Alex , Alexa Ch. 07
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Chapter 7- What Will I Do Without You?
Driving was difficult. Concentrating on driving was difficult. My mind was going a million miles an hour, my heart thundering in my chest and my head was just full of white noise. All I could do was remind myself to not speed.
Don’t speed. If you get pulled over, you’ll be delayed.
What if I was too late because I got pulled over?
Alexa, what would I do if I got pulled over?
What if I don’t-
Concentrate. Feel nothing for now. Feel ice. Be ice. Be mechanical. You’ll get there sooner if you don’t lose your head. You can worry when you pull into the parking lot and take the keys out of the ignition. There’ll be time.
There’s got to be time.
Please let there be time.
Oh God, please…
My hands were almost shaking as I pulled the keys out of the ignition. I’d arrived in good time, pushing the speed limit but never drawing attention to my driving. I flexed my hands several times as I tried to breathe. I felt like I was going to burst. I had to struggle to not hyperventilate.
I clutched the wheel tightly until it shook with my hands and let out a cry of pure terror and frustration.
Get it together! They need you! What will you do when you get up there? Be a part of the problem?
My head thunked back against the chair rest and I took several deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths. I didn’t have long to compose myself, but I needed to be composed. I couldn’t exactly go rampaging in, pretending she was my lover and beloved, could I?
I was ready a few seconds later, feeling significantly more in control and steeling myself for the worst. I got out of my car and headed in through the Emergency entrance of the hospital. A nurse behind the desk noticed me.
“Are you Alex de Bourne?” she aksed. I nodded.
“Your family’s in room 709, straight back, take the elevator to the Seventh floor and then just around the left corner.”
I nodded and walked quickly, horrified that they seemed to be waiting for me. I followed the nurse’s instructions and took the elevator up. Rounding the corner, I almost ran into a young doctor, who was looking at his charts. He blinked as he saw me and then nodded when I gave him my name.
“I think your father took your mother for some fresh air,” he said solemnly. “But you can go in if you like.”
I thanked him and approched the door, my heart once again jackhammering in my chest. It was dim in the room, the heavy curtains drawn. There was only one bed and I saw her laying on it…
I couldn’t help gazing in wonder. Even in this place, she was completely beautiful. There was a bandage around her head and one on her exposed arm. Her face was tilted to one side, eyes shut. Needles and sensors ran from her arm and her left temple.
One of the machines she was hooked up to beeped slowly.
My whole body trembling, I approached the bottom of the bed. I could see the charts hung on the bottom of her bed and took one up with an unsteady hand, looking at what it said.
Unconscious since arrival. No major injury, internal or otherwise, detected. Minor bruises and scratches. Recommended to keep overnight to watch for concussion or other head trauma. Vitals all strong.
I could feel my hands shaking worse than ever as I replaced the chart, but I knew now it was with relief- Alexa was going to live. I stared at the monitor that read her vitals, indicating a strong pulse and blood pressure. I’d never been so happy to see one of those stupid machines in my life.
I must have exhaled loudly, because she sighed as she laid there, almost as if in response to the audial stimulus. She stirred slowly, as if she was beginning to wake up. I stood still and just watched in wonder. Her head tilted up and slowly, ever so slowly, her eyes began to open. It took everything I had in me to not shout for joy.
Her lovely blue eyes fluttered open, staring at nothing for some time. Finally, though, they began to look around. After some time they settled on me and simply stared.
“Hey,” I said softly, smiling warmly as I came around the bed to her left side. “Good to see you…”
She said nothing but her eyes slowly tracked me. Maybe she was really drugged up. I decided to stay patient and just let her hear my voice. Hopefully she would find it soothing.
“You gave us all a scare,” I continued, speaking with a calmness I barely felt. “But your charts seem to say you’re going to be completely fine.”
She turned her head to look at me a little more, her eyes still bleary and red. Her mouth was moving a little but no sound came out.
I leaned in a little closer, trying to hear what she was saying.
I leaned in closer, my ear almost to her lips.
“Who am I?”
My world suddenly spun. I felt my knees almost give out and I reached backward to grip the armrests of the chair that was placed next to the bed. canlı bahis I missed and crashed to the floor, the chair making a terrible racket as it clattered away. I felt my head hit to cold tile floor and then everything sounded rather slow and sluggish.
