2. Ice Hockey King
"Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!"
The game was over.
"Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!"
But yet they were still chanting his name.
-2 weeks later-
"First ionisation energy," I muttered under my breath as I furiously scribbled down. "The energy required when one mole of electron is removed from one mole of gaseous atom from an element to form one mole of positively charged ion. Under standard conditions." I made sure to double line standard conditions though for the life of me, I didn't know what they were. Room temp? A freaking freezer?
For the first time in ages, I had found a secluded spot in the hospital, to sit down and finish all my homework in. The only TV around this place, was in the private rooms hired by the more wealthy, and like hell they were going to let a 18-year-old watch TV with them.
So by default, exactly like I predicted, I wound up taking out my work and starting to complete it in the hospital canteen. Even though it was reluctantly.
"Bella?" a head poked round the door. "Mr Matthew's urine sample needs to be taken. Can you be a doll and get him to pee in this cup?" She waved the thing around like it was no big deal, but we both knew Vicky wanted to go home early.
So it was with even greater reluctance, that I put the pen down with a sigh and went to find Mr Matthew's to empty his bladder.
"I won't do it!" he said, childishly crossing his arms when I asked him. Not bad for a 57-year-old geezer. I knew I wouldn't get a drip out of him, if I continued gawking at him, so I pulled the curtain between us and waited patiently on the otherside. Damn you, Vicky I cursed as I heard Mr Matthew's urine gushing into the cup, You got away scot-free. Again.
As I contemplated howI was going to collect the sample without any latex gloves, Dr Carlisle hurried past, shrugging on a winter coat. "My son's ice hockey game, you see," he explained when I asked if he was clocking off, "He's expecting me to be there. Shoot," he glanced at his watch with a grimace. "It's probably finished by now."
I imagined a wobbly-kneed eight year old, about to particpate in his first game, scanning the crowd to see if his father was there. Then I imagined the crest-fallen expression on his face as he realised his father was never going to show, and he had to settle for the sidelines, watching other team-mates get pampered like crazy by their loved ones. My heart immediately went out to this boy.
"Right then," I said, a little flustered. "You'd better get going. Don't worry about me, I'll hold down the fort."
My feeble joke sounded lame in my ears, but to give Dr Carlisle credit, he didn't act like I'd just made the the biggest gaff in the world. He just continued winding his scarf around his neck calmly and replied, like what I said made perfect sense. "I'm so pleased we chose you, Bella, out of all your other schoolmates. You've been really dedicated with your job and go out of your way to make the patients comfortable." He paused, "That's a sign of a good doctor, you know."
My mouth fell open and my eyes nearly bugged out of my head.
Me? A doctor? I don't think so. Didn't he know I was repeating a year?
"See you, Bella," he said breezily before sweeping out the double doors and like a breath of fresh air, I was replenished. Even if to collect a wee sample.
Fifteen minutes later and Dr Carlisle was back. "My pager beeped," he admitted when he saw me strewn over my work, with a questioning eyebrow. "A major car accident down by La Push. I can't let Dr Philips be the only viable consultant here so I had to re-route. Looks like I have to miss the game after all..." I was aghast. Dr Carlisle wouldn't be Dr Carlisle if he didn't have an enormous work ethic, but was he really going to leave his son stranded like that? Without anyone to take him home?
My question was answered a minute later.
"Edward?" Dr Carlisle said brusquely down the phone. "I'm sorry son, but it looks like you have to make your own way home. Give your mother a kiss from your old man, won't you? Circumstances call," and then cut the call as his pager beeped once more. "Shit," he swore. "There's a fatality, but two young men are still fighting for their life. Where's Vicky?" he roared as I jumped in my seat.
When Vicky didn't magically appear, Dr Carlisle swung his gaze on me. "Shit, shit, shit," he swore again. "She's just a schoolkid."
But then he clucked his teeth. "Well beggars can't be choosers, I guess. Bella, suit up. I need your help. I'm assuming Vicky's shirked enough of her responsibilities these past two weeks, for you to pick up all the essential opiates?"
I nodded once.
"Good," he said with some satisfaction. "Then give me any drug I ask you without any hiccups, please."
I shook my head.
"I don't think I-"
"Don't think," Dr Carlisle said forcefully. "Just do."
Non-surprisingly the fatality was someone I knew. Not intimately, but just enough to start shaking when his cold body was wheeled past, already in a body bag with a name tag on it.
He was in my French Class back in seventh grade. I never really talked to him because he always seemed one of those boys who pinged a girls bra open or tried to look up her skirt when she wasn't looking. The hairiest moment I ever had with him, was when he called me a lesbo because I didn't want to talk to any other boy except Ben. C'mon. I was in seventh grade. Could you have expected any better?
But he was dead now, and I wasn't laughing like I promised I would all those years ago. In fact, I felt a tiny bit sick. Like, could this day get any worse?
Yup, yup and yup again.
"JAKE?" I incredulously yelled when the second boy was wheeled in, this time with twenty paramedics surrounding him (well, it felt like it) and his shirt ripped open in half as one of the paramedics did irregular compressions. He didn't respond back, and I was left gaping after the gurney as the third one came whizzing past. "Seth?" This was getting more and more bizarre. Jake was my bestest friend and Seth was his dearest cousin. They were decent boys. What the hell were they doing being wheeled into A&E when Jake had promised me, he'd pick me up after eight?
