A/N: Sorry for the lack of updates, but I guess you've all heard the story about my disappearing muse. Luckily for me, she's back now. Our relationship is still a bit shaky and I don't trust her completely just yet, which is why my writing inspiration comes and goes, but at least there is inspiration, so that's all good.
Well, here's a new chapter. It's kind of long (peace offer!) and I hope you'll enjoy it. Reviews are more than appreciated!
Lynne softly knocked on the door of room 218. The room that had become so familiar in a very short period of time. The room she hated with fiery passion, but simply couldn't escape from, because the person in it was someone she loved with all her heart.
"What?" Nathan's annoyed voice came from the other side.
Lynne sighed. This was not a good start.
"It's me." She said as up-beat as possible when she slowly opened the door.
She was just in time to see how the expression on Nate's face softened when he realized it was her. He put aside the magazine he was reading and looked at her. He seemed afraid to say anything, afraid of saying the wrong things.
"Surprised to see me?" She asked.
"Kind of. After what happened yesterday..." He started
"What happened yesterday?"
Of course she knew what had happened yesterday, but she needed to hear him say it. She needed to hear it from him.
"Yesterday I was a jerk."
Lynne smiled as she walked up to the bed in the middle of the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. She put her bag on the floor and looked at her boyfriend.
"A big one." She told him.
Nate just nodded.
"I'm really sorry."
"It's okay." She assured him, although it was far from okay.
She just wasn't in the mood to fight over it and she didn't want to make this any harder on him. She knew that everything in their lives was just complicated right now and considering the circumstances, she couldn't even really blame him for being a jerk every once in a while.
"No, it's not." He told her. "I didn't mean it. At all."
"I was just upset because of Jake..and because of everything else."
"I know that too."
Nate still didn't seem entirely convinced that Lynne was capable of forgiving him for yesterday just like that. As if he was waiting for a catch. As if he was waiting for Lynne to say 'I forgive you, but...'. The 'but' didn't come though and Nathan relaxed a little as Lynne leaned over and placed a soft kiss on his lips.
"You know that what you said yesterday was absolutely ridiculous, right?"
He simply nodded. Lynne got up from the bed and noticed the flowers on the table near the window.
"You want me to put those in water for you?" she asked, nodding towards the flowers.
"Yeah, please. I mean, a man can never have enough flowers, right?" Nate said, a hint of sarcasm in his voice, since the entire room was already full of flowers.
Lynne grinned as she walked up to the table and took the bouquet of tulips in her hand. She tried to find a card, but couldn't find it.
"Who are they from?"
"My aunt Becky."
"Your aunt Becky was here?"
"No. She just sent flowers."
Lynne nodded as she walked into the bathroom that was on the left side of Nathan's bed. She picked one of the glass vases up that the nurses had put on the bathroom floor after noticing how many bouquets of flowers Nate was receiving and she filled it with water. She ripped off the see-through wrapping paper that was wrapped around the flowers and one by one put the tulips in the vase.
"Why are you still here?" Nate asked out of nowhere.
At first, Lynne missed how serious Nate had intended this question.
"What do you mean still? I just got here."
She was done putting the flowers in the vase and she walked back into the hospital room, holding the vase, looking at Nathan with a questioning expression on her face.
"That's not what I mean."
Lynne walked up to the table near the window and found a spot to put the vase on. She now realized what this was all about. She then turned around and sighed.
"What kind of question is that?"
"A question I would like an answer to."
"I'm here because you're my boyfriend." Lynne answered as if there was no other answer possible.
"Why am I still your boyfriend?"
Lynne walked up to the bed.
"Why are you asking me all these questions? Why don't you just say what's on your mind?"
"I just don't understand why you keep coming here when you could be out there doing..."
Nate hesitated for only a second, giving Lynne the opportunity to interrupt.
"Doing what?" she asked him.
"I don't know." He honestly said. "I just want you to realize that everything is different now. I can't walk, I can't...feel anything. I can't do anything anymore."
"That's not true."
"Of course it is, Lynne!" Nate exclaimed, suddenly realizing that Lynne refused to see how serious all of this was. "I can't walk. I can't take you out anymore. And when we do go out, you're gonna be walking next to a freakin' wheelchair."
"I don't care." She said, although it didn't sound very convincing.
"I can't go to the bathroom all by myself anymore. I need help getting undressed for a shower...hell, I need help taking a shower! I can't climb any stairs anymore, I can't get in or out of bed by myself, I can't get in or out of my wheelchair by myself. I can't do anything by myself anymore, Lynne!"
