The Accident

Chapter 3

“Oh man, I feel like crap,” I thought, sitting up slowly. Ryan was standing at the foot of my bed, it was night-time and my parents had apparently left. I put my hand out in his direction; he took it and held on tight. “Ryan,” I said, “Listen, I’m sorry about earlier. My mom and dad, they’re… I’m not sure what they are, but just know that whatever they may have said or done, I still want to be with you. I don’t care if I’m deaf for the rest of my life, I don’t care if my parents blame you, I don’t even care if you blame you! Do you know what I’m getting at?”
He nods. “Okay… Good…” Whoa, what an awkward silence… But then again, now that I’m deaf, everything’s an awkward silence. I put up my left hand to show all of my fingers and make a fist with my right hand, sticking my little finger out. “Awkward turkey,” I mumble. I can see him laughing. He reaches onto my side table and hands me a square package wrapped in red wrapping paper. It’s got a card on it, oops, upside down. “Oh God,” I breathe, reading the card. “Happy Anniversary, my angel! Love you lots, Ryan.” I look up at him, tears in my eyes, “How long has it been?” He holds up 6 fingers. “6 months?” He nods, smiling. I take off the card in order to pull off the wrapping paper. As I’m doing this, Ryan’s big blue eyes are on me, waiting to see my reaction. A little velvet box. I look up at him, speechless. “Open it,” I see him mouth. I open the delicate box. In it is a small silver locket with a picture of us in it. “Ryan,” I whisper, “it’s beautiful. Thank you. I-I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything. But, under the circumstances…” He takes my hand and kisses it.
Ryan reaches over to grab the note pad and pen, “The doctor says she’ll run the hearing tests in a couple hours. She hasn’t told your parents yet- she said that you should decide whether you want them there or not, what with the way they reacted earlier,” he wrote.
“Uh,” I said, “geez, that’s a huge decision to put on my shoulders.” He nods. “I mean, how do I decide between my parents and my boyfriend?” He shrugs. “Oh man. Where’s Dr. Chen?” I ask. He shrugs again. “Can you maybe go get her? I want to talk to her.” He shrugs and leaves the room. In my mind I can see my parents’ faces, angry that they couldn’t be with me during the tests because I didn’t want them there. Then I see Ryan’s face, sad that I didn’t trust him enough to let him come into the test room. What am I supposed to do? Dr. Chen walks into the room.
“Doctor,” I say, “I’ve heard about the decision I’m supposed to make.” She nods.
“Well, I think I’ve made my decision,” I say. She nods again, sitting down at the end of the hospital bed. She motions for me to continue.
“I, uh, I don’t want either of them there.” I gush. “I want my best friend to be there- here- with me in the room, or whatever, when you do the tests. We’ve been through everything together,” I say hastily, seeing the expression on her face, “she’s more like a sister to me than a friend. Please.” Dr. Chen hands me a piece of paper and pen. It says, “What’s her name and telephone number? We’ll call her, but only if you’re absolutely certain that this is what you want.”
“It’s-“ she stops me and motions towards the pen and paper. “Oh, of course.” I write, “Kerry Stuart. 072 593 7502.”
“Please call her,” I say “I want her there.” Dr. Chen nods and leaves the room. “Wait, Doctor!” I say, just as she gets to the door, “Can you please tell Ryan? I don’t want to have to tell him. Tell him that I didn’t want to have to choose between him and my parents so I just- um- I just removed the variables and yeah… Could you tell him that please?” Dr. Chen nods and hands me a piece of paper.
“I’ll tell him everything he needs to know, and I won’t bother your parents- don’t worry. Try to get some more sleep, I’ll come wake you up when this friend of yours, Kerry, arrives.”
“Thanks so much Doctor,” I said, and with that I put my head back on my pillow and fell asleep almost immediately.