I kept feeling this pit in my stomach. It made me want to puke.
Mom wanted to talk to me, seemed important. As if I wasn't nervous enough.
Whatever it was, we couldn't be in the house to talk about it. She had me go to her car.
I sat down in the passenger seat and leaned towards Mom.
"Are you about to tell me you're a secret agent and we're all in danger?"
Mom stared at me blankly. "No."
"Ok." I leaned back into my seat and put my hands on my thighs.
"So what's up? What was so important?" I asked.
"I mean, you dragged us into the car." I stated.
Mom stared at and ran her hands over the steering wheel. She looked a bit sad, and anxious, but I knew this was a serious moment.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"It's Luc." Mom answered.
"What's he done now? Did he pass out again?" I questioned.
"No. No." She said lowly.
She had on her thinking face. Her silence was scaring me.
She cut me off. "Did Luc ever tell you where he came from?"
"You mean before Seattle? Before us?"
"Yes." She answered.
"He only said he came from an abusive household."
"What's this about?" I asked.
"Carte said it was once, but I have reason to believe it was more than that." Mom was thinking out loud.
"What? Carte said what?" I asked.
"At his former home, Luc was raped." Shit.
I tilted my head back and let that sink in.
"Get off me!"
"Stop grabbing me!"
The flinching, aversion to physical contact, the screaming.
"Oh god what did I do?" I dropped my face in my hands.
"Wait," I looked at Mom, "did I cause that? What happened today?"
"All because I sat on him?"
"I just wanted him to eat!" I exclaimed.
Mom put her hand on my shoulder to calm me down.
"No, you didn't cause that. It was that movie."
Mom clenched her jaw.
"What? I had to have caused something. What did I do?" I got in her face.
"Just some bad memories."
"Oh no...why would they do that to him?" I groaned. I feel sick.
"I don't know. Some people are just evil like that." Mom answered. I could hear the tears in her voice.
I opened the car door and stepped out. "I should go talk to him."
"No!" Mom yelled quickly.
I got back into the car and closed the door.
"Don't say anything about this to Luc. Don't even let him know that you know." Mom orderer.
"He'd be upset that I told you."
"So why did you tell me?!" Isn't that counterintuitive?
"Because you needed to know. You needed to know why he was acting out!"
So she knows about him acting out.
"You know about him acting out?" I asked.
"Yes! Your father and I are trying to find someone for him to talk to."
"He'll get better right?" I asked.
"Hopefully." Mom said. "But eventually he will."
"What you saw today was an episode."
"And the other night." She added.
"Episode of what?" I asked.
"PTSD." She answered.
I bit my tongue. I want to talk to him, but I don't know how to now. I know something about him that he doesn't want me to know about; and that changes everything. I can see how he'd be upset by my knowledge of this. I'm scared. I don't want to know this, I hate this feeling.
"Um...can I go inside?"
I opened the door again and began to step out. "Jason." Mom called.
"It's not that I think you would, but I just want to make sure: don't tell your friends or anybody about this."
I wouldn't. I wouldn't throw Luc away like that.
I got out of the car and rushed into the house.
When I walk down the hallway upstairs, I have to walk past Luc's room to get to mine. His door was cracked open. I began to tip-toe.
Worry got the best of me and I peeked into his room through the crack.
He was laying in his bed curled up with his back to the door.
I looked him up and down. He was curled up tight, like he was protecting himself. I can hear his screams. I caused him to go through that; a bad memory that won't stop.
Luc quickly turned over. He jerked a little. His face was tensed. He was having another nightmare.
Should I wake him up? No. What am I thinking? Would he freak out again? I remembered him choking me almost to death and grabbed my throat. Would he wake up?
Just walk away Jason.
The next day I sat on the ledge at my window looking down at the driveway.
Jeanette had gone back to sleep after taking Jason to school. She brought Alexandria in her room so she wouldn't be alone.
Brian is at work. If you ask me I think he works too much. But he is a doctor after all. I think he's like...the head general surgeon? Something like that, so I guess it's normal he's busy.
As for me, I just stayed in my room by the window curled up into a permanent fetal position. Unfortunately, all I had were my thoughts in the silence of this room.
