Surviving

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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:57 pm

"Okay, I'll do that!" Anissa replied in excitement, deciding to text him right then. She didn't know what he was doing, but Victoria's excitement over Michael was infecting her.

--

The first half of December came and went with snow, ice, and bitter cold. Anissa planned a Christmas party the week before Christmas day, which would consist of herself, Victoria, and Zachary. This was all in order to make sure that Victoria's Chrstmas celebrations weren't lonely, and much to her's and Anissa's surprise, Zachary showed up along with Michael, Victoria's oncologist. Anissa had never giggled so hard as when she watched her best friend disappear into her room in order to make herself look even more acceptable than she already had been. That was the day the two girls had realized their luck by both men being close friends of one another.

Anissa and Zachary had gone on at least two more dates since Thanksgiving, but still hadn't greatly furthered their relationship. Victoria would sometimes tease her and say they were going too slow, but there was only so fast you could go with three dates. Still, every text he sent her continued to make her smile, and after he'd brought her car back fully detailed, repaired and like new, she knew that he must have been an angel in disguise.

As she stood at a crosswalk on Christmas morning, heading to the park to take pictures of the giant Christmas tree for Victoria, Anissa snapped a photo of herself in the snow in front of the little donut shop that was about four blocks away from the girls' apartment. She giggled and sent to Victoria, having promised her a photo. It was Victoria's favorite donut shop. After the message delivered, she giggled to herself, and thought that she may as well spread the holiday cheer with Zachary as well, since he was supposedly working that day. She sent the picture with an added 'Merry Christmas!! Very Happy'. Just after she clicked send, Anissa heard the loudest screeching that had ever assaulted her ears. She looked up and squealed when she watched as an SUV smashed into the driver's side door of a small sedan. The SUV flipped a few times before landing on its roof and spinning out of control on the icy streets.

Anissa ran to get out of the way of the carnage, but was too late. The SUV slammed into her, impaling her on a piece of metal jutting forth from its broken skeleton. It continued to slide until it had pinned Anissa between itself and the bank which was directly across the street from the donut shop where Anissa had taken her picture.

The force of the impact had caused Anissa to black out, only for her to return to consciousness upon hearing the screams of horrified witnesses. She blinked tiredly, too far gone to comprehend any of what she saw. She heard shouts about a girl, and felt a searing pain in her chest. Had she been hit? She couldn't remember. The wailing of ambulance sirens grew louder as she closed her eyes, unable to hold them open anymore.

Somewhere in the commotion, Anissa's phone played a happy tune, signalling the reception of a reply to one of the two texts she'd sent.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:10 am

Victoria was at her chemo appointment while texting Anissa. After texting back to Anissa's picture, she leaned back in the recliner and closed her eyes only briefly, opening them to her phone ringing. She reached over with a shaky hand and answered tiredly, "Hello?"

The voice on the other line belonged to Zachary, Anissa's future boyfriend, and he sounded absolutely frantic.

"Anissa's been in an accident." He said, "I'm working and she just came in."

Victoria shot up so fast that she nearly injured herself pulling at her IV's. "What?!" She gasped. Other patients were looking at her right then as she'd spoken loudly. She was hushed by a nurse just as she began to cry. "What happened? Can you tell me?"

"I don't have time, it's bad."

"God..." She prayed out loud on the phone. "I'll be there as soon as I can!" She was anxious, she couldn't leave until her therapy was done and it wouldn't be done for another hour. Usually afterward she felt terrible and already her anxiety was building up. Zachary promised he'd take care of Anissa and then hung up.

Victoria flopped back, her hands covering her eyes as she began to sob.

