The Girl Next Door

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Chapter 9: A Night in the Hospital

I woke up before Shaina. She was snuggled into my side with an arm thrown around my stomach holding me tightly.

“Shaina,” I cooed in her ear, “Come on. You gotta wake up.”

She just grumbled and snuggled deeper against my side. I laughed and held her tightly. “Shaina. Come on.” I continued, “Your dad is gonna be here soon with your clothes. And your nurse has already come in twice with your nutrition.”

I heard her sigh and she unfurled herself and looked up at me. “How long have I been asleep?” she asked stretching.

“About four hours.”

She smiled up at me groggily. I have to admit, it was pretty cute. “And you didn’t leave?”

“How could I? You were using me as a pillow and a teddy bear.” I told her chuckling.

Her cheeks turned deep red and she looked away.

“Aw Sweet Pea,” I cooed cupping her cheek. “Don’t be embarrassed. It was cute.”

“Knock. Knock.” Her dad said as he entered the room.

“Hey, Daddy.” She greeted.

He set her bag down on the foot of the bed. “Here are your clothes. So it’s about 5 o’clock, honey.” He said looking at his watch. “Will you be okay here alone tonight? If not your mom or I will stay tonight.”

“No, I’m fine, dad. Go on home. I’ll be fine.” she told him.

“Alright.” He came over to her side of the bed and kissed her forehead. “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning.” He held out a hand to me, “Matthew, thank you again for saving Shaina and getting her here.”

I shook his hand, “Of course, sir. I’d do it again in a heart beat.”

He thanked me again and then left.

“Matthew?” Shaina asked cautiously.

I looked down at her. “Yes, Sweet Pea?”

“Would you.... Never mind. Never mind.” she trailed off sounding embarrassed.

“What is it, Sweet Pea?” I asked her tucking hair behind her ear.

“Would you spend the night here? I just really need a friend right now.” Shaina asked quickly and quietly.

“Of course. Anything for you, Sweet Pea.” I responded smiling.

And that’s how the rest of the night was spent. We lay beside each other and just talked.

She fell asleep wrapped up in my arms. And for the first time, in a long time, I fell asleep safe and with a smile on my face.

Good night, Shaina.

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