don’t want to be your friend.” That phrase. That single little phrase that
normally would be saddening, was somehow even more than that to Abby. She
didn’t know what had gone wrong. With Carter, with Luka, with Maggie. With her
whole life. Lately everything had just been falling apart. Over the past few
months, things had been slowly deteriorating.
had seemed to be going pretty well. And then Maggie showed up. “That’s her,
there’s my daughter!” she had exclaimed. And Abby had tried to ignore her. Pretend like she doesn’t exist, and maybe
she’ll just go away, she thought. But that wasn’t going to happen. Her
mother was bipolar. And her mother needed help. Those were things that Abby
could not run from. She had never been able to, and she never would. Then to
further screw things up, Maggie had holed herself up in Oklahoma. She had tried
to commit suicide. She was committed. She was uncommitted. She had a job. She
didn’t have a job. It was a never-ending cycle. Sure, right now Maggie was
living fairly normally and in control. But somehow Abby knew that it wouldn’t
last. It couldn’t. That was just another grim part of the crazy world Abby was
the whole ordeal with her mother was not enough, in the midst of it Abby was
dealing with a faltering relationship. Luka was a sincere man, a really nice
guy. He had the best of intentions. And Abby respected that, really. But he
just didn’t understand. He didn’t understand the broken family life Abby had
come from. He didn’t understand why she would want to be just a nurse and not a
doctor. Their relationship was going nowhere very fast. Luka didn’t understand
her. Maybe he would learn to understand some things, but not others. Abby knew
for sure that Luka would never understand the struggle Abby had with addiction.
Not like someone who was themselves an addict. Not like Carter...
Somehow she had once again ended up on that subject. That was another thing in
her life which had been completely unfair lately. When Maggie had showed up,
and then when she went back off the deep end, Carter was there to give Abby
support. The two of them were already friends because of their AA meetings and
Abby’s sponsorship of Carter there. But oddly enough, it was all the bad times
in Abby’s life lately that had brought her and Carter even closer. Lately
they’d been best friends. She could tell Carter anything. He might not always
understand, but he did a darn good job of pretending he did. At least if he
didn’t he would listen. But now suddenly Carter was there telling her he didn’t
want to be her friend. What was that supposed to mean? Actually, she knew
exactly what that meant. Carter didn’t just want to be her friend. He wanted to
be more. A little part of her knew that, and was trying to make the rest of her
aware of that fact. But the rest of her- the part of Abby that always worked
hard to keep everything stable, in control- overpowered the smaller, smarter
Abby. It was easier that way.
there was no chance to even talk to Carter about it, though. When he had walked
away- how long ago had it been? She looked at her watch. Two hours ago. When he
had said he didn’t want to be her friend and walked off down the sidewalk, she
hadn’t followed. She had started to. Little Abby, smart Abby wanted her to
follow. To go after Carter. But once again, big Abby, logical Abby had decided
against it. So when he walked away, she had not gone after him. And now here
she was, wondering what she was going to do. Who would she talk to now? Who
would be there for her?
What about Luka, the little
part of her nagged. He’s your boyfriend.
Isn’t that what boyfriends are supposed to be for? Abby knew that’s what it
was supposed to be like. She knew that was what was normal. But none of her
relationships, romantic or otherwise, had ever been normal. When she had
problems as a child, she couldn’t tell her mother. She never knew if her mother
would dry her tears or scream and throw things. In her relationship with
Richard, if it could be called that, they had never really shared what they
felt. And over the past 9 months or so, if she had a problem, she didn’t have
to trouble Luka with it. She could just talk to Carter about it.
then, Abby realized how unfair that was to
Carter. Friendships were supposed to be give and take. That’s just how
it worked. That way it was fair and beneficial to both sides. But Carter had
given most of the support in their friendship. It was usually Abby who went
crying to him for help, not the other way around. And sometimes when Carter did
want to talk, Abby had other things that were ‘more important.’ And Carter
would just say OK and leave her alone. She griped to him about things that
weren’t his fault, she took out anger on him that he didn’t deserve. But she
never did those things for him. And Abby knew that Carter had problems of his
own, most of them she probably didn’t even know about because she never took
the time to listen.
