Alex stepped into the room, this time he held a much more modest bouquet of just pink lilies. He finally managed to convince the florist to tone it down.
"Hello Lily." He greeted again. He walked over to the window and removed the lilies from the wrapping. After he was done arranging them in the vase, he dropped his school bag down on the cold floor and sat down. He pulled his chair forward so he could rest his arms on the bed.
"I know you're probably…still upset over what I told you yesterday. But please let me explain myself today, because this is very important." He took in a deep breath. "Well, here goes."
"I know that deliberately crashing was a stupid thing to do, and it was the wrong thing to do. But I guess karma had its way of making me pay for it. I didn't die, but I didn't walk away from it either. I got stuck in between, and I was put in a coma."
"It couldn't be a normal coma either; I was fully awake the entire time. I could feel everything. The first few weeks were like hell. Everything hurt like I was being tortured, it was agonizing. When the anaesthetics wore off, I couldn't even tell anyone. I just had to suffer through it even worse."
"But the pain wasn't the worst part. I had been right when I believed people wouldn't care. My parents only came to visit me once, at the very beginning in the first week. My dad just stood there for a short while and left. My mum came into the room; I could hear her high heels clacking on the floor. She made a choking and crying noise and then yelled and screamed at the person who came with her that she wanted to leave. She left crying and I think she immediately returned to the U.S. I remember that she sent a bunch of gifts afterwards. The nurses complained at how much garbage that needed to be cleared out, deflated balloons and dead flowers and such."
"I didn't hear from my parents not even once more after that. My nanny came to visit me, which was horrible for me, she cried a lot and I felt bad for putting her through that. She visited a few times, but she still had to go back to New Zealand. She couldn't come back after that. She's pretty old and her health was giving out. She shouldn't have been travelling overseas in the first place. Again I felt horrible for that, I think her health suffered a bit more because of me. After she went back I wasn't able to hear from her anymore."
"As I expected, none of my friends really bothered to visit me. I think one of them came just to confirm that I really was in a coma, but he just shuffled around awkwardly and then left. I got a card signed by a bunch of students in my year, but that was really it. None of my relationships were strong enough that they'd actually care if I disappeared."
"Lana visited me the most, but every time the visits got shorter and shorter. You could tell that she was really trying to make an effort, but in the end she just gave up. I don't blame her for that; the doctors did all say that I was going to die."
"So by the end of the first month, I was completely alone." He sighed.
"If I had to compare my time back then, I'd have to say it was like my own personal hell. I could hear, I could feel, but I couldn't move a single part of my body. I was trapped in my own body. It was like my mind was floating in a deep black hole with only my own company. There was nothing there anymore to distract me from all my dark thoughts, all my bad memories, and my huge hole of depression I couldn't even tell time anymore. I relived every bad thing that ever happened to me, all my memories of my parents and their absence, all the bad things I had done. I was trapped with myself and there was no way to get away. Just infinite time to wallow in the hell I created in my own mind."
"But then one day, you came into my room."
"I heard somebody step into the room, and when you talked to the nurse, I was shocked to hear that it had only been one month. I had no way of telling the time, but it had felt so much longer. The news knocked me back to the outside world."
"I thought the situation was a bit strange, but I listened to every word you said to me. It was a first for me to hear about a person's problems other than my own. When you left, I thought it was just a one off incident, and that I would never hear from you again, but I was grateful that you visited, it was the first time someone talked to me in ages."
"Well, naturally I was surprised when you came again. I didn't think you'd come back, especially only a day later. I listened to your story. I was amazed at the problems you had. It was the first time in my life that someone told me so personal. I was very surprised when you cried. It was the first time in a long while that I felt something for someone else."
"You kept visiting me. At first I was fine with it because you served as a distraction from myself. But over time I started look forward to hearing you, I enjoyed your company. You always came in with such a cheery attitude, something which I really needed at the time. I was amazed at how you had so many horrible things happen to you, but you still stood so strong."
