Episode needed to be watched to understand this story: Pre-school


It was Friday. The first Friday of eleventh grade to be more specific, but that didn't matter. All the days were the same, just numbers. So there I was, leaning against Hells Pass Hospital in my usual all black, smoking, and I know what you're thinking, but no, I didn't go back to that faggy little goth click. I don't think they'd even let me back in after I royally served them with a Cartman quote. But anyway, just like yesterday, and the day before that, I was here, finishing my cigar before going in.

It was cold. It was always cold, it's South Park, what did I expect? But, being a little warmer or seeing the sun might have helped, because on a cloudy, soggy, day like this—that was still considered summer—didn't really give me warm, fuzzy, hopeful feelings. It felt like a good day to die, that's about it, and that was the exact opposite of what I needed right now. Not when my friend's life is on the line.

I inhaled the cigarette again as my phone went off in my front pocket. It had to be Cartman, but I really wasn't in the mood for his crap, so I let it buzz all it wanted. A few minutes and I got a text, but I didn't check that either, seeing as I was almost done. I dropped the cigar to the ground and stomped it out, but that really wasn't necessary because it landed in the snow, then got up from leaning against the building.

Inside it was warm, and even with the florescent lights killing me, it felt better than outside.

"Hello, Stanley." A familiar voice called from one of the seats I had passed on my way to the front desk.

I turn around to see who recognized me, "Oh, hi, Mrs. McCormick." I looked around for Kenny. "Is Kenny with you?"

She sighed and slumped down in her chair, "He's being taken care of, he was making hot pockets this morning and the microwave exploded."

Of course, this always seemed to happen.

I looked around again, this time trying to find a way to escape her to get on with what I was doing, "Yeah, he wasn't at school today, will he be okay?"

I bet she could tell I was in a hurry, "Yes, little Kenny should be alright, you could check on him if you'd like, he's in 314."

"Alright," I said turning back around trying to get to the receptionist,

"Stanley?" She called again. "I could go get us some oatmeal, I'll pay?"

I turned around again with a weak smile, "No thanks."

I stood watching while she got up and ran off, Kenny's mom was nice, and ever since they found Kenny's grandfather's will, giving them his three million dollars he refused to loan to any of his kids, she's always offered to get us stuff. Anything, even really expensive stuff, probably because she feels guilty she fed us waffles and we all almost died when Kenny gave us the chicken pox.

It took me a minute to remember what I was doing standing in the entrance of the hospital, but as soon as I did I dashed to the receptionist.

"Good afternoon, Stan." She said giving me a smile.

"Hi, Mrs. Dooley." I smile slightly back, their isn't much here at a hospital to smile about. "How's he doing?"

She looked back at her computer for a minute, "I don't know, you can go check."

I sighed; relieved that I was able to go see him, but also because if she didn't know how he is… that could be bad.

"Alright, thanks." I called already running for the hall.

When was the last time I was here? Yesterday. Why do I bother coming everyday? It's not like anything's going to change, "A watched pot never boils", fucking idioms. I really should be at home doing my homework, but that's what the weekend's for; no doubt I'll be spending that at this hospital too. I ran down the hall to the elevator, I might as well visit Kenny, he's room is apparently on the way, maybe I should go see him afterwards and give him the news. He probably won't say anything about what happened between him and that microwave, instead he'll just say, "How's he doing?" or "Is he okay?" Whatever, I'll see Kenny later.

I came up to the elevator only to see someone taped an "Out of Order" sign to it, stairs it is. Now I might as well Kenny first. I walked over to the stairs and started climbing. Third floor here I come, I wonder what the nurses are going to have to do with all the patients in wheel chairs. The thought of seeing an old guy on crutches being pushed down the stairs amused me, but not as much as it would for Cartman. Speaking of Cartman, I reached into my pocket as I got to the second floor. Sure enough, he had called me then texted, "Sup fag u seen kenneh?"

Typical Cartman. I flipped out my keypad and began replying when I bumped into an old man in a hospital gown.

"Watch where you're goin', yah little bastard!" He growled in a raspy voice.

"Sorry." I called back starting the stairs to the third story.

I continue sending the reply to Cartman, "Hells pass dude he got blown up by a microwave", then pressed send.

I reached the third floor and started down the hall looking for 14. I found it near the end of the hall and knocked before entering.

"Kenny?" I called half hiding behind the door. "Hey, dude, I'm in the right room, aren't I?" I stepped in and closed the door behind me.

It was a little darker than I expected, but I could see Kenny, plain as day in his bed sitting up.

"Hey dude." He said with his voice muffled from the bandages wrapped all around his head, I could see his bloody parka hanging over the chair next to him and some blonde hair poking out between the bandages. "What are you doing here?"

I knew he didn't mean "why was I at the hospital", sometimes Kenny came with me, so he must mean "why was I in Kenny's room".

There was no one else in the room so I sat down next to him; "I ran into your mom on the first floor, she told me what happened."