Abby felt really guilty. What had she ever really done for Carter? He had
listened to all of Abby’s complaints about her relationship with Luka. He had
been understanding about her mother. He had even driven to Oklahoma and endured
Maggie’s wrath. And for all of it, he never complained one bit. That was just
Carter. He was just that sort of person. Abby felt like such a jerk. She knew
that Carter was too valuable a friend to lose. She had to make this right. Now, smart Abby said, fix it now. But it was getting late. And
she was hungry and cold. And Carter was off work and she really didn’t want to
bother him at home. She would see him tomorrow at work. Yes, that way she’d
have some time to think about what she was going to say. She’d talk to him
gathered up her things, and headed for her apartment. So once again, big,
logical Abby won. And smart Abby knew the other part of her was just afraid.
12 Hour Hero’s Trial
There’s a feeling deep
inside that I cannot hide, but I know
it’s there, and it’s turning me around.
forty-five a.m. For a doctor, that wasn’t too early. But today Carter didn’t
want to be a doctor. He didn’t want to save lives, he didn’t want to help
people, he didn’t want to go to work. He just wanted to be human. But the alarm
kept on buzzing, and outside he could hear the sound of the El Train going by.
Beckoning to him to come get on. Beckoning to him to come be a hero. Again.
rolled out of bed and took a moment to steady himself before heading off to his
shower. He dragged his feet across the floor, making an unconscious effort to
delay the inevitable- he had to get ready, and he had to be at work. He was so
tired. He had not slept well last night. He had been tossing and turning as he
thought about how the day had gone from bad to worse. He had thought about the
horrible killing spree that had been going on all day, and the countless
victims that had blurred together as the day went on. But mostly, he was
thinking about Abby. He had finally done it. He had finally gotten up the guts
to tell her how he felt. And he had left before she had any time to react.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. She hadn’t gone after him. That in itself was
was going to be worse. He could tell. He didn’t know how he was going to face
Abby. Or Luka for that matter. Sure, Luka didn’t know, at least not yet, but
Carter would still have a hard time looking him straight in the face. What was
he going to say? Luka would ask for the intibation kit, and Carter would just
smile and say, Sure Luka. Here you are
Luka. By the way Luka, did you know I’m in love with your girlfriend? Carter
didn’t know what to do . They were all working today- Carter, Abby, and Luka.
Carter was looking forward less and less to work today. He looked at himself in
the bathroom mirror. There were dark circles starting to appear under his eyes,
and his hair was a mess. If anyone were
to see me now, you’d never be able to convince them I’m a doctor. That I save
lives, he thought. He smiled a melancholy smile to himself. Sometimes it
was hard being a hero.
I don’t know where I
am at. If I’m here or there, if I’m up or down. I need both feet on the ground.
General Hospital was still in the same place it had been every morning, night,
weekend, or holiday for the last 7 years or so. As Carter walked in the
ambulance bay, there were still ambulances arriving with critical patients, or
sometimes just crazy people who wanted a ride to the hospital. The basketball
goal was still sitting there, waiting for some doctors on break or after a
tough case to come out and use it. All this was the same.
walked in through the bay doors, into the waiting room. There were some kids
crying because they had stomach aches. There were businessmen complaining about
the slow service and how late they were going to be for their meetings. There
were drunks and drug addicts who everyone at County knew by name. And there was
always some case where a doctor would have to make a tough decision. And there
was always some case that would be completely new, and sometimes just plain
weird. It was always a little different, everyday. It was the one thing Carter
knew would always be the same. Thinking about it, he realized how ironic that
was. The most diverse and chaotic thing in his life was about the only thing he
could count on. He knew County General Hospital would always be in a
pandemonium. At least that was consistent.
headed to the lounge. He put his things away in his locker, and donned his
lab-coat and stethoscope. Just like always. Consistent.
was sitting at the CB listening to an incoming call when Carter exited the
lounge. “Dr.Carter,” she said, “we’ve got a multiple trauma victim coming in.
ETA 3 minutes.”
it,” Carter called, immediately turning to head towards the ambulance bay.
