By the time Chad arrived at the hospital, Christine was complacent. Enterring her room, he found her staring at the ceiling with a new neck brace, barely acknowledging his entrance. There were other people in the room and he nodded at them, sitting close to her so as to keep their business away from the other patients.
"Hey, sweetheart. What happened?" he reached up to brush the hair out of her face and felt her twitch. He was pretty certain that if she did not have the neck brace on, she would have tried to dodge his caress.
"I do not want to talk about it right now. Can you just take me home?" She tried to sit up and closed her eyes, feeling dissy.
"Are you sure? You do not look so stable."
"Yeah, I am fine. It is the pain meds they gave me. They told me I may be unbalanced." She stood up as he braced her arms, helping her up.
"Alright, if you are sure. I will take you home."
He escorted her out the emergency room doors and helped her into the car. When he got in and started to drive, she was still silent. Arriving at her apartment, he walked her up the stairs, carrying her purse for her, and unlocked the door. She walked past him to the bedroom , unassisted, and took off her jacket and pants before crawling under the covers on the far side of the room.
When he came in and saw her, he just stood in the doorway looking at her for a moment. Chad was not sure if he was just worried about her or if he was correctly finding himself frustrated with her. Trying to keep his sigh silent and his tone pleasant, he came to the bed and sat down on her side.
"Christine, I am going to stay with you tonight. I want to make sure that you are okay, and it will be easier for me to take you to work in the morning, anyway. Is that alright?" He was looking down at her face, but she was looking at the wall.
"Yes, that is fine with me." She resonded after a moment. Although she did not really want to talk to him, she did not want to be alone and also did not want to start a fight. She knew that her silence agitated him, but the day had been so long and troublesome that she really did not know where to even begin. Or if she really even cared to tell him the details.
"Well." He said, standing up. "I will go get my bag then." He stooped to kiss her forhead, and she closed her eyes without response.
Christine woke up to a dark apartment. She slowly reached over and realized that Chad was not there in the bed next to her. Looking at the clock, she saw that is was about one am, and she was pretty sure that they had only gotten there about thirty minutes earlier. She stood up and went into the bathroom, taking the time to wash her face and brush her teeth as best she could with the neck brace on. The hospital had warned her not to take it off at all without doctor permission. After leaving the bathroom, she wandered out of the bedroom and saw Chad's form stretched out on the couch. She went and knelt next to him, putting her hand on his bare chest. She knew he was a heavy sleeper from the few times that they had slept together, and she just sat for a moment, feeling him breathe.
Guilt crept into her mind as she recalled how rude she had probably been in his eyes. After the episode with Sandra Jones, Tim had taken her to the emrgency room, trying to console her sobbing as he drove. Once there, he explained the story to the nurses and they took her back to get exrays. When they brought her back out to the hospital bed, he came over and handed her all of the belongings. Her tears had stopped but she felt empty, the hope and future that she had been wanting no longer in sight. She had thanked him for waiting, and when he reluctantly left, she called Chad and told him that she was in the emergency room and needed him to come and get her.
So now here she was, in a dark house with her fiance sound asleep on her couch, feeling like no one really knew who she was. Silent tears streamed down her face, as she leaned against the couch with her hand on Chad's chest. Thinking now about regrets and failures and, yes, even death, she drifted into an uncomofrtable sleep where she sat.