*If your love was the only thing that was keeping your boyfriends heart beating, would you forever stay by his side? When the love of Hope’s life gets into a life threatening accident that she caused, she is immediately filled with guilt and sadness. After Jace was thrown out of the car windshield and smashed into a huge tree, hitting his head severely hard, he fell into a deep coma. The doctors don’t know if he will come out of it or not, but soon enough they find out that there is only one way that he will be able to survive through this. The only hope that he has to make it out of his coma alive is the one person his heart truly keeps beating for, his girlfriend, Hope.*
His only Hope
Riiiiiing. I turned over, groaning in annoyance under my breath, and shoved a pillow over my head to try to block out the loud ringing of my cellphone.
Whoever it was obviously had something important to talk to me about since they kept calling me over and over again this early in the freaking morning. I was annoyed, but I couldn’t help holding back the huge smile that spread across my face as soon as I saw the name Jace Andrews appear across the lit-up screen.
“Hello, Mr. Andrews.” I said, trying to sound cute and flirty even though I was annoyed and tired.
“Hiya, Mrs. Adams.” He said, flirting back, obviously noticing my attempt to sound flirty in the first place.
“So, what’re you up this early for?” I asked, wondering why he was calling me so early in the morning.
“I want you do something for me.” He said.
“Yeah, and what do you seriously want me to do for you at 6:43 in the freaking morning, Jace?” I said, getting more and more grouchy and annoyed with each and every second that passed by.
“Well, grouchy pants, come open your front door.” He said, sounding excited.
“What are you talking about? I’d much rather be sleeping right about now.” I said, in annoyance.
“Just trust me.” He said.
“Fine.” I said, starting to get curious.
I managed to make myself roll out of the comfort of my huge bed and eventually forced myself towards the front door. I slowly swung open the old, creaky, wooden door only to see Jace standing there in his monkey pajamas holding a bouquet of pink roses. God, he was so freaking handsome. Do you know how excited a little girl is on Christmas day whenever she opens up her favorite toy that she’s been waiting forever to get? That is one way that I can try to describe how excited I was at that exact moment, but it still wouldn’t have even been close. I was more excited than the cookie monster getting a fresh chocolate chip cookie. I was to the point where I was going to start bouncing up and down repeatedly until my legs gave out from underneath of me and I collapsed. This man, the love of my life, was standing at my front door at 6:43 in the morning in his silly monkey pajamas just to take me out on a date. What a romantic man he was.
“Let me change first. I’m in sleep shorts and a tank top, which isn’t really clothes to wear on a date.” I told him, laughing down at my pink Hollister shorts.
“Look at me, do you really think I’m in “date clothes” right now? No, exactly. So get your little butt out here and come on this date with me! Oh, and I think you look beautiful in those pajamas by the way.” He said, laughing and grabbing my hand to pull me tight up against him.
“Oh, fine, you monkey. Let me grab my purse first.” I said, kissing him on the cheek and then pulling away.
“Here, put these in a vase as well!” He said, handing the bouquet to me.
I skipped into the house feeling lighter than air and placed the bouquet in a clear, tall vase that I got for twenty cents at a garage sale. I heard Jace calling out my name so I quickly grabbed my Ed Hardy purse and headed back outside. With butterflies in my stomach (yes, I still got butterflies after 3 months of being with him) I wrapped my hands around his neck and snuggled him into a loving hug. We stood like that for a long time, with my arms around his neck and his hands around my waist, and then we eventually walked over to his truck at some point. I hopped up into the driver’s seat of Jace’s red Dodge pickup truck, and smiled down at the picture of me that he had hanging around one of the mirrors. As I started revving up his truck I’ll never forget how he repeatedly told me how gorgeous he thought that I was without makeup or fancy clothing on. I thought that I looked like a beaver without makeup on but if he was happy with how I looked then I guess I was happy with it, too.
I’ve been in love with this amazing man from the first time I’d laid eyes on him at the Bereavement Support Group. You may think that love at first sight is a bunch of bologna, but I honestly fell in love with him as soon as my bright hazel eyes met his dreamy brown eyes. It was only a couple months ago and we both are still the same age as when we met, I am twenty one years old and he is twenty three years old. It was the second week after my mother died, and the pain was too much for me to handle so I found this group online that was next to where I lived and I decided to give it a shot even though I wasn’t much of a people person. About an hour into the session this tall, handsome man with black hair sauntered into the room and happily waved hello to everybody. His eyes seemed to tell a sad story but he painted on a big smile to try to convince everybody that he was fine. That is the type of person that Jace was, he always tried to be strong and he never let his sadness or pain show.
