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Stable Ground 11
From that point on, nothing hurt. Not the needle or the sewing part. I was beyond thankful for the analgesic. Even though there was no pain, I never let go of Jonathan’s hand.
A while later I heard metal clattering onto the tray. Only when I finally heard the wheels of the cart roll over the threshold did I looked down to my leg. It was a sore sight. All the skin had been pulled together and sewn up. Little wires stuck up all over the place, making it look like my leg had barbed fences around it. A yellow goop was being spread over the sight and all around by Dr. Pierce.
“Is it over?” I asked hopefully. Dr. Pierce smiled at me.
“Yes,” He threw away his gloves in the garbage can marked “hazardous”. “Congratulations, you have survived. I believe you will make a full recovery.” I smiled with him. “Only one thing left,” he sighed. “A nurse will be in with your tenuous,” He left the room, not seeing my reaction. I slumped back onto the pillows and looked at Jonathan who was laughing silently at me.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re afraid of shots.” he declared. Jonathan leaned his elbow on the bed. I was way too aware of the small space between us and my heart started racing.
“Not shots,” I corrected, trying to remain focused while still looking into his eyes. “Just really big needles“. Almost as in a comedy show, a red headed nurse came in brandishing a syringe with a plastic needle cover that was way too long for my taste. The nurse smiled in my direction and Jonathan’s face turned red while he was trying to hide his laughter. I scowled at him and removed my pink hooded sweatshirt that I had received as a Christmas gift from one of the “giving trees” at a local church. I rolled the charity sweatshirt into a ball and threw it at Jonathan, who was too quick to catch and caught it before it could reach its destination. I kept scowling, not preparing for the sharp pinch that poked my arm and then was gone. The nurse fled the room mumbling something that I believed to be “you’re free to go when the numbness lightens.” Jonathan laughed at my shocked face as I watched the nurse bustle around outside of the small glass window.
“Are you okay?” he asked, laughing slightly, still. I began laughing, too, after sensing the expression on my face.
“Yeah,” I watched him as his laughing face fell into a dim smile.
“How’s your leg?” he asked, not looking away from my eyes.
“I don’t know, I still can’t feel it,” I smiled. Something about that moment was so timid. So calm and protected. Special for some unknown reason. I had never felt so weird. I almost wasn’t in control of my head. Everything seemed unimportant, distant, to the extreme. I felt happy, content, blissful, and any word that described perfect. And I still have no idea why that moment felt so special; why it was always so clear and pristine. No idea why, in a hospital, the worst place in the world, I felt so complete. I knew a moment later that it was him. He made it so perfect. He made everything all right, if only for that tiny moment.
Jonathan moved his arm gently up to my face and ran his warm fingers from my temple to my jaw and held his hand there, holding my cheek in his palm. I felt too much…something. Too, too much something to ever be healthy. I tore away from his grasp and closed my eyes. I felt him go rigid beside me.
“I’m sorry,” he said clearly, but sadly. I took a breath, reclaiming my head, before looking at him.
“Why are you sorry?” I asked, slowly grasping what he had said.
“I scared you… or did something wrong,” he guessed, watching me intently.
“No, you didn’t do anything,” I said, turning onto my side and facing him. I pondered his face for a moment. All the absolute beauty of it. A smile danced on my face without my permission. I raised my hand to his face slowly and ran my fingers over his soft cheek, telling him everything was alright. He smiled beneath my hand.
I removed my hand after a moment and sat up straight on the bed. Jonathan straightened up in his chair and looked around.
“Oh, do you want this?” He asked, handing me my hooded sweatshirt. I shook my head.
“I’m incredibly warm,” I said. He set the hoodie on a counter behind him and turned back to me.
“Do you want to sit up here?” I asked without thinking. “I mean it’s a plastic chair and the thing is big-” I rambled, trying to cover up the oddity of my speech. He smiled as I guessed my face turned red.
“Sure,” I moved over, surprised, to make room for him. Jonathan sat opposite me on the bed, but still so close that I could have sworn I felt heat coming off his skin. He smiled goofily to make me smile and I hit him playfully in the chest, laughing. I had begun to watch the people walking past, but then remembered my earlier promise.
“Oh, yeah,” I said, “fight,” he looked at me curiously.
“We were fighting…about you,” I reminded him slowly.
“Oh,” he sighed. “Can we fight later?” I smiled at the tone in his voice, like a tiny child negotiating chores with his parents, the tone of hope with already knowing the answers weren’t in his favor.
“Why later? Now’s perfect. No one’s here, so you can tell me the truth, and no on can bother us,” I supplied, smiling.
“No.” he said shortly. I humph-ed and turned my head away from him. He began to laugh. “Are you pouting?” he asked. I ignored his question as he laughed again, I was truly pouting. My leg made a plop sound on the bed as I tested it for feeling. “Did you feel that?” he asked. He, apparently, did not know my stubborn strategy. I crossed my arms over my chest and stayed quiet. “You’re pouting.” he said, disbelieving.
“I’m good at it,” I allowed. He shook his head beside me, laughing silently. After a few more seconds of silence, he finally said:
“Are you done pouting yet?” he was clearly amused by me.
“Can we fight yet?”
“Then no,” I said, “I am not done pouting yet,” I lay straight on the bed looking up at the ceiling. He sighed and looked over at me.
“We can talk,” he finally gave in, “but no fighting. None. You can ask questions and I can answer them. No fighting.” he repeated. I began laughing at him, covering my face with my hand. “What are you laughing at me for?” he asked disbelievingly.
“I can’t believe you gave in that easy,” I continued to laugh at him as he made an angry face, then began laughing with me.
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