Hello, all - long time Degrassi reader, first time Degrassi writer. Big fan of Eclare (who isn't?) and wanted to put my own perspective of the promos in writing. I wasn't originally planning on publishing this, it was more of a private document i wrote over the course of two days just out of pure inspiration. I've only posted one other story on this site from Victorious when Beck/Jade was my muse for writing as a fun 3-shot, but i've been feeling deep lately and this was kind of born. I know it's lengthy, but i'm not planning on making this a multi-chapter. Hope you enjoy it. xx
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Fear. Despair. Worry. Regret.
I absolutely could not stand it. The wait was unbearable, the stupid light blue walls and comfort attempting surroundings of the hospital waiting room closing in on me and seemingly spinning. My head throbbed, my eyes leaked uncontrollably, and my heart pounded in my chest, never taking a breather. It's been hours. Hours since the accident, since I got the phone call, since the entire disaster took place, and since my life completely flipped upside down. I was so stupid… he was so stupid. How could he willingly put himself in a situation like that? Though the majority of me was convinced it was entirely my fault, another small sliver prodded me with the idea that it was partly his as well. Then the majority took over again and panic attacks wracked my body, driving me over the edge of sanity. The mere thought of thinking he wouldn't make it, he would never wake up, I'd never hear him speak again pushed itself into my mind and took over my entire brain.
My breaths came short and shallow. It couldn't come down to this; this is not how his life is supposed to end. I love him. I love him with all of my heart and this is how he wants to go? I told him I needed space… just a little space. I tried explaining myself, tried everything I could, but I was seriously ignorant enough to drop the bomb on him the week of the anniversary of her death. The girl he lost, the one he would never get back, the one he wallows over helplessly despite the fact it's been two years. He deserved, needed, all of the support he could get. I regret everything I ever said to make him upset. He wouldn't even be on the fine line of life or death if it weren't for me. I was disgusted with myself.
There was an explanation for why I said it, though. I felt like I was losing myself. I'm simply not used to being in a relationship. I've always been content being solo, and nothing ever stood in my way or made me committed. Now, this brand new relationship has taken over almost all of my life. It's so intense, passionate… I was scared. I was stupid enough to be scared of being with the most incredible guy I had ever met… no. HAVE ever met. He is not doing to die. He is going to live. He CAN'T die. Tears streamed like rivers down my pale cheeks, my thin line of eyeliner already completely worn away. Tear streaks were evident upon my stricken face, each tick of the clock hanging on the wall in front of me taunting me, bringing me one second, minute, hour closer to the news. Good or bad I wasn't sure, nobody was, but everyone huddled together for support and could only pray to God (Although i was the only one doing that one) and hope for the best. I'd said countless prayers and informed my parents of my whereabouts, I wasn't leaving until I got to see him. Until I got to see that he is in one piece, and breathing. I hadn't stopped shaking since I received the call, and continued to shake sitting on the cheap, plastic waiting chair as Adam held me close. I barely registered his presence; I was too lost in my worst-case scenarios and worry.
Three painful, grueling hours ticked by. Staff walked by offering food and drinks, some even offering a room for me to lie down in. I must have looked horrendous if they offered me that. But I refused every single time, telling them I would not miss the doctor coming out of the operating room. I was in a cold sweat feeling absolutely horrific, physically and emotionally. I clenched my eyes shut as a wave of nausea swept over me, and I instead decided to just stare at the ground until it passed. I kept a steady gaze at my white ballet flats. My skinny jeans and purple cardigan hung loosely on me since I had been refusing food. Cece and Bullfrog sat huddled together, comforting each other. I felt immense guilt for what they were going through, no parents deserve this kind of pain, ever. Adam's head rested above mine as he sniffed every so often, getting choked up like the rest of us. I must have been the worst though, judging from the looks I was receiving. I couldn't care less at the moment, to be honest. Cece was like a second mother to me; she treated me like her own and was always there to talk. When I first realized I was in love with Eli, she was the one I went to talk to. I hadn't told him yet at the time… I still haven't. This past week had screwed everything up for us, and now that this accident happened I'm not sure I ever will get to tell him. I sobbed at the thought and Adam tightened his hold on me. Adam was Eli's best friend; I couldn't imagine how he must have felt as well.
