Not much to say here. You will finally figure out a bit more of whom the mysterious man is and how Gregor is doing. Will Gregor recover? Is the man on his side? Are the kids who shot him caught? What the bloody-hell are you asking me for? Read!
There was a searing pain that shot through Gregor's torso as he tried to sit up. He had been asleep for so long that his joints were completely stiff. It felt as though a week had passed during his drug-induced "coma". If he didn't move at least a little bit, the stiffness in his joints would be very unpleasant.
"Whoa, careful now." said a familiar voice. It belonged to the man with the shaggy gray hair. He didn't look as tire as before, but the dark circles were still under his eyes. "Don't strain yourself kid. You wouldn't want to open up your wounds, I would be rather upset. I don't want to work on you any more than I have to because of you stupid ass."
Gregor was taken aback at the comment. The man smiled with a chuckle to show he was joking. "I only kid. You don't have to stay silent you know. Most of the medicine that made your body unable to move is no longer in your system."
In a response, Gregor nodded to show that he understood. He stared at the calendar on the wall and found out that he had been shot over five days ago.
"Ah, you're the silent-listener type I'm guessing! That's good. I myself am more of a talker rather than a listener." The man said as he pulled up a chair next to Gregor. "Sorry for such a prolonged introduction, but hello, I am Dr. Jason Hindler, also known as the man that saved your life. You should remember that along with this handsome face of mine."
Gregor actually gave a slight smirk to that. "I'm Gregor."
Hindler held up his hand to stop him. "I know who you are kid. Pretty sure all of Virginia does too. After that little incident with you, the local news crews ate up that story and eventually dug up the school situation as well. To them, they saw the story as a money and attention grabber. I mean something along the lines of, "the hero who saves a girl and gets gunned down and then still lives" is bound to grab many viewers' eye."
Gregor looked down at his lap. He had wanted to stay unknown to the world. How ironic the situations have turned out. Now attention was bound to be stuck on him for quite some time.
"You don't seem very pleased. If I were to guess, you wanted to spend most of your days under the radar. Undetected. Unnoticed. Am I correct?" Hindler asked after peering at Gregor's face.
"How…?" Gregor murmured. The doctor seemed to know exactly what he was thinking.
Hindler laughed. "Judging by the look on your face, I was correct. You see, I know quite a bit about psychology as well. I could tell what you were thinking by looking simply at your character. Since you're the quiet-type, you wouldn't want to be put on the spotlight; especially so suddenly. You prefer to be left alone primarily and definitely don't want to be the center of attention. Am I right, or am I just rambling nonsense?"
Gregor shook his head.
"Thought so." Hindler said with a smile. He reached behind him and pulled out a tray with food. "Eat up. Since you've been here, we've had to feed you through a tube. I'm pretty sure you're starving and craving for something solid."
The tray was put on Gregor's lap. He looked down at the unappealing food. There was a small sandwich with some type of meat he couldn't tell what it was and a slice of cheese that looked and awful lot like plastic. Next to the sandwich was a bowl filled with light-brown colored broth. A small cup of jello and a glass of water were the only other things on the tray.
Gregor picked up the flimsy sandwich and took a small bite. The taste was rather bland, but the food triggered his brain to know just how hungry he was. Bite after bite, he munched down until a pile of crumbs lay dribbling off his chin and onto the tray. He gulped down the tasteless broth and ate the jello with his fingers, disregarding the spoon that was provided for him. After washing everything down with the water, he stared at the empty tray on his lap.
"Damn, I guess you were pretty hungry." Hindler said with a surprised look on his face. "I'm pretty sure you're still rather hungry, but I'll have to wait and see if your body can hold the food before I permit you seconds. If it doesn't reject the food, you'll be allowed more."
Hindler stood up and stretched. He took away the tray and set it aside on a counter. "I need to do a couple of check-ups on a couple of other patients for a bit, so you'll be by yourself for a while. Inside the drawer to your left has all of your personal items that were on you when we obtained you. Unfortunately your clothes weren't salvageable, but the items in your pockets were practically unscathed. Find something to keep yourself entertained until I get back. And please don't move too much."
After Hindler exited the room, Gregor slightly shifted in his bed and opened the drawer. His music player, headphones, and cell phone were lying in there along with a square picture. Gregor grabbed the photo and noticed a few smears of dried blood on the back. Luckily the front wasn't touched as he rubbed his thumb over her.