"Shouldn't you be somewhere else right now?" He asked trying to sit up straighter.

I frowned, I knew him too well.

"Shouldn't you be explaining what happened?"

"I really thought my mom would have filled you in on my story if you met her on your way here—" He was interrupted by my phone going off again. "Who's texting you?"

"Cartman, who else?" I asked a little too depressingly.

Kenny rolled his eyes, "What does that fat fuck want?"

"I told him you were at the hospital." I said nonchalantly while digging out my phone again.

"Why the hell did you do that? I was enjoying not having to listen to him all day, you know he's going to come down here now and give me shit." I'm guessing that if Kenny's face weren't so screwed up right now he'd look really pissed off.

"How the hell did he fit in a microwave?" I read the text allowed.

"If he weren't so fat I'd shove him in one."

"Dumb ass, kenny wasn't in a microwave. he says if u werent so fat hed shove u in one" I typed out.

Kenny burst into laughter before nearly coughing up a lung, "Hey, dude," He spoke up, "were you smoking before you came in here?"

That question really caught me off guard, "Uh, no, why?"

I know he can see right through my lie, "God, Stan, I thought you told us you weren't interested in that shit anymore."

"God dammit! I didn't come here for you to lecture me, alright?"

"Alright, hey, come on." He said trying to get me to look at him. "I don't really care if you do, just let me warn you, no girl wants to kiss a guy that smokes."

I looked back at him smirking, "Are girls the only thing you ever think about?"

"Yes, well, that and your well being."

I almost laughed, "Shouldn't you be thinking of your own well being first before mine? You're the one in the hospital."

"Yeah, yeah," he waved that off, "shouldn't you be somewhere instead of talking to me?"

Oh fuck.

"Shit, your right!" I yelled jumping off the bed and running to the door. "I'll tell you if anything happens on my way back down!" I yelled.

I ran down the hallway back to the staircase not caring when my phone exploded again when Cartman texted me back. I ran up the rest of the stairs to the fifth floor, then turned down the hall until I slowed to a walk a few doors down from room 517. Outside the room was the doctor I could spot from a mile away, Dr. Kelso.

"Afternoon, Stanley." He greeted. "Come to visit?"

"Yeah," I said, I'm not one to really beat around the bush, so I asked forcefully, "can I go in?"

"You don't have to ask me twice."

I looked down at my watch outside of the door, 4:41, August 28th, day nine hundred twenty-nine. I took hold of the knob and turned it to the right opening the door wide before taking a step in. The first thing I did was smile because the beeping of the pulse monitor sounded normal to me. I walked over slowly and leaned over at the end of the hospital bed to see how my friend looked; could have looked worse.

Kyle lay lifeless under the covers of his bed in the same position he was always in when I arrived, laying flat on his back with his body fully laid out, just like the doctors had left him. His head, neck, and arms were the only things not under the covers just like always, so seeing that nothing had changed, I went over quietly and sat in the chair next to his bed. Why was I quiet and careful? Was I afraid I might wake him up? No, that's exactly what I wanted. I wanted him to wake up. I wanted him leave the hospital so we could all be normal like before—even though we were never all that normal in the first place. But, he just lay there, practically dead.

I looked over at his face; he looked… neutral… like there was nothing wrong… but that didn't matter, he was in a coma. He didn't have facial expressions.

His parents had his hat somewhere at home, so his bright red hair really stood out in the bleach white room. Just beyond him on a counter were some cards some kids we knew made back when he first was in a coma; I could see mine near the back. Even Cartman got one for him; the inside of the store bought card was blank, so of course he wrote, "Get better soon, Jew-tard" with a swastika, but it's the thought that counts.

I looked back over at Kyle and sighed, I took his right hand in both of mine and squeezed it gently, making sure not to touch the IV; those things freak me out.

"Day nine hundred and twenty-nine…" I said allowed, I was doing it again. "Everyone really misses you, dude—except of course for Cartman—I'm really sorry, it was all my fault." I laughed a little then frowned. "That one day in preschool really came back to haunt us, didn't it?" I looked back up at him expecting to get a reply. "Two and a half years… we were fourteen… you know, Miss Claridge finally died."

There was a long silence where I didn't say anything; I just sat there holding his hand. A couple of minutes passed before I took out my cell phone to see what Cartman said.

"I was talking to Cartman…" I said flipping it open. "We were talking about Kenny, he's in the hospital on the third floor."

"U can tell kenneh he can suk my balls!" The text read.

I deleted it and put my phone back in my pocket to return talking to Kyle.

"It's been like an eternity… we—I—really want you to get better… and wake up." I dropped my head back down looking back at his hand. "Please… just wake up soon."

I put my left hand on top of his making a sandwich and petted it softly with the same solemn look on my face.

"I wish I could sit here forever, but my mom is always nagging me to go to school and do my homework… so, I'll stay a while longer, but I'll always be back tomorrow." A little tear prickled at the side of my right eye before falling down on his hand.

