Title: My Someone Else's Life
Author: talking_cookie (Tell Her This on fanfiction.net)
Rating: T for some bad language.
Genre: Drama, Humor, Romance
Summary: Elliot's niece Alyssa is sent to stay with her aunt while her parents are out of the country, while JD and Elliot try taking their relationship slowly. Please let me know what you think! :)
My Fairytale Ending
It’s been a long day.
I’m a couple of hours later than I’d normally be, but by god, am I glad to be home. When I walk into the apartment, all is silent. I glance to the wall clock, and it suddenly occurs to me that, at 8.30pm, it’s Jack’s bedtime. With a sigh, I toss my jacket on to the couch, before making my way towards Jackie boy’s room.
The room is dim when I walk into it, the lamp beside Jack’s bed the only source of dim light. Jack, clad in his favourite Ben 10 pyjamas, is tucked safely under his covers. In fact, the only way I can tell what pyjamas he’s wearing is because he has his arms resting over the covers.
“Dad!” He happily calls, his voice full of innocence.
“Hey, Jackie boy.”
Sitting beside Jack, Jordan glares at me after glancing at her watch. “What time do you call this, Perry?” she snarls. “What happened? Did you suddenly discover you have girl parts and had to stop at the doctor to get it checked out? Seriously, why are you late?”
“I’ll tell you later.”
Jordan lowers her eyebrows at me. “Okay. Well, it’s your night to tell him a story. So, you know, suck it up.”
Jordan steps away from the bed, as I lie next to Jack.
“There was once a nurse, a sur-“
“Perry!” Jordan barks. “We’ve been over this. He’s five. No hospital stories.”
Jordan rolls her eyes at me before leaving the room.
“Okay, Jackie boy, where were we…”
You remember I told you the story with the two-headed Turla, the Princess and the Village Idiot, right? Well, this story comes after that one. But there are a few things you need to know first.
A lot of things were the same in Sacred Heartia. The dark lord Oslek still put the fear of God into all the residents of Sacred Heartia. The Giant was still useless at keeping the village clean. And the Turla were still their annoying two-headed self.
But some things had changed in Sacred Heartia too.
The Princess’s niece had moved from the Kingdom of Cutconnectia to Sacred Heartia to live with her aunt. Why? Well, Jackie, The Sacred Heartia High School for future Princess’s was just thee best school in all of the land, so her parents sent her to live with her aunt so she could train there.
Oh, and remember how I told you last time about the Princess and the Village Idiot and their ‘almost kiss’? Well, since then, they had both realised their idiocy and were now a couple. And more importantly, they were going to have a baby. Where do babies come from? Jack, we talked about this. When two people love each other very much, they close their eyes and make a wish. Remember?
Anyway, that’s all you need to know for now.
The day started out like any other…
Today’s the day that I have to go to the conference to pre-meds about what it’s like to be a doctor. It’s the cloud to my silver lining of getting a weekend off to go away with Elliot. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Right now, just the thought of spending the day talking to pre-meds is enough to make me want to stay in bed all day.
No such luck.
The belligerent shriek of the alarm startles me out of my slight reverie, telling me that it’s time to get up. I whack the ‘off’ button of the alarm with such force; I may well have cracked it. Oops. If I have, I’ll buy a new alarm clock tomorrow. I could buy one today on my way home from the conference, but what difference does a day make?
I rub my eyes in an attempt to clear the last remnants of sleep from them. It’s at this point I realise the Elliot isn’t lying next to me, wearily complaining about the alarm as she would normally be. This puzzles me.
Listlessly (my body hasn’t completely caught up with my mind yet), I make my way through to the main area of the apartment.
Sure enough, lying along the couch in the living room, reading a book, is Elliot.
“Hey,” I say, my voice barely above a whisper. “What are you doing up so early?”
Elliot frowns in reply. “I woke up at 4.30 feeling lousy. I couldn’t get back to sleep again so I just got up. What time is it?”
”Is that all?” Elliot sighs, propping herself up on her right arm. “I thought it was later.”
I head towards the kitchen. “Hey, do you want something to eat?” I call, as I take the toaster out of the cupboard.
There’s no reply.
Assuming that Elliot didn’t hear me (it’s entirely possible, because I didn’t speak too loudly), I move back through to the living room.
Unlike just a few moments ago, Elliot has just stood up from the couch and is turning to face me. “What did you say?”
