For Future Reference, I Don't Have Mono
Now normally I’m not an anti-PDA, five-foot-distance-between-opposite-gender, let’s-all-hate-on-the-love-bug type of person, but this was just ridiculous.
“Jeez you’d think they’d surface for some air.” Kate whispered to me, also attempting to ignore the two people sitting in front of us and failing miserably.
“This is what happens when Mrs. Vanderbilt substitutes.” I nodded towards the front of the classroom where the substitute in question had fallen asleep rather than teach a bunch of bratty high schoolers how to analyze Hamlet.
“And when the biggest whores in the school are in your class.” Kate sniggered.
I might have reproached her for calling those two people whores once upon a time, but after the years have gone by I realized it was kind of true. If there was one known fact throughout the school, it was that Trey Sampson and Lizzy Christianson were serial whores. I had always secretly loved the irony that Lizzy had the word “christian” in her last name when she was anything but.
I jerked my head to the left and peered around Kate to see who had been calling me, quickly wishing I’d pretended not to hear them. I had momentarily forgotten that Tyler Bentley sat across the aisle from us in my annoyance with the two people in front of me.
“Hey Ty, what’s up?” I asked, trying not to cringe as the boy flipped his blonde hair out of his face.
“Whatcha doing after school?” he asked.
I opened my mouth to quickly make some excuse but a moan from Lizzy made me change what I was about to say.
“Jesus would you two shut up?” I snapped, whipping my head forward.
A hush fell over the classroom as everyone looked over at us in shock. It was only then that I realized what I had said and slightly regretted it, but I made sure to not show it on my face. Lizzy and Trey turned around to face me with looks of disbelief and anger. It was actually very intimidating and I momentarily congratulated myself on having built up the ability to keep my face blank under any situation.
Both of them were extremely good looking and I might have thought they would make a cute couple if I didn’t know better. Lizzy had shoulder-length dyed red hair and was pretty in a harsh way, like some evil queen. She hated me because as sophomores we had both been in dance class together and I had been better than her, causing the teacher to fawn over me all the time and all the senior cheerleaders had tried to recruit me. I hated her because honestly she was just an annoying bitch.
Trey was also intimidating in his good looks. He had eyes so dark they were almost black and dark hair, both contrasting oddly against his skin. He had tattoos running down his right bicep of some sort of design with a skull in the middle. As I said before, at that moment I was nothing but grateful at my ability to show no emotion because on the inside I was terrified.
“Jealous?” Lizzy asked me icily.
I rolled my eyes. “Oh so jealous. Nothing I’d like more than to end my week with a case of mono.”
Lizzy gaped at me in shock before hissing. “You bitch!”
That made me grin and I couldn’t help but press her buttons a bit more. “Though I have to say I’m quite impressed with your lung capacity. No wonder you’re such a hit with all the guys.”
“What are you trying to say?” Lizzy asked daringly.
Before I could even get a word in Trey answered in a tone that could be best described as bored. “I think she just called you a whore.”
Lizzy gaped over at him, her face flushing almost the same shade of red as her hair, before she swung her furious gaze at me.
Right before she could lunge at me, though, the bell rang and Kate grabbed me by the arm and hauled me as fast as she could out of the room. I could practically feel the whole class watching me as we left.
“What the hell’s the matter with you?!” Kate demanded as we made our way to her locker. “You don’t talk that way to Trey freaking Sampson! He’ll kill you!”
“Technically I was mostly talking to Lizzy.” I tried to point out. “And it’s not like she doesn’t already hate my guts.”
“But you practically said he has mono!”
“Well he probably does.” I shrugged.
Kate opened her mouth but quickly shut it as her gaze swiveled to something behind my shoulders, her eyes widening. Right as I turned my head around to look I found myself being shoved into the locker. I closed my eyes at the sudden jolt and opened them again only to be looking at Trey himself.
“As entertaining as it was to watch you and Lizzy fight, don’t ever demand I do something again. Understood.”
I scoffed at him, but nodded my head, mentally calling him every curse word I could think of. He smirked and leaned forward, brushing his lips to my ear as he whispered. “And for future reference, I don’t have mono. But if I did, it would so be worth it to kiss me.”
He backed away slightly to look at my face with a smug expression.
“I doubt it.” I told him sourly.
I half expected him to get angry again but he just winked and let me go. As he walked away, he called over his shoulder, “By the way, you’re hot when you’re angry.”
I immediately tried to cover my face with my long blonde hair but knew he saw the blush on my cheeks by the way he was laughing. I glanced over at Kate to see her throwing me an “I-told-you-so” face.
“Still alive!” I told her in an exasperated tone, gesturing at myself. “You over-exaggerate.”
“I do no such thing, he went easy on you.” she muttered.
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes. “I’ve gotta go.”
“Hospital?” Kate asked me with a small, sad smile.
I nodded and gave her a tight hug before running off to my car.
Once at the hospital I caught sight of the doctor I was looking for and waved.
“Hey Dr. Smith, any change?”
“Sorry Tess, but he’s the same as always. He could-”
“Yeah yeah, I know. He could wake up at any moment or not.” I nodded, turning my head slightly so that she didn’t see the tears in my eyes. “Well I’m just going to go up and visit him.”
