The nurse wheeled Paul out of the room, Vanessa wasn’t ready for him to go, but the nurse seemed insistant. Vanessa’s mind raced as she tried to find the right thing to say, but she had nothing.
“I’ll see you when you get home!” Paul called over his shoulder. Vanessa caught a glimpse of his face as he turned; he was grinning like an idiot. She couldn’t help but laugh.
Vanessa sighed with relief. As Paul left, her excitement began to fade, and she began to feel her injuries again. She was on enough painkillers to dull it, but her entire body felt out of balance. She gently ran her fingers along the coarse bandages and shook her head. A tear began to fall down her face, soaking into the bandage on her cheek.
There was a knock on the door, and she pretended to be scratching her eye.
“Wow, I leave you alone for five minutes and you’ve already confessed your love for eachother.” Jude was grinning in the doorway. He stepped in and sat down next to her bed.
“Yes, I know, you told me so. I don’t wanna hear it.” Vanessa laughed, but she felt a stabbing pain spread across her chest. It took her a moment to recover, but she looked up again with a smile.
“Well, I’m glad you two finally talked.” Jude paused for a moment, he looked up again with a more serious expression. “So, I wanted to talk to you about what happened.”
“What about it?”
“Well… You’re in pretty foul shape, I won’t lie. The doctors say you should recover, but you’ll have these scars forever.” Jude rested his hand on the rail of her bed. He had the same expression her soccer coach had when she broke her ankle. She missed concerns like risking minor injury to play soccer. “I understand if you want to quit, you’re hurt pretty bad, and I can’t promise it won’t be worse next time, you really did get off lucky this time.”
Vanessa looked down at her arm again. The doctor said that it would recover, but it would never be quite the same again. This was all a nightmare, like a wish from a genie gone wrong.
“I understand, this is a weighty decision. Just think on it.”
“I don’t know if my dad would even let me.”
“Leave that to me, I want this to be all your decision. Nothing swaying you either way, being a hero isn’t easy, and has a lot of danger. Only you can decide if you want that.”
“What do you mean-”
“You need rest, so I’ll let you be.” Jude patted her knee and got up. “Don’t worry about this until you’re better, I just wanted to go ahead and have this talk.”
Jude had a warm smile, he felt like an older brother giving wise counsel. For a moment as he hugged her before leaving, it felt like all her pain and insecurity faded away. As he left, Vanessa still felt better.
More of Vanessa’s friends and extended family came in that day, she gave them all some story about accidentally touching an uncovered wire. The doctors and nurses came in and out all day, but it was all a blur to her. All she could think about was what she was going to do, but she couldn’t decide. She had weighed all the pros and cons, but each option seemed equally terrifying to her. She decided to put off thinking about it for the time being. After all, Jude did say that she didn’t need to make a decision for now, but despite this, she couldn’t get her mind off it.
Eventually, after a blur of visitors, doctors, nurses, and stress, she was wheeled out to her dad’s car. She had hoped to see her dad, but it was just Jean. She sighed and got into the car.
Hello! We made it to part 20! I’m really proud of making it this far, and I’m really excited to tell the rest of this story. I would like to thank every one of you who has read any of my posts. My initial goal was to get 5 people to regularly read my writing, and judging by view counts it appears we have at least that.
Thank you for your continued reading. If you have any thoughts, please let me know in the comments.