I sit down in the waiting room by the drinks machine, throwing back what must be my fiftieth cup of weak hospital coffee today. They're not helping. I'm beginning to wonder if the label is lying to me when it says there's a normal and a decaff option.
Closing my eyes, I take long, steady breaths, keeping as much of what happened in the back of my head and out of conscious thought. Why's Cayden so bothered? He was the one that couldn't have cared less what I thought about him fucking John pretty much under my nose. I shudder slightly at the memory and do my best to shove that one out of my head too.
I've been contemplating going outside for a cigarette all day. I need one. But I don't particularly feel like standing outside on my own just for a smoke. After a moment, I realise just how much of a wimp I've managed to turn into in the last couple of days. I give myself a mental slap and get up, resolving to go the fuck outside and give myself cancer.
So of course, I just refill my plastic coffee cup and wander back up to Cayden's ward. Well done, oh spineless one. You've outdone even yourself.
"I don't need a wheelchair," I hear Cay before I see him. "I'm perfectly capable of walking," he says when the nurse insists.
"Running away from me?" I smile slightly, wondering where he's off to.
"I wish," he laughs a little.
"Well me and my coffee are quite happy to go outside for a dose of cancer, if you'd rather," I lie, ignoring the disapproving look nursey boy gives me.
"Dude, you need to give up the cancer."
"You invent a nicotine patch that doesn't piss me off, and I'll give up smoking, how's that?"
"Deal." I smile, hoping it doesn't look too forced or anything, but I don't think he really notices as the nurse attempts to get him into the wheelchair again. "For God's sake, I don't need a wheelchair!"
"I can help him to... wherever it is he's going, if you want," I offer. Not like I've got anything better to do.
"He's just had surgery, he needs to be in a wheelchair," the nurse says to me and I half smile.
"You'll never get him in that wheelchair." You'd save a lot of effort just accepting that he's going to walk whether you like it or not.
"I'll sedate him if I have to." That's a bit harsh.
"Cayden and hospitals are not a good mix. Just let the guy walk."
"Listen to the English guy," Cay says and the nurse hesitates.
"Fine, but if I get suspended for this..."
"I thought I was supposed to be the drama queen," I mutter, putting down my coffee to help Cayden up. He takes my hand with a wince and I hold back a sigh. Stubborn git. "Ready?"
"Ready as ever," he mutters. I pull him to his feet and slide an arm around him to help support him, doing my best not to jolt his ribs. I glance up to see him biting his lip. "Ow." I roll my eyes.
"Wheelchair's not looking so bad now, huh?"
"Nope, still don't need it," he shakes his head and I look at the nurse.
"Right then... which way?" The nurse sighs and walks along with us, keeping the wheelchair with us, just in case. We get about half way to this private room of his when he starts bleeding a bit. Both me and the nurse insist on him using the wheelchair and he finally gives in. He doesn't look happy, but there you go, Cayden, you always have to learn the hard way.
When he's all settled in his new bed, I plonk myself down on the slightly more comfy visitor's chair unceremoniously and regret leaving my coffee behind as the nurse cleans Cay up and leaves us to it.
"They give me a notebook and not a pen. Clever." I look up, holding back a yawn.
"What's the notebook for?" I ask, too tired to guess. I just want to sleep.
"Diary," he tells me unenthusiastically. I sort of smile.
"What're you gonna write in it when you get a pen? That your bitchy ex turned up and is too tired to leave?" I laugh slightly
"That there's something my bitchy ex isn't telling me." Yeah... I'm not that tired, Cay.
"They gave you too much morphine, you're imagining it," I mutter, "gimme a pillow, I wanna go to sleep."