I turned the wheel to the right hard, just barely missing the car barreling in my direction. I heard the driver hit the horn repeatedly as he shook his fist at me.
I sighed, leaning back against my seat. “Crash avoided” I said, just as I slammed into a pole. The car jerked backwards, slamming into another on coming car, swinging me into a ditch, and tossing my car into a small ravine. I hit the side of the door as my head slammed into the window before I passed out.
I groaned and moved my left hand against the soft silk underneath me. If I remembered correctly, I was just in a car accident; but why am I lying in bed and not bleeding on the side of the road?
I tried to move my head but the searing pain that ran through it stopped me in my tracks. Two thoughts were in my mind. One, where is my car? Two, I can’t feel my right arm!
I was terrified. I didn’t know if I should glance over and check if it was still there or to live with this anxiety until I found out what was going on. I decided to just look myself as I slowly opened my right eye, afraid of what I might find.
Luckily for me, my arm was still there, wrapped in a cast. I looked around the area and realized I was in a hospital.
I opened my eyes quickly, which wasn’t good for my head at all, and cringed. “Damn, that hurts,” I whined, rubbing my left hand against my temple. I looked out the window, noticing it was still night.
Someone must have seen my crash and called the ambulance. I’ll have to remember to thank that person. I felt around the left side of my head and my fingers ran into a soft bandage. I must crashed hard against my window.
I pulled my hands back when I touched something that caused instant pain to course through me. I’ll just have to take it easy.
I looked around my small room and saw that everything was white. There were five chairs placed around the room with a monitor to the left of me. The constant ticking noise it was created become annoying.
“I hope you’re okay with orange soda because if not, oh well, that’s what you’re getting."
I glanced over to my door and smiled when I saw Brandon walking toward me with two orange sodas in his hand.
I decided to play with him a little, so I closed my eyes quickly and feigned sleep. I opened my right eye a bit, just enough to see him, and tried to keep a straight face.
He put the soda down on the table next to me as he stood next to my bed. “You’ve been asleep forever. Can’t you wake up? You made me get up at 11pm just to watch you sleep. I wish I could sleep but mom and dad want to make sure you’re okay. I already know you’re okay. A car crash wouldn’t kill you,” he said, whispering.
“I’m sure you can’t hear me but I just want you to know…I love you Beck. You’re the best sister a guy could ask for. Not to get all mushy and stuff but it’s true. You have everyone worried. Melody’s parents called the ambulance after Melody saw your car hit the ravine. Man, she was so upset. Mom and dad rushed down here and I told Kylie, who must have told Natalie because she was here before anyone else. I don’t know what she said but…she was really worried about you, Beck. Lee and your other friends came too. I’m sure you’re okay. You have to be. I mean, who else is going to drive your piece of crap car.”
My eyes jerked open and I glared at him. “My car is not a piece of crap! You take that back!” I exclaimed. He laughed as he hugged me. “I knew you weren’t asleep! You can’t fool. I've been in charge of waking you up for three years!” he yelled, pointing an accusing finger at me once he let me go.
“If you knew I wasn’t asleep then why’d you keep talking?” I shot back, picking up my soda with my good arm. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped, glaring at me.
I laughed and took a swig of my soda. “So, you said Melody found me?” I asked, looking down at my lap. He nodded. “How upset was she?” I added. “Well, she was crying and her parents had to calm her down. She kept blaming herself. Do you know why Beck?” he questioned softly.
I gulped, staying quiet. “And Natalie?” I asked. He looked over at me and then opened his own soda. “When we came in, she was wiping away tears and said she would be back. That was two hours ago though. Whatever she said must have hit home because…”
He leaned over and ran his thumb down my cheek. “You were crying” he said, showing me the wet spot on his digit. My eyes widened and I rubbed my hand down my own cheek and, sure enough, I had cried in my sleep!
“Beck, do you like Natalie?” he asked bluntly. I glanced over at him sighing. “It’s complicated Brandon” I replied. “How? If you like someone, you just say it. How is that complicated?” he asked, pressing the issue.
“Because sometimes people don’t like you back. Sometimes, even though you want to be with that person, you’re not ready to be with them yet. Sometimes, you don’t even know what you really want” I replied quietly.
He stared at me with a frown on his face. “That does sound complicated.” I laughed and ran my hand over his head.“Yeah…yeah, it is."
I watched TV with Brandon for awhile until my parents came in. My mother hugged me like there was no tomorrow and my dad did the same. Obviously, I had not only worried my parents but terrified them. My father thought I was dead when he came in the hospital until the doctor explained I was only sleeping and had my bruised head and my broken right arm.
“So, you ran into a pole?” my mother asked. I nodded and dad cringed. “I must have bounced off the pole as the other driver ran right into my rear, sending my car tumbling into that ravine. It was a pretty scary experience. I’m actually surprised that I’m still al-”
“Stop! We’re not talking or thinking about that. We almost lost you today and I don’t want to discuss it anymore,” My mother scolded. I nodded as Brandon looked back and forth between us.
“How’s my car?” I asked, hoping my pride and joy was still intact. My dad shook his head and I groaned, throwing my head back against my pillow. “Completely totaled.It had to be towed away after the police got you out of the car. I’m sorry but…you might have to ride the bus for awhile” he replied.
“Oh hel-” Mom glared at me and I stopped mid sentence. “I mean, I’ll just ask somebody for a ride to school for awhile." Mom nodded and Brandon, who was sitting in my bed next to me, leaned his head on my shoulder.
