You didn't know what happened. One moment you were driving down the highway and the next, you were in the ditch, pain ripping through your body as you sat cramped in a sorry excuse for a vehicle. Moving was not an option, it hurt too much, but your head could shift slightly. It was just enough to take in your surroundings. The dash was crumpled and pinned your legs, the airbag was stained red from where your head used to lay and you could feel an itch at your forehead. Above you, the roof was dented quite thoroughly. Absently you thanked your mother's genes for making you short.
It didn't register though what had really happened. Your mind was working slowly. At a snail's pace, it tried to catch up to what was going on. You heard someone shouting to someone else, the voice getting closer. The driver's door opened and someone touched your neck carefully, taking your pulse. There was a sigh of relief before the hand took yours. Carefully you let your head lull to look at the person holding your hand. Your eyes met worried green. Large eyebrows scrunched together in worry and panic sat above them. Thin lips were held in a firm line.
"Thank you," you whispered. You didn't know why you were thanking this stranger but having someone there, holding your hand, seemed to make the pain dull. It didn't occur to you then that the dulling pain had to do with you losing consciousness.
"Sh," his hand came up and gently brushed the loose strands of hair from your face. "Don't talk, just keep your eyes on me and listen to my voice. You need to stay awake alright? Hold on for me alright?"
"Who are you?" He had told you to stop talking but you wanted to know.
"My name is Arthur Kirkland, well, Sgt. Kirkland. I'm a police officer. There's nothing to worry about. Just stay awake."
"I'm ____ _____," you replied.
"It's a pleasure to meet you _______, now please, just be quiet."
You listened to him. He started talking about the weather and other things, avoiding the current situation. Whenever you started to drift off, he would pat your face and make you focus on him again. He was handsome, you thought. The worry in his eyes made your heart flutter, though you didn't give a thought to that being your heart beating quickly because of the large gash in your leg. His hands felt very warm against your cheek. With a smile, you gently nuzzled against the warmth. He chuckled half-heartedly.
He continued to talk to you about the little things, keeping you awake. But soon, your eyelids became very heavy. Too heavy. As you lulled off, you heard him calling your name and the sound of sirens. The last thing you felt was warmth embracing your cold body.
*Beep, beep, beep, beep
You came out of the darkness of your subconscious slowly. The beep of the monitor was the first thing that you heard after the rush of blood in your ears faded. There was a weight near your leg. Looking down you saw a head of dirty blonde hair on folded arms. The scary thing was, you didn't know anyone with blonde hair. Who was it that was sleeping on your hospital bed? And what happened to land you in the hospital? You had no recollection of what had happened. No car crash. No mysterious man. Just black.
Despite not knowing the man, you felt that he was important. There was no way you would wake him to ask his name or what he was doing. No, you just lay there, watching him as he slept. After a couple minutes, his head lulled to the side and you got to look at the peaceful face of his. He had large eyebrows set above a simple pale face. There was something familiar about his face but you couldn't remember where you had seen it before. All you knew right then was that you were glad you didn't wake him.
It wasn't long after that the doctor walked in and quietly asked you how you were and informed you that, besides the minor concussion, blood-loss and broken leg, you were alright. If everything went well, you'd be out in a couple weeks. That was good news, but he walked out before you could ask what had put you in here with those injuries. It still had not yet clicked. You never walked anywhere because of the distance from your house into the city, you didn't play any sports and your job as a dispatcher wasn't dangerous to anything but your sanity.
Moments later a cart rattled by, jolting the sleeping man awake. He looked around, confused for a moment before his striking green eyes fell on you. They softened and a warm smile crossed his face. Carefully he took your hand in his and shifted his chair closer.
"How are you feeling?" he asked gently.
You couldn't help but smile a little. "I'm doing alright, as far as the doc says
Nothing hurts too much right now, just a throbbing in my leg and head."
He nodded, seeming more relieved. "Do you remember what happened?" You shook your head. There was no memory what so ever about what put you in the hospital. "You were in a car accident."
That hit hard. An accident? Why couldn't you remember that? And how did this man play in that? You racked your brain for any answers but you came up blank. There was nothing but black between waking up that morning and waking here in the hospital. What? You couldn't remember what you had done that day. Panic started to rise in you. You started going through all your memories. Your name, your age, your birthday, your family
. Everything else seemed intact.
"Miss _____, please try to relax. It's natural that you don't remember the accident. Just try to calm yourself. My name is Arthur Kirkland, I'm a sergeant at the police department." He was trying to reassure you. It wasn't working very well.
"Why does a police officer need to be here? Is someone after me?" This only made you panic more.
"No, miss, please relax. I was with you at the scene. I'm here to make sure you pull through okay. I'm just worried about you miss."
Slowly you felt yourself relax. You looked into his eyes and took a few deep breathes. He was there because he was worried about you. It didn't bother you that much
He was attractive. It didn't take long for you to feel lost in his eyes. They were a beautiful green. You started to wonder if it was humanly possible to have such bright green eyes. Only after he cleared his throat did you realize you had started to lean forward. Pulling back startled you jolted one of the injuries you sustained. It stung but it wasn't all that painful. Then you realized that it must have healed some
"How long have I been out?"
