So, I'm not the kind of guy who gets scared of the dark. Actually, I don't really scare easy over anything. I know that I'm supposed to be the big tough quarterback and everything, so I guess I kind of made sure that I fit that role, or whatever you'd call it. Like, I used to get scared of spiders, but then one day this little voice in the back of my head said: "Come on, Finn. Men aren't scared of spiders. They aren't scared of anything." Of course the voice itself was rough and kinda scary, so I wasn't exactly off to the best start. Eventually, though, I taught myself to not be scared of spiders.
My point is, I'm not afraid of the dark.
But, dude, this was really, really scary. We're talking pitch black. As black as black can get. I couldn't see my shirt, much less Rachel. It was creepy really, how it went from being like broad daylight to deep into the night. I guess it had something to do with the fact that it's winter and…we were in the forest…
As soon as it was getting to that point where the darkness was closing in, I made sure I knew where Rachel was. I was kind of freaked out that that little girl from The Grudge was going to grab her and make her disappear into nothing, so I shifted so that Rachel was in my lap with her head rested in the crook of my elbow.
I could tell by people's voices that they were starting to panic, but everybody hid it pretty well. Well, everybody except Brittney. She was crying and screaming something about needing 'Alonzo the Night Light.'
There was still a little light left when I heard someone making there way towards us through the forest. A million video game scenarios ran through my head, and I wished I had Halo flamethrower.
"Guys!" I let out a breath when I heard Matt's voice. "We got help! We got help, guys!" He was screaming and running as fast as he could without tripping over the place.
"What?" I found myself asking. I'd started to think that help would never come.
Matt stopped once he reached me, paused for a second to catch his breath, and then shot off into an explanation. I didn't catch everything he was saying, (he was talking way too fast) but I got the gist of it. Apparently Mrs. Cochran (still not completely sure why she was there…) was off calling an ambulance and we needed to move out to the road.
Everybody had come and stood around me and Rachel while Matt was talking, and as soon as he was done they started sprinting towards the street. There wasn't hugging or happy crying or anything. They just ran.
Well, Artie didn't, but that was expected. I didn't, either; I still had to take care of Rachel. I made sure not to move her too much as I lifted her. She was still unconscious, which was kind of freaking me out, but I held my hand in front of her face and could feel breath, which I figured was a good thing.
"Did ya hear that, Rach? Your mom's here! She's getting us help right now. Just hang in a little longer," I told her as I made my way to the road. It was really hard for me to get excited about rescue with Rachel like she was.
I only tripped once on the entire hike. Some stupid tree had roots sticking half a foot out of the ground. Aren't roots supposed to be underground? With Rachel in my arms I couldn't catch myself, so I hit the ground. Hard. But don't worry; I managed to twist awkwardly so Rachel landed on top of me. I'm a good boyfriend.
Really I was kind of surprised that I only fell that once—I mean, I've always been a klutz, and my feet are too big for my body. I guess I was just being extra careful.
When I got to the road, everybody was lined up to the side, waiting impatiently. I kind of expected the ambulance to be there waiting for us, but it wasn't. I guess Mrs. Cochran had to find cell signal, and then the ambulance had to drive all the way out there. It was going to take a while, I figured. I was right.
It took half-an-hour for everybody to sit down. They were all so excited about rescue they just couldn't bring themselves to earlier, I guess. I was the first one down, which is fair considering I was carrying Rachel.
After forty-five minutes—by this time we were well into complete darkness—people were getting nervous.
"Are you sure you saw her, Matt?"
"It's been a long day. It must've been a mirage."
"Dude. Worst. Prank. Ever."
"I saw her, guys. Honestly."
Then, after an hour, the most horribly cheesy, cliché thing happened. We started singing.
It all started with Puck, of all people.
"Ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough baby. If you need me, call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far. Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry you don't have to worry…"
At least the song didn't like, reflect the situation perfectly. That would've been way too much.
Then Mercedes decided to sing along. 'Cause baby, there ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you."
Artie decided to sing the next verse, and by the next chorus, everyone was singing. Once that song was over, we sang another. And another. And another.
I'm not really sure how many songs we sang; I just know that, if we hadn't, the darkness would've scared me to death.
I dunno, I guess that singing is just our own, demented way of communicating and supporting each other.
It took an hour and a half for the ambulance to get there. We could hear them coming a mile away, but the trees made it really hard to see them. Once we did the light nearly blinded me.
"Here! Over here!" I started screaming as soon as the doctor-people jumped out of the ambulance. Rachel was going to be the first to get help; I'd make sure of it. I saw Quinn directing one of the other ambulances (there were three or four, I think) to Mr. S in the van.
"Sir, can you tell me what happened?" A young guy asked me, taking Rachel out of my arms. I popped up and went right back to her side.
"There was a crash and she said she was fine after and she was helping and stuff and then she got really pale and I told her to stop but she's really stubborn and wouldn't listen and she finally did but then she passed out and she hasn't woken up yet and I don't know if her heart's beating or whatever but she's breathing which is good and—" The doctor cut me off. I'm not really sure if he got anything I said, I was talking kind of fast.
"Okay, sir, don't worry. We're going to take her to the hospital. You need to get yourself checked out—"
Wait, what? He wanted me to leave Rachel? There was no way that was going to happen.
"What? No, I'm not leaving. I have to stay with her, she's my girlfriend."
