The silence stretched on. All that could be heard was breathing. Stephen’s, the doctor’s, Sebastian’s, Teddi’s and mine. The monitor that was controlling my lungs had shut off minutes ago and with difficulty, I continued to breath. I tried to opened my eyes. Nothing. I tried my mom. Still nothing.
I laid completely motionless, useless. I was unable to move. Sebastian’s hand grabbed for mine. “See? She breathes on her own. She’s alive.” He brought my hand to his face again and rubbed it back and forth. I curled my fingers, the only thing that seem to move. Sebastian grabbed them harder. “Doctor. Will you leave us?” The request was more of a demand. The doctor left, the door clicked shut behind him.
“Sebastian. You’re imagining it.” Stephen said, his voice sagging with a sigh. “She’s breathing on her own, yes, but not for long. Soon, her body will give out and she’ll…she’ll die.”
“She can’t be dead. She can’t. It was a simple enough statement, if it didn’t sound crazy.
“She is.” Teddi and Stephen said, sadness laced their words, and I knew they believed it. I had to show them I was alive! That I was listening! I wanted to cry so bad! Somebody touched my face, and that’s when I realized I was. “She’s crying?” That was Teddi’s voice. “Do you think…should could possibly hear us?” Yes! Yes, I can! “Impossible. Come on, Stephen, let’s leave Sebastian to mourn her.” The clicked shut again. Sebastian wrapped her arms around me.
“I love you, Ariel, I love you. Come back. Come back.” Irony. I begging to come back and now he begs me.
Life is cruel.
SEBASTIAN’S POINT OF VIEW
I didn’t leave her side. She lay like a broken angel on the cold, impersonal white hospital bed in ICU. She had been here for two and half months, suffering and healing. Her leg and ankle were nearly healed, as were her wrist and rotator cuff. Her rips had healed long ago, but she had a long way to go. The scars still stained her face, from her temple to her collar-bone. Her arm had healed, but the bone could not be fixed. There was a permanent hold in the wrist.
I cried as I held her hand and begged her come back to me. “I love you, Ariel, I love you. Come back. Come back.” The tears stained my dark jeans and shirt. I grabbed a tissue and wiped them away. I clutched to her hand, as if her life was mine. In a way it was.
Ariel’s soul was tied to my own. There was string connecting our hearts. When I realized I loved her, and she loved me, my humanity came rushing back and I saw the world differently. It was a glorious feeling, really. I knew she felt the same way because she gave her life for me.
As Stephen, Zachariah and I lay unconscious, Catherina had torn Ariel to ribbons, soaking the Earth in her blood. Some many wounds and breaks made Ariel nearly unrecognizable when Zachariah and I came to. The rage boiled up inside me and the next thing I knew, I was standing beside a dead Catherina while Zachariah dug a grave.
Half hour later, Ariel was in an ambulance on the way to the ER. We followed her in Teddi’s flashy car. Hours went by before Ariel was out of surgery. We told the police she was mulled by animal, which technically wasn’t a lie.
I rubbed Ariel’s hand against my face. Her palm was becoming red from my stubble, my being unshaven for days. I stopped and put my forehead on the bed. “Ariel, I am so sorry this happened to you. This is all my fault. I should have never let on my feelings for you, let alone voice them. How can you ever forgive me?” That was a posh sound and I thought she had let her lash breath out. I looked up and found her eyes opened. “Ariel!”
I stood, the chair slamming into the wall, leaving a dent. “Dead?”
“No, no, honey, you’re not dead! You’re alive. You’re alive! She’s alive!” I grabbed my cellphone and dialed Teddi. It went to her voicemail. “She’s alive!” I shouted. I grabbed Ariel’s hand. “You’re alive.” It was sigh.
She smiled. “Yes.”
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