"I listened to your story, and I started to care about you and what happened to you. I learnt all about your life and your friends, and through you, I realised how stupid I had been. When you talked about your friends, I could tell that you loved them, and they loved you too. You always reached out and helped them when they needed it. You knew their life and you cared about it. You always made an effort to be a part of it."
Alex reached out, and he cupped Lily's hand in his own. "You made me realise that it was also my fault for having no real friends or relationships. They never came close to me, but I never reached out to get close to them either. I closed myself off and I left myself alone. I didn't make any steps to make any of my relationships real, and I just gave up so quickly."
"I know longer "Didn't care". I wanted to do something. I started to feel frustrated that all I could do was lie in bed while you went through so much. I wanted to get up and do something."
He smiled at her. "You don't know what you did for me Lily. Just by talking to me, you drew me out of my dark hole. By sharing your life with me, I was able to have a life in that hospital. You taught me what I needed to do, and you gave me motivation to do it. When you left, I woke up with a new resolution and outlook on life, I had a determination that I never had before, and I set out to live my life, and to find you. Thanks to you, I found real friends in Mattius and Bart."
He blushed. "I was pretty determined that I was going to find you. This is really embarrassing but I searched everywhere, I asked everybody I knew, I searched online for hours, and I even went around to every shopping centre in the area to ask if they had a flower shop that closed down." He looked to the floor in embarrassment. "When I finally found you, it was like seeing the sunrise in the morning. I finally had a face to go with the voice. You were beautiful Lily, even more so than Lana."
He stood up from the chair and he leaned over her, until their foreheads touched together. "I couldn't talk to you, but I grew to love you. You made me so happy when you came to visit me. I love you Lily. I'm sorry I never told you any of this before, and then maybe this would have never happened. I know that you might want to break up with me after this, and you have a right to, but I'm still going to beg like hell for you not to."
Alex smiled and he gently touched her cheek with his hand. "I know we don't have anything in common, but you saved me, and I care about you more than anyone else. If it still bothers you when you wake up, then I'll find something we both like, and I'll pick up one of your hobbies. Remember the book you read me? I really liked it. The movie just came out yesterday so we can go watch it together; I'll buy you mint and chocolate ice cream there too. You know that band you showed me? They've scheduled a concert here in two months, I'll take you there."
He lifted his head away from hers. "The important thing is that you wake up soon okay? We can start over when you're back to full health." He brushed her hair out of her face. "Remember how you would always thank me for listening to you? There's always been something I wanted to say back to that."
He leaned him and kissed her gently on her forehead. "Thank you for talking to me."
He picked up his bag and turned to the door. He gave her one last smile and he left the room.
In that warm white hospital room, the wind from the open windows blew the curtains in, and brushed a Lily out of the vase where it landed gently on the floor. The beeping from the machinery picked up pace, and the girls fingers twitched.
Her breathing became more controlled and she fought to move beneath her eyelids. And with a gasp of breath, she opened her eyes. She saw the flat whiteness that was the ceiling and she sat up from the bed. She looked at the door and saw that he had already gone. In a panic, she tore the tubes and wires she was hooked to off her body, not caring when they hurt, and she jumped off the bed. She nearly dropped to the floor from the weakness of having not moved in weeks, but she caught herself by the bed railings, and she picked herself up again.
She ran to the door and yanked it open to see a hall full of patients and workers. She ran through the halls, ignoring all those she passed and the strange looks that came her way. She hurried down the stairs and into the carpeted Lobby. She saw the bright white light from the glass door that made her squint, but she carried on and the door slid open for her, welcoming her to the outdoors for the first time in weeks. In front of her she saw his back, standing by the road as he waited for a car to drive out of the way. The car moved and he took a step forward onto the paved road.
She leapt forward and grabbed his wrist.
He turned around, and broke into a bright smile.