A/N: I'm a busy woman, I told you that fast update was a fluke. Midterms are almost over so I'll try to work on that. Thank you so much for the support for this story, I really do enjoy writing it. Anyways, I'm off to watch the season finale. See you next update!
I got little to no sleep that night. The time between midnight and dawn was a blur. All I remembered was going straight upstairs, sloppily wiping my eye makeup away with my hands, and collapsing on top of the covers. After an hour of screaming and crying into my comforter, any ounce of fatigue was flushed away with frustration. I laid curled up in bed until the sun started to come up. By then I could have gotten under the covers and fallen asleep, but despite both mental and physical exhaustion, it felt unnecessary. Still in my dress, I shifted from the rut in my bed before sitting up. It was 7:04am. My neck and shoulders ached from the position I laid in all night, and there were patterns on my skin from the material of the dress. Being much too lazy to put out the effort to change into something more comfortable, I just threw a sweater over my almost bare shoulders.
The house was still, but it wouldn't stay that way for long. Ever since mom got that book published, she developed a kick for early rising. I moseyed down the stairs to the kitchen. Coffee was dripping. I froze at the last step, prepared to retreat to avoid confrontation, but it was only a self-timer. Once it was done brewing, I went ahead and poured myself a cup. I wasn't much for the taste, with fancy creamer it was okay, but I adored the smell. Plus it would erase the side-effects of my restless night. I took my mug outside to the inlet where I sat down on the one and only step. The sky was already overcast, but a few rays of sun escaped though the clouds, casting soft shadows over the front yard. No one would bother me here. I hunched forward, resting my cup on my knee and my chin in my hand. Every time the morning air summoned bumps, I took a gulp of the bitter liquid in my mug, and like magic they would disappear. The warmth filled me, and shortly I'd forget the events that led me to sitting alone outside in the dress I wore the night before.
For a moment, I closed my eyes, only to reopen them to the sound of footsteps. Sporting pajamas and tennis shoes, Daphne walked across the driveway between my house and hers. I looked up at her and straightened my back as she drew closer.
"Hey," she said, raising a hand in salutation and pursing her lips together.
"Hi…" I trailed of, suddenly becoming self-conscious about my appearance.
"Do you want to know about Emmett?"
I looked up at her and nodded solemnly.
"He's in a lot of pain, but he's going to be alright…a dislocated shoulder, open elbow fracture, broken ribs, shattered kneecap, broken hand-"
"Whoa, whoa, I thought you said he was okay," I said, standing up to her level.
"It could have been a lot worse, Bay. He's lucky to be alive," she snapped.
I sucked in my lips, "okay. Thanks."
"Sorry," she sighed, circling her fist to her chest. "I was up all night, I couldn't sleep."
"At least you changed," I said, grasping a piece of dress between my thumb and pointer finger.
Daphne half smiled, but her face quickly dropped, and in an instant, it looked as if she was going to cry.
"There's coffee inside," I shrugged.
She blinked slowly with a few short nods, and I walked with her to the kitchen. There was less coffee than I remember leaving, the house was awake, but with Daphne with me, I felt more at ease about possibly facing confrontation. Finishing off the pot, I poured her a cup, and she took a sip without diluting it with cream or sugar. She was definitely my father's daughter.
"So, what do we do now?" I asked once Daphne brought the mug away from her face.
"What do you mean?" she questioned, furrowing her brow.
"Emmett. Do we just…go on about our lives? Pretend nothing happened? Because I'm still mad, and him being in the hospital doesn't change that…despite what you saw in the ICU."
Daphne bit her lip, "I thought about visiting today."
"Let me come with you," I quickly said.
"You're going to yell at him. I know you still care about Emmett, and that's the last thing he needs right now."
"Whose side are you on?"
We stood in silence for a few minutes, avoiding each other's gaze before I placed my mug on the counter, folded my arms and stood my ground completely facing her, "I just want to see him. I was up all night too – worrying about him. He's never said my name before, I've only heard him talk three times, and that bothered me so much because he called out to me in the way he's least comfortable and-"
"You're talking too fast...fine, fine," she said, putting her hands up.
Visiting hours were from 9am to 9pm, so we had time to spare. I took a long, hot shower to compose myself and picked at the breakfast mom had made to make me feel better. She wanted me to talk, but we both knew that wasn't going to happen. Especially because Daphne, my saving grace, knocked at the door as soon as my mom worked up the courage to bring up last night. I was gone in a flash. A portion of the ride to the hospital was driven on the road Steve took to take me home. I suddenly remembered the flashing lights of the ambulance speeding in the opposite direction like a recollection portrayed in the movies. My stomach sunk into my gut. I had no evidence backing it up, but something told me that ambulance was racing for Emmett. Over a dozen accidents probably happened that day, but somehow I knew.
Getting to Emmett the second time around was easier. Daphne and I signed in at the front desk and they told us exactly where he was. Fifth floor, third room to the right. No sneaking around, though I was completely willing to do it again.
I made Daphne open the door, and I followed her in. She walked straight to the middle of the room, right to the edge of his bed while I stood with my back against the closed door. Emmett was propped up against a stack of pillows. The bandage wrapped around his head was replaced with stitches along the left side of his forehead. The neck brace was gone. Across his chest was a sling that held his left arm, and around his right hand was a cast that stopped half away up his forearm. It wasn't a shock, but what I hadn't realized when Daphne told me the extent of his injuries is that he couldn't sign.
"How are you doing?"
"Ok," he fingerspelt with his free hand in the sling.
"You can't sign…"
"I can a little."
Daphne started to raise her hands, but then dropped them to her sides. Instead she took a step forward to perch herself on the edge of the bed and threw her arms around him. I shifted my gaze, feeling like a third wheel. When I looked back, Daphne was standing up, and Emmett's head was tilted to look around her – straight at me with a smile. I locked eyes with him, nothing more, and continued to keep my arms folded against my chest.
"I'll…go," Daphne said, turning for the door.
I gave her a look and she shot me one right back, but ultimately, I moved aside so she could leave the room. However, once the door shut, I returned to my spot.
"I'm surprised you're back."
"But I'm glad you are."
"Me too," I sighed.
He laid and I stood in silence. I had nothing to say but everything on my mind, and I was torn between ranting about how mad I was at him and how relieved I was that he was okay; so I held my tongue.
"You looked beautiful last night."
"You think you can just butter me up with sweet talk? You think I'm just going to forgive you because you're hurt? It doesn't work that way, Emmett. If you think I'm so great, why did you cheat on me? How could you cheat on me? Because you were mad I was sending E-mails to Ty? Is that why you did it? What perfect sense. I can't even believe you, or me. I hate you and yet I'm here. You hurt me and I hitch hiked my way home, I destroyed every trace of you, but yet I'm still here," I cried, my emotions rising and my signing crumbling.
"You're sorry? That's it?"
He looked down at his arms, "sorry is the best I can do right now. I hate me too."
I bit my lip and looked down at the ground. Tears rolled off my cheeks and dripped onto the floor.
"But I love you, and I won't give up on us."
"I don't know how I feel."
"You just told me."
"But I care about you. That's why I'm here. I was so scared, Emmett. But I hate you."
"You don't have to know. Just sit with me. Please."
"Okay," I sniffed.
I pulled up the only chair next to the bed and sat down. Turning his head, he reached his right casted hand out and covered my own that was gripped to the armrest. I slowly closed my eyes and shook my head. He retracted his hand and faced forward. Nothing else needed to be said.