Frigid Nights Chapter Two

Derek stood in the doorway, his shoulder against the frame, coffee in his hand. He watched Jamie’s chest rise and fall with each breath as if she were just sleeping peacefully. The bruising on her arms, her left leg in a cast from where her femur shattered, and the stitches on the left side of her head told a different story. Her once flowing blonde hair was now knotted and tinted crimson from the blood the nurse couldn’t seem to wash out. Derek wishes he could go back and prevent it all from happening. The argument, the unsavory words spat at one another, the frustration and mental fatigue finally coming to a boiling point.

The room had your typical hospital bed. White walls with pale color schemes. Heart monitor beeping to show the person it was attached to’s heart was still beating. It smelled, well, sanitary. It wasn’t lemon but it was something antibacterial that lingered in the air. The bed was white with a light blue blanket draped over Jamie. There was a TV that was always on, tuned in to the news so viewers could hear a disproportionate amount of things wrong with the world rather than good which, after a lifetime of it, rendered people numb to anything outside of the room they were in.

Outside the window, you could see for miles. Well, you would be able to see for miles if glittery fat snow wasn’t blurring out anything beyond a few blocks away. From the window, you could see a few blocks into the neighborhoods that surrounded the hospital. You could see the slush that covered the main streets where the side streets still had fresh coats of white on top of them. The houses with Christmas lights that together formed a mural of twinkling stars. Being on the eleventh floor allowed one to sightsee while one was internally fried, as hospitals will do to visitors. However, with this being the tallest building around for miles, it had an awesome view. Derek was able to get his mind off of what brought him there, if only for a short while.

Derek was now completely sober. He remembered last night and all that had happened. He wasn’t completely wasted when Jamie found him at the bar, but he couldn’t walk a straight line. His shins ached from the damage they took when he walked into the bar counter and slammed into a chair. His feet were swollen from standing all night and he could feel the lack of water in his body. He drank a lot last night, undoubtedly leading to the argument that he and Jamie had.

Derek looked out over the houses as snow continued to fall. He wanted to believe last night didn’t happen. Their argument had been building up, a dormant volcano waiting to erupt from one of them, causing the other to explode alongside.

Derek turned back to Jamie. Her chest was still moving with each breath, a good sign. She hadn’t moved much, but she was still fighting. Derek pulled up the stiff wooden chair and sat next to the bed. He grabbed her hand. It was cooler than he thought it would be. He pulled the blanket that lay on her up higher in case she was cold. He then clasped his other hand on top of hers to keep it warm. He ached for her eyes to flutter open, to see her green irises looking up at him. He wished for nothing more than that, but deep down, he knew it would be awhile before his eyes met hers again.

The beeping of the machines annoyed him when he first arrived but now, the rhythm they kept, was soothing. A white noise that filled the room along with the television. Derek’s mind had felt like a computer on the verge of overheating, overwhelmed with all that it had experienced in the recent past. The rhythmic beeping calmed him. He felt his pulse matching the beeps from the machine, matching Jamie’s heartbeat.

 

 

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