It turned out that both of Jace’s parents died a couple days before he came to the Bereavement Support Group and he had nobody to turn to so he decided to give the support group a shot just like I had done. Not even three days after being at the support group we had went out on our first date, and that is when both of our lives had been changed forever. I knew he was the one for me right off the bat.
“Where are you taking me, Jace?” I asked him, as he told me to make the next right.
“You’ll see, and you will absolutely love it! I can’t wait to see your gorgeous smile light up as soon as we get there.” He said, reaching over to playfully tickle me.
All of a sudden I heard a loud, ear piecing scream come from Jace, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
“HOPE! LOOK OUT! OH, MY GOD!” He screamed, stricken with horror.
The last thing I remembered was Jace screaming and then blackness. Blackness was all around me. When I woke up I had no idea what had happened. It felt like the air was thicker, and it kept getting harder and harder to breathe. I almost jumped out of my skin when I felt a hand placed on my shoulder. I turned around and saw a police officer looking down at me. That is when reality set in.
“Are you okay? You took quite a blow there, young lady. Would you mind explaining to me what happened?” He asked, with a concerned look.
“Where is Jace? Where is he at?” I asked, feeling the tears forming in the corners of my eyes.
“Ma’am, your boyfriend is being rushed to the hospital as we speak. I advise you to tell me what happened so we can get you there as well to make sure that you are okay.” He said, raising his voice a little as he kept speaking.
“And I advise you, sir, to tell me what the heck happened to my boyfriend!” I screamed, the panic and anger rushing in faster than the speed of sound.
“No need to raise your voice at me. Whenever you tried to swerve around the dog that was on the road a truck hit the passenger side of your truck, and caused your boyfriend to fly through the windshield and smash into a large tree. Now, please tell me what you remember happened.” He said, getting impatient.
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything but sit as still as a statue and look at the smashed in side of the passenger seat where Jace had been sitting. I did this. I caused this. I killed my boyfriend, he’s dead. It’s all my fault. Oh, my God! I felt the tears stream down my face and splash into my lap, but I didn’t have the strength to wipe them away. I was just in complete and utter shock.
“Ma’am, please. Just tell me what happened because we need to go and get you checked out. I’m worried about the severe impact you took to your head.” He said, almost begging.
I still felt like I couldn’t talk or move for that matter, but I had to go to the hospital to see Jace. I didn’t care about myself, I needed to see him—even if he was dead. I managed to force out some words, although the words sounded far off and shaky but they were still the words of what he wanted me to tell him.
“I don’t remember much. Jace was taking me out on a date, because he is such a sweetheart, and then I saw a dog on the road and then I heard him screaming from the passenger side and then I guess I must have blacked out because all I remember after that was waking up and feeling your hand on my shoulder.” I told him the truth.
“A date this early in the morning? That’s crazy. Are you sure you’re telling me the full story and that you’re not changing it?” He asked, skeptical.
“Yes.” I sighed.
“Okay, let’s get you to the hospital then. Hop into the back of my car. I don’t want you driving in case of any dizziness or more black outs, plus this car needs to be junked.” He said, gesturing towards where his police car was parked.
Without saying another word I stood up and walked to over to the police car in what seemed like slow motion. Time felt like it was going by really, really slow. I felt as though the whole world was just sitting on my shoulders and screaming into my ear “You coldhearted murderer. You killer.” The guilt was eating me from the inside out, and I couldn’t stand it. I needed to see him, and I needed to see him right now. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling and they just kept coming right after another. Puddles and puddles of my tears.
The ride to the hospital seemed to take a lifetime, but as soon as we pulled up next to the hospital entrance I jumped to my feet and rushed inside as fast as my feet would carry me. I frantically ran up to the first counter I spotted and asked one of the girls at the front desk where his room is located. She just stood there for a minute staring at me like I was some crazy person which made my emotions blow up to an even higher level. I was on the verge of leaning over that counter and slapping some common sense into her.
