my confidentiality. I nodded as she handed me a nurse’s pass and sent me out the door. She pushed her curly, brown, hair behind her shoulders as she watched me exit into the hallway. Wiping her small hands on her pantsuit as if I were contagious. I shoved the pass into the pocket of my dark gray hoodie, and stared at the floor for the rest of the walk. My blue jeans felt cold against my legs, making me shiver even more than I already do. When I swung through the last corner of the dull hallway, I entered the nurse’s office. “Mrs. Hendricks” was written in thick black print on the top of the door. I turned the silver knob with my free hand, and entered the desolate room. Mrs. Hendricks was sitting at the back of the room, looking into some sixth graders so-called, “sore throat”. She spotted me, her blue eyes looking me up from head to toe. She had her dirty blonde hair up in a tight pony tail, her glowing smile always making you feel welcome. She patted on the boy’s shoulders and told him to sit tight. As she saw the tissue I was holding close to my nose, nearly dripping with blood, a look of concern crossed her face.
“Trina.” She said, in her loving voice only she knew how to master. “What is going on with all of these nose bleeds?” she said, sounding like I better stop while I’m at it. I shrugged not knowing what to say as she pulled the tissue away and made me hold my nose up; making sure nothing dripped on her floor. She sat me down on the stingy cot, and took a look at my nose. She cleaned off the blood, and soon the dripping pretty much stopped. She sent the sixth grader back to his classroom, and pulled of her rubber latex gloves. I began getting up to go back to class as well before she stopped me in my tracks.
“Trina.” She said, gesturing for me to sit back down. “I think that you need to go see a doctor.” She said, tucking my hair back behind my ears. “Why?” I asked. “Because having nose bleeds this often, can’t be a good thing.” I looked as her bright blue eyes searched deep within my face. “At least promise me that you’ll go do that.” I nodded, knowing full well it was better to just agree with her in order to pretend everything was back to normal. She wrote me a pass back to class, and gripped my fingers tightly. Stunned by how cold they were. I took the pass, and solemnly walked back to class. I rubbed the bottoms of my fingers along my nose. Trying to convince myself that this was all a bad dream, but I knew that it wasn’t. Maybe the nurse is right. Maybe there really is something really wrong with me? I reentered the classroom, as all eyes followed me back to my seat. I glanced at the clock, seeing that there was only a few minutes left of class. The test on my desk was gone, and in its place was a pass to come in early tomorrow morning. My shoulders sagged as I scoffed to myself, upset with the new development.
When the school bell rang, it felt like it was echoing nonstop, throughout my skull. I grabbed my sleek side bag from my locker, and slung it over my shoulder. Feeling like the weight of the textbooks within the fabric, could rip off my limbs. I walked groggily to the front doors of the school like everybody else eager to leave. I pulled my hood up and over my head, pretending like the old fabric could make me invisible to the majority of the population. I felt a soft, cold breeze brush past me as all kinds of people rushed to get caught up with their everyday lives. I started to soon shiver, feeling as though I were catching a cold of some sorts. A strong hand brushed against my freezing fingertips. The touch felt familiar, I knew the person who was behind me. My one and only friend in this imprisonment of life.
“Hey. I heard that you nearly blacked out in Smith’s today.” Charlie said, a small smile creeping up his face. I nodded, brushing my fingers against my nose again. “It wasn’t like that.” I said, barely looking up at him. “I had another…..situation.” He looked hard at me, his handsome features, and strong jaw tensing up. His gray eyes darted across my face, as his tan skin creased along his forehead; his complexion warning me that he was worried. I continued to walk, trying to avoid the next conversation that Charlie was about to bring up. Rushing past the groups of people and keeping my head low, he caught me in mid-step. His arm clutched hard onto my bicep, keeping a stone-hard grip on me. We stopped; busying groups of students rushed past us, and pushed us slightly out of the way. Others looked disgusted that we would ever stop to talk. “Hey.” He said, whispering slightly in my ear. “What is going on with all of this bleeding? It’s not healthy.” He released his grip on me, and looked deep into my eyes, making me feel as though I had to finish this prior conversation. “Look, the nurse said that everything is fine. I swear.” “Trina. We’ve been friends for longer than I can even remember. You know you can’t lie to me.” He leaned in closer and made sure no one was listening in. “So, what did the nurse really say?” I tensed up my fists, upset that he could see right through me. “She said that I should go see a doctor.” I fiddled with my hands while I stood there, unsure what to do. “But I’m not going to.” I finished. I walked out the school’s door, my heart racing as Charlie caught up with me. We always walk home together, we live in the same neighborhood; and our families have always been friends. Sometimes I may be mad at him, but I could never hate him. He’s always been my safe haven.