--

Zachary's hands were covered in blood, Anissa was bleeding heavily and the object she'd been impaled with was still sticking out of her. At that point it was being used to staunch the bleeding, but it would need to come out as soon as they made sure it hadn't hit anything major. X-rays were being done, and he prayed that it hadn't hurt anything vital. He was just getting to know her and had to act professional in the situation.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:28 am

Anissa's rolled open at one point, her gaze falling upon Zachary who was working frantically over her. Someone shoved an IV in her arm. A light whimper escaped her lips, bringing Zachary's attention to her open eyes. She barely heard him say something about her being awake, and that the nurse should do something about it. She blinked and was only afforded the quickest of smiles from him before began yelling urgently for things she didn't recognize. She closed her eyes and didn't open them again until she was in recovery. Two nurses immediately rushed to her side, asking her questions like her name, birthday, and the year. She answered as best as she could, but thought that she might have fumbled with the year a bit. The nurses had only the smallest of grimaces when she mentioned it being 2013. They told her that everything was alright, and that she had visitors, but she could sleep more if she liked. A room hadn't opened yet, so she wouldn't see her visitors for a bit. She closed her eyes and fell asleep once again.

The next time she woke up was to Victoria clasping her hands over Anissa's left, staring at her with the most intense and swollen face. There was someone with her, but without her glasses, Anissa couldn't be sure who it was.

"She's awake!"

Anissa recognized that voice. It was Zachary's friend. It was that doctor. That one that liked Victoria. What was his name again?

"I-I have to let Zach know! He's still working on the others involved in that wreck! I'll be right back!" Anissa watched him place a gentle hand on Victoria's shoulder before running out of the room. She began to fall asleep again. It was probably useless to tell someone she was awake when she was falling sleep again.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:36 am

It had taken Victoria a while to get there, but at least she hadn't had to sit in the waiting room for too long. She continued to hold Anissa's hand as she sat in a chair next to the bed. Her weak body was shaken up from the news, the idea that she almost lost her best friend was terrifying and she couldn't fathom it. The sound of Zachary's frantic voice wouldn't leave her head.

Her therapy was starting to really kick in, she was feeling nauseous and she couldn't tell if it was from chemo or if the anxiety was taking its toll. Reluctantly, she let go of Anissa's hand and wandered into the bathroom in her friends room. She threw up a couple of times, then went to clean up her mouth at the sink. Her expression was that of someone who had just been beaten, her eyes were dark and her skin relatively pale. Victoria had taken to wearing bandannas and hats as her hair had fallen out and eventually had been shaved. It was too cold not to wear something on her head. At that moment she was wearing a knitted cap that Anissa had bought her for Christmas. Tired of looking at herself, she left the bathroom and settled herself back in the chair, nearly falling into the seat when her legs gave out right beneath her.

Victoria reached for Anissa's hand, squeezing it gently. "Hang in there..." She whispered, "I'm right here."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:45 am

Anissa's eyes opened again when Victoria spoke. Her voice had always been so soft, and sweet. So encouraging. Now it seemed but a shadow of itself. She tried to give Victoria a sweet smile, but couldn't manage more than an odd grimace. Her lips were cracked, and they hurt quite a bit. "Is it still Christmas?" She croaked, blinking tiredly. "Sorry to make it stressful. Tried to move out of the way..." She gulped, noticing how dry her mouth was, and tried to motion toward the sink nearby.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:47 am

"Yeah it is, although it's a little late now... I will have to get your present from the house." Victoria smiled back at Anissa and squeezed her hand, "You got hurt, I had chemo... it doesn't feel like Christmas does it?" She smiled softly, "We'll have one later, besides... we did have our party." She began to stand up so she could see Anissa better, sitting in the chair wasn't helping. "Are you in pain?"
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:00 am

