Connor is driving so fast but my mind can’t find a way to care, all I can think about is Helena.
Her mums phone just keeps ringing. I’ve rang her so many times but there’s no answer. I don’t know if Christopher has already spoken to her, I didn’t let him get much out after he told me she’d tried to kill herself and was still bleeding out in the back of an ambulance.
I rang Josh because he was already at the hospital with Steve, to see if he could get me an update but he hasn’t called me back. He said he’d call Al and Kallie to tell them what’s happened. Apparently while I’ve been so busy at work, and almost going over a cliff, the four of them have created a little friendship group to make sure someone is always looking out of me. He seemed almost as distraught as I am when I told him what Helena had done.
Connor doesn’t get the car stopped before I jump out and race towards the entrance of the hospital. I can feel the heel is loose on my boot but if the fucker breaks then the fucker breaks.
Brakes. The bug.
No, can’t even think about that shit right now. So someone finally tried to actually kill me? It was bound to happen at some point, let’s face it, everywhere I go I leave a trail of disgruntled wives and girlfriends behind me.
Crashing through the door into the waiting room I see Helena’s mum sitting on a bench outside the main doors, her head in her hands as she continues to cry. I run towards her, my arms ready to pull her into me when I spot someone else standing on the other side of the room. His clothes soaked in blood as he rests standing against the wall.
“What did you do?!” I scream. Before I have time to process what I’m doing I have my forearm pressed against Christopher’s throat, his limp body hanging from my grasp as I spit my words at him. “Why the fuck would she do this Christopher?! What did you do to her?!” My words started strong but as I continue to let myself feel the pain of almost losing another friend they become a sob. “...She trusted you, s-she thought you’d c-come back to her...”
Christopher breaks. He doesn’t fight me as I continue to apply pressure to his throat, he just sobs, his mouth opening and closing like he’s trying to form words but he can’t.
A strong pair of hands take hold of my shoulders. “Let him go Brie.” His voice is so calm but it does nothing when I look at Christopher’s face, all I want to do is hurt him. He’s the reason she’s here, if she dies it’s on him.
Another set of hands take my face, moving my view from Christopher to him. Josh’s eyes are soaked with tears as he attempts to pull me away from a blubbering Chris. “Let him go Brie, she wouldn’t want this.”
Maybe not, but I do. I let go of Chris and he sinks back down onto his feet. He looks up at me and all restraint I had is lost as he speaks the last words I want to hear.
“I’m sorry Brie.”
My hand slaps his face before anyone can stop it, the pleasant sound of my palm colliding with his cheek fills the room before the hands that were gently holding my shoulders grasp them tightly and pull me away. It’s now I realise they belong to Connor.
He looks down at me shocked but I just shirk him off as I walk over to Helena’s mother and drop to my knees in front of her, pulling her into my arms as she continues to cry.
I can hear Connor talking to Josh behind me. “I didn’t think she’d be so violent.”
Josh almost chuckles, a puff of air leaving his mouth as he tries to push through his cries. “I thought she’d do worse.”
None of us move for a while, people coming and going around us. The rest of the guys join us, Al and Jayce arriving at almost the same time as Kallie and Drew. I refuse to get up from my spot holding the weeping woman in front of me, everyone too scared to say anything to me so leaving us be.
It feels like nothing is happening, like the world is just going on while a beautiful girl fights for her life. I don’t look back at where everybody is, there are more people there now I can hear but I don’t turn back, I focus on the woman that needs me most.
Suddenly I feel a small hand placed against my shoulder, forcing me to peer out from the cocoon I’ve created with my body. Al’s face looking at me with a gentle smile.
“I’ve just spoken to the receptionist for an update, they said she’s still in surgery but there’s some kind of problem so the doctor is coming out to speak to you now.”
Helena’s mothers head pops up from between my arms to look at Aleah, her face drenched in tears.
“What kind of problem?”
Al shakes her head. “They didn’t say, they said he’d be here any minute.”
Just as she finishes the words the doors open to reveal an older looking doctor in blue scrubs, his face pained as he looks over the room.
Helena’s mother nods. “It’s just Valerie. Please, is she okay?”
I stand to my feet and realise everyone else is doing the same. All eagerly anticipating what the doctor has to say.
“Valarie, Helena is losing a lot of blood. We’re still in for a lot of work in surgery but she’s losing it quickly. Helena is O negative, unfortunately that means she can only receive O negative blood, which is currently in short supply. She’s hooked up to the last of what we had here, there is someone getting more from the blood bank just outside of Westbrooke right now but there’s no guarantee of how much there will be or how quickly they’ll get here.”
“I’m O negative and so is Josh, we’ll donate.” I turn to see where the voice came from to see Drew walking towards the front of the group, Josh following quickly behind.
“How do you know you’re both O negative?” I ask, slightly confused considering I don’t have a fucking clue what blood type I am.
Josh shivers like he’s trying to ward off the memory. “I broke my leg a few years ago during a match, Drew went down on it awkward and ended up cracking a rib. They didn’t have any supply of O neg when I got here so my mum got tested to see if she could donate and Drew insisted he get tested too, he was a match but I ended up not needing the transfusion so it was okay.”
I watch Jayce wince. “Shit, I remember that, Chad threw up on the court when he saw the bone sticking out of your leg.”
Oh yeah, I called him Chad Puke-son for a week. We were twelve, it seemed hilarious at the time. I never realised the short, fat, ginger kid from the other school was Drew. Damn, puberty hit this guy hard.
The doctor nods. “If you’re both willing to donate it would make a real difference to her chances of survival. Anyone who wants to get tested can come with me and once it gets the all clear I’ll take what I can. Can I just check you’re both fit and healthy?”
They both nod.
“No blood conditions or regular medication?”
“No.” They state in unison.
“And neither of you homosexuals?”
What has that got to do with anything? We all look at Josh who nods sheepishly, he has nothing to be ashamed of yet I can see how uncomfortable he is. The doctor looks away before returning his gaze to Josh. “I’m so sorry to ask you this but state law dictates that gay men can only donate if they’ve been sexually inactive for a year or more.”
“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” Al’s hormonal driven voice vocalising what we’re all thinking. “So if he’d been with someone who loves him in in last year, had Harley still fucking been here and they’d been in a committed relationship for the last four years he wouldn’t be able to donate? But if I’d been man-whoring my way through the South side and didn’t even know who’s baby this is I still could? Yeah, that’s not fucking homophobic at all! What do you think is going to happen? Someone will get his blood and suddenly have the urge to worship Cher and only salute the fucking rainbow flag!”
There’s a chuckle throughout the room at Al’s little break down but she’s not wrong, this is seriously disgusting.
The doctor keeps his eyes on his clipboard. “I’m sorry, it’s not my policy, it’s the state's. If there was a way I could get around it then trust me I would.”
Josh waves his hands in dismissal. “It’s fine, I haven’t been with anyone so I’m good.”
I turn to face him. “It’s not fine Josh, it’s fucked up.”
He gives me a sympathetic smile. “Bigger picture right now Brie. Just let me donate now, then we’ll worry about the big gay blood donation speech you can give at pride next year. I’m sure with your power of persuasion you’ll have the laws changed by the end of pride week.”
I am going to rock that damn float.
Drew and Josh walk through first, followed by me and Kal so we could get checked. Everyone else knew their blood type so stayed with Valarie.
Christopher was on the phone when I went past, I’m not sure what he was doing but the determination in his eye told me that Helena was about to get the blood she needed, no matter the cost.