The man walked with a sense of authority. He casually walked over to Tanner's bedside and stared at both of us.
"You must be Tanner, correct?" asked the man, looking at Tanner.
Tanner nodded and stared at the man blankly. He became his rigid. Obviously, he hated adults.
"And who might you be?" the man asked me.
"I'm Shiloh," I replied, feeling slightly intimidated. "I'm the one who found Tanner."
"Ah, the 'savior'. Well, I appreciate that you saved Tanner, but that's all you've done. You don't need to come back here. It could be quite harmful to his health and recovery," the man replied.
I opened my mouth to speak, but Tanner beat me to it.
"Hey! You can't talk to her like that! Who do you think you are?" snapped Tanner, glaring at the man.
"I'm your psychologist or therapist. Whichever word you prefer. I think that she's bad for your recovering state," he answered matter-of-factly.
"Well I happen to disagree with you. She's staying."
"Very interesting." muttered the man. He took out a notepad and scribbled down a note. Then he proceeded to tell the officers to untie Tanner from the bed.
They agreed, but seemed weary to do so. When they untied him, they backed up cautiously. Watching his every move, they stood at the back of the room and waited patiently as the therapist asked questions.
"Tanner, I'm doctor Mirella. I'm here to help you recover mentally from your ordeal. Now, let's start with what made you do this," stated the therapist.
Tanner proceeded to tell Dr. Mirella the same things he had told me not moments ago. He seemed more cautious explaining things to him than he was explaining them to me. I listened quietly as he answered questions, not really wanting to. He seemed to enjoy being freed from the bed though. He rubbed his wrists as he talked and moved his arms around. I could tell this was making the police nervous. Then he turned to me suddenly.
"Shiloh, can you get me some food? A sandwich? Please?" he asked, almost pleading.
"Oh. Uh, sure. What kind?" I asked, getting up.
"French dip. If they have that. If not just get me some soup or something," he replied, kind of smiling.
I nodded and smiled. Then I exited the room. As I headed down the hall, I looked around. Nothing really changed much in the emergency room area of the hospital. People were coming in and out. When I got near the end of the hall, I heard a family laughing. Someone was probably feeling a lot better. Smiling to myself, I got in the elevator and headed to the cafeteria floor. I was alone in the elevator and it seemed so silent.There was no music or anything to distract me. I wished there was. The elevator finally stopped on the floor I wanted and I got out.
The smell of food overwhelmed me. My stomach automatically growled at the aromatic smell. I headed towards the lunch line and looked at the menu. There were lots of food there on the menu and the first thing I spotted was french dip sandwich. It was cheap and it looked good. I bought two and took the food back to the elevator. Humming to myself, I thought about the sandwiches in my hand. They smelled so good. I couldn't wait to eat mine. When I entered the room, Tanner was upset and refusing to talk Dr. Mirella. He had his arms folded tightly against his chest.
"Tanner, what's wrong?" I asked, going back to his bedside.
"Dr. Mirella thinks that I have an attention problem just because I mentioned that my dad doesn't want me," he replied, roughly.
"It's obvious," stated the doctor writing something else down.
"Shut the fuck up!" yelled Tanner covering his ears.
"I think it's time you left," I commented to the doctor, wrapping my arms around Tanner.
"Who do you think you are? This boy is obviously seeking attention and you're giving into it,"Dr. Mirella said, getting up.
"You may think your diagnosis is correct, but I don't. Did you ever thing that maybe he just wants to be loved? Hm? He's in pain and your accusing him! You aren't helping him at all! You are making him worse! Leave!" I yelled, trying to protect Tanner from the awful words.
Dr. Mirella left the room quietly, taking the police with him. When the door shut, I whispered to Tanner that it was okay and that they were gone. He shook with the anger and pain that was troubling him. His eyes were squeezed shut and he was trying hard to shut everything out, even me. I gently pulled his hands away from his ears and told him to look at me. He opened his eyes and looked at me.
"It's okay. They're gone now. Everything is going to be fine. I know that you aren't looking for attention. I know you aren't," I wisphered holding his hands in mine. "Are you still hungry?"
He nodded and became calm. He was no longer rigid anymore.
I handed him one of the sandwiches and dips and then I sat back and ate mine. We ate in silence at first, but soon he spoke.
"Thanks. For helping me," he stated, chewing his food. "When my mom and dad fight, they yell. So I always cover my ears and close my eyes and shut them out. I ignore what they're saying and try to imagine I'm playing a soccer game or surfing. Something like that."
"Oh. No problem. He was wrong. He's stupid and he's just...a dick. Therapists are supposed to help you, not hurt you. I know that pain is common on the road to healing, but that's just wrong to inflict it purposely," I stated, biting into my sandwich.
"How come you're so smart all the time. You always have some smart to say."
"I'm not smart. Just opinionated."
"Thanks. So are you."
He looked at me and gave me a smile. A genuine smile. Then he laughed. His laugh was contagious. I found myself laughing. There we sat. Laughing at nothing and eating our sandwiches in a hospital room.
"You know, I think you're helping me more than Dr, Mirella. He's a quack compared to you," he sighed finally, smiling still.
"Really? That's good I guess," I replied, smiling too.
"Yeah. Just do me one favor."
"What would that be?"
"Don't leave me, okay? Please?"
He smiled and we continued to eat our food. There was nothing that could seperate us. I told myself that this was how things were now. We were connected by an invisible string that was tied around our ankles. It was a sense of friendship and saviorness. I would never leave his side. I wouldn't always protect him. Thinking those words sent a chill down my spine. Something about those words made me shiver with anticipation. How long could we really keep this up?