Sometimes, it only takes something as simplistic as a little love to save a life. For atomickilljoy's birthday.
The wind was harsh, forcing the teenage girl back as she struggled forward. It was if the universe was willing to give everything it had to not let her get to the hospital. But she was determined to see him. She needed her answers. And as she battled her way through the strong gale force, she became more adamant with every move she made.
It was hard enough getting to the hospital, but as she walked through the front doors it was as if everything came to a sudden realization; this was real. It was too real. Things like this happen on TV shows and in movies. It didn't happen to people you knew, especially not the people you count as your family. It was surreal. The very thought of him lying up in that hospital room, so alone and so frightened, it chilled Jennifer to her bones. Spencer was her best friend. He would have told her-should have told her-if he was going to do something like this.
"Miss?" The young teenager snapped back to life at the sight of the blonde nurse standing beside her. "Are you okay?"
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine." Jennifer stuttered, struggling to find words. She was clearly not okay, and a hospital would usually be the right place to be if you weren't okay. But it wasn't an illness. It was a deep feeling, an emotion she hadn't discovered before. Guilt? Regret? Is this what it felt like when you lost the one you loved? But Spencer wasn't lost; he was still here-barely, but still here.
Jennifer nodded at the concerned nurse and slowly trotted over to the front desk. All thoughts left her body, as if she was draining with every step she took. The receptionist didn't look friendly at all; she looked impatient from dealing with obnoxious people for so long. So Jennifer slowed down. Her steps became minimum and eventually stopped again.
This was more painful than she had imagined it would be, but she needed to summon up all her courage and go through with it. Spencer needed her. She needed to see him.
"Excuse me," her words were quiet, her voice hoarse, but Jennifer's confidence was hiding behind it all. The old woman rolled her eyes to the side to look at the nervous teenage girl instead of turning her head. "I'm looking for Spencer Smith. He came in yesterday." The old woman regarded Jennifer for a moment, not sure what to make of the shivering and nervous arm scratching. But she tapped away at the keys and hit a few buttons for good measure anyway.
"He's in room 2J on floor 3. Check the room with the receptionist up there." Jennifer nodded at her bitter tone, too scared to say anything else. She just moved as fast as she could towards the elevator and prayed that time would inevitably slow down so she could have a few more minutes or speed up so she could pass the whole ordeal without thought. But the metal doors parted ways and she had to step out into the sterile hall of floor 3. There wasn't enough time to stop and double check. Jennifer was determined to be brave about this. She was going to face him now and make sure he knew exactly how much pain and worry he had put her through in the past twenty-four hours.
She saw him before he saw her. Pale and lying in the pure white room. There was a drip attached to his arm and Jennifer made a mental note to stay away from it. The last thing she wanted to do was knock it over with her clumsiness. But as she lost herself in thought, anything to avoid moving any closer to him, he moved. Lifeless blue eyes shot to find her deep brown ones. Spencer knew of her presence and wasn't going to let Jennifer go unnoticed now.
"Hey," she offered her voice small.
"Hey," he replied, no emotion left.
They stayed in awkward silence, their gaze never faltering. That was until the brunette girl in the chair in the corner of the room closed her magazine and excused herself. Now they were free to talk without the distraction of his older sister in the way.
"How you feeling?" Jennifer asked, tepidly moving to sit on the end of the bed. She didn't know how close he would let her, or even how close she wanted to be. The best friend Jennifer had known two days ago wasn't the same teenager she sat before now. Spencer had changed in ways she couldn't imagine.
He was silent for a moment, a far off look in his washed-out eyes, "Remember when you dared me to eat that chilli hotdog, and then I got food poisoning from it?” Jennifer nodded. "I want to go through that pain ten times over. It's better than this."
Jennifer inhaled deeply. She knew he would never want to relive that hotdog moment again, it wasn't the best of their ideas. But she had no idea what could have driven him to so much pain that he would try to take his own life. That wasn't the Spencer she knew. Sure, his life wasn't as perfect as some of the people they knew, but there was nothing so bad in it that he would no longer want to live.
"What happened, Spencer?" The scared teenage girl asked, her voice straining to stay void of her own feelings. "One day me and you are kicking ass on Assassin's Creed and the next my mom tells me that you overdosed, that you had to have your stomach pumped!" She couldn't keep calm for much longer, her words coated in an emotion crossed between anger and devastation. This was her best friend, someone she had known since she was five years old. They told each other everything and never did something stupid without consulting the other. They were inseparable, always had been. But now Spencer had pushed a line.
"Do you know how horrible I felt yesterday?" Jennifer asked, "And I know you clearly felt worse, but thinking that I would never get to see you again-Knowing that I would never hear your laugh when you beat me on the X-Box or see your smile when I get on the school bus each morning...Those moments mean the world to me." Spencer stayed silent as Jennifer tried to catch her breath and not let her eyeliner smudge. He was an empty husk now. There wasn't a lot of feeling left in him. He was numb. But Jennifer was going to keep trying to get through to him.
Reaching out, Jennifer took Spencer's hand-the one without the drip-and clenched her palm to the back of his knuckles, pushing her fingers through the gaps between his. She lifted them both and pushed his palm to his chest.
"I can feel your heart beat, can you?" The dam was ready to break. "That means I still have you. And for as long as I still have you, I am going to make sure you know just how much I love you. Because I do, Spencer, I love you. You're my best friend and I never want to lose you. You don't know how much you're loved."
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