Chapter 11

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"But the heart is the most treacherous organ in the human body. It does what it wants, and it doesn't waste any time with the flashing warning signs in your mind."


I feel my heart clench from what he told me already, and I'm sure we haven't reached the bad part yet. He looks so goddamn vulnerable, I just want to hug all of this misery out of him, but I know he just needs to get it out now.

He takes a deep breath again and nods his head, almost like he's encouraging himself to go through with this.

"This ten-year-old girl came in, smiling and jumping like she hadn't just been in a major accident. It was hard to actually get her to stand still with how excited she was." There's a hint of a smile playing on his lips as he speaks, even though the rest of his features show pure and utter pain.

"I checked her thoroughly, made an ultrasound to rule out internal bleeding, and even scheduled her for a full-body x-ray to make sure she didn't have any undiscovered broken bones. Her behavior just seemed too normal, you know."

"She was acting fine, but I noticed her heart rate was higher than normal. At first I thought it may be just the adrenaline, but something didn't seem right, I just had this weird feeling, and so I called my father. He was on call that night, and I knew the other cardio-thoracic-surgeons in the hospital weren't worth a dime, so I decided to ask him to come and take a look at her readings. Of course he said yes, he always did. And of course my mom decided to go with him, they always accompanied each other when both of them had the night off and one of them got called in." 

He starts trembling suddenly, placing the cup on the floor before running his hands through his hair, starting to pull at it. I place my hands above his own, bringing them down into his lap where he studies them intently, his fingers playing with the rings on mine as he continues.

"They... They drove down to the hospital while I checked on some of the other kids, helping out the surgical residents and interns as we were absolutely understaffed for something major like this. I was just checking in on another boy when one of the nurses walked up to me. I swear, the way she looked at me... I just... I just knew." His voice is trembling when he speaks, and with the insane display of agony running across his features I can only fear what he's about to say next.

"Knew what?" I encourage him to continue when he hasn't said anything for a few minutes, the only movements being his fingers clenching onto my own, like he's trying to get a grasp on reality, to himself.

"That something happened to my parents." He whispers, and I can tell that he's struggling to continue, that he's reaching his limits here.

"What happened to them?" I dare to push him a bit more, hoping he won't hide again. 

But then he looks up at me, and I see it in his eyes as they swell with tears. I see the grief, the sorrow, the despair... It's all written in those extremely beautiful but severely broken blue irises. 

"They got into an accident. A drunk driver drove through a red light and crashed into them. They died on the scene." 

To my surprise he doesn't break, he just says it factually, his eyes back on our intertwined fingers as a silent tear rolls down his cheek. 

"Oh, Lincoln..." I can't stop my own tears when I see how much he's trying to hold back, how badly he wants to compose himself. The mere thought of losing either of my parents makes me want to scream, I can't even begin to imagine what he must feel like.

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