Noah’s Point of View
No this can’t be happening; I don’t understand why she’s not breathing! Please don’t die on me Riley, I can’t lose you; not like this!
I carried her out of the apartment and into the parking lot. Her entire body was just dead weight; a couple of times I almost dropped her. My vision was just so blurry from the constant tears that were pouring from my eyes. Dang it Noah, stop crying! You haft to get her to the hospital!
I put her into my car as quickly as I possibly could; gently resting her head against the window. I ran around to the driver side nearly falling over myself as I jumped into the car. I sped down the road as fast as my car would take me. Screw the speed limit! Riley could die!
“Just hold on Riley. Please don’t die. Please.”
Once at the hospital I picked Riley up and laid her over my shoulder. I ran through the double doors, tears still flowing and my eyes beat red.
“PLEASE someone help us! She’s not breathing!” I begged, struggling to keep my balance.
The nurse jumped up from her seat and gasped, “What happened to her?!”
I shook my head, “I don’t know!! She just stopped breathing, you haft to help her!”
She nodded her head rapidly then grabbed a phone off the wall and pressed a button. The loud speakers turned on and her voice could be heard all throughout the different hallways.
“Dr. Jonas we have an emergency in the east entrance. We need a gurney and an Oxygen concentrator stat!”
The doctor was there faster than I could blink twice!! The nurse and doctor grabbed Riley from my arms and placed her onto the gurney. They started up the oxygen machine then the Doctor began wheeling her away at lightning speed! Wait a minute; they can’t just leave me here! I haft to be with her!!
“No wait!” I shouted, “I haft to make sure she’s okay, I want to go with her! Where are they taking her??”
The nurse shook her head, “You haft to stay here, Sir. She’s being escorted into the ER. She’s in good hands now.”
“Like heck she is!” I spat, “What if she dies and I’m not there! I promised to always be there for her!”
She sighed loudly, “Please sir-“
“It’s Noah! Stop calling me that.”
“Noah… please. Just have a seat. They’re going to do the best they can.”
Take a seat? Yeah why don’t you just take a seat! The only girl I ever loved isn’t breathing and she expects me to just stay calm!? Screw her! She’s just acting this way because it isn’t someone she cares about back there. Oh Riley… please pull through. Please don’t die on me. I don’t know what I would do without you; you mean the world to me.
For the first hour I just stood by the double doors she was taken through. I prayed under my breath for her safety. I begged god to spare her life. I would rather die than to haft to sit back and watch her life be taken away. I just can’t picture a world without her in it.
After I just couldn’t take standing there any longer I started to pace. I walked back and forth for hours on end. I could tell that it was bothering the other people in the waiting room but honestly I didn’t give a crap. Right now the only thing that mattered to me was Riley coming through alright. The freaking doctors don’t even make it easy on you either. They make you wait for hours on end with not even as much as a heads up to what’s happening. She could be lying in a soft bed watching TV right now and I wouldn’t even know it. Do they just find some sort of pleasure in making people wait so long?!
I guess you could say that after a while my feet just gave out on me. They were so sore from standing for so long that I had no other choice then to finally sit down. I didn’t want to give in to that nurse and just chill, but I’m only human. There is only so much I can take before I’m worn down to nothing.
The man across from me scoffed, “It’s about time!! If you wouldn’t have sat down in the next 30 seconds, I was seriously going to make you sit. You were driving me freaking CRAZY!”
Oh. OH I know he didn’t just say that! The moron!
I snapped back, “Screw you!”
“No SCREW YOU! I’ve been in this waiting room for 5 hours and the entire time you’ve been driving me through the freaking WALL! Just sit in the freaking chair! You walking around isn’t going to bring your little skank out any faster!”
I jumped up, “Don’t you DARE talk about her that way! You don’t know what I’m going through! Just shut your freaking mouth!” I raged!
“Just sit down.” he scoffed, “You’re not the only one in this room with someone back there!”
“No I won’t sit down! I’m allowed to walk around as much as I WANT! Who are you to tell me what to do and talk trash about my girlfriend! I mean- Ugh, just shut up!”
That got the man angry and he jumped up as well. Like I give a crap though! I don’t know who this guy thinks he is! So what if I was pacing; I’m nervous! I’m sorry I’m being a human!
