Chapter Nine-AireeMature

   Yesterday morning was Sunday. I had asked Gavin to text Hayden letting him know that I wouldn’t be there to meet him for the clinic, and he did. Thankfully Hayden hadn’t asked why, he just said that that was okay since he had plans. Plans, I couldn’t help but, to wonder if involved Laurie. “So,” I whispered to myself. I was standing in front of my bathroom sink, examining my outfit for the day. “How do I look?”           

The outfit itself looked cute. It was a rich purple colored tank I had layered, and my holey dark-washed jeans. I rolled my eyes. The part that wasn’t cute was the fresh cut going up my scar. That looked gross. Great. I can’t believe I let this happen, the bruising had just started to fade. Now, because I stupidly let someone distract me, I had been ran over by a door and left with this beauty. Thankfully it hadn’t had time to scar yet but, by this time next week it will be the color of my shirt.           

I guess I should be thankful this was all I walked away with. Things could have gone worse. For starters, my chest could have re-broke. Really the only thing holding it together is what little calcium that had formed, and a bunch of wires. The other option being I die. That one being a bit extreme but, still a possibility. Either way, I was now under Doctors orders not to wear any closed shirts or jackets. Apparently the cut needed to breathe and stay as sterile as possible so that I can avoid getting any infections.           

Another thing the doctor took away was my ability to drive, which was completely stupid. It made no sense. How did driving affect anything? So needless to say until it’s healed I will be relying on Mick or Gavin to drive me around. Then again, I thought. Maybe Hayden would too.            

After being dropped off like a child by Mick, my day flew by pretty quick. Of course, people had laughed, and made jokes about me wearing a tank top with this thing on my chest. Obviously the thing referring to my scar but, for the most part I ignored them. In my classes though, I couldn’t do much. I was still way too sore to carry anything more than my purse. So I had to watch while everyone else took notes, or sit there bored during the open book test because I couldn’t exactly share a book with anyone.  So obviously I would be getting a zero for that test because (a) there were no extra books to borrow, and (b) no one had actually done the reading so it took them the rest of the class to finish their test themselves.           

Thankfully when I got to Mrs. Goldblum’s class we were just watching a film over building your career. The lights had been off when I arrived, so I relaxed knowing I wouldn’t have to try as hard to hide my chest.  When Hayden came in, he immediately rushed up to me. I noted the way he looked only in my eyes, and smiled knowing he was trying not to stare. He was being polite.            

“Hey,” he said. He wasn’t smiling, and his voice was weak. “How are you?”           

“Good.” I said, it wasn’t exactly a lie but, I had definitely been better. Then I remembered Gavin telling me Hayden had texted him while I was in the hospital. The fact that he cared enough to ask made me smile. I hadn’t expected him to care. What was even more surprising though, was what he did next.  Which was to sit by me during class, and then walk with me to the parking lot afterwards, and wait until Mick showed up.

“What are you up to?” I had asked him after the late bell rang for eighth period.

“You really want to hear my theory?” He asked. His eyebrow raised quizzically as we sat along the sidewalk drop off.

“Sure.”

“Okay so I’m convinced that because I couldn’t go to the movie, and protect you. Something evil has set its eye on you, so I’ve dedicated myself to being your protector. At least until you’ve healed.”

“Seriously?” I said, and then laughed. “And people think you’re cool?” He laughed with me, and then bumped my shoulder.

“Hey I am cool. You just bring out the nerd in me.”

“Oh, great. So now I am a nerd, and freak.” I said. When I said it I had meant it as a joke but, Hayden didn’t find it funny. Instead he looked away

“I don’t think you’re a freak.”

“I know.” Was all I said. Mick pulled up seconds later, which I would thank him for later. Hayden and I had been sitting there in silence since my comment, and I was about to go insane wondering what he was thinking. As I reached the door, Mick had come around to help me in. When he saw Hayden, I know he had recognized him from the other night when he dropped me off but, he didn’t show it as he walked over and held out his hand. For a second Hayden stared at his hand like it was a trick before taking it. The two guys exchanged names, and made polite chit chat before I reminded Hayden he was already late for his class. As if he forgot, he quickly waved goodbye, and shook Mick’s hand again.

“He’s nice.” Mick said getting back in the car.

