Everything Looks Up When You've Been Knocked Far Enough Down
"Angel? Angel are you awake?"
Everything was so bright, the only way I could open my eyes was to squint. It was Alicia trying to talk to me.
"Yeah. what happened?"
I quickly recognized I was in a hospital room, everything started coming back to me quickly.
"You were in a car accident. They said when you were leaving the corner store, a pick-up truck hit the back of your car and you spun around and into a near-by ditch. I saw the car, it's a miracle you are alive. The back end is barely hanging on."
Oh no, Alicia's car.
"Alicia, I am so sor..."
"Don't worry about it, I'm just glad that you're okay. Were you able to talk to Josh?"
"No, he wasn't home."
The whole thought about the pregnancy test came back into my head. How sure I was, how scared I was, and how just thinking about Josh seemed to ease that fear. It showed me that he meant even more to me than I had previously thought, and I never thought that was possible.
"I just want to go home, where is the doctor?"
An averaged height man in his sixties walked in. His hair was as white as the doctors coat he was wearing, and his skin was just a shade darker. He had a chart board in one hand, and a pen in the other. He stood there, looking at me through the top part of his glasses that he wore at the tip of his nose.
"I think you will be able to check yourself out today, I just have a few more tests that I want to run before I sign you off. Will you excuse us?"
He finished that with a look at Alicia. She didn't seem to notice.
"Oh, no. I mean yeah, I'll be outside."
Alicia hurried out the door after looking at me for some reassurance. A soft nod did the trick. I looked up at the doctor, who was staring down on me.
"I'll be right outside if you need me." She yelled as she closed the door.
I am glad that she is here. Knowing that I have her here is making things a little easier right now, although I really wish it was Josh standing by my side.
"Hello Angel, I'm Dr. Larson. How are you feeling?"
I am an emotional wreck, I haven't seen my boyfriend in way too long and I just totaled my best friend's car, but I don't think any of those are responses he was looking for.
"I feel fine, with the exception of a slight headache."
"When you spun around, your head hit against the side of the window, we checked for a concussion but nothing showed up. According to all the tests, it seems both of you are very lucky and are going to be fine."
He said all this without even taking his eyes off of the chart he was holding in his hands.
"So the other driver is fine too?"
He flipped another page or two in the sheets, and then he put the glorified clipboard by his side. He put the pen in his pocket and took his glasses off and looked at me.
"No, I'm sorry, the other driver, well he didn't make it to the hospital. He passed away in the ambulance."
I only got a glimpse of the guy before the crash, but he couldn't have been much older than I am. Now he is dead because I couldn't take my mind off all this pregnancy test crap. I was too paranoid and had to talk to Josh. I really wish Josh was here right now, I hate it when anyone else sees me cry.
What if this was someones Josh. Maybe he was someones love, someones husband, someones father. Maybe he was just going to the store to get bread for his wife, who was sitting at home watching their child. Whether or not this was accurate or far off, he still must have had someone who loved him. Now that person's life is in shambles because of me. The doctor's words were just replaying in my head now.
"Wait, you said 'both of you are going to be fine.' Both of who?"
His eyes widened a bit.
"You and the baby of course."
He gave me a look like I should know what he was talking about.
"The paramedics said they found a pregnancy test in the car with you, I thought you knew."
The room began to spin.
"You are over four weeks pregnant."
"The test said negative"
Not pregnant. I remember repeating it over and over again.
"Well I didn't see that test, but I see this one, and it's positive. You are pregnant Angel."
Pregnant. I am pregnant. Where is Josh. I need to go home.
"I need to go, I need to go home."
He put out a hand to prevent me from running out the door, but it was only half effort. I got up from the bed and walked right past him.
"Wait, there are some more tests."
Was the last thing I heard as I left the room.
"Come on Alicia, we need to go."
Sarah was sitting next to her, they looked at each other, both hearing the doctor in the background, and then got up and followed me down the hall.
"Angel, wait up!"
I did not want to wait up. I went even faster, I didn't stop until I reached the front doors. then I turned to face them.
"Can we just go home? Do we need to go back to the cabin at all?"
"No, Jaimie said she was going to pack everything and meet us back at my house tomorrow."
They both seemed confused, but I didn't say anything. Sarah went and got the car and me and Alicia waited by the curb.
"Did you look at the test?"
I did not answer her. Not at first. I had no idea what I was going to say. I still wanted to tell Josh first.
"The stupid test was negative."
I said the truth, but it was wrapped in a fat lie.
"That's a good thing isn't it?"