Carter,” Dave said, while approaching. “How about taking a lady complaining
that she can’t eat because of the...uh... demon inside her head, and letting me
work the trauma?”
laughed. “No way Dave.”
c’mon. It sounds really exciting. I’m doing you a big favor here man,” Dave
“Hook her up with some IV fluids
and call Psych.”
if she tears her IV out?
with her and watch her.”
could take forever for a consult to come down!” Dave complained.
something to read,” Carter said, exiting the doors and entering the ambulance
man,” Dave grumbled, heading back inside.
ambulance slowed and came to a stop as it pulled up. Carter walked around to
the back, and waited as the doors opened and the paramedics lowered a gurney
onto the ground. Carter walked alongside as they wheeled the patient inside.
“Give me the bullet,” he said.
year old female, crashed into a rock while water-skiing. Pretty nasty injury to
the right hand, and a contusion to the belly. BP is elevated, and judging by
the way she smells, she’s drunk,” Doris stated.
Doris,” Carter said, as he wheeled the patient into Trauma 1.
later,” Doris called as she headed back out to the ambulance bay with her crew.
had been having a much better day so far than she thought she would. That was
due to the fact that she had not seen, or had to work with, Luka or Carter so
far. She didn’t know how long that luck could last, though.
Weaver shouted, “help Carter in Trauma 1 please.”
for good luck. Abby headed down the hall.
was just starting to examine the patient, who was mumbling incoherently but
still awake, when Abby walked in.
Weaver said you would need some help.” Abby said.
paused, just looking at her for a moment. “Yeah, sure. Could you get Chen in
here too, to look at the hand?” He asked.
Abby said, heading out the door to find Jing-Mei.
eyes trailed her until she went around the corner and out of sight. When he
turned back, Haleh and Lydia were exchanging a glance, then they looked at
Carter with eyebrows raised. “What?” Carter asked, a little too harshly. The
nurses exchanged another glance.
nothing,” Haleh said, smirking.
shook his head. He returned his focus to the patient on the table, and tried to
ignore the whispers of Haleh and Lydia. Great,
he thought. This is the worst place
in the world for rumors, and I have to go and fan the flame. Idiot! He
shook his head again, this time to clear his thoughts.
was in the mind set. Now all that mattered was the table in front of him and
the victim it held. Now all he had to do was be a hero. “Lydia, order a CBC,
Chem 7, Tox Screen, and a Blood Alcohol Level. And get an ultrasound in here,
and an X-ray for the right hand.” Lydia was all business too, as she hurried to
the phone. Carter didn’t even notice when Abby walked back in, with Chen
do we got?” Jing-Mei asked.
trauma from a water skiing accident. Hit a rock, but she was wearing a life
jacket which absorbed some of the impact. I’m waiting for a ultrasound to see
if there’s any blood in the belly. Could you check out her hand? There’s a
x-ray on its way.” Carter said, avoiding looking at Abby.
thing,” Jing-Mei said, moving around to the woman’s right side so that she
could see the hand. It was bleeding some from a 4 cm laceration on the back,
but what was most noticeable was the swelling and discoloring of the 4th and
5th metacarpals and proximal carpels. “Ma’am, what’s your name?” she asked the
woman blinked once before answering. “Jeena,” she said, her speech slightly
I want you to tell me where the pain is.” Jing-Mei said.
hand, and my stomach.”
your head or neck hurt?”
a headache but my neck doesn’t hurt.”
you been drinking Jeena?” Jeena paused. “Jeena?” Jing-Mei asked, more
a little,” Jeena said.
Jing-Mei said, turning her attention back to Carter, who was checking Jeena’s
vital signs. “She’s just got a little intoxicated, but there’s no apparent head
or neck injury. She was never unconscious, was she?”