"Water." Anissa replied simply, waiting for Victoria to get it. She was patient enough, knowing that the water would be soon be down her throat. It was, too, as Victoria hadn't wasted any time in retrieving it. Once her throat wasn't so dry, she took a moment to take a few breaths and closed her eyes. "Zach saved me." She said softly. "Gotta make him a..." She furrowed her brows. The word left her. "A thing. A..." She frowned again. "Keychain." She finally said, substituting the word for basketball keychain. "I got you another present too." She carefully cleared her throat, but it made her chest sore. "It's in the drawer in my night stand. A little box. Open it tonight." It was a tiny crocheted box of french fries to match Anissa's hamburger. It had been a secret project, and was terribly difficult. She had been proud to finish it in time for Christmas day too.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:39 am

Victoria got up from her seat and filled a cup with ice water, noting how heavy the pitcher felt to her. Then she went back over to Anissa's bed and helped her take small sips, carefully supporting her back and watching as Anissa cringed in pain from the movement.
"You can do that when you get better, right now you need to focus on resting." She said, pulling the water away and setting it down before easing Anissa back on the pillows. "I'm going to spend the night with you here tonight."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:17 am

"Make sure you get a bunch of nice, warm blankets then." Anissa replied, blinking slowly. "It's really cold in these rooms." She would know. There had been many nights that Anissa had done the very same in staying in the cold hospital rooms with Victoria. She closed her eyes, half-wishing she'd have been able to get the Christmas pictures... just because it was a tradition they shared. "Bring a book too." She commented, remembering how difficult it had been for her to sleep without something to do. "Or something. These rooms are boring."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:21 am

Victoria nodded a little bit, "E-Excuse me..." She rushed back into the bathroom and got sick again, it was the worst Christmas day she'd ever experienced in her life. Rinsing her mouth again, Victoria came out of the bathroom and then looked in a small door that was on the wall, finding several extra blankets and pillows. She grabbed a couple and moved over to what looked like a small couch in the room. It was really uncomfortable, but she was too tired to care.

"I can't drive home now." She said, "I was already here in the hospital when I got the news."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:32 am

Anissa frowned at that. "Hmm..." She furrowed her brows as she tried to think of the name of the man who was in the room before. It had been frustrating that the name had been so elusive. Suddenly, a memory was triggered, and she smiled that odd grimace. "I'm sure Michael wouldn't object to taking you to pick up a few books." She strained against the urge to giggle. There was a pain in her gut, causing it to vaguely hurt to move, let alone giggle. "He really seems to like you."

Hmm... I wonder if my phone is lying in the street somewhere, or if someone got it for me. Somehow, she doubted anyone had picked up her phone. It was a really bad wreck with a pedestrian in the mix. No one would think to gather her belongings, and her phone had probably gotten lost in the snow. She opened her eyes and glanced around the room, eyeing her purse in the far corner. It was bloodied, and beaten up pretty badly. The only reason it came with her was likely because of the long messenger style that it was, making it difficult for it to have been thrown off of her. Definitely will buy another messenger purse.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:38 am

Victoria sighed shakily and curled up beneath the blanket that was doing very little to keep her warm. "I don't want to leave you or ask too much of him, he's just my oncologist..." She moved to sit up, feeling very fatigued and her muscles ached from running over to the ER from the other side of the hospital. She adjusted the knitted hat on her head and looked at Anissa, feeling guilty for being sick at a time like this. How would she help her? What would she do?

She needs me... and I'm barely capable of doing anything. Some friend I am.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:59 am

"I don't think he's just your oncologist..." Anissa turned her head so she could see Victoria a little better. She was so beautiful, no matter what she was going through, though she was still only a shell of the strong Victoria that had been in those same shoes only months prior. "Why would your oncologist be sitting with you in my room on Christmas day? Don't fool yourself; I really think he likes you." The memory of Zachary's panicked expression in the ER flashed through Anissa's mind, followed by the quick, but gentle smile he'd given her. It was possible that he had asked Michael to sit Victoria, but she somehow doubted that was the entire reason. Besides, she could have sworn that he wasn't even wearing a lab coat.

