Starting over from the Beginning

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A New Chance Part 2

Cherry groaned from the unwanted noises that kept reverberating in her mind. Behind her closed eyelids, she saw flashes of lights coming from the ceiling lamps. When her mind had a better grip on reality, she understood that the unwanted noises were concoctions of voices yelling at each other.

“What’s the state of the patient?”

“The patient suffers from excessive blood loss and has received quite a blow to the back of her head, resulting in a grade three concussion.”

“What about the child in her belly?”

“We haven’t been able to pick up a heartbeat for a while, doctor.”

The doctor clicked with his tongue, already understanding that saving both the child and the mother will be slim to none. “Prepare the room for surgery. The child is no longer save in the womb. Also, get me a lot of blood bags. Thank god the mother is AB positive.” After the doctor’s prompt directions, the nurses immediately went to work. The man still pushed the stretcher where Cherry was lying on together with an assistant before casting a side glance over his shoulder at Brandon rushing behind them.

“I will do my best to save both your child and wife, sir, but if it comes to a point where a choice needs to be made, then-”

“Save my wife.” Brandon cut in, already answering the Doctor’s question. Brandon and the doctor’s gazes locked on to each other and when the doctor confirmed that there was no doubt in the man’s eyes, he nodded and proceeded to look ahead while continuing pushing the stretcher.

Cherry, who was phasing in and out of consciousness, received snippets of the words exchanged between the doctor and Brandon. She was screaming in her mind for the doctor not to listen to him, but her mouth couldn’t form the words and her body refused to follow her commands.

The only thing that she could do was let tears flow out of her closed eyes. She couldn’t help but ask herself; how did this happen? Why did this happen? But those questions soon turned into a self-deprecating session. She shouldn’t have been so gullible! It was her actions, her decisions that let to this. None of this would have happened if she didn’t let herself be taunted by Dean. If she never had loved Brandon...

Those were the last thoughts that shrouded her mind before she lost consciousness again.

When the doctor disappeared together with Cherry through the door that led to the surgery room, one nurse came out holding her hand up frantically against Brandon, who was about to follow them in, earning a heated glare from him.

“I know it must be hard for you, sir, but I’m going to need for you to wait outside the room so that the doctor can do his job.” The nurse turned around, pushing the swing doors open with both her hands. The doors swung either way before closing. Brandon loomed in front of it, his gaze hardened with indescribable feelings as he watched through the small round window how the people inside were working like a madman to keep his wife alive.

He puts his head in his hands, releasing a shuddering breath as he tried to block the sob from tearing through his throat. His hands gliding up his face, wiping away the tears as he slicked his hair back. With red-rimmed eyes he gazed heavenward, praying, begging, pleading with what higher power there was to not take his heart away.

“Not her, just not her please...” At the end of the sentence, his voice broke up in a feeble cry. In the end, a different nurse came and had to basically drag him to the waiting room. The moment he stepped into the room, he knew from the dark ambiance reigning it that it was indeed the waiting area. Clouds of despair was hovering above the people’s heads- all of them jumpy whenever someone dressed in white would appear through one of the doors, nervous to hear their name being called or anxious to hear what the outcome of their fate was going to be and Brandon knew he was going to be exactly like them.

He took place on one of the unoccupied seats and waited. Waited he did, but not quietly. Leaning back in the seat, he sat crossed armed with one of his legs bouncing up and down uncontrollably. He hunched over huffing as he run his fingers restlessly through his hair multiple times.

He glanced at the clock that hung on the wall and saw that it already had been three hours since they had rushed Cherry inside the surgery room. Three hours since his mind spiraled into madness.

The feeling of vibration jolted Brandon out of his wallowing state. Pulling out his phone, he saw April’s name blinking on the screen. Answering the call, he placed the phone against his ear as he breathed out while rubbing his forehead with his hand to soothe down an upcoming headache.

“Well, good to see you too.” April snorted from the other line and Brandon could already imagine her rolling her eyes at him that would normally cause the corner of his lips to curl up, but this time, they stayed flaccid. “I haven’t been able to get in contact with Cher today. She wouldn’t answer my messages or pick up my calls. Do you know if everything is alright with her?”

