✚ Chapter Forty-Two ✚

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Healing Gabriel: Chapter Forty-Two

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

      The drive to the hospital had lasted longer than I expected. While watching the mundane scenery of other cars surrounding mine, I silently wondered if the trip to the hospital had lasted as long for Evan as it was for me. Then I remembered that ambulances didn't have to wait on traffic just like their occupants didn't have time to wait on death.

      Right then, I wished I were in an ambulance. I wished I didn't have to wait for the red Cadillac in front of me to hurry up and go, or to make sure no cars from the opposite intersection were coming at me.

      "I hate traffic," Alana muttered from the driver's side next to me, shaking her head so that her waves of brown locks swayed against her shoulders.

      "Me too," I agreed. "I wish I were in an ambulance."

      Alana briefly glanced away from the blocked road in front of her to give me a quizzical look. "Why?"

      "So I wouldn't have to wait on traffic."

      "You should rephrase your sentence. Even ambulances have to wait on traffic sometimes. Like, when the person in the back dies? That's why the ambulances' sirens are turned off and stuff."

      "So you're saying I shouldn't want to be in an ambulance because I might die and end up having to wait in traffic anyways?" What a vain death.

      "I'm saying you should say you want to own your own ambulance, not be in the back of one."

      I thought her words over until the Cadillac in front of us finally stepped on the gas, allowing us and the cars behind us, including Donovan, Axel and Jurnee, to finally go as well.

      "I wish I had my own ambulance so I could get to Evan quicker," I rephrased, resting my forehead against the window.

      "Me too," she agreed. "Or, I just want my own jet-powered wheelchair so I could zoom down the sidewalks."

       I cracked a smile at that, the image of a tiny, wide-eyed and brown-haired girl zipping past pedestrians at warped speed in her hydro-powered wheelchair being somewhat humorous.

      "You're smiling," she stated, and I didn't have to look at her to know that she was grinning. "I like it when you smile, Gabriel. It proves that he hadn't taken everything away from you. From us." My only response was the previous smile falling from my lips and disappearing into nothingness. Alana continued anyways. "I always think of us as, like, these two symbols, y'know? We're survivors. We made it through this humanized version of hell, yet we're still smiling. Not as much as before, but . . . none of the others even can. They're all gone. They can't smile anymore, had probably forgotten even how to while in there. But not us. We're the ones who escaped and remembered how to be happy again. We're special, Gabriel."

      I frowned deeply, shaking my head. "You're wrong. About me, at least. I'm not special, Alana. I'm not some sort of symbol for all rape victims. I'm the wrong person to go to for an inspirational story. I wasn't supposed to get out of that place alive--and neither were you. None of us were. All of us were supposed to die in there and have our bodies burned into the floorboards, but we didn't. That doesn't mean we're special. We're both plagued with the memories of him, and to be totally honest, I'd've rather died with people who had forgotten how to smile than be stuck with the constant memory of him trying to rip my smile away from me, and still trying to continue to do so four years after the Incident."

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