Medical Problems
Jack had been at the hospital for 3 and a half hours by the time Karen decided to arrive. Grace had come and left, deeply regretting the fact that she had to pick up her husband from the airport. Leo had just returned from another trip to South America. She had promised to be back before night settled in, but her promise was fading just as quickly as the setting sun.
"Hey Poodle! Whatca doin'?" Karen walked in reeking of alcohol as usual.
"Hi, Kare. I'm so upset. I don't know what to do. Why do I feel this way Karen?!" A moment passed before Karen burst into giggles. "No Karen! I really do feel this bad! It's not the same. I feel...a deep dark feeling creeping through me. I—I don't know what to do!"
"Oh, I'm sorry Dear." Karen moved closer to Jack who was sitting on a cushioned bench in the waiting room. "I don't know what to say. Nothing like this has ever happened." As she moved closer, the tension began to mount. Karen had never witnessed, much less experienced, real feelings of sadness. For all of her life, everything was handed to her on a silver platter; she never had to raise a finger.
"I mean, how could this happen? I wasn't doing anything wrong! I was just making out with Juan when it fell. I couldn't do anything! I didn't even know what happened until he got off me! Karen, what is this? I can't stand it! Will's hurt, and he—he's the only..." Jack turned his head into Karen's shoulder, crying without hesitation. Not knowing what to do, she wrapped her arms around him, hoping the tears would end soon. Why would Jack fell so badly? She knew he wouldn't hurt a fly, but even if he did, he wouldn't break down, not this badly.
"Hello, Jack McFarland, and...?" Karen looked up to see a young man in a white coat with glasses and a balding head.
"Who are you and what do you want with my Jackie?!"
"Well Ms., I'm Dr. Johnston. I'm here to tell your friend about Will's condition." At this, Jack looked up, tear-stained and with a sad face that said 'What?' "Jack, Will is doing much better after being attacked by that brick." Jack, from embarrassment, had told everyone that Will had been hit by a brick while passing by a partially completed three- story building. "He should awaken in a couple of hours with a serious headache. We were lucky; he doesn't seem to have a concussion. Any questions?"
"Can I see him?" Jack asked with a clenched throat.
"Of course. Visiting hours have just started. Besides, what would make him wake up faster than his best friend?" Jack and Karen followed the doctor to Will's room. As the doctor left, Jack turned to look at the number, 85. How odd, Jack thought, 'Will had seen the light once in '85, and hopefully soon he would see it again in 85.' The thought left him as soon as Karen opened the door. There he was, with a bandage wrapped around his head and an IV coming from his arm. Jack's throat clenched again, and the tears flowed as though they were unprecedented. He would have collapsed on the spot if Karen hadn't been there to hold him up. What had he done? What if he never woke up? Nobody even knew the truth. And he couldn't tell them. The dark feeling strengthened until he couldn't bare it any longer. He tore away from his stunned friend, and tripping on his own feet, Jack landed on Will's bed only to fall once again into a fit of tears.
Karen turned from the sight of her sobbing friend to sit in a chair, which lay in a corner. Why did Jack feel this way? She knew he had something to do with Will's accident, but what? She didn't know, and there was no way she could ask him. 'Poor Jackie,' she thought as she looked up to see him trying to tell Will something. What he saying? He was just sobbing into Will's neck. Ooo! What could she do? She couldn't let her poodle stay this upset. And yet she couldn't even watch it. Slyly, she stood up and left her crying baby with his wretch of a friend.
Jack was weeping into the bedding. "Will, I—I—"He couldn't finish from his sorrow. His throat was closed, and he was fighting for air. 'I'm so sorry Will. I shouldn't have been that stupid. I should have told him to stop, I didn't even want to do anything! I told him to stop, I did! Why? What did I do!? I hurt you, Will. I can't take it, I love you! I would never hurt anyone, much less you. Ever since I this morning, I can't smile. I can never be happy anymore Will. I need you to come back, you're the reason I laugh, you are the source of my joy... What can I do?!'
Sometime later Dr. Johnston walked in to see Jack asleep in a chair next to the patient's bed with his head resting on the white sheet. "Jack, Jack! Hello, are you here?"
Startled, Jack woke up. "What—what's happening?" He said groggily.
"There you are. I just need to check on Will and was surprised to see you still here." 'Why wouldn't I be here?! 'Jack thought. "Hmmm... Looks like I need to change the IV. And I'll need to clean his wound. It might be a nasty sight if you want to look away." 'Look away? Not while you're doing things to Will!' "No, I'll stay. I can't leave him." Jack said trying to hold the anger now. Dr. Johnston began to change the IV. As he took out the needle, Jack looked away instinctively, but as he put in a new one Jack spoke, "He doesn't like needles, they scare him." He looked back around to see Dr. Johnston taking the IV out for a second time. "Damn." The doctor tried again. "What are you doing?! You can't use that needle again! And why didn't you get it in the vein the first time!" "Jack, please, I am the professional here. I know what I'm doing." "No you don't! You can't use that needle again!" "Excuse me, Mr. McFarland. I have a medical degree from the University of Illinois. Would you rather I fix up your friend, or would you like to take him home and care for him yourself?" "I know something about needles! And using the same one twice, even on the same person, is against the rules!" "And how would you know? Are you certified?" Jack, realizing he had over stepped his bounds, stayed silent. Dr. Johnston finished what he was doing and turned to leave. As he was walking out of the door, Jack got in the last word. "I do know something about needles! I'm training to be a nurse. Do you know what you did? If anything happens to him, I'll get you, Johnston!"