"We'll figure it out. We'll get through it."
It suddenly hit her that she was mostly convincing herself of that. She had to admit that she hadn't thought about all this before. Well, she had, but not rationally.
"I can't do..things with you anymore. Intimate things..." Nate continued, not listening to Lynne.
"I don't care about that."
"Maybe not right now, no...but one day you're gonna..."
"There are other things we can do besides that."
"Just think about it, Lynne. I have nothing to offer to you anymore."
"How can you say that?!" Lynne said, an almost horrified expression on her face.
"It's true! You should go out there and find somebody else..."
"I don't want anybody else!"
"You shouldn't be here. You're throwing your life away."
"Because I want to be with you?!"
Lynne stared at her boyfriend, tears welling up in her eyes. Part of her couldn't believe he was actually saying all of this and part of her actually considered the option. The option of just getting out of here and leave Nate behind. Not because she wanted to, but because it would make things that much easier. However, Lynne wasn't the kind of person to take the easy way out and in this case she didn't even want to take the easy way out, because she loved Nate. She loved him so much. How could he just expect her to walk away from that? To walk away from him?
Nathan seemed to be going through a similar thing right now, since he was no longer able to hide the tears in his eyes anymore.
"Don't you want to be with me anymore?" She softly asked, kind of fearing the answer.
"It's not about that." Nate said, shaking his head and looking away.
"So you do want to be with me?"
"Of course I want to be with you."
"So how can you just make this decision for me? How can you just tell me that I should walk away from you?"
"I'm not telling you that. I'm just saying that staying with me would be stupid."
"Yeah, well I don't think it's stupid. I think walking away from you right now would be stupid. And selfish."
"Walking away from me right now would be common sense."
Lynne shook her head in disbelief. She knew Nate was stubborn, but this was just unbelievable.
"What if it had been me in that bed, huh? Would you have walked away from me?"
Nate looked up at Lynne again.
"You know what? Let's not go there. I'm sorry I brought this even up."
"No. I want to know." Lynne continued. "Would you have left me if this had happened to me?"
"I don't know!" Nate said. "I really don't know what I would've done in your situation."
"Well, for your information...leaving you, had never even occured to me until you brought it up just now."
This seemed to surprise Nathan. Almost as if he found that hard to believe, once again showing Lynne that this has been something that he'd been thinking about for a while now. He really wanted her to leave him.
"I'm gonna get a soda." She announced, just wanting to get out of the room for a while. "Can I get you something?"
Nate shook his head.
"No, thanks. But you think you could ask one of the nurses to bring a wheelchair?"
"I just want to go for a walk...so to speak...with you."
Lynne smiled. This was major progress.
"Oh, okay. I'll ask."
"Besides, I need one of the nurses to help me to get in the chair."
"I could help you with that." Lynne carefully offered.
"No...thanks, just get a nurse."
"Because what, Nate?"
"Just get a nurse okay? They know what they're doing."
"And I don't, I know that, but...I'm gonna have to learn how to get you out of bed eventually."
"I don't want you to learn that." Nate calmly said. "I don't want you to see me like that."
"Well, that could become a problem, since I've been told that you'll be paralyzed for the rest of your life and....well, I'm not leaving you, so..."
She was aware of the cruelty of her words, but that seemed the only way to say things to Nate right now.
"Listen, you really wanna get into another fight? Because I think we've fought enough for the next...decade."
Nate's comment made Lynne smile, but she knew he hadn't intended it to be funny. He was serious and also a little bit annoyed by her.
"Fine. I'll just go get that soda." She told him.
"And that nurse." Nate added.
She nodded, before turning around and leaving the room. One of the nurses just happened to be walking pass the room when Lynne exited it and Lynne stopped her.
"Hi. I was just wondering if you could maybe get a wheelchair for Nathan? He wants to go for a walk..or ride...He also needs some help getting out of bed."
The nurse seemed to be surprised to hear this.
"He wants to go for a walk? Really? Is he sure he's up for that?"
"It's what he wants." Lynne shrugged.
"Well, that's good I guess. I'll get that wheelchair right away. Just keep an eye on him, okay? He's still very weak."
Lynne nodded. The nurse smiled.
"I'll be right there with a wheelchair."
