I was going through my documents, and I found this poem that I wrote for my portfolio in 11th grade. That class was hell. Long live Children of the Night!! We did it.

I've had a thing for one shots lately, don't ask me why. Probably because it's easier. I like them.

Anyway, this story kind of came out of the framework for the poem, and I pretty much have ignored anyone that's been talking to me all morning. Enjoy and please review.

He turns to leave and I can't breathe.
Hoarse voice, crying that he loves me.
Begging me to take him back.
Presenting me with a red rose—symbolizing our love—for no reason.
Keeping me dry in the rain.
Walking everywhere and anywhere.
No…yes…no…yes…no…please? No…don't you love me?

The words that made me cry.
Love. Baby. Heart. My girl.

The gestures that made me swoon—
Roses, chocolates, notes, kisses, holding hands,
The jokes that made me laugh,
The ones I still tell…
Everything that hooked me in the first place.
His voice—deep, smooth and protecting as it rumbles around his chest,
His face—rugged, masculine and handsome,
His clothes—casual, big sweatshirts that I stole countless times.
They still smell like him.
All forever embedded in my memory.
The good, the bad, the hot, the cold, the love, the pain, the tears, the smiles, the ugly, the days, the nights…
I watch his retreating back as my heart breaks.

Kayla walked quickly to her mailbox, the hem of her pants just grazing the wet driveway, her head protected by the hood of her sweatshirt. She began to haphazardly throw envelopes into the box, sparing a mere glance at each one.

Harvard…Princeton…Yale…Penn…St. Johns…Carolina State…Central Florida…Southern California…Boston…Boston. The only college she'd planned on attending because of Kyle.

Kyle. The only boy she'd ever loved, and the only boy who'd ever broken her heart. Losing track of the rain, she stood at the mailbox, staring at the emblem of Boston University. Shoving the rest of her envelopes in, she kept Boston's and tucked it in her pocket before running back inside.

She sighed. In five minutes she'd quickly become drenched and freezing. Walking carefully to her room taking great care not to drip on the rug, she changed into dry sweatshirt, and felt warmer already. Settling into an overstuff recliner, she popped open her laptop and resumed working on her term paper, slipping her headphones into her hears and turning on her Ipod.

About an hour and a half later, she yawned. She hadn't gotten much done; she'd spent the time in a bidding war on E-Bay over an autographed picture of Chad Michael Murray. Not that she wanted it; she was much more of a James Lafferty type of girl, but her best friend Melissa loved Chad and it was almost her birthday, so Kayla figured what the hell.

Kayla stretched, and got out of the chair, stomping her foot on the floor and wincing at the pins and needles that shot up her entire leg. She limped back to her room to put away her computer, and check her cell phone. Her eyes widened; she had four missed calls—Melissa, two other friends Jon and Ashley, and…Kyle. She gasped and quickly dialed 1. After not speaking to her for three weeks, now Kyle was leaving her messages?

"Hey hon, it's Ashley. You must be a wreck. Call me back when you get this message. Bye."

Wreck? Wreck about what? Kayla frowned and deleted the message, listening to the next one.

"Hey Kayla. It's Melissa. Why aren't you at the hospital with us? I figured you'd be the first one down here when you found out. They won't let us in to see him, but they'd probably let you in. Just get down here. We're all worried about both of you. Ok? I'll see you soon."

Her skin suddenly felt cold, despite the layers she was wearing. What was going on?

"Kayla. It's Jon. Listen…Kyle was in an accident, a bad one. I know you guys aren't exactly speaking to each other right now, but he's in a coma, and he isn't waking up. The doctors don't know what to do. Just come to the hospital ok? He'd need you here, whether he wants to admit it or not."

Kayla froze, forgetting all about Kyle's message. She snapped the phone closed and opened it again, quickly dialing Jon's number.

"Hi, it's me. What the hell is going on?" she asked, grabbing her keys and an umbrella.

"Kayla. God, this is insane. Kyle was on 25A. He ran a red light and some car plowed right into him, on his side. The other guy's all right, he walked away with a broken arm, some bruised ribs and a mild concussion. But Kyle's in a coma. He isn't waking up. You need to come down here."

"Is…Jon is she…"

"No. They aren't together anymore."

Kayla breathed a sigh of relief as she locked the door. "Where was he going? He's a crummy enough driver, why would he drive in this?" she wondered out loud.

"I don't know. Melissa and Ash are here too. Get here as soon as you can ok? But be careful. The roads are nasty."

"I'll be there in ten minutes, tops," she promised and hung up the phone. Starting her car, she pulled out of the driveway, and started slowly towards the hospital.

Images flooded her head, and refused to let her concentrate on driving. The day Kyle had first kissed her. The day he'd told her that he loved her. The night they'd slept together. The dates, study sessions, stolen kisses…the day she'd caught him cheating on her with her own cousin.

She shook her head. She wouldn't think of that. Not now. Not when Kyle was on the brink of dying.

