What happened next was a blur, a few seconds awake in an ambulance then the pain sent me straight back into darkness The beeping of machines, voices yelling. Zack protesting about being held back. My mum crying, dad holding her and offering comfort. But the pain always took over and sent me back to blissful unawareness.
“How is he?” that was mum's voice.
“He's stable for now. But we have yet to assess any complications that could arise.” I couldn't recognise the second voice.
“What about the kid who did this?” That was him, I'd never heard him so angry.
“The police are handling that. Their gathering all the statements now. From my understanding the boy who did this has a very troubled past,” the stranger explained.
“I don't care about that, he needs to put away,” he replied. I could just picture his fists clenched by his sides.
“He's a minor. He'll be put on probation and some serious counselling I'd imagine. But it will always be there on his record.” I could tell the stranger was trying to calm him down, but he wasn't having any of it.
“This is completely ridiculous, that kid almost killed my son,” he yelled. I jolted at the word and blinked rapidly against the light.
“Michael!” Mum yelled then she was at my side, holding my hand.
“What happened?” I half-slurred out. I closed my eyes against the light and tried to move. That was a very bad idea as pain rippled everywhere.
“Ow,” I whispered, it was one of my bigger understatements.
“I wouldn't start moving just yet,” the stranger said. I squinted and realised he was a doctor. I was in hospital. Damn, what had happened?
“You were stabbed. You've been in and out of theatres. Most of the damage has been repaired. But I won't lie, it was a pretty close call,” the doctor explained. Lewis had stabbed me? He did something to the IV and then the pain faded away.
“We should leave him to rest for now,” I heard the doctor say. I wanted to object, but whatever he'd given me knocked me.
When I came around again it was Zack sitting in the chair next to me. I tried to move, this time I was prepared for the pain.
“Thank god your awake,” Zack said, realising I was awake. He left his chair quickly and grabbed my hand in both of his. There were bags under his eyes, not to mention his clothes looked wrinkled, had he slept overnight?
“I'm fine, well. Better than I was,” I said. Zack laughed, it was a horse sound and I wondered when he'd last had a drink.
“What's happening to Lewis?” I asked, I remembered the conversation I'd heard before, but I couldn't tell how much time had passed. Zack face turned to ice at the mention of his name.
“Counselling from the sounds of, probation time. But he's not switching schools. Something about government cuts, though how that affects him and school I don't understand,” Zack replied.
“Maybe he lives in care or something,” I pointed out. Zack shrugged.
“I don't care, I didn't hang around to hear any sob story he might have. As far as I'm concerned he can drive himself off a cliff,” Zack growled.
“Why do you care? You're the one he hurt,” Zack asked. I shrugged.
“Maybe after all the counselling he'll be better, fresh start and all that,” I replied. Zack looked at me like I was crazy and dropped my hand to stand up fully.
“You'd give him a second chance?” Zack asked, shock in his voice.
“Everyone deserves one,” I said. I understood his expression, what I was saying was crazy. But I couldn't help it, not when I remembered Lewis face after. When he realised I'd stepped in the way. He probably blames himself more than any of us could.
“Let's stop worrying about it. The doctor says one more week and you can leave this place,” Zack said. I nodded and grabbed his hand back, kissing it a few dozens times.
“Zack,” I started, unsure if I wanted to ask my next question.
“I did believe it. For a second. I'm sorry,” he said, answering my unspoken question. I nodded, it hurt to hear, but it would've been worse hearing a lie we could both see through.
“That's okay, I understand. I still love you,” I said after a few moments of drawn out silence. I heard Zack release a breath I didn't realise he was holding.
“I love you too,” he replied.