This time when she woke, she was determined to make sense of things. She listened for any indication of what was around her. There were the now familiar clips and bleeps of the machines and monitors, but she could also hear steady breathing. She could hear his steady breathing. Tucker was still there.
How long had she been out? She tried to guess. Maybe a few hours. She tried to recall the latest events of her life. She remembered being in the woods this afternoon. She remembered the struggle. She remembered that she is now safely in a hospital. She has heard Mr. Goodlooking’s voice. She heard doctors and nurses and Boss.
She had slept long enough. She needed to wake and fight whatever lie ahead of her. Whether Mr. Goodlooking breaks her heart and leaves her, rightly so. Or maybe… what? Maybe she had nothing to open her eyes for.
Her apartment was trashed. She had nothing to her name except a house across the country that she no longer even longed to return to. She also had a business she could pick up, but she now knew that she much prefers being in the spaces, creating the spaces herself rather than leading an office. If she did go back to her own company, she would let others take over the day to day bookkeeping for good, and she could return to what she loved. Assuming there was anything to return to.
She tried to cheer herself up. Maybe she could restart from anywhere in the world. Maybe she’d revisit Australia. Or Iceland. Or southern California and lay out on the beaches.
Sadly, none of this was as appealing as going back to his gym. She wanted to tangle with him on the mat, make love to him in the shower, and return all the favors he had given her.
Maybe she could work from right here, in this town. Rebuild her business, make him dinners every night, maybe forever.
If he’ll only have her. She had a feeling she could add a few more scars to the battle field of her body. Her lip was still store, her cheek was tender even though she wasn’t touching it, but her eyes didn’t feel so heavy.
She tried to open them.
Success! She was able to not only open her eyes, but she could keep them open!
She took in her surroundings. Everything she expected. Sterile. White. Clean. Crowded.
She attempted to move her arms. Yes! They obliged this time when she commanded them!
She moved her head and looked towards the light coming from her right side. She winced as each muscle came out of hibernation. Her skin stretched on her face in an unfamiliar way, the scabs and wounds pulling uncomfortably.
She saw the stars and relief flushed through her body. The curtains were open, and she could see the night sky! It was glorious. She had survived to live another day. She was still here on this earth.
She could hope again.
When she took in enough stars to refill her soul, she trailed her eyes downward, and she noticed a figure drooped across the guest couch in the room. His large frame stretched across the cushions, his broad shoulders draping over the side of the miniature couch. He was wearing jeans. A slightly unfamiliar look as he generally wore athletic gear or sweats but seeing his jeans reminded her of that day when she surprised him. He was working on his bike, and those jeans hung so well around his hips.
She also noticed he was wearing them yesterday when they headed for the gas station. Or maybe it was earlier today. She had no idea what time it was. She knew she liked the look of those jeans on him.
She saw his sleeping face and noticed that it wasn’t the peaceful sleep she had witnessed a few times before. There were lines pressed in all angles around his face, stress emanated his body. She noticed a bandage over his left eyebrow and that it was bruised around the bandage. He seemed thinner, which wasn’t really possible in just a few hours. Her heart broke as she realized he did get hurt in whatever happened earlier.
She tore her eyes away from him and noticed that she had an extra blanket on her bed. Her favorite blanket was draped over her legs, and she couldn’t be happier to have a bit of home with her here in this foreign place. She wanted to sit up and reach it, to pull it closer to her face. To touch something familiar.
She willed her arms to move. They grudging pulled back, almost robotically. Once she got them jerkily into position, she attempted to sit up. To push her body ahead and stretch. She could do this.
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