Pulling into a spot near the ER doors, she quickly locked the car and ran inside, shoving her phone in her pocket. She scanned the room, searching for Jon, Ashley, Melissa or Kyle's parents. She spotted his mother first.

"Mrs. Desmond," she called out, rushing to her side. "Mrs. Desmond how is he?"

"Oh Kayla! Thank goodness you're here. My poor boy…he never pays attention. He gets an idea in his head and doesn't listen to you when you tell him to wait." The woman's face was pale, and streaked with tears and mascara.

Kayla smiled gently. "I know. Have you seen him?"

She nodded. "Yes. He won't wake up. Those darned doctors told me that if I talked to him, he might wake up. I've been talking all morning, but nothing. Oh dear. My baby boy. What do I do?"

Kayla threw her arms around Mrs. Desmond, and patted her on the back. "It'll be ok. He'll wake up. He's got to."

Mrs. Desmond withdrew from the embrace. "Oh, he made a mistake when he let you go. But he knew. He knew the whole time that something was missing." She wiped her eyes. "But now you're here. You can put everything right, dear."

Kayla shook her head, shoving her hands into her sweatshirt pocket. "I'm just here for support."

Kyle's mother smiled at her. "All right. You go on up. Your friends are up there worried out of their minds and waiting for you."

Kayla nodded briefly, and took one last look at Mrs. Desmond before hurrying towards the elevator. It wasn't until she was in it that she realized she had no idea where to go. Surveying the map quickly, she decided to try ICU first.

She got lucky. As soon as she stepped off of the elevator, she spotted her friends.

"Kayla! You're here," Jon said immediately wrapping his arms around her.

"I saw Kyle's mom downstairs. She said he still didn't wake up?" she asked anxiously into Jon's chest.

"No change yet," he replied sadly. He held her out at arms length. "I'm glad you're here."

"Hey, how are you?" Melissa asked, touching her arm gently.

"I'm ok Liss. Not going to throw myself off a cliff or anything. Just worried," she replied as Ashley looked on sympathetically. "Have you guys been in to see him?"

"They let us in a little while ago, and they're giving him medicine now," Ashley piped up. "We'll be allowed in again in a few minutes."

Kayla nodded, trying to get herself together. Jon let go of her forearms and let her sit down. "What happened?"

Jon sighed. "I told you, he—"

Kayla shook her head. "No. I mean, why'd he break up with Dawn?" she asked, referring to her cousin. "I know it's not really relevant…but…I just wanted to know." All three of her friends shrugged.

"In all honesty, Melissa and I didn't even know until his mom told us," Ashley replied.

Pulling her legs up to her chest Kayla sighed and rested her head on her knees for a moment. Looking at her friends, she asked, "So what do we do now?"

Jon sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulders. "Now we wait until they let us back in." They all seemed to sigh collectively as Melissa and Ashley fell into chairs next to Jon.

The minutes were ticking by. Mrs. Desmond came by, offering them coffee and when they refused, she burst into tears saying that Kyle hated coffee also, and was so hysterical that Mr. Desmond had to escort her elsewhere. Kayla was secretly relaxed; she couldn't stand to be around Mr. and Mrs. Desmond and witness their grief when she herself wasn't capable of it. After what seemed like hours, the doctor, who introduced himself as Dr. Samuels, came out and informed them that if they'd like, they could go in and see Kyle now, but that he was still not awake.

"Thank you doctor. This is Kayla. She and Kyle were in love."

The doctor eyed Kayla, and she suddenly felt underdressed in what could have been pajamas. She felt like she didn't belong here.

"Good you're here. Maybe you can help him out of this. Just talk to him guys, if he hears familiar voices, he's much more likely to come out of this sooner. You could be the one to save his life." Kayla doubted that, with her small frame and limited medical knowledge, she could be the one to save anyone's life, especially Kyle's.

Kayla stood up, her hands shaking and followed Jon to the room as Dr. Samuels went off in search of the Desmonds. Melissa opened the door and as they all crowded into the small room, Kayla gasped.

Kyle lay pale on the bed, hooked up to three separate machines and an oxygen mask over his mouth. Kayla raised a hand to her mouth and turned away, shaking all over now. Tears came on fast, and Melissa wrapped her arms around her best friend. "It's ok. He'll be fine."

Melissa, Ashley and Jon took turns talking to Kyle. They chatted about nothing; told him things he already knew. The Desmonds came in briefly to check on him, but then they left to give the teenagers some privacy. Kayla just watched them, internally begging them to stop their mindless talking.

It was Ashley that suggested they give Kayla a minute alone. Jon and Melissa agreed and left the room without giving her a chance to object.