”Breakfast. Want anything?”
Although she shakes her head to indicate no, Elliot still follows me to the kitchen, but I hear the shuffle of her feet suddenly stop. I turn back and notice that Elliot is holding onto one of the dining table chairs, with a really concentrated look covering her features.
”Elliot, are you alright?”
After a silence, the intense look on Elliot’s face vanishes and she smiles at me. “Yeah.”
”Are you sure?”
”Yeah. It’s nothing. Just Braxton Hicks trying to kick my ass again. It’ll go away in a little while. What time will you be back from the conference?”
I look at Elliot for a second before answering. “About 6-ish. Maybe later, depending on the traffic. Elliot, are you –“
Before I can complete my question, the shrill scream of the alarm clock sounds again. Damn it, I must’ve hit the snooze button instead of the off button. I step towards the kitchen door.
”Don’t worry,” Elliot smiles. “I’ll deal with it.” She stands on her tiptoes and quickly kisses my cheek before leaving the kitchen to chide the alarm.
And so, after breakfast, the Village Idiot set about his task for the day: teaching other village idiots from all over the land – not just Sacred Heartia – how to be e-heven more colossal idiots than they already were. You see, Jackie, the Village Idiot of Sacred Heartia was theeee most colossal idiot of them all. There were no bigger idiots than the Sacred Heartia’s Village Idiot. I mean, the Village Idiot of Sacred Heartia was world renowned for – Okay, I’m sorry. I just wanted to make sure that you were absolutely clear about how much of an idiot he was.
A while later, and once the Village Idiot was gone, the Princess was still feeling sick so she decided that, just for today, she would forgo her royal assignments in favour of some much needed rest.
Now, Jackie, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Princess’s niece. She looked a lot like her aunt. She had long curly hair that was the same golden colour as the Princess. Like her aunt, the Princess’s niece intended to be a princess.
The final exams of Sacred Heartia High School for Future Princesses were well under way…
My last final – Chemistry – is on Monday. This is Saturday. And for the last few weeks my brain has gone to mush with everything for finals swirling around it. So you can see why I’m feeling a little bit on the stressed out side.
On a normal Saturday, I would be volunteering at the hospital. But because I really need to study to stop myself from going completely insane, I’m taking the day off to study instead.
My focus slides to the wall clock. 9.45. If I start studying at 10, I could study for eight hours maximum, then stop. That takes me to 6:00pm, which still gives me the whole evening to chill out. After eight hours studying, I get cranky, and that’s never good for anyone. Trust me, I know from experience. As do Elliot and JD… oops.
“So everybody’s meeting at the restaurant on Saturday?” I ask Kate through my cell phone, as I go to the kitchen.
About twenty minutes ago, Kate called ask something about a question she was doing on a past paper. Kate, God bless her soul, got herself up and ready at six this morning and started studying at seven so she could get a couple of hours in before going to the hospital. I wish I could do that – be able spend all day doing something other than studying; knowing that I’ve got an exam in a few days, but I just can’t do it. I’d completely flip out. It’s not that Kate’s not going to study, but she’s better at studying at night, while I’m better at studying during the day.
About the restaurant. Since everybody’s finals are over by Friday, we thought it would be a good idea if we all go out to celebrate, because we’re going to need it after this.
The problem is, with my friends, it takes us so damn long to organise anything, hence everything being arranged now.
“Yeah,” Kate responds. Even though she’s on the phone, she’s still studying. I know this because I can hear the page of whatever book she has in front of her turning. “Do you know if Madison is going to come with us or not? Because she still hasn’t text me back.”
“I don’t know. She hasn’t been in touch with me either,” I reply, struggling to keep the phone secure with my head and shoulder as I put myself a glass of water. “But David was asking if it was cool if his cousin came with us because she’ll be staying with him.”
“Oh, yeah that’ll be fine. I just want to know approximate numbers so I can make the reservation, especially with so many of us going.”
“Well, maybe you could just assume the Madison is going to come along and then if she doesn’t we just have one extra seat, no big deal.”
I head back towards to my room but I have to cross via the living room. My aunt is lying on the couch. She took the day off sick. Is she wincing?
"Are you okay?" I ask, covering the mothpiece of the phone with my hand.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replies, not actually looking at me.
… Okay. I continue to my room. “By the by, have you done that Chemistry past paper? The 2004 one?” I ask Kate once she ends her explanation about the restaurant.
