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   Chapter 17 Seventeen

Beauty and the Bad By Aubrey Wolfe Characters: 16826

Updated: 2019-06-03 20:40


Beep. Beep.

Is this heaven? I can't see anything. Isn't there supposed to be a light at the end of the tunnel? Am I going to hell?

Beep. Beep.

What the hell is that sound? Am I dreaming?

Beep. Beep. Beep.

It's getting faster. Why is it getting faster? Where am I?

Beep beep. Beep beep.

Am I causing that? I think I am. Okay, Chloe, calm yourself. Maybe if I calm down, the beeping will stop, and I'll get out of here. How do I calm myself? I can't breathe. Oh, my god. I can't breathe!

I can't breathe. I can't move. I can't see.

I'm in a coma.

***

Reece Hawken

I slump against the wall, unable to grasp a breath, as nurses and doctors rush by. I wait anxiously for one of them to stop, and tell me what is going on. Tell me anything.

My ears pick up the bustling of feet coming down the hall, and I lift my head to see a group of nurses and a doctor rushing into her room, panicked looks on their faces. As soon as the door opens, I hear it.

The frantic beeping of the machines.

"Is she waking up?" I hear one of the nurses ask, just as the door slams shut. I run up and try to push it open, but it's locked. I rap my knuckle against the door, practically bouncing on the spot, until a young looking nurse opens the door, her blue eyes wide.

"Can I help you, sir? We are dealing with an emergency right now, " she says, barely opening the door.

"It's the emergency I'm concerned about, that's my girlfriend in there." It's the first time I have called her that, it just comes so naturally.

The nurses face falls a little with sympathy and she steps out of the room.

"I don't have much information now, we just know her brain is showing a lot of activity, we believe she is trying to wake herself from the induced coma. We're unsure if her injuries have healed enough for her to wake up, or if she might need surgery, " she explains, her voice getting further away.

I shake off the uneasy feeling and nod. "Does that mean she's going to be alright?" I ask.

She frowns. "I can't say for sure at this time, but she is fighting, that much is for sure, and we're going to help her fight. I promise you that, " she says and squeezes my arm, smiling warmly at me. She disappears behind the door, leaving me along again.

It has been like this for two weeks. I've been so overcome with grief; I can barely process the events that have happened since. I just remember seeing Chloe, the blood pouring from her body, watching her drop to the ground and see the life vanish from her eyes.

While I was powerless. I remember struggling, so hard I still have the bruises from their strong grip.

Everything is blank after that. I remember being here, praying to whatever god might be up there, that they let her live. I haven't been able to sleep, unable to close my eyes without replaying that scene over in my head.

Karl is still recovering in a few rooms down from Chloe, he's able to walk around and has come to visit her and I. I know it's because he feels guilty, like I do, that she is in this state. He tried to save her the first time, and failed each time.

I can relate to his pain ten folds. They had offered for me to go in and see her when she was put into the induced coma, but I couldn't do it. I can't see her, lying there in that hospital bed, hooked up to all these bizarre sounding machines, fighting for her life.

It's all my fault she is here. I should have walked away when I had the chance, knowing something like this could happen. I have never allowed myself to have a weakness for this very reason.

But I could never stop myself when it came to Chloe. She is unlike anyone I have ever met, just her presence is alluring. I couldn't stop, I let myself be selfish, I craved her too much. Her touch, her scent, her voice; everything about her drives me completely insane.

I grip at my chest as the painful surge of guilt strikes my heart, like it has every time I think about her. My attention is drawn back to the door when it swings open again, the team of nurses and doctor rush out again.

This time, with Chloe laid on a stretcher bed. They wheel her down the hall, the doctor yelling commands I can't hear through the roaring of my blood in my ears.

Where are they taking her? What's happening?

I want to run after them, but they disappear through the emergency doors, which also say 'Operating Room' on the top.

She's going in for surgery. Why?

One of the nurses comes out, walking a little slower this time. I pull her aside and ask her if she can tell me anything on Chloe's condition.

"She was fighting to wake up, we aren't certain but we have always believed that a person's senses, such as touch and sound are still active when they're in a coma. When Chloe realized her senses, she might have panicked and tried to wake up, causing stress on her wound. It flared up and started bleeding again, the doctor thinks there may be fragments of the bullet still left, " she explains, rather calmly.

"What if there is? Is that b

Thomas drops his head. "How was I supposed to talk to you about having feelings, for the one girl who's managed to break you down? I've known you my entire life, and never once have you batted an eye at a girl, for more than a one-night stand at most. I see the way you look at Chloe, and the way she has changed you since coming here. How could I get between that?"

I open and close my mouth, grasping for words, but none come to me. He has been protecting me, and my feelings, this entire time. As selfish as he may have been at times, like kissing Chloe, he still left after that.

To also protect our relationship. He doesn't want to lose me as a brother, he almost looks scared of it.

I walk over and place a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"You have to do what you think is right, and if leaving is what you think needs to be done, then I support you 100%. But you will always be welcomed back, with open arms, brother."

Thomas looks up at me, his eyes shining and displaying too much emotion now. We clasp each other in a firm hug, before pulling away and acting like it never happened. Thomas and I have never been ones to show emotion, Nathan either. It was never something our father did, so we were never raised on it.

"Will I see you later?" I ask him.

He shrugs, but a smile plays on his lips. "You might see me around."

I give him a wave as he walks back to his car and drives off. A part of me does hope I will see him again, but I also hope he is also to get through this, and find his true happiness, whatever or whoever it may be.

I saunter back into the hospital and sit against the wall again for another few more hours, taking a small dirt nap at some point. I'm woken up by a nurse shaking my shoulder, the same one I had spoken to the first time.

"Sir, she is out of surgery, " she says. I jump to my feet, startling her, and rush over to the door – but stop. "Would you like to see her?" the nurse asks, but I'm frozen.

Do I want to see her? Can I handle it?

I remain frozen in front of the door. The nurse walks next to me and grasps the handle, pushing the door open slightly, revealing a dimly lit room. The beeping of the machines hits my ears, and I feel my stomach clench.

"She is still in an induced coma, but she should be okay to wake up naturally now. If you talk to her, I'm sure she can hear you, " the nurse says and walks away, leaving me to stare into the room.

I want to command my feet to move, but they don't. I look like an idiot just standing here. I force myself to move forward, taking every step like a robot, until I'm at her bedside.

My breath catches in my throat when I look down at her. She looks so peaceful, but her body is bandaged and covered in needles and tubes, connecting to all sorts of different machines. Her skin is pale, there is no color in her cheeks like usual; she practically looks lifeless.

But the steady beep from the machine next to her, monitoring her heartbeat, is the only thing telling me otherwise. I can barely tell if she is breathing, she is so still. The nurse said if I talk to her, she might hear me.

I pull a chair up next to her bed, and delicately take her hand, almost breaking down from her touch. I desperately want her to squeeze my hand back, tears gathering in my eyes when she doesn't.

"I'm so sorry, Chloe."

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