So Patrick finally gets to see just how bad Pete's condition is.
I jumped and my eyes flew open. “Wha!?” I exclaimed. I looked and there was Joe, shaking me awake.
“Sorry I’m late but Andy asked me to pick him up and I got stuck in traffic...” he said. Andy was standing to my right a bit. I sat up in my chair and rubbed my head.
“C-Can we see Pete yet?” I asked. Joe shook his head.
“Not that I know of...no doctor has been down here so far. But this is bullshit...we should be able to go see him.” Joe snapped.
“You’re right, Joe...but what can we really do about it?” I asked. Joe just sighed and shook his head.
“So uh...you doin’ okay Patrick?” Andy asked. I nodded.
“Yeah...ugh...but how long have I been asleep?” I asked.
Andy shrugged, “I don’t know. It’s 5AM right now...so...”
“Dammit...I’ve been asleep for like an hour and a half...” I said, standing up and heading back over the receptionist desk.
“Hey...uhm...can we go up yet?” I asked the girl. She sighed.
“Well, I’ll call up and ask, okay?” she replied. I nodded.
She dialed a three digit number and waited for someone to pick up.
“Hello? Doctor? I have three gentlemen for Mr. Pete Wentz in the ICU. Yes...mhmm...okay. Thanks, bye.” she said, and hung up. Smiling, she turned to us. “You can go up.”
She barely got the words out of her mouth before I was walking towards the elevator. I think that even if she’d told us we couldn’t go up, I would have. I nervously pressed the button to the third floor as Joe and Andy entered the elevator.
When the doors closed, I exhaled in relief.
“Finally...” I breathed.
Joe, Andy, and I were silent for the remaining seconds of the ride and when the doors opened I nearly stumbled out. I jogged for the desk and said, “WhatrooisPeteWentzinn?” I asked quickly.The receptionist looked at me funny.
“What?” she asked.
“What room is Pete Wentz in?” Andy repeated. I was grateful.
“Uhm....312.” she said.
“Thank you!” I exclaimed as I raced down the hall.
Joe and Andy hot on my heels, we passed 308, 309, 310, 311...
“312!” I said quickly, grabbing the door handle and slinging it open. The three of us shuffled inside to see a single doctor standing by a bedside which I assumed to be Pete’s.
“Pete!?” I shouted. The doctor turned around and put his index finger to his lips. “Shhh.” he whispered.
A frown crossed my face as Joe and I approached...Andy hung back.
A bolt of electricity shocked my entire body upon seeing Pete. He looked absolutely horrible.
His face has a few cuts on it that had stitches in them and his arms were all wrapped in bandages with blood coming through them. I assumed his legs were wrapped too, and felt a lump rise into my throat. Joe’s hand rested on my shoulder and at that point I just lost it. Tears streamed down my face like never before and I got all choked up, holding back sobs.
“It’s okay Patrick...it’s okay...come on, don’t do this to yourself, crying makes it worse than-”
“Pete!!!” I sobbed loudly, only to be interrupted by the doctor shooshing me again and Joe’s comforting words.
I wiped tears from my eyes and gasped for air...I felt a bit better after letting out a little of my feelings, but I still felt like crying forever.
I carefully avoided the endless amounts of wires surrounding Pete’s bed and walked up along his bedside.
“What’s the diagnosis, Doc?” Joe asked under his breath, hoping me not to hear, although I did.
“Well, the car fire gave him extremely bad burns on his arms and legs and generally everywhere else...the impact caused a few ribs to snap and one has punctured his lung...he’s got an artificial lung right now. Along with that he has cuts and bruises from the car spread across his body here and there. It appears that the truck hit the driver’s side head on, causing most of the impact on his side of the car....”
I couldn’t listen to anything else the doctor had to say. Tears were once again slipping down my face. I knelt down on one knee and took Pete’s hand in mine lightly, as if it were fragile.
“Pete...I’m so sorry about this...it’s all my fault you’re like this. I shouldn’t have let you drive...I’m so sorry....” I whispered, putting my head down on his sheets. Suddenly Joe was behind me.