“Look, lady, I don’t care if I look like a freak with puffy red eyes and messy hair, just freaking tell me one little tiny thing. I need to see my boyfriend right now at this very exact moment! Just tell me what room number and room unit he is located at and I will be out of your hair faster than you can say goodbye. His name is Jace Andrews and if I have to get back behind that counter and find it myself I will. Gosh!” I screamed, my temper reaching its boiling point.
“Whoa, you’re insane.” She said, staring at me like I was going to shoot her.
“I don’t care right now! Just tell me, okay? Freaking gosh!” I screamed, again.
“Security at the front desk, pronto!” She called out, into a loudspeaker.
“You just made a mistake, woman.” I said, eyeing her down.
When the three stupid security guys came to the lame, bad-mannered woman’s rescue I told them that she refused to give me the number to my boyfriend’s room and that an employee that irresponsible needed to be fired. They took my word for it and went and told her boss, who then fired her on the spot. Ridding the world of having to deal with one less idiot made me feel happier, and I was now more at ease knowing that I was able to go see Jace without having to get through that woman beforehand. I just needed to see his face one last time before I could be at peace with myself and the situation. I still didn’t know how I was going to cope once I had to tell the love of my life goodbye, knowing that I never was going to see his face again or feel his arms wrap around me in a loving, comforting hug when I needed it the most. I was going to be all on my own from now on, and just thinking about that made my head want to explode into a million billion pieces. I just couldn’t take it, it was all too much for me to handle.
“Here, ma’am. Let me escort you to where your male friend is staying, in room 212 of the ICU.” The nurse said, grabbing my arm and guiding me along beside her.
Suddenly, I felt the urge to correct her even though I knew deep down inside that it didn’t really matter.
“Excuse me, woman, but he is my boyfriend. Boyfriend, not male friend, get it right, please and thank you!” I said, raising my voice just enough to tell her that what she said made my blood boil.
I let her show me the way to Jace’s hospital room (because quite honestly, I didn’t know where I was going), and when we got close to the door entrance I ripped my arm out of her firm grip and shooed her away with a flick of my hand. A tear started rolling down my cheek as I took a deep breath in to prepare myself mentally for whatever condition I was about to see the love of my life in. I took one last deep breath in, and then made my way into his room, slowly. I’ve never felt as many emotions hit me all at one time as I did at this exact moment, I was overflowing with sadness and guilt and every other emotion under the sun and I wasn’t sure how to calm myself down to stop myself from having a panic attack.I felt like I was going to pass out as I looked at Jace laying there looking lifeless. He was hooked up to a ventilator which was used to support his breathing and he also had a tube placed inside his skull to drain the fluid and relieve pressure since the blunt force to his head against the tree caused him to go into an immediate coma.
All I can do is stand here at his hospital bedside and look at him with my jaw hanging there open from shock. This is all my fault. The one person whom I was planning on spending the rest of my life with is in a coma all because of me and I don’t know if he will ever wake up from it. I cannot lose my best friend, my love, my life. If I would lose him I might as well just rip my heart out and bury it with him because that’s what it would feel like I was doing anyways. As I stand here, crying buckets of tears, I hear two faint knocks on his open hospital door room as if asking for my approval before entering.
“Um, yes?” I ask, wiping my tears away with my sleeve.
“Hello. Hope, isn’t it? Could I speak with you, please, or do you need a moment to yourself?” He asked, genuinely.
“I’m fine. I mean, I’m not really fine standing here watching my boyfriend not being able to breathe on his own and having tubes down his throat and in his brain but other than that I guess I have a second to speak with you. I would like to know everything that is going on with him.” I said, while looking over at Jace’s ventilator machine.
“I’m so sorry about this all, and I know how bad it looks. I hate to tell you that it is indeed as bad as it looks, none of us here at the hospital are sure if your boyfriend is going to pull through this or not.” He said, with a big sigh.
“Um, so what exactly are you trying to tell me?” I asked, trying to hold back the tears that I could feel forming.
“I’d advise you to say your goodbyes, darling, just in case he doesn’t make it. It’s not looking too good for him right now.” He said, speaking slowly and carefully with his words.
“Okay.” I said, in a hushed whisper.