The nurse walked off. Lynne sighed. Part of her was glad that Nathan was willing to go for a walk with her, but she was still kind of bummed out that things still weren't going too well between, despite of all her hard trying. She so desperately wanted to be happy with him again. She knew she had to be patient, but that wasn't easy.
She walked in the direction of the cafetaria. When she entered it, there were only two other people there. A young couple who were sitting at a table, drinking coffee. Lynne offered them a smile and then walked up to the soda machine. She took some coins out of her pocket and threw them in. She pressed the 'Coca Cola' button and the can fell. She took it out and then realized she wasn't at all thirsty. She had just used it as an excuse to get out of the room. She decided to drink it later and made her way back through the hallways towards room 218.
The door was open and Lynne was about to step inside, but stopped herself when she realized what was going on in front of her eyes. She stood still in the doorway and was just in time to witness how the nurse helped Nathan out of his bed. It wasn't easy though, because Nathan's broken arm complicated things. Lynne knew that normally speaking, the patient was supposed to wrap his arms around the person that was helping them out of bed, so it was easier to lift the patient. However, Nathan's arm was in a cast and made this impossible. He had his good arm wrapped around the nurse's neck and he pressed the other arm against his body. Nonetheless, the arm got caught in between Nate's and the nurse's body when she tried to lift him out of the bed, into the wheelchair and Nathan's facial expression showed he was in pain. Lynne imagined it wasn't just because of the arm, but also because of his broken rib. The rib usually didn't bother him when he sat up in his bed, but this was obviously everything but painless. The nurse did her best to lift Nathan, but she wasn't doing a very good job, because Nate wasn't exactly helping, since he was doing his best not to let the nurse see in how much pain he was.
It broke Lynne's heart to see what was going on in front of her. It was so difficult to see how her strong and independent boyfriend now needed help to do something as 'normal' as getting out of bed.
"Come on, Nathan. You have to help me out a little." The nurse urged as she was holding Nate and brought him to the wheelchair next to the bed.
Lynne saw how much trouble Nate had to hold on to the nurse and that's when she couldn't look at it any longer. She stepped inside the room.
"I'll help." She told the nurse and walked up to the bed.
By this time the nurse had given up and had put Nathan back on the bed. He looked up when he saw Lynne walking in and he shook his head.
"No, Lynne. Go away." He told her, breathing heavily.
"I'm not going away." She told him. "I'm gonna help you to get in that wheelchair whether you like it or not. You wanted to go for a walk with me so that's what we're gonna do."
Nate was surprised at Lynne's words and how determined she was.
"What can I do?" she asked the nurse.
"I don't want you to see me like this." Nate tried, but Lynne ignored it.
"You could stand behind and put your hands unders his arms and lift him that way." The nurse told Lynne and smiled.
"Lynne, don't." Nathan warned her, but she pretended not to hear it.
She did as told by the nurse and placed her hands underneath his arms, on his chest.
"Put your hand around my neck, Nate." The nurse said.
Nathan murmured something before obeying and doing as he was told.
"Okay. One, two....three."
On three, both Lynne and the nurse lifted Nathan from the bed. It went much easier this time and although Lynne wasn't able to look Nate in the face, she had the impression he was in much less pain now and she was relieved. They had Nathan in the chair in no time and the nurse adjusted his legs to the chair.
"Are you comfortable like this?" She asked.
He just nodded, looking down.
"Okay, well...I'll be around and help you back into bed in a little while."
This time Nate didn't respond at all. He was obviously upset. The nurse got this and with one last smile she left the room.
"Thanks." Lynne called after her.
It became awfully quiet in the room and Lynne wasn't sure what to do. She was still standing behind Nate's wheelchair and she couldn't see the expression on his face, so she had no idea what was going on. She sat down on the bed.
"Are you okay?" She asked.
At first, it seemed like he wasn't going to respond, but then he opened his mouth.
"I told you I didn't want you to see me like this."
"And I don't want to see you like this, but...this is the way it is." She told him.
"I know that."
"So can we just please go for a walk now and just...."
"Pretend everything is fine?" Nate tried.
"No. But we could try to get your mind off of things."
"Good luck with that." Nate sighed.
"Please, Nate." She begged.
Nate didn't answer for a few minutes. Lynne still couldn't see his face, so she didn't know what was going on, but when he nodded, she got the message. She slowly leaned over and kissed Nathan's hair. Then she rolled the wheelchair out of the room.
A/N: You see that little review button thing-y? You know what to do...