"About a week and a half. You were in a coma. They were starting to think you wouldn't wake up
" he almost seemed like he had cared if you had died.
"Well, I'm awake, so now I can recover fully and get out of here
what will you be doing?"
He looked away and cleared his throat. "I hoped to stay with you until you got better
If you don't mind."
A smile crossed your lips. "I don't mind at all
And he did stay with you for the rest of the time it took for you to recover. He helped you take care of yourself and just talked with you about little things, like what was going on in the world. You both got to know each other very well until it seemed that you had known each other your whole lives. Even after you had been released from the hospital he stayed with you. Of course, he would be gone for hours at work, but he would always come back. He would always come home. You liked calling it that. He was coming home.
About a month after you were released the two of you were sitting around the dinner table eating supper. He was looking around with a light blush on his face. This wasn't normal for him. You hadn't seen this look before and you started to worry. Was he leaving you? You had to remind yourself that the two of you were never really together, he just hung around to make sure you were alright. That was all. At least, that's what you forced yourself to believe. Despite his obvious need to say something there were no words passed over the table, nor when the two of you settled down for some evening telly, as you had come to call it. Thanks to Arthur of course.
After the screen was black and the only light was that of the lamp in the bedroom you became impatient but didn't push him. No matter how much you wanted to know, you wouldn't force him to speak. There was the creek of floor boards and you looked up from your book to see him standing in the doorway. His arms were crossed in front of his chest while his eyes looked everywhere but you. With his eyebrows scrunched he opened and closed his mouth a couple of times without sound coming out.
"_____ I want-" he was cut off by his cell ringing. He picked it up. "Sergent Kirkland speaking
Of course sir, I'll be right in." With a sigh he slipped his cell away. "I want to talk to you in the morning. Goodnight and sleep well ______."
He walked out.
"Take care Arthur!" you called after him.
The front door closed and an empty silence fell about the apartment. It was something you had become used to. Without him around everything seemed very cold and lonely around you. Little did you realize how much you needed him to come home safe all the time until things like this happened. Not hearing his muttering to creatures you couldn't see nor the quiet sound of his sock feet pacing around outside your door like a guard, made you uneasy. His mere presence in your apartment was more than enough to make it a home and when he left, it felt like just a space that you had no connection to.
Despite realizing the fact that he was important to your life, you always expected him to come home. He always had. He always would.
--The Next Morning
You woke to what sounded like your alarm but was actually your phone. Groggily wondering who in the world was calling you so early in the morning, you picked it up.
"Hello?" you greeted, a yawn breaking it slightly.
"Hello, I'm calling on behalf of Sargent Arthur Kirkland."
At this you started to panic. What did this person mean? On behalf of Arthur? Did something happen to him?
"Ma'am, I've been asked to inform you that Mr. Kirkland was involved in an accident last night and that he has requested you to come and see him as soon as you can at the hospital-" before the person on the other end could get anything else out, you hung up.
Normally, you wouldn't have, but you felt panic, stronger than any you had felt before, rise inside you. It was unlike any other feeling you had ever experienced. Your heart felt like it was being crushed by invisible hands and your stomach was being twisted and jostled. Nothing in your mind made sense except for the simple phrase, 'Go to him'. It was such a strong thought that it was the only one that you could hear. Just barely changing into something suitable for being out in public you rushed out the door. The hospital was one bus ride away from your apartment and you managed to catch it.
It was amazing how slow the bus seemed now that you wanted to get somewhere. Usually you wouldn't mind. Now though, it felt as if the bus driver was purposely trying to drive slowly. You fought back the urge to yell at him to go faster as all it would get you would be strange looks. After an eternity the bus stopped a block away from the hospital.
Not being the least bit polite, you rushed out of the bus and ran down the street. Upon entering the hospital you saw him. Arthur. He was standing with the support of crutches and lacked a shirt. There were bandages around most of his torso and both his arms. A cast encased his left calve and foot. When he turned to see you the purple bruises on his face were in striking contrast to his skin. Even so, he smiled at you.
"_____. I'm glad you could make it. Good morning," he greeted as if there was nothing wrong.
You rushed over to him, forcing yourself not to hug him. In a kind of compromise you reached out carefully and stroked his cheek, being careful around the bruises. His smile faded a little and his hand came up. It brushed against your cheek, smearing something cold across it. Only then did you realize you were crying. He didn't say anything, neither did you. There needn't anything be said. Bringing you close to him he embraced you to the best of his abilities. You returned it just as gently despite your need to cling to him and break down into sobs. Light sobs shook your shoulders. He cooed to you as he petted your hair.
"_____..." he said quietly. You hummed, not trusting your voice. "I
I like you _____.... Will you go out with me?" You froze up. "I know that my job is stressful for more than just me and things like this could happen more often but I really just want to be with you. To be able to come home to a place where I get to see the sun 24/7 in your smile makes staying alive all the more easier and doing my job right, all the more rewarding. I accept that you may say no but-" you cut him off.
Pulling away you looked at him critically. "Took you long enough," you said with a smile through your tears. You gave him a light peck on the lips. "Let's go home."