Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, Page 24T. M. Frazier
For who once was.
The walls, once a deep blue, were now a bubble gum pink with stenciled daisies and clouds surrounding the window. A Cinderella lamp sat upon a small white nightstand next to the bed.
Of course his things weren’t there you idiot, because he’s…
I paused. My ears picked up a steady beeping sound, my eyes followed the sound across the room to the IV stand in the corner, set up next to a rollaway hospital bed. Lines raced across the screen that was mounted below the IV, little green mountains peaked and fell, followed by a chirp of the machine in even two second increments.
“I don’t understand,” I said, not allowing my eyes to travel to the bed. I wasn’t sure if I was afraid of what I would see or what I wouldn’t see. WHO I wouldn’t see. I turned back around to face Ray. “Who…who is that?” I asked, dread and hope fighting a battle in the pit of my stomach…and my heart. I pointed to the mound of blankets rising and falling in rhythm.
“Wait, you don’t know do you?” Ray breathed, “I thought everyone in Logan’s Beach knew by now.”
I shook my head. “I’m not from here.” Not able to take another minute of my rapidly beating heart fighting its way out of my chest, I spun around and small step by small step I made my way over to the bed where a shell of a man lay unconscious with tubes running through his nose and mouth. His eyes and cheeks sunken in. His hands resting above the clean navy comforter. I didn’t even need to see the tattoos running across his knuckles to know it was him, but there they were, in all their familiar glory.
I let out a strangled cry, that startled even myself, as hot tears fell down my face. Elation and an overwhelming feeling of confusion smashed into me, like I was finally run over by that train. I leaned over him, careful not to disturb any of the tubes, I pressed the side of my face against his chest, I needed to hear it for myself and sure enough, it was there. The thump thump. The most beautiful sound in the world. His heart.
Heavy footsteps entered the room. King, Bear, and a girl with pinkish-red hair stood around the doorway, gaping at me as if I were the one risen from the dead. “How?” I asked, without moving my head from his chest. My hand covered one of his own and squeezed as I breathed deeply, inhaling this new life, inhaling him.
“You really didn’t know?” King asked skeptically, pulling Ray into his chest. “Thought everyone knew.”
“No,” I said, although no sound came out so I just mouthed the word. “I didn’t know anything.”
“What’s going on?” the pink haired girl asked. Bear wrapped his arms protectively over her waist, which was when I noticed her rounded belly. Bear leaned down and whispered in her ear. She nodded in some sort of understanding, but continued to stare me down like she was unsure of me at best.
But that didn’t matter. SHE didn’t matter.
Overwhelming joy consumed my entire being. How he was alive didn’t matter just then, all that mattered was that he was alive.
“Who exactly are you, again?” Ray asked, staring at me as I practically laid across Preppy’s body.
Reluctantly, I lifted my head from his chest, although I kept my hand over his. I sniffled and wiped the tears streaming down my face. I took a deep breath to steady myself and when I spoke, I made sure I was looking at each and every one of Preppy’s friends. I was about to speak when I was interrupted by a scratchy voice. I spun around and was met with bloodshot amber eyes that were locked on to mine when he spoke.
“She’s my wife.”
The End (for now)