Chapter 20

The Formal Pt 3

Megan and Dylan were too wrapped up in each other to notice Lucy and Keith's sudden rush out, but Madi had caught it all and with Nathan she found Megan and Dylan and the all four of them left in search of the pair.

Megan was half annoyed, "They probably just ran off somewhere to go make-out." She said. Madi shook her head, trying to think of where Lucy might go. "No way. Keith ran out first and then Lucy followed. If that was the case, they would have left together." Megan still wasn't really believing her. She believed that she would have noticed if Lucy and Keith ran out like that. "If there was something wrong, I would know." She said hotly. Madi stopped in her tracks, feeling her anger shoot up.

"Then why are we out here, looking for our best friends, huh!? I saw what I saw, and if it was nothing then you can hold this against me for the rest of your life. But right now, I'm going to find Lucy and Keith and I'm going to figure out what the hell just happened in there." She narrowed her eyes at the rest of them, "Are you guys with me or not? Now is the perfect chance to walk right on back to that dance and forget about everything I just said." Megan stood still, and Nathan was rigid by Madi's side. He wasn't going to leave her. He wanted to find both of his friends and make sure that they were alright. He hadn't seen Keith leave, but he definitely saw the way Lucy had run out. And Nathan knew Lucy well enough that she wasn't running out like that to kiss Keith.

"Fine." Megan said with a huff. Dylan's eyes were dark, and he looked at her strangely. "Are you on something? Cause the last time I checked, Lucy was your best friend, and you would do anything for her." She was taken aback, "She is my best friend-" He snatched his arm away from her. "Then why are you acting like her running out crying is no big deal!? You heard what Madison said! Why are you blowing it off?" Megan's face was turning red. "Because I'm tired of this! Because all I wanted for this one night was to be with you and not worry about anything!" Dylan shook his head, "Well you can go enjoy your little night. I'll be looking for my best friend." And with that, he turned and ran towards the side of the school. He knew exactly where Keith would be.

Megan was still fuming and hurt by Dylan's words. She cared deeply for Lucy and he knew that. But she also knew that what she had just said wasn't what the normal her would have said. Megan knew she had to make it right. Her brain was racking, and like a light bulb, a plan struck inside her crafty mind. "I know where she probably is. You guys look around the school, and I'll see if I'm right." And with that, Megan took off her high heels and ran off into the night.

Madi shrugged at Nathan, who looked confused. He snapped out of it, and they shared a silent conversation. Nathan went to the left of the school, and she went to the right.

Dylan was bounding straight towards the place where Keith would go, even if he didn't know he was going there. The bench in the courtyard. Whenever Keith was fuming, he always went there. He had once told Dylan that is was peaceful there. He knew that he would be there no matter what.

Dylan approached Keith's regular bench, and not seeing him there worried him. But as he took a glance around, he saw him sitting off to the side, head down. He ran to Keith, kneeling by his side. "KJ? Come dude, wake up. Are you OK?" Keith groaned, shaking his head slightly. Dylan looked around, trying to think of what to do. He took Keith's shoulders and shook them hard, making him look up. There were traces of tears down his cheeks, and his eyes were shiny. "What?" Keith growled. Dylan made him look him in the eyes. "Keith, you need to snap out of it. Lucy's missing." Keith shrugged, "And what am I supposed to do?" Dylan did what he only thought he could to get him out of his foggy state. He reared back, and punched him in the face. Keith, startled and angry, lashed out at Dylan and pinned him to the ground. He tried to nail him, but Dylan was too fast and pushed him off quickly. He landed another hard punch in Keith's gut, making him double over.

Nat had heard the commotion and was running towards them. He pulled Keith away, and supported him while he hacked and coughed. "What the hell Dylan?" He had his hands on his hips, breathing a little hard. "It was the only way..." He trailed off and went up to Keith, who was getting his breath back under control. "You alright man?" D said with concern. He nodded his head, standing up straight. "Now listen to what I'm saying, KJ." Dylan said sternly. Keith looked at him, eyes set.

