❖ Chapter Forty ❖

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Healing Gabriel: Chapter Forty

                                    ※(*)※Gabriel's POV※(*)※

      Everything passed me by in a haze for the rest of the night. There was not one clear figure, one simple color, that I could see that was neither morphed nor blurred in shape or hue. It was difficult to form sentences, difficult to enunciate the different syllables in words. Moving was nearly arduous; my body felt like it weighed two tons, my muscles were stiff, and my knees were locked. And to make matters worse, my hands were trembling again, something they hadn't done in a while.

      And there was no Evan by my side to clasp his hands around my shaking ones and help still them.

      I hadn't been allowed in the ambulance, hadn't been allowed near Evan while he laid passed out, his chest slowing its rises and falls by the minutes as he inched closer and closer to death. I had to stay here, at my house, and talk to the medics and police. Tell them what happened.

       It'd all passed in a blur. A terrible, whizzing blur that was filled with flashing red and blue lights and loud sirens and doors opening and slamming closed and voices yelling out demands and other voices calling me to attention, to tell them what they needed to know.

      So I'd told them, in the simplest, most monotone yet trembling and whispery tone. His name was Evander Ricci, he was seventeen, soon to be eighteen, years old. He had been complaining about his throat and breathing for several months. His mom had been trying to schedule an early doctor's appointment for him, but there was still a week until then. His mom began making him stay home sick last Tuesday. His parents went out, he snuck over, then lost his balance, fell down against my living room floor, and stopped breathing.

      It had all been a befuddlement up until now. I barely even remembered the rush of emergency vehicles and people pouring out from their cars and homes. It had all left me where I was now, lying on my back, staring up at my ceiling in an emotionless daze. Waiting. For what? For Evan? He wouldn't be coming back for a long time--I had no idea if he would ever be coming back. So then what was I waiting for?

      To feel something, the little voice in my head whispered. You're waiting to feel something other than numb.

     It was a bit of an oxymoron, the phrase "to feel numb," because when you're numb, you don't feel anything. You never actually feel the numbness, you feel the withdrawl of the things the numbness takes from you. You feel the hollow thumps of your heart and wonder absentmindedly, how can it still possibly be beating? You feel the ghost of the tingling nerves in your fingertips, and you wonder, how can they still possibly be working? You feel the cold running through your veins, the chills sweeping across your skin, and all you can think is, could I get frostbite from this?

      You do not feel numb. You felt the effects of numb.

      But the numbness I was experiencing was different. This numbness, this hollow heartbeat, these tingling fingertips, this coldspell flooding through my body, was much different than any other type of numbness. I was actually feeling it, feeling the deprived sensations of life. I felt empty, I felt hollow, I felt nothing. But at the same time, I felt the hollow heartbeats, felt the empty tinglings in my fingers, felt the burning nothingness traveling through my veins. It all hurt so badly that I think I just got used to it and finally became numb.

      I felt numb. And I don't think I'd felt this type of numbness since I was thirteen, alone in a hospital room, barely registering the difference between my heart's beats and the heart monitor's beeps.

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