He jabbed a finger in my chest, “If you don’t sit back down you’re going to regret it. I’ll make you eat that crap that’s coming out of your mouth!”
I shoved at him, “I’d like to see you try! You’re just a punk!”
It was when the man gripped me up by my hoodie that the nurse decided to intervene. She came between the two of us and shoved us away from one another. I was so pissed off and upset, I seriously believe if she hadn’t broke us up I would have beat the crap out of that guy.
“You two need to knock it off!” she shouted, “This is a hospital for god’s sake, there are sick people and doctors in surgery as we speak! I don’t need you two disturbing any of them!!”
The man shouted, “Then you better make him sit down and stop annoying everyone with his freaking pacing!”
She sighed, “Sir, he’s allowed to walk around as he pleases. If it bothers you then please wait somewhere else until he’s finished.”
He scoffed, “But that’s-“
“Sir please! I don’t need any more arguments. I don’t want to haft to call security. Please don’t make me do that.”
He scoffed again and the charged out of the waiting room. Thank GOD!
The nurse turned to me and sighed, “Please don’t cause any more problems, alright? I’m sorry about your girlfriend, but you haft to be mindful of the people around you. I don’t mind if you walk around but please try not to upset anyone else, okay?”
I nodded my head in agreement. She was about to walk back to her desk but I didn’t let her. I grabbed her by the arm and told her to stop.
She raised a brow,”Yes?”
I started to cry again. Crap, I wish I could stop all these freaking waterworks! I look like a total train wreck.
“Can you please tell me what’s going on with Riley? I’m begging you. I haven’t heard any news of how she is doing. Please, I just haft to know! It’s eating me up inside!”
She shook her head, “I know as much as you do; I’m sorry. The only thing I can tell you is to have a seat and wait for the doctor.”
AGAIN with the seats! I don’t want to sit! I just want to know if Riley is-
“Noah Terrey?” I shot around to face him, “Come with me please.”
I didn’t even let it sink in. As soon as he said that I just nodded then quickly followed after him. This was it. He was either going to give me good news or god forbid…bad news.
He brought me through a long strand of different hallways. I felt like I was going through a maze that would never end! After a while though, we came to a room near the end of this one hallway. He looked at me for a second then told me that this was the room.
We both walked into it together.
The first thing I noticed was the heart monitor next to the bed. It was beeping at a slow and natural pace. I looked down at Riley and I could see her stomach rise and fall as she breathed. She was breathing! Oh god, my Riley is okay!
The doctor turned to me, “She’s stable, but she hasn’t woken up yet. It may be a few days before she actually comes around. Just let me know if she wakes up before then.”
I nodded my head and then thanked the doctor. He left the room but I just continued to stand there and stare at her. She’s actually alive. My Riley is actually… alive.
After another minute I crept over to her bedside and turned her gently onto her back. Her eyes remained closed, but her breathing was stronger than ever. That’s all I cared about. Just as long as her heart was beating and her lungs were working.
I leaned closer to her, inches away from her face, I whispered, “I love you Riley. I’m going to wait by your bedside every day until you wake up. I promised I would protect you and I intend to keep that promise.”
I placed a kiss on her forehead before I pulled up a chair and started the wait. I didn’t care how long it would take. I was going to make sure I was here when she opened her eyes.
I made sure to wait by her bedside each and every day. Even though I couldn’t be there the entire day because of work, I was still there the second my boss told me I could go home. Each day that I’d come I would bring a new gift to place in her room. I thought it would be nice for her to wake up to balloons and little stuffed animals. It might make the situation seem less depressing.
Work let out an hour early today which made me super ecstatic! That just meant that I got an extra hour to spend with Riley. So after finishing up some stupid reports I was working on, I headed over to the hospital. Before I went to her room I had to stop by the gift shop and get her a little bunny rabbit; just another gift to add to her ever growing collection. After buying the gift I walked the long maze to her room. When I walked into her room, the biggest surprise was waiting for me; grin and all!
The shock caused my eyes to go wide and my grip around the teddy to loosen. Oh my god! Riley was awake!