After what seemed like a few days, a doctor headed our way one hour later. He walked with purpose but patience, carrying a clipboard and keeping a perfect poker face. I wriggled out of Adam's grasp first sight of him, knowing that the verdict he carried on that piece of cardboard was for us. He stopped in front of our group and cleared his throat. Cece and Bullfrog shot up from their chairs as I wrapped my arms around myself in my seat and braced myself for the worst. Adam rubbed my back and stared intently at the doctor, the four of us almost itching with anticipation and suspense.
"Mr. and Mrs. Goldsworthy. My name is Doctor Stein."
"Just tell us. Please. Just tell us. Is our baby boy going to live?" Cece bawled as Bullfrog held her in his arms, tears running down his face as well. He nodded vehemently and urged the doctor to continue. My heart raced in my chest to the point that I couldn't hear anything but the pounding, yet I concentrated as hard as I could to hear the doctor's words. This was too much for me; I was about to have another panic attack.
"Your son has suffered significant injuries, nothing too serious however, and extreme blood loss, but after stitching him up during surgery and giving him the proper transfusions, he is going to be just fine. He is in recovery right now, and is very lucky to be alive." He stated with a sympathetic smile, clearly glad that this patient of his wasn't a fatal case. A huge weight lifted off of my shoulders as I cried out in relief, Adam taking hold of me once again as we muttered "Thank God's" under our breaths, my body still wracking in shakes. Cece and Bullfrog embraced and thanked the doctor sincerely, incredibly relieved and thankful. I was in the same exact situation Eli was when Julia got into that car wreck, except this time, no lives were lost. Eli was okay. He was okay. I kept repeating the words in my head.
"There's not much knowing how long the recovery process will take, however, seeing as he did endure mild head trauma as well. I'll have a nurse take you all up to his room, you've waited long enough." The doctor concluded, walking us over to a nurse ready to take us up the elevator.
Adam kept his arm around me, steadying me as I walked, seeing as I was in an extremely weak state and could barely comprehend anything that was happening or anything I was doing other than the thought of Eli being safe. That's all that mattered at this moment, and all that will ever matter ever again. I was so thankful for his well-being. I was offered crackers by the nurse in the elevator once again, which I once again refused. I couldn't eat or drink, I'm not sure if I would ever again. We reached the eleventh floor and piled out into the almost deserted hallway; it was after 1am after all. A few stray doctors and nurses walked about, but other than that there was no activity. After walking down a long hallway, the nurse stopped us in front of room 1134 and turned to our group.
"Which of you would like—" The nurse started but I cut her off by brushing past her and going through the slightly ajar door, taking in the sight of him.
The nurse closed the door after I hurried inside, and it shut with a soft click, leaving me alone with Eli. I stood there, still not believing that the incredible boy who was so strong on the surface, whom I had shared countless memories and times with, lay before me in a completely helpless state. His dark-brown, almost black hair hung limply over his forehead, his face looking serene and calm as he slept. Surprisingly, I saw no casts on his arms or legs, but as I approached his bed it was evident he had severe bruising and broken ribs. Heartbroken, I slowly and gently brushed his bangs away from his forehead and kissed it, perching myself daintily on the edge of the bed, scared that I would hurt him if I made any sudden movements. My eyes glistened with unshed tears as I took in the rest of him, the wires, the IV, the bruises splayed across his face and limbs. How could he let this happen? I blinked and the tears rolled down my cheeks for what seemed like the millionth time tonight. His head was propped up high as a result of the head trauma, I assumed. Although he had no broken limbs, he looked like a truck ran him over. I let out a quiet sob and gripped his left hand after I pulled a chair up to his bedside.
"It's going to be okay… everything is going to be fine." I spoke to him softly, squeezing his limp, cold hand, "I've never been more scared in my life. I may enjoy the way you make me feel, the way I feel when you're with me, the way you arise emotions in me I never even knew existed… but this is not one of them." I laughed without humor, feeling like I was going insane. "Despair and unbearable guilt are not emotions that I enjoy… you drive me absolutely crazy, Elijah. The things you do, the things you get yourself into… God, why? Why didn't you just listen to me? You didn't have to get in your car, didn't have to drive away, didn't have- didn't have to-" A loud sob cut off my rant as I buried my head in my arms on his bed, crying and feeling absolutely helpless, continuing my pathetic cries for a good amount of time. I must have fallen asleep after a while of being bent over Eli's bedside, because I later felt a blanket being wrapped around my shoulders and became aware of the sudden darkness of the room. I drifted off into a deep, much needed sleep.
