Every Mistake That I Make

Chapter Twenty

“I bought you nuts!” Anya beamed as she burst into Dallas’ hospital room. Dallas was reading a magazine in bed, and was alone.

Anya waved the small blue packet in the air and dropped them down on the bed. Dallas pulled her feet away from them as if they held a contagious disease.

“Nuts are the reason she’s in this place,” Gerard said with a roll of his eyes, coming in behind Anya with Bob and Frank. Dallas closed the magazine and threw it onto the cluttered bedside table, nearly knocking over an empty cup.

“Kendra can eat them then,” Anya shrugged, unconcerned. She climbed onto the bed and sat there, legs crossed and grinning at Dallas. Then her smile faded.

“What the hell happened, Dallas?”

“I drank some amaretto and it triggered an allergic reaction.”

“Yes, I know,” Anya said slowly, “but why did you drink it? What the hell posessed you?”

“I didn’t realise amaretto had any traces of nuts in,” Dallas replied.

“No, I mean why were you drinking in the first place?”

“We drink all the time at parties,” Dallas reminded her.

Anya sighed heavily. “That is not the point. Have you spoken to Mikey yet?” she added.

Dallas moved around uncomfortably. “Well ... yeah ... He’s already visited a few times ...”

“And you let him?” Anya’s eyes widened. “We’re not speaking to him,” she announced.

“No, you’re not speaking to him,” Frank interrupted. “I reckon that if you’ve forgiven him for giving you a black eye then that’s good enough for me.”

“He didn’t give me a black eye.”

“You get what I mean.”

“He shouldn’t have hit me, but he didn’t mean it,” Dallas said. “Gerard, Bob – what d’you think?”

“Me and Mikey are okayish now,” Gerard replied.

“I’m not really bothered,” Bob shrugged. “He shouldn’t have hit you...but he’s really sorry for it.”

“He is too. He’s really, really sorry,” Dallas said earnestly, “he’s said it all the times he’s come here.”

“He’s an arse,” Anya muttered darkly.

Dallas ignored her. “Anyway ... how are you lot?”

There was a rush of voices. Eventually, they all settled down and began to speak one by one. Dallas listened carefully.

“Has your dad been here yet?” Frank asked.

“Yeah, but he’s gone back now.” Dallas made a noise in the back of her throat, an annoyed noise. “I guess his job is just more important.”

“Dall, I’m sure it’s not that,” Gerard said.

“No, it’s exactly that,” Dallas scowled at the ceiling. “He didn’t even speak to me properly. He said hello, then he found out all the details from my doctor, then he went to the cafeteria to send off some crappy emails to his company, then he came up, said goodbye to all of us, and went. He’s not even phoned to see how I am.”

“That sucks.”

“Tell me about it.”

Dallas changed the subject quickly.

“What’s going on with Rachael? I know she and Mikey are still together, he told me.”

“She’s still a bitch,” Anya shrugged. “She’s always having a go at us now, every chance she gets ...”

“What’re her opinions on ... well, me being in hospital?”

“She ... well. I think she’s a bit pissed off that everyone’s talking about you and not her.”

“Everyone’s talking about ... me?” Dallas’ eyes widened in horror at the thought of this.

“Well, yeah,” Anya said with a roll of her eyes. “Of course they are. But, the good thing is, no one really likes Dallas anymore. It’s the way she’s been with people, and stuff, she’s really losing her popularity.”

Dallas’ brow was furrowed. “Because of this thing with Mikey and Gerard?”

“No, because of this thing with you. They all know it’s all down to her that Mikey ended up smacking you so you ended up getting drunk on a drink that you’re allergic to,” Anya said with a shrug.

“Why are people bothered about that?”

“Duh, people like you.” Anya rolled her eyes, and then looked at her watch. “I think I’d better be going,” she announced, “I told my mum I’d baby-sit next door’s kid.” She hugged Dallas tightly, and looked imploringly at Bob. “Can you give me a lift?”

Bob nodded, and Anya hugged everyone once more. Frank then stood up. “I’d better go now, too,” he said apologetically, swooping down to peck Dallas on the cheek before following Anya and Bob out of the door.

“Oh, yeah, leave me to walk home!” Gerard shouted after them, and Frank shouted something indecipherable back. Gerard rolled his eyes, and then looked at Dallas seriously.

“How are you?” he said.

“I’m fine. I’ll be out of here in a few days –”

“I’m not talking about your health, Dall, although that is something I’m concerned about ... I’m talking about how you feel about Mikey.”

“I don’t get what you mean.”

“Dallas, I’m not stupid. You like Mikey, don’t you?” Dallas frowned at him.

“Well, yeah, he’s my best –” Gerard interrupted her once more.

“No, I mean, you like him.”

Dallas felt her face flush red and felt very hot. “N-no.”

Gerard didn’t look convinced. “You do,” he said firmly.

Dallas pulled a face. “And what if I do?”

“Then, there’s nothing I can do, is there? I just want you to be careful. He’s going out with Rachael Leone, and whether or not her popularity is going, you might wind up back in here if you cross her.”

“I’m not planning on –”

“Hi Dal – oh, hey Gerard.” Mikey was stood in the doorway, looking slightly uncomfortable.

Gerard was watching Dallas. “Hi, Mikey. Dallas ... I’ll see you.” He leant across the bed and kissed Dallas’ forehead before sweeping out of the room.

Mikey walked in and dropped into the seat Gerard had just vacated, and smiled at Dallas.

“Hey,” he said quietly.