The Girl Who Stutters and The Boy Who Mutters

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Chapter 8

“Jesus Rogers, she could’ve died!”

That’s the first thing I hear when I finally begin to resurface.

“Yeah I understand that, will you stop screaming at me already Becca?”

“You’re awake!” I open my eyes all the way Lacey staring down at me and poking my forehead.

I slowly crane my neck to try and look around the room. The whole group is here and I’m so momentarily stunned that I don’t even wonder why I’m sitting in a hospital bed with everyone surrounding me.

What. The. Hell.

I try to speak, but I’m surprised when I can’t. My throat is so dry and my body is so stiff. I don’t understand any of this at all, I’m so confused.

“She looks like a fish,” Liam laughs pointing at me. And you sound like a two year old, I think to myself. But then again I suppose I probably do resemble a fish right now considering I keep opening and closing my mouth but not saying anything.

“Get the girl some water,” Victor says slapping Liam on the back of his head.

Liam rushes out of the room, but not before glaring at Victor. Soon enough Liam comes back with a bottle of water. Becca helps my sit up and I down the entire bottle of water within ten seconds.

“Well don’t drown yourself,” Hannah laughs as I wipe the water that had managed to trail out of my mouth.

“W-what the hell h-happened?” Is the first question that pops out of my mouth. My voice still sounds scratchy but at least I can talk now.

“Well when you were at the park with us all yesterday-”

“Yesterday?” I ask looking up at Hannah.

“You’ve been out for almost a day kid,” Becca says looking down at me, “You have to be more careful. you got bit a snake.”

“I m-missed the rest of m-my classes!”

“Did I not just tell her she got bit by a snake?” Becca asks looking up at Scott who just smiles and shrugs, “cause I’m pretty sure I just told her she got bit by a snake, yet she’s still worried about her classes?”

“I had my dad talk to your teachers,” Scott says, not looking me in the eye.

“Oh,” I say, a little confused as to why Scott would take the time to do that for me. But I don’t get the chance to ask him because a doctor walks in.

“I see you’re up now,” the doctor says striding into the room and over towards my bed.

“I g-guess s-so.”

“Don’t worry about the stuttering,” the doctor says looking down at the clipboard he’s holding. “Sometimes stuttering is just a part of the trauma.”

“It’s a speech deficiency asshole,” Scott snaps while glaring daggers at the doctor. “You should already know that though. I thought doctors were supposed to check the patient’s medical history or something.”

“Um I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk to me in that tone sir,” the doctor says before turning back towards me. “Now Ms. Smith, the snake that bit you is only deadly if left untreated so you should be thankful your friends got you here so quickly. We have some pain medication for you and you’re free to leave as soon as you fill out some paper work.”

This was not at all how I imagined my first two days of college to be like. And as I sit here in this hospital bed filling out paper work I remember something mother had once told me about not hanging out with the “wrong crowd”, and now I have to wonder: have I managed to fall in with the dreaded “wrong crowd”? I mean these guys are nice and all, with the exception of Scott and Liam, but I’ve only known them for a day and now I’m in a hospital on account of being bitten by a snake.

When I’m finally released from the custody of the hospital I don’t say a word to anyone on the way back to the college, I’m hell bent on ignoring them for some reason. I can already tell that it’s pissing off Becca, I guess she’s not used to being ignored.

Walking back towards our dorm circle was absolute hell. At one point Becca decided to jump on my back as a way of showing she’s glad I’m okay. It was only when I completely fell down and hit my head on the ground that she remembered I had just got out of the hospital for a snake bite so it probably wasn’t the best idea to jump on my. So Victor helped carry me and Scott smirked. It was then that I realized that Scott had been smirking like that since we left the hospital.

And now I understand why.

Scott hadn’t been mad while I was ignoring him and the others because he knew something I hadn’t even thought about. He knew that if I wasn’t talking to the others I’d have to stay in that dreaded room with him. He was too smart.

So I killed him.