I've been worse, especially when Kyle first went into a coma two and a half years ago. I didn't go to school or anything and my parents had to drag me out of the hospital, even though normally I wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole. I'm better now; hospitals aren't so bad when you're not the patient. Now I just went every day after school and on the weekends, go ahead, tell me I have no life, everyone else already has. No one gets it, but it's like that song by Daughtry, "Life After You".

"Alright, I guess I'll see you tomorrow Kyle." I was about to stand and go when I felt something.

I looked down in disbelief at my hands still holding his. Did he just… move? I removed my left hand to get a better look at his and sure enough, his fingers twitched. Twice. I felt like jumping up and running around the room! Nine hundred and twenty-nine days of motionless sleep and his fingers twitched. I needed to get a diary or something just to write it down, "August 28th, Kyle's nine hundred and twenty-ninth day in a coma, his fingers moved".

I almost screamed, but instead I looked over at Kyle's face and asked eagerly, "Kyle, can you hear me?" Again, like I was going to get a response.

I quickly stood and laid his arm back down next to him on the bed thoughtfully before running out into the hallway, I had to find Dr. Kelso. Out in the hall I could see the top of his head going down the staircase before disappearing.

"Dr. Kelso! I ran down the hall after him. "Dr. Kelso!"

As I reached the stairs he looked back up at me, "What is it, Stanley? Is Kyle alright?"

I dashed down the stairs and pulled him back up to the fifth floor and down the hall to Kyle's room, "You have to come see!"

I threw open the door and ran over to Kyle's side holding up his hand for the doctor to examine.

"It was twitching." I blurted out when I noticed it wasn't doing anything anymore.

"It was?" He asked coming up to see. "Stanley, why don't you go do something while I run some tests, alright?"

I was too excited to argue, so I just bolted for the door, "I have to tell Kenny!"

I nearly tripped down all the stairs to the third floor and almost knocked over the same old man from before who was coming up them.

"Watch where you're goin', yah little bastard!" He yelled again.

"Sorry!" I yelled back turning down the hallway and exploding into Kenny's room.

"No, it's too hot! I'm not hungry!" Kenny was yelling at a nurse who was trying to feed him soup with a spoon. "Oh, hey Stan."

I was surprised that Kenny would refuse being fed by a hot nurse, but I had more important things on my mind than that right now.

"Kyle's fingers twitched!" I yelled.

Kenny blinked a couple of timed, "Are you saying he might pull out? I thought after at least two and a half years there was hardly any chance he would survive."

"I don't know, but his doctor is running some te—" I paused mid sentence pacing the room to shoot him a look. "You thought Kyle wasn't going to wake up?"

He shrugged, "Two years is a long time, Stan, you didn't think for just one second he might not make it?"

I was going to rip his head off for that one once he left the hospital, but for now I had to focus on what was really going on.

"Kenny, he might wake up soon!" I yelled. "I need to go home, I have to call the Broflovski's, I need to buy a diary!"

"What the hell's the diary for?" He asked.

"For smacking you when you get out of those bandages, King Tut." I said sarcastically then ran out the door.

"Who the hell is King Tut?" Kenny asked when I was gone.

I actually tripped going down the rest of the stairs this time, but I didn't care. I needed to call somebody, anybody. I flipped open my phone and went through my contacts.

"Butters? No. Clyde? No. Wendy? Why do I still have her number?" She broke up with me about a month after Kyle went to the hospital because she said I cared more about him than her, she was right and all, but I always cared more about Kyle. "Cartman? He'll have to do…" I pressed talk and waited for him to answer.

"Stan?" There was some kind of weird background noise going on.

"Cartman! You'll never guess what happened!"

"I know, right? How could Shakie's be closing? They had fucking awesome pizza!"

My smile immediately disappeared.

"Fuck you, Cartman." I yelled.

"What? You on your period or something, Stan?"

I really wasn't in the mood; "I'm hanging up."

"Fine, fine! What's so important that I need to know?" I could tell now that background noise was his TV, and he was probably eating Cheezy Poofs the way he was talking.

"Kyle might wake up soon!" I beamed as I exited the hospital back into the cold.

"The Jew! Fuck, you just had to go and ruin my whole day, damn it!" I tried not to laugh. "Why couldn't Trent Boyette have hit him harder!"

My laughing stopped and my smile disappeared for the second time that conversation. He just had to bring it up.

"Don't say that, fat ass! You're lucky he didn't come after you! That would have done us all a favor!" I yelled into the phone before hanging up.

I ran across the parking lot to my parent's car and jumped inside blowing some air into my hands to warm them up once I was seated behind the wheel. Two and a half years… we were fourteen… Trent Boyette was released from Juvenile Hall for the second time…

Now he was in jail for thirty years, I was in depression, Cartman was in Wendy's vagina, Kenny was in a mansion, and Kyle was still in a coma. It's funny how the world works.