Remembering Noel

Chapter 2

*Serah's POV*

I'd been aware for several hours now, not being able to do anything to my body voluntarily. It was mostly listening to a someone pacing near her bed, and the occasional teary breath from someone sitting farther away from me, but then there were times that I could almost pull something from my memory about the past couple days.

I remember my birthday. I could tell I was in a hospital, so I wondered how many days it had been, and what happened to me. It was right when the boy farther away from me started to argue with the pacing person. I could tell the person was a boy when he spoke, I assumed about me. He sounded like he was genuinely concerned for me, and his voice seemed familiar, abut no matter what I couldn't place it.

Then the boy farther from me got up, and about 10 seconds later, I heard a slap and more conversation, about then, I realized I could open my eyes, so I did. Then I forced my voice out of my throat, though it sounded croaky and unattractive.

The one pacing near me was immediately by my side, reaching for my hand. He said something I couldn't understand, then the other one, who came behind him said "Try not to move too much. I gently pulled out of the one holding my hand's grasp, and said "Who are you?"

The brown-haired boy with blue baggy pants stared at me blankly for at least a minute before he stood up and went to the other side of the curtain. Then the blond one with goggles on his head pushed a button next to my bed and followed the one that had left.

"Noel!" I could hear Goggles from the other side of the curtain, and I think he slapped the boy (again), I guess his name was Noel. I started to sit up, but could not.

Just then a nurse rushed in, followed by Goggles and Noel. The nurse rapidly starting asking me and Goggles questions while Noel stood blankly by the door.

"When did she wake up?" He simply said "Like, 6 minutes ago, but, Linda, she doesn't remember." She simply nodded and fired me several questions, while Goggles went to Noel. "Are you in any pain?" "No." "How is your vision?""A little blurry." "That's to be expected, I'm going to take your temperature and blood pressure."

"Okay," I replied timidly, and watched as she wrapped a piece of equipment around my arm and it tightened, and then placed a thermometer under my tongue.

"Now, to address, what is the last thing you remember?" The nurse said hesitantly, after finishing taking my temperature.

"I- I think I remember my 19th birthday party. There was this guy there, he had blonde hair, he was wearing a trench coat and a black hat. I-I thought he was cute. I went to bed that night--and then this." Noel, who was finally out of his trance, audibly scoffed.

"He's Snow, and he's dead now, so don't go looking for him." He elaborated. I reached up for my throat for a moment, then dropped my hand feeling silly. There wasn't anything there. There was a short exchange between Noel and Goggles and they exited the room, while Linda continued asking me questions.

*normal POV*

When Serah heard Snow's name, her hand instinctively went where his necklace usually rested. Maqui narrowed his eyes, because he could see that someone must have taken it off. He nudged Noel and nodded pointedly at the door. Noel hesitated, then walked out the door. Maqui told the nurse they were gonna step into the hall, then left.

When he was out the door, Noel stood about ten feet away, his head and arm resting on the wall, and it was clear that he was trying to hold back sobs. Maqui stood awkwardly, conflicted about whether to comfort him or confront him. He decided on both.

"Look, I'm sorry about Serah, but why did you take her necklace? It could help her recover her memory." He ventured.

"Well first," Noel said, emerging from his position. "I didn't know she was going to lose her memory," his voice wavered, and he took a moment to regain his composure. "Second, I thought that seeing it would just hurt her more when she woke up."

"It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that you're madly in love with her and can't stand the look of HIS necklace around HER neck?" Maqui questioned angrily

"Wha--" Noel's face went through a range of emotions, first shock, then suspicion, wonder, and defeat. "I-I guess I am in love with her. But, how did you know that if I didn't even know?" Noel asked suspiciously.

Maqui sighed, pressed his hands into his eyes, and replied, "Besides the fact that its obvious? I-- well, I happen to know what you're feeling. Except I've known it for longer. That's not important though. You do realize that she's been like a sister to me for years--way longer than you've known her!"

Noel squinted. "I. Don't. Care."

He clenched his fist, and before you knew it, it was flying at Maqui's face. Maqui was thrown to the ground and obviously knocked out. Noel felt a tiny bit sorry for him, but not for long.

"Just repaying the favor."

He walked calmly to the men's bathroom, to a sink. He placed his hands on the side, and looked into the mirror. He looked horrible.

His brown hair lay flat, there were bags under his dull, pain-filled eyes. He hadn't slept for days.

He allowed himself to sob for the first time in these two weeks. He felt entirely too vulnerable. So he did what he knew would always help if he ever was too vulnerable. He ran.

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