Carter answered. Jing-Mei nodded in reply, then switched her focus to the
had only heard half of what Jeena had been telling Jing-Mei. He was trying to
focus on the woman’s abdomen, but the fact that Abby was standing across from
him and that whenever he looked up, she was staring at him, was very
distracting. “Where’s that ultrasound?” he called out.
here,” Lily said, wheeling it in.
prepped the patient, flicked on the monitor, then stuck the ultrasound on her
stomach. The monitor was showing a grayish cloud filling the abdomen. “Ok,
she’s got blood in the belly. Page Benton, she’s gonna need to go up to OR
now.” he said. Lydia headed for the phone.
x-ray arrived then, and the nurses slipped the lead aprons over Jing-Mei and
Jing-Mei called out as the machine flashed. As soon as it was done, she wheeled
the x-ray to the side.
handed Carter a sheet with the lab results. He scanned over them.
then, Benton entered the room. “What do we got?” he asked.
year old female, hit a rock in a water skiing accident. Her blood alcohol level
is just above the limit. Her BP is climbing, and the ultrasound shows blood in
the belly,” Carter said.
like she ruptured her spleen. Page the OR and tell them to have a room open for
a spleenectemy,” Benton said, and began wheeling the patient out of the room.
wait!” Jing-Mei shouted. Benton stopped and turned around. “She’s also got a
probable fracture to the 4th and 5th metacarpals, and the proximal carpels.”
well hurry up and stabilize them. They’ll have to be set after surgery,” Benton
having surgery?” Jeena asked, as Jing-Mei began to immobilize the right hand.
spleen has ruptured, and you’re bleeding internally,” Benton explained. “We
need to take it out before it causes too much damage.” he paused. “Chen, you
put the last piece of tape on the splint. “Yeah, go.”
right. Come on people, let’s move,” Benton said, wheeling the gurney off down
the hall toward the elevator.
watched him go, then turned around to head back to the admit desk and get
another patient. He bumped into someone. “I’m sorry,” he said began. Then he
noticed that it was Abby. She looked up at him with eyes full of questions.
we need to talk,” she began.
serious. She only used his first name when she was serious. But he kept walking
down the hall, right on past her. “Can’t talk right now, got to get back to
work,” he said, not even looking at her as he marched off down the hall.
Why do I feel like I’m
drowning, when there is plenty of air?
now one-thirty p.m., and Abby had not been able to talk to Carter all day.
Every time she tried, he would make some excuse and leave. And she really
needed to talk to him. You should have
done it when you had the chance. Smart Abby inside of her nagged. You should have done it yesterday. But,
of course, logical Abby had talked her out of that. And now this whole ordeal
was just getting worse.
can you check on the patient in curtain 2, she’s supposed to be discharged,”
Mark called out to her as she walked by the desk.
she said, heading for the door to 2.
was a teenage girl sitting on the bed, tying her shoes and preparing to leave.
She had blonde hair, and was wearing a shirt that said ‘Viking Cheer Squad’.
Her left ankle was splinted.
help you, miss...” Abby realized she didn’t know the girl’s name.
the girl offered. “They said I could go, but my doctor was going to get me a
prescription for some painkillers.”
well tell me who your doctor was and I’ll find them,” Abby said.
paused for a moment. “I can’t remember his name. He’s the really cute one.”
chuckled. “I take it you didn’t really pay attention to his name then.”
just tell me which one you think is the cutest and I’ll tell you if that’s
him,” Sidney said.
grinned, “Dr.Greene, the bald one, right?”
laughed. “Definitely not him. He was- oh, oh, that’s him. Right there.” she
said, pointing out through the glass.
turned around to see Carter walking by. Her smile fell, and she turned back
toward Sidney. Figures, she thought
didn’t seem to notice Abby’s reaction, though. She was just smiling more.
“Isn’t he so cute? And he’s nice too. I thought all the doctors here would be
boring and mean, but he was really nice to me. What a great guy,” she said,
Abby said, forcing a smile. “I’ll go get him.”
walked over to the door and pushed it open. “Carter,” she called. He turned
around. When he saw her, he immediately looked somewhere else. “Carter,” she
continued, “your patient Sidney says you were going to bring her a prescription
for her ankle.” Carter nodded, and followed Abby into the room.
Carter entered, he saw Sidney, smiling brightly at him. He smiled too, trying
not to let Abby ruin the good mood he was previously in. “Here you go Sidney,”
he said, handing her a bottle, “these are some painkillers that you can take
twice a day in case your ankle starts hurting.”
took the bottle from him, and slid it into her pocket. “Thanks Dr.Carter,” she
said with a grin.
smiled back, “No problem Sidney.” He lead her to the door, which he opened for
her. “You be careful next time you do those twisting jump-kick things,” he said
to her. “Cheerleading can be extremely dangerous.”
