After having broken a few speeding traffic laws, Nora made it to the hospital in record time whilst Sam remained silent in the back seat, most likely unwilling to utter a word for fear of adding to her sister’s anxiety. Bursting in through the hospital entrance with Samantha in tow, Nora made way to the help desk.
“How may I help y-?”
“I’m looking for Robyn Moore and Diana Bryant,” Nora interrupted the receptionist. The woman took note of Nora’s shaken state and trembling hands but chose to make no comment and immediately directed the girls to their destination. Once Nora finally caught sight of Diana’s condition, she paled drastically. Swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat, she was unable to muster up enough courage to imagine what Robyn’s condition might be in comparison. Dark bruises marred Diana’s face. Her hands were wrapped in gauze and one of her arms was in a sling. As Nora approached her, Diana’s tear-streaked face and bloodshot eyes became more prominent. Nora knelt before the dazed woman and grasped her hands gently startling Diana out of her thoughts.
“What happened?” were the only words Nora had to utter for Diana to end up breaking down again. Diana could only weep silently into her hands in response.
Realizing that it would be next to impossible to get anything out of Diana in her current state, Nora spoke to a nearby officer that had been present at the scene of the accident, who helped clarify what had happened. From what she was able to gather, the girls were on their way home after having swung by a bar together. One thing led to another and Robyn ended up having to drive the car back. When the accident happened, both Robyn and Diana were rushed to the hospital, and from the looks of it, Robyn had taken the worst of it.
Taking in the new information that had presented itself before her, Nora remained quiet and began to pray to anyone who would listen to her plea, to not break apart all that she had left. To Nora, both Robyn and Diana as well as Nathan, Felix, and Elliot were all just as much a part of her family as Samantha was. No matter how small it was or broken it seemed to be to outsiders, she had vowed long ago to protect the few people who she had left, but it wasn’t until now that she realized that there were things even she couldn’t protect them from and her heart clenched in agony. Sam excused herself silently out of the waiting area to go to the restroom and Nora could only nod in acknowledgment.
Nora wanted to burst into tears, yet no matter how much she wanted to she knew that crying would not solve anything. In the end, all she could do was hope for the best. Taking in several deep breaths, she slowly counted to ten hoping the gut-wrenching feeling would eventually dissipate. Having managed to get her emotions in check, Nora was able to somewhat return to a level-headed state.
“Have her parents been contacted yet?” Nora directed her attention back to Diana.
“Yeah, but it’s not as if it made any difference,” Diana spat bitterly before taking in a shaky breath, “Her Mom was too hungover to give a damn and it’s not as if calling her Dad made a difference.”
Nora’s face hardened in response. Her blood couldn’t help but boil every time she was reminded of the fact that Robyn’s deadbeat parents didn’t care enough about their daughter to at least have the decency to make sure she was all right. Robyn had always been the outspoken one of the group, but even she had things she preferred to keep to herself. Although she rarely spoke of it, Robyn’s home life wasn’t the best growing up.
Nevertheless, Robyn still chose to always see the best in people but it’s because of this, that Robyn often refused to face reality. The truth of the matter was that her father’s infidelity towards his wife eventually led to the abandonment of his family, leaving Robyn alone to deal with her overbearing alcoholic mother. Despite their flaws, she never once judged either of her parents, such that in her eyes her parents were still exceptional human beings. Her father, being a man that left his family in order to chase after his dreams, and her mother being a good representation of a hard-working role model.
Even so, everyone was well aware of the fact that the real reason her father left was that he’d knocked up one of his assistants and decided to make a new family far away from his former one. Whereas her mother’s ‘every once in a while glass of wine,’ on the other hand, was more like a few bottles of vodka per day. Despite all of this, no one ever dared to mention the absence of Robyn’s father nor the cold exterior of her mother for that matter, for fear of upsetting Robyn and out of respect towards her privacy.
“Her Dad just blew me off and had the nerve to make it seem as if his daughter lying on a hospital bed wasn’t that big of a deal,” she seethed, disbelief written across her face. Nora couldn’t help but feel all the more angered but frankly wasn’t all that surprised.
“Have you contacted the guys yet?” Nora asked.
“No, I haven’t been able to because my phone was left behind in the car. The only number I could remember was yours, so I called you the moment they released me through one of the hospital phones. I was only able to contact her parents through the hospital’s records.” Diana answered truthfully. Nora finally understood why Diane’s number hadn’t shown up on her phone when she’d called her earlier. Taking out her phone, Nora decided to get in touch with the others herself, knowing well that they would most certainly want to be informed about the current situation.
