*I deserve an award for being way too nice to people who surely don't deserve.*
I woke up to the beeping of machines and a horrible pain in my stomach and arm. My whole stomach is so sore.
I looked down and saw an IV in my left arm. I looked around and saw I was in a hospital room. I looked to my right and saw Julian asleep in a chair by the bed and everything that happened came rushing back.
I can't be here.
I have to get Irabella. It's dark out now, she's been at daycare all day.
I have to get home and make dad his food or I'm going to get beat even worse.
I try to sit up but lay down when the pain in my stomach flares up again. I lift the hospital gown I'm wearing up and see bandages wrapped all around my upper torso and a white bandage lower down.
I take the patches that moniter my heartbeat off and the machine flatlines. I pull the IV out of my arm and slowly sit up, trying to block out the pain.
I have to get to Irabella and get to the house.
Julian stirs at the sound of the heart moniter going flat. When he sees me sitting up, he jerks from the chair and is at my side in a second.
"What are you doing?" He asks as nurses rush into the room with what looks like a crash cart.
I watch a lot of Grey's Anatomy.
When they see me sitting up, a female nurse comes up and ushers me back into the bed.
"You have to let your ribs heal," She says.
She puts her hands on my shoulders and I flinch away. She looks at me surprised, but before she can say anything, I ask where Irabella is.
"I called Tori from your phone and asked if she could pick her up from daycare after school," Julian quickly says and I sink into the bed.
She's with Tori. She's safe.
I'd told Julian who Tori was after he started hanging out with me.
"Thank you," I tell him.
The other nurses left and took the crash cart with them. The female nurse was putting my IV back in when the door opened again and a male doctor came in.
"Hi, McKenzie. It's good to see you awake. My name is Dr. Parker. I was the lead surgeon on your case-"
"Wait, surgeon? I had surgery?" I cut him off.
This is going to set me back so much. I don't have insurance and dad can't know I went to the hospital, I'm going to have to use my own money and surgery costs thousands of dollars.
"Can you take Mr. Reed to the waiting room, please?" Dr. Parker said, addressing the nurse that fixed my IV. "I have a few questions for Ms. Anosova and I think it's best you wait out there."
While I don't want Julian to leave, I have a feeling he's going to be asking me questions I don't want Julian to hear.
Julian looks at me for my response and I nod my head. Before he leaves I ask him where my phone is. I need to call Tori and talk to Irabella.
Dr. Parker answers for him. "Your belongings are in a bag. They were taken off you when you arrived. I'll have a nurse bring it up where we're finished."
"Okay," I answer.
The nurse leads Julian out of the room and Dr. Parker closes the door behind him.
I try not to panic from being in this room with a man I don't know. I must not do a very good job of keeping the stricken expression off my face because he says, "It's alright. This is a safe place."
I make my face as blank as possible.
"When Mr. Reed brought you in, three of your ribs were broken and they were poking at your spleen, causing it to burst. We removed your spleen in surgery and wrapped your torso so your ribs can properly heal," He explains. "We did an MRI scan of your body and we saw some fractures and broken bones that never healed right. You must be a pretty active kid to have broken them in the first place."
I mumbled a 'yeah' and looked down.
"Or maybe something else is happening," He states and my head snapped up. "You know you can tell me if someone is hurting you. We can get you help, this is a safe place," He repeats.
No. I can't tell anyone. They might do something to me or take Belle away from me or not leaving when I first had her.
I won't risk anyone taking Belle away from me.
"No one is hurting me, Dr. Parker. As you said, I"m an active kid. I play a lot of sports."
"Or maybe you're covering for someone," He says. "Like Mr. Reed out there."
"What? No! Julian is not hurting me. I play a lot of sports and accidents happen," I say. "Now I can get my stuff so I can go home and see my daughter?"
If he was shocked at the mention of me having a daughter, he didn't show it.
"Your injuries were very extensive and you need to stay here for at least five days to let your ribs heal and you just had major abdominal surgery, I'm afraid you can't leave yet," Dr. Parker said. "But you can have your daughter come here and we can set up a cot in your room for her, and you can also tell me how you were injured."
"I fell down the stairs."
"You fell down the stairs?" Dr. Parker reiterated. "Are you sure?"
"Yes. I'm very sure I'd remember if something else happened," I say, getting annoyed. "Can I have my stuff now?"
"Yes, I'll have them brought up," He says. "The police need you to answer a few questions."
"What! The police! What are they here for? I told you I fell down the stairs!"
"If that's true, then you should have no problem giving them your statement. They're here because your injuries consistes of what looked like abuse."
"Oh my god! I'm not being abused!"
Suddenly the door bursts open and my dad walks in.
What the hell?
I sit up in shock as I stare at dad who is walking towards me. "McKenzie," He breathes and pulls me in for a hug.
I almost flinch before I catch myself and force my muscles to relax. I'll be in more trouble if the doctors or the police suspect anything.
"I was so worried," Dad said into my hair. "I got a call from a doctor or nurse from your phone and they said you had surgery."
Dad pulls away from me and I see his eyes glaring at me and if looks could kill, I'd be six feet under. A complete contrast to his tone. "What happened?" He asked in a disgustingly sincere voice.