"Lucy," Dylan gave him a side look. "Your girlfriend, remember? Then one that you're so hopelessly in love with? Yeah, well she's gone. Completely missing. No one knows where she is, but I bet you do. So whatever just happened in that gym needs to go away, and you need to focus." Keith's brain was in working order now. Everything he heard and saw was crystal and firm. It was like his whole world had been sharpened. "Dylan, I don't even know if she wants me to... You didn't see the way she was acting." Nat spoke at this moment, "Keith, whatever happened in there, must have been a figment of your imagination. Lucy loves you. She would do anything for you. Why do you think she's still alive? You saved her, and she wants you. Megan won't find her. Only you know where she could be. You have to go after her, and tell her what everyone already knows. Before she does something she might regret." His last words rang in Keith's ear, making them sound deadly.

"She wouldn't-" Keith started but Dylan shook his head. "Do you really think she won't? She's got no one there to tell her not to, and she thinks that you don't care!" Keith shook his head harder, "How do you even know-" Dylan laughed sharply, "It's called being in touch with your female side." Nat thought this was no laughing matter, and threw a deadly glance Dylan's way. He gave Keith a reassuring shoulder squeeze, "Keith, go."

Keith was still shocked. How did they know all this about Lucy when he hadn't? Or had he just known all alone and was still shell-shocked into stupidity? Nevertheless, he broke out into a full run towards the park. The wind rushed past his face exhilarating fast and his shoes shattered the nights stillness. His hair was pushed away from his face and his arms were pumping. His feet knew the direction, even if his mind was out of it. The closer and closer he got to the park, the clearer his mind became. Keith knew exactly what to do, and what to say. He just prayed that he wasn't too late.

Megan heard heavy footsteps in the darkness and saw a figure rushing past her. She recognized Keith's frame and called out to him. He didn't seem to hear her, but she ran after him, pumping her arms and using her long legs to catch up. She kept calling his name, "Keith! KEITH!" He finally turned, skidding to a stop. His eyes searched the darkness until his eyes rested on Megan. She ran up to talking range, but was too out of breath to even whisper. "I can't … find her... anywhere." Megan's words were spaced by rapid breaths, but Keith understood her. "Don't worry, I know exactly where she is. Go back to the dance and find everyone else. We'll meet you guys back at home." He started to run again, but Megan stopped him. "Keith... You can't just expect me to leave, can you?" He sighed deeply, "Please Megan. I messed this up and I plan to fix it." Without waiting for her reply, he dashed off.

Megan was utterly confused, but knowing that Keith knew what he was doing and she did not, she turned on her heel and bounded towards the school.

Lucy was laying on the ground, clutch strewn somewhere near. She had no idea where her phone was, or if she should call for someone. All she wanted was to be alone. Her mind was drifting in and out, and she had no idea how long she'd been out here. Her seemingly thick cardigan was no match for the icy weather outside. She was cold and shivering, her lips were even starting to turn blue. But for all she knew, she was numb. Her heart was numb, her mind, and her body. Everything to her was in slow motion, and meaningless. Lucy wanted nothing more than to just stay here forever, and close her eyes …

"Lucy!" She heard footsteps coming towards her, but she was drifting again. "Lucy, please. Oh no, no, no." The voice was nearer, and somewhere her mind registered that the voice belonged to someone she knew. Something was draped across her shoulders, warming her just by an inch. She felt herself being pulled upwards and into the arms of someone warm. She felt herself being lifted, but by then she was almost out of consciousness. The last thing she heard was a sweet, low voice whispering, "Please stay with me." Lucy didn't have the voice to answer.

Keith pulled a sleeping Lucy closer to his chest, jogging towards the nearest house for help. He had no idea if she was dead, or simply unconscious, which scared him to unspeakable pieces. He tried not to jostle her, but running with another person in your arms was quite tough.