“She’s fine-” he started in a weary clipped tone before cutting off his own speech by clenching his jaw as he realized that there’s no use in lying to April. He corrected himself, “No, she’s not fine. Cherry got in a car accident and is now being operated on.” His voice was low and grave as the next words got his lips quivering and his eyes moistening again. “There’s a possibility that she won’t make it, April.” He sniffled, trying to calm his tears.

There’s a moment of silence filled with static noise. “I’m coming...” April’s voice was barely audible under her breath. “I’m on my way right now!” She said, this time determination settling in her voice. He could hear quick shuffles of feet from the other line, together with some rustling sounds that didn’t hide the keen breathing of April, repeatedly mumbling to herself that she had to go to where Cherry was.

Brandon was about to tell April to calm down when-

“Let me go!”

One of Brandon’s eyes winced at the loud thudding sound of the phone being dropped to the ground, followed by a heated exchanged of words that happened between April and the person who he wasn’t favorable to.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Mark! I said- let me go!” April’s voice came out strained as if she grounded her teeth while trying to extricate herself free from an impeccable hold.

“And I asked where you think you were going like this? You were about to leave without telling me while wearing only one flip-flop!” Mark pointed out, frustration mixed with concern lacing his voice. “Calm down and talk to me.”

“My best friend is in the hospital fighting for her life! I don’t have time to fucking calm down!” She responded with fierceness, though still sounded restrained.

Mark let out a resigning sigh, his voice taking on a caring tone. “Kitten, listen to me. You storming out like a chicken who lost its head while carrying a child of the size of a melon in your stomach will not increase your friend’s survival. But it surely will increase my stress level, as I will have to worry whether my pregnant wife would stub her toe outside against a rusty screw. I will come with you, so just take a deep breath.”

Hearing his words, April took in a shaky breath before exhaling it out. “That’s my wife.” Mark praised her before pecking her on the lips, the sound of their lips connecting reaching Brandon’s ears, rousing the ache in his heart as he longed to hold his wife once again.

“Brandon must have informed you. Where is your phone?” Mark questioned.

“I dropped it over there.”

Mark hummed and then said, “I will talk to him for a minute, so just wait here.”

Hearing those words, Brandon stood up from his seat and made his way to the furthest corner of the room, out of everybody’s hearing reach, as he knew Mark wasn’t just going to talk to him.

He stood there, legs crossed over the ankles, waiting with his side leaning against the wall as he trained his gaze on the wide doors in case the doctor would show up.

“What happened?” The clipped question of Mark came out disinterested, with a hint of frustration towards the man that had turned his wife into a bundle of stress.

Talking to this man soured Brandon’s mood even more. “Cherry got in a car accident.” Though unwilling, he informed truthfully.

Normally, people would show signs of concern by now, but Mark only hummed dully. “And you couldn’t have lied to my wife about it beeecaaauussse?” He dragged out the syllables.

Releasing a snort, Brandon hardened his voice, concealing the stress that he was under. “I guess your memory pose the same as an ant now as you keep forgetting that April and Cherry are close friends and colleagues. If it wasn’t today, she would know about it by tomorrow.”

“You’re acting as if coming up with a lie is so difficult. Meanwhile, you have been holding these theatrics with your wife for so long-”

“Are you talking to me to annoy me?” Brandon barked, his hand tightening around his phone.

The doors to the waiting room opened and Brandon turned alert, only to see more unfortunate people filling the room. He was about to mutter incoherent curse words when the question lurched by Mark had him rendered speechless and his expression turning grim.

“She knows the truth doesn’t she?” Mark questioned, the ‘she’ in his sentence referring to Cherry.

“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Brandon tried to play dumb, but that didn’t fly with Mark as he cackled dryly like someone who has outlived his enemies. “Spare me the gibbers. If we are truly cut from the same cloth, then I doubt you would have let your pregnant wife drive alone. Let alone driving in this messy weather. Unless… she was running away from you. Or am I reaching for the stars, Brandon?” He said testingly.