“Oh my god, Alex!” I heard her exclaim. “I was only joking, you jerk!”
I said nothing. I did nothing. I just laid on the floor, letting the world rotate around me. A doctor rushed in at the noise, turning on the light and just stared dumbly upon seeing me. He was followed half a second later by my parents, who took in the whole situation quietly. Mom simply looked down at me, one eyebrow raised.
“Why are you lying on the floor?” she demanded, clearly not impressed.
“Mom, can we trade her in?” I asked finally, still lying where I’d landed. “I don’t like her anymore…”
My mother now glanced at Alexa, while my father had his hands in his pockets and was looking at the ceiling with interest. Since nobody, including the doctor present, seemed inclined to help me up, I slowly rolled onto my hands and knees and pushed myself to my feet, rubbing the back of my head. It really smart.
“I… might’ve woken up while Alex was here,” Alexa began to explain, now lying on her side so she could talk to people. “I pretended I had amnesia and didn’t know who I was. Alex reacted unexpectedly poorly and lost his motor control.”
My mother looked at me again. “You fall down, go boom? What’s it like to be on the receiving end of an evil sense of humour, Grumio?”
“Ooh, good reference.” Alexa said.
“And as for you,” my mother said, turning toward her younger sister. “Are you trying to make him dumber?”
Alexa snickered. “No, I didn’t expect that reaction from him, to be honest. I thought he’d laugh.”
“Good God, I’m surrounded by lunatics,” my mom muttered. “While you were taking your nap, the doctor was kind enough to tell us that your injuries, as far as they can tell, are completely ephemeral and superficial, much like a Sociology degree. Michael and I were relieved, of course, but they want to keep you for a day or two, make sure you don’t have a concussion.”
“Fair enough,” Alexa agreed. “Is this likely to be covered? I’ve been here less than a week, even if I’m still a citizen.”
“Oh, I doubt the hospital or province is dumb enough to give us grief about it,” dad chimed in. “It makes no sense to screw over a brilliant young woman who was just offered a full scholarship to one of the best universities in the country. Besides, you’ve got bruises and scratches after a really bad accident, nothing for them to complain about.”
“Yeah, what happened, anyway?” I asked, my mind now focusing on the hows and whys of my morning so far.
My mother shrugged. “We were just driving, passing through an intersection and some drunk moron ran his red light and t-boned my car. Spun us right out and almost up on the curb. I think he’s a couple of rooms over, actually. He’ll be charged no doubt.”
“And your car?” I asked.
“Ugh, total write-off,” mom said, scowling. “He nailed it good, I’m amazed neither of us was killed, to be honest. I was fine, since I could get out on my side and called the cops, while your aunt decided to take an unscheduled nap and scare the hell out of me.”
“Sorry about that,” Alexa said somewhat sheepishly. “I vaguely remember a crashing impact and spinning, but after that, nothing. Well, not until I nearly gave Alex a heart attack, anyway.”
Dad chuckled. “Let’s just all be thankful it wasn’t worse. A wrecked car and some bruises is nothing to sniff at.”
“Could you give us a few minutes while I check her vitals?” the doctor asked, walking up to Alexa, now that we seemed to have figured out everything. Mom, dad and I exited the room and sat on some chairs in the corridor. Dad put his arm around my mother and she sighed deeply, her eyes tearing up. I took her hand and squeezed it.
“She gonna be fine, mom,” I said assuringly.
“I know,” she said in a voice I could only describe as wet. “I just… sometimes you cry with relief, you know? She’s my baby sister and I just got her back in my life, I don’t want to lose her.”
Dad pulled her to his chest and held her tight while she cried silently for some time. I just waited patiently, struggling with my own feelings. Mom and dad would expect me to be relieved, that was just common sense. But they didn’t know about Alexa and I, that we were lovers. They couldn’t know how I felt, how terrified I’d been and how relieved I was now. What would I have done if the worst had happened?
Would I ever have been able to tell them?
A horrible chill ran through me. I could have lost my aunt and my mother.
I glared down the hallway, something hot and beyond angry rising inside me.
“Don’t worry, Alex,” my dad said, noticing my face and deducing what was going on in my head. “He’s in pretty bad shape himself and there’s a cop at the door of his room. bahis siteleri His life is going to be hard enough from now on, show a little mercy.”
