Love & Hate – Chapter 11: Asleep

Chapter 11 by Matt Wall

“How is she, doc?” Van asked with reluctance.

Dr. Billy Bell raised his eyebrows as he wrote notes down on a clipboard. “Ciri’s vitals are stable. She’s pulling along rather nicely, I think.”

Van exhaled sharply. “But what about her back? Her spine? Is she going to be able to walk again?”

“We are many steps away from walking. She needs to wake up first. Ciri is going to be the only person who can answer certain questions. We need to know if she has feeling below the waist, and if so, how far down. I don’t mean to alarm you, but this could be a very lengthy process and the last thing she needs is someone putting verbal pressure on her to hurry through her recovery.”

As Van ran stared down at Ciri, running his fingers along her arm, he said in a solemn tone, “But is this normal? Is it normal for your patients to be asleep this long? It’s been days.”

Billy knew what bedside manner was and knew that he should be comforting and delivering hope, but he also remembered that it was only a couple of days earlier that Van threw him up against the wall and threatened his life. “You know, she has been out longer than I expected, but not longer normal. She needs to give her body time to heal, and when she’s ready to wake up, she will.”

“But, is she in a coma?” Van’s eyes were bulging and his forehead beaded with sweat. 

“No, not the way you’re thinking.”

Van forced a nervous smile. “Then she should be waking up?”

Billy knew he wasn’t going to get out of this easy. He sighed and said, “If she hasn’t woken up in a day or two, we need to be slightly more concerned. If you have any more questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask one of the nurses on duty.” He smiled and left the room.

Van’s nervous worry, slowly faded. His mouth turned to a sneer and he wiped the sweat off his face. Turning to Ciri, he then kissed her on the forehead. “You hear that? We still have a couple of days.”

Ciri opened her eyes and with her lips quivering, said, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”

Van clenched his jaw tight. “You will keep your damn mouth shut as long as I tell you and the best way to do that, is to pretend to be asleep. Not a word out of you until they convict that bastard, Brody.”

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