Aunt Carol and Dillim had survived, but were in hospital. They had been in the back of the plane and the front had crashed into the ground, killing everyone in there. Most people in the middle were killed and some at the back died.
Dad had gone to visit them at the hospital. He’d left 2 hours ago, and Layower was entertaining himself by playing chess with his Mum. He felt very worried though and couldn’t play so his Mum kept beating him. The hospital had said Dillim was so injured there was a chance he’d die. Aunt Carol would probably live.
The door opened and Dad walked in.
“Are they alright?” Layower asked.
“Carol is ok, but Dillim isn’t…” Dad began.
“Isn’t what!” Mum cried.
“He’ll live,” Dad said. “But he’s been badly scarred.”
“How?” Layower asked. “Did it hurt?”
“He was unconscious at the time,” Dad said. “It was during the operation, they did it too late to avoid scars.”
“Is it bad, like on his face?” Layower asked.
Dad sighed. “Yes, it is bad. He’s barely recognisable.”
“Well that won’t bother me I’ve never met him before,” Layower said.
“He really is quite ugly though,” Dad said. “Not good for the squeamish.”
“I’m not squeamish,” Layower said coolly.
“What about Carol?” Mum asked.
“She had a dislocated arm but they sorted that out,” Dad said.
“How long will they be in there for?” Mum asked.
“They’ll want to keep Dillim there for 3 weeks. I think they’re staying here as planned, they’re both too scared to go on a plane for a while,” Dad explained.
Carol was discharged in 2 days. She stayed in the guest bedroom as planned. She visited Dillim everyday. The nearest hospital was 2 hours drive away.
One day Dad suggested she’d take Layower to meet Dillim. On the Friday before Dillim could leave Layower walked into the hospital preparing not to feel sick when he saw Dillim. Layower hoped it wouldn’t look too bad.
The nurse took them in. He was lying in bed with a curtain around him.
“Why’s the curtain around him?” Layower asked.
“He doesn’t want them to look at him,” the nurse said. “I don’t know why, the swelling has gone down and he looks much better. She pulled the curtain away. Dillim was sitting there, reading. Layower felt slightly awkward.
He didn’t look that ugly. He did have about 3 long scars winding round his face but he was recognisable from pictures he’d seen. There must have been bad swelling.
“Um…hello,” Layower said.
“Hi, I guess,” Dillim said unenthusiastically.
“I’ll leave you two to chat,” Aunt Carol said. She walked out. Layower wished she hadn’t.
He didn’t want to start off talking about the crash, like most people did. Instead, he said, “This city looks better than Neyunn.”
“Hmm,” Dillim said. There was an awkward pause. Then, he said “Do you think I look ugly?”
“Well, yes,” Layower replied. Dillim sighed.
“But I get told at school by bullies that I’m ugly as well, so I’ve learnt not to judge by looks,” he continued.
“That’s good,” Dillim replied.
“When is it you can leave?” Layower asked, making small talk.
“Tuesday,” Dillim replied.
Aunt Carol walked into the room. “It’s nice to see you two are talking,” she said. “But I think it’s time to leave.”
“Well, bye,” Layower said.
“Yeah,” Dillim replied.
On Tuesday Dillim left the hospital and stayed in Layower’s house. He was due to stay a month, then he’d go back to America.
After a while Layower and Dillim became friends. They seemed to have similar hobbies, they both liked the same food and they both liked travelling. Layower just dreaded when Dillim had to leave.
© Copyright 2016 Mathew Nicolson. All rights reserved.