Paul heard the steady beating of Vanessa’s heart rate monitor, along with the chaos of the rest of the ICU, but he wasn’t focused on that. The room was a little bit cold, and smelt sterile. Paul focused in on her steady breathing. She sounded mostly fine, but it sounded like there was some resistance every time she inhaled.
“How are you feeling?” Jude hadn’t told Paul too much about how bad it looked, so Paul still felt worried.
“Well, I’ve been better.” She laughed a little bit. Her sheets rustled as she began to sit up. “I really don’t feel too bad though. I’ll probably be out pretty quick.”
“Are you sure? Jude was acting a little… weird, and it was kinda worrying me.”
“I’m fine, it looks worse than it is.” Vanessa sighed. “I’ll be okay.”
“You don’t sound okay.” He hesitated, “You can talk to me, you know. I’m in this with you.” Paul’s heart was racing, and his stomach was doing somersaults. His words weren’t being checked by his brain anymore, they were just flowing out.
“Oh, Paul…” Vanessa took his hand in hers, a small wave of pain hit her, and she tensed. Paul began to edge forward towards her, but Vanessa quickly held his hand tighter. “Thank you. For everything.”
“Hey, you were there for me when I fell down the stairs. You even managed to talk a little bit of sense into me.” Paul’s heart felt like it was going to burst, she had his hand and he had absolutely no idea what to do about it or what it meant. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had felt this way… Definitely before the light. Life is so much easier without stress like this, but I need to do this.
“The doctor said it’s going to be a pretty nasty scar…” Vanessa sniffled a little. “Paul… I’m going to look like a freaking ogre…”
“Hey, no you’re not, you’re honestly the prettiest girl I’ve never seen.” Paul was almost shaking with nerves at this point. Is this the moment? Did I seriously just make that joke?
Vanessa laughed and Paul nervously did the same. “Listen…” Oh dear god this is happening. “I really like you… Like…” Dear god this is going terribly. Abort, abort! It’s too late. At least he was in the ICU, so when his heart stopped they’ll be able to take care of it.
“Really?” Paul couldn’t really tell if that was excitement, disgust, or something in-between. These interactions were always much easier when I could see facial expressions. “Oh that came out wrong… I feel the same…” She laughed. “Sorry, I’m so bad at this.”
Paul laughed too, “My heart was beating so fast I thought I might need to get a room.”
So they sat there for a moment, holding hands, before a nurse came running in.
“Are you feeling okay?” She sounded panicked. It was at that moment Paul realized her heart-rate monitor was beeping like crazy.
Vanessa contentedly sighed. “Better than ever.” She gave Paul’s hand a squeeze.
“Oh, okay.” The nurse laughed for a moment. “I think it might be best if you took your next visitor. And you.” Paul assumed this was directed at him. “Don’t do whatever you did again, I thought she was dying.”
The nurse took the handles of Paul’s chair, and she began to wheel him out.
Hey, guys. Thanks again for reading. Let me know if you have any thoughts on the direction of this series. I currently have another project in the works that I’m really excited about, but I’ll let you know when I have something more concrete.
I really appreciate you reading. And have a wonderful week, see you all again next friday.