Hope Springs

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Chapter 5

When I woke up, I wasn’t sure where I was. I knew that I wasn’t at home, my home didn’t look this nice. We didn’t have hardwood floors, or a tiled fireplace, or a sparkling chandelier in any room. I stayed still for a few moments before sitting up and looking around. From what I gathered I was laying on a soft, gray plushy couch, with a white blanket draped over me. There was a flatscreen TV on the wall to my right and a large spacious kitchen with granite countertops to my left. In front of me there was a large window with a door to the left of it.

“You’re awake,” a voice said and I turned my head, my heart fluttering when I saw that it was Max. Immediately after I cursed myself. I shouldn’t find him attractive, he was trouble. But from the way he acted earlier he didn’t seem to be a troublemaker or a bad person.

I’ll judge him after I get to know him, I finally decided. I waved at him shyly and he crossed the room and kneeled beside the couch, watching me with his intense blue eyes.

“Are you feeling any better,” He asked and I shrugged. He sighed and grabbed the thermometer from the glass table which was beside me. I hadn’t noticed that. He rested it near my forehead but didn’t let it touch my skin. I tried to stay as still as possible and after a few moments Max withdrew it and glanced at the screen. “One hundred two point three,” He said and I sighed. My temperature hadn’t really lowered then.

“Now that you are awake though you can give me directions so I can take you home, it’s nearly four.”

My eyes went wide, “Do my parents know where I am?”

“Of course,” Max said immediately, “Rhea found your mom’s work number and called her and told her that you had fallen asleep and we didn’t know where you lived so we were going to take you to my house until you woke up and then take you back home.”

“And she didn’t give you directions,” I asked skeptically, not truly believing that he had called her and Max smirked.

“We did call her Trinity, but it went to voicemail,” He explained, “Get up.”

“But I’m so tired,” I whined and he laughed, grabbing my hands and pulling me to my feet.

“You can’t stay here,” He murmured before muttering something under his breath. Sparks ran over my skin as we continued touching and Max placed his hand on my back and leading me out to where the Jeep was parked. He helped me into the passenger side before jogging over to the driver’s side and starting the car. He slammed the door and I glanced at him, hardly noticing that I was still wearing my jacket.

“Oh, do you want this back,” I asked, once I had noticed that I still had his jacket on and Max stared at me for a moment, his eyebrows creased in thought. I was getting more nervous the longer his attention wasn’t on the road. Finally Max looked away, staring back at the road and I waited for his answer.

“Keep it,” Max answered, “It looks good on you.”

My cheeks heated up and I ducked my head. I wasn’t really used to guys complimenting me. Despite how popular I had been in Summer Falls, I had never really had a boyfriend. I knew that I was fairly attractive but no one had ever asked me out. I had never gone out on a date so I wasn’t used to this.

Max glanced at me, “Are you okay Trinity?”

“Yeah,” I answered after a pause before my cheeks flushed and I admitted, “I’m just not used to guys complimenting me.”

He looked surprised. “Really?” I nodded, and he shot a smile towards me before saying, “But...But you are very pretty.” He paused, “Gorgeous, even.”

My cheeks turned a darker shade and I smiled shyly. We were silent for the remainder of the drive, except for me giving him directions. When we pulled into the driveway I had opened the door before he had even parked and Max gave me a panicked look, and I smiled at him, hopping out of the Jeep.

“Thanks for letting me stay at your places until I woke up Max,” I whispered, before saying louder, “And thank you for calling me pretty and driving my home. It was really nice of you.”
His eyes flickered to the forest before returning to me, “No problem, Trinity. Be careful, there are wolves around this area.”

I smiled, “I know. I like the wolves though,” He looked surprised and I giggled, “You should be more careful than me, Max. You actually live in the woods, I just live near them.”

Max shook his head, “You should still be careful anyways, Trinity.”

I nodded, and Max smiled his eyes watching me as I shut the door and then I waved and headed towards the front door. I was fairly certain that he was still there and I was right. When I looked over my shoulder I saw the Jeep still in my driveway and Max still watching me. I opened the door and shut it. Almost as soon as the door was shut I heard the sound of the Jeep driving away. I looked around the living room before making my way into the kitchen which was where I found Mom, Dad, Maria and May. Dad was helping Mom to make food and Maria and May were chattering about their day.

“Trinity you’re back,” Mom said relief in her voice, “How are you feeling?”

“I still have a fever,” I answered, “But I feel a little better.”

“That boy, Max, told us that you nearly fainted at school,” Dad said, his voice had a hint of worry in it, “Is that true?”

“Ah yeah, it is actually,” I admitted and the concern on their faces grew. “But after sleeping at his house, I feel a lot better. I didn’t wake up until,” I glanced at the clock, “Fifteen or twenty minutes ago, I guess.”

“Then you slept for a long time,” Mom said, “They called us at about one fifty. It’s four twenty now. So you slept for probably two hours or more.”

“That’s good,” I answered, “What are you making?”

“Tacos, enchiladas, tortillas, and burritos. It’s a Mexican food night,” Mom answered with a smile and I couldn’t stop the frown that appeared on my face. It wasn’t that I hated Mexican food, it was kind of good but I didn’t love Mexican food. They knew that I didn’t really like Mexican food and the thought that they had made it hurt a little but logically I knew that they knew I wasn’t feeling well so I probably wouldn’t be up to eating food anyways. “It was May’s idea,” Mom supplied and I glared at May before looking back at Mom.

