When the boat began speeding back out of the cave, I felt like everything was in a blur. I sat right beside Josh, holding his hand and telling things like: "Hold on", "You're going to make it", and "You'll be alright".
But, the more times I repeated these, the more I started doubting. They couldn't get Josh to wake up and they wouldn't be able to remove the jagged rock until they got him to a hospital. My legs were stiff and aching from sitting in the same position, so I stood up and walked to the edge of the boat.
I began crying silently, because I knew that this was somehow my fault. We shouldn't have left the boat...if we would've stayed on, none of this would have happened!
I turned around and saw the same boatmen with the clipboard. "I'm sorry to disturb you," he said, "but I really need your statement."
Quickly, I wiped away my remaining tears and replied, "Oh that's fine..."
I sat down next to the worker and asked, "What do you need to know?" He smiled and held out his hand.
"I'm Chuck, by the way." I shook his hand, politely, and said, "I'm Nicole." He held my gaze for a moment and then looked back down at his clipboard.
"Alright. What were you two doing inside the cave?" Chuck's question was kinda weird. What else is there to do inside the cave...that's not illegal.
I answered, "We decided to take the boat tour." He began scribbling down my response while nodding that he heard me.
"Ok...and how did you get into the water?" Chuck asked while still writing.
There was no way I was going to tell him we snuck off the boat, so I stuck to my original story and said, "We were sitting in the back and the boat took an unexpected turn and we fell off."
Chuck raised his head up and asked, "Did the tourguide not hear the splash?"
"Obviously not, or we wouldn't even be in this mess..."
Chuck kinda frowned at me but then nodded. I didn't mean to sound like a smartass, but his question made me boil inside? What do all these questions matter anyway?! I just wanted Josh to be alright.
We got out of the cave, surprisingly fast. Chuck ended my interview with one final question. "Nicole, do you remember your tour guide's name?"
I wasn't really focusing on him, because I was watching the other boatmen lift Josh out of the boat. He asked again, "Nicole? Do you remember the name of the tour guide?"
"Um...her name was Zoey." I began walking away, following the other men with the stretcher. Chuck tried to stop me but I turned towards him and said, "Chuck. I will not answer anymore questions until I am sure that Josh is ok. Have a good day."
I walked away feeling Chuck's cold stare burning holes in the back of my head. But, I ignored him because he had no right to quiz me so hard.
Evidently, news had gotten around at the lobby, because there was a crowd of people waiting outside. I walked past each of them, hearing their gasps and whispering about the boy who was impaled.
I scanned the crowd, looking for my mom or luke and finally I saw them waving in my direction. Immediately, the tears began to flow and I ran towards their direction.
My mom enveloped me in a tight hug and said, "Oh honey, are you alright?"
"Mom....I'm scared. He can't..d..leave me." I began sobbing and wasn't able to stop. Luke came around and gently placed his warm hand on my back.
"Have faith, Nicole. He'll pull through...he's tough as nails." My mom's reassuring words came to me as shocking, because she never did like him.
All of a sudden, I raised up and said, "God. I need to call his grandparents! They need to know what happened."
My mom nodded and let me go. Before I left, I turned towards Luke and said, "Thank you."
"For what?" He asked curiously.
I put a fake smile on and replied, "Just for always being there."
He smirked and patted me on the shoulder. I pulled out my cellphone and went inside the lobby.
It was even worse in here with the crowds. I finally noticed that the patio was deserted and went out there to make the call. It rang three times and finally I heard the familiar voice of Josh's grandfather, Harold.
I held back the tears that threatened to fall down. "Harold, it's Josh's girlfriend, Nicole."
"Well hi Nicole. This is a nice surprise! Did Josh tell you it was my birthday?"
Oh this was going to be a nice gift.. I thought to myself. "No...Harold...um something has happened...to Josh."
There was silence on the other end for awhile, but then Harold came back on the phone. "What do you mean? Is Josh alright?"
I felt a tear begin forming when I said, "You just need to get to the hospital as soon as you can."
"...Thank you for letting us know, Nicole. We'll see in a minute."
I hung up and begin crying, again. What if they blame me for his accident?
Walking back outside, I notcied that the ambulance had arrived. I dashed over to the paramedic and said, "I'm riding with him."
The paramedic was a tall, red-headed girl and looked at like I was the scum of the Earth. "Are you family?"
"No. I'm his girlfriend, but none of his family is here...no matter what you say,I'm riding with him."
She looked me up and down and then said, "Fine. Hop in."
In the ambulance, their were two seats on either side of Josh. I took the one to the right and the rude, red-headed, paramedic took the one on the left.
I watched, intently, as she hooked Josh up to all kinds of machines with wires connected to them. She hooked him up to a heart monitor and I sat there and stared at the line go up and down...slowly.
His heart rate was down. I closed my eyes and focused on the beeping coming from each and every one of the monitors. I bet I looked like a crazy person. My hair was still damp from swimming, my face was tear-streaked, I had blood on my outer clothes from trying to stop the bleeding...I just realized how tired I really was.
I opened my eyes and looked at my boyfriend's face. He was so beautiful to me. He had been letting his hair grow out, and the long ends still dripped with water. I moved my eyes down to his body. His muscles were so lean and tight...but then there's that huge, gaping hole in his left side.
The rock was still there. I wish there was some way the paramedic could remove it..so I didn't have to see the gruesome details of it. I closed my eyes again and, for once, I felt peace.
"Hey...hey." I awoke with a start. I looked around and remembered that I was still in the ambulance and Josh was still injured.
"Did I doze off?" I asked the paramedic. She nodded and said, "Yeah. About a hour ago! We're at the hospital...now." She stood up and hopped out of the ambulance. I looked around and realized Josh wasn't in the ambulance anymore! I started to panic.
"Where is he?!"
She held out her hand to help me down. I noticed she was being much more nicer to me. She said, "Calm down, alright? We went ahead and took him into a room...he's in surgery right now, though."
She sighed and replied, "Yes. They had to go in and surgically remove the rock. Are you ok?"
My face had lost all of its color. Josh was in surgery...I mean, I knew they would have to remove like that...I just didn't expect him to have operation while I was gone!
"Um...I'm not feeling well." I sat back down while she climbed back into the ambulance.
She started gathering supplies from compartments above us and hooked me up to a machine.
I shakily asked, "W...what are you doing?"
"I'm afraid you might be going into shock...tell me your name."
I was confused but I did as she said, "Nicole...Nicole Bishop."
"Hi Nicole. I'm Jacey. How old are you?"
The machine I was hooked to, was beeping loud and fast. "I'm 17."
"Nice. Alright one more question...what's your boyfriend's name?"
It was like time froze. The beeping stopped and my heart rate went back to normal. I looked over at Jacey and said, "My boyfriend's name is Josh Princeton."
She smiled and patted my knee. "Good. Your back to normal...c'mon let's get to the waiting room."