The bad thoughts.
I lied to you. That week when I went home from Indra's was anything but normal. If anything it got worse.
How I was able to deal with it, I have no idea. Maybe I never did; I just danced around it. I may get hurt soon -- and once again, it'll be all my fault.
"...won't give me anything!" Chet's voice yelled in my head.
I have to get out of here.
"Take it easy. We don't want you to rip open your sutures." I said to my patient as I walked out of his room.
I went to the nurse's station and looked at a few charts and paperwork.
"Hey doctor. How's the baby?" Nurse Tilda made conversation.
"She's doing great, Tilda. She's going to be cruising soon; she looks ready to go." I joked and smiled.
"That's great." Tilda said.
Doctor Newton --head of neuro-- rushed past me. "Let's go Benson. We have traumas incoming." I began to leave after him.
"Dr. Benson," a voice called grimly. I turned. It was a security guard.
"Yes. What is it?" I asked.
"Your son is here." He stated.
I looked at him as if he had five heads. "What?" He stepped to the side, revealing a smiling and waving Luc.
"Oh dear god..." I slouched slightly.
"What are you doing here, Luc?" I walked over to him. The security guard left.
"Well...I got bored at home, and I kind of wanted to observe, learn something." He answered.
"Benson!" Newton yelled.
"Coming." I answered.
I looked at Luc and gestured for him to follow me.
"Keep up with me." I stated.
The three of us got into the elevator. During the ride I asked questions, saved the fussing for later.
"How did you even get here?" I asked.
"A mix of walking and hitchhiking." Luc answered. I can't believe this.
"Does Jeanette know you're here?" I asked.
"No." He answered. I rolled my eyes.
"Oh my god, what do I do?" I asked myself.
The elevator doors opened. Newton and I ran out.
"Keep up with me, Luc!" I ordered. He was walking calmly.
"He shouldn't be here." Newton stated.
"I'm aware of that! I just need to figure something out." I responded.
Luc caught up to us as we were putting our gowns on.
"We got a pile up, multiple injuries..." Weiss gave us the info.
"Who's the kid?" Pastor --head of trauma -- asked.
"Benson's son." Newton answered for me.
"Apparently he snuck out to come here." Newton was thoroughly entertained by this.
"Aw," Pastor chuckled, "clever kid." Luc grinned triumphantly.
"Don't condone him." I jumped in. Sirens got closer.
Weiss got our attention, "Incoming. Let's go guys."
"Luc, become the wall." I ordered as I ran out the doors.
There were a few ambulances. EMTs opened the back doors and gave us the condition of their patients.
"Benson, with Pastor."
"Male, 33, chest lacerations, head hit the windshield, and a sprained ankle." The EMT told us.
"Let's get him to trauma one." Pastor said as we began to wheel the gurney inside.
"Luc come on." He followed us.
"I can't believe you did this," the fussing started, "this is a hospital! I don't have time to watch you."
"Yes, I know that!" Luc started. "But I wanted to see how everything worked here."
We entered the E.R. and wheeled the patient into the trauma room.
Luc came to the side of the patient. I grabbed him by the shoulders and walked him outside the room and pushed him against the wall beside the door.
"Stay here, stay out of the way." I ordered before going back into the trauma room.
"God, I don't even know how many protocols I've broke just by letting him stay." I stated. "I need to get him back home."
"Certainly it won't be too bad." Pastor said as we got started on our patient.
More doctors came by and filled the E.R. I couldn't see Luc from the window, but I swear if he's not there by the time I get done, I may just kill him.
"He's got internal bleeding in his chest. Let's get him up to surgery." Pastor informed us.
"Prep an O.R." She ordered one of the doctors.
"Let's go." The doctor held open the door and we pushed the gurney through.
Out the corner of my eye I saw Luc beside the door. How did I forget about him that fast?
"I'll meet you up there, Pastor."
"Make it fast." She ordered.
I backed away from the gurney and walked behind them.
"Luc," I called.
He was staring in awe.
"That girl just cut open a guy's neck and put a tube in it for him to breathe!" He beamed. I looked at the people he was talking about.