“Hey...Trick? Don’t blame yourself, dude....just don’t. This is not your fault...” he tried. I started shaking and sobbing into the sheets.
“No, Joe....you don’t understand!” I sobbed, standing up to face him. His hand was still on my shoulder.
“Pete was drunk and I let him drive...that’s why this is all my fault...I’m horrible...I’m a monster...I’m-I’m...I deserve to be in his position.” I said defensively.
Joe’s eyes were big and glassy and sympathetic. “Oh, Patrick, I just knew this would happen. I know how Pete gets when he’s drunk...this isn’t your fault, and don’t you think it for a minute.” he said, pulling me into a hug that Andy joined in on.
Tears escaped my eyes, “I know...but I’m just so worried...I have no one to blame but myself...” I whispered.
“Have hope, Patrick. I’m sure Pete will be just fine...a few burns is all...Pete will be fine.” said Andy. I looked at the doctor who had been listening to our conversation. He didn’t look as if he agreed with Andy.
The doctor cleared his throat. “Well, I advise you let him sleep awhile. He’s had a rough night and could use the rest. But feel free to stay with him.”
“We will. Thanks, Doc.” Joe replied.
The doctor left the room and Joe and Andy took a seat in the chairs beside the bed. I knelt next to Pete, staring at his still face and pale features.
“Poor Peter. Poor, poor, Pete.” Andy said sadly after awhile, shaking his head.
I sat up and looked around for what caused the noise. A nurse looked over at me sheepishly. I smiled lightly at her, telling her it was okay. She had only dropped a metal tray.
Stretching, I noticed I’d fallen asleep in the corner amongst an array of plugs and wires. I untangled myself and stood up.
Pete was still asleep and I looked over at Joe and Andy. Joe was asleep, but Andy was sitting up, just looking over at Pete morosely.
“Mornin’, Andy.” I said quietly.
He grinned, “Well, actually, it’s 3 in the afternoon. You fell asleep at 6AM.” he said.
“Oh.” I said, taking my hat off to readjust it.
“You feel like going to get something to eat at the cafeteria? I’m starving, man.” he asked.
I shook my head vigorously, “No! I mean...no...I want to stay here...” I replied quickly, looking over at still-sleeping Pete.
“I understand. But hey, I’ll get you something. What do you want?” he said.
“Pete to be okay.” I replied aimlessly. Andy frowned and looked at his feet.
“W-Well....I’ll just get you some...toast, I guess...” he replied, shuffling towards the doorway.
As I waited for Andy to get back, I pulled the chair he had been sitting in over closer to Pete. I decided to talk to him.
“Hey, Pete...uhm...I know you’re asleep and all but...I just wanted to tell you that what ever might happen, I still love you so much. And I’m here for you...and I won’t leave until you’re better. Okay? That’s all...I couldn’t wait until you woke up...sorry...” I said. When I turned around I saw that Joe had been watching me.
“You really do love him, don’t you?” he asked.
“Yes, of course I do. More than anything.” I replied. There was a pause before Joe spoke again.
He nodded, “He needs you Patrick...I’m glad you’re there for him.”
“I know he does...” I whispered, touching my fingers lightly to his cheek.
Joe cleared his throat. “We have to call his parents, you know. We should have already called, but...yeah...I’ll call if you want.” he said.
“Thanks Joe.” I replied. Joe stood up and left the room to find a pay-phone.
I sighed and dug the pain-killer pills out of my pocket. I spun open the lid and put two in my hand. Glancing around the room for my water, I popped them into my mouth and took a long drink.
Andy walked in the room.
“Back. Here...all they had was bagels.” Andy said, handing me a bagel and a pack of jelly.
“It’s fine...I’m really hungry actually. I would have eaten anything.” I said gratefully, biting into the bagel.
We ate in silence until suddenly the bed creaked. My head shot up and saw Pete shifting in his bed. He seemed to be stretching his arms and then he opened his eyes. He looked at me, soft and innocent, seeming to say, ‘Where am I, Patrick?’