Chapter Sixteen: In Years to Come
this is my gift,
is asking you to fix
my ruined hands.
And its a gift that keeps on giving,
and its a gift that keeps on giving,
and its a gift that keeps on giving,
and right now its all I have to give.
Ash was tossing and turning in her bed. She was drifting in half sleep; somewhere in her mind she was having a dream, but she could distinctly feel the puff of Aiden's breath on the side of her neck and the smoothness of his flannel pajama pants. The moonlight coming from the window burned her eyelids.
She sighed, the sound filling the silent room.
"Go to sleep Ash," Aiden said, pulling her closer and kissing her shoulder.
"I can't," She whispered in a small voice.
"Janie's fine, remember?"
Ash sighed again and nodded.
The emergency room waiting area had been stifling. Between that and the lobbyists droning voice, Ash's mind had started to cloud over.
She was curled up on Aiden's lap. He played with her hair as he watched the news on the TV in the corner. Paige and Tee were across the room. Both had huge headphones covering their ears, seemingly at ease. But Ash could see that Paige's hand was gripping Tee's so hard that her knuckles had turned bone white.
It had been midnight when they arrived at the hospital. Janie hadn't said one real word the entire trip. All she did was moan and cry and yell. Her fingernails left deep red crescents in the Palm of Quinn's hand. It was enough to make Ash's own stomach hurt.
The clock over the TV read 2:58. Almost three in the morning. Ash checked to make sure Kira was still sleeping. She smiled as her baby sister snuggled closer to Aiden's shoulder. He quickly wrapped his arm around the girl's shoulder. Kira made a little snorting noise and her eyelids fluttered before sealing shut again. Ash could feel her own eyelids slowing drooping to cover her exhausted eyes.
Despite the waiting room, being crowded and noisy, Ash was finding it hard to stay awake. She was forcing herself to stay up, for when Quinn appeared. If he ever did. The last she saw of him was when he disappeared through the swinging doors at the end of the hall. He was handling it all pretty well. He kept muttering to himself, but that wasn't too uncommon. He seemed prepared, probably read something in the Baby Bible.
She caught Paige's eyes. They were strained and red. Not only from being upset, but from the partying. That's all that Paige and Tee seemed to do. Unlike Quinn and Janie, the old couple, those two never missed an opportunity to go out. It was scary, in a way. All Ash could do was think about Ollie.
There was desperation in Paige's eyes. They were bursting with questions. Begging to know what was going on, and if Janie was alright. Ash knew that Paige had become somewhat dependant on Janie. After all, it was just the two of them for months. Janie was Paige's surrogate mother, in a way. The only thing Ash could do to soothe her was smile.
Ash smoothed her hand over Aiden's knee. He instantly placed his hand on her neck. Even that couldn't calm her nerves. Her stomach was full of knots from stress. A weight was weighing down her shoulders, pushing her to the ground. It was all too much at that moment. She was worried for all of them. For Tee and Paige, for Janie, for Quinn…For Aiden. There was so much she wanted to say to them, but kept it in her heart. She thought it belonged there.
The minutes ticked away. People came and went. Nurses flooded in and out. Sleep came in sudden waves, before pulling back out again. Aiden never seemed to get tired. He was practically still the whole time. Kira was still sleeping. Tee was even dozing of. Paige pinched him when he started to snore.
Then Quinn walked out. His dress clothes were rumpled, his hair untidy. Overall, he looked tired. But…happy. There was a little smile on his face and his eyes shown.
"She's alright," He said, nodding. "She's fine."
They all sighed.
"And the baby?" Aiden asked.
Quinn rubbed his neck and looked down at his shoes, his smile growing even bigger. "Uh…babies…actually…"
Ash's mouth dropped.
"Woah," Tee breathed. "You've got super sperm, man!"
Ash smiled remembering and shook her head. "Babies."
Aiden laughed into her neck. "Unbelievable. There must be something in the hometowns water, or something."
Ash laughed and turned around in the bed to face him. He propped himself up on an elbow and kissed her eyelids.
"I don't know how my parents did it," She sighed, cupping her hand around his shoulder.
Aiden smiled. "I don't know how either."
She giggled and playfully hit his arm. "But seriously. What do you think about babies?"
"They're…cute? I don't know. They're babies. They eat and shit and sleep."
"Do you want kids?"
"Are you saying want a baby?"
Ash smiled a little and shrugged.
Suddenly, she was on her back with Aiden pinning her hands over her head, lying in between her legs.
"What are you doing?" She laughed.
"Getting a head start on baby making," He growled.
She laughed. "Jerk! Kira's in the living room!"
"Hey," He said. "I can be quiet. You're the one that can't."
Ash turned her head into her pillow to stifle her giggles.
Aiden's breath was warm on her ear as he whispered that he loved her. She closed her eyes and wished that they could stay that way forever.
The sun was a pink blob in the sky. It was so inviting Ash didn't even need any convincing to get out of bed and start the day. She hummed Christmas song as she showered and her smile made her cheeks hurt.