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Sunlight flitted through the cracks of the shades on the hospital room's windows, illuminating the boring blue walls and shining into my eyes. I drowsily opened my eyes, letting them adjust to my surroundings. Last night suddenly came rushing back to me as I bolted upright in my chair, wincing at the pain in my neck and back from sleeping hunched over. I looked around the room, my vision still a little blurry as I took in the small area decorated with a few potted plants, a TV across from the bed, and multiple flowers and cards filling the bedside tables. The image of Eli came back into my mind, and I couldn't bring myself to look at him. I leaned over in the chair, resting my elbows on my knees and covering my eyes with my hands, removing the sleep and then keeping them there while I took some deep breaths.
Eli's alive. He's laying here next to you, sleeping soundly. He is absolutely fine. Relax. I tried calming myself as I held his hand in mine for a few minutes, gently stroking it. I then finally mustered up the courage to look at him. What happened next completely knocked the wind out of me. Bright blue met sharp emerald, as I realized he had been awake this entire time. How long has he been awake? My eyes widened and a look of shock crossed my features as I hesitated a few seconds, thinking this was my imagination. I couldn't have imagined this; his eyes are never nearly as stunning in my thoughts as in real life. This was happening… he was awake. The next thing I realized was the hand I was gripping was gripping back, which only further convinced me that this was indeed reality. He had been waiting patiently until I looked up at him. The two of us stayed absolutely still, our gazes locked with the only sound in the room the beeping of the machine and our breathing. He didn't speak a word, probably knowing that there were no words to be said at this moment; I couldn't bring myself to say anything at the time either. I didn't realize I was crying once again (big surprise) until he slid his hand out of my grasp and slowly reached up to wipe the tears from my cheeks; as if I didn't run out of tears already. With that I lost it.
"I— Eli, I—" I tried speaking but choked on my own words as my breaths started coming shallower and shallower.
Even though he had broken ribs and was undeniably in a great deal of pain, Eli pulled me into him as close as he possibly could and held me tightly in his arms as he stroked my hair and murmured words of comfort. I had come so close to losing him mere hours ago, I was still processing that he was okay. I concentrated on the sound of his low, soothing voice as I lay there with my face buried in his chest, my arms wrapped loosely around his torso, careful not to put pressure on anything. I breathed in deeply, the usual smell of his cologne was gone, but he still smelled like pure Eli. I slowly sat up after a few minutes after hearing a grunt from him; I was causing him pain. Instead I sat as close as I could without leaning on anything, and gently ran my fingers through his hair. He kept an intense gaze on me, probably finding the words to say. As he opened his mouth to speak, all of my apologies and things I thought I would never get to tell him came pouring out.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry. I'm so incredibly sorry. I've never felt guiltier in my life, I'm so sorry. I didn't think, I knew that you were in a weak state, that the anniversary of her death was coming up, and I still said what I said. I was so insensitive, I am so insensitive! I can't imagine the pain you felt, the pain you feel now, and how much you must hate me right now because I sure—"
I was cut off by a pair of soft lips, moving softly but urgently against mine. He had pulled me down with a hand on the back of my neck, even though the last time we had spoken ended on very bad terms, I was glad he knew that our feelings for each other hadn't changed. We were connected on a deep level, almost always knowing how the other was feeling. I thought I would never get to speak to him again, never get to kiss him again, so the urgency and passion of this kiss was necessary. He knew it too; thought he would never lay eyes on the girl he loved so dearly ever again. He tasted exactly like he always had, and I smiled in pleasure against his lips. I felt him crack a smile in return, or was it a smirk? I pulled away and saw that it was indeed a smirk; I knew him too well. I saw that there things he wanted to say in his eyes, so I took hold of his hand and brought it up to my cheek, feeling the warmth that was absent the previous night, and waited for him to speak.
"First off—" He coughed to clear his throat after realizing it was extremely hoarse and continued in a soft, weak voice, "I could never hate you, no matter what. You mean everything to me. Second, I don't blame you for anything at all; if anything, it was me who was the complete imbecile," He cleared his throat again, "And thirdly; I can't believe you're still talking to me after I was such a douche. I made the mistake of driving when I was so heated and angry at myself, and wounded up here. That's never going to happen again. I wasn't thinking clearly, and the coming of Julia's death anniversary really took a toll on me; I should have cooled down and given you the space you needed." He concluded quietly, his throat evidently hurting, but the sincerity and guilt in his voice crystal clear. He blamed himself? Seriously?