"I fell down the stairs the other day and I didn't know I broke my ribs and I fainted in school and another student brought me here. The doctor said one of my ribs was poking my spleen and it ruptured."
"The doctors thought I was being abused by someone." Venom underlined my tone when I said abused. "They called the police before I was out of surgery. I told them no one was hurting me and the police just want to take my statement on what happened and then they'll go." Which meant: your secret is safe. No one knows you beat your own child and they'll be gone soon.
Dr. Parker, who had been silently watching our exchange, walked out of the room and came back a few seconds later with two female cops. One is African-American and the other is white.
The African-American woman stepped forward and said, "McKenzie, we'd just like to go over what happened. I'm Officer Francis and this is my partner Officer Handler," She gestured to the blonde-haired woman next to her. "The doctor says you fell down the stairs?"
"Yes, she's very clumsy," Dad answers for me.
Officer Handler looked at dad and said, "I actually have a few questions to ask you too, sir. Let's step out into the hall Officer Francis also needs to speak with McKenzie privately."
"Why?" Dad asked.
"Just to assess the situation," Officer Francies replied.
Dad still hesitates at my side.
"Is that a problem, sir?" Officer Handler asked.
"No. No problem."
Dad put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed so hard I know it'll bruise. It means: keep your mouth shut and nothing will happen to you.
Dad follows Officer Handler out the door along with Dr. Parker. Before Dr. Parker is completely out of the room, I asked him about my stuff.
"A nurse will bring your things to you once you're finished here," He answered, closing th door behind him.
"So you fell down the stairs?"
I tell her what I told Dr. Parker, that I fell down the stairs and play a lot of sports to explain my broken bones. When she's done questioning me, she gives me a look, like she knows I'm not telling the truth and she reaches for something in the pocket of her uniform.
"This is my card," She said, handing me a white card with her name on the right side and her number under it. There's a police badge on the left side. "If you ever need anything just call my number directly."
"Okay." I put the card under my pillow before dad comes back in and asked the officer about Julian.
"The boy who brought me here."
"I don't know where he is, but I can find out for you."
"When you do, can you tell him thank you, and that I'll see him at school when I'm able to go back."
I don't want dad to see Julian. He won't like that I have a friend. Or he'll think Julian is my boyfriend and call me a slut or a whore like he did with Irabella's father and I guess he was right. He got what he wanted and then he stopped talking to me and spread rumors all around school and after dad found out I was pregnant he stopped beating me. I don't know why. He could've beat the shit out of me and gotten rid of her himself, but he didn't. He called me a whore every chance he got though.
Dad doesn't even know who Tori is, he just knows I work at the Cafe. Sometimes he makes me give him some money so he can go and get some beer, but at least he doesn't make me give him all of it.
"Sure thing," She said before leaving.
A nurse comes in as she opens the door and hands me a bag with my things in it.
"Thank you," I murmer quietly as I fish my phone out of the bag.
Damn. It's already past nine. Belle might not even be up.
I call Tori anyways and she answers on the fourth ring.
"McKenzie! Are you okay? What happened? Julian called me from your phone completely freaked out and asked me to pick Bellie up from daycare," Tori rushed out all in one breathe.
"I'm fine. I fell down the stairs a few days ago and apparently one of my ribs broke and caused my spleen to rupture."
"Oh my god! That sounds really painful."
"It was. Julian brought me to the hospital and they remoived my spleen and wrapped my ribs," I said. "Is Belle awake?"
"Yeah, she's watching cartoons on the couch. I'll put her on the phone."
I hear Tori call for Belle through the phone and a few seconds later I hear a very enthusiastic, "Mommy!"
"Where are you, Mama?"
"I'm at the hospital, baby. Mama had an accident, but you're going to comes see me tomorrow. Tori is going to drop you off at Julie's tomorrow morning and you can change clothes and brush your teeth there, and then Julie is going to bring you up to see me and you'll get to stay with me, okay?"
"Okay," Belle said as dad walked in, not looking happy. He closes the door behind him.
"Okay," I murmur. "Be good, okay. I have to go. I love you."
"Love you, Mama."
I hang up the phone before she gives it back to Tori and quickly text her where to bring Belle in the morning.
"What. The. Fuck. Were you thinking?" Dad hisses.
"I didn't ask the student to bring me here, he just did," I pleaded with him.
"If you hadn't gotten yourself in trouble in the first place, we wouldn't be here with cops asking questions."
"You're the one that beat me," I said so quietly I'm not even sure he heard.
"What did you just say?" Dad seethes, a look of pure rage on his face.
"Nothing," I mumble.
"Little girl, I will beat the shit out of you if I want to and if anyone suspects anything I will kill you and your bastard child." He said getting in my face. "Do you understand?"
I quickly nod, tears welling up in my eyes.
"Now, I'm going to go buy more scotch and you are going to keep your big mouth shut."
I nod looking down at the blanket covering me.
Dad opens the door and closes it behind him, the bang echoing around the room.
I'm sorry about the slow updates, I'm trying to update regularly. I'm working on the next chapters now and if your just patient and stick with me I promie you a great story to read and love.