“Arthur was asking about you.”
I managed a small smile at that. “I’ll visit him today too, I’ve missed him.”
“He’d like that.” Dr. Smith nodded and waved as I left.
I made my way up to the familiar room and took a deep breath before walking in. It felt like it took all my strength to walk across the room and sit by his bedside, just like it did every day. I took his hand carefully in mine and pushed some blonde hair out of his face.
“Hey Hunter!” I said, trying to sound cheerful. “I’m back, just like I said. I’m sorry I didn’t come yesterday but I had to go to this dinner party thing with Mom and Dad. Mom made me go shopping.” I rolled my eyes at the memory. “Apparently my clothes are so last season. You’d think Mom was the teenager here. She got rid of half my closet!”
I paused briefly and looked down at my older brother lying in the bed looking like he could be sleeping.
I felt the tears begin and I hurriedly wiped them away.
“I almost got in a fight today. With a girl, so yes you would approve. She’s such a bitch, though you would know since you used to date her. Can you guess who it is? Yep! It was Lizzy! And I guess a kid named Trey but he doesn’t really matter.”
I paused again. “This is when you would say, ‘Who is this boy, do you want me to beat him up for you?!’ but I’d settle for a small grunt at this point in time.”
I sighed and didn’t even bother wiping away the tears as they fell faster. “Of course that’s all my fault, isn’t it? I’m so sorry, Hunt. I’m such a terrible sister. By the way, you know that lead I was telling you the police thought they might have? Well it turned out all wrong. They couldn’t find that bastard. He’s still on the run, coward that he is. I really wish you were here right now, I miss your smart-ass comments, odd enough.” The familiar feeling of claustrophobia that usually accompanied being in this room began to settle in and I stood up. “I’m sorry Hunt, but I can’t stay here. I gotta go. Please wake up soon, I miss you.” I leaned down and kissed his forehead before turning away and quickly leaving the room.
I stood outside the door and tried to regain some composure. A nurse walking by gave me a concerned look but I avoided her gaze and she continued on. After a bit I managed to walk down to a different section of the hospital and knocked on another door before walking in.
“Tessa! How lovely to see you!”
“Hi Arthur.” I smiled at the old man sitting on the bed fondly, walking over to sit by him. He had seen me one day as I had run down the hall in tears and had comforted me. Since that day I had grown to love him like a grandfather and had continued to visit him.
“How’s Hunter doing?” he asked me, taking in my tear-streaked face with concern.
“He’s the same.” I mumbled.
Arthur reached over to grip my hand in his. “If your brother is as strong as you are then he’ll come out of this coma for sure.”
I nodded and tried to smile again around the painful lump in my throat. “How are you feeling?”
“My family’s having a hard time dealing with it, but I can’t leave the hospital anymore.” he told me sadly.
I felt a fresh bout of tears coming on and quickly blinked them away. “I’m so sorry, Arthur!”
Arthur waved my words away. “It was only a matter of time before the cancer caught up with me. My grandson’s here, by the way. He left for a bit to talk to his mother on the phone but he should be back soon.”
“Would you like me to leave?” I asked immediately, beginning to rise as I worried I would interfere in their visit.
“Of course not dear, I’d love it if you met him. He’s a bit misunderstood, but he’s a wonderful boy and you’re like a granddaughter to me. I’ve told them about you before, you know, and he was curious as to who you were.”
“What did you say about me?” I asked, curious and a bit worried.
Arthur immediately gave me a reassuring look. “Don’t worry, I didn’t say anything about Hunter. That’s your business, I just told them about a sweet girl who comes to visit me whenever she comes here.”
I immediately relaxed. “Thank you.”
“Anytime dear.” he smiled.
The door opened behind me and I turned my head only to find the last person I ever expected to walk through the door.
Trey froze momentarily as he saw me before crossing his hands over his chest. “What are you doing here Miss. Prissy?”
I wrinkled my nose at the nickname and gave him a disbelieving look. “Miss. Prissy?!”
“This is Tessa, Trey. She’s the one I was telling you about.” Arthur told the devil calmly. “Do you two know each other?”
I hesitated a moment before answering flatly. “We go to school together.”
“Really?” Arthur asked, but from the tone of his voice I had a feeling he already knew that.
After an awkward pause I cleared my throat uncomfortably. “I’m just going to go, Arthur.”
“You don’t have to do that, dear.” he told me, still looking concerned. I must have looked really upset when I walked in today.
“No I should really get going, my mom doesn’t like it when I stay too long.”
At the mention of that woman Arthur’s face darkened. I had told him all about my dear mother.
“See you tomorrow?” Arthur asked.
I grimaced. “Mom wants me to cut back my visits, but I’ll still sneak out whenever I can. She can’t stop me from visiting completely.”
Arthur patted my hand. “I’m sorry, dear.”
I shrugged. “No big deal. See you later, though.” I bent over and kissed his forehead before walking to the door.
“No goodbye kiss for me?” Trey asked as I walked past. I scowled at him and flipped him off as I left, shutting the door quickly to cut off the sounds of his chuckles.