"You should hate me. I made one of the most difficult weeks of your life even more difficult than it needed to be… I'll forever blame myself for this, no matter what you say." I spoke indignantly, convinced that he had nobody to blame but me. After a short hesitation he responded quietly and looked up at me, pained.
"Now you know how I felt."
His words hit me as I realized exactly what he meant; a mere two years ago he lost a loved one, and blamed himself for it ever since… that's exactly what I was doing. No matter how much I tried convincing him that it wasn't his fault, he would never comply. I finally fully understood how hard it was, how nearly impossible it was not to blame yourself for someone else's misfortune if you were involved. Looking from an objective point of view, I thought to myself that it wasn't really anybody's fault. Eli was on the road at the wrong time, and… wait, what really did happen? I opened my mouth to speak but closed it again. How do I phrase this? So, were you trying to kill yourself or did you go play in traffic for fun? Was it a drunk driver? A tree? Eli kept his gaze down at our hands, gently playing with my fingers as he waited for me to speak.
"What… what happened?" I asked him directly, just now realizing that nobody but him really knew how the accident came to be. I hadn't seen the accident since I'd rushed straight to the hospital after I received word; I knew that Morty was found in the middle of the road with his front and left side smashed, stray pieces of the car lying in the road. I knew that Eli was found inside unconscious, the cause of the accident only to be guessed until heard from Eli himself. I just automatically assumed he was trying to kill himself because of his weak state, but did that really happen? What went down last night?
"Truck." He answered softly, still keeping his eyes down.
"Truck…" I repeated, waiting for him to expand. He took a deep breath and looked up at me, clearly having trouble talking about it; I was surprised he even remembered what happened.
"I wasn't trying to kill myself." He assured me as if reading my thoughts, knowing that I thought that's what he was doing, "I'm not that stupid. I would never try to kill myself; I knew that we were in a bad place in our relationship at that time, and usually if I'm in a lousy mood I take Morty for a drive to clear my head. I was driving pretty fast and had a near head-on collision. A truck slammed into me." He stated, wincing at the memory and squeezing my hand. I let out a short breath of surprise, not wanting him to think about the accident any longer. But I needed to know what happened, so I willed myself to stay in one piece and concentrate on his words.
"I… I don't remember how it happened exactly." He continued, "But I remember blasting Dead Hand and driving with the window rolled down… it was really dark. My high beams weren't working for some reason; I was going to fix them earlier that day but never got to it. I was really distracted—I shouldn't have been driving. Then apparently, this pick-up truck didn't see me and slammed right into me. I saw it was a truck before I lost consciousness and remember hearing the cackling of the driver as he sped away… it's all a huge blur though, really." His face contorted angrily and his brow furrowed. I was shocked; it was a stupid driver? I stared straight ahead, digesting Eli's words. He wasn't trying to commit suicide. I completely misinterpreted that…
"You thought I was trying to kill myself." He spoke again after a few minutes of silence, knowing that's what I was thinking. My head snapped up as his eyes bore into mine, forcing the confession out of me.
"I didn't know what you were trying to do, but… yes. I did think that." I admitted, ashamed of even considering it after he explained what really happened. After a short pause he spoke again, almost hesitant to say the words.
"I'm not going to lie to you, sweetheart," he spoke tenderly, "The thought of suicide has crossed my mind quite a many times." He admitted then, my eyes widening and heart dropping.
"…What? I—why?" My voice cracked, heartbroken at the thought of him even pondering the idea. This amazing human being, this incredible boy with an outstanding personality and the ability to make me melt, has considered suicide. What kind of fucked up world do we live in?
"You had good reason to think I was going to do that. If I didn't have you, I would probably be gone already." He spoke quietly, keeping his gaze down once again, afraid to meet my eyes. More tears streamed down my cheeks as I waited silently for him to continue. I then realized just how much he needed me, just how much I meant to him. The guilt grew heavier in my chest. He took another deep breath.
"I was depressed after Julia's death, for a long time. During that time I had… morbid thoughts, thoughts of ending my life. I was convinced I had nothing to live for; i never attempted, however. I was too afraid. My parents would be devastated, the few friends I had wouldn't exactly be thrilled. I couldn't bring myself to do it. You just need to know… I was in a really bad place at that time." He concluded, finally meeting my eyes again, taking in my reaction. Realizing I was crying during his short monologue, he reached up once more to wipe the tears away.
