“Do you want another one?” Connor asks, shaking his empty milkshake glass at me after I spaced out during whatever it was he was just saying, my mind focused on Helena.
I look down at my almost entirely full milkshake. “No, I’m good. You go get one if you want though.”
He shakes his head. “No, this stuff goes straight to my hips.”
He can’t be serious. “What fucking hips? You’re like two percent body fat or something. Those abs of yours could cut glass... Straight to my hips... God, I hate guys! You can just eat all the crap you want and still look perfect.”
He raises his eyebrows at me as he leans back on his side of the booth. “Brie, I’ve seen you eat three burgers and five portion of fries in one sitting and still walk around looking like a Victoria Secrets model. You really don’t have a leg to stand on here babe.”
To be fair he has a point, although I’ve got nothing on Al, she can practically inhale a pizza.
Connors phone goes off and I can see the worried look in his eye as he glances at the message. “Hope?”
He nods. “Yeah, I’ve got to get back soon. Ma can only stay until eight. Your stuff in class was good today, you should make sure you stay on top of the coursework but other than that you’re set to graduate on top this year.”
I really wish I could take him into my old high school to see Ms Turner and tell her that, this was a woman who once told me the most I’d achieve in life was the ability to create a new sexually transmitted disease. Of course this was after she caught me getting finger banged by her son on her desk, but I digress.
“Well I just have a really good professor. He has a way of making even the boring stuff sound sexy as hell.”
I love the way that Connor blushes at even the smallest compliment. Right now he’s beetroot and it’s the perfect tone on him, winding him up is just too easy. Slowly I slide my foot up his inside leg until it almost reaches the apex, his eyes darting around to check no-one is watching before he grabs my foot and pushes it back to the floor.
“Damn it Brie.”
Aw, he’s really no fun sometimes. Although now he’s so red I’m sure it won’t settle for hours so I guess it was worth it.
“Come on good boy, let’s get you home to your little princess.”
He begrudgingly agrees and follows me out, all the time keeping his view on my ass firm. Stopping at the ATM to get some cash out for May’s classes this weekend I freeze.
Connor rushes to my side. “Brie! Are you okay?!”
I can’t stop staring at the screen, never in my life have I ever seen something so beautiful...
Grabbing Connor’s head I pull him forward and make him stare at the screen too.
“Please tell me you see that too and I’m not having like a hallucination or something.”
Connor smiles before looking back at me.
“That’s a lot of zero’s babe.”
Holy fucking shit, I’m rich! I’m not Thompson rich but in the neighbourhood I grew up in I’d be considered the guy with the top hat from Monopoly!
I can’t hold back as Connor steps away from the machine while I run and jump up into his arms. He wraps them around me and holds me close as I laugh hysterically, circling my legs around his waist.
It was worth it, all the shit I put up with from Clarisse, all the late nights and broken promises, I finally have something to show for it.
I’m holding onto Connor so tight I’m pretty sure he can’t breathe but as I pull back to look at him he’s smiling almost as much as I am.
“I’m proud of you Brie.”
I’m proud of me too, I’m so fucking proud. I worked hard for this and I earned every fucking cent. I can get that jacket... oh crap, I can get a car! Tomorrow I’ll take May to the ballet shop and get her those new slippers, oh and I’ll take Al to the sex shop and get her that ‘make your own dildo’ cast thing she was eyeing but wouldn’t buy. That way even when he’s not there she can fuck herself with Jayce’s c-
There’s no time to finish my thought as Connor brings his lips crashing down onto mine. I stumble for a moment, I really wasn’t expecting him to do this. Things have been really weird between us, not like they used to be. I still love being around him but something about the way we kiss now feels different.
Things have changed, I’ve changed and so has what he wants from me. He’s still an incredible kisser, even now I can feel the moans that want to escape from my lips. I can’t let them, I wriggle free of his hold on me and he lowers me back to the floor before breaking the kiss.
I stare at him trying to get my breath back.
“What was that for?”
The blush he had earlier only grows as he uses his thumb to rub against his lips.
“You were just so happy, I couldn’t stop myself, I wanted to be part of the memory.”
Well, that’s fucking cute. Why does he have to be so cute? He’d be a hell of a lot easier to walk away from if he could be less fucking gorgeous all the time.
Just as we get to the door of my rental my phone rings and I check the message.
Val – ‘They’re going to try wake her tomorrow, can you be here?’