"And that guy! He just jammed a needle in a guy's chest!" Luc was smiling widely.
"It's so fast-paced here. I love it! I wanna get a closer look." He began to walk over.
"No." I said and reached out and grabbed him.
"The only place you're going is home." I stated. I took off my gloves and gown.
I grabbed Luc by the hand and took him to an empty patient room. Luc sat down on the bed and waited patiently. I took out my phone and called Jeanette.
The line rang.
"Please can I stay here?" Luc begged.
I glared at him. "I told you, I can't watch you."
"You don't have to." I ignored his statement.
The phone kept ringing. I moved closer to the door.
"I can just stay by the wall when you work with patients." Luc bargained.
"You can't listen in while I talk to them." I answered.
"Then I'll wait outside the room."
"Come on Jeanette, please pick up." I pleaded.
"I won't be any trouble." Luc said.
"You can't be around when we're working; you'll get in the way."
"I'll stay by the wall. Again." He said.
I got Jeanette's voicemail. I groaned and hung up.
I froze in thought.
"Brian, I just watched you go through the seven stages of grief in those fifteen seconds." Luc announced.
I've got no other choice; everyone is busy so I can't ask anyone to take him home.
I huffed and sat down beside him on the bed.
I looked him sternly in the eye.
"I want you by the wall at all times. Do not move, do not talk to anybody. When I move, stay close. Don't touch anything." I ordered.
Luc smiled a little.
I groaned a little and got off the bed.
"I can't believe this is happening." I said as we walked out. I am going to get into so much trouble.
Before I went into surgery I found the smallest scrubs I could find and put them on Luc. I just needed him to blend in, if it looked like he was my intern people wouldn't bother him or realize that he wasn't supposed to be here.
I stared in disdain.
"What?" Luc asked. The scrubs are small but they still hang off of him. It bothered me in a way; knowing he was underweight.
"Nothing." I lied. "Come with me."
I put him in the gallery.
"I thought you wanted me by the wall?" He asked.
"I may be in there for a few hours. If you're up here I can see you a little bit." I explained.
"And besides, you can't just stand outside the door for a few hours, someone will notice." I finished.
I began to leave. "I gotta get down there."
"Good luck." Luc called as I closed the door to the gallery.
A couple hours passed and we had successfully completed the surgery.
"Damn good job, Pastor." I praised.
"Thank you." She said.
Pastor accompanied me to fetch Luc from the gallery.
I opened the door. "Come on, Luc."
He got up and joined us.
"Mm. He is so adorable." Pastor said.
"...and tiny." She added while shooting me a glare.
I chuckled nervously as we began to walk down the hallway.
When we entered the E.R. again I saw a police officer with the chief resident.
"Benson, new case." He said.
He left me and Luc with the police officer.
A gurney was rolled in past him and into the trauma room. All I saw was red.
"Officer." I greeted. He cut to the chase.
"Jane Doe. Beaten to hell and raped." He said lowly. Luc froze when he said that.
"Hoping she's in good hands. We need a statement." The officer said.
I nodded my head.
I place Luc by the door and went in. I heard her whimper a little.
I've seen cases like this before. Don't make it no easier.
"Ok guys, let's get to work." I said to the doctors in the room.
Saved a life, said life is going to be scarred for life.
"Did they find the guy who...?" I trailed off while speaking to the officer. We stood at a nurse's station outside the girl's room.
"No, not yet." He answered.
"Will she even wake up?" He asked.
"Eventually. We were able to get the life threatening injuries under control."
We went into the girl's room when she began to stir.
Damn. Brian is a badass. I found it very captivating to watch Brian cut people open and fix them up.
I had gotten my hands on Brian's lab coat and was sitting down at the nurse's counter.
I was having fun, but at the current moment I was bored.
Brian and the officer went into the girl's room. The nurse left in a hurry, so it was just me.
I began to spin around in the chair like a kid. I stopped when I got dizzy, which for some reason came quicker than normal.
I snatched up the phone.
"Dr. Benson!" I "answered."
I heard feet shuffle. I looked up slowly. Brian was looking at me with an eyebrow raised. I slowly pushed myself away from the counter and hung up the phone.
"Luc, do you want to go home?" He asked.
