“Oh c’mon, pleeease let me help” I begged one of the nurses.
“No, I’ll get in trouble” she said, standing on her tiptoes on a chair to try and pin a string of ghosties to the wall. She couldn’t have been much above 4” 9, bless her.
“Please” I gave her the puppy dog eye treatment.
“Why do you wanna help so much?” she asked with a slight laugh.
“Because I’m so bored just lying around”
She glanced around the ward. “Go on then, I’m never gonna reach”
I grinned and leapt out of bed, pinning the ghosties up with ease. I followed her around the ward, pinning things up and helping out any way I could just to relieve the boredom. I’m pretty sure I saw Maxxie wander in but I was too busy trying not to stab myself with a tack to check.
I turned around all excited. Maxxie had to be as pumped as me about Halloween. “Maxxie!”
He sort of smiled. “I didn’t think it was Halloween for another week yet” What? Hadley gets more excited over Halloween than me.
“Silly boy” I laughed.
“Yeah…” he mumbled.
“I’d give you some candy but…” I patted my pyjama trousers, “no pockets”
He sort of smiled again. Jeez, put some effort in.
“Cheer up, dude, it’s Halloween”
“Mmm. Sorry I didn’t come over yesterday when I said I would”
“S’okay, I was asleep all day”
He kind of hummed and sat in his usual chair. You think I’m getting back into bed? No way, they’re letting me walk around.
“Doing anything fun tonight?”
He shook his head.
“Man, you suck”
He smiled slightly. “I’ve got work, if that counts”
“I hope staff have to be in costume”
“I didn’t check” he laughed slightly.
“Hadley going trick or treating?”
He shrugged and looked at the floor.
“When we were younger he used to go on about Halloween for days”
“He hasn’t mentioned it” Odd.
“I guess he’s just been busy. Where is the little squirt anyway? I haven’t seen him in a while”
“I don’t know” he mumbled, not taking his eyes off the floor.
I frowned. “Sorry?”
“He, uh… He left me”
“He said it was hurting you; he wanted to protect you” he sniffled and sort of smiled, “See? Told you he cares about you”
Little fucking idiot. “Max, can you do something for me?”
“Pass me my clothes. They’re in that drawer and I can’t bend too well right now”
“You’re s’posed to stay in hospital, Cay”
“I’ll get them myself if I have to”
He sighed and got them for me.
“If anyone asks, I’m having a piss” I said and left before Maxxie had time to object.
Getting dressed wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. I gave up on putting on my shirt and made my way back over to Maxxie. He flashed me a questioning look over the shirtlessness.
“Hurt like a bitch. I figure I don’t need it”
He rolled his eyes and helped me put it on, mumbling an apology when I winced.
“I deserve candy for this” I was only half joking.
“Well it doesn’t look like we’re staying here- I’ll get you some candy later on”
“Sweet. Right, where did he go?”
“How would I know?”
I sighed. “Who came to get him?”
“ Cayden, I was curled up on the sofa bawling my eyes out and considering moving back to England. I don’t know”
“Fine. Who did he call?” Be patient, Cayden…
He shrugged. “Your parents maybe”
“Right. I guess we’re going there, then”
He nodded and we went out to the car. A worried look snuck onto his face whenever I winced. Which was quite often, believe me.
“I’m fine” I said but I could tell he would just keep worrying til I was back in hospital. I sighed slightly. “Just focus on the thing with Hadley for now, okay?”
He nodded and I got in the car in silence. I stayed silent the entire journey, wondering if beating some sense into Hadley was a stretch too far. Maxxie just drove, biting his lip occasionally.
“Do you want to talk to him or leave it to me?” I asked once we reached the house.
“I’ll probably end up crying like an over emotional girl if I talk… I probably will anyway” he sighed.
“You are an over emotional girl”
He half smiled. It’s a start, I guess. I got out of the car and looked back at him. “Coming?”
He hesitated a little before getting out. I marched up to the front door, skipping the knocking part and walked straight on in. Maxxie followed me. Dad looked up from the couch in shock like the mafia had just shot down the door or something.
“Dad, where the fuck is Hadley?”