“R-riley!?” I blurted out, “You’re awake!! Doctor she’s awake! Hurry get in-“
She laughed slightly, “I’ve been awake for quite a few hours now.”
What?! Why didn’t anyone tell me?? I quickly pulled out my phone and that’s when I realized I had it on silent with 4 missed calls; all from the hospital. Crap, not my brightest move.
I pulled up a chair next to her bedside, “Riley, I’m so sorry. I was at work and it’s a force of habit for me to keep my phone on silent. I was so swamped I didn’t get the chance to check my calls.”
She sighed, “Noah, it’s really okay. I’m just surprised you showed up at all.”
I stared at her puzzled, “Why would you be surprised?”
She looked away from me, “Because of how I blamed you for everything. I thought you would be mad at me.”
“Never.” I stated, “I could never stay mad at you. I care too much for you to let something like that get me upset.”
“Even after you found out? You still care for me?” she questioned.
Huh? Found out what?
“Riley I don’t know what you’re talking about. What am I supposed to find out?”
“You mean you didn’t ask what was wrong. You never once questioned what happened to me?”
Huh, now that I think about it… no I never did ask. I guess I was just so caught up in being with her and making sure she was alright, it just completely slipped my mind.
“No.” I replied, “I never asked about it. It never really crossed my mind. I was more concerned about you waking up then what actually happened. Wait, what did happen?”
Okay now that she put it like that, I’m getting a little worried.
“Noah, today when I questioned the doctor he told me they ran a test called EIA and it detected an HCV antibody.” she sighed, not even looking me in the face.
“What does that mean??” I gulped.
She sighed, “It means my liver is in really bad condition. The doctor said that I have cirrhosis. They aren’t sure if starting me on treatment will help any but they are still going to try.”
I jumped up from my seat. My heart started beating faster and my nerves were off the charts. Cirrhosis?! Bad liver?! NO. No way.
I sputtered out, “What happens if the treatment doesn’t work!? Does that mean you just- No, I refuse to believe this!” I tried my hardest to hold back my tears. I didn’t want her to see me cry.
She stood up slowly, tears trickling down her cheeks, “Noah, please don’t get upset.”
“Don’t get upset?!” my voice grew louder, “How can you not expect me to get upset!? You just told me that your liver is failing as we speak, what the heck am I supposed to do- ACCEPT THAT?! What the freak even made this happen!?”
Okay I was beyond just a little upset now. I wasn’t trying to scream at her, I was just so afraid. I didn’t know how else to express myself. I wasn’t mad at her, just mad that I couldn’t do anything to make it better! GOD, I just got her back! She was FINE!
Her eyes started to pour more tears, “It’s all my fault this happened!! It was because I was so hurt from everything I been through that somewhere down the line, some street drug must of infected me!”
Oh god, now I feel like a total jerk. I’m not doing anything but making her feel worse. She already tried to kill herself many times for her rotten past and now I’m just throwing that back in her face. God, I’m an idiot! I don’t need to be yelling at her, I need to be comforting her. I can’t even begin to imagine how she must feel.
“Riley, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. Please don’t blame yourself for this. It’s not your fault.” I spoke softly.
“No it is my fault. Don’t sugar coat it for me. I lived that life, I brought this on myself. Years of doing what I did, it’s lucky I lived to be 23.” she sniffled, “I think you should leave now. I’ve brought you through enough of my problems. It was a mistake ever agreeing to live with you. I told you from the start you don’t deserve me!”
I shook my head, “Riley don’t say that! I do deserve you, I love you so much. I could never picture myself with anyone else. I’ll help you get through this, I swear. I’ll take you to get all your treatments; I’ll stay with you whenever you feel pain. I’ll do whatever I can to make sure that you get better. Please, just let me help you. I love you.”
“NO!” she shouted, “Don’t love me! Don’t care for me! Anyone that ever comes into my life always winds up hurt. Just spare yourself now and just leave me alone. When I get out of this hospital I’m going to find a place somewhere else to live. I’ve put you through enough.”
I frowned, “I just want you to know that no matter what you do, or where you go, I’ll never stop loving you. I’ve tried 100 times and each time I still felt the same way. I just want you to know that.”
She clenched her fist, tears pouring from her eyes, “JUST GET OUT! I told you I don’t want you!”
