After the initial shock had worn off my emotions started to catch up to me and I found myself feeling sick. Anxiety wasn't anything new to me, but I hadn't felt it this intensely in a long time. Sleeping sounded immensely unappealing, even if there was a police officer watching my room at all times. They were worried, naturally, that Demetrius might make another attempt at my life.
The unfortunate tradeoff was that Scarlet stayed away. The rest of the band came by to visit after school hours, but I'd be getting discharged at the end of the day anyway so it was more a gesture than anything.
I appreciated it even as Christian had to draw over the penis that Elias had (as always) taken the opportunity to doodle onto the brace on my arm. Sierra offered to bury the body once they got their hands on the culprit but I swiftly reminded her the police were going to hear everything she said. She got quieter afterward and mainly just hung back while the others were doing their socializing thing.
It wasn’t so much I was concerned the police would take her too seriously as much as I didn’t want to be disruptive to them or my roommate who was already complaining about there being a police presence outside my room.
The group didn’t get to stay very long before a nurse was urging them out since four people is a lot to have in my small allocated space. Mom and Mike were still tiredly waiting with me in the waiting chairs, and had slept there the past night. Mom had taken to rubbing at her temples and drinking an absurd amount of water I suspected had something to do with the lack of alcohol in her system compared to when she was at home, but I appreciated her coming with me here. In a way, it felt a lot more like home than our house had for a while, though I still yearned for my own bed and for that drugged, dehydrated, filthily sterile hospital feeling to go away.
I dozed off and woke up again when a hand nudged me a couple times and I jolted awake to find Scarlet and her brother waiting there.
Instinctively, I tried to sit up and pull more sheets around myself as I was simultaneously terrified and comfortable with them. Blacke was quiet, looking down on me almost apologetically while Scarlet fought the urge to climb onto the bed with me.
I rubbed at my face, trying to get the gross feeling off of me (I didn’t think I’d had a proper shower for a while).
“Hey,” I managed.
“I’m so sorry,” Scarlet whispered.
“I’m okay, now.” I reassured her. Mike and Mom weren’t around, probably fetching food somewhere, but we still couldn’t talk about who or why this had happened.
Scarlet shoved her head into my shoulder, very cat-like. I wanted to pet her but one hand was restrained with an IV and the other risked clubbing her with the brace I still wasn’t used to.
I caught Blacke looking unblinkingly at the floor, having a mild existential crisis.
“I feel like… there was something I wanted to tell you guys,” I said. My brain wasn’t cooperative in general but right now, it was really avoiding doing any meaningful work. There was a thin line I could traverse without panicking about vampires at the moment, a fear I hadn’t thought would get worse, not after witnessing Scarlet eat some animals and then knowing she had done the same to people on multiple occasions. And then with hunters thrown in there—
“Oh,” I remembered. “That’s right. I found the— the thing. On the internet.”
Scarlet tilted her head quizically.
“The store you were looking for the other night— the one you couldn’t find,” I looked Scarlet in the eyes as I said this, hoping she’d understand I couldn’t say it outright with the police hanging about.
But she listened in either case.
“Is there a pen and paper, somewhere?” I asked. “I’ll write down the address.”
Scarlet and Blacke shuffled between each other. And between the two of them and a few of the small amenities the hospital had provided me, they found a usable scrap of paper and a pencil.
I wrote down the town I’d found online, and even the best I could remember of the exact ‘last known location’ that had been listed. It wasn’t exact and could be out of date but it was something they could do, if they had the freedom with Demetrius in the area— I wasn’t sure how their relationship was at the moment or ever had been, but I didn’t imagine either of them would be okay with how this had affected me.
“Are you going to be okay on your own?” Scarlet asked. “We can wait to go there.” She glanced back at Blacke, who nodded in agreement.
“The popo are here. I don’t think anybody would be so bold as to attempt that kind of thing.”
“But you’ll be released tonight. Probably when we’ll be away.”
“I’ll be okay,” I reassured her. “They’re going to be on high alert for a while after this. But you know… I think they finally know I haven’t had anything to do with…” I trailed off because I was self conscious of what they would think if I said anything. It was true they’d been nicer and more polite to me about everything but I was sure there’d be more questions and probably another interrogation session as they uncovered more and more of what happened.
I wondered how I was going to handle this. I couldn’t outright lie, it had to at least be believable.
Scarlet nodded, understanding and she pushed away from the bed. “We should go,” she said. “I’m glad you’re… kinda okay.”
“I’m always kinda okay,” I told her. “Even when I’m not.”
I gave her the best of a hug as I could.
Mike had come back, looking uncertain at my new visitors, but not exactly concerned enough for me to think he suspected them of anything more than checking in on me.
“Hey,” he said, awkwardly.
“We were just leaving,” Blacke informed him.
Scarlet took the scrap of paper and shoved it in a pocket and went with him to the door, giving me a last, longing look and a shy wave before vanishing into the hallway.
Mike looked back at me, sensing my stare.
“What?” he asked, turning a bit too pink to not be furiously hiding something.
I couldn’t say, ‘you shouldn’t get involved with that one,’ without being incredibly hypocritical so instead I landed on, “don’t be weird.”
He shrugged and tossed something at me, which landed on my chest with a hollow thud. “Eat your candy.”
I found a small package of gummy worms as he slipped into the bathroom without another word.
Oh my god, it's been a while. I hate everything about job hunting. Also my snake friend is fine, he just shed and all his problems went away. (And yes it did take him like an entire month to shed this time. That can happen sometimes.) Kinda wish I could just shed all my problems away... sounds very cleansing.