Fun and Games Next Installment...
The sound of her name pierced the soft comfort of the cloud she was lounging on. “Grace. I need you to open your eyes.”
The voice wasn’t familiar.
“Grace, come on. You can do this. Open your eyes.”
Another deep male voice she didn’t recognize droned, “No response.”
Well that was weird. If she didn’t know better she would swear her eyes were stuck. How could her lids, mere flaps of skin that seemed to work every other freaking day of her life, decide that today was the day they were going to stop?
Swallow. Okay that was hard. Where had the cotton come from? And why did her throat suddenly feel like the Sahara at high noon?
“Grace, we really need for you to open your eyes now.” That voice again. What did this guy think? That she didn’t want to open her eyes.
“Doctor, oxygen?” a soft feminine voice chimed in.
“Not yet.” The voice moved. Where was he going? She wanted to call out that she was there, but couldn’t make her vocal cords work and besides the cloud was calling.
“Grace, time to wake up.”
This voice was familiar.
“Everything looks good and the Doctor’s says you will make a full recovery, but you need to wake up first. Please, honey, open your eyes. “
What happened dad? A full recovery? From what? Are you crying Dad? Don’t do that, I’m fine. Really. I’m right here.
“Gracie Lou, you need to wake up. You are starting to scare me. For real this time.”
Harper? I hear you. I’m here.
“That was a really dumb thing you did, jumping in front of me like that. What were you thinking? Never mind, don’t answer that. Okay, you can answer that. In fact I wish you would. Open your eyes right now and answer me. “
Jumping in front of you? What did I do?
“Please Grace. Please wake up. I don’t know what I will do without you if you don’t.”
Don’t cry. Why is everyone crying today? I’m fine. I’m right here. Why can’t you hear me?
She hasn’t regained consciousness. The words kept playing in Truman’s head like a recording that was stuck in one place. An annoying repetition of words he never wanted to hear again.
Truman was the last one to gain entrance to her room. Her father, cousin and Mrs. Magee had all been in to see her. The doctor allowed Harper to go in and sit with her as well, hoping that the sound of familiar voices would wake her up. So far none worked. By the time Truman made it to her bedside he couldn’t find any words. His throat closed leaving him mute.
After the first set of visitations and the reassurance that Grace made it through the surgery Truman’s mom and dad left promising to return soon. Dill Simonson and Harper went to the police station to make an official statement and Owen, Lucky and their mother left with them. Truman’s mom needed to get home and check on his younger brother and Jack Monroe was still staking out the chair closest to Graces’ door, while Mrs. Magee and cousin Abby left to pick up some things.
Standing at the glass window to her room, he tried willing her to wake up. It didn’t work. Leaning his head against the cool partition he couldn’t help but replay the moment in the driveway over and over again. In his mind’s eye he kept seeing her body jerk at the impact before she toppled to the ground in slow motion. He grunted, the action leaving a sour taste in his mouth.
She looked so peaceful. Her brow was smooth, her mouth relaxed. But he didn’t want peaceful, it didn’t look right on her. Not like this. He wanted her awake and winking at him over coffee or laughing at his latest escapade as he launched himself through her bedroom window. Panic crested over him, threatening to drown him in all of the memories they made and the ones that might never be. Pushing through it, an image of Grace at the lake from the previous summer chasing him with her super soaker water gun and laughing like a loon had the hold on his skull easing.
The voice startled both of the males holding a vigil outside her door. Truman lost interest when he realized it was just a nurse looking for some insurance information, but took the opportunity to ease into her room once more.
A desperate need to touch her and make sure that she was breathing propelled him to her side. Picking up her hand, he lowered himself to the chair next to her bed. Fitting his fingers with hers he said, “Hey you.”
Thank god the words came back.
Deep breath, “The surgery was a success. And you’re gonna to be fine. But you need to wake up. And soon, okay? Please Grace. Wake up soon.” Leaning forward, he rubbed the back of her hand against his cheek, the contact easing the heavy weight across his shoulders. “I miss you Grace. Please open those beautiful eyes of yours so I can see you’re okay.”
When no response was forthcoming Truman squeezed his eyes shut. It didn’t stop the tears from leaking out, but he was male enough to not want to completely break down and lose it in front of Grace, even an unconscious Grace.
Bowing his head, he tried to keep control of the emotions clogging his throat and obscuring his vision. Shoulders shaking, he thought maybe he should give praying a try. Offering up any and everything he could think of, if only God would just make her better.
He was holding her hand so tightly that he almost missed the twitch of her thumb. Through his haze of despair, he looked up and her hand was moving. His eyes jumped from their twined fingers to her face even as he half stood and watched her eyes start to flutter.
“That’s it baby, wake up. Come one, wake up.”
Her eye lids made it to half mast, but she was awake and he could see those beautiful baby blues peering back at him. A rusty “Hey, you” emerged and it was the most beautiful sound he ever heard.
“Hey, you” he murmured back in a water logged voice steeped in emotion.
She swallowed, and blinked a few more times before she whispered, “You okay? You look like crap.”
Barking out a surprised chuckle he replied, “You don’t look so good yourself.” Kissing the back of her hand, he closed his eyes as he winged a prayer up to the big guy.
Licking her lips her voice horse, “I played chicken with a bullet and lost. What’s your excuse?”
Tightening his grip, “You played chicken with a bullet and lost.”
A small smiled tugged at the corner of her mouth. “So glad you’re here.”