"Little bitty pretty one, come on talk-a to me," I sang. "Lovey dovey lovey one, come sit down on my knee." I hummed along with the chorus and let the music blast in my car. The windows were down and the cold winter wind was blowing my hair around like a tornado. I didn't care though. I was already 45 minutes late to Charlotte's party, where I was to be 'set up' with some boy named William. I didn't really like the fact that Charlotte was always trying to play match maker with me. It was as simple as no boy had ever really taken quite a liking to me. And Charlotte wasn't okay with the fact that I was okay with that.
I flew down the highway, blasting 'Little Bitty Pretty One' as loud as it would go. I didn't want to go to Charlotte's, as much as I loved her. I tried to escape in the music. I guess I did a good job at it cause before I could comprehend what was happening, a stray cow was standing in the middle of the road. I swerved to the right trying to miss it, but I overshot it and started spinning around in circles with no control of the car. A loud scream escaped me before I hit a tree, stopping my car all too fast. In a matter of seconds; the windows of my car shattered, glass flew everywhere, and I hit my head on the steering wheel.
Pain racked my body and blood dripped down my cheek from my forehead. I lightly touched a finger to my forehead, trying to evaluate how badly I got hurt. "Ouch!" I winced, "Damn it!" Tears dripped along side the blood. What was I going to do? I was in the middle of no where, it was late at night and I had no way to communicate to anyone that I was out here.
"Miss?" a voice asked. I jumped out of my skin and turned towards my open window. "Are you alright?"
"I..I-I don't know. I hurt my head and I can't th-think straight..." I mumbled.
"Alright, let's get you to a doctor, you're bleeding a lot." I tried to see who was helping me, but my vision was no good right now. All I could see was a blurry outline of what looked like a young man. "Can you tell me your name?"
"Nice to meet you Jessica. I'm sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. I'm Thomas Brown." He opened the car door and helped me out of it. "How old are you?"
"I'm seventeen...why are you asking all these questions?" I stumbled on my feet.
"Because, I want to make sure you didn't hurt yourself to the point of memory loss. And, I need you to stay with me. You're losing a lot of blood right now so I want to try and keep you awake. Do you mind if I carry you from here to my car?"
I shook my head. "Go ahead..." I slurred.
"Where do you go to school, Jessica?" he asked, sweeping my limp body into his arms easily.
"Lincoln High..." I mumbled. It started to hurt more and more to talk. "Thomas it hurts so bad." I began to cry. I heard a car door open and then felt myself slip onto leather seats. A loud tearing noise sounded and then fabric was being wrapped around my head.
"I'm sorry if this hurts, I want to slow the bleeding." he said tenderly. "Just lay down on the seat okay?" I nodded and laid down slowly. The door shut next to me and then what I imagined was the drivers seat door opened and shut quickly. The engine of the car started and he pressed the gas.
I could hear him breathing loudly, I guess he was nervous about me. I would be nervous too if I picked up a random bloody girl was stranded off of a highway too. "Thomas?" I breathed.
"Yeah?" he asked, sounding surprised that I said something.
"Ask me more questions..." I said wheezed, trying to ease his and my own tension.
"Right. Okay... um.. what's the year?"
"1956." I laughed softly. "That was an easy one."
He laughed, making the most charming sound I'd ever heard. "Okay. Let's get a harder one. Who's our president right now?"
"Hey now, I'm just trying to keep you awake. Even if it's me asking you what color the sky is. So, what city and what state do you live in?"
"Grover Beach, California." I whispered.
"Why are you whispering?"
"It hurts." I said.
"Oh yeah, you have a big 'ol gash in your forehead that's right." he chuckled.
I giggled lightly, "That's right." I closed my eyes and sighed. It was so much easier to just go to sleep.
"Hey, hey, hey, Jessica. Jess you gotta stay with me. We're almost to the hospital. Come on, Jess don't sleep now. I know it hurts but you gotta try and stay awake for me." he pleaded.
I tried to say something, but my body wouldn't let me.