An hour later the three males came rushing towards the girls demanding an explanation. After having been thoroughly explained the events that had taken place, the boys finally asked if there was any news on Robyn’s condition yet. The two women were just about to respond when an older-looking gentleman walked up to them.
“Pardon but I assume you are all here for Ms. Williams, am I correct?” he inquired gently. The group of friends didn’t even bother correcting him, only nodding in response and anticipation.
“I am Dr. Larson, I am the one who performed surgery on the patient. I just wanted to inform you of the patient’s current condition. Unfortunately due to the impact, the patient suffered three broken ribs, one of which caused a lung to puncture so for now we have her on a ventilator but the lung should pose no other problems as long as no other complications should arise. She also suffered from a leg fracture and the broken glass that cut through her skin caused some of the minor injuries.
“However, it is important for you to understand that major damage was taken to the cerebral area.” The doctor explained patiently.
“The patient has suffered severe brain trauma which caused her brain to swell. Our main concern right now is making sure no blood clots form and to maintain blood flow and oxygen to all parts of the brain.”
“Will she be okay?” Diana asked fearfully.
“We can’t make any promises, but I assure you we’ll do whatever we can.” He explained. Nora was unsure of how to react to such a vague response and found herself unable to form any words.
“Even so, given the circumstances and the severity of Ms. Williams’ condition, I would suggest to be prepared for anything. We will be transferring her to another room to continue monitoring her condition once we are certain that she’s out of the clear. At the moment the patient is currently within a medically induced coma and as such won’t be able to hear you, but... I suggest that if you have anything left unsaid, it would be best to do so now,” he relayed before quietly excusing himself.
Elliot paled, as did Nathan. Felix on the other hand had fallen into a similar state of shock. Diana’s vision darkened and she swayed, slowly falling onto her seat, tears streaming down her cheeks once more. Nora was the last to react, rushing away from the waiting area into a random hallway, desperately trying to control her emotions.
The trembling of her hands only seemed to increase by the second. Nora was nerve wrecked to the point that she was unable to accurately pinpoint what she was feeling at the moment. But if she were to guess it would be anger, confusion, and above all frustration. Nora was beyond furious at the circumstances that led to one of the few people that she cared for to be lying on the brink of death. No one was to blame for the events that took place but nevertheless there was still a part of her that couldn’t help but feel that the world was against her having some good in her life.
Nora didn’t understand why she was being punished this way. If there is a so-called god, then why would he allow this to happen? She knew it was selfish to think like this, but she’d gone through so much pain already in her life that she couldn’t help but wonder, if her life was just some sick and twisted game that fate chooses to use as her own source of entertainment, disregarding those who get hurt in the process. Was she really cursed to wreak havoc and destruction to everything around her?
Nora had gone through so much and done the impossible to prevent herself from getting hurt this way, to the point that she limited the number of people who she let in. But in the end, something always went wrong and someone always ended up getting hurt. Nora had gone through hard times in the past and would only blame herself whenever things went wrong. She had eventually gotten past that and convinced herself that it was impossible, even absurd, for her to be at fault for such things that were clearly beyond her control.
But what happened today made her wonder, if maybe she really was at fault? It couldn’t be that much of a coincidence that the people who surrounded her eventually got hurt in some way or form. It pained her physically to bear witness to the suffering of others. The grief was so excruciating, that at times she felt as though she were suffocating.
Nora tucked her trembling hands under her armpits and leaned against a wall. She could feel the oncoming of a headache, the bright fluorescent lighting of the hospital only making her nauseous. Nora had always hated hospitals with a passion since her mother’s passing. It made her physically ill to be in a place where so many people died on a regular basis. Closing her eyes for a moment, Nora clenched her jaw and pushed herself off the wall, her tremors having ceased for the most part. Sulking did no good to anyone and it certainly wasn’t going to help the situation. Nora decided it was time to return to her distraught friends seeing as she had no choice but to bear with the pain and wait for fate itself to make its next move.
Her seemingly soft footsteps to any bystanders were louder than thunder in the deafening silence.
As Nora re-entered the waiting area, a sudden thought crossed her mind. Checking the time on her phone, she realized nearly an hour and a half had passed since she’d arrived. Nora searched the waiting area but failed to find the figure of the person she was looking for. Her heart skipped a beat and she rushed to the restroom but found it empty as well. By that point, Nora had begun to panic and proceeded to ask around to see if anyone had seen her but came up with nothing. Nora felt her entire world shift, the floor beneath her feet unable to hold her weight. Slowly and painfully made her way towards the others, she stumbled over her own feet in disbelief. The two words that left her suddenly dry mouth caused time to stand still, her blood running cold for the second time that day.