When he caught up with me he told me quickly that I should listen and go see a doctor. “There’s probably nothing severely wrong with me!” I retorted, feeling a chilling sensation crawl up my spine. “It’s always better to be safe than sorry.” He objected. I was getting tired of him making a big deal out of it. I just wanted the conversation to stop, and for this horrific discovery to be over with. But little did I know that the bleeding was only the beginning.
As we were getting closer to our homes, I felt a deep, sweltering cough rise in my chest. My lungs felt like they were burning as I coughed loud and deep, falling over on the side walk from so much energy used. Charlie held me in his arms, and tried to ask me what was wrong through the impenetrable sound barrier of my wheezing. I tried hard to catch my breath, but every time I did a new painful feeling would run down my throat and burn my lungs even more. I doubled over, and felt a grotesque feeling rise up in my gullet. My stomach acid mixed with my puke burned my esophagus until it reached the oxygen. The foul smelling mixture, spilled across the pavement, and made Charlie nearly sick to his stomach as well. I saw him trying to get me up from the corner of my eye, as he tried to keep his immune system in check. Soon as I began to stand up, the bleeding started up again, and spilled out of my nose like it needed to be out in the open. The crimson blood leaked into my mouth, and gave me a metallic taste as I barely stood to stay stable. Charlie had a look on his face that I never have seen him wear before. It was like worry mixed with regret. Regret that he didn’t make me go to the hospital sooner. As he stood me up, my joints felt like they were being pulled and twisted far too much than they should be. I tried to get a grip on my self-surroundings, but the pain and embarrassment was too much for me. What was happening to me? Soon Charlie set me down, eyeing me every second as he dialed his phone. I listened closely to the other line as I tried to ignore the pain. I saw neighbors and animals walk past me, and wonder what was going on. One couple, who lived next to me, went and got my parents. Soon I saw my Mom and Dad, rush towards me so fast. Guilt and pain was written all over their faces, they held me in their hands as Charlie was trying to talk to the operator, and communicate with my parents at the same time.
“What happened? What’s going on?” my Mom screamed, as she looked down at me with sorrowful eyes. Charlie began frustrated and even began crying over the phone, telling the authorities what had happened; and that I might be severely sick. I felt the dry blood stain my upper lip just beneath my nostrils, as I tried to breathe easily despite the constant wheezing. Mom took my hand, and tried to warm me up with her furnace like body warmth. Her short dark hair spilling over her shoulders as she began to cry, her makeup becoming runny. “W-what happened to my baby?” she screamed, as Dad scooped her in hug to keep her emotions at ease. But, even in my Dad’s strong face, I could tell that he was worried just as much as she was. But the one out of all of us, who was the most confused, was me. I didn’t know what was happening, the nurse tried warning me; but I didn’t listen. I should’ve listened, if I had maybe this severe incident could’ve been avoided. My parents wouldn’t have to see me like this. And Charlie wouldn’t be worried for my life, like I feel right now. I tried to slightly sit up, but my parents just pushed me back down, telling me to wait for the ambulance. My eyes ached as I struggled to see despite the sun glaring in my eyes. I heard a loud, screeching siren in the distance. The squealing tires and loud horn honking made a giant migraine within my head. I heard the ambulance come to a stop, and police cars arrived as well, making up the whole package of a 911 call.
All of the neighbors pointed to me as the paramedics exited from the car, and ran over to me with a stretcher. They asked me what I was feeling, and informed my parents that only one person could ride in the ambulance with me. Mom came and squeezed my hand so tight, it began to feel numb. I became more and more tired, that recent disgusting episode, made my energy level become a zero. The paramedics shone a light in my eye, checking for pupil dilation. The beam of light contributed to the growth of my massive headache. They listened closely to my shallow breathing, and the inappropriate wheezes, and placed an oxygen mask to my mouth. The feeling was weird, having the plastic cloud my breathing helped with the full extent of my worries. I started to close my eyes, feeling tired of this madness. The paramedics all told me to stay with them, but it was too hard. My energy was gone, and I needed to rest. I wasn’t going to die. Something deep down inside me told me that it wasn’t my time…….yet. I tried to shrug off these grievous thoughts, and let the pleasantness of sleep consume me. Pretending like this was all drifting away, even though I knew that it wasn’t. This was becoming my new reality, and I would have to face it when I wake up.
