Its strangely comforting when you wake up in a hospital. Or maybe thats just me and my demented thinking. I hate hospitals dont get me wrong but the first thing that registered in my woozy brain was the steady beeping of the heart monitor - though of course the fact that it was a heart monitor didnt occur to me at first. And everytime I breathed in there would be a clicking noise, and I could hear the humming and wurring of machines and I was incredibly comfortable and warm and snuggly, and I remember thinking how much I was enjoying being asleep. And then, for some stupid reason I thought it was a school day, and I began to panic thinking I wouldnt be up in time and then I remembered I didnt go to school anymore and I relaxed.
I kept my eyes shut for a long time, just listening to the noises around me and savouring the feeling of warmth, and then I realised I should open my eyes and so I did and that was then the happiness went.
I looked around me, there were wires and machines around me and a window with blinds beside a closed door, my body ached and my throat felt dry. It took a moment for me to realise this must be a hospital and then all the memories of the fight with Luke came pounding back into my already aching head. I had two tubes up my nose which felt weird and a needle sticking out of the crease in my elbow also attached to a tube, I turned my head some what nervously - almost afraid that I had a tube stuck in my ear or something and I was going to pull all the machines over. The beeping of the heart monitor increased as my eyes fell upon Billy. He was slumped in an arm chair beside the bed, his lips parted as he snored softly. He had an empty polystyrene cup in his hand, about to fall on the floor and his eye was surrounded by swollen, shiny purple and black flesh. He looked exhausted and he had a small cut below his lip, his cat ears flattened to his head. I wondered how long he had been here, and where Luke was. Would Luke be in prison now? Was he hurt and in hospital too? I knew it probably wasnt healthy to start worrying right now but I did and I began wishing the heart monitor wasnt switched on cos' it was sort of embaressing knowing that people would be able to tell when your heart rate was going up or slowing down, how are you supposed to act calm when your stressed if your attached to a heart monitor?
Billy twitched in his sleep and the cup fell from his hand, clattering to the floor pretty noiselessly but his sensitive cat ears detected the noise and he gasped, sitting up suddenly, looking a little disorientated. He looked around, rubbing his eyes for a moment before looking at me, his eyes growing wide and his hand falling to his side.
"Alex? Your awake?" He whispered, leaning forward and smiling a little unsure.
"I guess I am." I croacked, coughing when I heard how awful my voice sounded, like I hadnt talked in days. Billy sprang into action and grabbed a cup of water from a table at the end of the bed.
"The doctor said you'd be thirsty when you woke up. Here - drink some of this." He held the straw to my mouth and I gulped down the entire cup, feeling the cool water soothe my sore throat. I released the straw and Billy put the cup back, taking my hand gently in both of his.
"I've been so worried, you've been asleep for over a day. The doctors were beginning to get suspicious." He said with a nervous laugh.
"Suspicious of what?" I asked, my voice still weak. Billy looked around before answering.
"Well, I didnt think you'd want me to tell them what really happened as much as I wanted to. I told them that Luke and I had an argument about a girl and you saw us having a fist fight and you went to run down the stairs to stop us and you tripped." My heart skipped a beat and my eyes grew soft as I realised how much he must of lied for me. Even though he probably hated having to. He saw my shocked, grateful expression and smiled, blushing a little.
"It explained my eye and the state Lukes in too. But they kept telling me you must have had a really nasty fall to have got into the state you have, I was starting to wonder whether I should just tell them the truth." He looked away as he said this and I squeezed his hand gently.
"Thankyou for not telling them." I said quietly and he looked back at me with a smile.
"I should have told them the truth ya' know, but I'm hoping you'll see sense now. I knew it would hurt you if he got thrown in jail or something." I nodded and sighed a little, I knew it would be stupid to go back to Luke after this but a small part of me still wanted to.
"Is he okay..?" I asked hesitantly and Billy pursed his lips, sighing before replying.
"Yeeah, you managed to give him quite a beating before I arrived. You busted his lip and put a big scratch under his eye, I knocked him out against the wall before calling an ambulance for you. Shame he didnt get concussion though..." He mumbled. I glared at him and he grinned. "What!? Come on Al, he nearly killed you!" He cried.
"Dont be so dramatic." I whined but then didnt feel so sure of myself when I saw the look of seriousness on Billys face and he squeezed my hand as he next spoke.
"Okay, so I may be being a little dramatic, but not a lot. You've got bruises all over you and probably from months ago aswell. He's broken two of your ribs, given you a black eye, busted your lip and generally beaten you to a pulp. I was so scared when I saw him hitting you like that, I knew he had been hurting you but I never thought it was like that." He whispered and I sighed, feeling my heart ache.
"The other night was the worst its ever been, I actually thought he was going to kill me." I admitted. I heard Billy sniff and when I looked back at him he was looking back at the floor, tears in his eyes.
"You have no idea how horrible it was for me. When you got here they took you straight to A&E and I had to wait for hours with no noise, and I kept lieing saying you fell all the time wondering whether you were dead." Billy choked slightly on a sob and I felt awful seeing how upset he was. "And when they told me you were okay and everything that had happened to you and I came in here to see you it was just... it was so... you looked so tiny and broken, swamped by all these machines and covers and I just wanted to hold you and protect you and I just kept beating my self up for not getting to you sooner, I felt like crap and I cried so much seeing you like this. And you just werent waking up and I couldnt keep lieing but I had to and -" I touched Billys face softly with my fingertips and he fell silent, tears in his eyes threatening to spill over.
"Sshh, I'm sorry you had to lie for me Billy. Please dont blame yourself, it was my fault for letting it get so far, I should have left him long ago but I just couldnt. I know I have to though, I cant live with him. Not after this." I felt tears coming to my own eyes and Billy tenderly wiped them away, smiling at me just as the nurse came with a soft smile to give me a check up.