He plugged the headphones into the music player and slid the buds into his ears. The music began to play and he shut his eyes, the photo resting on his chest. Once again, his body relaxed and his muscles began to ease. His attention to time around him dissipated away, so he could not tell how many minutes or hours had passed. As long as there was music flowing through his head and he had the photo of her, he could stay where he was forever; or until the battery ran out.
"So who's she? Your lover?" said a voice over the music. Gregor pulled out his headphones and opened his eyes. Hindler was sitting in the chair, looking at the photo of her in his hand.
Gregor shot his hand to the photo. He felt something rip and a great pain followed. His body fell to the ground with a thud and blood began to pool underneath his bandages.
"You fool! I told you to keep still! You just re-opened you wounds!" Hindler shouted. "Nurse!"
"Give it…back!" Gregor said in a voice barely over a whisper. The fall had knocked most of the wind out of him and he was gasping for breath. He was wheezing and stared at Hindler with half-lidded eyes that were cloudy, his hand stretched out to him.
Hindler looked at the photo with a confused face. He knelt down next to Gregor and handed it to him. Gregor snatched the photo away and his breathing began to calm. He had been hyperventilating and shaking. The pain continued to send shocks that rattles his body.
A lady and another doctor arrived into the room, and with Hindler, they lifter Gregor back up onto the bed. The nurse began to reattach the tubes and wires that had fallen off after his fall. He held on to the picture tightly as they were doing all this.
"Put him out. We need to stop the bleeding immediately." Hindler said as he slid on a pair of white gloves and put on a medical mask. The nurse put an oxygen mask on Gregor's mouth that was connected to two large tanks. She turned the nozzle and a faint scent of cherries could be noticed. It took only a matter of seconds before sleep unwillingly induced him.
It only seemed like his eyes were closed for a brief period of time. When his eyes opened, he realized straps held down his limbs. His ankles, wrists, chest, and waist were strapped to the bed with restraints. He tried to sit up and struggle out before his chest caught on the straps, putting painful pressure on the wounds.
"Stop moving dunce." said Hindler's voice; an annoying tone dripping off his words. He sat in another chair with his back facing Gregor. "You're strapped in for a reason. I don't want you falling over again and have to stitch your wounds a third time, got it kid?"
Gregor didn't respond back as he was fixated on the photo of her on his stomach. Hindler must have placed it the so he didn't begin freaking out again and stay calm. He stopped trying to break out of the straps and just lay staring at the photo.
Hindler span around his chair, now facing Gregor. He noticed that his attention was focused on the picture and scooted over to the bed. "You really flipped out over that picture. I'm guessing it's incredibly important to you."
"Who is that pale girl anyways? With the purple contacts?"
Suddenly Gregor's corners of his lips lifted into a tiny sad smile. "Someone I loved…"
Hindler looked at Gregor. Just from the look on his face, he could feel a thick sensation of sadness pour out from Gregor. He couldn't help feeling sorry for him.
There was a beeping noise that came from Hindler. The doctor pulled off what looked to be a pager on his waist. "Excuse me." He stepped out of the room, leaving Gregor to bask in his thoughts.
Gregor began to think about her once again. It was a sad yet happy thought at the same time. He missed her. He still loved her. He wanted to be with her. She whose name had been lost in the plethora of negative emotions that swam throughout his head. Not to mention the madness that was always there inside of him had a role.
Hindler walked back into the room, a cup of freshly-brewed coffee in his hand. Gregor started to think his doctor had a little bit of an addiction to it. "You have some visitors, boy. If you promise not to stumble to the floor again like an imbecile, I'll remove the straps. I'm sure it'll seem like some type of torture-style to them if they see you like this. So will you behave yourself?"
After Gregor nodded, Hindler removed the straps and gestured in ht doorway for his visitors to come in. He was expecting his family to come waltzing in with Boots and Lizzie's face deep with worry and watery eyes, his mother with her signature distant stare caused presumably by the escalating scale of events, and his father who most likely wouldn't be looking at him. None of that entered through the frame, except for the worry on the two people's faces. Raf and Angie entered in the room.
"Gregor!" exclaimed Angie. She ran up to Gregor and stood by the bed. Her eyes were red from crying.
Raf walked over, a bag that seemed to filled with heavy materials slung around his shoulder. His face was smiling as always, but Gregor could see the worry in his eyes. Even in this situation, he put up a poker face and made it seem like he was calm. "How's it going Greg?"