I ran home after I saw the horrific sight of Trina hitting the concrete in a bloody horror. I’ll never get that look out of my face, the look that she gave me when she worried for her life. I entered my house fast, scaring my Mom clear out of her wits. She looked down at my blood stricken shirt, and then at the sorrowful look in my eyes. She looked frozen in place, as if she thought that I had just murdered someone. She traced the blood stains on my shirt, and held my face in her hands.
“Charlie, what happened? Why is there blood on your clothes?” She asked me accordingly, her hands shaking as she tucked her short hair behind her ears. As she asked me what happened, I couldn’t help but cry. As streams of tears poured down my face, I felt vulnerable. My mother pulled me into a hug, pulling me closer than I have ever been to her. I could smell her greasy hair, as she stroked my head; bracing herself for what I was about to say. I pushed away from her, and let out a loud sniffle, trying to contain myself while flashes of Trina puking still play in my mind. “It’s Trina.” I said, nearly falling over with how hard this was for me. “Something happened to her. She started bleeding uncontrollably, and wheezing. I….” I paused, letting out a loud stifling cry, “I didn’t know how to help her. I don’t know if she’s going to be okay!” after that note Mom pulled me back into a snug hug, and rubbed my shoulders. “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked, sadness creeping in her eyes. I shook my head, my mind too full of thoughts to even think right now. I began going up the stairs to my bedroom, sagging my shoulders unintentionally as I walked. I watched as Mom walked back into the kitchen, and resumed what she stopped doing after I came in. I was surprised that she didn’t yell at me to stay downstairs with her. I suppose it’s because we’ve experienced enough grief in our lives after my Dad passed. I suppose she doesn’t want me feeling anymore pain, pain from losing someone as close to me as Trina.
I tore of my shoes on my way up to my room, and threw them down the hallway, too frustrated with my situation to care. I walked over to the bathroom, letting my toes sink into the luxurious carpet. I slammed the door when I entered the restroom, and looked at myself in the mirror. My reflection looked different; I had the same face I had when Dad got in the car accident. My face was stained with tear streaks, and I looked like I had this permanent crease in my upper forehead. My limbs felt like jelly, it felt as though sadness was weighing me down. My heart was pounding a million miles per hour, and my breathing was short and heavy. Soon, I began drifting back to the time in my memories when Dad was in surgery. They said that he was in critical condition, but I still trusted that he was going to be okay. But he wasn’t. And if history repeats itself, neither will Trina. I stood there, staring at my reflection as I pondered on all of these thoughts, wondering what my next move was going to be. I touched my face and my hands, suddenly feeling an overpowering sensation of uncleanliness. Right now, more than anything, I just want to know that Trina is going to be okay, but life isn’t set like that. And most of all, life isn’t fair.
I peeled my clothes off and began making my way to the shower, trying to pretend like this was just yet another day. But my heart would only accept the truth. I scrubbed a handful of soap into my ashy brown hair, and ran my fingers through it trying to feel fresh again. I scrubbed off the blood from my hands, and watched as the red slowly crept towards the drain; washing down my sorrows as well. When I was finished I got changed into a new pair of clothes, and left the dirty ones. I couldn’t bear to look at the blood stricken clothes, stained with puke and Trina’s now sick essence. I tossed them in the trash and immediately took the trash out to the curb. Not wanting the stench to rid me of any happiness that I may have left. So, I left them to rot, for whatever reason I want whatever is hurting Trina to be gone. And to never come back again. As I sat around in my bedroom after taking out the trash, I suddenly realized that I wanted to see Trina. No, I needed to see Trina. I needed to find out what was happening. For if I don’t, I will never forgive myself.
I ran down the stairs and immediately stopped in the kitchen, smelling whatever Mom had cooking. “Mom.” I shouted, her eyes open with surprise. “Will you take me to the hospital? I need to see Trina.” She opened her mouth to object, but was immediately blind-sided for her love and compassion for Trina’s family. She grabbed her car keys, and quickly put on a long, black, button-up coat. She smiled sweetly at me and said, “I can tell that this girl is really important to you; of course we’ll go.” I grabbed my jacket and quickly ran out the door, Mom not too far behind me. She unlocked the car and motioned for me to get in. I followed suit, and was ready to face whatever reality was going to lie ahead for Trina’s family. And hopefully, I was worried for nothing.
