Chapter 6: You're Gonna Be Okay
“Matthew!” Nick called as he jogged up to my locker. “Have you seen this?” He handed me a purple sheet of paper.
I read it. “She didn’t.”
Nick nodded. “It’s was Alice.”
I crumpled up the flyer and threw it on the floor. “Damn. Where is she?”
He laid a hand on my shoulder, “Come on, man. We’ll deal with this after class. The tardy bell is about to ring.”
Against what you may have thought, we didn’t cut class or anything. We all, actually, did well in school. Well maybe not Jack but that’s beside the point. We did our best so we could have a better future. Cause this life in this town sucked.
Just as the tardy bell rung, Jack came sprinting down the hallway.
“Matthew!” he rasped out of air, skidding to a stop in front of me, “I just saw,” he took a deep breath, “a couple of guys,” again another breath, “taking Shaina towards the gym. Like one of them was carrying her.”
“What?! Who was it?” I demanded.
“The only guy I recognized was Kyle.”
Nick picked up the flyer and stared at it, “You don’t think...?” he trailed off.
“That’s exactly what I think.” I said snatching the flyer and tossing it in the nearest trash bin. “While I’m dealing with this, can you guys try your best to get as many of the flyers as you can and get rid of them.”
“Yeah of course.” Nick answered.
I nodded and jogged off in the direction of the gym.
As I got closer I could hear Kyle, “Listen here. You are just a slut. Nothing else. You can keep up this stupid good girl act but no one buys it anymore.”
From the distance I was at, I saw Kyle reel back and kick Shaina in the stomach. I heard her cry out. He circled her menacingly.
I sped up. “Shaina!”
I saw her uncurl and her eyes met mine as I jogged up.
“What did you do to her?” I demanded.
“Relax, Matthew.” Kyle told me, “We were just having a little fun with Shaina here. Right, Shaina?”
She just whimpered and curled into herself tighter.
“I’m going to ask you again,” I said through clenched teeth, “What did you do to her?”
No one answered me, which just made me more mad.
I clenched my fists and saw red. I socked Kyle right below his ear. It dropped him. I whirled kicked one of the other guys on the stomach and then punched him below his jaw. He groaned and fell to the ground. The third one looked at me then ran off.
I turned my attention to Shaina. I knelt down beside her and gently brushed the hair from her face. “Shaina,” I said gently.
She moved her arm away from her face and peered cautiously at me.
She had a large red welt on her cheek bone. I gasped. “That son of a-” I stopped not wanting to cuss in front of her. “He slapped you?”
Shaina nodded. “And he kicked me,” she gasped out and then whimpered again.
It was the saddest thing. She was like a puppy that had just been kicked.
“Oh, Shaina. Come on.” I gently slid an arm under her knees and my other around her lower back and lifted her from the ground.
Shaina wrapped an arm weakly around my neck in an attempt to hold on and burrowed into my chest. She whimpered again. “Sh, Shaina.” I tried to calm her down. "You’re going to be okay.”
I walked out to my truck. “Do you want to try to sit in the front seat or just curl up in the back?”
“Back.” she mumbled.
I laid her, as gently as I could in the backseat. “You’re gonna be okay.” I told her softly.
I started driving towards her house, when she suddenly called my name. “Matthew. Matthew, I think I’m gonna be sick.”
I pulled over to the side of the rode and got her out of the car. I set her in the grass and moved to give her privacy. She probably doesn’t want me to see her throw up.
I heard her getting sick and then she says, “Matthew? Some-something’s wrong....” I heard her groan and hurried around the truck to her.
There was a large puddle of blood in front of her. Shaina was curled on her side whimpering.
“On my god. Okay, we’re going to the hospital.” I scooped her up in my arms and laid her in the back seat again. “Do you think you’re going to get sick again?” I asked her urgently. She just shrugged weakly. I dug around in my glove box till I found a plastic bag. I hang it to her. “Here. Just in case.”
She took the bag and clutched it to her chest.
I climbed back into the driver’s seat and started driving again. Soon I heard her heaving again. I cringed. “Was it all blood?” I ask her peering at her in my rear view mirror. I see her nod. “Damn. Okay.” I take my right hand off the steering wheel and reach back offering it to her. She grips my hand tightly like its a life line. “You’re going to be okay, Shaina.” I tell her trying to comfort her.
“You know it’s unsafe to drive with one hand.” she mumbles.
I chuckle. “Don’t worry, Sweet Pea.” I assure her, “I’m a good driver. We’ll be okay.”
I pull into the hospital parking lot and quickly find us a parking space. I gently lift her from the car and she curls into me tightly. I hurry to the reception desk.
