"…I decide who I love."
"Then just decide!"
She was startled awake after this played through her mind. It was like some horrible nightmare, except she knew it was reality, and the last thing she remembered before everybody started screaming. Sitting up, getting her breathing under control, she took in her surroundings. What was she doing in a hospital?
"Spencer! You're awake!"
"Uh, yeah, what happened?"
"There was a drive by at your prom. You got shot, in the stomach."
"Oh. Are Glen and Clay okay?"
"Yes, they're fine honey. Most of the people who were hurt just had a few bumps and scrapes, a few people got grazed by bullets. The boy the shooters were after, Boz, he was the only one killed. You were the only one seriously wounded. From what I heard, after all hell broke lose, Ashley grabbed you and pulled you to the ground. Spencer, if she hadn't of done that, you might be dead. She had got to you right before you were hit."
"Oh. So everyone else is fine?"
"Yes. Spence, you lost a lot of blood, the internal damage wasn't too bad, but you've been in a coma for a month. You're going to be just fine though, you're mostly healed already."
"Good to know I guess. Wow, a whole month, well at least it looks like I got a lot of flowers and stuff."
"You know, she's been by to see you everyday. The first week after you were out of surgery, we could barely get her to go home. She comes by every afternoon and stays until visiting hours are over."
Spencer was still absorbing everything. She was too afraid to ask about Ashley, with the last things they said to each other, she didn't know where they stood; she didn't think she wanted to know right now. Hell, she just learned she had been shot, was asleep for a month, and now what? Spencer didn't know. She just wanted time to process all of this.
"Everyone will be glad that you're awake. I'll bring the family by later."
"Dad, can it just wait until tomorrow? I'm kind of tired, and I don't really want to see anyone, I just want to be left alone."
"Sure Spence, you just get some rest. I'm sure you're mom will probably stop by later, I'll make sure she doesn't stay too long. I'll swing by to check on you on my way home from work, and then we'll see you tomorrow."
Spencer nodded her head, thankful that her father was so understanding. Throughout the rest of the morning and into the early afternoon, doctor had come to check on her, nurses had been in and out of the room, and even her mother had showed up but thankfully didn't stay too long. It seemed she was finally going to get some peace. Propped up in her bed, Spencer sat back and just stared at the wall to her left. She wasn't thinking about anything in particular, just existing for the time being, thankful for the quiet.
"You're dad told me you were awake."
Ashley. Spencer didn't know if she could handle seeing her right now, so she didn't say anything, and just continued to stare at the wall.
"Why won't you look at me?"
"If you're here to tell me you chose him, I don't think I could look at you, not now, maybe not ever again."
"Spencer, look at me."
She slowly turned to look at the brunette, apprehension flowing off of her in waves.
"When I said I loved Aiden, yeah I meant it. I thought I was in love with him then, so I told him. After we broke up, even before I knew I was gay, I knew that I was never really in love with him. Sure, the emotions were real, but for me, it was never that strong. When I met you, I felt so many things. I soon found out what love really was. And what I feel for you pales in comparison to what I ever felt for Aiden. Spence, there was never any question, you are the one I love and want to be with."
At the mention of him Spencer had looked away, tears forming in her eyes as she though she was going to lose the one person she loved more than anything. When she realized where Ashley was going with her little explanation, she looked back up at her, tears evident in both of their eyes, just in time for Ashley to say that she loved her, that she had chosen her, not him.
Wiping the tears away from her cheeks, Spencer averted her gaze down to her lap as an awkward silence fell between the girls.
"You're not just saying all of this because I got shot, are you?"
"God no Spence! If anything it only reinforced what I already knew. I was so scared I would lose you. It's always been you Spence; no one could compete with how much I love you."
Spencer continued to stare at her lap. She didn't know what to say. Of course she still loved Ashley, and she was beyond relieved to find out that she didn't even think of him like that.
"So it's really been a month huh?"
"Yeah, you sure took long enough to wake up, I've been worried sick. But hey, its summer now, you got to skip the last couple of weeks of school. I've been her everyday Spence, I had to be. You're my everything. Sometimes Kyla would come with me, but it was mostly me, and I would talk to you, read you the latest gossip rag, whatever I could think of."
Spencer just nodded her head. That was all she could do, it was all so much, she still didn't know how to react, she had just come out of a coma for Christ sake.
"I guess I'll just go then, if you don't really want me here."
"It's okay Spence, I'm sure this is all a lot to process. I know you were scared I would choose Aiden, and I get if you want your space, so I'll just leave you alone."
"Please Ash, don't leave me."
"I was never going to."
"Will you just come sit here with me, hold me?"
"Anything for you Spence, anything."
Ashley lay down next to Spencer on the hospital bed, mindful that she would probably be sore. She wrapped her arms around her girlfriend, cradling her close, making sure she knew there was never any doubt. As Spencer snuggled in closer to Ashley, relief washed over both of them.
"When I realized you had been shot, I was so scared I might lose you. I held you in my arms, just like this, while I tried to stop the bleeding. I was so afraid, I love you so much Spencer."
"I love you too, Ash."