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Drifting Away

Florence hadn’t been feeling good all day, the headaches and nausea she was used to, she experienced it every single day, but this kind of faintness was new to her, she felt like the entire world was spinning and wouldn’t stop, everything was moving too fast and she wanted things to slow down to her kind of pace.

It was Chase who found her of course, half-passed out and definitely delirious.

“Florence!” he shouted “Florence, can you hear me?”

He’d practically summoned in the entire hospital, a whole legion of nurses and doctors rushing in, taking her pulse, shining torches in her eyes and taking her temperature.

The last thing she saw was a rather frantic looking Chase before she let the darkness take her.

She was pretty sure of one thing.

Death didn’t come with the monotonous sound of beeping machines. Or a raw, scorched throat. Or, for that matter, a body that felt as though someone had taken a meat tenderising mallet to every inch.

Her hand fumbled with the oxygen mask.

She hated the feeling of something being over her face, even if it was there to help. As her eyes started to blink open, her struggling became more urgent.

A set of warm hands settled over hers. She relaxed instantly.

It took a moment for her eyes to adjust and recognise the owner of those soothing hands.

She expected her Mum. Even Dad.

As if he knew, he spoke.

“Your dad was here. He stayed until you stabilised, but he ... he had to go.”

Even in her disoriented state she sensed a definite lie her Father had chosen to leave her rather than staying and facing her, she couldn’t bring herself to care.

Chase gently removed the oxygen mask.

She was so groggy she could barely keep her eyes open and she missed some of what he said, his voice dropping in and out of her consciousness.

But just hearing it helped.

" should sleep ... body’s been through a lot ... ... was so scared ...”

She opened her eyes again. One of his hands covered his face and his shoulders were slumped.

She swallowed a few times before she could speak.

“Am I dying?” she asked.

For some reason the thought of dying in that moment was far more scary than it had ever been before.

He shook his head,

“No Florence, but you’re dehydrated and obviously undernourished” he gestured to the drip feeding into her vein"

Seeing the startled look on her face he quickly said “Don’t worry its to hydrate you, nutrients and water, a liquid solution, hardly any calories”

She relaxed.

“You scared me” he said “For a second I thought you must have done something, that you were trying to die”

“Don’t want to die,” she said and tried to shrug, her shoulders sagged uselessly.

He half laughed, but then sadness clouded over his expression.

“Could’ve fooled me – and everyone else.”

Her eyelids were too heavy.

She was sliding back under. “Want a chance ... to really live,” she murmured.

Chase said something but she’d lost focus. She missed it.

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