Part Fourteen

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                I couldn't move.

                I wanted desperately to move over to the bedside and make sure that it was truly her. But my feet were frozen to the floor.


                My Shawna.

                "Mark," a soft voice broke me out of my thoughts. It was her mom. She was next to the bed along with her father. They looked so out of place there. This whole scene was out of place. I was supposed to see these people at Shawna's house... in the kitchen, when I stayed over for supper, or in the living room, when we watched stupid chick flicks just because Shawna wanted to.

                We weren't supposed to be here.

                I took one robotic step towards the bed, then another, feeling my heart lurch with each one. Eventually, I had made it to the bed and was staring down at Shawna's face. She looked okay, a few bruises around her face, on her jaw... but otherwise she looked peaceful. She had tubes hooked up in her nose and an IV attached to her hand. She looked pale even in the gross hospital gown and underneath the pale blue sheets.

                I wanted to touch her, but I couldn't bring myself to.

                "What happened?" I choked out, trying to steady my voice.

                "We were... driving," her dad, Thomas, began, as his wife grabbed onto his arm. "We were crossing an intersection and the guy wasn't paying attention, ran the red light. He... hit us on the passenger side. And—" he cut himself off, fighting back tears. "I couldn't do anything."

                "How is...she?"

                "She's doing alright, Mark. They have to do some x-ray's and things still, but for now, she seems to be in alright condition."

                I sucked in a breath and looked him over, "You're, uh, you're okay, right?"

                "Yeah, Mark," he said almost shamefully, "I'm okay. They did a checkup and everything."

                Swallowing, I nodded, looking at the papers taped to the wall but not really reading them. "That's good."

                "I'm sorry, Mark—"

                "Don't!" I stopped him quickly. "Don't apologize."

                How could they apologize to me when it was their daughter? Why should they be treating me like I'm the one that's about to freak out when their daughter is lying in a hospital bed?

                They watched me carefully, like I was a wild animal about to attempt an escape.

                "Um, how are... how are um, Ty, and Cynthia and Evan?"

                "They're with their grandma. They're okay, too," Shawna's mom, Jessica, promised, sending me a sad smile. "I know you were pretty close with them all, they'll be here a little later on."

                I nodded, and carefully brought my eyes back to Shawna. It was hard to look at her. She wasn't smiling. Shawna was always supposed to smile.

                "Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Reed?"

                We all turned as a doctor with a clipboard stepped into the room, sending us a small, polite smile. "Yes?"

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