Part 15

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Part 15

After school I showed up at the hospital to find Derek sitting alone in the waiting room; he looked bad. "Hey, how's he doing?" I asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. "We can go in, but he still isn't awake." I watched as he ran a hand through his hair. "Man, you don't look to good; when was the last time you had something to eat?" He shook his head then answered. "Yesterday... I think." I grabbed his hand and attempted to pull him from his seat, but failed epically. "A little help... come on, I'll buy."

The cafeteria was almost empty except for a few nurses, and an older man that looked like he hadn't slept in years, Derek sat down while I bought us a couple of sandwiches, then setting his in front of him on the table, I took a seat across from him. "Eat." I ordered, frowning when he continued to stare at the table. "He's going to be fine." I reached across the table and put my hand on his, and he smiled in response.

We ate in silence for the most part; neither of us too sure what to say.

"Jaye really cares about you... I just thought you should know." Derek told me before he walked out of the cafeteria. "I know." I whispered to myself. I chucked my trash into the receptacle and ran to catch up to him. "Derek, what happened? I know you know more than what you told Grams." Hr pulled me over to a couple of near buy chairs and sat me down, taking a seat across from me and scooting closer. "I went up to the house the day you left..." He looked around, dropping his voice instinctively. "He was really depressed all weekend and... and he started cutting again. I didn't say anything because I figured that was just his way of dealing with things... but then Monday, he said he needed to go for a walk... I saw him take a step into the water but I never thought he... he went under on purpose Andrea; and I didn't get there in time." Derek put his face in his hands and started to shake violently. "It's not your fault." I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close. "Everything's going to be okay." I assured him; even though I had no idea.

"Why don't you go home and get some sleep." I jumped at the sudden lack of silence. "I'm fine; I can't go anywhere yet." I mumbled as I watched the nurse check all the machines. "If anything changes we'll be sure to let you k now, don't you think your parents are worrying about you?" I looked up as Grams walked through the door with two Styrofoam cups in her hands. "She's staying with me. Don't worry your pretty little head, we'll be out of your hair soon enough." The nurse nodded, and then left us alone.

I took the cup Grams offered me and sipped at it as I watched Jaye. It pained me to see him like this, his right eye was swollen and he had random cuts and bruises everywhere it seemed. He appeared to be merely asleep; like at any moment he'd wake up; but he hasn't yet.

I finally convinced Derek to go home and get some sleep, but he'll be back tomorrow I'm sure. "Andrea lets go home dear." Grams put a hand on my shoulder and smiled sweetly at me.

The ride back to the house was long and I really wanted Grams to turn he car around and go back to the hospital. When we got back I went straight to Jaye's room, and out the clothes I had left on the bed, before crawling into it and pulling the covers close; letting my eyes fall shut.

I woke up; barely; and shuffled to the bathroom. "Andrea..." I heard a small voice whisper from a couple of doors down. "What is it Lacey?" I paused at the bathroom door as she crept closer. "I can't sleep... can I sleep with you?" I looked at the worried expression that washed over her face and sighed. "Yeah, I'll be right there."

I finished up in the bathroom then went back into Jaye's room and crawled into bed next to Lacey; who was already asleep; and fell back asleep until morning.

"Can't I just skip?" I complained into the glass of orange juice Grams poured for me. "Honey, I can't technically make you go..." A huge smiled spread across my face. "But, I think you should. Jaye wouldn't want you missing school." I sighed audibly before grabbing my bag and heading out the door.

I got to school fairly early and found Derek leaning against my locker. "Hey can I catch a ride with you to the hospital after school." He asked as he stepped out of my way. "Yeah, sure." I pulled out my history book then closed the door and leaned against it. "I'm so glad tomorrow's a half day." He nodded and put his arm around my shoulders right as the first warning bell rang. Then we both hurried off in different directions.

Classes dragged on but I finally found myself back at my locker; surprised to see two very tall boys standing next to it. I recognized Derek right away, but didn't notice that it was Mark who stood next to him, until I got closer. "What are you doing here Mark?" was it just me or was Derek staring at him funny?

"I just wanted a chance to talk to you, but this fool told me you were off limits." Mark rolled his eyes then looked back to me for a response. "Umm, I'll meet you at the car." Derek frowned then turned and walked slowly out of the building. "What is it Mark?" He fiddled with his shirt then started. "Andrea, I'm really sorry. I got jealous of him, and I'd really like for us to be okay again... I'm kind of in love with you." What was he even saying? He was really starting to piss me off.

"Mark, we're friends... just friends; and I don't think we should see each other any more if you can't just be my friend." I left him standing in the hall alone and walked out to my car. "Do I need to kick some butt?" Derek asked me seriously as we pulled out of the school parking lot. "No..." I smiled. "I've got it."

We walked into room 121 and I took my usual seat next to Jaye's bed, and Derek sat next to me. I sat watching his chest rise and fall with each breath; it comforted me... I was even starting to memorize the rhythm of his heartbeat. "What is it about him?" Derek captured my attention, and I struggled for an answer. Pulling my knees into my chest I let all of our memories wash over me. "I've always loved him... at first, it was just as a friend; I wanted him to let me into his world; to be someone he told his problems to along with his deepest desires. I thought I could help him. But the more I got to know him, the more it changed from; wanting to help him because he needed it; to wanting to help him because it killed me to see him hurting. He made it easy to love him, because he never forced anything." The first night Jaye told me he loved me flooded my memory and I couldn't help the tear that escaped. "No offense; but if you love him so much; why'd you leave?" His question really cut me deep; why did I leave? I thought about it and then looked back at Derek. "I was afraid..." I shifted my gaze to Jaye, and continued. "...Afraid that his feelings would change."

"They won't." He assured me, putting a hand on mine.

I smiled at my new friend, and rested my head on my knees.

I must've fallen asleep because the next thing I know I'm waking up alone. I took this opportunity to talk to Jaye; and God.

"Jaye, please wake up..." I carefully placed my hand in his and started to pray silently.

Saying Amen, I looked up as the door opened. "Andrea, you're awake." I felt my hand being squeezed, but when I looked down, his hand was relaxed again. "Derek! He just squeezed my hand!" I almost yelled. Derek chuckled as he sat down. "I think you've been here a little too long Andrea." I felt it again. "Shut up! Get over here." I forced Derek to put his hand where mine had been. "I don't feel anything Andrea..." His mouth fell open and he pressed the "Call Nurse" button, looking bewildered, "I told you. " I Exclaimed proudly.

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