“What time is it?” I tried to tear away their anxious masks.
“Uh, almost Terminus Excitus,” Wyatt answered.
“So I’ve been out of it for all of IE. What happened anyways?”
“You fainted while Mr. Tinker was…” Wyatt turned to Mrs. Sands, probably wondering if he should mention any form of “harassment” by my teacher, “...in the middle of his 'lecture.' You slumped over and collapsed onto the floor. Mr. Tinker and I ran over to you and we called an ambulance. You’ve been here since then.”
“Did a nurse say what was wrong with me? I hardly believe I just fainted out of the blue.”
“They’re not sure either. You’re a medical anomaly to them.”
So I just fainted, no reasoning, nothing wrong with me. It was reassuring at least to know I was healthy, but I would very much like to know why I collapsed in the middle of an interrogation by my history teacher.
“Excuse me,” the nurse from before walked in and tapped Mrs. Sands on the shoulder, “Are you Elijah’s guardian?”
“Yes, hello,” Mrs. Sands politely replied, still not smiling, “Irene, pleased to meet you,” she extended her hand to the nurse.
“Elijah should be ready to come home now. His vitals are healthy and nothing seems to be the matter. If you could come with me to sign some release forms, we’ll be able to get him out of here.”
Mrs. Sands nodded in agreement, then turned to Wyatt, “Stay with Elijah, Wyatt.”
“Don’t need to tell me,” he grinned.
The nurse and Mrs. Sands left my hospital room, neglecting to deliver water to me. I didn’t mind it enough to ask again, so I let them leave the room.
Wyatt gave me a suspicious glare, “A nightmare? About what exactly?”
I turned my head away again, “Just some stupid thing. We lost all of our mo—”
“An honest answer for your best friend would be nice. You wouldn’t cry over a lack of money, and you’ve already given up an old home before. That’s not the Elijah I know.”
Damn his perceptive nature; yet another trait that he shared with Mrs. Sands. I could never lie to Wyatt. He was too good at sniffing it out.
Finally I succumbed to his wish, “It was about the day…” I choked over my words.
“Spit it out, buddy.”
“...the day...my parents disappeared.”
Wyatt gave me that same pout from before. “It’s been ten years, hasn’t it?” he asked.
I nodded, refusing to make eye contact with him. “I don’t want any sympathy Wyatt. I just…” tears poured out of my eyes again, “I just want to find them. I want to know if they’re actually dead, or if they’re actually alive.”
Wyatt sat me up in my bed and rubbed my back while I buried my face in my hands. “I’m sure one day they will come home.”
Struck with sorrow, I couldn’t muster the strength to respond. They promised me they would return, but they did not, and they will not. No one will come home, unless I bring them home. Mom, Dad, I will bring you home.