“He can be.” I smiled, and then we went home. By the time Wednesday had arrived, I was already driving myself around. I really wasn’t a good patient. I never listened to my Doctor’s advice. Still, I had kept at least one promise, and stayed away from the clinic. I was planning on breaking that rule soon but, my cut was still too new to risk Count jumping up, and it coming open. I already dropped my cell phone on it as I was lying on my back in bed. I had been holding it in the air when Mick rushed in and scared me. The next thing I know I dropped it, and I was back bleeding. If I could do something like that with a phone, Counts razor sharp nails could be worse. I shivered at that thought.Okay so his nails weren’t seriously razor sharp but, they were long, and with Hayden playfully calling him our little vampire dog all the time now, I added the razor sharp part for dramatic affect. Even he found it funny when I had explained it to him as the reason why I had to stay away.

For now. I parked my car closer than usual when I got to the fields, even though it was in the foul ball danger zone. I didn’t have a choice. As I finally made it up there, I was surprised when I found Hayden and they guys warming up. When they saw me, Gavin and a few of the guys, came up to me. Hayden and the rest of the team staying back on the field to throw. Before I knew it, I was engulfed with the story of how Hayden taught Count a ton of tricks at the clinic today. They even had a video, which they were about to show me when the umpire call for the game to begin.

When the game was over, once again our team demolished the other. All thanks to Hayden. After the game, our team decided to stay and practice before heading to Joes, some of the guys had homework. So for a while I sat on the bleachers watching them practice. As of now Hayden was showing them the stance he uses when he is at the plate. His sure fire method to hitting a homerun. I laughed at some of the guys as the mimicked Hayden the best they could. Some managed to hit one or two pretty far with it but, most just looked confused. Gavin being one of the confused ones.Eventually, I was tired of sitting, and watching. I got up. Walked onto the field, and picked up a bat.

“What are you doing?” Hayden had asked. He didn’t sound rude but, curious.

“I want to hit a few.” I smiled, and stepped up to the plate.

“No.”

"Yes.”

“No.” He kept saying in a matter of fact way. Just then I narrowed my eyes, and shot him a look.

“Dude, you might as well let her try.” Gavin said, as he came up behind him and the two of them stood their staring at me. “She’ll just find a way to do it anyways. At least, this way we can somewhat make sure she doesn’t kill herself.”Hayden rolled his eyes but, he was still smiling.

“Fine.” He sighed. “But you have to promise not to push it too hard.”I shook my head yes, and took my stance. My first swing was a miss. The next I tipped a foul ball. The third was a ball, and by the fourth my chest felt like I had chin splints in my sternum. So I didn’t get to a fifth. I also didn’t get to hit a single one past the batter’s box.

“Alright guys, I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow.” I said and walked out of the dugout.

“What?” Gavin and Hayden asked at the same time. They had both been laughing about something. Now they were staring after me with puppy dog eyes.

“Yeah, I’m pretty exhausted from all this.” I motioned towards the field as I made my way back over to the stands. I grabbed at my chest, and picked up my purse. It hadn’t been hurting like this before I went to bat but, I was probably just sore is all.

“Are you okay?” Gavin asked his voice still far away in the field somewhere, which I was glad to hear. I didn’t want him to see me wince as I pulled my purse strap over my shoulder.  Then, as I turned to tell him to stop worrying, Hayden’s blue eyes were there waiting for me.

“Here,” Hayden smiled, and took my purse from me. “I’ll walk you to your car.”I nodded. Behind us, I yelled goodbye to the guys again, and when we reached my car Hayden held open my door, and waited until I was seated to hand me my purse.

“Thanks,” I said, and took it. “I heard you went to the clinic today, and played with Count.”

“I did,” He said. “You’re not upset I went without you, are you?”

“Of course I’m not.” I quickly responded. “I was actually surprised you would want to.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” I shrugged in response to his question. Noticing, he shifted against my door. His eyes narrowing, as if he were trying to figure out what it was I was thinking. I could see the muscles in his arms flex, and he took a step closer. “Contrary to what you may think,” he smiled. “But I have more than one reason to go.”I stood there watching him as he shut my door, and started back to the field. He was half way, when he turned back. His icy blue eyes brilliant, even this far away. He was smiling. I waved not knowing what to do, and he returned the gesture. When I got home, I couldn’t sleep. The endless possibilities of what he had meant by saying he had more than one reason to go kept me up.  Around one my chest had relaxed, and my mind had given up. Finally I drifted off to sleep. In the morning if I have a dream, I wouldn’t remember it. If there would have been a fire, I wouldn’t know about it. The second my eyes shut for good, I was out cold.

 

The End

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