Fighting For Hope

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THIRTY-TWO

TYLER

Disbelief whizzed passed her features as quickly as greased lightning. The state caused her eyes to flare as stupefaction crossed her beauteous features.

She looks gorgeous, she always is, but much more now since it had been so long since it has been a substantial duration since I last beheld the sight of her. I could almost perceive the questions forming in her head before she scrambled to help me.

We had both pinned her stepfather down, trapping his limbs in place, but the moment of reassurance ceased as it began. He raised his head and vigorously bashed it on Hope’s. Her grip on him loosened, and he used that free hand to hit me away.

I was recovered but was supposed to stay in the hospital for more checking but could not stand being in that room knowing Hope could be brutally injured, so I left with Grayson.

I was still climbing onto my feet when Hope and her psychopathic stepfather were already attacking each other. Briefly, I could tell she abundantly improved. Her speed is sublime.

She blocked a low kick and dodged a swift punch aimed for her head, then two punches before she attacked with a sharp jab.

I joined her shortly after, so Calvin would have to worry about attacks coming from both sides. Calvin changed his rhythm since both we were already catching on. He tried kicking Hope, but she ducked in time. As he was just focusing on her, I used the opportunity to punch him in the face.

He regained his composure and looked over with eyes vehemently blazing with vexation. But before he could lay a finger on me, Hope reverted his attention to her by throwing a belligerent hit.

They were moving a lot around the area, and everyone was looking at the screen of Hope as a child talking to her biological father, observing the fight or leaving. That must have been the proof she told me about when I was in my slumber. Gray had voiced his grand plan to put it up on the screen before he sent us here.

I was concerned once again when Calvin travelled closer to the table. A sharp knife glistened under the light reflected from the chandelier, contentedly laying on the cloth. I wondered why Hope had yet to pick up a knife when it is in a reachable distance. However, I was enraptured by the absence of her intention to kill.

As expected, Calvin held out his arm to grab it and threw aimlessly since Hope was nearing and attacking at high speed.

What Hope did next shocked me and amazed everyone watching with a stunt I doubt anyone could easily do.

The knife missed by a few inches just because she miraculously caught the blade, right on the handle.

A smile crept up to my lips when I realized she did not throw it back. She aimed not to be a murderer, no matter how appalling the situation was. Instead, she dropped it and continued with the fight.

Hope caught Calvin’s arm before he could land a swinging hit on the side of her head and ducked when Calvin tried using his free hand to punch her.

She kicked his stomach, causing him to double over in agony. Since she was still grabbing onto his arm, he could not stumble back freely and was still close to Hope. She used this as an advantage to kneel him hard on the face and kick his knees. His legs gave away, and he fell helplessly.

He was trying to climb back up when Hope and I pushed him back down as we did a moment ago, keeping a distance so he would have reduced options if he wanted to attack us.

A cacophony of bellowing voices followed, and finally, people in uniforms started entering. A few darted towards us, and they knew to cuff Calvin.

“We need to take you back for questioning,” an officer told Hope before ushering her fuming stepfather outside.

She briefly nodded but did not follow them outside to her car. Instead, she looked over to me with a small smile playing on her lips. She closed the distance between us, then simultaneously, we threw our arms around each other and shared the warmest embrace.

My heart sped, and the feeling of clement, balmy summer blanketed me. The unfamiliar feeling I receive when I am around Hope permeate my chest. I wonder if she felt it too.

“When did you wake up?” she asked, slowly pushing away. “It’s been more than a month since you were awake, so much had happened.”

“I know. I heard from you daily. I try to open my eyes, but it feels impossible, until this morning when the weight on my eyes felt lighter,” I told Hope. “You visited every day.”

“You missed me too much,” I teased, and she broke into the soft laugh I missed hearing.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” she said, then looking as if she remembered something and her smile falters.

“You shouldn’t be here if you woke up this morning. You got hit by a vehicle!”

“So did you, and you still went through without severe injuries. I think I’ll be fine without hospital care for a few hours.” I waved my hand dismissively. “Furthermore, Gray told me to say you’re welcome in advance. He visited me earlier only to realize I was awake and went to buy me clothes before sneaking me out of the hospital.”

“Where is he?” she asked, turning to look around. Everyone had evacuated, except for some who were packing up, in a hurry to leave as well. Then my eyes settled on a familiar face, who unfortunately was not Grayson.

Josh came from the back, behind the stage, with a bag slung around his shoulder. His eyes settled on the both of us, about to ignore us before I reached out to grab him.

I questioned, “Josh, what happened to you?”

I heard what he did, even from my unconscious state, and was bothered by the fact that he locked our best friend in a cell. We knew each other since we were merely kids, and he was always the person I would approach besides Gray.