"Not yet." I answered.
"Ok." He knocked on the counter top and beckoned me to follow.
I got up and memorized the girl's room number before following after Brian.
A few hours passed, surgeries happened, patients came and went.
At one point we went into a room. There was a bunk bed.
Bed? Grown man? Young boy? Rape victim.
A whole lot of things went through my head.
"Get some sleep. We still have a long day." He said as he dropped onto the bottom bunk.
"How are you sleeping now?" I asked as I climbed up to the top bunk. "I mean aren't you always busy?"
"I have a minute." Brian answered.
I laid down, just staring at the white ceiling.
I whimpered to myself.
Great. I can barely sleep. When I did finally sleep, Brian's pager went off. I groaned and rolled over. Only to fall flat on my face.
I groaned again and quietly whimpered in pain.
"You okay?" Brian asked hastily.
I pushed myself off the floor. "Yes."
Brian stood up.
"Let's go." He went to the door and opened it.
I went out first. I saw a window. It was starting to get dark.
Shouldn't Jeanette have called by now?
"So a resuscitative thoracotomy is used to resucitate a trauma patient with an abdominal or chest injury who's gone into cardiac arrest?" Luc confirmed.
"Right." Brian answered with a small and excited voice.
Luc had grabbed a medical book and sat at the nurse's station once again. When he'd find something interesting he'd pick Brian's brain. Brian was leaning against the counter with Newton and Pastor at his sides.
"He catches on quick," Pastor started. "He'd make a good doctor or researcher."
Brian nodded in agreement.
"I don't think I could be a doctor..." Luc stated. He was skeptical. With knowing how fast things work and how there are many angles and movement he believed he wouldn't be able to keep up with only having one eye.
"Why not?" Pastor asked.
Luc bit his lip in silence.
"I still think you should get him out of here; he's a minor." Newton expressed his opinion.
Luc stood up and leaned close to Newton and Brian, blurting out, "I'm turning seventeen on Saturday!"
"Shut up!" Brian hissed as people were passing by.
Pastor chuckled. Luc went back to reading.
Pagers went off and a phone rang.
"Whew." Pastor said. "I'm off to save lives boys."
She left. Newton ran off in the opposite direction. Brian answered his phone.
"Don't 'hello' me..." Jeanette snapped on the other line.
Brian lowered his head in shame.
He lowered the phone and covered the microphone, "Luc stay here."
Brian walked off, hoping to find a private area.
Luc did not listen to Brian.
Within thirty minutes Jeanette was at the hospital. She was in the lobby fuming.
"Luc was here the entire day! Why didn't you call me as the day went on?" She fussed.
"I was busy." I answered.
"So what did you do with Luc? Do you realize how much trouble you could get in?" She questioned.
"Yes. I just had him stand by the wall and had him in the galleries." I said. Which was a huge mistake.
"You had him watching your surgeries?!" Jeanette got loud. "Brian you know as well as I do how scarred that boy is! And you had him looking at blood? Into some poor bastard's chest cavity?!"
I looked back quickly. People were most definitely staring.
"Are you out of your mind?" Jeanette snapped.
Yeah, I probably did a little harm today -- with that rape victim and all.
"Well, I couldn't just let him wander, honey." I stated.
"And, I guess I should've had him cover his eyes- eye."
Jeanette nodded, "yeah."
"Where is he? I'm taking him home." She said.
I gestured for her to follow.
We got in the elevator and went up. When we got off Jeanette walked to the nurse's station practically leaving a trail of fire behind her.
"Hey Jeanette." Tilda greeted.
I shook my head, "don't engage." I mouthed.
Jeanette stopped and looked around. "Where is he?"
I looked at the seat he was in. He wasn't there, just the book. I'm going to kill him.
I picked up the book. "Brian." Jeanette called.
I had a feeling and pointed.
I rested my cheek on the back of my hands as I leaned on the girl's bed.
I had slipped into the rape victim's --Jessica's -- room. She was asleep. She looked terrible.
"Hi Jessica." I spoke quietly. "My name's Luc. I only know your name 'cause I looked at your chart while my Dad had it." She had briefly woken up and told them her name.
