Chapter two: The Hospital
It only took a few seconds for the news to sink in, and no one was happy to hear it. Lindsay was paralyzed. Her father was holding onto her crying mother and Paula had covered her face with her hands, sobbing into them. Tyler remained silent, but was looking sorrowfully at the floor, clearly upset at the news.
Eva stared at the doctor in shock, as if waiting for the doctor to say that he was kidding. "…Paralyzed?" She repeated, her eyes wide. "As in 'never-going-to-walk-again' paralyzed?!"
The doctor nodded sadly. "The nerves in her lower torso were shot. The impact pretty much destroyed the ability of movement." He explained. "I'm actually amazed that she isn't paralyzed even more. Technically, she shouldn't be able to move anything below the neck."
"But…Will she be able to pull through?" Lindsay's mother asked.
"She's going to need a wheelchair. No question about that." The doctor replied. "But if Lindsay was willing to do what she did, I'm expecting that she'll have no trouble adapting."
Hearing this only pulled at Eva's heart even more. Before she could speak, Lindsay's parents again spoke first.
"Can we see her?" Linday's father asked.
"Yes, but she's asleep." The doctor replied. "Remember to keep quiet while you're in the room."
After receiving directions to Linday's room, the group silently walked down the hallways of the hospital to go see how she was doing. Eva brought up the rear, trying her hardest to avert her eyes from the rooms as she walked. She hated hospitals and the last time she was in one was an experience she was really hoping that she wouldn't relive. Eva tried to block out the painful memories of her last visit to the hospital as she followed Linday's family to their destination.
Eventually, the group arrived at the door to Lindsay's room. After a moment's hesitation, Eva followed Lindsay's family and Tyler into the room.
The room didn't look any different than any other normal hospital, but the pale gray on the walls just made it feel depressing to Eva. The athletic girl spotted Lindsay laying on one of the beds (the others in the room were empty), sound asleep and hooked up to a bunch of machines. The heartbeat monitor beside Lindsay's bed was giving off a beep every second, showing that her condition was normal. Despite all this, Lindsay was sleeping peacefully and no one wanted to ruin it for her.
Eva was never one to let things get to her, but seeing Lindsay like this after doing what she did was almost too much for the athlete to handle. Eva still couldn't quite get her mind wrapped around the logic of Lindsay risking her life for her.
Lindsay's mother was almost instantly at her daughter's side, holding onto her hand. "Oh, my poor baby. How could something like this happen to her?" She asked.
"Dear, sometimes there are things that can't be helped or prevented." Linday's father replied, placing a comforting hand on his wife's shoulder.
This just pulled at Eva's heart even more. In her mind, the accident COULD have been prevented if she hadn't been so stubborn as to not listen to Lindsay's warnings. Tyler was surprised when he saw how upset Eva looked and took it as his cue to change the subject as best as he could.
"When do you think she'll wake up?" Tyler asked, approaching Lindsay's bed.
"The doctor said she was just resting." Linday's father replied. "She's had a rough day, so I imagine that she'll be out for a bit."
"Man. I can't believe it's come to this." Paula sighed. "I mean, I know it happens all of the time, but…When it happens to your own sister…"
Eva couldn't take it anymore. She needed to get away from all the emotion in the room, no matter how guilty she felt. She rushed towards the door to the room, roughly brushing past Tyler on the way out (but offering a quick and unexpected apology to him), leaving Linday's family in silence.
"What do you think was bothering her, dear?" Linday's father asked. "She looked pretty upset."
"I'll go see, honey." Linday's mother explained as she got up. "Stay here with Lindsay and make sure she's alright."
"I can go check on Eva, Mrs. Mason." Tyler volunteered.
"It's fine, Tyler." Linday's mother assured. "I think I know where she's gone and you wouldn't be allowed in there."
Eva closed the door to the ladies washroom behind her as she approached the sinks. Placing her hands on the counter, Eva gazed into the mirror, a hurt look on her face. She always knew that her poor attitude would get her in trouble one day (Total Drama Island proved that), but she never would have thought that her anger would have put someone else's life in danger, let alone her own.
"Lindsay's paralyzed. She nearly got killed because I was too stubborn to listen to her." Eva said. "How could so much happen just from that?"
Eva couldn't bear to look at herself anymore. She turned away from the mirror and walked over to the wall. Leaning against the wall, Eva slowly slid down until she was sitting on the floor, against the wall. The fitness buff sighed as she lightly hit the back of her head against the wall.