When we arrived at the local hospital, my palms were sweating profusely. I rubbed the residue on my pants, and impatiently waited for Mom to get out of the car and go in with me. There were ambulances on all sides of the building, most of them non-active. There were stretchers and paramedic’s gear strewn out along the lot where the ambulances park. I unsteadily opened the car door, my sweat making the handle feel impossible to grip. Mom walked next to me, her caring expression trying to make me feel more comfortable despite the circumstance. Although her intentions were considerate, her failed attempt at making me feel better didn’t triumph. I gave her a slight smirk, trying to let her know that I understood why she was trying so hard to keep me at ease. We walked towards the front entrance, and entered gracefully, our feet only making a slight sound as we made quiet steps. I walked into the waiting room, and looked around for Trina’s parents, looking around for someone, anyone, to tell me Trina was okay. We made our way to the front desk, my tan face obviously foreshowing my previous concern. I moved my dry hands up to my hair, and ran my fingers through the short maze of hair. I kept on looking down at my feet, and then at the back of the hallway; as if any second now someone was going to break the news. I tried to keep calm. But, who can keep calm when you just witnessed something so heartbreaking?
“We’re here to see a patient that probably just arrived here, Katarina Dawson.” I heard Mom say, as she broke the silence that was forming in my mind. The nurse looked through her desk, and rummaged through thousands of files. Her pink scrubs wrinkled as she looked so desperately for our information. “Yes.” She said, tucking her hair behind her ear. “Miss Dawson just checked in a moment ago. But, it’s family only. So, unless your related, or allowed by the family; then you can’t get in quite yet.” The response made my insides feel like they collapsed on each other. My stomach turned as I tried to recover from not only the embarrassment, but the depressing response that I had just endured. Mom nodded and motioned to some uncomfortable looking chairs in the waiting room, for us to wait in. I sat intentionally, and took out my phone from my pocket, sad that I couldn’t see Trina quite yet. I checked my text messages first, eager to see if maybe one of the Dawson’s had texted me to come back yet, but nothing. They probably just need time with their daughter, but I need the reassurance of seeing my one and only closest friend.
When I opened my eyes, immediately I felt cheap hospital gown fabric touch my un-scathed body. There was a thin oxygen tube below my nose; forcing small amounts of pure oxygen into my body. I sat up slightly and felt a small, piercing, needle in my lower wrist. An IV made my wrist feel weird, and the long tube that ran all the way up to the insulin in a bag on a metal rod, made me feel extremely uncomfortable. There was a tight, clothes-pin like, device on my finger that felt like it was making my finger numb. I felt overwhelmed with all of things that I was hooked up to. I started breathing heavily, unsure what exactly was happening. I spotted my parents out in the hall, just beyond the clear window in the front of my room. They were talking with the doctor, as he held a brown clipboard in his hand. His blonde hair looked like yellow fields of gold. He kept his chiseled features calm and collective as he tried to explain to my parents what was happening. But I think that I deserve to know what was happening to me the most. The doctor used his hands as he explained whatever it was to my parents, they just nodded, and didn’t look too worried. Maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. My Dad saw my bright eyes, look up at him in a concerned look. His green eyes piercing through my soul, and bringing me back to when I nearly died on the walk home. He motioned for the doctor and Mom to see that I was awake, and that now would be a good time to explain. They walked into the room, with glowing smiles of admiration and happiness. My parents grabbed each of my hands stroking them gently and making me feel content. I looked up at my father’s stern face, and the light gleaming from the fixture reflecting on his bald head. His gray shirt was wrinkled and looked days old, his face looked tired and blotched red from so much crying. Mom looked the same. Her caring eyes peered down at me in utter relief, and her red lips pursed slightly as she quietly sniffled.
