Blaine didn’t come back till a while later, even though my conversation with my parents was brief. We all started crying at the same time and couldn’t say much, so my dad just assured me that they would be there soon and that they loved me.
It was all okay though, because he came bearing gifts of the hot caramel macchiato kind. He smiled at me, appearing amused, probably because the look on my face was priceless.
“I made them give you extra whip. I asked the doctor if it was okay for you to have some, and he said yeah.”
“When did you see the doctor?” I asked, as I reveled in the glory of my sweet, sweet caffeine.
“I saw him talking to some other guy, so I kindly reminded him of what room you’re in. I don’t think he likes me.”
I chuckled, and took a sip of my macchiato. It burned my tongue, but I was happy.
“So when are your parents coming in?” he asked.
“I don’t know. It was hard to distinguish what they were saying between the sobs,” I said. I took another sip and sighed. “You have no idea how much I needed this.”
“You’re welcome,” he replied, taking a sip of his own drink. I noticed another four cups in the trash can.
“How long have you been awake? You’ve already had like four cups.”
He waved a hand. “Don’t worry about it. I drink a lot of caffeine.”
“How long was my surgery? I mean, it has to have been forever.”
“Oh, it was about……five hours, maybe?”
“My gosh, Blaine! That crash was at what, 6:30? It had to have taken hours for me to wake up, too.”
He shrugged. “It’s okay. I’m the only one here with you. I needed to be ready for news.”
Bags were hanging under his eyes, I was noticing. When he smiled he looked exhausted.
“Blaine, go home.”
“Go home! You need to rest.”
“No! I can’t just leave you here. If the doctor listened to me, he should be coming soon.”
“I’ll take care of it. You gave me caffeine!”
“I’m not leaving.”
“Fine. I command you to sleep.”
“I just had another cup of coffee!”
“I’m fine, Lizzie.”
“Listen to me. I’m a cripple.”
“And I’m not!”
“Was that supposed to deter me?”
Blaine threw his head back and groaned in frustration, but he was smiling. “What will it take to make you stop pestering me?” he asked.
“I won’t pester you if you’re asleep.”
“I told you, I don’t want to sleep.”
This banter continued on for a while (I think that we both found it pretty entertaining).
“What will make you listen to me?” I asked.
“Absolutely nothing. I’m rebellious,” Blaine said, a smile playing on his lips. He folded his arms in front of him as if to solidify his statement.
I thought for a moment, then felt my face heating up. “If I give you a kiss on the cheek will you go to sleep?”
He turned bright red, all the way to the tips of his ears. “I don’t take bribes,” he said.
“It’s more of a thank you. You saved my life,” I replied.
Blaine sighed, avoiding my eyes. “Fine, I’ll go to sleep. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” I said, as he walked over to the couch and laid down. Within minutes he was dead asleep.
It was strange, though, how disappointed I was that I didn’t get to kiss his cheek. It was just a friendly gesture, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have his face so close to mine. I thought about it when I watched him sleep. He looked younger, like a little kid. He curled up and used his hands as a pillow. His jaw slacked just a little bit. It was adorable.
I was about to follow his example, despite the coffee, when the doctor walked in. He had the decency to quiet down when he noticed Blaine sleeping.
“Do you want him awake for this?” he asked.
“Nah, let him sleep,” I replied.
“I’m already up,” Blaine’s voice mumbled. He hoisted himself up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
“Good then,” the doctor said. As soon as he looked down at the chart, any sort of friendliness he had disappeared and his voice turned to monotone.
“My name is Dr. Collins and I am the surgeon that performed your emergency procedure at approximately 7 p.m. You had a spiral fracture through your entire leg, which in turn snapped your knee. I believe that I managed to mend it, but we are going to put a cast on it tomorrow. It’s going to take a very long time to heal, Ms. Welskiy,” he said, glancing up and fiddling with his glasses. “You will need physical therapy for at least a year. You are going to be in a wheelchair for at least six months of that year.” He must have seen the tears in my eyes, because his voice softened. “However, I have full confidence that you will walk again, if you work hard enough.”
I rubbed my face, trying to keep that burning lump that had formed in my throat from choking me. “Okay,” I said.
“Do you have any questions?” Dr. Collins asked.
I shook my head, not looking at anything but my blanket. The doctor walked out without a goodbye.
As soon as the door shut, Blaine was at my side. “I’m so sorry, Lizzie.”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t think I could. A tear fell on my nose and angrily I wiped it away. I had cried enough. But they just kept on coming, I couldn’t stop them.
“I’m sorry, Lizzie,” Blaine whispered. He pushed my hair back and wiped the tears off of my face. I was so glad he hadn’t listened to me, and gone home. He kept on shushing me and stroking my head and didn’t tell me it was okay whenever it wasn’t. He just let me be angry and sad.
After a long time, I don’t even know how long, I was all cried out. “Thank you,” I croaked.
“You don’t have to thank me. I was being a decent human being.”
“No, I mean for staying. You didn’t have to stay. We hadn’t seen each other in years, and even then we didn’t know each other that well. But I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here.”
My God, his eyes were beautiful. “You’re welcome, then,” he said. He still hadn’t stopped stroking my hair, and I was glad.
Eventually we both went off to sleep, and when I did, I dreamed about broken legs and blue eyes.