The Girl Next Door

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Chapter 11: She Has Secrets

Shaina and her mom were in the bathroom so Shaina could change into her hospital gown.

Her dad was studying me and I gazed back.

“Let me ask you something Matthew,” he began leaning forward. “Why? Why did you save Shaina? You’ve never shown any interest before and yet you haven’t left her side for a minute since this accident happened.”

“Shaina protected me when I needed it so I knew I needed to do the same. She’s so fragile right now, she needs someone to lean on.”

He rubbed his chin studying me for a minute then asked, “Do you love her?”

My eyes widened, “Uh- um...” I stuttered suddenly nervous, “I’m not sure, sir.” I answered, even though I knew what my answer actually was.

“Just whatever you do, don’t hurt my little girl.”

Before I could respond Shaina came back into the room and settled in beside me again.

I gently kissed the top of her head and told her, “The doctor said the anesthesiologist should be in in about a half hour to prep you. You ready for this?”

She swallowed audibly. “No, not really. I’m scared.” she admitted.

“Why are you scared?” I asked her curious.

She sighed. “It’s a long story...” She trailed off.

“Care to elaborate on that?”

She shook her head. “No not really.”

I knew with Shaina if she didn’t want to talk, don’t press. “Alright. I won’t press.”

“Matthew, would you mind stepping into the hall for a moment so we can talk to Shaina?” Janine asked me.

“Oh of course not.” I stood and walked out of the room closing the door behind me.

I could hear muffled conversation but couldn’t hear the actual conversation. But before long, Janine came to the door and invited me back in.

I settled in beside Shaina again and she snuggled into my side.

A little while later the anesthesiologist came in. “Hi Shaina, I’m Alaina. I’ll be administering you’re anesthesia for your hernia surgery. Let’s get started. Shaina, go ahead and extend your right arm from me. And if you,” she pointed to me, “would come kneel beside the bed and hold her hand.” I got up and knelt on the ground taking her hand. Alaina wrapped a rubber band tightly around her bicep and flicked at the skin of the inside of her elbow. “Now go ahead and grip his hand as hard as you can and hold it.” Shaina gripped my hand as tightly as she could. “Here we go.” Alaina said as she slid the needle into Shaina’s arm.

I looked up and saw tears in Shaina’s eyes. She looked so scared. I didn’t know what to do.

“Wait!” Janine called as the first tear ran down Shaina’s cheek. She rushed to Shaina’s side. I stood up and backed away to give them space. Janine held Shaina tightly and murmured in her ear. Soon she stepped back and Shaina closed her eyes.

Alaina slid the needle in her arm and I saw Shaina’s muscles relax and her body go limp. She was under.

Alaina started pushing the bed out of the room. “She’ll be back in a few hours. You’re welcome to stay here or go to the family room during the surgery.”

I followed Alaina to the door and watched as she took Shaina to surgery.

Janine came up behind me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “She’ll be okay. She’s a fighter.”

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