“Oh my goodness!” the nurse behind the desk exclaimed. “What happened here, young man?”
“A guy at our school kicked her in the stomach, she has thrown up blood twice and is in serious pain.” I explain.
“What’s her name?”
The nurse quickly typed in Shaina’s name. “This says she is a minor. And you are?”
“I’m her neighbor, Matthew Knight.”
She typed in my name. “So it looks like you’re legal. So, you’ll be making any decisions here or would you like me to call her parents?”
“Her parents, please.”
“Alright, go ahead and have a seat and a nurse should take you back shortly.”
I sat down in one of the plastic chairs and hugged her to his chest tightly. “You’re gonna be okay, Shaina.” I whispered to her and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“Shaina Collins.” A nurse at the door called her name.
“Let’s do this, Sweet Pea.” I held her to me and stood up. The movement jostled her a bit and I heard her whimper softly. “I’m sorry.” I tell her.
“Follow me.” The nurse said.
She led us into the emergency room and into a small room. I laid her on the bed gently and she immediately curled into herself. I sat on the bed beside her and laid a protective hand on her hip.
The nurse sat down on a stool and opened Shaina’s file. “My name is Andi and I will be evaluating you today. So tell me again what happened today?”
“A boy from our school kicked her full force in the stomach and she has-” I begin to explain. Suddenly Shaina clutched my hand tightly. Knowing exactly what was happening, I immediately grabbed the trash can and held it in front of her face. I grab her hair holding it back as she heaved up blood into the trash can. Once she was done, I set the trash can aside and sat back down beside her.
“Anyways she has thrown up blood three times now and she is in serious pain.”
The nurse wrote this in her file and stood. “Alright, the doctor should be in shortly. I would give you something for the pain but the doctor has to see you first.”
I nodded and she left.
Soon after the nurse from reception stepped into the room. “Shaina Collins?”
“That’s her.” I answered for her.
“Honey, your parents won’t be here for a bit. Your dad is on a work run in the next town over. He is on his way but won’t be here for about an hour and your mom is with an emergency patient in surgery so she’ll be here as soon as she finishes.” The nurse told her.
“Thank you.” I told her and she left.
“I guess you’ll be making the decisions for awhile.” She tells me quietly.
“Man, that’s a lot of responsibility. I mean ultimately it’s your body and it’s your final decision. I just have to tell them I agree with it.”
She nodded and then whimpered, “Crap. Matthew!
I quickly grabbed the trash can again and held it up to her. She threw up and then collapsed back on the bed exhausted.
She looked to fragile. “This is getting way out of hand.” I muttered. “You’re so pale.” I cupped my cheek. She was ice cold. LGod, Shaina. You’re freezing.”
I started rummaging in the cabinets until I found what I was digging for: a blanket. I draped it over her small form. “Thanks.” she mumbled. I lifted her head gently, sat down, and laid her head down on my lap. I stroked her hair gently in an attempt to calm her.
The door opened and a doctor stepped into the room. “Hello, Shaina.” he greeted her. “I’m Doctor Mike. What’s going on today?”
She looked up at me expectantly.
“She was kicked in the stomach and has thrown up blood four times now and she’s in quite a lot of pain.” I explained to the doctor.
The doctor stood beside the bed. “Can you move, son?” He asked me.
I started to lift Shaina’s head so I could move but she clutched my leg tightly. “Please?” she whimpered quietly.
The doctor immediately backed off, “Okay. Okay.” Doctor Mike said gently. “Can you lay out flat on your back, Shaina?”
She slowly uncurled and whimpered the whole time until she was flat on her back her head still resting in my lap.
The doctor grabbed the hem of her shirt. “Do you mind? I’ll only pull it up to right below your breasts.”
She bit her lip nervously but nodded.
The doctor lifted her shirt. I turned away and looked at the ground out of respect for her privacy ”
Alright I’m going to press on your stomach. I think you may have a hernia. If so, this is going to hurt, okay?”
I held up my hand and she gratefully clutched it. She squeezed her eyes closed. Doctor Mike ran his Finger tips over her stomach then pressed down. Shaina screamed in pain and gripped my hand.
“Sh. It’s okay, Sweet Pea.” I murmured in her ear placing a comforting kiss on her forehead. I wish I could’ve taken the pain away.
The doctor tugged her shirt back into place and laid the blanket over her trembling body again.
“Alright. I’m about ninety-nine percent sure she has a hernia, which is a tear in the lining of her stomach. It probably happened when whoever this was kicked her. I’m going to have her get a sonogram to be sure. She will be admitted because if it is a hernia, she’ll need surgery. If it isn’t then we’ll have to figure out exactly what it is. Sound like a plan?”