Gregor nodded at him to imply that he was alright. Raf gave a relieved smile and sat in the chair that Hindler had previously been in next to bed.
"I'm glad. Not gonna lie, you scared the shit out of me bro." Raf replied. He slid off his bag onto the bag, causing the mattress to sink under its weight. "I brought you the work you've missed!"
An annoyed glare came from Gregor, causing Raf to chuckle. The last thing he wanted to do after getting shot in a drive-by, be put into a drug-induced coma, and tearing open his wounds was doing schoolwork. He gave a sigh and straightened up in his bed as Raf and Angie began pull out the mountain of textbooks and papers.
Hindler smiled slightly as he took a sip of his steamy cup. "I'll leave you alone. I have a couple of other patients that are in dire need to see this devilishly amazing face again." Angie and Raf laughed. "Visiting hours are done in a little bit, be wary of that. I'll come back then. Tah-tah!"
As Hindler left the room, Angie turned to Gregor. "He's a funny guy! Seems nice too, is he your doctor or something?"
Gregor again responded with a nod. Hindler was an interesting man. Being able to pick inside his head was a feat by itself, and he was also able to make him smile for a brief moment. He had this sort of charisma that would make even the most depressed person chuckle or feel happy.
"Alright," Raf said loudly as he rolled up his sleeves, "let's get started with this work!"
"Yeah!" Angie agreed with a giddy laugh.
The three spent over an hour studying and helping Gregor with his missing work. They filled him in on a lot of details that had happened since he was asleep. The kids who shot Gregor were found and arrested for attempted murder after Tyron coughed up their names when he was interrogated by police officials who believed him to be a suspect. They promised to drop the charges of him attacking Gregor with a deadly weapon if he gave them information, and he folded. Every kid who was involved in the shooting received two years of prison and a criminal record except for the one that actually pulled the trigger. All fingers pointed to him once they found out that ratting out their "friend" would knock off three years from their initial sentence. Tyron was expelled from the school along with Grill and Slim for fighting and he and his family fled Virginia a couple of days ago.
Apparently the news was such an attention grabber that the national news did a small piece on it. Gregor's parents were interviewed constantly by both the local and national news reporters, but they never gave much detail. He had become a hero through the media, and frankly, he wasn't quite pleased with the idea.
Gregor didn't believe that doing the right thing and then getting shot for it deserves the amount of attention it's gotten. Unfortunately, the news was rather boring and repetitive, so when a new scoop happens, they pounce on the opportunity. Anything to improve their ratings after all.
Hindler walked into the room and knocked on the doorframe. "Sorry kids, visiting hours are over. You can come back tomorrow or something."
"Time sure goes by quickly when you're with friends, even when we're doing some boring ass work!" Raf exclaimed as he stood up and stretched. His back cracked and he let out a sigh of relief.
"Maybe if you didn't sleep in class or doodle all the time," Angie responded, "you wouldn't have to do make-up work with Gregor!"
Raf gave a laugh and winked. "What can I say? I'm a procrastinator!"
"Not to mention lazy as hell." Angie mumbled back. She began to put the books and papers back in the bag.
"Ah yes, laziness!" Raf said, snapping his fingers. "The icing on the cake. Mustn't forget that!"
Angie gave a laugh as she finished putting the rest of the pile of books and work in the bag. "Of course! Now get your lazy ass over here and carry this bag like a civilized gentleman!"
"Your word is my command milady." Raf replied, bowing with his right arm across his chest and the other behind his back. He slung the bag over his shoulders. "I'll see you later Greg!" Raf bolted out of the room, Hindler shouting back at him to slow down.
"I better go chase after him. Get well!" Angie said with a wave. She took after Raf. Hindler left the room as well; his fist flying into the air as he yelled for Angie to stop running.
Gregor put on his headphones once they left. He was tired; mentally, not physically. A couple hours of studying and finding out he's looked at as a media-influenced hero was a rather large load on him. At least the kids who aimed to take his life were locked away for the time being.
As long as the madness didn't come back, he would be just dandy. Unfortunately luck was not on his side at all lately. The madness would show its ugly face again one day, and Gregor was terrified that his self control would diminish along with his sanity when that happened.
Thanks for reading this chapter. Chapter 8 is done as well and 9 being written at the moment. If you haven't seen already, I have a Facebook account for me, and if you like it, you'll be able to get updates and sneaks first. Just look up "Nick410" in the search bar. Au Revoir.