"Where are your parents? Sibling? Siblings? Boyfriend? Girlfriend?" I questioned.
"Do you have either?"
"I guess not." I muttered to myself. I mean, shouldn't they have been here by now?
Poor girl. I sat up.
"I was raped too."
"But I got out, away from that family. Of course, it took a while to get back to reality after being dead to the world, but I did."
"It wasn't easy, and I lost my friends along the way."
"I made new friends too. You can too Jessica, they really help." I stated.
I felt like I wasn't doing a really good job talking to her.
"It'll be tough for you too, but you can get through it."
I sighed a bit and shook off the trembles I had.
I turned around. Jeanette. I turned back to Jessica.
Jeanette came in and gave me a kiss on the head.
"What are you doing in here?" She asked quietly.
"Well, I thought to myself she'd be lonely." I answered.
"I mean, I never had anyone to help me through my time or talk to."
Of course Indra was there, but that wasn't until the very end, and I didn't even tell him everything.
Jeanette rubbed my back softly. "That's very kind of you."
"I'm sorry you had to go through that by yourself." She said.
"Let's go home." She said.
I nodded and got up. We went to Brian.
"Jeanette?" He called.
"You aren't of the hook yet." She stated coldly.
Brian damn near whimpered. I chuckled. Jeanette snapped her head and glared at me. I jumped and put on a neutral expression. I was in trouble too. Big trouble.
"Let's go, Luc." She said.
She walked off and I followed her.
When we got in the car Jeanette didn't say anything about my sneaking out.
"So. Did you happen to pick up anything?" She asked.
"I learned about a resuscitative thoracotomy." I answered.
Then she asked me a crazy question.
"Would you know how to do one if you had to?"
I glanced at her.
"Yes." I answered.
"Good." She said.
After that the remainder of the ride was silent.
When we got home I was fairly certain she was going to blow.
Jason came into the foyer.
"Where have you been?" He asked.
"Not now, Jason." Jeanette sent him away. He groaned.
We went into the living room.
"Luc," I turned to her, she was moving her hands. "I love you, so whatever happens in the next few minutes just remember that."
"Okay." I said silently.
She inhaled deeply.
"Are you crazy?!" She started. "You snuck out; you could've been kidnapped or hit by a car!"
Best I don't tell her about the hitchhiking.
"What were you thinking?!" Her voice was straining, she was trying her hardest not to yell.
I pressed my lips together. I couldn't exactly tell her why I had to get out and do something.
"Luc Benson," she reached into her purse and pulled out -- of all things -- a wooden spoon and held it under my nose.
I looked at her, down to the spoon, then back to her. "You sneak out of this house again, I'll beat you black and blue."
She had that scary-mother look in her eyes.
Jeanette snatched the spoon away and walked towards the kitchen. I stayed practically frozen.
"No I won't." She then said.
I nodded and retreated to my room. I groaned and fell flat on my bed.
A few hours later I was up and sitting on my ledge again.
I saw headlights pull into the driveway. Brian's home. Brian's home?
A few minutes later he came into my room.
"Hey Luc." He said. I rose to my feet quickly.
He jumped slightly and raised his hands. "Sorry. Does this scare you?"
I eyed him carefully. He hadn't moved.
"I saw you from the car, you looking out the window and wanted to talk to you." Brian told me.
"Is that okay?" He asked.
I tilted my head back slightly. "Okay." I said stiffly.
"I'll just sit here." He touched the edge of my bed and hesitated before sitting down.
"How come Jeanette never called?" I asked.
"Well, you told me you weren't ready to go, so..." He held his phone up, "I turned off the ringer."
He chuckled. I did too.
I sat down close to him.
He looked at me funny, "I was wondering, how did you convince the guard to let you up?"
I looked him dead in the eye and said, "I told him you had promised me you'd help with my erectile dysfunction."
Brian opened his mouth, then closed it. He started to laugh. He quickly quieted down.
"Luc. Do not ever sneak out of the house and pull a stunt like you did today." He said sternly.
I nodded my head. I won't.
Brian nodded his head and stood up. "Goodnight Luc."
He walked out and closed the door.
I smiled to myself. What a day!