"I'm sorry, sir, but you really need to—"
"No! I'm not leaving, okay?" I'm pretty sure I was yelling at the poor guy at this point. It worked, though.
He looked at me for a second and then nodded. "Okay, fine. You can ride in the ambulance, as long as you promise to get checked out as soon as we get to the hospital, okay?"
I nodded and followed him into the ambulance. I grabbed Rachel's limp hand as the doors slammed shut.
So I guess the kids have told you about the aftermath of the crash. I still don't know much about it, and I don't think I ever want to.
It's a miracle that I even survived, really. The glass that stuck into my side missed all major organs and arteries—it only went into me about an inch and a half. The doctors say that the glass is the only thing that kept me from bleeding out, actually. If the glass had been removed, I would've died by the time help arrived.
I also had a grade two concussion, and two cracked ribs from where I hit the seat. I was lucky, really, considering where I was sitting in relation to where the bus hit.
As for the kids, most of them only had minor injuries. Mike had a grade one concussion, Santana grade two. Mercedes had a hairline fracture of the radius. Other then them and Rachel, there were mainly just cuts and bruises. It was some crazy kind of miracle that we all survived.
Other than me, Rachel is the one that had it worst. The root of all of her problems was a nasty, grade three concussion. That led to a subdural hematoma, and then a high intracranial pressure. Basically, she hit her head really hard, she started bleeding inside her head, and the blood pooled near her brain, and then her brain started swelling.
Luckily, the trauma wasn't extensive enough to need surgery. She needed a little breathing support, some heavy medication, and the doctors had to drain her cerebral spinal fluid. She was back to yelling at me for not giving her solos in no time.
As for New Directions as a whole, this whole experience has brought us closer. We faced death together and survived. Maybe it's not how I'd like for us to bond, but we bonded nonetheless. We were disqualified from Regional's, which I still think is complete crap. Apparently the show had gone on without us and a winner had been chosen. They couldn't take it back. I did, however, manage to have some lady named Kathleen McMahan fired for neglecting to send out a search party.
The kids were kind of bummed that we didn't get a chance at Regional's, but I think they were mainly just glad that we all survived. At least now we can shoot for next year.
The first thing I saw when I woke up was Finn. He was sitting in a chair beside my bed holding my hand, and he was fast asleep. At first I didn't know exactly where I was, but everything came back to me after a while. Well, almost everything. According to the doctors, memory loss is common for head traumas like mine.
"Finn," I squeezed his hand and called his name quietly. He didn't even flinch. "Finn," I said louder the second time. Nothing. "Finn!" I yelled, startling him awake. He jumped out of his chair and put his fists up like he was going to fight someone. I laughed at how ridiculous and adorable he looked, but stopped quickly at the excruciating pain in my head.
"Rachel!" He cried happily, seating himself in his vacated chair. "How are you feeling?" He looked so happy to see me awake. I felt my heart swell in my chest—which, by the way, is much less painful than having your brain swell in your head.
"I'm fine," I told him truthfully. Compared to the way I felt after the crash I felt like a million bucks. Wait, the crash! This was the 'after a while everything came back to me' part. "Oh, my God! Are you okay? Is everybody else okay? What about Mr. Schuester? He was right near the truck—" At first I just remembered the crash, not everything else after it. I had no idea if anyone else was even alive.
"Whoa, Rach. Calm down. We're all fine. Mr. S woke up about an hour ago. He's fine, we're all fine. You're the one we're worried about."
"Where are they?"
"I'm not sure. Mr. Schue is in a different ward completely—we're in the ICU—and everyone else is spread everywhere. Your dads are here, they just went to get coffee. Oh, yeah! You're mom's here, too. She's the one that found us." Something he said drew my attention. I didn't even register that Shelby was here until later when she came to see me.
"Wait, I'm in the ICU? What happened to me?" I should've realized that Finn wasn't the best person to ask that…
"Oh, um, yeah. You passed out. You didn't wake up and it was freaking me out. The doctors said you had a bad concussion which caused a… subhemmoral dermatoma… or something… which caused a… decreased—no, increased—head pressure…or something—"
"You know what? I'll wait and let the doctors explain it to me," I smiled to him so he didn't take offense.
His grin must've been ten times as big as mine. "I'm so glad you're okay, Rach. For a second I thought… well, I don't know exactly what I thought. I didn't think you would be okay, I guess. That scared me. I love you, Rach," I've never heard someone sound so genuine in my entire life. He lifted the hand he was holding and kissed it.
How is it that I was laying in a bed in the hospital after almost dying and I had never felt so happy? "I love you, too, Finn."
I was released from the hospital a week later. Rehearsals started up again the day after I got back. We're back into the old routine now, which I don't mind at all. If anything's changed, it's that glee feels like more of a home than ever. It's kind of crazy that after this huge tragedy happens, things are better than they were before. I guess it's like Mr. Scuhester keeps saying: though the crash was awful and painful, it ended up being some crazy kind of miracle.
Well, guys, it's been a great run. I had a great time writing this story, and I hope you had a great time reading it.
Btdubbs, the song was "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye.
Thanks so much for reading. I know that my updates were few and far between, so I really appreciate you for sticking with it all the way through. Special thanks to those of you that reviewed.
Speaking of, PLEASE REVIEW! I'd love to hear your closing thoughts! Thanks so much! :D