Chapter 20:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 133

Around six o’clock Tyra got hungry. She’d heard the doctors say something about the voices of friends and loved ones sometimes helping comatose patients to regain consciousness. She’d been talking to Kara all afternoon. Sitting beside Corey, as he watched Kara with the same self-hating look on his face as he’d had all week. In the entire time she’d been there he hadn’t said a word, hadn’t looked away from Kara’s face, hadn’t released her hand. Tyra checked her phone. Sam had just messaged her telling her he was outside. They were going to go out for dinner and bring something back for Corey when they returned later.
They’d been doing this all week. Tyra and Sam would pick everything up and leave at around six until sometime between seven thirty and eight o’clock. Corey needed to have a few moments to himself, or so they thought at least. Not to say that Corey wasn’t there with her by himself anyway. It had become pretty clear to the nurses that both Corey and Tyra intended to stay at the hospital most nights. There were two mattresses on they ground. The nurses didn’t like the idea of them being there; well technically they weren’t supposed to let them be there at all, but essentially they hadn’t been given much choice. And Corey normally came to see her at lunchtime, blowing off his afternoon classes, while Tyra and Sam didn’t often arrive until after school. So really he had a fair amount of time to himself, but it was between about six and nine that Corey and Kara always used to talk. Most nights, without fail from when they first became friends back in grade nine onwards.
Tyra and Sam liked to leave him with her during that time, in the hopes that he would talk to her. That maybe his voice would be the one to wake her up. They didn’t know whether he spoke to her or not but they did know he didn’t say much to anyone anymore. She might be the only person he would talk to and he, the only one that could wake her up.
‘I’ll be back later honey. Corey’s still here with you.’ Tyra leaned over and kissed her forehead. She stirred slightly at the mention of Corey’s name but settled again almost as quickly. Tyra held her breath and she felt Corey fall back into his seat. They’d both thought this might be it. ‘Talk to her,’ she whispered giving him a quick hug before she left.
Corey shrugged and released her hand as the hope left his body, his mind… his heart. His head fell to his hands as Tyra left the room. He sat like that for about half an hour, willing the tears welling up in his eyes to go away, willing them not to race like waterfalls down his cheeks. He rubbed his hands over his face before reaching down to the school bag by his feet. He pulled out all of his school books and dumped them on a pile in his lap. He sifted through the books, placing the ones that wouldn’t be needed for homework back into his bag and leaving the rest on his lap. He looked at the assignments before him, none of which particularly interested him at the time. He sighed, placing the books on the ground beside his chair. He caught a glimpse of a book lying on the nightstand by her bed. He’d seen Tyra with it before, reading it to Kara to see if it could have a chance at changing her condition. She’d heard her talking with the doctors about how the voices of close family and friends sometimes awoke comatose patients, in fact she’d just been lecturing him on that very topic hours before… Not that she’d known she’d been lecturing or that she meant to lecture him but it was just the way she came across. He felt like telling her that just because he hadn’t said much in the past few days didn’t mean he didn’t talk. Of course that wasn’t necessarily true. When he looked back, he couldn’t think of a single time he’d really spoken since just after Kara’s admission to hospital.
He picked up the book and looked it over, running his fingers over the raised lettering of the title. He opened the book to the cover page. Kara, Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it. Much love always the inscription read. He sighed and flicked through until he found a tissue; marking the page that Tyra had stopped reading at. He decided he may as well try speaking to her. There was so much that he wanted to say, he just didn’t know how to do it so instead he decided to read.
‘Together they walked along the boardwalk as the stars twinkled above their heads. She walked to the railing and leaned against it for a moment. “Its places like this,” she said. “That makes me certain there is a God.”’ Corey started as he moved his chair closer to the bed. His voice was quiet and croaky as he hadn’t spoken for so long. He cleared his throat and continued.
‘Beau moved to stand beside her. He knew he sounded surprised when he finally spoke, “So you’re sometimes not sure?” Caitlin turned to face him, the wind whipping her beautiful brown hair across her face, “I’m pretty sure.” She waited a moment, her voice quiet when she finally continued. “It’s like the wind, I can’t see it…But I can feel it.”’