“I’ll just have some saltine crackers then,” I whispered going to the pantry and looking around for the saltine crackers.

“May insisted on using them to make a small bowl of chili,” Maria murmured, “Should we not have?”

“No Maria you guys are fine,” Mom murmured, “Trinity will just have to find something else to eat.”

“I just won’t eat anything,” I murmured, “When I’m not feeling well saltine crackers are pretty much the only thing that I can keep down, and you know that. I think I’m just going to go to my room unless of course May has done something to it too.”

“Trinity-” Mom began, a slight hint of anger in her voice but Dad placed his hand on her shoulder and squeezed.

“We are sorry that we didn’t think of you when May mentioned that she wanted saltine crackers, if you weren’t feeling well we should have remembered to save some of the crackers for you. Fortunately, there is a bag of saltine crackers on your bed. May when we tell you that Trinity isn’t feeling well you shouldn’t automatically be vindictive and pick things that you know she doesn’t like for food and then pick things that you know she eats when she isn’t feeling well,” Dad said and May blinked owlishly at him.

“What does vindictive mean,” May asked, her eyes wide as she stared at Dad.

“It means mean or cruel,” Maria murmured, “It was kind of mean that you used the saltine crackers.”

I sighed, then shook my head, “I have saltine crackers now so it isn’t that big of a deal, just don’t do it again or if you do use saltine crackers please leave enough for me next time.”

The four of them nodded and I headed to my room changing out of the clothes that I had worn to school and putting on my silk pajama bottoms and blue tank top. I took my hair out of the French braid and brushed through it once more before braiding it once more and throwing on an off the shoulder shirt. I grabbed the saltine crackers and sat in my bed, slowly munching on them.

I still felt lethargic and when I put the saltine crackers down I fell immediately asleep.

When I woke up the next morning the clock on my bedside table read ten o’clock and I felt a surge of panic. I was supposed to be at school. I sat up and looked around in a panic, and grabbed a note off of the bedside table.

Trinity, when I woke you up this morning I took your temperature and it was still a solid 102.3 and I decided to keep you home from school since you obviously haven’t gotten over the sickness. If this doesn’t subside in a couple of days we are taking you to the doctor. Please remember to drink a lot of water and I hope you feel better when I get home at 1:00.

Love, Mom

I sighed in relief, knowing that I didn’t have to go to school but the guilt that I wasn’t at school ate at me but I reminded myself that I was sick and having a day off of school was a welcome relief even though it was only the second day of school. I made my way out of bed and went to the bathroom, sifting through the medicine cabinet. I picked up a bottle with purple pills pictured on the front and looked at the name of it. Aconitum noveboracense. What is this? I turned the bottle around looking at the uses and found that it wouldn’t help me so I put it back.

I settled on grabbing Tylenol and some DayQuil. I took two tablets of Tylenol and one tablet of DayQuil and then returned to my room, where I laid back down and fell asleep once more. When I woke up it was to Mom shaking me. I blinked my eyes blearily and sat up, as she grabbed the thermometer and put it in my mouth.

I sighed, watching her as she picked up my room, which wasn’t even very messy in the first place. The thermometer beeped and I took it out of my mouth, glancing at the numbers.

“One hundred and four point six,” I reported and Mom sighed getting her phone out of her pocket.

“Get up Trinity,” Mom ordered, “Up, up, up. We are taking you to the ER.”
I nodded my head sleepily and stumbled my way to the closet grabbing a pair of sweatpants and changing into them before stuffing my feet into a pair of fuzzy boots. I stumbled to the car and then darkness took over and I crumpled to the ground.

When I woke up there was an incessant beeping noise and I rubbed at my eyes as I awoke slowly. The first thing that came into view was my Mom who was sleeping in the chair beside my bed. The second thing was that May and Maria were both also in the room and they were sleeping on the couch beside my Dad who was sitting up and looking very much awake. I turned my head and saw several machines and an IV hooked up to me.

“Your friends came into visit you while you were asleep,” Dad said, “They came to the house to see how you were doing and Maria told them that you were in the hospital. That boy seemed very worried.”

“What boy,” I asked, “Max?”

“Is that his name,” Dad asked and I smiled slightly before nodding. I was assuming it was Max. “Cousins to that Hadley girl.” I nodded, that was definitely Max. “We were all worried, your temperature had climbed again to one hundred and seven degrees.” My mouth dropped open and my eyes went wide, “Your temperature isn’t that high anymore. They placed a lot of cooling pads and started pumping a lot of fluids into your body. They were doing everything they could to make sure that your organs didn’t fail and that they were able to get your temperature to drop.”

“So I’m fine now?” I asked, “Do they even know what was wrong with me?”

“Your temperature is much lower than it had been. It’s one hundred point five the last time they checked, but they still want to keep you overnight for observation,” Dad answered back, “They aren’t quite sure what was wrong with you.”

I sighed, “Oh....Okay. Well maybe it was a really bad flu virus or something.”
“That is the possibility they are considering although I think it is a much lesser known health phenomenon of some sort,” Dad answered and I giggled.

“Sure, sure,” I replied, glancing at Mom, “So I get to go home tomorrow then?”
He nodded and then mentioned how I should probably get some sleep, seeing how it was nine at night. But that didn’t exactly seem like a brilliant idea. I had already slept for almost eight hours and I honestly didn’t know if I could sleep for any longer than that. Somehow, miraculous I did fall back asleep and was whisked into a dream filled with chanting, fire, wolves, purple and blue flowers, knives and arrows.

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