Just get out! I don’t want you! Her words ran through my mind over and over again. I’m completely serious when I say that those words hurt worse than being shot in the hip. It’s all my fault that she doesn’t want to be with me. I had to open my fat mouth and that’s what brought up all that pain again. My freaking temper always gets me into trouble! Darn it! If I just would have comforted her maybe she wouldn’t have gotten upset. I could be with her right now and everything would be alright.
None of that matters now. She hates me and that’s never going to change. No matter how much I tell her I love her she’s never going to see it any differently. She thinks she’s worthless because of this and it’s my fault. If only she really knew how important she is to me; how much I truly love her. I don’t care about some stupid sickness! I just want to be with her, to help her get through this. Now she’s going to do it alone. I’m such an IDIOT!
I didn’t even know where I was going. I just kept walking to see where I would wind up. I guess it was something drawling me there because after walking for about an hour, I wound up in front of a club. Yeah that’s just what I need, a bunch of alcohol. I’m just going to drown away my sorrows like every other wuss.
I don’t even know how many drinks I had. All I know was that once one was empty I told the bartender I wanted another and another. I didn’t give a crap if the stuff killed me. What do I need to live for now? My purpose in life hates my guts.
A man sat down next to me and glanced at me for a few seconds. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out I was completely hammered. I kept swaying in my stool and I couldn’t even figure out how to get the glass to my mouth after a while.
The man looked at the bartender, “Yeah I’ll just have a sprite.”
He came to a club for a sprite? Hah, that’s a laugh!
Yeah I know I’m a moron, but I couldn’t control anything I did or said. So what ever happened to come out of my mouth… wasn’t exactly my fault.
I laughed, “What are yah a pussy? Gotta have soda, not man enough fer a real drink? Ha ha.”
He just glared at me but didn’t say anything.
“Hey I’m talking to y-y-you.” I slurred, “Oh that’s right, not man enough to stand up for himself neither. I forgot.”
I stumbled out of my seat, nearly falling over. I stood next to the man and tried my best to focus my eyes onto him. The room just seemed like it was spinning around me, I could barely look at anything without seeing double of it. Jeez, I seriously had way too much.
“Yer sucha waste.” I hiccupped, “I bet I could beat you up with both hands tied behind my back!”
When I said that I got a wide-eyed look from the bartender. I was seriously messing with the wrong guy and he knew it. You think they would of stopped me, but let’s face it… they wanted to see the crap get beat out of me.
“I’d watch my mouth if I were you.” he growled.
“Yeah and you can kiss my butt.” I laughed, stumbling forward.
He grabbed me by my shoulder and spun me around to face him. He had a nasty scowl on his face and his eyes were shooting daggers. Yeah, I really had him pissed.
“You want to repeat that?!” he shouted.
“What are you deaf??” I laughed louder, “I said: KISS. MY. BUTT!”
OW, OW, OW! OH GOD, he broke my nose!! It only took that one swing too!
“Yeah you don’t have a lot to say now, do you?!” he shouted taking another swing. That one knocked me flat on my back. You’d think he’d let up but he didn’t! All this guy was seeing was red!
He had me pinned against the floor and he just continued to beat the crap out of my face. He didn’t even care that my nose was broken, he punched it a few more times just to hear me scream in agony.
“Where’s all your crap talk, eh?!” he shouted, punching me again.
The bartender ignored the fight and some people around us gasped at the sight of it. Wow, would someone please get this guy off me?!! Jeez, what is wrong with people?
“Please…” I coughed up blood, “I’m s-sorry.”
It was only by some miracle that my boss happened to walk through the door.
“Oi!” Mr. Hemming shouted, “Get off of him! That’s enough!”
The man threw me down, and then spat on my face.
He laughed, “Here, he’s all yours.”
I laid there for a moment trying to make the pain calm down. My entire face was throbbing and I could taste blood on my lips. My nose was bleeding, my mouth was bleeding, my nose was broken, and I’m pretty sure a couple of my teeth were lose. Lesson learned… don’t drink when angry.
Mr. Hemming walked over to me and nudged my foot with his own.
“Come on, get off the ground.” he sighed.
Out of all people why did it haft to be my boss?
