Let Me Fall After Her

Chapter 8 "There Was No Hope"

Carter's eyes felt like they were superglued shut. He wrenched them open, fighting off the stinging urge to curl up tighter and fall back asleep. His mouth was dry as a sock. Bringing his eyes to focus, he looked around him. Confusion entered his mind, and he rolled over to his other side, noticing Kerry in a chair beside the door.

"Kerry?" He had no idea why she was there.

"How you feeling?" she asked.

"Tired." He lay his head in the pillow and shut his eyes. The previous events were a blur to him; all he knew was that he was exhausted.

"Do you feel up to talking to Mark?" She stood up and put her hand on the door knob.

Carter opened his eyes again. Mark? Why would he talk to him… the truth suddenly hit him hard. Anna. Fear swept across his face and into his eyes. He sat up quickly, ready to race out of the room.

"Stay there," Kerry told him. "I'll be right back."

She left him alone. He was shaking. The thought of Anna being hurt was scaring the hell out of him. He needed to know. To know if she was all right. He wanted, needed to see her, to be with her right now. He would tell her he was sorry, to ask to give him another chance. He couldn't imagine his life without her.

He curled back up, waiting for Mark to come in. Butterflies entered his stomach and he felt like vomiting.

The door opened slowly and Mark made his way inside, with Kerry and Abby behind him. He pulled a chair over beside the bed and sat down. Carter could tell by the look on his face that it wasn't good news. He lay solemn, looking at Mark.

"Carter, we tried. God knows we tried everything we could." His voice was broken. He took a small breath. "But we couldn't save her. There was just too much… her brain was hemmoraging, and we think a rib might have punctured her heart, causing her to arrest." He couldn't bare to look into Carter's eyes, so he lowered his head and stared at his feet. "We tried to save her Carter, but she died."

He looked back up at his friend, not knowing what his response would be. Carter's dark eyes stared unfocused then began to water up. He clamped them shut and let out a shaky cry. He didn't say anything, just buried his face in the pillow, where he began to cry harder.

"There was just no hope," Mark finished, knowing anything more he said would be disregarded by him.

"It was my fault," Carter choked out into the pillow, muffling his accusations on himself. "I pushed her away. I made her leave."

"Carter, none of this was your fault," Mark said loudly, angered that Carter would think of himself that way. Any person could die and Carter would find some way to blame himself for their death. "You hear me? None of it. It was an accident. No one could have prevented it."

Carter rose and was off the bed in a single motion. He walked passed Mark towards the door.

"I'd like to be alone," he told them all quietly as he went out of the room. The others remained where they were, though hesitant to follow.

"Shouldn't we go after him?" Abby asked.

"He said he wants to be alone," Mark said defensively.

"Mark," Kerry butted in. "He was just told that his friend died! We can't just leave him alone after that."

"I'll go talk to him," Abby offered.

"No, I'll do it." Mark got up and went to follow after Carter. "I should talk to him."

Part 9
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