Dr.Carter,” she said again. She waved to him as she went out the door.
could tell that Abby was about to say something to him again. He held up a
hand, “Sorry Abby, I can’t talk right now. I’m going to go take a break.” He
walked off toward the lounge without so much as a backwards glance at her.
Why do I feel like
frowning? Maybe this feeling is fear.
took off his stethoscope and labcoat, and set them on the couch. It was way too
hot in here to be wearing any sort of coat. Someone
should call maintenance, he thought. The
air conditioner in here is definitely broken. He opened the fridge to
search it for something to eat. He hadn’t eaten anything since morning, and he
was starting to get very hungry. He was considering giving up his search and
heading over to Doc’s, when the lounge door opened. It was Abby.
we need to talk,” She said firmly
looked down at the ground. “There’s nothing to talk about,” he said in a low
voice. He tried to walk out the door but she stopped him.
there is,” she said.
nodded and stopped, but he still wouldn’t look at her. She wasn’t sure how she
had expected him to act. Maybe she thought he would yell, or try to make her
feel guilty, but he didn’t. He actually looked embarrassed. That alone made her
sorry,” she said sincerely. “I didn’t mean to put you in uncomfortable
you did,” he said, still looking at the ground.
no idea you felt that way about me,” she said.
he looked up at her. His eyes were filled with sorrow and pain. “Just forget I
said anything, Ok?” he said pleadingly.
felt overwhelmingly ashamed of herself. How could she have caused Carter so
much pain? He had been nothing but a friend to her. And here she was, and all
she could do was break his heart.
that’s not going to change the way you feel, is it?” she asked him.
hesitated. His eyes lowered, and he shook his head.
can’t do that. I don’t want to hurt you.”
looked back up at her. “It’s a little late for that. But nothing’s going to
change your mind. So can you please just let me go?”
in that instant that Abby realized the truth. It was one of those rare moments
when smart Abby broke through the logic and gave her a clue of what was really
going on. And for the first time in a long time, she let her smart side take
mind doesn’t need to change,” she said. She pulled him toward her and kissed him.
first, Carter was shocked. This was definitely not the outcome he had
predicted. Then, as he realized what was going on, he kissed her back. They
were both too much lost in each other to notice that they were leaning against
could you grab me a coffee?” an exhausted Mark asked.
studied Mark’s tired face, and decided to oblige his co-worker. “Sure,” he
said, heading toward the lounge.
twisted the knob on the door to the lounge and opened it...
and Abby didn’t know what happened at first. One minute, they were leaning
against the door, kissing. Then the next thing they knew, someone had opened
the door. They tumbled through, into the hallway. Abby tripped over Carter’s
foot and fell to the ground. He reached down and offered a hand to help her up.
whole hospital saw it happen. Luka opened the door to the lounge, and Carter
and Abby came tumbling through, entangled in each other. Carter’s tie was
loosened and Abby’s hair was somewhat messed up. Abby landed on the floor, and
Carter helped her up. The nurses would have something to talk about for weeks.
And it wasn’t until then that either Carter or Abby saw Luka. Luka was fuming.
He looked like he would explode at any moment. “Hey, Luka. Hey man, hold on a
second. Luka-” Carter tried to reason with him, but the taller man kept
approaching slowly, menacingly. Then Luka drew back his right arm, and
delivered a powerful hook to Carter’s left jaw. Everyone watching let out a
gasp, as Carter reeled from the punch. But Luka wasn’t done yet.
took off running down the hall toward him, trying to stop him before he really
did some damage to Carter. Dave was right behind him.
didn’t know where he was or what was going on for a moment. Luka’s punch had
nearly knocked him out. As he started to regain some of his balance, he saw
that Luka was still moving towards him...
