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If only I hadn’t crumbled and obeyed that witch. If only I had held up my resolve and kicked her out of my apartment, I wouldn’t have to deal with the misery of seeing Taylor so depressed. But I did.
“Promise?” Taylor rasps, still barely coherent. “Don’t… Okay?”
And right after she says the last word, she falls limp in my arms. I know she’s not sleeping, but that she’s unconscious, and if I don’t get her to an emergency room soon, she might not ever wake up. But before I start walking to my car, I take a moment to just admire the calm expression on her face. A single tear escapes my eyes—and I’ve never cried before, not even when I lost Jen—as I crane my neck to plant a kiss on her forehead. As my lips touch her face, she stirs ever so lightly, but doesn’t come to.
“I’m so sorry, Taylor,” I mumble into her ear, even though I know she doesn’t hear me. “I should have never done that… How can I make it up to you?”
I stare at her, as though waiting for her to give me an answer. But she doesn’t. And for some reason, some weird, horribly sad reason, I don’t think she ever will.
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Baby, I’d catch a grenade for you. Too bad that’s not the problem. (A/N: This is the actual title, but the whole thing wouldn't fit in the title box thing, so I had to shorten it.)
My hot breath fogs up the glass as I lean against it, my palms pressed to the front as though I can reach into the room through it somehow. I can see snippets of Taylor’s still body through the spaces between the many people operating on her, and that’s not even close to enough. All of the doctors arrange their tools—the scalpels, tweezers, prods, scissors, and other instruments—preparing to begin the strenuous—both for Taylor’s struggling system and the doctors’ careful, skilled hands—surgery. As I stare at them, the head doctor, Dr. Gupta, peeks over her shoulder and smiles at me, a morose, tired smile that does nothing to uplift my mood.
She tucks a strand of her curly black hair behind her ear, tightens the strings of her plastic facemask, straightens her thick glasses, and turns back to Taylor, who is still unconscious. Apparently, the amount of rain that made it into her body wrecked her lungs, and Taylor is now battling a horrible case of pneumonia. Not only that, but her lungs have weakened quite a bit and could give out at any moment, so it’s extremely important that the surgeons begin operating right now. She has a chance of surviving, though, but it’s very slim. The first thing Dr. Gupta told me when I met with her before the operation was that only twenty-five percent of people live through this kind of fatal sickness and lung damage.
I’m only hoping that Taylor is a part of that lucky quarter of people.
“Derek,” someone addresses me kindly, speaking up from behind me. “Sit down, man. Take a break.”
I crane my neck over my shoulder, trying to recognize the oddly detached voice that’s talking to me. When I look back, I see that Devon is standing there with two other people, the three of them shuffling their feet uncomfortably in the doorway. I try to force a grin, but can’t even manage a grimace, so I stick with a curt nod. The two people that accompany my best friend—one a beautiful woman with hair the color of woven gold, and the other a man that could pass as a male model, who seems to be her boyfriend judging by the way their holding hands—bob their heads in silent response.
“You don’t remember me, do you?” The lady asks, her voice sounding curiously familiar. “I’m Isabella, Taylor’s older sister.”
Recognition flares inside of me when I finally identify her stunning sapphire blue eyes and her wavy blonde hair. How did I not realize who she is? Not only is Isabella O’Donnell the exact image of an older version of Taylor, but she’s also a quite famous model and actress, not to mention the daughter of one of the most well-known couples in America. And the guy must be her boyfriend. Now that I know who the girl is, I can also pinpoint the man with her; Julien Martin, the popular French model. They’ve been dating for a while and are often the subject of magazine headlines, anyway.
|Taylor Swift||as Taylor O'Donnell|
|Adam Gregory||as Derek Quinn|
|Scarlett Johansson||as Isabella O'Donnell|
|Shane Harper||as Nick Felton|
|Freddie Stroma||as Devon O'Donnell|
|Ariana Grande||as Spencer Cole|
|Julianne Hough||as Randi Blaine|