I sighed. Dad was, of course, right as always. He was what mom referred to as annoyingly melioristic. Not only did he see the good in everything, he had this infuriating way of being right and making you realize you were being selfish, without even trying. I pushed the thought of the other driver from my mind. There’d no doubt be plenty of fallout to deal with later.
The doctor came out a few minutes later and smiled. “We do want to keep her for maybe two nights, just to be absolutely certain, but my opinion is that she has no concussions or other head trauma to worry about. You’re very lucky. You may go in and see her again until the nurses say it’s time to let her rest.”
We thanked him and went back in. Alexa beamed that beautiful smile at us from where she was now sitting in her bed, having raised it to a postion better suited for conversing. Mom sat in the chair while dad and I stood nearby.
“Really sorry about the nap,” Alexa said to my mother. “At least Mike got a good laugh out of my prank.”
Mom and I both looked at dad, daring him to answer. He shrugged. “Maybe just a little one. And on that note, I’m going to go call the university and let them know what happened before they find out through the grapevine and begin calling in a total panic.”
Dad stepped outside, cellphone in hand. Mom sighed and took Alexa’s hand in hers. This had clearly terrified her.
“They say you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone,” she murmured. “Let’s hope that this was close enough for the lesson gods to leave us alone for a bit.”
“No argument there,” Alexa agreed. “Not sure what the lesson was, since we weren’t at fault, mind you. But I’m going to do my best to never take my time with my family for granted, that’s for damned sure.”
“Glad to hear it,” mom said, nodding. “I want nieces and nephews on day, after all. You’ll probably find some nice young guy on campus. God knows you’re pretty enough that you’ll be beating them off with a stick before long. Alex probably has some friends to introduce you to. It’s about time you began dating.”
Alexa was silent for a moment as she looked at her lap. “Yeah. I guess it is…”
Mom’s phone rang and she answered it. She looked at us and covered the speaker. “It’s the insurance company, they have questions,” she whispered. “This could be a bit, so I’ll take it down to the cafe on the main floor.”
She left and then we were alone. Neither of us said anything for sometime, lost in the last words she’d spoken before mom got the call. Alexa stared at her lap. I stared off at a cabinet. The air was heavy, the silence between us maddening. I’d never experienced anything like this with Alexa and wasn’t even sure it would’ve been possible before now. We had no idea what to say.
I looked at her when I heard her sigh softly. She turned to look at me and I saw tears in her eyes.
“Could… could you turn off the light please, Alex?” she asked. “It feels so artificial…”
I nodded and walked to the door, turning off the light.
“And close the door, please?”
I closed it and walked back. She drew a deep breath before looking up at me.
“And please sit down on the bed with me,” she said quietly. “I… looking at you is terrifying, but I need to, I owe you that…”
I sat down and she crossed her legs to make room for me. She took my hands in hers and I could see the fear in her eyes when she gazed into mine.
“I’m not frightened about the accident, Alex, not in the conventional sense,” she began. “I’m… frightened because of the doors that have suddenly swung open, long before I was prepared for them to open and have to walk through them. I could’ve been killed and here I am, looking at decisions that I have to make. That… we have to make now.”
I nodded, dreading what she was referring to.
“It’s horrible,” she said softly. “Horrible and unfair. We never discussed where this would take us, what we’d do when we reached a point where choices needed to be made. We were so lost in one another and selfish about it, not that I blame us. Alex, you make me feel like no one ever has before. I can say that with complete honesty.”
Her hands squeezed mine now and I could hear the frustration in her voice as it cracked. “And it’s so damned unfair that you’re my nephew. How did you keep it together when you got here and not break down? Alex, I know how much I mean to you, I see it in your eyes when we’re together. And you mean every bit as much to me. But if it’d been you lying here, I don’t know if I could have kept up the facade that protects us.”
There were tears on her cheeks as she pressed the back of my hands to her lips and kissed them.
“We should have always known, should have been more restrained. Because how the hell could we ever continue this, no matter how much bahis şirketleri we both want it?”
I pulled her to me and hugged her tight as she cried, her body shuddering against mine. I didn’t really notice her breasts squashed to my chest or the softness of her skin or any of the other enthralling things I normally reveled in about her. I stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head, just letting her weep gently after her ordeal.