was furious. He had been so patient. He had sat by while Carter had flirted
with his girlfriend over and over. He had allowed them to be best friends
without much complaining at all. He had even allowed them to go to Oklahoma for
the weekend. And now this had happened. He was so mad at Carter. He wasn’t
going to let him get off easy this time. Carter was still off balance, so Luka
grabbed him by the collar, and dragged him over to the wall. He picked him up
and slammed him against it. “Luka, I’m sorry. C’mon man, stop it,” Carter
watched in horror as Luka smashed Carter into the wall. She was afraid for
Carter. She had seen how Luka’s temper could get out of hand sometimes. “Luka,
stop it! Stop!” she yelled, but to no avail. Mark and Dave entered the lounge
and tried to pull Luka off Carter, too. But even that didn’t work. Luka dragged
Carter over to the lockers, and slammed him into them. Hard.
the loud crash as Luka pummeled Carter into the lockers. He couldn’t see
Carter, but he could hear the cry he let out. He suddenly went limp, and fell
to the floor. Luka let him. Mark finally was able to grab one of Luka’s arms as
Dave grabbed the other. They pulled him back, and he shrugged them off. “I’m
done, I’m done,” Luka said, then he stormed out of the room.
kneeled down over Carter to inspect the damage. “Hey Carter, you ok? That was
some beating you took.” Carter didn’t respond, and his breaths were coming in
short gasps. Mark exchanged a worried glance with Dave.
what’s wrong?” Dave asked.
Carter managed to get out.
eyes shot to Mark’s, and they both knew that this had suddenly become more
get a gurney,” Dave said, standing and running off down the hall. In a few
minutes, he was back. Abby helped them lift Carter onto it, then they rolled
him off down the hall to Trauma 1.
was vaguely conscious. He knew he was in one of the Trauma rooms, and he knew
why. Mark asked him where the pain was. “My... back...” was all he could
manage. He mumbled it over and over again.
gotta give him something for the pain,” He could here Dave say.
No, he thought. No, no, no. Please, no.
shook his head violently.
understood why Carter was so adamant about not having any drugs. “We can’t give
him any painkillers, Dave,” Mark said.
had a puzzled look on his face, then realization struck. “Ah... right,” he
said. “So what are we going to do?”
sighed. “I dunno. He’s probably re-developed a contusion around his old
injuries. But he’s not bleeding. We’ll just have to let him ride it out.” Mark
said, leaving the room.
looked regretfully at Carter, “Hang in there buddy,” he said, then he too left.
and Haleh were the only ones left with Carter. Abby had her hand over her mouth
to keep herself from crying outloud. “Abby?” Carter mumbled. It was too much
for her to take. Abby turned around and ran out of the room. “Abby...” Carter
trailed off behind her. But she just ran.
ran outside, where she saw Luka. He was standing with his back to her. She
walked up behind him and pushed him.
he began, turning to face her.
could you?” she yelled.
I was just worried about you,” Luka said.
ever occur to you that maybe I was
the one who started it?” she asked.
was stunned, “What?”
it Luka. I kissed him first. It was my fault,” Abby said. “Why did you have to
take it out on him?”
I was only-”
he’s developed contusions around his old stab wounds. Do you know what that
feels like? I don’t either, but I’m sure it doesn’t feel good at all. And they
can’t give him the painkillers, Luka. They can’t help him at all.”
know what,” Abby said. “I’m sick of excuses. I’m through with this.”
couldn’t believe what she was saying. “Abby, what are you saying?” he asked.
saying it’s over. We’re over.”
was too shocked to say anything at first. Then he slowly nodded. Abby had
calmed down a little. “You love him?” he asked softly.
love Carter?” Luka asked.
isn’t about Carter, Luka,” Abby said, “This is about you.”
nodded again. “Weaver suspended me, so I’m going home. You can come by later
and pick up some of your stuff.” He paused, then gave her a quick kiss on the
forehead. He turned and walked away. She watched him go. Logical Abby was
having a fit, wondering how her life had been turned upside down in the last 15
minutes. But smart Abby was in control again. She turned around and headed back
inside to see how Carter was.
had been moved to curtain one a while ago. When Abby had gone back in to check
on him four hours ago, he was asleep. Passed out from the pain and the
exhaustion. Haleh said he had been waking up periodically and vomiting from the
combination of the pain and the withdrawal. But Abby had not gotten a chance to
talk to him and find out how he was really doing. She was off work now, and she
thought now was as good of a time as ever to go talk to him.
entered the room, and Carter was awake. His bed was propped up, and he was
sitting, but his eyes were closed. Haleh was changing his fluid IV. “Who is it,
Haleh?” he asked in a scratchy voice.
uh, Abby,” Haleh said, trying not to smile.
could you give us a minute?” Abby asked.
grinned as she walked out of the room. “Sure thing,” she said, closing the door
sat down in the chair beside Carter’s bed. He opened his eyes and looked at
her. “Hey,” she said. “How you doing?”
