I quickened my pace away from the reception desk. Teke's teddy bear that I had bought her in hand. I pushed the button to go up the elevator eagerly. Click click click. The noise rattled my brain as I felt my pulse quicken. It opened and I threw myself through the ever slow metal sliding doors.
"Go faster!" I yelled at the inanimate object before me. "Curse you!" I stammered, rage enveloping my senses, impairing my thoughts. I looked up to see people's faces, puzzled. All of them searching my face for signs of embarrassment. As the doors began to close, I shot the nurse a look of apology through the gap in the two metal pieces.
The doors shut and I fell into the wall, resting my head on one of my arms. I opened my eyes to notice that in my impatient travel to find Teke, I hadn't notice the woman in the elevator, holding the hand of her daughter, who looked to be no older than four. I turned around, opening my mouth for my apologies to spew out of me. The mother raised a hand to me, smiling.
"No need to say sorry." She said, returned her hand to its previous position by her side. I opened my mouth once more. "We are here to see our loved ones. This one here," She paused, tugging at the girl's arm, an adorable smiled spreading across her face, blush becoming prominent upon her face. I smiled as she continued, "She whined all the way here 'Faster mommy, faster!'" She mimicked her daughter.
The girl tucked behind her mom, grabbing onto her legs to escape my sight. "Kids are eager but... The thing I found myself saying was, 'Drive faster, Maria, drive faster!' The real fact of the matter is that kids and adults are really just as eager as the other. But kids can't conceal it as well." The woman smiled at me, as the door opened.
"Sorry but I've got to go." She smiled as I got off saying, "I hope that whatever is plaguing you gets better." I nodded, starting to walk down the hall, hearing the doors close behind me. Snapping back to reality, I started for Teke's door, running as fast as I could. I gripped the doorknob only to feel a harsh hand grip my wrist. I looked up to see an officer guarding her door that I hadn't noticed.
"You can't go in." He said cruelly. "Let me go! Get your hand off of me!" I pleaded. I ripped my arm away from him, ducking under his try to grab me, twisting the doorknob, swinging the door open. How did Karem get in here without the guard stopping her? I thought, seeing Karem sitting, her eyes sleepily keeping from falling asleep. Teke jumped to the sounds of my noisy entry.
"Why is there a police officer outside your door?" I locked the door behind me, just in case the doctor speaking to the guard wasn't enough to convince him to let me visit. "Teke, are you okay?" I asked stupidly, realizing that I played an obvious role in her plan. She started to lean up only for me to push her back down and hug her.
"I brought you this." I smiled, handing her the bear. Her face brightened at the sight of it. "Thank you so much Jade." I almost blushed, then I looked up at Karem, whose eyes were bloodshot from the lack of sleep. She rubbed her eyes. I looked back at Teke. "The guard...?" I asked. "Teke is going to be sent to Verona Recovery after she is done recuperating." Karem spoke, seeming to hold something back in her voice.
Was it sadness? Agitation? I couldn't tell for sure. Her eyes fell to Teke, who grabbed onto her wrist lightly. "K...?" Her eyebrows pushed down in concern. "Everything is going to be alright." She nodded, returning to her seat in silence. "Teke. Its going to be tough with you there. Do you know how long its gonna be?" Teke gulped, looking at the teddy in her hands.
"About a month or so. Longer if needed." There was an utter silence that enveloped the room for a moment. Teke cleared her throat. "I'm supposed to be guarded at all times until I'm ready to go." The room fell silent again, a moment later, the door flung open, revealing a very tense Wes in the doorway.
Instantly, the room's energy grew sour and hatred electrified the molecules in the air. Karem's position went from calm to overprotective in that sudden moment. Wes, expressionless as always, walked in a hostile manner to the other chair beside Karem. Every muscle in her body seemed to clench, her face ripping with angry thoughts reflecting on it.