Tears threatened, and Anissa breathed slowly, trying to quell them. She didn't want to agitate whatever was going on in her stomach regions. The tears weren't sad ones anyway; she was just moved by how Michael seemed to quick to slip in and try to be Victoria's comfort. If he would stick through it, and even if the two of them only came out with a strong friendship at the other end of this tunnel, Anissa would make sure that he would get a medal for his valiant efforts. Victoria needed someone like that... someone to reassure her, and someone to prioritize her needs.

"Anyway, you look beautiful today, despite what I know you're thinking." Tears were rolling down Anissa's cheeks. She had been able to stave off sobs, but not the crying. She wondered if that would ever change. "The hat accentuates your..." She sniffed, then coughed a little. The cough jarred what must have been stitches. She winced. "It accentuates your beautiful face, and makes your eyes sparkle. I'll make you more of them when I get better."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:05 am

Walking over, Victoria wiped away the tears and leaned against the bed slightly, "I guess I just don't want to get hurt... I've kind of gotten my hopes up for him and I don't want to end up feeling silly in the end. Thank you, I really like it, it's comfortable." She finished wiping the tears away and then slowly moved back to the couch, sitting down and pulling the blanket around her shoulders. "Try and get some rest... you're probably really tired."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:28 am

Anissa nodded slowly. She could understand that. After all, no matter what Victoria said, she had found herself with similar feelings surrounding Zachary. He had the kindest heart, and a smile that made her tears disappear. Charming was an understatement, and he'd managed to slip right under her defenses, causing her heart so much confusion. They had only been on three dates so far; most would assume they were in a relationship by the third, but nothing had really been said yet, therefore she really couldn't even describe their relationship. They weren't dating, but they were. They weren't a couple... or were they? There was no way they were only friends... or was there? Anissa finally pushed the unwelcome, and unsettling thoughts aside for the moment. Eventually, they would figure their relationship out, but until then Victoria was right; she was really tired.

She had been asleep for approximately ten or twenty minutes by the time Michael came back in the room. He had a fluffy, purple rabbit tucked under the crook of his arm, along with what seemed to be a bag of an assortment of items. He lifted Victoria's blankets a bit with a smile and placed the bunny in her arms. "I brought you some things... I didn't want you to be uncomfortable, since I figured you'd probably ignore my advice and stay with her tonight." He pulled a heated blanket out of the gift bag he'd brought in with him and tucked it underneath the rest of her blankets before plugging it in the wall behind her and placing the corded remote in her hands. "I also brought some snacks, but I wasn't sure what you liked so I got a bunch of different things. There's some of those hand warmers in the bag too. Well, I say some, but there's a lot of them." The last thing he removed was a small injection needle. "This is in case you're feeling really nauseous from your treatment today. It's just some Zofran; it'll work really fast. Just let me know, alright?"
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:40 am

"I don't want to leave her alone and she doesn't have anyone else... I know she'd do it for me." Victoria cuddled the rabbit, smiling up at him wearily, "Thank you so much, this is so comfortable and I love it..." She couldn't believe she was getting so doted upon, in fact, she wondered if this was even normal. Ever since he got a chance to meet her at the Christmas party, and they had been texting, things had been very different. Michael was smiling down at her, still holding the Zofran in his hand and waiting for her response to it.

"Actually, I've been nauseous this whole time. I'm trying not to wake up Anissa... it's starting to hurt really bad." She had to admit that she was thankful for him, especially since he was being so caring, and she wasn't even at one of her appointments. She felt so... special.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:07 pm

Michael grinned when it seemed she was accepting to the shot. "I'll get the nurses to bring you a shot for the pain in a little bit. I actually forgot to think about that, I'm sorry." He went to wash his hands, then came back with an alcohol swab and a pair of gloves. She didn't really react very much when he gave her the shot, which shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did. She'd been going through treatments for a while, and even had the bandages still from that morning's therapy... a small shot wasn't going to phase her at this point. He slid the cap on over the needle and was careful with the band-aid so that it wouldn't be too bothersome. He screwed the needle off the syringe and tossed it in the sharps container before disposing of everything else in the bin beneath it.