Kayla slowly approached the bed. "Hey Kyle. It's me," she said softly. "I know you've probably heard everything there is to hear at least fifteen times from those guys. But you've really got to wake up. Your parents are really worried about you. We all are." She breathed deeply, and choked back a sob. "God Kyle, what were you thinking? Where were you going? You suck at driving already, why would you even attempt it in this tropical storm or hurricane or whatever the hell it is? What was so important? All it got you was this. Nicely done Kyle, nicely done." She swiped the tears away and shook her head. "I shouldn't be berating you. You're lying in a hospital bed, inches from death and I'm yelling at you about your driving skills. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. If Dawn made you happy when I couldn't, then I'm glad you found her, I really am. If you wake up from this, it'll be like it used to be. We'll be friends, if that's what you want. We'll hang out—not like a date or anything, but…I don't know. Just wake up Kyle. Please. For me."

Looking up at the machine that was monitoring his heartbeat and brain waves, all the numbers were the same. Nothing had changed. She sighed. "I should go. You need to rest. Maybe I'll be back later ok?" She leaned onto the bed hesitantly and kissed his cheek. "I lo-…I miss you. Wake up. I need you here."

She got up from her chair and looked at him quickly again before heading for the door. When she turned the knob, she found that she couldn't bring herself to leave, so she just turned around and watched him from the door.

She was watching when his eyelids fluttered, but didn't open. She was watching when his fingers twitched. She was watching as he opened his eyes. She was by his side when he tried to speak.

"It's fine," she said urgently. "Don't. I'll just get the doctors. Don't exert yourself. Just lay there."

"Kay…" he croaked. "Is there…water?" She scanned his room and found a water bottle, most likely left by his mother. She grabbed it and tilted it gently into his mouth.

"Better?" she asked. He nodded. She knew she should run for the doctors, but she couldn't bring herself to leave yet.

"What happened?" he asked.

"You were in an accident. You ran a red light, and some other car smashed into your side. You were in a coma for a few hours." He took this all well. "What happened Kyle? Why were you out driving in this? You're a bad driver without the rain!"

"I was…I was coming to see you," he said softly.

"What? Why?"

"I knew you were mailing your college applications today. Your juju, you'd always said, to mail them on 11/11. So I wanted to catch you, to convince you to still apply to Boston."

She looked away. "I didn't."

"I know. Kay, Dawn was a mistake. You were the first girl I ever really loved. It sounds like a line. I know. But it's not. You really were. I saw myself with you for the rest of my life. It was insane. It wasn't me. So I messed it up. It felt ok for a few days. But then I missed you. Talking to you, you yelling at me…the little stuff. I figured it was just a phase." He coughed violently, and Kayla handed him the water bottle again. He drank it greedily. "Thanks. Anyway, I was going to see you today."

"You could've just called."

"I did. You didn't answer. I thought you were avoiding me."

"My phone was charging Kyle, I…it…the battery died."

He nodded. "Am I too late Kay?"

"For what?"


She looked away. "Kyle…"

"Tell me I'm not too late. You said you needed me."

She blushed. "You mean you really heard that?"

"I heard everything. I love you. You have to believe me."

"I should go get the doctors Kyle, they'll want to look at you," she said, making an excuse to get out of the room.

"Will you come back?" he asked, hopefully.

"I don't know," she replied honestly.

"Fair enough." Surprised that he didn't argue with her, she got up to find the doctor. At the door she turned around once more, to see his eyes drifting closed.

"Dr. Samuels?" she called, searching for him and running into him and the Desmonds. "Kyle's awake," she said.

Mrs. Desmond gave a little scream and pushed past Kayla into the room. Mr. Desmond and the doctor followed, leaving her alone. She watched through the glass on the door as they fawned and exclaimed over Kyle's recovery. She watched him smile at them, and pretended that he was smiling at her.

She told her friends that Kyle was awake, and they started off in the direction of his room after her repeated exclamations that she was fine, and that she had to go home for an hour or so and that she'd be back. She hurried out to the parking lot and got in her car. The rain had stopped. She didn't turn the ignition yet, just sat there.

Suddenly her phone beeped, causing her to start, and hit her head. She pulled it out of her sweatshirt pocket and looked at it. One unheard message, it said. She dialed one, punched in her password, and heard Kyle's familiar voice.

"Hi Kay, it's me. Listen, I'm on my way to see you. I really want to talk to you about Boston. Please talk to me Kay. I made a big, big mistake and I hope you can forgive me. God Kay, I love you so much. I'm sorry it took me this to really see it. Or maybe I knew all along. Maybe it just took this to realize how much more it was than love; how I can't live without you. Please Kay, call me back. I'm almost to your house. I'll see you soon. I…I love you all right? Bye."

Saving Kyle's message, and ignoring the tears that were falling down her face, she hung up the phone and called Kyle's cell.

"Hey Kyle, it's me. I know you're in the hospital, and you probably won't get this until later, but I just wanted you to know that it's going to be ok. When you get out of the hospital, and you get this message, call me back. We can talk, and whatever. We'll be ok, Kyle. I love you."

She hung up the phone and pulled her knees up to her chest again and this time she was poked in the thigh by something sharp. Reaching into the pocket of her sweatpants, she pulled out the forgotten application to Boston. Wiping her eyes, she stared at it for a moment, before scanning the parking lot for a mailbox, and when she spotted one, she smiled for the first time all day.