The presents under the tree sparkled as she came out of the bathroom. In the kitchen, her family sat eating. They smiled at her as she came in. Aiden was leaning against the counter, sipping coffee. He held his arms out to her and she buried her face in the soft cotton of his tee shirt.
"Good Morning," He said to her.
She smiled up at him. "Morning. Merry Christmas everyone!"
"Are you going to visit Janie?" Her mother asked from over a crossword puzzle.
"That's what I was planning. I won't be gone long." Ash said and squeezed Aiden's hand as her good-bye.
The Christmas air filled her lungs as she walked outside. Janie was still in the hospital; the doctors wanted to keep an eye on her. Quinn said the stress had cause contractions. They ended ten minutes after getting to the hospital.
Ash thought Janie needed to start to calm down and relax. The all did really. Everyone was so caught up in something that they didn't even realize what was happening to them. They were growing up. Finding love, settling down, creating life. It was all so amazing. It made her head spin.
The hospital was packed again. Nurses kept rushing past her. The P.A. system was going off constantly. Voices buzzed through the whole place. It felt like the building was literally alive.
The children's winf was the loudest and busiest. She even walked right into someone…Her mouth dropped as she realized who it was.
"Sorry," He said, looking over her shoulder. His arm was around her back, supporting her.
He looked down, eyes widening when he recognized her face.
"Luke," She greeted wearily.
"Haven't seen you around."
"Haven't been around."
He frowned at her and she frowned back. It was strange seeing him again. He looked the same. Same long hair, same eyes, same lips. A little sign involuntarily escaped her mouth. Drool worthy. But too close for comfort. Placing her left hand on his arm, she tried to push it away. He didn't budge.
"Luke," She warned, pushing again.
He grinned. That same grin. Then he looked down at her hand and that grin faded. He stepped back as if she was the plague.
"Nice ring," He said after a minute, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
She crossed her arms over her chest. The diamond of her ring glittered under the fluorescent lights. "What are you doing here?"
"Hanging out," He scoffed. "What do you think I would be doing at a hospital."
She shrugged. "I dunno. Stealing some prescription drugs."
He laughed bitterly. "See, this is how strong our relationship was. We know each other so well. Really, our relationship was so solid. Why didn't it work out?"
"There was no relationship. All it was was sex. You know that. Don't act like I'm some harlot."
He held his hands up. "I don't need to. You just did."
Her jaw clenched. ""What are you doing here really? And be serious because I'm about two seconds away from kneeing you."
He paused, surveying her face. "My little brother's having an operation."
"You have a brother? How old is he?"
Her mouthed formed an "o". "W-What's the operation?"
Luke's smile was twisted. "He has tumors. In his brain."
Her arms dropped to her sides. "I'm…sorry."
"Yeah. I am too. I'm sorry our mother is such a fuck up. Where do you think I got drugs in the first place? Well, you would know if you ever tried to get to know me."
"What!? I tried to talk about things but you always had to ruin it by sticking your hand down my pants!"
"Oh, like you tried to close your legs! Please. Girls like you are so twisted. You fool everyone into thinking you're so good and nice. Sorry babe, but good and nice girls don't come within three feet of me. I hope your fiancé likes over cooked meat."
He laughed when she didn't say anything. "Merry fucking Christmas, Ash." His lips were hot on her skin when he kissed her cheek. He left her staring after him as he disappeared around the corner.
His words sank into her skin. It made her blood boil. How dare he say those things? He never even knew her that well…but that seemed to make him mad, didn't it? That they never got to know each other. Maybe he really did like her. She sighed. Oh well. At least they had closure. Luke thought she was a slut. She felt bad for him. It was the only amount of closure they could get.
When she finally got to Janie's room, all the anger was out of her. Quinn was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, looking at a magazine.
"Don't be ridiculous! I'm not going to peak! I promise!" Janie was saying.
"You will pick. You went through my email trying to figure out what I was getting you for Christmas."
"She's always impatient," Ash says and knocked on the doorframe.
Her smile was gleaming as she walked to Janie's bed. Her friend patted a space and Ash immediately laid down next to her, setting her head on the pillow. Her hand spread across Janie's stomach. Even though she knew it wasn't possible, she could practically feel two heart beats.
So it's been four months, haha.
Let me explain.
First thing: During those four months, I cleaned myself up and got completely clean and sober. It took a lot out of me. But in the end, it was so worth it. So many doors have been opened up, that I've had no time to right. I'm literally doing something every second. Sorry
Second thing: I have lost all passion for this story. Sad, but true. So there won't be a sequel.
I'm going to do a story based on Janie's kids!...and Luke's brother? Uh oh. It's gunna be great.
I just want to thank all of you who have stuck by me. You guys rock hardcore.
This chapter is for aryawolf13. You made me smile
REVIEW! You know you want to.
Oh and btw, if you want to read something of mine while waiting for me to update Into Dust, why don't you check out my NEW story, Riot? I am DEFINETELY continuing that. Just a suggestion.
P.S.- Isn't Scrubs amazing? Oh and I guess I'm going to Australia after I graduate this summer. YAY!