Chapter 10: Pizza and Misplaced Anger
I watch as Paisley practically runs from the room, and sigh to myself. ‘Seriously what is wrong with people’ I think as two small arms wrap themselves around my waist.
“Paisley said that she would still come color with us!” Jamie says excitedly
“Why would she promise something stupid like that?” I mumble so that she doesn’t hear me and then say louder “Did she say where she was going?”
“Umm back to her room I think.”
Just then Anabella stands up, dumps her food, and rushes toward the door; swinging it open forcefully.
I roll my eyes and return my attention to the small child who was now devouring her body weight in pizza. “Did you show her which way to go?” Her mouth stuffed full, and unable to reply audibly Jamie just shakes her head no.
I stand up angrily from the table for the second time today and again feel a hand on my arm. I turn my head toward Matt who says “Come on dude I’m sure that she is capable of finding her way back to her room alright. Sit down and eat.” I grumble unintelligibly before sitting back down. I shovel some food in my mouth as Matt clears his throat “Hey man, I know it’s not cool to ask her this like to her face, but umm why is she here?” he ask nervously. I am taken aback less by the question and more by Matt’s tone of voice. In the many months I had known him I had never once heard him sound anything but confident.
I quickly wipe the shocked look off my face and shrug before responding “It’s not my place to tell.” The boy just nods knowingly before returning to his food.
I study his face, trying to figure out why in hell he was acting so odd, just then someone poking me rather hard in the stomach pulls my focus. Jamie is looking up at me, eyes full of pride as she gestures to her empty tray “All done” she claims smiling.
I can’t keep the smile from my face as I ruffle her hair and say “Good job.” She swats away my hands and stands up from the table. I follow her lead grabbing both of our trays and dumping the leftover food from mine into the trash before bringing them over to the kitchen. I give the lady behind the counter a nod of appreciation and head toward the doors, Jamie still at my side. Once outside the doors I bend down and grab her by the shoulders gently. “I’m going to go get Paisley, why don’t you go back to your room and set up?” She thinks for a moment before racing away in the direction of her room. I smile again, standing, then begin to make my way toward Paisley’s room. As I am walking I begin thinking about the many, many times I had walked these same halls with Georgiana.
“Come on Derek hurry up!” Georgiana yells grabbing my hand and dragging me down the hall at breakneck speed. All of a sudden she stops and I bump into her back, tumbling not so gracefully to the ground. Her eyes are locked on something down the hallway.
“Ow Georgi that hurt, what’d ya stop...” she cuts me off, crouching on the ground and covering my mouth with her hand.
Her bright green eyes are shining and her mouth twists into a smirk as she pulls me behind the corner we had just rounded. She peeks out from behind the wall and giggles a little before becoming serious again.
‘She’s beautiful’ is my only thought as she turns back to me “Okay” she says grinning like a madman “this is the plan we’re gonna...”
I hold up a hand cutting her off “Georgiana what’s going on?”
She shoots me a look and crosses her arms impatiently “We, mister pushy pants, are spies and we have a mission.” She states matter-of-factly
I raise an eyebrow at her skeptically “Aren’t we a little old for this?”
She scoffs as if I’m insane, without answering the question she continues her previous thought “When we get around this corner we’re gonna run down the hallway and right into my room okay, no stopping. I’m gonna hide under the bed and you go in the bathroom. Now any questions?”
“Yes why are we running, and hiding?”
She scoffs again “From my dad of course.”
“Ohhhh.” I say nodding
She smiles wide and says “Ready? Set. Go!” she springs up and sprints around the corner. I am right behind her and skid into the room. Georgiana slides under the bed, and I fall into the bathroom slamming the door closed behind me. I try not to laugh as I sit with my back to the door, breathing heavily. All of a sudden the door swings open and I fall on my back and stare up into the eyes of one scary man.
I am snapped back to reality as I walk in the door of the too familiar room. I look around and there’s nobody there. The bathroom door is open wide, proving that there really is nobody there. My pulse quicken as I walk from the room, retracing my steps back to the dining hall ‘Where is she? Where could she have gone.’ As I pass by rooms I look in in hopes of spotting the tangled mass of red hair that could identify the lost girl. I get all the way back to the dining hall with no sign of her. I pass the doors and go down the other hallway stopping at every doorway. I make my way all the way to the courtyard and nothing. No sign of the hospital’s newest member. “Shit” I mumble to myself, laying my forehead against the cool metal of the door to the outside. I wrench it open and step outside into the breeze. I scan the space in hopes of finding who I am looking for, and I do. Sitting under the tree. Our tree. Seeing her there, sitting where Georgiana had once sat, makes me mad. I storm over to her and shake her shoulder waking her up.
Her eyes fly open and instantly fill with fear. “How long..” she begins saying sleepily but I cut her off.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I say eyes blazing.
Her eyes get wider as she stammers “I umm, I was going to go back to my room, but I uh got lost and I um ended up here.” She looks away from me and down at her hands.
I roll my eyes at her and release her shoulders “Why are you here, of all fucking places why are you here!” I yell at her furious. ‘Calm down, she doesn’t know. You can’t be mad at her.’ A voice says but I push it away thinking ‘Watch me.’