"Oh my god, Billy!" I hyperventilated, before I realised I had no ride home. "Charlie!"
And then a second later..."Vicky?"
"JAMES!" Vicky bellowed, running as fast as her six inch heels would carry her.
That was Dr Carlisle, emerging from his office and looking confused.
"ALRIGHT, STOP!" I yelled, not standing the pandemonium any longer and the silence reflected back at me was strangely eerie. Here, I had two people who mattered more than me in the world and all I could think about was banging their heads together. Dr Carlisle was pensively studying me as if he'd never seen me before, and Vicky was still sobbing her poor little heart out over some guy lying on a cold slab. My sympathy went out to her.
Although she could be a right slave-driver at times, this James clearly meant a lot to her and I had to respect that.
Scumbag or no.
"Look, Vicky," I said gently. "If it's the James I think you're after, you can visit him in a mo. But I have to tell you V, the news isn't looking so good. Dr Carlise," I turned to him, "I'd like to phone Charlie please, but until he gets here I'd only be too happy to assist. Clearly V isn't up to the job," I said placing a comforting (and not patronizing! I'll tell you why) hand on her shoulder. The moment I did so, I knew it was a mistake.
"You patronizing bitch!" she screamed. "Get your hands off me! And fuck you!" and she went running down the corridor, her red curls flying behind her like a dangerous stop sign.
Dr Carlisle, thankfully, didn't look like he was going to run away screaming either, but he didn't stop giving me that measured look that made my toes tingle.
"I phoned Billy," he said softly. "You know, Bella you don't-"
"I want to," I said weakly, and then more firmly, "You need me."
- Earlier on in the day-
"I don't need you," Edward had scoffed. "Look at me, dad. I'm not ten anymore. You don't need to lie to me about what a loser you are."
"Edward!" his father snapped impatiently, whilst trying to execute a left-hand manoeuvre. "Is that any way to speak to your elders?" The boy glared at him with jilted eyes, and he realised too late, that his son hated him.
"Respect my elders," Edward sneered, his lip curling in disgust. "That's a funny phrase. Made all the more funnier since I've never met a person who deserves my respect. Anyone spring into mind, dad?"
"How many times do I have to tell you?" The boy exploded. "My name's not Edward! If you took your head out of your own arse for two seconds, you'd realise I fucking hate that name." He gave a bleak laugh that didn't reach his eyes or improve the atmosphere of the car. "I'm Eddie now. I'm a meathead. I play Ice Hockey and I made captain two years ago. I have an ex-girlfriend who bangs everything on two legs. I do sports because I don't want to end up like you. A scholar who's so scared of embracing his family, he holes up in work 24/7."
"You play Ice Hockey?" his father said with some surprise, doing what he did best. Attaching himself to the most irrevelent part of the story as if nothing else mattered. But it did. And Edward was having none of it.
"Yes, I do. I have a game tonight actually," he said through gritted teeth. "Bye."
He should never have accepted his father's heart-felt plea of catching a ride this morning. He had Emmett for this shit. And now look where it had landed him- his father on the verge of giving puppies and possibly a strange request to come watch him at a game.
He was right.
"Don't make promises you can't keep," said Edward scornfully. "You've been doing that ever since I've been born. Sorry for the fucking inconvenience."
"Edward!" the reproachful tone was back in Carlisle's voice again, but after seeing Edward's murderous expression, he hastily amended, "I mean Eddie. I want to be there. I want to be up there, amongst the other proud fathers and boast, "That's my son!" I want it so much...You and your mother mean the world to me, Ed, and I couldn't stand it if I lost you over something petty like not caring. Because I do, Eddie. A lot. And I know I haven't always shown it in the most affluent of ways, but please...Give me one more chance?"
And then Edward did something stupid.
"Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!"
The game wasn't over.
"Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!"
But yet they were still chanting his name.
Edward grimaced as the puck hurled at him with startling velocity, but he made a neat save and passed it safely onto Jasper, who was playing increasingly well, with Alice cheering on by the side. "Whoo, Jasper! Yeaahh!" At half-time, Emmett clapped his round the back and said, "So what about your old man? Did he put on a show?"
"Not yet," Edward said moodily, wiping off the trickle of water on his lower lip. When he jammed the helmet back on, the reflective sheen played tricks on his eyes and he saw a vision of a white doctor's coat and a stethoscope around its neck. And then time caught up with him.
"Edward! What are you doing!"
He wasn't in the locker room. He was in the middle of a three-hundred strong crowd staring into space, after he'd taken his helmet off to take a better look. He couldn't even remember how he got here, when clearly seconds before he's been lacing up his skates and trying not to think about how his father failed him. Again.
Many things seemed to happen at once. As the referee yelled, "TIME OUT!" after noticing Edward's lack of mobility and protection, the captain from the opposing team tackled him to the ice, whilst another team-mate aimed the recently dispossessed puck at Edward's head.
A slice of blade.
A dirty tackle.
And a well aimed puck was all it took for...
An explosion of blood.
A/N: Just to be clear the entire chapter (even the stuff in italics!) takes place two weeks later. So it's not really a flashback you're reading. It's happening in "real time" Whatever that means! The biggest thank you to my first reviewer- RICIA-I did try to reply (to say the next chapter was coming soon, but whaddya know) but I couldn't because you'd blocked your PM thingy. No worries though. I can thank you here!
Reviews are absolutely vital to me. I need the love! Seriously. Especially since school's started back up again...