Loving the Broken

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Chapter 17-Grief and Anger

Song: Hate Myself-NF

Dan

Heartbreak and pain, disappointment and failure. Grief and despair, anger and sadness. Guilt and betrayal, isolated and lost. These are the feelings that consume me as I lay in this fucking bed;unable to move. I should be grateful to be alive but I wish I were dead.

What kind of life and I going to be living when I have to depends on others to wipe my ass and get me dressed? What kind of life am I making my parents live when they should be enjoying this time in their lives?

Or my brothers, they all have their own lives and some with families. I wouldn’t want them to drop what what they’re doing just because I couldn’t get out of bed by myself.

I would never asks Emily either, although, I know she would be here in a heartbeat. Yet, she has her own obstacles. When I woke up from surgery and saw my parents and my sister in the room, I felt joy and gratitude. Emily had come out out of hiding for me. She risked letting that ass find her and for that I was happy to see here and will always be grateful.

The other person I wanted..no needed to see wasn’t here. Why wasn’t Dani here? I thought she would have been but I guess I was wrong. I have been before.

Rage quickly consumes me as my thoughts cause frustration to creep in. I clench my fist and bite down on my lip. Why did this have to happen to me. Is this the reward I get for giving up everything I love? Is being a cripple my privilege for risking my life and fighting for my country.

“Damn it all to hell!” I shout out to whoever hears me and I don’t give a shit if they do hear me. I eye the shitty food on the tray in front of me. A stream of curse words spew from my mouth as I sent the tray soaring across the room.

“Damn, dude, what did that tray ever do to you?” Damien comes wheeling into the room with a pretty nurse behind him. Her hair is raven black and her eyes are the color of the sky. She gives me a kind smile and but I don’t smile back.

Damien has a white bandage wrapped around his head and his eyes look a little dull. Overall, he looks like a guy who has seen hell and lived to tell about it.

“It got in my way.” My best friend plasters on a grin and I can see he's trying to stay upbeat for me. However, I can see him hurting as well.

"How you holding up?" That was kind of dump question but I know he's just trying to help.

"Just freaking peachy, man. How about you?"

"I'll survive." He says with a deadpanned voice. He turns to the stunning nurse and tells her he's got it from here. Then he winks at her. I roll my eyes.

"What the hell was that?" I accuse. I'm angry that he has the nerve to flirt when my sister flew all this way to be here for him.

"What was what?"

"You flirting with that nurse. Sure she's pretty but what about my sister?" His face goes white and his eyes bare into me. He's clearly pissed off, well so am I.

"Your sister lied to me! She's known for three months her kid is mine, but chose not to tell me. How can I ever forgive her for that?"

"D, she has had her reasons for not telling you. Emily doesn't just do things to hurt people on purpose. Plus, you were avoiding her everytime we faced timed, and you threw her letters away. You basically just acted like she didn't exist. So how was she supposed to tell you anything?"

I don't want to lay here and watch my best friend feel sorry for himself, when he's got an adorable little boy and an amazing women waiting for him.

"Damien, I can't tell you what to do but I will tell you to stop having your damn pity party! Not everything is about you and not everyone is out to destroy you. Not everyone is like Tom and your mom. You need to be grateful you still have use of your legs and don't have to depend on others to take care of you."

I observe him as the anger leaves his body but is replaced with guilt. "I"m sorry, Dan! If I could switch places with you I would. It's me who should be in your position. I'm a shit friend for dragging you into this."

"No! You stop that self-pity shit right now. You are not the one who did this to me, it that Iranian prick. (Sorry, if this offends anyone). He had a choice and so did I."

"Truth, is man, I froze up when I saw him coming around the corner. If I would have reacted faster I wouldn't be in here. It's my fault I will never be able to walk again or feel the touch of a woman. It's my fault I won't be able to dance with Emily at her her wedding or pick up my nephew when he runs to me."

Damien just stares at me like I've lost my mind but with tears in his eyes. "That's not true Dan! You followed me when I should have pushed you harder to go home. I didn't tell you when I enlisted because I had no intention of coming home."

"I know." I murmured. Damien had been suicidal at times but Emily and I were always able to do pull him back. He never was one to just take pills or take his life the easy way out. He sought out death. When Emily told me he had enlisted, I knew what I needed to do.

"If you knew then why did you come with me?" He asks.

"Because you are my best friend Damien and I can see right through you. I had to come with you, so I could bring you back."

"Fuck!" This is all my fault, all of it. I'm just so messed up, man. How can I be a father when I'm this way?"

"I don't know D, but I do know once you hold that little guy in your arms everything will change." Damien wipes his eyes and composes himself.

"I hope you're right, man." He says with a quite tone. "I need to talk to Em and figure all this shit out."

"Yeah, you do but please be gentle with her. She's still in a fragile state and her heart is very breakable. Just hear her out and know that she came out of hiding to be here." I kept it from him that Emily had left Odessa. He didn't want to know about her life.

"Wait...where did she go and why was she hiding?"

"I don't know where she was, my parents didn't even know exactly where. They kept in contact through burner phones and sent her money once a month to different locations. She moved around a lot. As for why, Zeek forced his way into her apartment and assaulted her. He threatened to kill Micheal if she didn't do what he wanted."

Damien clenched his fist and even I can feel the heat from his anger. "Motherfucker! I'm going to kill him! He doesn't just get to make threats towards my son and hurt his mom.He will pay for this!"

"Damien, calm down. She got away from him before he did anything, but you are going to have to talk to her about it though."

"I...I.." Just then we hear a knock and Emily pops in.

"Hey, sis."

"Hey, Dan, how are you feeling?" She so sweet, she knows I can't feel anything but she still want to show me she cares.

"Well, I'm pissed off but physically I don't know." Her eyes take on a misty look and I feel like shit for being an asshole to her. "I'm okay Em, I just want to get out of here and go home. Have your heard from Dani yet?"

Her body stiffens up which is her telltale sign she's hiding something. I don't push her though.

"Not yet, but I'll keep trying. I did talk to Tucker and they're all getting everything set up at home for you."

I shouldn't let that piss me off because it's just my family trying to make life easier for me but it does. It's like a big bucket of ice water being dumped on my head, forcing me to face my reality.. It freaking sucks.

Emily and Damien must send my mood because he moves his eyes to Em and asks,

"Will you help me back to my room?" Her smile lights up her face.

"Yeah, we need to talk." She answers.

"Yes, we do." With that she wheels him out of the room and I'm left to stew in my own thoughts and self-hatred.

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