Author's Note: I know, I am a bad, bad person. I have a bagillion stories to update, and what am I doing? Writing another one. But this one came to me last night at like 4 in the freakin' morning, and it wouldn't get out of my head, so I guess I should write it down. I will see how the reception for this story is, and after I update some of my other stories, then I'll update this one. I do not own Degrassi. Enjoy!
Come Together Right Now, Over Me
Clare Edwards was sitting on the couch reading The Complete Annotated Works of Charlotte Bronte as her husband watched the evening news. The news always bored Clare, and she enjoyed losing herself amongst the pages of her book, (which her husband loved to refer to as, "The Brick"). The evening progressed the same as always. The news would finish up in fifteen minutes, and then the spouses would retire to the bedroom, and go to bed. One thing was different about this night, however. Just a few minutes before the news' final story, the phone rang.
Clare looked up from her book, and turned to her husband as if to say, I'm reading. All you're doing is watching TV. You get up and go answer it. Brian stood up from his recliner, yawned, stretched, then went to grab the phone. Clare slid her finger in between the pages of her book, and stretched her ears to listen in on the conversation.
"Um…alright. Yeah…she's just reading. Uh…here she is."
Her husband returned from the kitchen, the phone in tow. Clare dog-eared her page, set the book on the table, and took the phone from him, "Hello, this is Clare."
"Clare," the voice on the other end sounded like a cocktail of distress and exhaustion, "Oh thank goodness! How soon can you get on a plane?"
"Something's happened. I just got the call from Eli…"
"Eli?" Clare parroted the name that been a source of pain and pleasure and frustration and infatuation all throughout her high school days.
"Yeah…he just called to let me know that something's happened to Adam. Clare…there's been some sort of accident. Adam is in the hospital. I don't know all the details, but Eli is there with Audra and Drew…he already spoke to Fiona and she's on her way too."
Clare's head was spinning. If so many of their high school class was returning…the accident must have been something serious. She tried to make her brain function just enough for form sentences, "Ali…what kind of accident?"
"Some sort of attack," Ali's voice was rushed, "Please Clare, please come back. Fiona is coming in tonight, and Bianca will be in in the morning."
"Ali…I don't understand…"
"Come home," Ali begged, "Come home and come to Saint Sebastian's. Please."
"I can try and get the next flight," Clare rested her forehead against the cradle between her thumb and index finger, "And you don't have any other details?"
"All I know is everyone is coming either tonight or tomorrow, and that Adam is prepping for surgery. I am driving in tomorrow morning. Eli didn't sound good, Clare. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know we need to be there. Get that flight. I'll see you tomorrow."
Clare said a confused goodbye, and Clare sat the phone back down on the coffee table. She turned to her husband, tears glazing her eyes, "I-I have to go."
"Go where?" Brian asked, "The only place we're going is to bed. I'm exhausted."
"That was Ali," Clare tried to explain something she didn't even understand herself, "Adam, you remember Adam from the wedding, there's been some sort of attack or accident. I don't really have all the details, but everyone is coming to the hospital tonight or tomorrow."
"All of us," Clare tried to explain, "I need to get a flight. I need to be one the next flight."
"Clare, don't be ridiculous," Brain propped his feet back up in his recliner, "I am sure everything is just fine. Besides, we are leaving on our trip next week to California."
"Brian, I have to go," Clare was growing frustrated, "I need to be there. This…this is serious. I have to be there. I'm their friend."
"And you're my wife. We have had this trip planned for months, Clare. You can't just back out of it because of some little reunion."
"It's not just some little reunion," Clare could feel the anger ignite in the flush of her face, "Adam is hurt. Something is wrong. I need to be there. What part of that don't you understand?"
Clare shoved herself up off the couch and headed to the computer, "I am going to get on the next flight out of here. I need to be there, Brian. This is Adam."
"Fine," Brian turned the TV volume back up, "Do whatever it is you feel you have to do. This isn't high school, Clare. Those days are in the past. It's time to keep those days in the past."
"Adam was at our wedding," Clare reminded him, "Adam has always been there for me. Always. I have to be there for him now, Brian. Please understand that."