Slowly, beside him something changed. It was as if he had just spoken the magic words… For a moment at least. A look of complete calm went across her face as she moved ever so slightly, her body responding to hearing the familiar words from a familiar voice – the one she had been waiting to hear. But as he held his breath and watched, she resettled calmly as she’d been before.
Corey let out a deep breath and lifted the book to read again. Maybe, just maybe if he kept reading to her he could bring her back. ‘Beau closed his eyes for a moment, feeling the wind blow gently against his face before rejecting her idea, “You can measure the wind.” Caitlin watched him for a moment before observing, “Uncertainty makes you uncomfortable.”
‘“What do you actually know with religion?” he asked as she slowly dawdled back up the boardwalk. Catlin sighed a peaceful sigh as she turned back to him, “Wonder…Beauty…Joy…” she stared at him for a moment before continuing in a quieter voice, “Love… I’ve always been told that God is love, so when you’re feeling love, you’re feeling God.” She paused again and glanced up at him; Beau reached up and touched her hair, looking at her affectionately. In almost a whisper she continued, “I don’t…I don’t understand…”
Corey glanced up, hoping for a reaction from Kara, however she remained dead still. He laced his fingers through hers and continued reading. ‘”Maybe you’re not supposed to understand.” Beau moved closer to her, touching her cheek gently. “I might kiss you…”’
‘I might be bad at it,’ came a faint voice from beside him.
Corey looked up, surprised as he turned towards the door, thinking that someone who’d been walking past knew the story but there was no one there. He looked down as he felt her squeeze his hand. ‘Oh. My. God.’
‘Corey…’ Her voice sounded tiny and a little croaky after not being used for a while. But to Corey it was the sweetest sound the world could bring him right now. He watched as she glanced around before turning her gaze quickly back to him. ‘What happened…?’
Corey shrugged and ran his fingers through his hair.
Kara tilted her head to the side thoughtfully, ‘Core… I need-’
He nodded before speaking, ‘To know. I know. Kar… I just… I’m sorry.’
‘Why?’
‘Because I shouldn’t have fallen asleep. I shouldn’t have let you practically suffocate. You stopped breathing for fuck sake. You are never wearing a scarf again, no matter how cold it is. Never, hear me?’
Kara laughed, ‘You’re so silly Corey. It’s not your fault at all. I should have known better than to sleep while wearing a scarf anyway. And I stopped breathing?’
‘Yeah… I tried to-’
‘Well then you saved my life. If you hadn’t have been there then no one would have known and I would be dead.’
Corey smiled a little, ‘I’m still sorry… God, I missed you.’
‘Missed me? I was right here the entire time. And from the looks of things,’ Kara replied glancing once more around the hospital room. ‘You didn’t exactly leave much… You did go to school right?’
‘Some of it.’
‘Corey!’
‘What? I said some of it. At least I didn’t just skip out on the whole thing. Besides, you’re more important.’
Kara shrugged and turned her head towards the window. ‘Why? There’s nothing important about me.’
‘Kara…’
She shrugged, watching the clouds outside, grey and stormy as she awaited the rain that was certain to come.
‘I love you.’
Turning to face him again, Kara smiled. ‘You’re an idiot.’
‘How do you figure that?’
‘I’m not worth it…’ Kara whispered.
Corey squeezed her hand, ‘Yes you are. You are to me anyway, and if your family doesn’t agree well then they have no idea how amazing you are. You’re worth so much more than you realise.’
Kara shrugged, ‘I doubt that.’
‘Shows what you know,’ Corey replied as he slid onto the hospital bed beside her, wrapping her in his arms.
* * *
Sam and Tyra rounded the corner, Sam holding a box of pizza while Tyra held three takeaway coffee cups. She heard voices as she approached the door, glancing in to see Corey holding Kara in his arms.
‘You’re everything to me,’ he was saying. ‘I love you so much.’ They watched as he leant down and kissed her forehead.
