It was when I finally caught my breath that the screaming started.
I turned and saw that the others had been down here with me; Daniel, Sarina… and Claudia.
She gave me the most passionate kiss in history, and I think I started crying. I almost let her! I almost lost… everyone! My life had been whisked away… but in some miracle I earned it back.
Then there was the biggest surprise of the day. Daniel, who had his back turned and standing halfway out of the doorway, ran in as soon as Claudia broke away from me. There were no words, just a hug that we both openly cried in.
“We thought we lost you” Daniel said, standing back and looking me over. “Don’t… don’t do that again… ever!”
After the reunion had ended, I was taken upstairs and back into a different, much more high-tech room. My condition had improved in such a way that I was expected to make a full recovery from my wounds. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t see my friends for hours; it would be a long time of more white-suited people running about running complicated tasks.
So as quickly as my friends accepted me, I was rushed to a bed and immediately became a number-one priority to the staff. Daniel, Claudia, and Sarina were ushered away from me and sent to wait outside for what could have been an eternity; though, at least, they knew that I’d at least be coming out okay from this time period.
I went through a lot of emotions during this phase, but most of them were generally sadness at how I almost lost it all. However, a growing, nagging feeling grew inside of me. I thought I did die so… what did I say before I did go?
“Listen… I saved you Daniel. I only did that… so you can have a better life… because I know you can have one. Claudia… I love you. I want to spend all of my life with you”.
While it sounded nice when I had actually been supposedly destined to perish… there might be some holes that could be poked through there. Even if that wasn’t possible, I wanted to talk to each of them… oddly enough, I felt as though I especially needed to count Sarina. Though she hardly knew me, she had come for me and stayed here the whole entire time. I owed her my thanks.
Claudia I had to speak to as well. I had just said I wanted to spend… my WHOLE life… every second of it… with her. Now the question wasn’t exactly if I meant it or not, but instead… could we pull it off?
Then Daniel. I saved his life from what would have been a gruesome death; slowly burning to death in a fire or suffocating from the rising smoke. In turn, he had rescued me from what we all thought was my ultimate demise. I wanted to speak to him the most I think. I needed to… apologize. And I needed to thank him.
So when the moment came in which the doctors left the room, I knew that I had to take it before I forgot or lost the confidence. The hospital personnel already informed them that they wouldn’t allow any more than one guest in there so that they could rush in anytime and not have too many loose bodies blocking the way. Thankfully, I’d rather have it one-at-a-time.
Claudia entered first, immediately after other people were allowed in the room. Her eyes were wide and close to tears. There was no kiss, just a loving hug. She had remained so strong during this time, and I was so proud of her for that, and so thankful. It was a hard task to pull off.
“You don’t know how I felt… I thought…” she paused, taking a deep breath. “I thought you were dead, Lionel. I…” another pause… then the reveal. “I wouldn’t have lived without you. We’ve been together for so long and I… I love you with all my heart. I wouldn’t make it without you… and when I saw you… my world lit up like the sun”.
We kissed, and then I took my turn to speak. “I love you too, Claudia… beyond description. And I know what I said before… that” I said, not needed to be more expressive since she knew right off the bat what I was going to say. “I said… I said that I wanted to be with you. For forever. And you know what…” I took my own pause. “I meant every word. I love you, and I want you forever”.
“But can we keep it forever?” I finished, posing the biggest question next to asking for marriage.
She nodded, starting to cry now. She brought me into another tackle, kissing me forcefully. In between this, she fit in the one word… “Yes!”
“Then I will too” I replied, starting to kiss back.
She stayed for a while, but it was as though a clock had been set on how long each person would have with me, because she soon departed. Surprisingly, Sarina entered next. She didn’t have much to say, but neither did I. I was able to thank her for what she had done for me, though.
When she left, Daniel entered; slowly, uncertainly. When he saw I looked okay and was expecting him, he came in and sat down in the chair next to me. For a time, no words were spoken.
“I never got a chance to really say it” he began. “You saved my life. I could have died today… and you didn’t let me. You went all the way back for me. So… thank you”.
Then I lost it.
“All of those months… I’m sorry” I said, almost about to cry. “Trying to tear your throat out, let you feel pain… I didn’t mean any of it”.
“I didn’t mean to take her away from you” he responded, dead serious. “I didn’t mean to do what terrible things I did to you”.
It was the first time we openly apologized. Ever since he moved here, we had been sworn enemies. Now… we were nice to each other. Civilized.
I never expected to ever date a girl like Claudia. I love her, and I’ll love her forever.
There’s no need to call myself a Loner. I never really was one.