Brian didn't say anything to that. instead, he just focused in on the story playing out on the TV. Some woman saved a cat from a burning apartment building. Wonderful. Clare pulled up the airline's website, and scrolled through to find the most recent flight from New York City to Canada. Sure enough, there was a flight at midnight. Clare glanced at the clock at the bottom right hand corner of the computer screen. 10:45 PM. Clare didn't even glance at the price. She purchased one ticket for the midnight flight, and hurriedly ran to the bedroom to pack some clothes.
She had no idea how long she would be home for. She had no idea how much to pack or what to pack. She was in too much of a hurry to really think on it, so instead, Clare just tossed a pair of jeans, four t-shirts, and a handful of underwear and socks. She quickly pulled on another pair of jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, and tennis. It amazed Clare how fast she could get ready.
She tossed a toothbrush, a hair brush, and some makeup into her toiletry bag before tossing the bag into her suitcase. In less than ten minutes, she was headed out the door.
"I'll call you when I get there," Clare said, grabbing her purse and her car keys from the hook by the front door.
"You're leaving now?"
"I told you I was getting the next flight. Brian, I have to go so I don't miss it…"
"I still don't understand why you are going. People get sick. They get hurt. That doesn't mean you have to fly back as if nothing else matters in your life. Just tell me one thing…will he be there?"
"Yes, you know that," Clare folded her arms over her chest and tried not to yell, "He's Adam's best friend, Brian. Now please, can I go?"
"Fine," Brian turned back around and faced the TV. He turned up the volume, and didn't even say goodbye.
As soon as her plane landed, Clare called for a taxi to come and take her to the hospital. She was exhausted from her flight, and knew she must look like utter crap, but nothing else seemed to matter. The only thing she was concerned about was getting to the hospital, seeing Adam, and getting some more information.
"Where to ma'am?" The taxi driver asked as he helped her load her bags into the trunk of the taxi.
"Saint Sebastian's Hospital," Clare directed, "And please, hurry."
As the taxi sped down the highway, Clare realized she didn't know where Adam was located in the hospital. Ali was probably on the road now, and Clare knew she didn't use her cellphone while driving. She dug in her purse, withdrew her phone, and scrolled through her contacts list. The only person who would be able to tell her where to go, was the one person Clare hadn't spoken to in years. But Adam was all that mattered now. Clare swallowed her nerves, and tapped the contact.
On the fourth ring, someone picked up, "Hey?" The voice sounded exhausted, and nothing like the voice Clare had remembered from years earlier.
"Hi, it's Clare. Ali called and told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. My plane just landed and I am headed to Saint Sebastian's, but I have no idea where to go."
"Clare…" the voice tasted the name, "Um…come to the surgery unit. It's on the…uh…third floor? Yeah…we're on the third floor."
"Okay, I'll see you soon. Oh, who all is there?"
"Me, Drew, Audra, and Fiona. Bianca and Ali should be here in a few hours."
"Alright. Eli…Ali didn't give me many details…"
There was a sharp intake of breath, then, "It's bad, Clare. It's really bad. Adam…there was an attack when he was headed home to a party. There's cops all over this fucking hospital, but they don't seem to be doing anything."
"Oh God," Clare's voice rode on a whispered breath, "Eli…"
"Just get here, alright. Just get here, and get here safely."
Clare opened her mouth to say something, but the only sound that came was the click indicating an ended phone call. She tossed her phone back inside her purse, and watched the sun rise as the redbrick hospital came into view.
"Do you need help with your bags, ma'am?" The driver asked as he pulled under the canopy.
"I'm fine," Clare told him, "Really. It's just one bag and my purse."
Clare pulled some cash from her wallet, paid the driver, grabbed her suitcase, and headed inside the doors of the hospital's entrance. Third floor, that's what he had said, right? Clare trekked around, trying to find the elevators. Her head was spinning, and by the time she found them, a sudden sense of exhaustion overcame her. This was just the beginning. The day was just starting. There was no time for exhaustion.