"Eva? Eva, honey?" A voice Eva recognized as Lindsay's mother asked from the other side of the door. "Are you alright in there?"
Eva looked at the door. "How'd you know I was in here?" She asked dully.
The door opened and Lindsay's mother entered. "You left Lindsay's room in such a hurry that I knew this place would be where you'd go first." She explained. "You need to talk?"
"What's there to talk about? Lindsay nearly got killed because of something stupid I ended up doing." Eva replied, looking away.
"…Eva, what happened?" Lindsay's mother asked, sitting down beside Eva. "You can tell me."
Eva sighed. "You really want to know?" She checked.
"Of course I do. You need to get it off your chest."
The fitness buff sighed again. "I was walking to the gym and I walked underneath where that scaffold was going to land. Lindsay tried calling out to me to warn me, but I ignored her and just turned my music up." Eva replied. "Because she couldn't get my attention, she shoved me out of the way, but the scaffold landed on her instead."
Linday's mother gasped. "Oh, my!" She said. "Is…Is that true?"
Eva nodded. "You see? This whole accident COULD have been prevented." She replied. "If I wasn't so stubborn, she wouldn't be in a hospital bed right now!"
"Eva, what's done is done. Don't beat yourself up about it. I'm sure Lindsay wouldn't like that." Lindsay's mother said as she placed a comforting hand on Eva's shoulder. "In fact, in spite of what happened, her father and I couldn't be prouder of her. She actually risked her life to save yours. I know it wasn't without consequences, but Lindsay's a hero."
"But…She's paralyzed…" Eva stammered.
"But she's also alive. We'll take a paralyzed daughter over a dead daughter any day." Lindsay's mother said. "We know that it'll be hard for Lindsay to adjust to not being able to walk, but at least she's still alive."
Eva sighed. "Lindsay is so lucky. You guys are so optimistic about this whole thing." She admitted. "I just don't get why she even bothered to save me, though."
"Eva, how could you say that?!"
"Because I made no friends on that stupid show we were on! I considered Lindsay an annoyance!" Eva replied. "Why would she save the life of someone that didn't even LIKE her before?!"
"Because it's Lindsay's nature to be forgiving." Lindsay's mother explained. "Maybe she doesn't hold a grudge against you because you didn't use her like that Heather girl or that Justin boy did."
"It…It still doesn't seem fair." Eva said, hanging her head low. "I should be the one in that hospital bed, being unable to walk! Not Lindsay!"
"Lindsay made the choice to save you, dear." Lindsay's mother explained as she stood up. "Please don't be guilty about it. I'm sure Lindsay won't blame you. Now, I'm going back to Lindsay's room, but you're welcome to come as well to visit with her."
With that, Lindsay's mother left the washroom. Eva sighed as she stood up and approached the sink mirror again. She looked at herself in the mirror, only then realizing that she had shed some tears that she didn't know about. Eva looked different now, as if she looked less guilty and more like herself.
"Lindsay saved me. I need to find a way to pay her back." Eva told herself. "I…I need to help her through this…"
Hours passed and it was getting late. Lindsay's father, whom had said he would spend the night at the hospital to be with his daughter, entered her room. The middle-aged man suddenly saw that Eva was sitting by Lindsay's bedside, head on her bed and sound asleep.
Lindsay's father walked over to the sleeping Eva and gently nudged her shoulder. "Eva. Eva, wake up." He said.
"Ugh…Huh?" Eva asked as she woke up. "Is Lindsay up yet?"
"Eva, you've been here all day. Please go home and get some rest." Lindsay's father said.
"N-No. I need to be here when Lindsay wakes up." Eva shook her head, rubbing her eyes.
"Eva, please. You need to rest." Lindsay's father said. "We'll be sure to call you if Lindsay wakes up in the morning."
Eva hesitantly looked at Lindsay's still-sleeping form and sighed. "Promise me that you'll call me as soon as she wakes up." She said. "I don't care what time it is."
The fitness buff yawned as she slowly got to her feet and said goodnight to Lindsay's father, leaving the room. Eva staggered her way through the hospital and eventually made it outside, where she wandered over to the bus stop and waited for a ride to show up.
Eva almost dozed off on the bus on the way back home, but didn't because she knew she'd miss her stop if she did. Eventually, Eva arrived at the stop closest to her house and managed to make it to her bedroom. When she made it to her bed, she instantly fell facefirst onto her bed and went to sleep almost instantly.
The only thing Eva could think of when she went to sleep was how much she hoped she wouldn't have nightmares about Lindsay…
To be continued…