I guess,” he said, as nonchalantly as possible.
was a pause.
I broke up,” Abby said, finally.
sorry,” Carter said.
could not believe it. After all that she had done to him, and all Luka had done
to him, he still had the decency and compassion to not want them to be hurt.
“Don’t be. I broke up with him,” she said.
paused. “Because of me?”
not because of you,” Abby was quick to say. “It’s not your fault. It just
wasn’t meant to be.”
thought for a moment. “So you’re saying.... you don’t care about me?”
shook her head, “No, I didn’t mean it like that. What I meant was, with or
without you in the picture, Luka and I wouldn’t have lasted. I actually have
you to thank for stopping it from being completely disastrous.”
nodded. He noticed how she was carefully avoiding his actual question, though.
Did she love him? Maybe she did and she was just scared, or maybe she didn’t
and she just didn’t want to hurt him.
Abby’s mind, an internal battle was raging between her two sides. Leave now, logical Abby screamed, don’t set yourself up for another fall in
the future. But smart Abby was screaming just as loud, Tell him how you feel! It was usually at this time in big decisions
in her life when Abby gave in to her logical side. Should I marry Richard? My
logical half says we’re a good match, so ok. Should I help my mother out again?
My logical half says it’s my responsibility, so fine. Should I tell Carter how
I really feel? Her logical half was saying no, you’ll just get hurt in the end.
But all the times Abby had listened to the logical half of her in big
decisions, the results were disastrous. And she realized that it was no battle
she began, holding his hand in hers. “I love you,” she said. A tear ran down
her face. He reached up and wiped it away.
you, too,” he said.
completely lost it. She leaned her head against his shoulder, and cried, like
she had so many times in the past. But this time, they were not the tears of an
alcoholic, or of a daughter escaping her manic depressive mother. They were the
joyful cheers of someone who had found true love for the first time. And those
were tears Abby didn’t mind crying.
in the hospital was talking nonstop about the day’s events. The conversations
were bustling. “Carter and Abby were making out in the lounge?” “Luka did WHAT
to Carter?” “I can’t believe Luka would do such a thing!” “Did you hear that
Abby went into Carter’s room and hour ago?” “I wonder what they are talking
about?” “They’ve been in there for an hour...”
decided to go check on Carter and Abby and make sure they were ok. He went over
to curtain area one, and knocked lightly on the door. There was no response. He
slowly cracked open the door. “Carter? Abby?” he whispered. They didn’t answer,
so he opened the door and quietly walked in. They were both asleep. Carter was
lying in his bed, and Abby was sitting in the chair next to him with her head
on his shoulder. Mark smiled to himself.
he whispered. “Abby.”
gently stirred, then blinked and looked at him.
she said groggily.
to bother you. I just wanted to see how you were,” Mark said. “You know that
you’re on tomorrow at 5 a.m., right?”
I know, I should probably go home and get some sleep. Thanks,” she said.
nodded, then left.
gently shook Carter awake. He stretched, then looked at her. He smiled warmly.
in another,” she glanced at her watch, “10 hours or so. I’m gonna go home and
get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?”
you are feeling better by then,” she said.
feeling better already,” he said with a smile.
smiled back. “I love you,” she said, and kissed him on the forehead. “See you
tomorrow,” she said, walking out the door of his room.
waved as he watched her go.
sighed to himself in the quiet, dark room. He felt so happy. It was beyond just
being happy, it was pure joy. It was better than any feeling he’d ever had
before. He squinted at the clock. Six forty-five p.m. He grinned, thinking of
how many things could change in 12 hours. 12 hours ago, he had felt miserable,
and he didn’t feel like working, or talking to anyone, or doing anything. And
now... now he felt like he could do anything. Now, he wouldn’t mind being a
All Lyrics are from the musical “The Wiz” and do not belong
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