“He flew into the tree head first which caused a severe trauma to the head which then caused him to go into an immediate coma. He has many things going wrong internally that we are trying our best to clear up, but in his case it may be way too severe to get rid of quick enough. He has internal brain bleeding, fluids leaking from his brain, and a lot of pressure in his brain which are all serious problems. The tubes are placed into his brain to drain some leakage and relieve some pressure and that is all we can do for now. We are trying our best though, I promise you that.” He said, thoroughly.
“Thank you.” I said, feeling the tears roll down off of my cheeks.
“We are trying everything for Jace and we will continue to keep on trying.” He said, then shot me a quick smile before turning on his heel and heading towards the door.
I stood there for a minute and watched the doctor leave the room. I have to get out of here and get some fresh air, I cannot take standing here and looking at my almost lifeless boyfriend anymore. I am on the verge of going into a mental breakdown at any moment. I ran outside as fast as my legs could carry me and threw myself down onto the freshly cut green grass. All I could do at this moment is bury my face in the soft grass and cry buckets of tears. I don’t remember how long I lay there crying my eyes out, but I eventually made my way back up into his room and fell asleep on the chair beside his bed with my hand placed on his.
When I awoke I was surrounded by about four doctors whom were all waving their hands in my face and telling me to wake up. I immediately jumped up out of my chair and took a few steps towards them, confused. Jace’s main doctor smiled at me real big and then pointed at his heart vital signs on the screen beside his bed. His heart rate was unusually good, whereas before I got here to the hospital with him it was life-threatening low. I can’t help but to feel a smile shove its way onto my face knowing that Jace is doing better today. Maybe there is hope for him to live after all?
“Hope, I think I have some good news. When you are around Jace and talking to him or touching him he feels the love pour from you and into him. You guys have some real and honest love and chemistry between you two and I think that’s the only thing that might keep his heart beating. All of us doctors agree on this theory and we have a question in which we want to ask you in order to see if this is actually true or not.” He says, with high hope in his voice.
“This sounds absolutely absurd but I’ll give anything a shot to save my Jacey. This all is a lot to take in. Okay, what is your question?” I asked, still not being able to get rid of my smile yet.
“Can you stay with Jace at all times and never leave his side? I know you need to get clothes from your house but we cannot have you leave him for any amount of time, is there somebody you can call to pick up some clothes for you? If you cooperate with us you may be able to bring your boyfriend out of this coma. You are his only hope, Hope. Please. Before we found out this he had a very slight chance of waking back up, but now with you he has an almost certain chance.” He said, smiling down at Jace.
“Okay, doctor, thank you. I will call my sister, Jolene. I promise to not leave his side, I would never leave his side no matter what. I love him.” I told him, pulling out my cellphone.
I am still in my clothes from the car accident yesterday and I have dried blood on my clothes, so I definitely needed new clothes to put on. I called my sister and she immediately brought me a dozen pairs of clothes, two pairs of shoes, and some food to hold me over until they said I could leave with Jace. She didn’t say much when she seen Jace in the condition that he’s in, she just kissed him on the cheek and hugged me for a long time and then quietly left without saying a word. I think she is shocked by this whole thing just like I am. All I know for sure is that I am going to do whatever it takes to keep his heart beating. I would and will do anything for this man.
With the days flying by, all I did was sit here in this purple chair beside Jace and hold his hand and talk to him. I didn’t know what else to say to him except that it would all be okay and that I can’t wait for him to wake up so we can start a family together. Of course he doesn’t really respond to me except for his heart vitals shooting up to a good rate which makes me extremely happy because I know that he feels my love for him and that it keeps him alive. The doctors came in yesterday to check me out and to make sure that there was nothing wrong with me from the car accident and everything was perfectly fine with me except for a migraine, a slight concussion, body aches, and a few bumps and bruises—nothing major. I was fine and all I needed was for Jace to wake up and be fine. If I could take his pain and suffering away and put it into my body I would in a heartbeat.