“Not yet. I’m going to do it tonight after the hospital, I think.”
“By the way, beware of question six. It. Is. A bitch. Seriously. Questions that difficult should be illegal.”
“Thanks for the warning. So what was it you wanted my advice about?”
“Yeah, that,” I cringe. “My dad has asked me to go to this concert thing on Wednesday night. It’s some classical thing and I really don’t want to go. The dance recital is the next afternoon and I've missed enough rehearsals as it is because of finals. But we’re finally getting along and… with the time… I feel really guilty about not going. How do I say no without feeling like feeling like a heartless bitch who doesn’t want to spend time with her dying dad?”
Kate sighs ponderingly. “First of all, you shouldn’t feel like that. Your dad’ll understand. I’m sure he will.”
“Yeah, I guess. I just feel bad.”
“You could even arrange to do something after the finals? You know, when life is calm and simple again. God, I can’t wait for –“
“Uh… I don’t know who yelled,” Kate nervously mutters, “but that did not sound healthy.”
“No, it didn’t,” I quietly reply. “Kate, can I call you back in like, ten minutes?”
“Sure. Speak to you later.” The call clicks off.
I quickly leave my room after that and go into the living room. Aunt Elliot isn’t on the couch. “Aunt Elliot, are you okay?”
“I… I need you to drive me to the hospital.”
My aunt emerges from the bathroom looking chalk white, absolutely terrified. “I think I’m in labour.”
That’s not good.
Yes, Jack, normally you would say ‘Yay’ when a baby is about to be born, but not this time. Why not? Well, the Princess’s baby was being attacked by an evil monster – a monster that could only be fought after the baby was born. But this monster made the baby impatient, so it was trying to be born when it wasn’t ready to be.
You remember I told you that the Turla were joined for all eternity? Well, I forgot to tell you that in an emergency they could separate. And this was most definitely an emergency.
Not the most coherent thought ever, but it’s pretty much the only thought that’s running through my head at the moment. And the whole time I was driving.
The whole drive here my aunt was panicking. Which, y’know, is understandable considering she’s about to have a kid nine weeks early. Actually, I think there’s be something wrong if she didn’t panic. But, as selfish as it seems, it didn’t make for easy driving. My hands were shaking while I was trying to do 90 miles-per-hour up the motorway.
Carla is in with my aunt and the obstetrician right.; My aunt called her from the car on the way. She tried calling JD, but being the idiot that he is, he has apparently turned his cell phone off. What a moron. She tried calling him twice before calling Carla.
I toss my bag over the maternity nurses’ station, before walking around the side and sitting down at the phone. The head nurse up here said I could use the phone to try and call JD. Third time lucky?
‘The person you are calling is unable to take you call at the moment.’
“Damn it.” I put the phone back on the base unit.
Why do people switch their goddamn phones off? I could leave a voicemail, I suppose. But is ‘your baby’s about to be born nine weeks early’ really the kind of news you want to hear off of a voicemail? And plus, Elliot already left a voicemail in the car, but all I think she said was ‘Call when you get this message.’ That was when everyone was expecting JD to call right back.
After I let out an anxious sigh, I pick the receiver back up from the base unit, and begin dialling again. As I wait for the line to connect, I out of the corner of my eye, I see Turk walking towards the nurses’ station, a puzzled and worried look on his face.
”Please tell me that I didn’t hear correctly when one of the scrub nurses said that Elliot had been admitted in labour.”
I frown. “Unfortunately, yes. You did hear correctly.”
“My god.” Turk exhales heavily as he turns around to lean against the nurses’ station. “I was really hoping I’d heard wrong. It’s far too early.” Turk pauses. “They must be panicking.”
“Yeah. Elliot definitely is. Carla’s in with her though. Maybe she’ll get her to calm down.”
Turk turns around to look at me with his eyebrows lowered. “Carla?” he asks. “Where the hell is JD?”
“And you just asked the million dollar question,” I reply. “Okay, that was more sarcastic than I meant it to be. I’m sorry. Nobody can get a hold of him. He’s been called four times in the last half-hour, but it goes straight on to voicemail.”
“Isn’t he at the conference thing?” Turk says. “His cell will probably be off for that.”
“Son of a – Damn it. It would be today, wouldn’t it? Freaking typical.”