After that, he tapped her feet and lifted them so that he could sit with her, and rested her feet back on his lap. "Zach's getting cleaned up, I think. He was really worried. How are you holding up? The medicine will take about ten minutes to really start working, so maybe if you start to feel better, we can go get some lunch." He tucked the blanket around her feet and reclined against the back of the couch, closing his eyes and tapping the beat to a song on the tips of her blanketed toes.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:15 pm

Victoria watched him work for a short while before he came over and sat with her, propping her feet up on his lap. She leaned against the arm of the couch and kept the blankets over her shoulders as she was still shivering a little bit from when he'd moved them to give her the shot. By that point, she was very used to having various needles stuck into her body and had plenty of bandages to prove it, so what was another needle going to do? She gave a light giggle and adjusted her hat again from where she'd once been laying awkwardly on it. "You think of everything, so don't feel bad for not knowing I was in pain, I really try not to complain too much. I guess I am alright, I'm worried about Anissa though... I'm glad that Zachary will be here soon to see her." She paused and listened when he mentioned her medicine and how long it would take to kick in. She frowned a little bit and sighed, "I'd love to go to lunch with you... I'll try and eat as much as I can."

Victoria was nervous, she'd never really had to eat alone with Michael before, and as he was also her oncologist she was a little embarrassed for him to see her eating habits.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:40 pm

Michael paused the rhythm he'd made on her toes and finally relaxed his hands, clasping them over her small feet. Toes were often the first to get cold, so he hoped to warm them with his hands. He couldn't help but smile and chuckle a little when she said mentioned how he tended to think of everything. That was one thing Michael had always been good at-over thinking. Mindlessly, he gently smoothed his thumbs over her feet, just listening to her speak. He grinned a little when she replied to his lunch invitation. "I won't be taking your chart with me... just eat as much as you feel like. Do you like Chinese? I think they'd be the only ones open on Christmas right now anyway..."
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:48 pm

Victoria nodded, "I love Chinese... I can't remember the last time I actually had some." She watched his hands, then looked to his face where he'd been smiling at her that whole time. He was so comfortable with her and she was tempted to ask him what he was thinking, or how he felt about her in general. Then she thought better of it, if her health got worse and she were to die, she didn't want him to grow too attached.

That's not fair, he probably really likes me...

Victoria glanced back over to where Anissa was asleep, thankful that she didn't seem to be in any pain. She knew that Anissa wanted her to find love and live a happy life, but she felt so strange finding it with her oncologist. "Can I ask you something?" She asked softly.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:04 pm

Michael tapped her feet when she wiggled them in his hands, then nodded silently; noting the hint of reservation in her voice. Whatever her question was, it seemed to be heavy to her. He willed his heart to stop racing, as his mind was flipping through all of the possible questions she might ask. He paused his thoughts, wondering to himself if he'd just been acting too much like the boyfriend he wasn't. What you are, and what you wish you are to someone... those were two separate things. He really hoped he wasn't about to get chastised for something like that. He gulped softly, smiling gently while trying to hide his anxiety over the unasked question.

If this ends up being a question about why it's Chinese food, and not the cafeteria... I don't know whether I'd laugh, or cry.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:06 pm

Afraid to ask the question plaguing her mind, Victoria took a few deep and painful breaths before she finally spoke. "How do you feel about me?" She finally asked, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't wake Anissa. "I just was curious because you act different with me than you do other patients... o-of course we've met outside of the office and we do text..." She was struggling to make sense of it.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:32 pm

Relieved, Michael released the breath he'd been holding, and relaxed his grip on her feet. He hadn't eve realized he'd tightened his hands around them. He relaxed into the couch and lifted his gaze towards the white ceiling, thinking of a way to answer the question she'd just presented him with. It was the very same question he'd presented himself with on the day of Victoria's Christmas party the week before. He still didn't quite know how to answer it. Was he attracted to her? Very much so. He figured he had every reason to be attracted to her. She was beautiful, wore the sweetest smile he'd ever seen, and had a genuine heart. She was strong, fairly confident, and always seemed to walk with importance. It wasn't just physical attraction; it went much deeper than that. Even so, he couldn't say he knew her too well outside of the hospital. He tried, but there was only so much you could learn about someone through text. She was more than a patient to him already, but were they friends? He couldn't really answer that question either.