As I’m sitting here holding his pale hand, I smile the biggest smile ever as I watch his heart rate shoot up to an amazing rate once again. I look up at his gorgeous face and I can’t help but to think about how much Jace would absolutely hate himself looking like this. Jace is that type of guy who makes sure that his hair and clothes are perfectly perfect. If his hair had at least one strand sticking out of place he would whip out his ‘REDKEN for Men’ hair gel and smooth it back down in place immediately. Almost every single strand of his black hair is sticking up out of place and his clothes are all dirty and ripped and he just looks simply miserable laying there looking like that. I couldn’t help but let a laugh slip as I could just envision him slicking his hair back with his favorite hair gel and throwing on that backup blue Aeropostale hoodie and light faded Abercrombie and Fitch jeans that he kept in his big brown bag that he left in the car at all times just in case he needed them to replace the clothes that he was wearing if he dirtied them or ripped them or spilled something on them.
I lay my head down onto his chest and smile against his shirt as I feel his chest rise up and down as it should and listened to his heart beating to a normal beat. I can’t hold back the tears that are running down my cheeks and splashing onto the white hospital sheet that is tucked up over him. His doctor comes skipping in the room and he seems to be lifted in high spirts as he glances over at his vital signs and shoots a thumbs up in my direction indicating that everything seems to be looking good. I have to admit that I am extremely exhausted and if I don’t get any food soon my stomach is going to eat itself instead. (I am a pig. So, yes, I did already eat all of the food that my sister gave me days ago.)
“Everything looks amazing with Jace, Hope! I am so ecstatic to see that he is doing so fantastic. This is all a big thanks to you! Now, could you just please stay with him until he wakes up? I’m not sure when he is going to wake up, but if you stay by his side it shouldn’t take any longer than a couple of weeks for him to start waking up. Once you see his fingers and toes moving that is the beginning of the “Jace waking up process”.”
“Okay, doctor, but I have been holding my pee for about three days now which is almost impossible but I managed to do it for his sake. In about 0.5 seconds there is about to be a huge puddle of my pee all over your floor, so can you just stay here with him for a second while I go to the bathroom, please?” I asked.
“I’m telling you, Hope, this is absolutely not a good idea at all. I don’t know how Jace will take it without being around you for even a couple of seconds, this might turn out fatal and I would advise you to try and hold it but I don't want you to get any infections either, so just go.” He said, with a worried look coming across his face.
“Doctor, I have to go to the bathroom right now there is no waiting.” I said, while doing the pee dance.
“Yes and there is no waiting for your boyfriend without you neither. You are what keeps his heart beating. But if you must go, then go. I will stay here and watch him closely.” He said, still worried.
I made myself walk over to Jace and kiss him on the forehead just in case that was the last time that I’d ever get to see him again (even though I didn’t want to think negative, I couldn’t hold those thoughts back.) The doctor stood standing over Jace watching his every breath with complete caution. Jace’s heart rate was still extremely good since I was still standing in the room with him, but I had a feeling that as soon as I would leave the room his vital signs would start going down life-threatening low like they were before I arrived at the hospital. Tears started forming in the corners of my eyes but I had to go to the bathroom and that was just that. As I started walking out of the door my sister comes in the room carrying a tiny portable toilet.
“I thought you’d need this sooner or later.” She said, handing it to me.
“Yes! Your timing could have never been better, my dear sister.” I told her, grabbing the toilet and taking it to the corner of the room away from everybody’s sight.
I feel much better now that I used the tiny toilet, and I decided to head back over to my chair beside Jace’s bed and talk to my sister. I sat there in my chair beside Jace and watched as Jolene stood over him, crying. I tried and tried to comfort her but as usual it was not working because Jace was not only my best friend, but her best friend as well. My sister was now sitting beside Jace on his hospital bed so I climbed up there with her and wrapped my arm around her and cried into her shoulder. I guess sometimes it is nice to have somebody to cry with. Everybody wanted the same thing as I wanted—for Jace to tough this out and pull through.
My mess of a sister with her black eyeliner all down her face eventually left the hospital about an hour later with puffy, sore, red eyes. If my sister looked that bad after just two visits then I couldn’t image what I looked like right about now. I don’t think I had stopped crying since the minute I had seen him in a coma, so my eyes must look terribly awful and swollen from all of those tears. My face must have a million wrinkles from stress and worry, and my nose must be all red from wiping it a thousand times a day with these hard, uncomfortable hospital tissues. In need of some comfort, I lay down beside Jace on his hospital bed and fold my leg in between his legs and softly put my head on his chest and wrap my hand around his just like I always did. Even though he couldn’t lay his head on my stomach like he usually did, it still felt nice to hold onto him and know that he was still doing well.
