The City Girl

The Aftermath

Riley's POV

We were all standing in the hospital: Maya, Brandon, Zay, Farkle, Maya's mother, my dad, and me, awaiting the news. Farkle was biting his fingernails and I could even see a hint of blood at this cuticles. Brandon was somehow grieving without tearing up, like even at this terrible time, Brandon still held onto his dignity. This was the first time I saw Zay not smiling, and it was the first time I saw Maya crying, with her mom hugging her tightly. Even Dad felt sad, even though he never liked Lucas, he was sad that all of us were sad.

The news still shocked me. I still remember being woken up at seven in the morning on a Sunday, Maya standing on my balcony with everyone else. I remember her telling me about the accident, how a police officer told her and her mom even earlier in the morning. Somewhere around midnight, Lucas was in a terrible car wreck. Apparently, he stole his dad car and ended up in a ditch miles outside of Austin. Another driver crashed into a tree not too far away from where Lucas crashed. The other driver was drunk and must've forced Lucas into that ditch. A bunch of cops found them. Lucas wasn't dead and neither was the other driver, just hurt really badly. So badly, they both needed surgery. Lucas's doctors had a long list of his injuries, which sounded too grotesque to listen to.

A doctor came out of Lucas's room, carrying a clipboard. His nametag read Dr. Meyer.

"Lucas Friar is out of surgery," Dr. Meyer assured us.

"Is he okay? Can we see him?" Maya attacked the doctor with questions.

"I don't like giving bad news to good people but Lucas is in a coma," Dr. Meyer continued. "And we're not a hundred percent sure he's going to wake up."

"And what does that mean?" Zay asks.

"We did all that we can, Mr. Babineaux," Dr. Meyer says. "Now it's his choice if he wants to live or die. I'm sorry."

I still couldn't believe it. Lucas is now in a coma, switching between life and death. I think about all those sad movies and TV shows where characters fall into comas and all the other characters are sad about it. No TV show can describe how I feel right now. My heart feels like broken glass and there's terrible ache in my head, like a literal storm cloud of misery. What makes me feel worse, is that if Lucas dies, the last words I said to him was us arguing.

"Why was he even driving so late at night anyway?" Maya sobs. "That doesn't even sound like Lucas, what was he doing out there?"

A horrible realization stirred into my head: he was driving so late at night because of me. He crashed his dad's car right after our argument. I was the last person he spoke to and he was so pissed out about our argument and about his mother that he stole his dad's car and went out for a drive to clear his head. While it was the other driver's fault (Daniel was his name, I believe) for being drunk and almost crashing into Lucas, it was because of me that he was even driving in the first place.

"Riley, you haven't said a word all morning," Dad whispers in my ear.

"I'm just so upset," I mutter. It was all the words I could muster without bursting into tears.

Dad rests my head on his shoulder and whispers, "I'm sorry for being so rough on Lucas before. I know deep down, Lucas was a good guy."

It didn't matter if my father meant those words or not, it felt good that I had a shoulder to cry on.

"I wish I could talk to him right now, you know?" Maya says. "Get answers on what he was doing out there at midnight."

He was probably thinking about how evil I am, I thought forlornly.

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