"Jess?" a gentle hand brushed my shoulder and shook me lightly. "Jessica. No, no, no wake up." The car stopped suddenly and sounds of yelling and people hurrying surrounded me. It was too much. Not when I could simply close my eyes and drift away.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
I squeezed my eyes before opening them, revealing a spotless white room before me. Where was I? Tremendous pain surged through my head, unlike any other normal headache I had ever felt. The car crash. I vaguely remembered hitting the tree and then someone helping me. I remembered the goofy questions quite well actually. Who was helping me though?
"Jessica?" a voice sounded from across the room. "Nurse, she's awake." I rubbed my eyes and then refocused on the voice. A tall, handsome young man started walking towards me with a nurse. Thomas.
He had sandy blonde hair and such a sharp jawline that it could cut my soft skin. But what truly captivated me was he his piercing blue eyes that bore into my soul, taking any breathe in me away. Something in his eyes sparkled as he asked me, "Are you okay? How are you feeling?"
"I'm alright." I croaked. How embarrassing. My voice was almost completely gone. "It still hurts but I don't feel as light headed. What happened?"
He nodded, "You got a really deep cut just above your eyebrow and you got bruised up pretty good. But no broken bones or anything like that. Do you need the nurse to increase the medication in your IV for the pain? I don't want you in any kind of pain at all." he said, his eyes glowing with a deep empathy and compassion.
"No, I think I'll be alright." I managed to say.
"Are you sure?"
I nodded in response.
"Can I get you anything? Water?"
"No. No thank you. I should call my parents though. They don't know that I've been in the crash."
"Of course." he smiled. "I'll give you a minute to call them." his long legs took strides out of the room. As much as I was mesmerized by him, I was slightly confused by his actions. Most people would have just driven me to the hospital and made sure I got help. It was a little unusual for him to stay with me until I woke up.
I picked up the phone on the bedside table and dialed my parents. "Hello?" a sleepy voice said on the other line.
"Mom?" I squeaked.
"Honey? Where are you? Charlotte's mom called late last night asking if you were still coming to sleep over, and she said you never arrived. I was worried sick where are you?"
"I'm in the hospital."
"What? What happened, Jessie?"
"I got in a car accident on the highway to Charlotte's. Thank goodness I was close to the hospital. This boy, Thomas. He picked me up off the road and drove me to the hospital. I'm here with him now."
"The hospital? What happened darling, are you hurt?"
"I got stitches above my eye for a cut, and I have lots of bruises." I looked at my arms. "But I'm okay."
"I'm on my way to the hospital now. But it's around 45 minutes from the house so I'll see you soon okay, baby? I'm coming. I love you." she hung up quickly. I knew she'd be worried.
I hung up the phone and looked down at my arms again. Gigantic purple and green bruises covered my arms. At the time, I was pretty sure I had more bruise than skin. My mind wandered back to Thomas and his eyes. Before now, I never thought that I'd see a boy and immediately feel for him. The thought of us together lingered in my head as I sat by myself.
The door opened and Thomas walked in slowly. "Hey."
"Hi." I smiled softly. "I don't mean to be rude, at all... But I was just curious as to why you've stayed with me so long. My parents are coming now...you don't have to stay."
"Oh. I know." he said bashfully, smiling at his feet with his hands in his pockets. "I just, wanted to be sure you were alright."
"That's very kind of you, Thomas. I appreciate all your help. I probably would have died out there by myself if it weren't for you."
"Well we couldn't have had that could we?" he said.
I laughed and shook my head. He walked closer to my bed and traced his fingers along my bruised arm so softly. "It's a shame that something like this happened to someone like you." He looked up from arm and into my eyes.
"But you barely know me. All you know is that my name is Jessica Jones. I'm seventeen years old and I go to Lincoln High School. I live in Grover Beach, California and I know that the year is 1956."
He laughed and shook his head. "I guess I have a hunch, Jess."
A pang of warmth and something I'd never felt before rushed inside me. Jess. All my friends call me Jessie. But no one calls me Jess. I guess that changed now.
"I'm sorry, but I have work in an hour so I gotta go. But I'd like to finish our conversation sometime. Maybe you'll get to ask me some questions next time. Do you want to go out with me sometime?"
I grabbed a pen from the table and took his hand into mine. He looked a little startled at first but the tension in his hand eased as I began to write down my phone number on his palm. "I'd like that."