The Saviour and the Killer
Disclaimer: I do not own Off the Map – all characters belong to ABC and their respective creators. I just like to make some additional stuff up.
Summary: This little one-shot is about Lily Brenner and her dealing with the death of the 16-year-old boy Andres from the episode 1x09.
Author's note: I needed to get this "out of my system" :-) ... my other story is still in the works. Sorry, for not updating for some time. Enjoy!
The Saviour and the Killer
Why don't you get home and get some sleep?
If it only were that simple. My mind was restless and so was my body. I felt cold – inside and outside. I heard the racing pulse in my ears and felt an aggravating flutter of my stomach. Keeton's advice sounded so simple now, but falling asleep wasn't, actually.
I kept tossing and turning in my bed. Whenever I closed my eyes, I would see him - Andres. I would hear his voice, as he talked about Christina, his girlfriend. I would think about how his day would have gone about, if the water taxi hadn't capsized in the rapids. What his life would have been like, if he hadn't drowned today. What my life would have been like, if he hadn't drowned.
But the images and sounds of him, or the sounds of the river's menacing burble, wouldn't leave me alone. Not one minute. I just couldn't calm down. I had to swallow as another wave of goose bumps chilled my naked arms, causing me to turn in my bed yet again. It was in moments like this that I wished someone was there to soothe me. To talk to me and draw my attention away from the stuff that was keeping me awake. It is the middle of the night that I hate the most - when you're alone with your worries and fears, being all by yourself.
Crying hadn't helped that afternoon with Mina and Tommy. They probably think I am crazy. But I didn't really feel comfortable enough to talk – I was still too exhausted, too confused. I felt and still feel so damaged. Shell-shocked. Especially at the burial, where my mind always wandered off to Andres and how he was probably dead. Most likely dead. An image of his lifeless body, slumped over a log in the riverbed, popped up almost every second. And now.
I had to open my eyes and gasp for air.
Andres disappeared for a second, while I tried to make out the surroundings of my room. But my vision was blurred – like it had been underwater. Tears welled up in my eyes – just like that, without premonition. I just couldn't help it. I felt how the sorrow and despair about today forcefully crept back and grabbed me. I felt strangely constricted, like I had when Andres had hold on to me for his dear life, unintentionally drowning us both in the process. How my lungs had ached, and how much water I had swallowed.
With much force, I pushed away the bed linen and sat up. Just like you pushed Andres away!
I inhaled sharply and hated myself for even thinking like that. I wonder how I seemed to be my biggest enemy sometimes, with my conscience torturing me. So, I got up and distanced myself from the bed and from the thought of me pushing Andres away. Pushing a 16 year old, tired nonswimmer in need of help away and thereby sentencing him to death. How fast can a saviour become a killer?
I rather stumbled than walked over to the windows and tore them open, because my lungs screamed for air. My eyes burned with tears, as I greedily took deep breaths - as if I was still being held underwater by Andres' weight, and his desperation and fear of drowning. His grip had been so tight. So damn tight! It must have equalled his fear of dying, causing him to completely forget that he was putting us both in danger. If he had only understood …
My heart started racing again, as I involuntarily thought back to this afternoon. I had bruises all over my back and ribs, even scratches on my forearms, from where Andres had hold tight. I could understand him so well – the minutes he had pulled us both down, I had been worried about dying, too. He had been so much stronger – I could feel his anguish, as he buried his nails in my arms. I knew I was too small and too weak to rescue a 16-year-old boy from the merciless floods of that river, but yet my stubborn self had to try. Who would I have been if I hadn't tried? It was then that I realised that I wouldn't be strong enough - to fight or to save him.
A tear dripped down on my forearm, right onto a blue bruise that looked rather gray in the dim light of the night. The thought of letting him down, though, was unbearable for me. The thought of knowing that I had held his life in my hands … but let it slip. It was maddening and a desperate sob escaped my mouth, unheard for anyone else. This pain felt different from losing a patient, because Andres' death had happened by my own hands – it had been an intentional decision. With a patient, you sometimes couldn't help it. There was only so much you could do medically. If a patient's time had really come, and you – as a doctor – have done everything there is, then it's simply their time. And not my decision.
But this – this was different. This had been my intentional decision, because it had been either me or him … or drowning together. My survival instincts had kicked in. Like a reflex. I had been fighting Andres to stay alive myself.
Knowing all that, even understanding it, made it still hard to process for me. I knew I would need time. Time, to get his pictures out of my mind. To get the picture of his possible future life out of my mind. And time for me to stop torturing myself about the fact that I had to let somebody die in order to stay alive.
Today, I had to realize how thin the line between saving and killing can be.
I just needed to write about this. I felt so heartbroken, when I saw Lily in that episode. Trying so hard to help Andres, but failing in the end. How I would have liked it, if Keeton had comforted her! :-) Well, in the next story, maybe!
Sorry for spelling, grammar and vocab mistakes.
Hope you enjoyed the story - at least, a bit.
Take care and leave a review, if you like,