Promise

Little did she know, Ellie's casual remark as she passed me in the hospital waiting room cut me deeper than she ever meant.

I felt awful for what I almost did to Jerry. I should have never agreed to give him the razor blade. But I envied him. He would slip away into the sweet release of death, while I lived in hell.

I needed to talk to Ellie.

I stood up and followed her into the hospital room, where the stout nurse and Jerry's mother were doting over him. Ellie's and Jerry's hands were clasped tightly.

I stood at the doorway and cleared my throat apologetically. Jerry's mum looked up, and her eyes narrowed with suspicion. I think she felt my guilt.

"Erm, Ellie...can I have a word...?"

She glanced down at Jerry. His eyes were closed, but he gave a small nod.

She stood up and followed me into the hall. She crossed her arms and stuck her hip out, narrowing her eyes. "Alright. Let's have it."

"Ellie, I never meant to-"

"You never meant to?" she snapped, and I could see tears starting in the corners of her eyes. "You gave him that razor blade, Ethan! You knew what he was going to do! He almost died!" Her voice caught in her throat, and a tear trickled down her cheek. Casting her eyes downward, she whispered. "You have no idea how I felt when I got that call."

I cupped her chin in my hands and lifted her face back up to mine. "Ellie, I know exactly how you felt. I know what one phone call can do, believe me. It feels...like all the air just goes out of your lungs, and you can't catch your breath. You can't talk. You just sit in disbelief. And then the anger sets in. Anger at everything, everyone. And then..." I couldn't go on. Tears were pouring down both of our cheeks now. She reached for me, and I held her tightly.

"It's okay, Ellie," I whispered as she cried into my shoulder. I stroked her hair. "It's okay, everythhing's going be okay. Jerry will be fine."

She looked up at me, her face red and tearstreaked, her eyes puffy. "Do you promise?" She whispered desperately. "Do you promise he'll be okay?"

I bit my lip, prepared to tell her it was iffy, he'd lost a lot of blood, he might even have hypothermia. But looking into her eyes, seeing the wild and desperate expression in those eyes, so like Ally's, there was no way I could say anything other than "I promise."

The End

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