Chapter 32

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Chapter 32

       If there was one thing I hated about hospitals, it was the machines patients were hooked up to. I knew they were helping the patients, but they scared me to be honest, especially seeing my boyfriend attached to machines. A blood pressure machine was attached to him, as well as one to help him breathe as there was a mask on his mouth.

       "Wow," Grayson said, leaning in the doorway. "It reminds me of what happened to me when I was thirteen."

       Laughlin had bruises all over his body, as well as dried blood at cuts. The worst one was near his eye where a long cut ran down. I felt sick to my stomach seeing this.

      "I can't believe someone would do this," I muttered. "Sure he gets into trouble, but he hasn't done it recently."

       Lisa furrowed her eyebrows, looking at her grandson. "I don't get it," she said. "Even if he got into a fight, he would fight back. There is no way he would get this beaten."

       "Maybe there was more than one person involved," Steve said. "But...who would do it?"

       Would Jerry do this yet again? He did it before, but I doubt he would beat Laughlin so badly it would send him to the hospital. Even he wouldn't go that low. So who would do it?

       "The person who found him didn't see anything?" I asked.

       Steve shook his head. "No. Nobody did. He was just found, on the way to our house actually."

       "I think someone did it on purpose," I said. "Laughlin and I were walking back from the ice cream shop, but I had to go on without him because I was late for a family dinner. That would mean he actually was on his way home and wasn't looking for trouble."

       I looked at Laughlin once again, my lips trembling just by looking at him. I hated seeing him like this.

       "I'm going to head to the cafeteria," Steve announced. "Anyone want to come?"

       All of Laughlin's family went while Grayson and I stayed in the room. I was happy my cousin was here with me because I felt like breaking down any second.

       Grayson walked over to me, resting his hand on my shoulder. "He'll be fine, Elliot. I've seen this before. Well, I lived it before. Trust me, my beating was a lot worse."

       "But seeing him like this," I said. "It sickens me to think someone would do this."

       "We'll find out who did it," Grayson said. "We just need for him to wake up. He should soon."

       After a few minutes of complete silence, Laughlin began to stir. I watched eagerly as he slowly opened his eyes. "Laughlin?"

       Laughlin reached up, taking the mask off his mouth. "What....Where....God, my everything hurts." He groaned in pain, closing his eyes again. "Wake me up when I'm no longer in pain."

       "Laughlin, what happened?" I asked.

       "You tell me," Laughlin muttered. "One minute, I'm walking home. Now I wake up in the hospital in pain. My head hurts, my stomach hurts, my shoulder hurts. Everything hurts."

       "Great," I said. "So you don't know who did this to you?"

       Laughlin kept his eyes closed for a few more seconds before opening them suddenly and looking at me. "What do you mean 'who did this to you'?....Did what, exactly?"

       I looked over at Grayson, who gave me a shrug in reply. I didn't want to tell Laughlin that someone beat him. I didn't want him to get angry and go on a rampage. It happened before.

       I looked back at Laughlin and sighed. "You were found on the streets, badly beaten. Nobody saw anything, though, so nobody knows who did it. You don't remember anything?"

       Laughlin released a deep breath, looking at the machines hooked up to him. "No. Nothing. Was it Jerry because if it was...."

       "We don't know who it was," I interrupted. "I'm sure it isn't Jerry, though. You two may get in fights, but he wouldn't stoop so low as to send you to the hospital. Remember how you told me he's trying to have this façade. Sending someone to the hospital, even the second best boxer, will ruin it. Are you sure you don't remember anything?"

       "Elliot, the answer is still no," Laughlin said. "The last thing I remember is walking back home after you had to run ahead. I don't remember who did this or what even happened." He sighed and closed his eyes again. "How long does this pain last."

       "About two to four days," Grayson said. "Yours will probably be two, though. Mine was worse."

       "You've been beaten so bad it sent you to the hospital?" Laughlin muttered.

       "Yeah," Grayson said. "I'd rather not explain who did it, though. It's a bit of a downer."

       "Were they arrested at least?" Laughlin asked, opening his eyes again and looking at my cousin.

       "Uh, no, actually," Grayson replied. "Long story."

       Laughlin's family came back into the room, each having a snack of some sort. Lisa smiled once she saw Laughlin was awake. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

       "I'm in pain," Laughlin said.

       "So who did it?" Lisa asked.

       Laughlin sighed and closed his eyes once again. "I can't remember. I don't know if it was someone I know or if it was just one more person. I think I'm going to rest."

       "I should be going home anyway," I said, leaning forward and giving him a kiss on the cheek. "I'll come by tomorrow after school, okay?"

       "Mhmm."

       Grayson and I walked out of the room with me still feeling sick to the stomach. When we got to the car, Grayson asked. "Where does Laughlin lived?"

       "Why?" I asked.

       "We're going to see if anyone saw anything," Grayson said. "Laughlin said he was on his way home."

       I gave Grayson the address, so he drove there and parked into the driveway. We got out of the car and I led him towards the ice cream shop, since that was where Laughlin and I went before I had to leave. While we were walking to the ice cream shop, Grayson tapped my shoulder and pointed to a few policemen by an alley.

      We walked up to one and Grayson asked what happened. "There was a beating," he explained. "Someone was beaten so badly, he was sent to the hospital."

      "Laughlin Wilde?" I asked. The policeman nodded, looking a bit confused as to how I knew that. "He's my boyfriend. He doesn't even remember what happened. The last thing he remembered was walking home."

       "We actually have surveillance footage," the policeman said. "Two buff men and a woman approached him and the men were the ones who beat him. He didn't even fight back."

       "What did they look like?" I asked.

       The policeman held up a tablet, showing me an image from the footage. I squinted to get a better look at the people. When I realized who one of them was, my eyes widened. "No way."

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Hmm....I wonder who Elliot recognized. You might be shocked when it's revealed next chapter. You might not. Honestly, it seems like something the person would do.

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