Hospitals and anxiety. Quality over quantity :X
"Max." A familiar voice paired with a familiar touch. My spirit melted, but I wasn't sure if it was because of the drugged liquid that was flowing through me or because she held my clammy palm. Her's were warm and pressured, brushing softly against my calloused fingertips. My mind slowly began jogging, pieceing things together again. Granted, it wasn't fast; more like a train trying to limp uneasily through snow. The smell finally hit me. Cleaning agents and the nurse's office from kindergarden were an easy combination to guess. A hospital. Normally this would've triggered anxiety like a fucking assassin to an ambassador, but I'm guessing that had something to do with the IV. I let my eyes open; this time the bright, pristine white of the room not quite as alarming. They floated casually around the room until they landed on her. Brown eyes light and liquid like creamy coffee. Concern that I've only seen on television shows shown loud and clear. A rythmetic pounding thumped in my ears like a kickdrum at the start of
a show. My locomotive train of a mind was trudging through a blizzard of drugged darkness, but I just couldn't bring myself to ask out loud. Why am I here? I felt my chest rise, taking in a poisonous breath of sterile air that burned my nose. My head tried to process each question by steady spoon-fulls, as stupid as a baby's mushy brain. Where was I before this? I could feel myself clawing back into my memory to the night before. Not sleeping. Crying. Shaking. More
crying. More shaking. Sleep. All of which would have been avoided if I could've just gotten myself a god damn joint yesterday.
"Mr. Bemis." That same, damn nasal voice. I realized my eyes were now on the ceiling. Simple white rectangles laid out perfectly next to one another. The little boy inside of me wanted more than anything to pick them up and stack them, molding them into a tower. I dropped my vision, half expecting to see my father, 'Mr. Bemis', but was greeted to a woman with a plump, juicy face. Greasy brown hair pulled into a messy, gangly bun, and snot green eyes. The little boy inside of me cackled. A dulled, silver nametag that hung loosely to her worn-out
scrubs read 'Meg'. "Mr. Bemis, we're going to prescibe you with Xanax. It's one of the
only medications your Health Care covers. It'll help with your anxiety attacks." Meg really did have a shitty, nasally voice, but I understood her well enough. Instead of self-medicating with a good blaze, I can take pills that'll do the same job. Who knew? The calming
warmth around my hand tightened to a small squeeze, like my own personal sized sunshine. It melted me back to reality.
"Ok." The word suck to my tongue and teeth like taffy as it came out. I wondered if the strange, monotone sound that just floated to my ears was really my voice. Have I always sounded like that? Meg's brown, peeling lips readjusted to something of a starving smile. It fucking
screamed 'this is not because I want to'.
"We'll release you in a few more hours, Mr. Bemis." Meg's voice was almost as monotone as my foreign one. What happend to calling me Max? Whatever was in my arm was now extracted. Meg walked out of the room, her greasy bun boucing away like a flat basketball on a rainy day. Imediately, my sun was taken brutally from me, and the icy, clean air
slammed against my palm.
"I'll be back," she cooed to me as if my mushy baby brain had taken
over my appearence, too. She turned briskly away, slapping me with her
feminine scent. I was left much more alone than I thought possible.
I got a blow of the sickly hospital air with each step. God, I hate hospitals. As much as I tried I couldn't get the scene from just a few hours ago out of my head. It's happened before, I reminded myself. But it's like this was just something you couldn't scrub off with a good
lather of soap. Max's light eyes were so far away it made my slippery heart beat faster and faster. His pale cheeks had reddened from the acid tears pouring like torrencial rain. And yet somehow, through that, I had managed to drive here. Not to sound like I'm giving myself
pity. I walked into the waiting room of this all too bright place. My dark sweater offended the whites; the contrast a little weird. There was nobody but two people in the wide room. Three if you count the wrinkle-faced woman at the front desk. Makes sense considering the
time- which I'm guessing is about four or five in the morning. I lost count. Carolyn, Max's little sister, sat slouched against her boyfriend, Slade. The two were seated in the farthest seats from the entryway. Carolyn wore comfortable shorts and an over-sized hoodie, that I asumed was Slade's. It sagged against her small, fragile frame. The two didn't notice me until I sat down across from them; her head tucked under his own, resting against his shoulder while his was buried in her jet black hair. There was a glow of simplistic innocence around the two of them that made me admit to a small smile. Caro's head raised instantly.
