The song quietly played, making the room a bit smaller, a little bit less scary. I had accepted the medecine. After months of denying, I finally had accepted taking them, days after the doctor told me the whole story of the car accident. But now they were just lying on the little table next to my bed, and I stared at the pills, wondering what would happen if I took them. Would I be happier? Would I forget Charlotte? Would I forget the fact that I was the only one who had survived, and three other people had to die?
I heard steps in front of my room, walking up and down nervously. Wondering who it was was too exhausting right now though - and as the door opened just seconds afterwards, I saw the person who I last expected to see. I stared at him, my mouth wide open, forgetting everything else. He was here.
"Hey, Lauren.", Louis said, the same tone in his voice as I had when I opened my mouth these days, "Is it okay if I’m here? I can leave, I don’t…"
I shook my head, telling him he should stay. Louis smiled, but it was soon washed away. He took a chair and placed it right next to my bed, our faces on the same hight. I looked into his eyes, they were red and swollen, and some weird kind of empty that I had never seen before.
Louis sat in silence for a while, not taking off his gaze from me. He seemed to soak in every bit of me, my hair that a nurse had washed me this morning, or my favourite pyjamas from home that my Mum and helped me get into. I couldn’t do anything on my own these days, but the doctor had told my parents several times it was normal. But I knew I wasn’t normal. I’m crazy.
"You know how much it hurts seeing you here?", Louis suddenly said. He took a deep breath and continued: "What if you had died? Maybe on day I would’ve driven to your home again to see you, and you just wouldn’t be there anymore? I would’ve never known that you died."
A single tear ran down Louis’ cheek, and I streched my finger to wipe it away, gently brushing his skin. As I moved my hand away again, he took it into his, pressing it so hard that it hurt.
"But you’re alive. You live Lauren. Instead of appreciating it, your still here, you gave up, Lauren."
I took my hand away and turned to the other side, not wanting to listen to what Louis had to say anymore, but he almost violently turned me around again so that I had to face him. Then, in an surprisingly soft voice, he told me to listen to him, just for this time.
"When I’m standing on stage, singing, it’s what I’m meant to do, and I know that in that moment, when my solo comes on and the crowd starts to cheer louder. That feeling I get, I can’t describe it, it’s the best I’ve ever felt. Music gives me something, something that nothing else can replace, it’s what I need in my life, singing, performing, it’s my destiny. The bright lights that shine on you, the flashes of the cameras, all of that, it’s so, so beautiful."
I heard what Louis said, and I believed him, he had always been passionate about music. To me personally music wise, One Direction weren’t enough for him, but he was happy with it, and that’s what counted.
"But, Lauren, what made you feel this way? What made you happier than anything else?", Louis said and moved closer to me, "You don’t know it yet. You haven’t found out what you’re meant to do, but that’s what life is about - reaching that point where you know exactly what you’re supposed to do. You won’t if you stay in this hospital, but I promise you, you’ll find out after you’re out of here. You’re life will make sense."
I didn’t say anything, even though I wanted to, I wanted to talk to Louis, but I didn’t. His words had scared me, in a good way. Maybe everyone around me was right, and I could really change my life? Maybe I’d really feel better.
"The last months were hell for me. I missed you. But you know what, I’m able to take it, I’m able to let go of you, but only if I know you’re happy, that’s what kept me away from you the last four months. I thought you were happier like this, but you’re here, and you’re sad, and I won’t accept that. I need to know that you’re fine before I leave."
"Don’t go yet.", I managed to whisper and took Louis’ hand in mine, squeezing it tightly. The song that had played had long ended by now, and I stared at the pills. The doctor had explained me carefully that it would take about a month for them to really work, but that if I took them, I’d feel better every day, and with every pill I took everything will seem brighter and not so bad. "Charlotte died.", I whispered again, and Louis sighed next to me.
"I’m really sorry for your loss."
After that I lied next to Louis in silence, still holding his hand. Four months ago I could never have imagined me doing this again, but things were different now. When I lost Charlotte, a part of me died, and I knew I would never get it back. In my sleep, I relived the accident almost every night - how Jonathan screamed, how Charlotte tried to save us and then, how I felt strong arms carrying me out of the car wreck and the short glimpse I got of Charlotte lying on the floor, blood coming out of her mouth. Those are images no pills are gonna make me forget.
"Is there a wheelchair in this room?", Louis suddenly asked and looked around to find one behind the door. Without even asking me, he lifted me from the bed and sat me in the wheelchair, making his way to the hall. I guessed he knew that I was too weak to walk on my own, so he pushed me through the hospital, into the elevator and out of the building. The second I was outside and breathed the fresh air, the sun hit the bare skin of my arms and shoulders. I hadn’t been outside for almost two months, and right now, as I felt a refreshing breeze hit my face I had no idea why. The hospital ground was beautifully arranged, lots of flowers and I heard water flowing from somewhere.
Water … I had always loved swimming, and I also loved the hot summer rain, and even rain on cold days in autumn and spring. I had forgotten how nice it was to hear the sound of rain drops hitting the roof above you as you sit under a shed on a field. I did this once with Louis, and it was the most romantic and beautiful night ever.
This was such a change from my hospital room - my parents hadn’t dared to make me go outside recently, and I was thankful for Louis to be this brave. Even now, when my head wasn’t very clear, I saw the looks people, especially young ones, gave Louis. They must have recognized him, but noone dared to come close to him or even ask him for a photo. I guess they still had a bit of respect towards him, and even if they waited outside the boys’ homes or harrassed any girl they hung out with on twitter, they knew not to cross this line, and I was very thankful for that.
Louis was silent, letting the feeling of being outside sink in. The air was different, it smelled of summer and flowers. Louis pushed me through the park, and I tried to take in every bit of nature there was. The birds in the trees, a bright yellow butterfly, even the humming of the bees that I used to hate - it all seemed to peaceful, so happy out here. In my hospital room I was constantly reminded that there were people dying in the same building I was in, that there were children suffering, but outside, that was washed away. For the first time in months I enjoyed myself. And when I finally saw where the sound of flooding water came from, a big fountain in the middle of the park, a small smile played around my lips. Louis knew exactly what to do, he didn’t say anything but drove me close enough to the fountain so that I could rest my hand in the cold water. For a few minutes I just sat there, the smile still on my face, fading away only slowly. I loved this moment. I wished it would never end.
“Thank you, Louis. And sorry .. That your last few months were horrible.”, I said, this time not whispering, not hesitating, I said it loud and clearly, and even though the sound of my voice like that scared me a little bit, it was okay. It was good.
I looked back at him, standing closely behind me. My gaze went down a little bit and I saw him holding a package of my medecine in his hands, slowly lifting it and putting it in my own hands.
Even slower I opened it, took two pills, the amound my doctor had told me to take, out and rested them in my hand for a while. It wouldn’t be hard to swallow them, they were quite big but sleek. I took them in my mouth and laid them on my tongue while I formed my hands to build a cup and took some water from the fountain, drinking it eagerly until the pills were down.
I let out a sigh of relief, and stared at the forrest behind the fountain. I would really love to go there soon. Hear more animals, see a few squirrels. Maybe Louis would take me there.