The room was fairly petite, colour co-ordintated; the walls white washed with that hint of teal. There were no windows in sight, the only light coming from a dim lamp on a bedside table.
Gray sluggishly opened her eyes. The sound of a heart rate monitor dragged on in the background through the silence and the strong smell of disinfectant hung in the air.
The side of her head was throbbing badly and the feeling of utter tiredness filled her. The oxygen mask around her mouth began to induce a confined feeling. With effort she managed to haul it off her face. Someone had also stripped her down into a gown and wiped the make up from her face. Still light-headed from whatever happened, things were taking a little time to understand. The mysterious lady's face proved hard to escape from, and Gray wondered whether it was something to do with her.
There were two people sitting either side of her. To the left lay Knox, sleeping on her bedside. To the right, a curly blonde headed girl with a short round face. Anna, having made the first flight back to Paris in hearing that her best friend had become hospitalized. She was arguing on her phone; Gray being too dazed to listen to the conversation at hand.
She wondered now how long she'd been here. What time was it? What exactly happened to her? Was it serious? She sought to ask these questions, only she couldn't find her voice.
Gray could tell something was missing, and steadily lifted a hand to her neck. Where was her choker?
She tried to sit herself up properly but her gut squirmed; her mind swirling. Gray heaved, and threw up into a bowl next to her. Once she'd started she couldn't stop. It just came pouring out and she started choking, tasting amounts of blood in the process. Someone was calling her name.
‘Gray? Gray are you alright? Oh God I'm so sorry...'
She was sure that was Knox's voice. She turned, and he was sitting with a worried look on his face. It was, and he was very sorry that he ever sent her out in the first place. Anna had squeezed her hand. Loud voices could be heard voices outside the room.
‘And why aren't you telling me what's wrong with my daughter?! She's been in there for more than 24 hours!'
‘Madame calm down, there are other people waiting! The docteure will be with you shortly!'
‘Well that will be a waste of time so the doctor can fuck off for all I'm concerned!'
A door creaked open. Gray's eyes stung as it let in large amounts of bright light, and was quickly slammed back into place.
‘Good for nothing bloody hospitals always fucking things up...' Her mother muttered, looking very distressed; her long white blonde hair in a disarray and her make-up was quite simple compared to her normal eccentric style.
She threw her black Prada bag down and sighed before realizing anyone was in the room. Typical of her to cause an argument then.
‘Gray my darling!'
She rushed over (straightening her hair and choking her with her perfume) and hugged her like a lost child.
‘I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner darling, got caught up in Lyon, are you al- oh my god you've had stitches!'
Gray flinched as she ran her fingers along the right side of her sore head and around her face.
‘And you're all pale darling...I need to get you out of here, I bet the smell is making you ill-‘
‘-I'm ...fine mom...'
She had to cut her off. Meredith loathed the hysteria of public hospitals; her children have forever had their own personal doctors and private surgeons around the world due to her, so Gray couldn't stand to listen to another rant.
She just can't handle it when she makes a huge fuss over nothing.
‘No, you're not. I can see that, and neither is somebody else...'
She picked up her bag, took out some pills and handed them to Knox. He stared, but didn't take from her.
‘Before you say anything, I know you haven't taken them. I can tell by your face.'
She gave him a look, and he hastily snatched them from her. She also removed something else from her bag, and tied it around Grays neck. It was her choker.
‘I know you feel lost without this.'
Gray gave the widest smile she could. When she did things like that it really made her appreciate her mother more, even in this tired state.
A woman had walked into the room dressed in a pristine white coat bearing the name 'Dr Flanzego', slim glasses and holding a clipboard. She looked like something out of Italian vogue; tall and too beautiful to be a doctor. Her hairstyle; a boyish one of short brown hair that curved to the left with a thick white strip down the middle of it also seemed too neat. Meredith looked very surprised. The doctor stared thoroughly at her clipboard, raising a thin eyebrow before giving Gray a close inspection under her glasses.
‘I'm going to have to ask you all to leave for a few moments, to speak to her on her own.'
Gray sought to ask her why she was working in a hospital instead of for her mother.
‘Whys that, may I ask?' Said my mother.
‘Doctor to patient confidentiality. And I'm sure she'll tell you once I'm done.'
Meredith, although taken aback by that sudden statement, seemed eager to ask her for an interview. She was the creator, Manager and president of MLM; a huge fashion corporation. Her job requires finding models and she would certainly love to employ somebody like Dr Flanzego into her company; she was exactly what she needed. However she held her tongue, seeking to corner her afterwards. Knox stood up.
‘We'll be outside if you need us.' He said. Gray nodded.
He kissed her on the forehead. Her mother did the same. Anna kissed her on the cheek whilst Meredith came closer and again hugged her daughter.
‘I'll be here for you, darling.'
She smiled, taking one last scrutinizing look at the doctor, and finally left the room. Fear filled Grays insides all of a sudden, and her heart was skipping beats in her throat. The doctor could tell she was scared. She sat on the edge of her bed, and smiled at her.