I slowly picked myself up off the ground, trying my best to not keel over. Even though I got a little sobered up, I was still pretty drunk.
Before I even had the chance to say two words my boss was already down my throat.
“Noah what the heck?!” he boomed, “I come out for a nice evening and I find my employee wasted and getting the snot beat out of him! What in the world did you do?”
I wiped my nose on my wrist, “I dunno, just said stuff.”
He sighed loudly, rubbing his temples, “Boy, you need to think before you speak. Actions like this can get you in some serious trouble!”
Oh god, what does that mean?!
I got closer to his face, “You’re going to fire me?!”
He shook his head, pressing me back a bit, “No, I’m not firing you, calm down.” he growled, “You know you’re lucky I showed up when I did? He could have seriously killed you!”
I lowered my head in shame, “Yeah I know.”
He sighed again, “Come on kid; get in my car… I’m taking you home.”
Riley’s Point of View
I was in the hospital for about 4 days and I hated every moment of it. They kept poking me and hooking me up to all kinds of machines. They were certain that if I got this treatment done consistently for 6 months that I would pull through. I wanted to believe them, but nothing good ever comes out of my life. Sure enough they’re going to come to me one day and tell me even more bad news. That’s why I had to get rid of Noah. If- If I just tell him I hate him, then maybe he’ll leave me alone. He won’t have to suffer as much if I don’t make it. I know I’ve never said it out loud but I can’t help but… but love him too. I was scared after I slept with him because of how much that increased my feelings for him. I never wanted to get so close to someone again to only have them ripped away. When I awoke in that hospital bed it was my main goal to tell Noah how I felt… until the doctor told me the bad news. I just can’t put him through this. He needs to get over me now so it will hurt less if I don’t… make it.
“Riley, you’re making such good progress and it’s barely been a week! I know it looked bad but at this rate you may just get over this.” he smiled, “So are you ready for today’s treatment?”
I just nodded my head and sighed, “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
He walked me over to the chair and I sat down. He pressed the IV carefully into my arm and then attached the bag filled with pegylated interferon alfa – or PIA for short – to it and the medication started slowly going into my body. It always felt so weird to have something forced into me. I wish taking the Ribavirin capsules was enough. It’s easy to take a pill; it’s not so easy to be injected. The doctor told me that most HCV patients get treated every day at first, then as time progresses it goes down to just once per week. I seriously can’t wait for that to happen. I hate these stupid treatments.
“Alright you’re good to go.” he smiled once more, “Now while that is flowing, I’m just going to look over your latest test to see how they came out. The nurse did them yesterday, correct?”
I nodded my head.
I just watched as he read through my file, his eyes scanned it so fast I couldn’t even understand how he was even reading it!
“What?” he exclaimed under his breath, “This doesn’t make any sense; how could I have missed this?”
I stared at him, “Something wrong?”
He shot around to face me, “We haft to stop these test.”
I just looked at him like he was nuts! What did he mean we had to stop? I don’t understand! I thought these were supposed to be helping me.
My eyes widened, “W-why?”
“Your last blood test has high levels of HCG.” he explained.
“HCG, what’s that??” I gulped, my stomach churned from being so nervous. Please don’t tell me they found something worse…
“I don’t know how to say this, but… you’re pregnant.”
Thanks for reading! So now we know the truth behind what happened to Riley and why she wasn’t breathing. A symptom of severe HCV gives terrible abdominal pain which can lead to lack of breath or to stop completely. HCV or Hepatitis C is a very serious matter and it’s usually transferred by blood-to-blood contact, eg. an open wound is infected by someone else with an open cut who has HCV. Another way, which Riley had, was from an unsanitary syringe, eg. Drug needles. I hope that makes sense! The reason they haft to stop the treatment is because the medication is unsafe for the fetus and could kill it. It will be Riley’s choice to abort the baby and continue the treatment… or let the child live and risk her own life.
Also to sum up what happened with Noah and Riley is that Riley thinks she is going to die, plain and simple. So she made Noah think she hated him so he would get over her. Truth is she actually loves him. She loves him so much it scares her. Plus Noah’s little outburst didn’t help the situation any. He really got her thinking about how much it was her fault and that made the situation worse.