41. Quiet delirium

15.8K 1.5K 137

Lykke Li - Possibility

                  I felt numb when I hung up the phone and when Noemi looked at me with an enquiring gaze. I felt numb as I put on my jacket and walked out the door and started my motorcycle and rode and rode and rode, with Noemi sitting beside me and not saying a word. I felt numb as we entered the hospital and I mumbled "Damonte, Dario Damonte" to the nurse. White walls, white coats and white faces. I tightly squeezed Noemi's hand as we followed the nurse and reached department Four.

    In this giant, empty waiting room, two girl sat in the corner. There was only them. Gaia's make up was completely gone. Her braid didn't resemble a braid anymore and the black of her lace dress made her look even more pale. And Virginia. Although wearing sweatpants and puffy eyes, she was here. She might have not been the Virginia Colombo everyone remembered or the Virginia she wanted to be, but in that moment she was simply Virginia, a girl I cared about. Simply, my friend. 

    ''Nurse!'' Gaia stood up and rushed towards us. Her eyes were teary, and so, so tired. ''How is he?'' she asked. ''We've been waiting for hours. Any news?''

    The nurse seemed dazzled by her worried tone. ''I – I'm sorry, I'm just on a night shift, I don't know – ''

    ''Please,'' Gaia begged. ''They aren't telling us anything. We don't even know what happened.''

    ''Only family members can – ''

    ''They aren't here!'' she yelled. ''We are. And we need to know. Please.''

    Compassion glowed in the nurse's eyes. Her features softened. ''I don't know much,'' she said. ''I've heard his blood alcohol content was high and he had a minor head injury.''

    Gaia sighed, as if she already knew. 

    "Is he gonna be okay?" I asked. "When can we see him?"

    The nurse pressed her lips and shrugged. ''I don't think it's something you should worry about. Why don't you go home, kids? Tomorrow is Friday, aren't your parents worried? Here there's nothing you can do that – ''

    ''We're not going anywhere,'' Virginia said. Her words were firm. Whispered with a shaky voice, but firm nonetheless. 

    The nurse nodded her head and turned around. ''His mother should be here soon,'' she said. ''We called her as soon as he arrived.'' 

     I walked towards the row of plastic chairs and let my body fall on one of them. The white light illuminated the room, the noise of the lamp was the only sound besides our tired sighs. I hated hospitals. I hated waiting and wondering and fearing. I hated this. This was too much.

    ''He was with the others when it happened,'' Gaia said. ''And when he passed out, they ran away. They just left him there.''

    I clenched my jaw. I imagined Dario lying all alone in the middle of the street, while Stiff and the others ran away. I felt like I needed to punch something.

    ''They sent me a message with the address, telling me that I have to call the ambulance. They didn't explain anything. They didn't even call, they just – they just sent a message.'' Anger arose in her voice and she looked at me with teary eyes. ''What if my phone was off?'' she whispered. ''What if I didn't see that message? What if – ''

    Virginia put her hand on her shoulder. She did it slowly, delicately. As if Gaia was made of glass, or as if she was made of feather.

    ''But you did,'' she said. ''You did see that message. And that might have saved his life.''

    Gaia nodded her head and embraced her best friend. It looked like they had been waiting for this hug for ages, like it was all they needed.

     They cried. 

    They cried and their tears broke my heart and fixed it at the same time. Behind their façades of indifference and confidence, they were fragile. There was a hole inside of them that would stay even when their faces wrinkled. All they could do was try to fill that hole with love. Not just mundane love, but the love of two best friends who made mistakes and hurt each other, and in a simple embrace apologized and forgave. 

    And now I wasn't afraid that Dario wouldn't wake up, because I knew he would. What really scared me was the look in his eyes when he would finally open them. I was afraid of what he would see. An empty, white room filled with strangers with white coats. His mother wasn't here, his father was gone. His friends, or what he believed to be his friends, abandoned him. There was just us. Broken, messed up and with puffy eyes. Would he be able to smile at that? Or would he feel even more pain? 

    I stood up and rummaged in the pocket of my jeans. "I'm gonna go get a snack. Do you want something?"

    Virginia's head was resting on Gaia's shoulder and her eyes were closed. Not to wake up her best friend, Gaia whispered 'no, thank you' and Noemi simply shook her head. They were sitting opposite each other, but their eyes never met. Noemi scratched the fabric of my guitar's case and Gaia sometimes glanced at her with furtive gaze. Oh God, was this as awkward as I thought it was? I didn't know, I was too tired to think.

    The hallway was so long my feet hurt even imagining the act of walking, but the vending machine was at the end of it so I had to endure. With every step I took the silence became louder, the smell of medicine made my stomach swirl. I got a pack of chips, it was Dario's favourite. Barbecue flavoured and crispy Lay's. 

    When I came back to Department Four, Noemi's seat was empty. I looked on the other side of the room and there she was, sitting next to the now awake Virginia and talking to the girls with a soft voice. As Virginia listened, Gaia studied her. Not with coldness or hatred. She just looked. Maybe she saw her for the very first time, for who she really was. She didn't see her as a rival or as my girlfriend, she just saw her as Noemi. 

    I tried to join the conversation, but Gaia said "girls only", then they all chuckled and carried on. It was as though they didn't have me as a friend in common, as though they were just girls chilling at a park. Favourite songs, favourite quotes, favourite movies. Don't worry, Dario's gonna be okay. It was frightening out there, in the darkness of an empty hallway. But seeing them like this, together, made me feel safer and warmer than I had ever felt. My eyes closed to the lullaby of their soft whispering and I didn't know if it was special and magical, or simply genuine and genuinely simple. I guess it was just girls being nice to other girls.

Like HurricanesWhere stories live. Discover now