The last time I can think of being in a hospital was when I was seven. Me and my father were in his city office and I had a bad heatstroke in the hot Spanish summer of '96. My father had no clue what to do because my mother Meredith took care of situations like that, so he called for an ambulance. That may be so, but I can never forget my father that day singing ‘Over the Rainbow' in Spanish to get me to sleep.
Meredith I can say, over the years has become even more of a woman. Whether that be from the absence of my father or because she has a lot more work I couldn't say. Whatever it was I thank it. Before my father left we never really spoke alone. She was consistently with Knox because she was scared of leaving him on his own due to his condition. After he learnt to control it though she moved towards me more, and we became very close. I still think of her as my mother, but also as a true friend for knowing me inside out.
Gray held her face in her hands. She refused to believe it, just like her father disappearing. Then disappointment and anger sets in. Why did this consistently happen to her? Or was this generally her life?
She'd already thought about it, and had agreed with herself to get out of there as soon as possible. Dragging the masses of blankets off her and pulling the drip out of her arm, she slowly climbed out of the bed. She nearly fell backward; her legs weren't feeling up to carrying her weight for that split second, but she managed to step across the cold floor and open the door to a fraction. There was nobody out there that she knew of, so she stepped out into the corridor, being careful not to make a sound so she would become unnoticed. There were a lot of doors but she eventually got to the one that read ‘Dr Flanzego' and traipsed in, taking care to lock herself in afterwards.
With no time to waste she searched under her desk and instantly found the doctors car keys, her clothes and accessories, rapidly throwing off the hideous gown they'd put her in and changing back into her original attire. Shoving everything else into her pockets, Gray strolled casually out of the room, searching for some sign of the exit. She had no idea of the whereabouts of Knox or her mother, but she was glad she hadn't seen them. Not watching out for anyone else, she suddenly bumped into a nurse. Gray thought she was very attractive too; dark eyed, square-shouldered and a mass of long dark hair down her back. 'What a strange hospital...' She thought.
‘Excuse-moi, where do you think you're going?'
Gray didn't know what to say to her. She searched her brain for some sort of excuse, and instantly thought of the note that Dr Flanzego had given her. She hadn't taken a look at it but was sure she would understand if it was from a doctor. This was her one chance of getting out of here, and she wasn't going to give it up that easy.
She gave her the note. The nurse took one glance at the neat italics before rolling her eyes and handing it back to Gray. 'Typical Patience' she muttered.
‘The exit is down on the ground floor. Adieu.'
There must have been something in the note that she clearly understood. The nurce walked away, and Gray headed off down the stairs to the ground floor and out those automatic doors into the cold night air without a backward glance. She instantly spotted the doctors car; a silver 1 series BMW which was perched at the end of the third row of cars in the enormous car park. She dashed over to it, unlocked the door and set out, feeling better as she was pulling away from the sight of death and on to the road back home.
Memories of her father were making me upset again as she drove into her garage and parked next to her green Jaguar XF. She'd stopped the engine, and was simply sitting there, staring at the windscreen; her knees now up and level with her head. She may not like depressing thoughts of her father, but she still missed him. She needed him. She yearned for him. She felt like the confused little girl who just wanted her cheery father to come back. She yearned for him exactly as she yearned for the dead baby inside of her to be alive as it once was. Again her eyes were watering, yet this time she didn't care. The heated tears wouldn't stop spilling down her cheeks and she was sobbing onto her knees.
Sometime later the sound of another car engine enter the garage.
‘Mom, I'll ...call you back. Gray?'
Knox, distressed that his little sister had gone missing, listened for some sign of her. He thought he heard wailing in the garage and realised a car that wasn't theirs sat at the back. Gray couldn't stop crying to say she was alright. He ran towards the car and flung open the door.
‘Gray, why...doesn't matter.'
She leant on his torso and wept.
'I miss him Knox...I miss him so much....'
He put his arm round me and stroked her hair. Knox was the closest thing she had to her father, and she was grateful that she had him to comfort her.
‘What, what did that doctor say to make you run off like that Gray?' He asked cautiously.
She stared at the floor and inhaled the air around her.
‘She...She said that, that the baby was....was..d-dead. Miscarriage.'
‘-Call me Patience.'
‘Well, Patience, I just wanted to know why, why you've been so considerate towards me, if you don't mind me asking.'
She laughed. Patience had been meeting up and helping Gray overcome her past week of sorrow and grief. She longed for her father, of whom she hadn't seen in fifteen years due to his mysterious disappearance, and felt the loss of him with the loss of her child. Though it was a great mistake from the beginning she still felt a loss. That unborn child had been hers, a part of her had been taken away from her, and the doctor was helping her mentally to move past her emotions.
Patience swapped her French talk for English and changed into a wonderful Spanish accent as her and Gray were strolling cheerfully down Paris's high streets of tall business buildings and consumer goods stores in the warm spring sun, carrying small shopping bags. Patience pointed out a very appealing coffee shop which had a cosy outdoor seating area; the tables and chairs made of white oak, and a nice view of the street. They decided to make a little stop there.
