15. hospitalized.

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You never realize how important or how much of an impact someone's made to your life until you're at the brink of losing them, whether it be an argument or death. It's almost like it's written in the rules made by the creator of life: be oblivious to your surroundings till appreciation is necessary.

The fear of losing yet another person in my life looped around in my mind over and over, no matter how much I tried to keep my head up because as optimists like to say, "Positivity is key." But I couldn't stay positive with this; I just couldn't. I had to prepare myself for the worst because that's all that ever happens in my life. Nothing goes the way I'd like it to, and by now, I was used to it. To the inevitable.

I looked out the window of the car with my nails jabbing into my skin and beads of sweat forming inside the little crevices of my palms. The trees that blurred by as the car drove past, gently whoosed due to the wind, and dark, dangerous clouds rolled in, signaling a storm was about to hit any moment now.

"It's all my fault," I murmured, "I should've listened to him."

"You don't even know what happened," Jacqueline said with a slight tremble in her voice. I called her to pick me up and drive me to the hospital after I realized I had no way of getting there without money, and I wasn't about to go back into the house, where Augustus was, to get some. Jacqueline also had the right to know, and she'd never forgive me if I didn't tell her the minute I found out.

"But—"

"Just get out of the car." She leaned over and opened the door, releasing my seatbelt and shoving my legs out. I reluctantly pulled myself onto the sidewalk and stared at her, trying to get her to let me sulk a little longer. "I'm going to go park. I'll meet you in his room."

"Fine," I groaned, giving a small nod.

I dragged my foot up the concrete stairs leading up to the lobby of Seattle Medical Center and went up to the desk where multiple nurses sat. They were shuffling through papers and submitting information into the computers in front of them with short conversations occurring between one another every minute or so.

"Hi," I calmly said, bringing the attention of a nurse—with springy, brown curls and a name tag announcing her name was Susie—from their paper to me. "I'd like to know what room Caleb Hutchinson is in."

"Hold on," she replied and began typing again. I stared at the clock hung up on the wall in the far back, and my mind flooded with the worries that disappeared a minute ago. "Excuse me, ma'am, are you family?"

"No, I'm a very close friend," I murmured, becoming more and more impatient as the hand of the clock ticked further from 3.

"Sorry, you're not allowed to see him unless you're family or has been authorized to."

"I'm practically family," I shouted, catching a few glares from the other nurses and relatives. The guilt was beginning to eat me alive, and I couldn't not see Caleb today. "I have to go!"

"Again, I'm sorry. It's against hospital policy," Nurse Susie assertively said and started to go through her papers, ignoring my glare.

"I don't care what it's against," I snapped. Her head jolted up and the color of her eyes darkened. The paper in her hand began shaking involuntarily, and her mouth dropped with shock. "Just—"

"Jami, he's in 12B." I turned around, and Sebastian stood with a bandage wrapped around his forehead and knuckles. "I'll take you there."

I glanced back at Nurse Susie, and she immediately looked down at the paper she was holding onto, making no eye contact or movement. She and the other nurses were still as a rock. The constant chatter that occurred throughout the lobby was gone, and every living organism had its focus on us—mostly Sebastian.

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