Finally, he glanced back at her, noticing how her expression was slowly changing. The confidence behind her question ebbed away the longer it took him to answer it. "I don't know." He replied, truthfully. "You're more than a patient, though." He offered her an encouraging smile. "You're right; I don't treat you like any other patient I've ever had..." He chuckled a little, beginning to feel embarrassed. "Oh, man. Why couldn't you have asked me something easier... like who I want you to be to me?" Michael's ears were a bright shade of crimson when he gently squeezed her feet, shifting his gaze to them.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Ikuar on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:44 pm

Victoria began to cry, she hadn't wanted to, but she was crying because she felt horrible for asking something like that. She had silently hoped for him to say something incredibly sweet and romantic, but then those things did not exist. More than a patient could have meant anything, and she didn't want to hear what he'd just said.

I don't know.
It kept running through her head and she struggled to keep her composure, all the bottled up emotions of the day were beginning to drain. She could have asked him that, but her confidence was so diminished that she couldn't even bring herself to speak. He'd taken so long to answer her in the first place. Part of her was screaming to get up and walk away, embarrassed that she'd been sitting with him in such an intimate way. Her energy was sapped, however, she knew if she got up to walk that she'd probably fall flat on her face. She couldn't even bring herself to move after he'd done so many sweet things, it would be like undoing it, taking off the blankets, moving the stuffed rabbit, she didn't want to hurt him. But then she was hurting, it all hurt terribly. What did she expect? He was just her oncologist.

"Okay." She managed to whisper, her voice cracked. Was that all? She couldn't figure out what else to say to him, and she didn't want to ask him the other question just because it was what he wanted to hear. She didn't even want to know his answer. "That was... was stupid of me. My friend was almost killed and I'm over here getting pampered and asking stupid questions." Victoria shifted on the couch, pulling her knees up to her chin. She'd wanted to take a walk, but still the idea of undoing his sweet work broke her heart.
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Re: Surviving

Post  Jayrin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:12 pm

A pang of guilt stabbed his heart when Michael heard the tired, disappointed reply the was coupled with the tears already on her cheeks. She pulled her feet away from, leaving more space between them than he was comfortable with. What did he think of her? He thought too much about her, if he were completely honest with himself. He'd often found himself looking over the schedules for when her appointments were, and hoping to find her name on every patient chart he looked at... even if she'd just left the hospital. He had even taken to altering what foods he ordered, or wondering what she'd think of the meal he was staring at... or of anything he was staring at. Zachary would have said he was hung up on her, and maybe he was.

What could he say to stop those tears? They really broke his heart. He reached out to wipe them away with his thumb, silently thanking God that she hadn't yet slapped his hand away. "I don't think it was stupid at all. It was a good question." He breathed a shaky sigh, frowning in concern. Making a girl cry had not been on his bucket list. It had been on his things to not do list, but he'd still somehow managed it. "I really ended up confusing the both of us, and for that I greatly apologize. My..." He paused, wondering if he should even say it or not. What if she wasn't listening? He swallowed hard, and very softly cleared his throat. "My goal was to be more to you than your doctor. M-More than your friend." He cupped her face in his palms, wishing she had even the smallest of reasons to let him hold her, but he couldn't bring himself to move her while she was so tense. He didn't want to force that... not when he'd already managed to screw up and make her cry.
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Re: Surviving

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