‘That's very simple. It's hard for young people these days. I just wanted you to have some company, that's all, and I can tell those walks in the park are doing you wonders. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to when you least expect it. And also as a favour for a...friend.'
It was Gray's turn to laugh now as they walked to a table near the street and sat down.
‘And what friend would that be, exactly?' She asked.
‘Wouldn't you like to know...'
She simply smiled. Gray ordered a large coffee and Patience a cranberry juice. The aromas of coffee and paninis and the warmth of the cloud-covered sun surrounded them.
‘Well regardless of whom it is it's very considerate and generous of you, going out of your way to spend time with someone you hardly know, and it's nice to know that you're not doing this out of spite from my mother's prestige. It's very gracious, so thank you and -‘
She raised her hand for Gray to stop speaking, and pointed at the large cup of steaming coffee on the table, waiting to be consumed.
‘Drink. I'm sure you want to feel better. And it's what I do, I'm glad you do appreciate it.'
Patience, in saying that, grew on Gray as not only a kind doctor, but also a wonderful friend too. She was glad she could confide in somebody as she didn't feel like bothering her best friend Anna whilst she was on holiday. Gray's depressed faze seems to disappear around her and it felt comforting to know she could speak to someone who could do that other than her Anna, Knox or even her ex.
They had a very pleasant conversation after that. Gray opened up about her Elliott situation and she gave some brilliant advice on how to handle it. She was a very humourous person, making it easier for Gray to get along with her. They spoke deep into the afternoon and stayed out all day, laughing and shopping. Patience even took her to a garden called 'Treasure' where Gray got out her sketchbook and drew the lovely oak trees and rich green shrubs. By then it had chimed ten o clock, and so she drove me back to Gray's home with faith that she would take her medication as soon as she got inside.
Cheerfully walking into her strikingly colourful kitchen and taking off her coat, Zephr's brown skin and his wave of distinctively straight brown hair could be seen through the half-opened door that lead into one of the large living-rooms. He sounded very annoyed as she got closer and when she pushed the door open she understood why. Elliott Anderson sat facing them both; his legs wide open as usual as he lounged comfortably on the purple suede sofa. At that moment Gray's cheerfulness had faded and all the advice Patience had given her had gone with it. He sat up when he realized it was her and smiled, cocking his large head to one side. He stood and stretched, tensing his ‘built' body and stroking that blonde spiked mop he calls hair. Graya had become fixed to her position, unable to believe what was right in front of her. 'Filth'. He stepped towards her and mortification, disgust and utter revulsion swam across her visage. There went her alacrity. She turned to Zephr and gave him a look of surprise, as if to say ‘What the hell is he doing here?'
‘I didn't let him in and once I saw him he wouldn't leave until he'd spoken to you. I didn't want to cause a fight.'
Elliot moved closer until he was inches away.
‘Gray' He said excitedly with his annoying voice, speaking in English like theye were old friends. ‘Long time no see.' A grin appeared on his face; his small mouth stretching to his ears, and made his nose crinkle. That had once made Gray laugh; she couldn't see the humour in it now.
‘So what aren't you going to just stand there baby? Come on, what's gone on between us, it was nothing. We should start over.'
'Start over? We were never seeing each other in the first place!' She exclaimed in her head. If he thoughts anything could, would or should happen from that drunken mistake he really was as stupid as she thought he was. Elliott eyed her eagerly; he wanted her, so he decided to work his 'charm' as Gray took a step back out of the room.
‘Hey! Where you going baby?-‘
He grabbed her arm, and it was only then that she noticed that she was shaking in anger. She jolted away from him.
‘What the hell are you doing? DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH ME!'
He appeared to take this very lightly; easing past her anger and moving right up close, so she could feel his swarming dragon's breath on her face.
‘What? Baby, you don't like it when I touch you like this?'
The very thought of him trying to seduce her seemed both pathetic and disgusting. Though, when he stroked one of his hands on her hip and his other on her face and tried to kiss her, that's when she lost control. With as much force as she could muster Gray punched him so hard he smacked his head against the doorframe near Zephr. Gray couldn't speak; she couldn't breathe. Zephr took no more chances and threw him out of the room and into the kitchen to where the loud sound of smashing glass and Knox's voice boomed, asking why in God's name was this bastard doing in his kitchen.
Elliott touching her seemed to have struck a nerve for her sudden fall of mind, and so she just stood there in a confused daze, her heart beating ten to the dozen, breathing heavily and shaking as if it where freezing, trying to tell herself to move. But it simply wouldn't work. Zephr rushed up to her and pulled her close. All she could do was sink her face into his chest while he held her head and rocked her like a mother rocking her child, trying to calm her down. It appeared to be working, until the loud dispute in the kitchen turned violent. She didn't want Zephr to leave her, only he had to before things got out of hand, and so he rushed into the kitchen, leaving her on her own.
In an attempt to control her nervous self, she managed to light up a cigarette; her first one since she found out she was pregnant. It was helping her, only not enough. Gray needed something other than the rush of nicotine to soothe her nerves and take her mind from everything. Inside the living room cabinet stuck to the newly painted beige wall stood bottles of whiskey, strong brandy and throat-burning tequila...