“You guys sure you wanna stay the night? I mean, I’ll be fine alone” I said reassuringly. Dad got up from his chair and stretched. “I’m taking Brandon back home with me and your mother is staying here with you tonight. Don’t try to fight us on this, Beck because it’s already decided” he replied, picking up Brandon and placing him gently back on the ground.
I nodded, kissing Brandon’s forehead. “Good night” I whispered in his hair. “Will you be okay?” he asked, rubbing his eyes. I smiled and nodded at him. Dad kissed mom 'good night' but she moved her head to the left before his lips met their destination. I frowned at this and waited until dad was gone to talk about it.
I looked over at my mother, who was laying a blanket over her make shift bed.
“Mom, what was that?” I asked, turning off the TV. “What was what Beck?” she said, not facing me.
“You know what I’m talking about. Dad tried to kiss you and you moved away” I remarked. “Beck, what are you talking about? We have more important things to worry about, such as your health” she said, trying to brush me off. I shook my head and my frown deepened.
“No mom. Dad is not cheating on you! I don’t know where this insane idea of yours came from but dad has been faithful to you” I exclaimed. Mom sat up and looked at me with a cold glare.
“Beck, I’m not talking to you about this” she hissed.
“Why not? It involves me. It involves Brandon also but I haven’t told him about it because he's too young to understand. Why do you think he’s cheating on you?”
“That is something you are too young to understand, Beck.”
“Why? Because I’m not mature enough? Because I’m single. Because I’m g-” I stopped myself and just looked at her.
“Because you’re not married. And when you get married and settle down to start a family, then we can talk about this.”
“When I finally do all of that, my father may be gone already.”
“Beck! This is not up for discussion.”
“He has done nothing wrong! He doesn’t hit you. He doesn’t hit us. He comes home when he says he will. He doesn’t argue with you much. He loves us. So, why are you pushing him away?”
“Because I don’t love him anymore!”
My eyes widened and mom stared at the ground, embarrassed by her outburst. I bunched my bed sheets, looking anywhere but in her direction.
“Don’t. Just…don’t” she said, wiping away her tears and cutting me off. We sat in silence for a bit but I couldn’t take the quiet anymore.
“I don’t know. I’ve always loved your father but recently, I’ve been wondering if it was him or I that has changed. I tried to make it seem like it was him but it wasn’t. I guess the ‘idea’ that he was cheating on me was just something I used to stop myself from believing that I had fallen out of love with him.”
“But what changed? What could have happened that made you stop loving him?”
“Life. Things were going in a constant circle with me. He was always busy and I felt so...bored. I don’t know why but somewhere along the line, our life started feeling linear.”
“Can’t you at least try?”
“What do you think I’ve been doing, Beck? I’m trying so hard because of you and Brandon. I love you both so much.”
“Than why can’t you love dad the same way? It isn’t fair to him.”
“It’s complicated, Beck.”
I collapsed against my bed and stared up at the ceiling. I hated those two words. I never wanted to hear them again.
Mom had drifted off to sleep a couple of minutes later but I couldn’t stop thinking enough to relax my body into slumber. If mom had fallen out of love with dad for no reason, would she fall out of love with me if she found out I was gay? I was so worried about them divorcing, every time time I closed my eyes, I had a dream that they weren’t together. Brandon and I were being tossed from house to house. I didn’t want that to happen.
When I felt like I was about to go completely insane, someone walked into the room. I looked up, seeing Natalie at the door. She hadn’t noticed me as sat down in the chair closest to my bed.
I didn’t want her to know I was awake. I wanted to know what she said today that made me cry.
“I’m back. Just like I told you I would be. God, you scared me so much, Beck. I don’t know what I would do if I lost you. Hope and Jessie were so nice to me today. I started crying and they just held me and told me you would be okay. Lee was terrified. He kept saying that he didn’t want the last time you guys saw each other to be on a bad note like it was when you left work today. I felt the same way."
“If you would have…died today. I would have been remembered by you as the 'cold bitch' and I don’t want to be remembered like that. Beck, I know what I said before must have been heard because…God, you started crying. I didn’t think people could cry in their sleep but one tear gently ran down your cheek and I just couldn’t hold it together after that. That’s why I left."
I heard her sniffle and knew she was in tears. She took my hand and I felt so warm just by that simple touch.
“I’m so jealous of all of them. Lee, Jessie, Hope, Mark, even Melody; they all know you better than I do. I guess, I have no right to be jealous because I just met you and they’ve all known you longer than I have. I mean, we’ve been together for two months and I still find myself stuck to you. The way you defended me when Sasha and I got into that fight proved that. We have so much fun together when it’s just us. I can’t seem to deny it anymore."
Her grip tightened and she leaned over as she gently placed her lips on mine. I knew a sleeping person shouldn’t kiss you back, so I fought the urge. Her lips fit perfectly against mine and they felt exactly how I imagined they would.
She pulled back as I tried not to smile. “Beck, I think I lo-” My mother moved in her sleep and Natalie stopped talking. I cursed her in my mind and wished that Natalie would just continue what she was saying.
“Please, just wake up soon." She let go of my hand and I heard her walk out the room. I opened my eyes and stared up at the ceiling again as I ran my hand over my lips. Her kiss felt different than Melody’s. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but it was definitely different.
I had to get my priorities in order. Melody confessed her feelings to me but could I reciprocate them? Natalie fueled something deep inside of me but she's been hurt before and I don’t think I'm ready to fix her.
Two girls; one is my best friend, someone I have always cared for but now sense an attraction to. The other, someone who I feel myself needing and clinging too because she seems like everything I've wanted. Everything I love.
Wait. Love? Where did that came from? When I think about it, I love them both genuinely. I just love them both in different ways. Now, I have to decide who I want to give my heart to. Natalie or Melody.