I couldn’t really fall asleep because I was up listening to him breathe to make sure that he was still alive. I kept my hand laying across where his heart is located, so I could feel the beating of his heart to make sure that it wasn’t irregular or anything. I know that I need sleep, but I am just so worried about him. I feel like if I stop listening to him breath or stop feeling his heart beat then he will just stop doing it all altogether. I am looking at his vital signs on the screen beside his bed and his heart rate is doing well since I’m here but I still feel like it is just going to just stop at any given moment. I feel like it’s my job to count his breaths and heartbeats to make sure that everything is still okay with him.
The nurses come in a lot to check on him but I never pay attention to them, I am always too busy paying attention to him. I must admit, all of this Jace duty is really starting to wear me out but I can’t quit now because then that would mean giving up on the love of my life and I would never do that to him. I need him in my life, he can’t leave me and I refuse to let that happen. I’ve already caused enough damage to him. He got thrown out of a windshield and smashed into a tree because of me and he’s in a coma because of me and between the guilt eating me alive and the stress of making sure I keep him alive is completely exhausting and worrisome. The stress is just overflowing.
I must have fell asleep at some point last night, because when I awoke it was morning and there was light shining through the dirty hospital windows. I sit up and started turning around to look at Jace to make sure that he is still doing okay, but I feel like I am going to pass out. I can barely turn my head around to look at him because the room is spinning and everything is looking blurry to me. I scream out on the top of my lungs for a nurse or doctor but nobody seems to hear me. It feels like my whole world is crashing down and that there is nothing I can do to stop it. The only thing I can think about right now is Jace. Is he okay?
All I see is black. Blackness all around, surrounding me. Stars. There were stars forming.
Next thing I knew I was surrounded by doctors. I must have passed out or something because I no longer was on the bed beside Jace. This can’t be happening. I need to get back to him right now. I cannot be away from him.
“I need to get back to Jace right this instant!” I screamed.
“No,” one of the doctors said, “you passed out, and we took some tubes of blood to see if we could find the problem.” He continued on.
“I don’t care. I need to get back to my boyfriend right now or he is going to die! You guys don’t understand!” I screamed, with worried tears rushing down my face faster than the speed of lightning.
“I have something to tell you first. I think you’re going to want to hear this.” The doctor said, pulling out a paper.
“No, what I want to hear is the wheels on a wheelchair while you’re pushing me back to Jace’s room. I need to get back to him right this instant, do you understand me?” I screamed, with rage and panic shooting through me.
“You’re pregnant.” He said, looking me right in the eyes.
“Come again.” I said, shocked and in disbelief.
“You’re pregnant, ma’am. That is the reason why you felt dizzy and passed out when you woke up.” He said, showing me the bloodwork papers.
“How far along am I, do you happen to know?” I asked, while feeling all kind of mixed emotions hit me all at once.
“Well, the bloodwork result papers here are telling me that you’re about three to four weeks pregnant.” He explained.
“I need to go see my boyfriend. He created this baby and I can’t be all alone raising him or her. If I don’t get there now he is going to die, doctor!” I screamed, trying to get through to him.
“Okay.” He said, finally understanding and rushing me to his hospital room.
But when I got there it was already too late. I waited too long. If I would have gotten here sooner he would still be alive right now. I killed him, it is all my fault. He needed me beside him to survive and I wasn’t there at his side at all times like I had promised him. I place my hand in his, and it’s no longer warm. His lifeless hand is pale and cold. I look over at his vital signs, and he has already flat lined. Why is there no doctor here yet?
“Doctor!” I screamed, while holding his hand and letting my teardrops splash down onto his pale, cold lifeless body.
I would never see him again after this. His child is going to be fatherless.
I tried to be his only hope and I will be forever guilty that I failed to keep him alive.
Goodbye, Jace. I will always love you forever, I promise. You will live on through the new life that is growing inside of me.
WINNER OF THE COVER CONTEST FOR THIS STORY- Nobody. I'm sorry guys, I just threw together a cover because I ran out of time. But I loved all of you guy's covers, they were all seriously amazing!
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