“I’m so terrified, Alex,” she said against my shoulder. “I’m terrified because I knew all along I had to lose you.”
Her next words were like thunder in my ears, even though she spoke them with the tiniest voice I’d ever heard her use.
“Because I know I’m in love with you…”
I was sitting in the chair reading when my dad and mom came in, obviously having met up after their calls ended. I put a finger to my lips, indicating that they should be quiet, because Alexa was sound asleep. I walked with them out into the hall.
“Any news?” mom asked.
I shook my head. “Nothing you don’t already know. She just got tired and took a nap. She’s probably pretty drained.”
“Fair enough,” mom said, rubbing her eyes. “Been a long day for everyone and it’s not even noon yet. So what’ll we do?”
Dad sighed. “Well, you and I are already behind on grading papers, maybe we should head to school and do our big people jobs? We know Alexa’s fine, Karen. Leave her with Chatterbox McGee here, at least we know she’ll get some sleep that way.”
“And what if I had plans?” I interjected, trying to sound annoyed.
“Oh, please, Hyrule or whatever can save itself for a day,” mom snorted before looking at dad. “Hyrule? Did I get that right?”
Dad shrugged. “I’m a PC gaming god, honey, not a dirty console peasant.”
“You’re worse than he is,” mom muttered. “Fine, we’ll come see her after we finish. Link, you stand guard for a while and keep us updated. We’ll be done after five.”
Then they turned and made their exit, leaving me standing in the hallway outside of Alexa’s room, staring dumbly. With a sigh, I went back into the room and sat in the chair, reading stuff on my phone. Maybe an hour later, Alexa woke up and turned her head to look at me.
“Hey…” she said softly.
“Hey, you,” I said, smiling. “Mom and dad went back to work since the university was calling like crazy, freaking out.”
“I’m sure,” she mused, sitting up. “They could’ve lost one of their senior staffers in the Physics department.”
We sat silently for a few moments before she turned her head to look at me.
“Are we stupid for ever having started this, Alex? It could never be what we wanted, civilization wouldn’t let us be together.”
“I don’t know,” I answered glumly. “I… would have kept on as long as I could, but this scare sort of put it in perspective, right? Maybe we were fooling ourselves.”
She laid back against her pillow, staring at the ceiling. “I’ve never been in love before, not like this,” she murmured. “It feels so right and natural.”
“I know,” I sighed. “I’ve… well, Alexa, I’m pretty damned sure I’m in love with you too. Hell, I know I am. You’re all I ever think about and I nearly fell apart on the way over here. Thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest.”
She smiled sadly and squeezed my hand. “It thrills me to hear you say that, Alex, but it also makes me sad, because now we share the pain. If you didn’t love me the way I love you, at least only one of us would be suffering and I’d never wish what I’m feeling on you.”
She closed her eyes, still holding my hand. “It feel so right with you. Like it’s meant to be. But it’s not. And I don’t know what to do.”
I drew a deep breath. “Do we… do we just see other people and hope it fades in time?”
“I guess,” she replied, opening her eyes and looking at the far wall. “But I live with you, I don’t know how that will help. I’ll be seeing you all the time and just yearning.”
“I know,” I sighed. “But I’m out of ideas.”
We were silent for a while longer when someone came in. Jeanie, the student of my mom and dad’s that I had met the previous day, swished into the room, looking quite concerned.
“Alexa!” she exclaimed as she came over and gave my aunt of big hug. I began to understand what my mom and dad meant about her being dumb, because any person with functioning neurons would have known better than to bear hug a person in a hospital bed after they’d been in a car accident and were still hooked up to the machines. Alexa graciously returned the hug and smiled at her.
“Hi, Jeanie,” she said pleasantly. “I’m glad you could come down, that’s very nice of you.”
“Of course I did,” Jeanie said, holding Alexa’s hand and looking stern. “Had to make sure you weren’t trying to get out of our playdate, after all.”
“Perish the thought,” my aunt said, waving the concern off. “I wouldn’t dare miss it. I’m only a little banged up, no broken anything, no head trauma, just badly shaken nerves and maybe my pants need washing.”
“Kinky,” jeanie said slyly before looking over and finally noticing me. “Oh, hey, I remember you, you’re Mr de Bourne’s son, right?”
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