Tyra started backing away slowly so as not to be noticed. She didn’t know whether Kara had woken up or not. But if she had, Tyra didn’t want to interrupt the moment and if not, Corey could be the one to make her wake up, Tyra didn’t want to ruin that either, she wanted her best friend back.
Kara glanced up at Corey, smiling as he pulled her closer. She caught a glimpse of someone at the door. ‘Ty?’
‘Kara!’ Tyra exclaimed. ‘You are awake!’
‘Apparently so.’
‘Corey?’
Corey looked up at Tyra for a moment. ‘Yeah?’
‘Could you, you know, let go for like five seconds?’
Corey shot Tyra a look before releasing his girlfriend and sliding back into his seat beside her bed as Tyra flung herself at Kara. The girls both laughed as they clung to one anther, as though they hadn’t seen each other for weeks, although technically it had been about a week.
Kara glanced up at the doorway where Sam was lingering. ‘You can come in you know Sam.’
Sam smiled and moved to the chair beside Corey, where Tyra ended up on his lap. ‘Oof. Ty, do you really have to?’
Tyra just grinned at him. ‘Yes indeed I do.’
* * *
The staff at the hospital seemed grateful when Kara left the hospital the following day, taking Corey, Tyra and Sam with her. Not that they’d been any trouble or anything, but four teenagers was a bit too much for the nurses to put up with on a daily basis unless they had to, and technically none of them were really sick. Aside from Kara, but she had recovered pretty quickly from that and was well and truly ready to go home, especially seeing as that meant there would be no nurses poking and prodding her with needle sticks and thermometers and such.
It wasn’t long before the four of them settled into a regular routine. Sam ended up staying at Kara’s with Tyra, so the two of them were still staying in Kara’s spare room, while Corey also decided to stay because he didn’t want to leave Kara even for a moment. Holidays were only a couple of weeks away which meant heaps of exam study, late nights and final assignments before they were released from ultimate torture. It also meant they were all living on minimal amounts of sleep, mostly junk food and takeaway and plenty of coffee.
The night before their biology exam, they were all stressing and under a lot of pressure to get everything finished. Kara had been sitting cross legged on her bed with a box of Pringles and her laptop since around four that afternoon attempting to study. She groaned, changing the music coming softly through her speakers before flopping back onto her pillows and allowing her head to gently hit the wall behind her.
From across the room Corey glanced up from where he sat working on his final Australian Studies essay. ‘Don’t.’ He rubbed his hands over his eyes and stretched his arms. ‘Eight o’clock. Dinner.’
Kara nodded, standing up slowly and shaking the pins and needles out of her legs. She walked across to the couch where Corey was sleeping and offered him a hand to stand up. Corey moved his laptop off his knee before accepting her hand and instead of allowing her to pull him up, pulled her down next to him. Kara leaned into him before looking up at him. ‘What…?’
Corey grinned, ‘This.’ He kissed her, pulling her closer to him. Kara laughed, kissing him back as she moved nearer to him. The door opened but neither of them heard it, both too wrapped up in the moment, in each other.
‘Oh. Sorry.’
At the sound of Tyra’s voice they immediately sprang apart, both of them looking towards the door. Tyra tried her best not to laugh as they both turned towards her, Kara red faced and looking rather guilty and Corey just looking incredibly annoyed at her interruption. ‘Sam and I were hungry; we just wanted to know if you two wanted something for dinner. We probably should have eaten a little while ago seeing as we have exams tomorrow. An early night would probably be a good idea.’ Even as Tyra said this, the three of them all knew that despite the fact that they should have an early night, that wasn’t likely to happen.
Kara stood, once again extending a hand to help Corey up before thinking the better of it and just crossing her arms over her chest and watching him until he stood up. ‘Come on,’ she grabbed his hand, leading him into the kitchen where Sam was waiting for the three of them; the takeaway menus already out on the table in front of him.
‘So,’ Sam said once they were all seated. ‘What do we feel like tonight?’
Corey shrugged, ‘Food. That sounds good to me.’
‘Don’t care. Just pick already because I'm hungry and I really need to get back to my study.’
‘Yeah, study. Sure.’ Tyra said under her breath.