“Hello Katarina.” The doctor said, his large, pale, hands gripping the collar of his white coat. “I’m going to be your doctor, while you’re here today. My name is Doctor Woods, and I was just explaining to your parents what we are going to do today.” His voice was strong, and loud, like he was trying to make his voice echo throughout my mind. You could tell that he had lots of practice with telling families bad news. The way that he could look caring and considerate, but then be funny and serious at different times, like his personality could automatically change depending on the situation. He motioned for a nurse to come over and check all of the equipment that they were using on me, just so that they could tell if my vitals were okay. I kept my eyes locked to Wood’s as he explained. “We are going to run a few blood tests, so we can see what is really going on inside your body. The symptoms that you had today, the puking and the bleeding, that’s all signs for all kinds of different diseases. So, we really need to run the tests, before we can make a final conclusion.” I nodded. “We have already drawn the blood, and the blood counts should come back tomorrow at max. Then, we’ll really know what we are dealing with, in order to treat the sickness properly.” I looked down at my hands, twiddling with my thumbs, sad that it was definite that there was something going on with me. The doctor continued to talk to my parents and I, he talked about a possible MRI scan, and a CAT scan; or whatever that means. He nodded to me, and gestured for the nurse to check my insulin. I started to breath heavily, overwhelmed with all of the conversations, and possible tests happening right before my eyes. I breathed slowly in and out, trying hard to contain myself. I looked up at my parents, and felt a small need in my soul to see Charlie, to let him know that what he did for me was amazing. I re-squeezed my Mom’s hand, and looked deep into her eyes, letting her know that I wanted to ask her a question; my eyes showing her that I felt vulnerable. I opened my mouth ready to speak. “Mom?” I asked, watching her turn her head, as her compassionate eyes met mine. “Where’s Charlie? I want to see Charlie!”
I sat on the uncomfortable chair, glancing around the room as Mom read her magazine intently; her bony fingers gripping every page. I tapped my foot anxiously, intertwining my hands together on my lap. The gray fabric of my shirt folded and wrinkled. I listened as doctors were paged over the intercom, and the patients were bustled back in forth in rickety wheel chairs. Some of them were old, probably over fifty, and others looked no older than ten. Most had sickly faces that they wore grimly, their cloudy eyes making me even more eager to see Trina. I unfolded my hands, and tapped them on my legs, making my skin sting through the rough fabric of the jeans. I breathed slower and easier, as I tried my best to stay calm. She would’ve wanted me to stay calm in this situation. I flattened my hair over with my rugged hands, and squeezed my knuckles until they were bone white. I didn’t know what to do in this situation, I could hardly contain myself. I didn’t know what I would do if I were responsible for Trina’s demise.
When I heard Mom’s cell ring, it broke me out of the prison like deafness between us. She threw her magazine back down on the table, and tucked her hair behind her ears ready to take the call. She got up slowly, and stood up in her strict stature. Her arms and all of her features portraying how I felt. I listened closely to her conversation as she took the call, the glow of the cell phone showing on her upper check. She pursed her lips as she listened to the other line, putting on her patient act like she does when I annoy her. “Hello Katherine is everything okay?” she asked. I knew well that she was talking to Trina’s mom I listened diligently as I tried to make out the conversation. “Yeah, no we’re already here. Both of us.” She nodded, gripping the silver phone in her right palm. “How is Trina? Is she doing all right?” I heard nothing as Mom nodded and looked sympathetic. “Alright, see you in a few.” She finished, hanging up the call and slipping the device back into her pocket. She looked at me happily, her glowing smile telling me that it must be good news, or at least news that I wouldn’t absolutely dread. She took her hands in mine, her dainty skin feeling like porcelain against my unholy skin texture. She blew on our bundle of hands, trying to show good vibes as the slight breath brushed my skin. I smiled right back at her, ready to hear what tidings the conversation brought her. She dropped our hands to and let them rest back along our sides, allowing me to feel good. I watched as she tapped her right ear as she thought her words out carefully.
“Kathrine wanted to know if we could come see Trina. Apparently she’s been asking for you.” Mom said, the corner of her dry lips twitching into a grin. “So, she told us to wait here while she talked through the doctors and told them that we’re allowed inside.” I nodded as she gripped my shoulders, making my muscles ache slightly; but I didn’t care, I was going to see Trina. We stood there for a few more seconds as Trina’s mom, Katherine, briskly walked through the hallway. Her legs moved strongly, as she walked in long, confident strides. Her short, dark, hair swinging back and forth in sync with her slinky arms. A man walked by her; his handsome features and blonde hair slicked back. He had a smile of admiration and happiness written across his face; the only bright thing in such a depressing occupation. They walked together, in unison, as they got closer and closer to my Mom’s, and my own, gloomy expressions.