Not receiving a response from Brandon, Mark continued, but the tone of his voice took on a different turn. Now having the power to cut frozen peas. “Listen, I don’t care what you do in your wonderland, but if April gets roped in to it, then I wouldn’t hesitate to you use all of my resources to turn your life a living hell.”

Mark’s threat didn’t scare Brandon, but that doesn’t mean that he liked it. He was about to throw his own share of threats when the doctor who took Cherry in to the surgery room emerged from behind the door. Spotting Brandon in the room’s corner, the Doctor walked straight towards him.

Brandon leaped from his place, mindlessly cutting off the phone call with Mark. “What happened? Is she okay?” he asked with urgency lacing his voice as his eyes scanned the doctor’s expression for any signs of a bad or good news. The doctor held mixed emotions.

“She’s stable.” Those words from the doctor were enough for the tension in Brandon’s body to turn lame. He regretted leaving the wall as the strength in his legs was gone, causing him to topple over and having him lean on the doctor. His hands placed on the doctor’s shoulders and the doctor welcomed it, giving the poor man his support.

“Thank you.” Brandon thanked the doctor sincerely in a quiet voice.

“We lost her twice but were both times successful in bringing her back, but we couldn’t save the baby in her belly.” Diverting his monochrome eyes from Brandon’s elated expression to gazing hard at the smooth ground, the doctor relayed the last bit of information too slowly, as if saying it was physically hurting him.

She was okay. He had almost lost her, twice even, but she was okay and that’s the only thing that mattered to Brandon. So when the doctor spoke his next question, Brandon had to take a moment to hide his grimace.

“Would you like to see the child? It’s a beautiful baby girl.”

“I think it would be better for me to see the baby together with my wife. That way, we can both give our goodbyes. If you could save the body somewhere until then, I would be grateful.”

Body? The doctor had to blink his eyes copiously, hearing the man refer to his own child in a degrading matter.

Ignoring the eluded look the doctor gave him, Brandon asked with impatient etching his voice, “Can I see my wife?”

To extricate himself from his own stupor, the doctor shook his head before clearing his throat. “Yes, of course. Let me show you to her room.” The doctor nodded, offering Brandon a smile that he showed to every patient in the hospital and had him follow him.

As they walked down the corridors, the doctor briefed Brandon in about Cherry’s condition. “Though your wife may be stable at the moment, she’s still classified as a patient in a critical condition. Next to hemorrhaging, she also fractured one of her legs, so we had to operate that too. Because of the concussion she suffered and the additional anesthesia given to her, it could take days before she wakes up. We will also need to keep her admitted to the hospital for several days to make sure that she doesn’t suffer from other complications. Here it is.”

The doctor stopped at a door and gestured for Brand to step in. “I will give you some privacy. If anything happens, please call me.” The doctor left and now that Brandon was standing alone in front of the door, he could hear the erratic beating of his heart. Taking in a shaky breath, he slides the door open and enters the room.

Steady beeping sounds coming from the monitor welcomed him. Cherry’s chest, that regularly heaved up and down as she breathed with the help of the oxygen tubes running into her nose, grabbed Brandon’s full attention.

As if in a trance, his feet carried him closer to the bed where Cherry laid on. Coming to stand next to it, his shadow loomed over her sleeping face. His eyes taking in the peaceful expression. The deep brown hair sprawled in waves over the pillows, enhancing the paleness in her face.

The moon had already swallowed the sun, leaving the lit monitors with the job to illuminate half of Cherry’s face. There was this indescribable expression on Brandon’s face as his fingers, possessed with minor tremors, trailed softly over her beautiful but marred skin.

If it wasn’t for the loud beeping monitor, her frosty skin would have fooled him into thinking that she was dead.

But she wasn’t, causing a sense of relief and peace to flood his body.

She hadn’t left him yet and she won’t ever get the chance to leave him after this. Behind those love-filled eyes there was this dangerous glint, ominous thoughts occupying his mind on how to chain his wife to him forever.

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