He knocked on a white door, and rang the doorbell once. A white-haired woman opened it, taking in the shocking sight of a blistered young man carrying a beautiful girl, who seemed to be asleep, in a torn dress. Instantly, she thought the worst and reached for the phone behind her. "Put her down and step away." She said in a dangerous tone. Her black eyes flashed, and Keith shook his head fervently to try to dissuade her from whatever she was about to do.

"No, please. I need help. My girlfriend ran away from the formal and she's been out in the cold for a long time. Maybe even an hour. I need to get her to a hospital." His green eyes were dark, begging. "Please." The old woman looked from the girl's bluish face, back to the boy's pleading green eyes. Something inside her shifted, and instead of reaching for the phone, she grabbed her purse and her car keys. She pulled the front door closed and locked it, stepping quickly around the young man and to her car. "Sit with her in the backseat. I'll take you both to the hospital."

Keith muttered a quick prayer, and laid Lucy down carefully in his lap, cradling her to his chest. The old woman started the car and turned the heater on high. Keith started down at Lucy's beautiful face, feeling his eyes well up with tears. He had done this to her. If only he hadn't run out...

The woman was staring at them with keen interest. She could see that this boy really loved the girl, just by looking at him. "Mind telling me what happened?" Keith sighed, and decided to give her as much information as he could. "Well, first off, my name is Keith, and her name is Lucy..." He then proceeded to tell her of everything that happened in the past days including what happened tonight. The woman had told Keith that her name was Gretchen, and that she was happy to take them wherever they needed to go.

"Now, if this Lucy wakes up and I ask her to confirm your story, would she tell me the same thing?" Keith nodded his head, "Yes. Everything except the mild depression and the brawl I guess you would say. She wouldn't have known anything that happened after she'd run off of course. And … No one's told her about her depression yet." Gretchen looked appalled. She glance at Keith out of her rear-view mirror, "And why is that?" He gulped, trying to swallow his tears. The last thing he wanted to do was cry in front of a dear old woman. Even if she seemed nice. "I don't know." He choked out. Laying his forehead on Lucy's, he cried silently. Wishing that he could redo this very night and start all over. He wouldn't have run off, and he would have danced with her until she was smiling and laughing too much to be depressed. Now looking everything over, there was a lot that he could've done differently. But instead, here he was, having a stranger drop them off at a hospital because Lucy was unconscious and possibly dead.

Gretchen didn't bother Keith with questions anymore. She felt really sorry that all this was happening to him. She didn't even react when she heard his quiet sobs; knowing that it would only make him more upset. She pulled into the Emergency entrance at the nearest hospital, and opened the door for him. Keith quickly dried his eyes and stepped out of the vehicle and into the chilly night air. He tightened his hold on Lucy and readjusted his jacket around her shoulders. He walked swiftly into the building, holding her head to his chest.

The woman behind the counter saw their wild appearance and immediately called for help. "What happened?" She asked the bloodied and tear-stained boy. He looked at her with sad eyes, "It's all my fault. I let her go..." The nurse put a hand on his shoulder, letting the other doctors take Lucy from his arms and hauling her on a bed. They placed a mask over her nose and mouth, and the boy made a move towards her as she was rolled away. "Can't I go with her?" The nurse shook her head, "No. You must be taken to be tested on for pneumonia and other diseases you could've caught out there. Where are your parents?" The boy shook his head, "At home.. I- I don't know. Where are they taking her?" The nurse ignored his question and looked to the elderly woman coming in and standing behind the boy.

"Are you his guardian?" Gretchen shook her head, "No. I drove them here. The boy's obviously out of character, why don't you question him later?" The nurse nodded, and two more nurses started to take Keith away. He turned back to hand Gretchen his phone, "Call my parents and tell them to call Lucy's parents!" She nodded, and the other two nurses hauled him down the hall and into a white room.

A/N I just couldn't resist getting this to you early, and I promise to have the continued version (as regular chapters) of what happens next no later than next Monday. Well, not promise but I'll try because like I said, I like where this story is headed and I think that you'll like the little love thing twisted and turned. It's very addicting to write. Well I've got to get ready for school now, so happy reading!