Flickering Away, chapter one

Fiction By Arya Animarus // 9/30/2010

Beep, beep! Nicole's cell phone rang impatiently. Nicole flicked it open.

“Hello?...Oh, hi!...Not tonight...Friday?...Maybe...Oh?...Ok, sure!...Bye!”

Nicole turned to her companion, a girl of seventeen.

“He asked me! He finally asked me!”

The other girl flicked her dark blonde hair as she turned to her brunette friend.

“He did! What'd he say?”

“Oh, the usual. He stammered a little, then asked me if I wanted to go out tonight. When I told him no he asked about Friday. He said he could pick me up, and we worked it out for seven thirty!”

Both girls squealed and giggled. Then they skipped off singing.

 

Jonny blew a sigh of relief as he flipped his phone closed.

“Glad that's over with.” he mumbled happily. His heart was beating fast. He finally got to be with the girl he liked! He had spent weeks working up his courage to ask her, and he had done it! He whistled a jaunty tune and walked off on his way.

 

Friday rolled around, and Jonny was out doing some things before picking up Nicole. His heart was light and he felt happier than ever before. Too late he noticed the truck looming up in his rear-view mirror. There was an awful crash, and he felt a sharp pain in his side before darkness flooded his mind.

 

Nicole was out running a few errands when she got caught in some traffic. As she slowly came up to the crash site she saw two EMS workers lift Jonny's limp body from the wreckage. She began feeling dizzy, and had to pull over to the shoulder of the highway. Then she fainted clean away.

 

After the EMS workers put Jonny on a stretcher, they noticed Nicole's car. They walked up and knocked on the window. When it didn't roll down, they opened the door.

“I'm sorry, you...”

The first said as he peeked in.

“What's wrong?” the second asked.

“She's unconscious!”

“What!”

“Yeah! Come on, help me get her out.”

The workers pulled her out and carried her over to the ambulance, where they laid her in the back. They finished securing the straps on the stretcher and lifted it into the ambulance, then set about waking Nicole up. She opened her eyes and took a moment to recognize her surroundings then she sat up and cried out, “Jonny!”

“Who?” the first worker asked.

“Jonny! Where is he?”

The second worker helped her to her feet.

“Do you know this man?” he asked, leading her to the stretcher.

“Yes! We're good friends! Is he all right?”

“Don't know lady. We'll be taking Him to North Fork Hospital. You can visit him there. But we gotta go! Right now there's nothing you can do. Just follow us to the hospital.”

Nicole prayed all the way to the hospital and up to Jonny's room. She knocked on the door and the nurse let her in. A curtain was pulled across the room, blocking her view to the bed.

“The doctor's examining him.” the nurse said. Nicole nodded and sat down in a chair. She heard muffled grunts and metalic clicking from behind the curtain. The doctor slipped out, whispered something to the nurse and glanced at Nicole. The nurse left the room and the doctor came over to Nicole.

He smiled tiredly at her and sat down next to her.

“I understand you know Mr. Latrell.”

Nicole nodded silently.

“Do you know what shrapnel is?”

Nod.

“Well, some shrapnel hit him in the side. It went very deep. I'm going to have do surgery to remove it.”

Nod.

“Now understand that he has a good chance of living, but there is still risk that he won't make it.”

Teary nod.

“There's no way to soften that. I'm sorry for such dismal news.”

Sniff and nod.

“Do you know the parents number?” the docter asked.

“Yes.” Nicole gave the number. The nurse walked in with a tray of food.

“Is he decent?” she asked.

“Oh! No, not yet! Hold on!”

The doctor slipped behind the curtain. After a few minutes, he came out and nodded to the nurse. She started to the curtain, but then stopped and turned towards Nicole.

“Would you like to take it to him? I'm sure he'd like company.”

Nicole hesitated, then wiped her eyes and took the tray. She smiled at the nurse and pushed past the curtain. The sight that met her pushed new tears up to her eyes. Jonny was laying on the bed with an IV taped to his arm. The tube ran up to a machine next to the bed. She heard the beep...beep...beep that haunted all hospital rooms, the sound of the heart-rate machine thingy. She took a deep breath and stepped to the side of the bed. She looked down at the pale face and choked on her tears. Blinking them back she put the tray down and attempted a smile. Jonny's eyes widened a little, and he stammered out; “N-Nicole! I-I-I...well...I...uh...you...”

He lowered his gaze to the bedspread and whispered, “S-sorry.”

Nicole giggled in spite of the situation. She covered her mouth with her hand, but couldn't stop the laughter bubbling forth. Jonny looked bemused.

“What's so funny?”

Nicole laughed out loud.

“Hahaha! Oh, It's just, haha! Erm, just, oh! Hahahahaheehee! Oh, sorry! It's just you sitting there with a face on you that could scare a toad, haha! The way you're apoligising,oh, hahahee! It's just funny!” She took another deep breath and calmed down. She remembered what the doctor had said and started to tear up again. She sat down and tried to hold back her emotions.

“What's wrong?” Jonny asked. Nicole sniffed.

“Did the doctor tell you what's wrong?” she choked out. Jonny nodded slowly.

“And about the surgery?”

Jonny nodded again. Nicole's eyes brimmed over.

“I couldn't bear to lose you!”

Jonny looked up at her, then held out his arms, beckoning her close. She fell on his chest and broke into sobs. He pulled his arms around her and stroked her hair, hugging her to him. Outside the curtain, the doctor and the nurse left the room, leaving Nicole and Jonny in privacy.

 

* * *

 

After Nicole left and Jonny had some rest, the doctor came back in and had another look at Jonny's injury. He prodded it, inspected it and ran a few tests. Then he began poking at the area around the cut. It caused Jonny no slight pain. He tried not to cry out as the doctor pinched the skin at the edge of the gash. He tensed his body. The doctor sighed and said, “Please, relax your body. This will be over soon.”

Jonny relaxed his muscles. He endured the pain without a sound, then the doctor stopped and told him to rest. He soon fell asleep. As he slept he dreamt. He dreamt he was in a house that was burning down. He was running through it when a falling beam landed on his back and knocked him to the ground. He tried to get out from under it, but he couldn't! He looked up and saw a man reaching down to him. The flames licked at the man, but didn't catch! Jonny tried to reach out to grab the man's hand, but his arm wouldn't move! He looked back and saw a dark figure holding his arms, preventing him from taking the man's hand! Jonny looked back at the man. Standing beside him was Nicole! Jonny looked longingly at her, then the flames engulfed him. He awoke in a sweat. He looked around at the hospital room, then fell asleep again.

 

Nicole went home and took a nap. She was dreaming the same dream as Jonny, with one slight difference. She was looking at Jonny. He had a dark figure on his back, holding his hands behind him so that he could not move them. She looked to her side and saw Jesus! He was holding his hand out toward Jonny, but Jonny could not take Jesus' hand! Jonny looked at Nicole, then the fire caught him. Nicole saw the fire all around her, but she was not touched by it. Then it passed and she saw Jonny's charred body on the ground in front of her. She awoke crying.

“Please God!” she prayed fervently, “Please God, save him!

 

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