Turk nods in agreement. “If you try calling in half an hour or so, maybe JD’s cell will be on again.”
“It better be.”
As if by chance, the obstetrician walks out of Aunt Elliot’s room. Turk walks over to her.
“How’s Elliot? What’s going on?”
The obstetrician frowns. That can’t be good. “She’s seven centimetres dilated.”
“Seven already?” I say. “How the hell?” I mutter.
“Can’t you do something?” Turk asks. “It’s far too early.”
“It’s too late to stop the labour. That baby’s being born today. If I were you two, I’d make sure you got the father here. Sharpish.”
Nothing else is said, before the obstetrician walks away.
“This is bad. This is very, very bad,” I say. I start rapidly tapping my fingers against the nurses’ station counter. “Say, what’s the best way to get rid of a panic out before it becomes a full blown freak out?” I ask Turk.
“I’ll try JD’s cell again,” Turk says. “You go walk over there and try to calm down.”
Calm down? Easier said than done.
Over the next while, the Princess’s niece and the male Turla sent out many messenger eagles, each of them trying to track down the Village Idiot. Each time they’d wait with held breath, hoping beyond hope that one of them would bring the Idiot back. But… each time the messenger eagles returned empty handed.
Meanwhile, The Princess was trying her damnedest to battle the Monster that was attacking her child, but she was disadvantaged. You see, Jack, this Monster was really, really nasty. Because while it was attacking the child, the Monster had the extra assault of also draining the life out of the Princess, so each time she took a swipe at the monster with her makeshift sword, the Monster would drain a little bit of life from the Princess.
As well as feeling tired, the Princess was scared. Really, really scared. As much as the Turla and her niece were trying to help her, the one person that the Princess needed to help her defeat the monster wasn’t there. The female Turla tried her best to keep the Princess calm. She would bring the Princess things to keep her strength up, try to second-guess the Monster’s next movements and she would try to tell the Princess that everything was going to be okay.
Like the Princess, Turla and her niece were scared. But they tried not to let the princess see this, or else it would give the Monster more power to attack.
The Princess’s niece paced back and forth, waiting for one more of the messenger eagles to return. In the distance, she could see the bird flying towards her, so she held out her arm for it to land on.
When it did, the bird confirmed what she was dreading. There was still no word on the Village Idiot’s whereabouts.
After sending the bird to fly again, she went to give the news to the Princess.
So when you call someone again after half an hour, you expect to get answer, right? Wrong. Still no answer. And now I have to tell this to Elliot and Carla, and dear god this won’t be good. I open the door quietly and hear the talking that’s going on.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” Aunt Elliot repeats. “This can’t be happening.” Aunt Elliot (and I mean this in the un-nastiest way possible, really) looks terrible. She’s chalk white still, covered in sweat, and I kid you not, I have never see anybody looking so terrified. “It’s too early.”
“Elliot, listen to me,” Carla reassuringly says. “Everything is going to be okay. Try not to panic. The baby will be okay. And JD will be here soon.” Carla turns her head to look at me. “Right?”
Damn. “Well… um…. Not exactly…”
Aunt Elliot glares at me. “What… the frick… are you talking about?”
“Well… there are still problems with trying to get a hold of him on his cell phone. It’s um… switched… off.” And let all hell rain down now.
“I am going to kill him!” Aunt Elliot screams. “I swear to god, Carla, I can’t do this. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.”
“Elliot. Elliot, listen to me. You cannot panic,” Carla instructs, taking a grip of my aunt’s hand. “You can’t panic. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Alyssa and Turk will keep trying to call JD and I’m sure he’ll be here as soon as possible. Right?”
Man, she can lie. “Yeah,” I respond. “Hey, if you know where JD is giving the premed talk, we could try calling there.”
Wincing, my aunt replies, “It’s the one just out of town. Lincoln or Kennedy. I can’t remember what it’s called.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “I’ll look it up. I’ll be back as soon as I can with better news.” I walk towards the door, but hear Carla’s footsteps following me.
“Alyssa,” she quietly says. “Try and get JD here as soon as possible, okay.”
“This is extremely bad, isn’t it?”
“Just… try to make sure he’s here as soon as.”
God bless Yellow Pages. There’s a giant one conveniently hidden under the nurses’ station. The silver lining: I managed to find phone numbers for both the Lincoln and Kennedy Conference Centres. The cloud: They’re both out of town so it could be either of them. Well, first things first. I dial the number of the Lincoln Centre.