Sarah pulled up, and I just gave her a look oozing of uncertainty and got in the back seat.
The whole drive back, nothing was said by either of them, and the only words to come out of my mouth was to ask Sarah to turn the radio down so I could nap.
When we finally got back to my house I didn't even say goodbye, I just waived and left the car. Running through the front door I went straight to my bedroom. My parents were not home and that was probably for the best. First they would wonder why I wasn't on the field trip, then wonder why I was home instead of up at school if I didn't go on it. I just jumped under my sheets and cried myself to sleep.
I slept all night and into a good portion of the next day. It was almost two when I awoke to a call from Alicia.
"Are you feeling better?"
I temporarily was. My dreams were still swirling around in my head, and I wasn't really sure what was fiction and what really happened.
"A little. How are you getting back to school?"
Now that I totaled her car, I would probably end up being her ride most places until her insurance money cleared, but my car was still up at school.
"Derek is going to bring me back up tonight. You want to catch a ride?"
The house seemed empty and I figured my parents were both at work. They probably did not even notice I was home last night, and it would probably be best if I could escape without having to answer any questions.
"Yeah sure, what time?"
The exact time on the clock was one fifty eight.
"Wow you really know how to give a girl time to get ready, don't you?"
"No, two in the morning. He is going to a party at a friends house first, then heading straight up to campus. So be ready at five."
My parents didn't normally get home until six, so that would be fine, although I wasn't really in the party mood, the choice was not really one I could make. Yesterday still weighted heavy on my mind.
"The other driver, Alicia, he died."
"I know. When I saw my car, I saw his too. Are you okay?"
"I don't really know. Everything is just so messed up, and this has been the most stressful week of my life. I can't wait to see Josh on Friday."
"I'll see you at five."
I spent the next three hours eating and getting ready. I didn't dress up for the party, I didn't really know anyone aside from Alicia, Sarah, or their friend Derek at the party, and meeting new people is not really something I am feeling up for right now.
"Are you having fun?"
I did not even notice this guy come up to me. He was smiling, but looked as if there was something he had to say.
No I was not having fun, but he would not want to hear how I really felt.
"Well, I have two favors to ask of you."
I didn't really think there was anything I could do for him, but for some reason he reminded me of Josh, and it made me smile. There was something nice about him, something honest.
"Well you see, I have this camera, and I want you to take a picture of me, but not just of me."
"Just trust me, here, I'll tell you when."
He moved so he was standing in front of the room, and everyone else was seen behind him.
"When you see everyone high five, take it."
A few seconds later everyone paused what they were doing, and gave each other high fives. the flash filled the room with light, but no one seemed to notice. It blinded the guy who was standing in front of me, and the look on his face made me smile.
"Thank you. Don't take this as anything more than a friendly compliment, but I have fallen in love with your smile."
That made me smile even more. I like this guy, not in a way that would make Josh jealous, but I enjoy him none-the-less.
"Okay, one favor down, what is the second?"
His smile seemed to hinder for a second on that question, then he looked at me again and the smile returned.
"I need you to deliver a message for me."
I walked up to him, and he leaned up to my ear and whispered the second favor to me.
"I am leaving. I have a ticket for a bus that comes in just under an hour, and I am hopping on it. No one here knows, and I want to keep it that way. I don't want them to try and talk me out of it, or turn this night into a goodbye party. I just want to leave them like this, with not a worry in the world. I just want, I need you to tell them, after I've gone. Give me a head start, then tell them all at once."
I really didn't feel up to this, but I knew he needed me to. That feeling of being depended on actually made me feel a little better. After a week of instability and uncertainty, feeling I was helpful and capable was something I needed.
Without warning he leaned in and kissed me. I would have pulled back, but before I could react it was over. I know his intentions were not to make me feel uncomfortable, but merely a token of appreciation.
"Thank you, it really means a lot to me."
He needed to start over in life, I got that. I needed to do that too. Only his was a start somewhere new, mine was with something new, a baby.
"It's no problem. Goodbye."
He turned and walked out the door. I watched him walk down the street, he only turned back once to make sure no one noticed him leave, then he disappeared into the shadows of the night.
Friday I would have to talk to Josh about where our lives are going, how things were about to change. Right now though, I had to let everyone here know something else, how their friend Kevin was about to change his own life.
In less than a week, my life had changed so drastically. In a few more days it would change even more. It really gets me wondering. I am just one person, how many others have had their lives changed in a blink of an eye. we make plans for our future, where we hope to be in ten years, but the truth is, none of us have the slightest idea where we'll be in ten days do we?