Chapter 5

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It isn't until we pull up feet away from the stone building that I realize we've made it to the hospital. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people outside of it, surrounding every surface. There are tents, fires, sleeping bags everywhere. I stare out at the chaos, jumping slightly when I hear the hatch of the truck slam down. Tristan is the first person they begin to take out- two men lift him and another one holds his legs up. He's pale- too pale. I quickly follow behind them, trying not to get lost in the swarms of people.

People of every race, every color cut paths with me. Some are crying, some laughing... Some are silent. I get momentarily lost trying to decipher what they've been through. We step through the sliding doorway and I gasp. There's barely room to walk. A tall man hits into me and I cry out, clutching my side.

Fuck, that hurt.

He doesn't even notice- he's bleeding from the head, following a man in a white coat. I catch up to the men, seeing they're handing Tristan over to a nurse with a gurney. He hisses loudly, clenching his eyes shut as they settle him down, whispering among each other.

I barely get out a thank you before they're turning, exiting the way we came in. I don't even have time to watch the people who helped us so much leave. They're already carting Tristan through double doors, holding them open for me.

A woman with black, long hair in a braid looks over me, nodding. She removes my hand off my stomach.

"Fractured ribs?"

I nod, pointing to Tristan. "Please, I need to be with him. I can't lose him."

"They're taking him to surgery. He will be out for a few hours. Please, what is his name?"

"Tristan Maddox." I follow closely behind her, watching her write his name down on a clipboard.

"And yours?"

"Gen- Genevieve Harding."

"Okay, Geneveive, we're waiting for another supply of medication to come in. You'll have to wait until then for some. Are you hurt anywhere else? Were you caught in the earthquake and tsunami?"

"Both." I breathe, sitting down where she tells me. I clench my hands together tightly, grunting when she settles a pad with alcohol onto my head, wiping the gash hurridly. "We were on the shoreline."

She nods, glancing up from her clipboard. "Let me know if you need anything. I'll have medicine for you when possible."

I nod, licking my lips as she leaves me, sitting in a lonely chair in the hallway. They cart a man in and horrified, I stare as they try to close the open wound in his stomach as they move fast. Blood is covering the nurse's clothes. He's screaming in pain, gasping endlessly for breath and in one second, he's gone the same way Tristan's gone.

I stare at the doors for hours, waiting but he doesn't come out. I begin panicking, wondering if he didn't make it and no one's remembered to tell me. I stand as I see the nurse from before walking with a doctor, talking hurriedly to him.

"Ma'am?" I reach forward, grabbing her arm. "Miss?"

She looks over me, motioning for the doctor to keep going. "Have you been treated yet?"

I shake my head and she nods. "I'm sorry. Come with me."

"T-thank you but wait- is my friend, Tristan Maddox- is he out of surgery? I haven't seen him yet."

"Well, let me give you medication and I'll try to find out for you."

She escorts me into the room next door. All the windows are open to keep the stench of blood and vomit from filling the room. I settle down onto a chair, the only spot available, and lean back, taking the pressure off of my stomach.

"I'm going to give you Dihydrocodeine. It should help with the pain. Don't move from this spot after I give you the injection, alright?"

I nod, watching as she removes a new syringe from it's wrapping. I've never been one for shots but right now, I'd beg for it if it would take the pain away. She injects it into my bloodstream, pushing the medication through the small needle.

I wince when she removes it and covers it with a bandage. There's already another person in the doorway. It's a man- he's wearing swimming trunks. Something's wrong with his shoulder. He's holding it, grimacing.

"I'll be right with you." She murmurs, bending down to get a better look at the gash on my head. "I don't think you need stitches. Are you cut anywhere else?"

I nod, standing to show her the back of my knee. There's a horizontal gash from something that hit me in the water. She bends down, grabbing disinfectant and begins cleaning it. I hold my breath, biting down on my lip. She stands back up, raising her brows. Grimacing, I pull my feet from my shoes and I see her eyes widen slightly. Turning, she calls a name and a man with scrubs looks at her from across the room.

"I'm going to be here a while. Check out the man please."

She glances down at the large red gashes covering the entirety of my feet and motions me to sit back down.

...

The tightening of one's throat is pretty simple. When you feel it, you know what's about to happen. Vomiting is something everyone's done at some point in his or her life. It's a whole new concept when the bile is red.

The bucket of the person's bed across from me is in my hands and I'm staring down at blood- a lot of it. What's even more terrifying is the fact that there is large pieces of wood and other various forms of nature in it. The thought that comes to mind brings rapid tears to my eyes.

God, what else is in my system? What else did I swallow? Could it harm me? Will I throw it up next?

The tightening returns in an instant, burning.

...

Opening my eyes slowly, I wonder where I am.

I raise my head off the pillow and look around, seeing I'm in a different hospital room although this one is ten times more crowded. I touch my throat, grimacing as I remember the fits of vomiting. How did I fall asleep? Did I blackout?

I look around me for any sign of water. Thankfully, a new nurse comes up, smiling when she sees me. "You're awake."

She hands me water, waiting while I down it, drinking every last drop.

"You've been out an entire day."

My heart drops. "Wait, no. No, no, no. My friend- I have a friend- He was in surgery. Where is he?"

"Okay, calm down. What is his name?"

"Tristan Maddox."

I wait while she talks to a man on a computer in the corner.

Please, please let him be okay.

I sit up, scared when she comes back, looking uncomfortable.

"Tristan Maddox- he was transported yesterday."

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