Okay maybe I didn’t do that but I’m sure it’s better than what I’m doing right now. As we stop in front of mine and Scott’s room, me still in Victor’s arms, Becca tries once more to get me to say something to her.

“You obviously need your rest,” Becca says sounding happy yet defeated at the same time. “I guess I’ll see you at breakfast tomorrow?”

I don’t respond.

“Bye Scott,” Becca murmurs before stomping away with everyone but Scott, Victor, and I behind her.

Scott opens the door to our room and strolls inside. Victor carries me over to my bed and gently sets me down there.

“I’ve got some movies back at my room we can watch,” Victor says taking a seat next to me. “I can run there and grab some if you want.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Scott says as he brings his phone up to his ear. “We’ll be fine here, I’m ordering a pizza now.”

“I’ll just keep Abs company here while you run and get the pizza then.”

“Also not necessary,” Scott says, “it’s being delivered. You can go back to your room. We’re cool here.”

Since when did Scott start speaking for me?

“You d-don’t have to leave--”

“It’s fine,” Victor says giving me a genuine smile, “I’ll talk to you later. You’re probably still tired from getting bit by that snake.”

“You want something specific to eat?” Scott asks raising his eyebrows at me.

“I-I’ve always wanted a krabby patty.”

“I highly doubt a place that sells pizzas had any krabby patties,” Scott says glaring at me.

“A girl can dream.”

“Later guys,” Victor says. He gives Scott one of their bro type hugs before giving me a hug and leaving. As soon as he leaves the atmosphere becomes kind of awkward as I listen to Scott order our food. After a minute or two I watch as a grin spreads across Scott’s face and he looks over at me before leaving the room.

Bastard.

I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone. I haven’t talked to Anna in a while, I should probably call her. When I turn on my phone I actually already have six missed calls from her.

“Abby!” Anna shouts as soon as she answers. “I’ve been trying to call you since yesterday.”

“I’ve k-kind of been in t-the hospital.”

“Wait what?” I can hear her voice turning frantic. “Why the hell were you in the hospital?”

“B-basically I w-went out to lunch w-with everyone, Scott r-ran off and I got bit by a snake.”

“You got bit by a snake!?”

“Yeah but-”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” Anna asks sounding hurt, “was Becca there with you?”

“Um-”

“Of course she was,” Anna groans no doubt pacing the length of the room now. “You know I don’t understand why she doesn’t like me. I’m’ a likable person aren’t I? Plus we’re roommates, I’m pretty sure that’s some unspoken law that we have to get along-”

“Becca just I-isn’t a p-people person.”

“She likes you though.”

“I’m n-not a p-people person either so w-we naturally get along.”

“Whatever,” she says, “are you okay though? Do you want me to come see you?”

“N-not right now,” I say just as Scott walks back into the room. “I think I’ll j-just rest fro now. I’ll t-talk to you later.”

“Bye,” Anna says sounding rather disappointed. She’s been acting different lately. I don’t think she’s all that impressed with this new college life either.

“There isn’t much to do since you’re crippled and you don’t like me,” Scott says shrugging as he walks back into the room. “I had a date tonight but then you went and got bit...”

“It’s your fault I g-got bit!” I shout pointing at him. “And you d-don’t have to stay here, just g-go on your date.”

“I don’t think you understand that I can’t,” Scott says running a hand through his perfectly groomed. “Becca told me she wants me to stay here so you don’t hurt yourself trying to get up or something.”

“Since w-when do you t-take orders from Becca?”

We glare at each other for what feels like hours before Scott mumbles something about needing to take a shower. Sitting here alone while Scott goes to take his shower is definitely not on the top of my list of things I need to do right now. So I do what any logical college student would do.

I study.

Seeing as I missed the last half of my first day of school, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was studying for. But I didn’t feel like resting.

I was contemplating on whether or not I should attempt to prank Scott, but I obviously couldn’t do that since I could barely even stand. I thought about chucking my pillow at his face once he got out of the bathroom but then there was a knock on the door.

Me figuring it was just the pizza guy I yelled saying that he could come in.

But to my surprise it was actually Oakland.


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