They all immediately turned to look at Tyra. ‘What,’ Kara blinked. ‘Did you just say?’
‘Nothing. Just that you and Corey were both doing some interesting study there. I mean, why study any more? You’ll ace your exams for sure.’
‘Hey Ty?’
‘What?’
Kara reached over and slapped Tyra gently across her cheek.
‘Oil! What’d you do that for?’
‘You’re a loser. Why don’t we just get pizza?’
‘Okay. Wait… I’m not a loser!’
‘Ty?’
‘WHAT?!?’
‘It’s this little thing called a joke.'
‘Oh… Right.’
‘Honestly you two. I’m hungry!’ Sam complained.
Tyra turned back to Kara, ‘Only thinks of his stomach I tell you.’
The girls laughed while the boys left to go and get their pizza.
* * *
By nine o’clock they had eaten dinner and cleaned up what little mess they had made, before heading back to their individual corners of the house to study. Kara headed back to her room, moved her laptop so she could fluff up her pillows and then sat back into them, pulling the laptop closer again. She sighed loudly as she found a song she liked before pulling her hair into a messy bun, keeping it out of her face.
In an extremely worried and stressed mental state, Kara was almost more unstable as she was normally. She looked tired and overworked, and her eyes looked sunken into her face. She looked like she hadn’t slept in days, although that was probably due to the fact that she hadn’t really. Thankfully, biology was their final exam so as soon as it was over, not only were exams but also school for the term. After scrolling through her notes and assignments one final time, Kara pushed her laptop to the other end of her bed and sat in the corner between her bed head and the wall hugging a pillow. She allowed her head to drop onto her knees.
Rubbing his eyes and yawning, Corey looked up. ‘Kar? You ‘kay?’
She looked up, a blank look on her face. ‘Huh?’
‘Are you okay?’ he said, lifting his laptop and moving to sit on the bed near her.
‘Mmm.’ she said. ‘Stupid freaking exams,’ she mumbled before lying down and resting her head on his leg.
Corey smiled down at her, resting an arm on her shoulder as he continued reading through his notes. The next time he glanced down again she was fast asleep. That didn’t surprise him very much; the past few nights he had gone to bed around two, while she continued working only to wake about two hours later and find her either still doing work or pacing backwards and forwards between the door and her bed. He gently ran his hand over her arms, her hair, before reaching down to the end of her bed and pulling the neatly folded blanket over her. He leaned back against her pillows. ‘Stupid freaking exams indeed,’ he mumbled before going back to work.
An hour later Tyra knocked on the door. ‘Can I come in?’
‘Sure. Be quiet though.’
The door opened as Tyra stepped inside, shielding her eyes. ‘Can I look?’
‘God, Tyra.’
She poked out her tongue, before dropping her hand from her eyes, spying Kara asleep on his lap. ‘Aww.’
Corey shrugged at Tyra, running his had lovingly over her arm and shoulder.
‘How did she go with her study? And you for that matter?’
Corey shrugged, ‘I think she just kind of gave up in the end. I’m doing alright, I just hope I can remember it all. I hope she did enough… Anyway, what about you and Sam?’
‘Well, I think I’m pretty much ready, just too stressed to sleep which probably isn’t too good. Sam pretty much just finished and fell asleep as soon as he finished dinner. I think he must have been in bed by nine thirtyish. I mean, I know its late and we have an exam tomorrow. But well, we have an exam tomorrow. How the hell can he just fall asleep?’
Corey glanced down at Kara, ‘She’s exhausted. I don’t know what to do. I just… I hope she does okay. I hope she cheers up after exams are over. Its not fair that all of this shit affects every part of her life for as long as she lives. She deserves to have fun and to be happy, you know?’
‘Mmm. Yeah, she does.’
Corey glanced at the time on his laptop, ‘Come on. We have an exam and its two thirty in the morning. Sleep now. I’ll buy us all a hell of a lot of coffee in the morning.’
‘Night Corey.’ Tyra leaned over to hug him.
‘Sleep well Ty.’


Submitted: October 15, 2009

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