Ugh… do you know how annoying it is to hear the ringing sound on a phone when you’re really desperate to get through to somewhere?
“Thank you for calling the Lincoln Conference Centre. We apologise that our reception area is closed at the moment, but it should reopen shortly. Alternatively, leave your name, number and enquiry and somebody will get back to you as soon as possible.”
What could it hurt? “Hi. Um. My name is Alyssa Reid. I was just enquiring about a medical conference that I’ve been told was happening at the centre today. If somebody could please get back to me quickly… it’s an emergency. My number is –“ Cue stock cell phone number recital.
Well that was successful. And yes, that was sarcasm.
As I’m looking up the number for the Kennedy Conference Centre (numpty me forgot to write it down the first time I looked), Turk walks up to the nurses’ station quickly.
“Any luck tracking down JD, yet?” he asks.
A shake of the head suffices as an answer.
“Damn,” he curses. “Listen, I’ve been called to do an emergency surgery. If there’s any update, get somebody to call down and let me know, okay?”
Turk hurries down the corridor.
On with the phone calling.
“Hello, Kennedy Conference centre. Amanda speaking, how can I help?”
“Hi. I was just wondering if there was some sort of medical conference going on today at the centre? There’s not? Right, okay, thank you for your help.”
Head in hands. The damn Lincoln Centre better call back soon or somebody’s going to die.
Thing I’ve learned today: If you pace back and forth in a corridor, holding on to your cell phone as you wait for someone to call you back, you get weird looks. And dizzy. But to be fair, I have been walking back and forward for the last half hour, aside from the few times I’ve stopped by the nurses station to try calling JD’s cell phone again. You guessed it, no answer yet. And you’re probably wondering why I’m not using my own cell phone. The answer to that is I have a dollar fifty left on my cell phone and I would like to keep that in case I have to use it when there is no other phone I could use.
Oh, thank god. My cell phone is ringing. I don’t recognise the number. “Hello?” I answer quickly.
“Hello, is this Alyssa Reid?”
“Yes. May I ask who is calling?”
“It’s Martin from the Lincoln Conference Centre. You left a message earlier regarding a medical conference of some kind?”
“Yes,” I reply.
“I’ve checked through the system and unfortunately there is no medical conference taking place here today?”
“There’s not?” I question. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.”
“Oh my god,” I mutter. “There’s nothing at all going on? Not even a getting into college conference? Careers event? Anything?”
“I’ll check the system again.”
“Thank you.” For the love of god, check the system quicker, would you?
“There’s a Christian Book Conference? Is that of any use?”
“I highly doubt it,” I reply sarcastically. Why the hell he thinks a book conference would help me when I’m looking for a medical one, I will never know. “Thanks for your help anyway.” Hang up.
Words cannot describe how easily I could freak out right now. But I am not freaking out. I am not freaking out. I am not freaking out.
Oh, there’s the OB who just walked out of my aunt’s room. She’s noticed me too.
“What’s happening?” I ask when she reaches me.
“Eight centimetres,” she replies. “The sooner you can get the baby’s dad here, the better.”
She walks away.
I am not freaking out. I am not freaking out.
But the Monster worked in mysterious ways.
Because what they didn’t know was that earlier in the day, the Village Idiot had received a message to say that his class had been moved towns; and that when he sent a message to the Princess to tell her this, it had never arrived.
It was all part of the Monster’s evil plan to make the fight as tough as it could possibly be.
I hate giving bad news. I really do. It makes me feel like I’m such an awful person.
Once again, I’m standing at the threshold of my aunt’s hospital room looking in. It’s been a few hours since the first time I walked in here, but the picture keeps getting worse and worse. Every time I come in here, my aunt looks more and more tired and terrified, if I’m being perfectly honest. But that isn’t the shocking part.
What’s worse is how Carla looks less valiant each time I walk in here. Because when Carla starts to crumble… you know something’s bad. It’s like… you rely on Carla to tell you that everything’s going to be okay, and the more hollow those ‘everything’s going to be okay’s become…
You know something is bad when you can see that even Carla is beginning to crumble.
I’m looking down at the ground.
”Lys?” I hear my aunt say.
Damn it. “I called Lincoln and Kennedy and neither of them have medical conferences on,” I say, still looking down at the ground.
“Oh my god,” Aunt Elliot says. “Oh my god.”