I shifted my weight onto the other foot, taking in this scenery. Finally Wes spoke, "So, did you explain to her?" Karemed turned away from him, biting her index finger's middle section in an effort to keep from doing something she regretted. "I go to the bathroom for one second..." He murmured. "Karem just informed me of it." I spoke, answering his question.
Wes nodded, looking at Teke and smiling. Karem couldn't hold back her anger much longer, she was about to explode. "You feelin' alright Teke?" He asked, the monster inside consuming Karem then. "That's it!" Karem grabbed Wes's armrest of his chair and it with him in it with one mighty heave. Teke's jaw dropped at what was happening. I tried to move, but I was frozen, unable to help Wes, not that I entirely wanted to.
Wes could have kept that door shut a little longer than he did. At the same time, Karem helping the paramedics didn't exactly help the condition Tekanero wanted to be in. As I finished this thought, Karem had gotten up, grabbed Wes by the collar with both hands, and brought him up to stand, his black shirt beginning to rip.
"Does it look like she's okay?!" Karem's eyes were tearing up with the wretched anger that pumped through her. Wes looked at her in shock. "Does it?!" She gripped his collar tighter. I gripped Karem's forearm. "Karem! It isn't his fault!" I shouted but tried to keep it at a certain tone so that guard would not here the shuffle.
"It is COMPLETELY his fault!" Karem gritted her teeth. Lost in the moment, I hadn't even noticed that Teke had gotten out of her bed. "Te-!" I started, then stopped by her hand over my mouth, the IV in her other hand. She pulled her hand from my mouth then applied it to Karem's back. "K." She spoke and all sound ceased. Karem's tense posterior had faded to soft and gentle, still gripping Wes by the collar. "Please stop this." Her words were gentle and wrapped in warmth.
Karem Tensed for a moment trying to decide, then let Wes go. She turned to face Teke. "Its my fault Karem, not his." She insisted. "No. There's gotta be someone who pushed you enough to cause you to do this. Someone is responsible." Feeling displaced, I tried to pitch in and help Teke, "Wes was trying to help her, Karem. He's innocent." I looked Karem dead in the eyes, showing her that I meant what I pleaded.
Her facial expression softened a bit. The room grew silent once again, Wes returning to his chair next to Karem's. Still angry with him, and not convinced, she shot him a look of warning. He took the hint, scooting his chair away to get at a safe distance. Karem cleared her throat then, returning her attention to Teke and then speaking.
"Are you still tired?" She asked, the question filling the room with much needed sound. Teke seemed to mull it over for a moment. "Not too much." She clucked her tongue. "But you on the other hand. YOU need some rest." She smiled at Karem, who seemed to blink almost mechanically. "You do look tired." I applied, so desperately needing to say something to separate my lips from one another.
"Just a lil bit. Just a lil." I said, trying to bring a smile to someone's face, even if it was just a little smirk. It was good enough, good enough to fill the emptiness that occupied the room. Karem yawned in that moment, raising a hand to cover her mouth. "I'll be fine." She said, rubbing her eyes. "Coffee will make up for it." Teke smiled but had a hint of sadness resounding in her eyes.
She turned to look at me, "She hasn't slept ever since she got here." I could feel my jaw falling to the floor. What? Had Karem really been that concerned about her. "Not even when she was laying up here with me." Teke frowned. Laying in bed with her! I didn't know whether to be angry or if I should be let the aching, 'Awww' escape from the back of my throat where I had a hold of it.
"Its been three days Karem, please." Karem sighed at the thought. "I really can't say no to you but this chair is uncomfortable. Plus, who's going to watch you while I'm asleep?" The question boggled Teke for a moment. She looked over at Wes, catching Karem's eyes. "No. I don't trust him. Forget it!" Karem's jaw seemed to have unhinged from its correct place.
I cleared my throat to intervene with the conversation. "I'll watch you, then." I said, and Teke smiled at me. "A rather grand suggestion." Karem nodded in agreement. "I trust you." I smiled, biting the inside of my lip.