CHAPTER 1 - DON'T TAKE HIM AWAY
"Tess!" I called, rushing to her. "What happened?" I asked in a haze, but all she did was fall into my arms, as desperate as I've never seen her, on the verge of crying, as she frantically blubbered words about accidents and motorcycles and reserved prognosis ... till I grabbed her shoulders and shook her, intimating her to calm down. At least one of us needs not to freak out. May I be the panicky one for once?
Once Tess seemed calm, I asked her details, but she just burst into tears all over again, until Trey sneaked up behind her and took her in his arms, giving me a crooked smile that barely even made it to quirking up his lips, then he led her to the chairs not too far.
"She was there." Colin's voice startled me, so I turned around, meeting the very desolating sight of a worn out guy that, clearly, was on the verge of breaking down. "We were all there when it happened." He explained in a sigh, raking a hand over his face.
I asked for further explanations, and he hinted to the vending machine a few steps from our position. I would have argued that I didn't want to drink anything, but maybe some hot cocoa would help calm down my nerves. I hate hospitals. I hate, hate, hate hospitals.
As we walked, Colin exhaustedly recounted me what happened: "We had lunch at this new restaurant a friend of ours has opened. Tess wanted me to get my mind off ... well, the issues we've had lately." The whole dating his sister's best friend behind said friend's back, that is. "Tess, Trey, Paul and I had lunch together, like I said." He took coffee from the machine, which I refused. "We'd just come out when we saw it ... the accident."
I swallowed hard, trying to keep focus. I slyly concealed my quivering hands behind my back, forcing myself to remain here and now, to remain rooted on the place and time, not on the memories. These white halls, all this hustle and bustle around, all these nurses and doctors swirling around. Such a familiar sight.
Colin dropped back against the wall, sighing, coffee in hand. "It happened all so fast. We saw a motorcycle being plainly hit by a truck, and the one that was driving it was jolted on the other side of the road. People immediately gathered around, and we ran too. Paul thought he could be helpful, since his mother was a nurse, and she taught him a few things."
Colin sighed shakily. "I wasn't ready, Silvia. I ... I could have never been ready for the scene I witnessed." He closed his eyes for a moment, and I saw the slightest hint of tears on his cheeks. "He was there, lying on the ground ... I ..." he cursed, banging his head against the wall, making me worry that he got hurt, but he didn't even bother.
He kicked the wall behind him and cursed once more, and when he talked, his voice was cracked, and there were clear tears in his eyes. "I've seen him in the worst predicaments, Sil. I've fucking seen him barely conscious, beaten to a pulp. I've been with him in most of the crap he got himself into, but this! This!" He gestured frantically to the hall. "I've never seen him so defenseless, Sil. For once in my life I panicked." He cursed. "Jake is a freaking brother to me. I lose him, it's like I've lost one of my siblings."
I didn't speak as I witnessed tears streaming his cheeks, I only felt the same frustrated and pained tears prickling behind my eyes, but I resisted, always forcing full control into myself. I did stretch a hand to grab Colin's, though, and I squeezed it, saying nothing, just giving him a knowing look, to say I know exactly how he feels. I've been there.
I wish Hell could swallow me whole right now. That way I wouldn't feel my heart clenching like this, so painfully.
God, if you're there, and you're as merciful as they say, please, don't do this. Please, don't take him away. Please. Just ... please, I'm begging you. Don't take him away.
"Better?" Trey asked me for the umpteenth time, stroking my cheek with his thumb to wipe away a tear.
I nodded warily, tired of crying. "I guess." It's been 4 hours and 17 minutes. We've been waiting since 4 hours and 17 minutes. Every time someone passes, we try to get info of any sort, but all they keep saying is "too soon to tell, surgery is still ongoing". It's been 4 hours!
Taking refuge in Trey's arms, I sighed. "I worry about her, though." Silvia's been in a state ever since she got to the hospital, I don't even recognize her. And I feel guilty, because in such a moment I should have thought of her first and foremost, given their peculiar connection, but ... I couldn't.
I've never gotten this close to death in my entire life, I swear. Seeing Jake like that ... lying on the floor, all that blood all around him ... I'm glad we didn't take Serene with us, and I'm even more glad that we didn't tell Silvia either.
We didn't even know that Jake was back. We only approached the scene of the accident because Paul knows something about first aid, so he thought he could be useful until paramedics came. Neither of us expected to see our friend there, lying unconscious. I honestly thought we'd lost him.
"She's strong." Trey mused, knowing I was talking about Silvia. She's remained there on the floor right outside the surgery room for over three hours now. None of us has succeeded in convincing her to distract herself some way. She just sits there. Waiting.
"You don't know her like I do." I closed my eyes, tears filling them again. "She's repressing it all." I murmured, my own voice breaking as tears restarted falling. Trey inched me closer into his arms. "She's living Hell right now, yet she doesn't even make a sound. I should go to her."
I tried to wriggle myself out of his grip, but Trey didn't let me. "You're weak as it is."
"But she's my best friend, and she's suffering!"