Clare pressed the button for the third floor, and as the elevator jolted awake, her stomach jolted to the pit of her abdomen. She wanted answers. She needed answers. The elevator doors swung open, and Clare found two metal doors with the words SURGICAL WARD painted in red. She shoved the doors open and was greeted by a waiting room.
Drew, Eli, Audra, and Fiona were the only ones in the waiting room, and Eli – who had been previously sitting in a chair by the window with his head in his hands – jumped up to greet her.
"Clare!" The rest of the waiting room glanced up. Clare noticed everyone had the same exhausted, red-rimmed eyes and vacant expressions.
"Hi," she sat her bag down on the linoleum floor.
"The cafeteria is opening soon," Eli shoved his hands into his pockets, and to Clare, he looked seventeen again, "I'll buy you a cup of coffee?"
"Coffee would be nice," Clare brushed a curl behind her ear, "Eli…"
"I'll tell you what we know over coffee," he held the doors open for her, "It's not much…and the police aren't saying much…but it's not looking good, Clare."
The two headed to the hospital cafeteria in silence. Clare noticed that several police officers were scattered throughout the hospital. She was desperate to know what was going on, but knew she probably shouldn't push Eli. He would tell her over coffee, like he had said.
After purchasing two coffees, Eli led Clare to a table in the back of the cafeteria, "I got the call from Drew last night," Eli took the lid off his coffee to let it cool, and Clare could tell it pained him to have to repeat the story, "Details have been fuzzy, but we think Adam was headed to a party last night. When he was walking down the street…he was grabbed and dragged into the alley."
He paused and wiped his brow with the back of his hand, "Someone saw part of the attack take place. They ran down the street and called the cops. By the time the cops had gotten there…the attack had already taken place. The witness – she's at the police station now – said there were about five guys who had grabbed Adam. He didn't really stand much of a chance," Eli's voice cracked.
Had it been any other circumstance, Clare would have slapped herself for doing what she did. Had it been any other circumstance, Eli would have pulled away. However, her hand folded over his without even so much of a flinch from either one. Instead, he met her eyes, and continued, "The girl who called told the police that they would need to call an ambulance. The ambulance brought Adam here. He had lost consciousness, and had been beaten so badly…"
Eli closed his eyes and sighed, trying to gather up the strength to finish telling Clare the rest of the story, "Adam is in surgery now because a blood vessel burst in his head. He has approximately thirty broken bones. His jaw has been shattered and his ribs...his ribs have been crushed."
Eli sucked in another deep breath, "Clare…they didn't just beat him…"
"No," Clare's voice was a shadow of a whisper.
"They…they raped him. They raped him with a pipe."
"God," Clare turned away, and felt the tears river down her cheeks, "Eli…"
"They…they tore him apart, Clare. The doctors said they have never seen such a blatant act of hatred or cruelty. They said his injuries are the most intense of any human attack they have ever seen. The police…I am sure they are doing what they're supposed to…but it just feels like they're just fucking standing around. Adam…Adam could die, Clare. The doctors have no idea if he will make it or not."
"Eli," Clare abandoned his hand to wipe the tears from her face.
"I know," he wiped at his eyes, trying to force the tears that were brimming from falling, "They are going to clamp the aneurysm in his brain first," he explained, "Then once they get that taken care of, they will work on the broken bones. Other doctors are stitching him back together while the neurosurgeon does his thing. He's on breathing machines, Clare."
Clare didn't know what to say. She always hated the tears that were silent. She didn't mind sobbing when she was angry or sad. But those silent tears that spilled forth from her eyes like a faucet were the absolute worst. They only existed when Clare felt utter distress. She could wipe them away all she wanted to, but they wouldn't stop spilling. They splashed against her cheeks and her hands. Eli wanted to go over to her and place a hand on her shoulder, but that would be too much. She had already pushed the envelope by putting her hand on his.
"I'm glad you're here," he said, looking down at the crumby linoleum tile of the cafeteria floor, "Really, Clare. I'm glad we can all be here."
Author's Note: Should I continue it? Should I nix it? What are your thoughts? Like I said, it just came randomly to me last night and I felt like I had to write it. I'll update my other stories today, but I just had to put this to paper, so to speak. Reviews are the sunshine to my wildflowers!