When they reached us Katherine’s kind face looked deep into my own; her facial features always making me feel welcome. “Hello, Charlie. Sarah.” She said, nodding into Mom’s alike welcoming features. “Well you can follow us right back.” Katherine began, as she walked. “Trina’s been very anxious to see you.” We walked past winding hallways, and depressing scenes. I felt like I was in some television show like Grey’s Anatomy; all of this death and heartbreaking cries of pain, I always talked myself into thinking it was nothing but fiction. Sometimes I even told myself that what happened to Dad wasn’t real, that my mind was playing a trick on me. Even though I knew deep down that the pain and guilt were real; that they’d forever be an imprint on my mind of how sorrowful life in itself is. I know that pain, and death is inevitable, but I wish that we had a choice in the matter. If we did, maybe Dad would also be with me at this time. I sagged my shoulders as I remembered the last time I had suffered grief, I didn’t want grief to fully consume me. I didn’t want be become depressed, or sad, in other words I just wanted my loved ones to stay in this world with me; forever.
Katherine lead us into a small hospital room, Trina’s dad and a doctor were standing next to a hospital bed. My jaw tensed as I braced myself for the sight of Trina. “Please be okay.” I whispered to myself as though it would change the outcome. I let my fingertips graze the doorway as I walked in, feeling too nervous for comfort. The hospital room was a bland white color, like they didn’t already have a depressing enough hospital already. There was a lonely feel to the place that just made you want to leave immediately; the overall feel just gets to you. I saw Trina lying in the hospital bed, her black hair spilling across the white linen of the pillow. She had an oxygen tube beneath her nose, and an IV that just made me cringe at the site of it. I looked down at my fingers and started twiddling my thumbs as Trina spotted me, her hazel eyes piercing into my soul. She flashed me a slight smile and began to sit up in her bed; she looked like she had just encountered a pleasant surprise. When I walked over to the side of her bed, I couldn’t help but smile. She was okay, and I hope that’s the only news about this that I’ll have to hear ever. No more bad news needs to come my way, not in this lifetime. I placed my hands over Trina’s and rubbed her icy fingers, stunned with how cold they were. Trina opened her mouth to speak, as if she needed to say some words of reassurance.
“Aren’t I lucky?” she said sarcastically, as I squeezed her hand even more. We chuckled for a few seconds as she went on and on about what the doctors’ had told her. She said that they were going to run a few tests, and that we’d figure out what’s going on in a day or so. The thought of Trina being sick for real made my stomach turn. I guess that when I saw here in the bed, looking better than ever, that that had meant she fine and that nothing was wrong. I lifted her hand in mine and blew on the bundle, warming up her freezing fingertips. She squeezed my palm back and shot me a compassionate glare; as if her eyes were telling me to treat her no differently. Our exchange was interrupted when Trina’s mom began to speak, her voice directed to me. I turned my head and listened as I waited for what she was about to say.
“Charlie. Um, Trina was wondering if you wouldn’t mind getting her assignments and bringing them to her. She said that in social studies they’re going to start a new project, and that it’s worth half of their grade. She doesn’t want to miss out you know?” I nodded.
“Of course I will.”
I turned my focus back on Trina and brushed strands of her hair out of her face; she’s always loved little romantic gestures. In return she traced the edges of my eyebrows with her thumb, and brushed my cheek with a soft kiss. The sensation felt wonderful, something that I had never felt before. My face began to blush as I felt my cheek, remembering the place that her lips touched my skin. She smiled at me, her white teeth biting her lip as she repositioned her oxygen tube.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said, “The hospital has strict visiting hours. You should probably be getting home.” I nodded and then looked back at Mom, who was motioning to her watch. I walked over to Mom and made my way out the door, looking back at Trina as I did so.
“Oh, and Trina!” I practically yelled across the room, “Thanks for the kiss!” After that note I left, leaving Trina blush red. We went back the way we came and got in the car, waiting in the parking lot for a few minutes. The street lamps shone down on us as we fastened our seatbelts.
“That poor girl,” Mom said, “I hope that there is nothing extremely wrong with her.” I nodded agreeing with her statement. As she began putting her keys in the ignition she glanced over at me smirking. “So what’s this I hear about a kiss.” She said, making me relive the moment all over again.
“Nothing,” I said, “we’re just friends.” Mom shook her head, placing her hands on the wheel.
“Yeah for now.” She said sarcastically, starting the car and stopping the conversation. We drove back home in pure silence, each of us in our own thoughts. All I could think about was Trina, and the kiss; and the hope that she makes it out of that hospital unharmed. I touched the side of my cheek again, thinking about nothing but Trina. “We’re just friends.” I told myself, even though I didn’t even believe it.