Easiest yes of my life. I’d never miss that girl waking up, although the jury’s still out on whether I’m going to hug her or slap her when she does.
Connor gives me a quick kiss on the cheek before he leaves, these little after school milkshake shop trips are quickly becoming one of the highlights of my week.
Yeah, today has been a really good day.
They started the process last night then took her off the ventilator a few hours ago. They said it shouldn’t take her long to wake up after these sets of drugs kicked in but in the hours I’ve been staring at her I haven’t seen so much as a flicker in her eye lashes and it’s taking everything in me not to just start shaking her and screaming ‘FIRE!’ at the top of my lungs.
Valarie hasn’t moved either, her hand wrapped around Helena’s so tight I’m scared she’s going to end up with another broken bone to add to the collection.
She’s still got so much healing to do, her operation went well but the overall damage is hard to assess until she wakes up. The doctor explained that she’s probably going to be in this bed for months, not that I think Helena will mind too much when she gets a look at this room. It’s practically a hotel suite, I mean Steve’s room is nice but this is something else.
I didn’t know hospital rooms could even come with mini fridges.
They said some of her more substantial breaks could take months to heal but even then she’d still need some serious physical therapy after. Whether she’ll ever walk again is still very much up in the air.
Either way this is going to be her life for a long time. The doctor assured us both that the pain killers they have her on mean she won’t feel a thing but a part of me still worries that she’ll wake up suffering.
“Okay it’s been fucking hours, do you think they did it properly? Maybe they didn’t give her enough or maybe they gave her too much of the stuff to make her sleep or maybe-”
Valerie takes my hand in hers. “She’ll wake up when she’s ready Brie. She’s stronger than people realise.”
I nod. Helena’s aunt sits next to me and gives me a reassuring smile but it does little to soothe the pain swelling inside of me, I’m just so scared. Valerie and her sister look virtually identical, there’s only a year between them, just like Helena and Ellen. It’s like looking at the future they should’ve had together but never will.
“Okay, does anyone want a coffee or something? The machine on this floor isn’t as bad as the one downstairs. Or I could get the nurses to-”
I’m cut off as the perfectly still girl next to me begins to move, her voice letting out a weak groan as her eyes blink open. She looks completely out of it, trying to stare at her mum and repeatedly blinking like she can’t quite make out the image in front of her.
“Mama?” Tears stream down Val’s face as she jumps to her feet and comes to her baby girl. Helena’s voice is raspy, I’m betting her throat is hurting like a bitch so while her aunt runs to grab the doctor I offer her some water.
Val is holding her head so tight I’m not even sure she can breathe but my heart explodes as she turns to face me, the small smile I’ve missed so much sitting on her lips. I place the straw to her mouth and she sips gently, spitting a bit of the water back up but swallowing what she could.
“Oh baby, baby girl you scared me so much. Don’t move angel, they’ve given you a strong sedative to keep your body relaxed as it heals so you must try and rest...”
Helena attempts a nod at Val but her neck hardly moves. I want to ask her a million questions, tell her how stupid she was whilst also kissing every inch of her face and making her know how loved she truly is. No man is worth dying for, not a single fucking one and definitely not one that hasn’t shown his face here since the day she arrived.
The doctor comes rushing in, checking the machines and scanning over Helena’s eyes with a light.
“Helena. I’m Doctor Smith, I’ve been taking care of you. Tell me sweetheart, do you know how you ended up in the hospital?”
Helena looks to Valarie who’s still flooding with tears as she looks at the big brown eyes of her daughter that I’m sure a part of her never thought she’d see again.
“N-No.” Helena pushes out.
The doctor nods. “That’s to be expected. Often it can take patients days or even weeks to remember that kind of trauma. You’re going to feel a little spacey for the next few days but it’s essential you get as much rest as possible, do you understand?”
Helena nods just as a nurse comes in with a small glass of thick white liquid. The doctor places it to Helena’s lips. “Drink this, it will help sooth your throat and allow you to talk more easily. Then I want you to rest some more, okay?”
She drinks the liquid, the look on her face telling me it tasted as bad as it looked.
“Come on girl, you’ve had worst than that in your mouth.” For fucks sake Brie! Her mother is right there!
The whole room looks at me in a mixture of disbelief and amusement but it is the look Helena gives me that sends a dagger straight to my heart, her eyes start to close but she forces them back open and she looks directly at me.
“W-Who are you?”