He looked over with eyes of pure indignation. I barely recognized him. He looked as if he was possessed.

“I am exultant you fell into a coma, though I was paid to kill Hope,” he said. The very sudden information took me some time to register. I could tell that even Hope, whose back was facing me, went rigid for a second after he spoke.

It was him that day. After the birthday party, Hope drove and was stable, until another car bashed into mine. Josh was the person operating it, and it hurts to know he would choose wealth over friendships that I thought he cherished.

“You might know this, but you have no proof like the one of Calvin. I will never be caught, but don’t worry. I won’t turn up to threaten you like my father. I’ll be worse,” he said without a tone, sounding almost emotionless before leaving.

I turned Hope to face me, mirroring her frown. We were silent, taking in what my friend of years just said.

It took a while before I decided to speak.

“It’ll be fine, Angel. I will fight for, and with you. You told me that his father doesn’t bother you anymore, and now Calvin is gone. Soon, you can leave everything in the past and look forward to your future,” I told her, wanting her to fight for that little hope I knew she still had in her, it might be the only thing that can keep her going.

“I don’t know Tyler, I’ve forgotten what happiness felt like,” she mumbled, the sorrow expression still sketched on her face.

“I’ll show you.” It was more of a promise than anything else, and I plan on keeping it.

We head outside, and our eyes landed on another who grew up with me.

Gray leaned on the car, which I vaguely remembered belonged to me. Looking at it for the first time, I felt my breath hitch. It gleamed flamboyantly under the sun, shimmering like aquamarine gemstones. It did not look like the car which was beyond repair I had earlier. Anyone could tell it was much newer.

He had a wide grin on his face before holding out a thumb drive and throwing it towards Hope. She caught and kept it before delving out the car keys from her pocket and unlocking the beauty before me.

“Do you like it? You did tell me once in a conversation that blue was your favourite colour, the shade which you found out was called may, so I used the colour for this car,” she told me, dangling the keys in front of my eyes. “It’s yours, try it out.”

With a grin, I took it and climbed into the driver’s seat. The inside was both spacious and comfortable, and I would never have imagined being in such an exquisite car. I waited for Gray and Hope to enter before I skimmed through the many buttons.

I looked at Hope through the mirror hanging on the top of the car. She still had a frown on her face, and I knew we were trying to appear well when we were not.

“We’re heading to the hospital. First, I’m pretty sure doctors are already considering putting up posters for their missing patient,” Gray told me while tapping on his phone.

“I need to go to the police station to answer questions,” Hope informed him.

“Is it a rush?” he asked, only to receive a hum from her. “The station is close to the hospital, but I doubt both of you could last a second without each other.”

He chuckled on his own, finally looking up from his phone to look at both our blank faces. He then looked between our seats to face Hope.

“Did you know a month ago when Ty was still awake. He would always talk about you. I would always be confused because I never knew you talked,” he said.

I punched him playfully on the shoulder, feeling the corners of my mouth lift into a grin.

A deep chuckle escaped his throat before he looked back at his phone. But a moment later, he raised his head again.

“Oh right, he’d also—”

I hit him harder in the shoulder before he could continue.

**

I reached the hospital after sending Hope to the police station. She told us she would be talking and exposing her voice to the police officers since she doubts they were ever meeting again. She did not have to worry about trusting them at all.

Gray led me back to where my room in the hospital was. Indeed, nurses and a woman were in there with a look of concern.

“Why are you out of bed?!” the voice I knew too well complained, causing the others to look at me. “There are still checks that are supposed to be carried out before you get discharged.”

“Sorry Sis, I’ll get back,” I said, flashing a grin before moving back to the bed. “Also, congratulations on the engagement. I guess I’ll get used to Ajax being around.”

She rolled her eyes, but she had a smile on her face as she walked towards me.

“I’m mad you didn’t tell anyone you woke up, our family would all be here in an instant, everyone misses you,” she said.

“Sure,” I muttered, lying back comfortably on the bed before looking back at Hailey. “When’s the wedding?”

She reddened at the mention of her big day. “I want a simple wedding with just close family, but I’m just twenty, and it’s hard to plan something so big, but I hope it happens soon. Earlier now since you’re awake.”

I nodded, glancing at Ajax, whose story I heard when I was asleep. After the competition, our second fight, our countless encounters, I got learn to the truth about him. There might be a chance we could grow to like each other as friends.

I then directed my attention elsewhere, my eyes following as one of the nurses left with an expression of relief and the other who started questioning me about how I felt and how I was coping, but my mind soon drifted to Hope.

Maybe Gray was right. I already crave having Hope beside me.

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