"What'd that nurse say," she asked, sounding as if her voice had been swimming in sleep. Her dark, tired eyes filled with nothing but worry. My shoulders shrugged involuntarily. I didn't exactly want to blurt, 'Max supposedly has extreme anxiety that he needs medication for', to
his little sister.
"She's gonna give him medicine for his panic attacks." There. Not a nice way of putting it, but certainly not a bad way. My head isn't exactly screwed on straight at this hour, anyway. She pursed her pinkish, pouty lips, taking in the information. Her eyes dashed to Slade, whose eyeslids were shut, heavy breaths and light shores entering and existing. Seeing how peaceful he looked made my body scream and hunger for sleep like a newborn to a meal. A warm yawn
filled my throat.
"How much longer," she asked, strectching in her seat.
"A few more hours," I repeated, my voice mimicking the nurse's. "You and Slade can go home, you know. I can text you when we're out of here." It wasn't fair to keep them here, after all. Caro yawned, stealing another glance at Slade.
"Is he awake? Can I go see him before we leave?" Her questions hurtled at me, and I honestly wasn't one hundred percent sure on either.
"Sure," I replied, a sleepy smile spreading. Carolyn began shaking Slade awake lightly. His brown eyes popped open, squinting at the bright lights. They quickly fixated on Caro, a smile rolling across his face.
"I'm gonna go say bye to Max, and then we'll leave. Wanna come?" Her voice was like talking candy; sugar sweet. His brow creased, his face pouring into a nice grimace like her words were licorice. I actually couldn't help but mirror his expression as well. Probably not the best
idea to throw around. Big brothers and bad influence boyfriends don't exactly go together well.
"I doubt Maxy would want my shining face to be the first thing he lays his eyes on after his nice, drugged sleep, baby. Maybe next time, though." His words were smooth and deep, paired with the smallest of drowsy smirks. She rolled her eyes, but nodded in stubborn
"Ok." She gave a small peck at his lips, and started following me toward Max's room.
"See you later, Nat," Slade called back after us. I gave him a small wave and an even smaller smile. Caro and I walked through the deafening silence of the hallway until we got to room 802. We entered Max's room, where he laid propped up in the narrow hospital bed, simply staring endlessly at nothing in particular; the same way he had looked when the nurse came in earlier. Carolyn came around to the edge of the bed and grabbed his hand, giving it a light squeeze. Max's eyes darted to his sister, surprise and slight shock coating those light, teal-colored eyes. They widened ever so slightly, almost like he was trying to look a little better with his little sister staring down at him. Still trying to be the big brother. The first smile I'd seen all night danced on his lips.
"Hi, Caro." He smiled a little more, and I wondered if it was easy for her to see how hard he was trying.
"Hey, Max. You feeling better," she asked.
"Definitely." Another big brother smile. "When did you get here?" He seemed genuinely curious. Caro shifted the weight from the balls of her feet to her heels, swinging back and forth.
"Couple of hours ago. I'm actually leaving right now." She bent down, wrapping her small arms around his body, giving it a light squeeze. He kissed her forehead through her dark bangs. "See you around," she smiled. Caro walked back, giving me a hug before leaving. "Text me,"
she whispered, low enough so Max couldn't hear, only confirming that his terrible acting skills didn't just by pass me. Once she left, I noticed his eyes fall on me, reeling me in. The big brother smile faded into a soft one, lingering at his lips. This one actually
believable. His eyes were a dreamy combination of the heaviest rain and the lightest color of moss. Thankfully, they didn't look quite as far in thought. The silence wasn't one of the strange, almost creepy hospital hallway; it was comfortable. He wrapped his cold fingers around mine. I leaned my head against the back of the firm hospital chair, shutting my eyes, waiting for the time to pass. It wasn't perfect, but it was as close to bliss I was going to come right here, right now.
CaroBECKETT: Omg thank you thank you thank you.