"But… but you just said you would never commit… you know… but you've thought about it? And what is this talk about you would 'already be gone?' Eli, what are you thinking?" I asked devastated and confused. What is going on in his head? He gave me the most adoring look I'd ever seen, and gave me small, sad smile. His eyes visibly brightened into a lovely shade of green as they bore into my wide, blue ones. I awaited his response, my heart thundering in my chest from his mesmerizing gaze.
"That was before I knew of your existence, and what joy you would bring into my life." He told me simply as even more tears crept down from my eyes. I furiously wiped them away, and went into a rant, no matter how sweet the words he just spoke were.
"God… I- There's always help, Eli. There's always someone there for you, always someone there to talk to and get help from. I made a promise that I would never leave you; I came close to breaking that promise… I was stupid. So fucking stupid—" I stopped short as Eli's eyes widened and his eyebrows raised. He was as surprised as I was; I never swear. I shook it off and continued. "I wasn't thinking. But I'm staying true to it. I'm always here for you, I'm… I'm just always here. I'm yours. Please know that. We've had tough times, I know that, and we probably will have more. But no matter what happens, nothing will ever change how I feel about you, and though I might need space at times, when I'm with you, it's the most incredible feeling in the world." My voice cracked as I furiously wiped away the remainder of my tears, willing myself to not cry anymore.
I managed to stop the flow of tears after my emotional speech to him, instead deciding to breathe deeply and save my eyes from getting sorer; I could only imagine how puffy and red they were. After keeping my eyes closed for a few seconds to compose myself, I looked back down at him. I watched in shock as Eli's eyes watered and a lone tear slowly ran down his cheek. I gently brushed it away, finding humor in the fact that the second I stop crying, he starts. I'd only seen Eli cry once before, but this time was as surprising a sight as the last. Only this time… it was my fault; I had never invoked such emotion in anybody.
"Please… don't cry. I'm sorry, I know—"
"No." He cut me off almost as soon as I started talking. "Do not apologize to me anymore. I just… never in my life, thought that someone would mean so much to me after Julia, and that someone would mean more to me than she ever did. And hearing those words from that someone… it's an indescribable feeling. I want help. I really do, and after I get out of here, recover, I will get help. I promise you. My baggage controls my life sometimes, and… there's nothing wrong with getting help with that. As long as… you're by my side?" His eyes glistened as he looked up at me hopefully, and I could only smile in gratitude; he's finally seen the light. And as Eli would say, hold the phone: I meant more to him than Julia? Hearing that was an indescribable feeling. I nodded enthusiastically and assured him.
"Of course. Of course. There's nowhere else I'd rather be. Within reason, of course." He smirked up at me and rolled his eyes, causing me to giggle. At that moment Adam burst through the door with the goofiest grin on his face and hurried towards me, enveloping me in his arms and spinning me around as I squealed in surprise and Eli just watched in amusement, laughing.
"SHE LAUGHED! THE TENSION HAS BEEN RELEASED! BOOYEAH!" Adam exclaimed victoriously.
"Dude, don't break my girlfriend." Eli teased.
"ADAM!" I shrieked, getting dizzy from the spinning; Eli seemed to be enjoying it, however. Adam put me back down and I steadied myself against the bed and straightened out my clothing, then took a seat back down on the bed. Eli rubbed my back as I playfully scowled at Adam. It was clear that Adam had already visited and spoke to Eli before I awoke that morning, or he wouldn't be focused on me at all. I then realized his parents must have also paid him a visit as well if he was awake for a good deal of time already, with me sleeping on the bed… awkward. How long was I out? And why wasn't I kicked out?
"I'm just so happy you two kissed and made up already. I was beginning—Aw, Eli… were you crying?" Adam asked teasingly with a grin which caught Eli off guard as he began scrubbing furiously at his eyes, trying to cover up his earlier emotional lapse.
Eli was very open with his emotions in front of us, but not nearly as open with Adam as me. He told me once before that not even Julia had ever seen him cry. Eli knew well that Adam would tease him for it, plus, a guy crying in front of his guy friend? Talk about sappy. The two of them were the best of friends who shared everything, but tears were not included in that package. After covering up with a bad excuse and sarcastic jab, Eli got Adam off his back. Over the next hour or so the two immersed themselves in conversation about comic books and the usual things guys talk about, as I cautiously laid alongside Eli, his hand stroking and fingers running through my short, auburn locks. I signed contentedly and closed my eyes, soon falling asleep on his chest with an arm gingerly placed across his stomach. It was amazing how much could change in the course of twenty-four hours, and for the first time in a while, I truly felt like everything was going to be alright.
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Thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you for reading. xx