Even Carla looks as if she’s not sure what to say. She’s silent for a few seconds. “It’s going to be okay, Elliot.” I don’t think Carla even believes herself. She sure as hell doesn’t look confident about it. “Don’t panic. Just try to think. Can you remember where JD said he would be?”
Elliot shakes her head. She’s crying. “I was sure it was Lincoln or Kennedy. I was sure. I checked it on the calendar this morning. Oh my god.”
“It’s okay, Elliot, we’ll track him down.” No offence to Carla, but you’d have to be really gullible to believe her right now. But, hey, I’m not going to be the pessimist here.
“Yeah,” I agree (although not that convincingly). “I mean how many conference centres can there be around here? How about I just call each of them, ask if there’s a medical conference going on and we’ll track the idiot down in no time?”
“Just do whatever, please,” My aunt sobs.
Carla looks at me. “You know what you gotta do.”
Tracking down the Village Idiot would be a difficult task, especially for the Princess’s niece alone. But, luckily for her, she had a friend who could help; another girl from the Sacred Heartia High School for Future Princesses…
So what I asked the question, how many conference centres can there be around here? It turns out quite a few. Actually, more than I can count quickly. There are two pages of conference centres in the tiny writing. This is not going to go well. It’ll take me about three hours easily to get through this list, and I’m guessing that’s time that nobody really has.
“Alyssa, what are you doing here?” Somebody asks. I look up and see Kate walking towards me. “I thought you weren’t in today. And what happened earlier?”
“You have no idea how glad I am to see you. Seriously. I need you to help me out big time here.”
“Sure, but Lys, what’s going on?”
“My aunt’s having the baby,” I bluntly reply. “And nobody can track down JD, so what I need you to do is help me call all these conference centres and ask if there’s a medical conference going on there and if there is hand the phone back to me.”
“My God,” Kate mutters. “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. I’ll start from the top of the list. You start from the bottom.”
The two girls worked well together – sending out as many of the messenger birds as they could find and sent them to every neighbouring village, just in the off chance that they could track down the Village Idiot of Sacred Heartia.
The mission was difficult and it seemed to bring no hope, no matter how diligently they worked.
Except for that one bird out there in the distance…
So… there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that the Franklin Conference Centre has a medical conference going on. The bad news? Well, they have no list of names who is there thus no way of putting me through to JD to explain what’s going on so he can get his sorry behind here; neither Kate nor I have any idea where the Franklin Centre is, and lastly, in the half hour it took us to call the Franklin Centre, my aunt is dilated eight centimetres, which I’m fairly sure means that the baby is going to be born relatively soon.
Aunt Elliot is hysterical. Really hysterical. Well, wouldn’t you be if you were about to give birth two months early and your boyfriend was nowhere to be found? She’s white as a sheet and looks shattered to say the least. And she’s completely blaming herself for everything, which probably isn’t what she should be worrying about right now.
“Carla, I should have come in earlier,” she sobs (and I’m talking really sobbing here). “I should have come in earlier, when I first felt the pain, but I thought it was too early, I thought it was just Braxton Hicks.”
“Elliot you can’t blame yourself,” Carla says. “You didn’t know. You wouldn’t think you were in labour. Why would you?”
“But I should have known, Carla. I should have known. And now everything’s wrong. JD’s not here. The baby is too early. And there’s no way this baby’s going to be one hundred percent healthy. Chances are my baby’s not going to be healthy at all. It’s too early. What if something happens to the baby Carla?”
”Hey, hey. Don’t think like that,” Carla soothingly (or at least an attempt at it) says.
“But it might. It might, Carla. My baby might die, Carla, at it’s all going to be my fault.”
Okay, screw this.
“What?” Carla snaps, as I turn and walk out of the room. So I wasn’t aware I’d spoken aloud, but oh well.
I walk over to the nurses’ station where Kate is still sitting at the computer and pick up my bag it.
“How’s it going?” she concernedly asks.
“Do me a favour, would you, and Google and print directions to the Franklin Centre for me please?” I ask, rummaging through my bag.
I lift my car keys out of my bag and say, “Because I’m going to go and kick his ass myself.”
Kate blinks, and then immediately gets to finding those directions, and I hear an angry voice from behind me.
“Alyssa Reid, what the hell was that?” Carla growls.
“It was me accidentally verbalising my thoughts.”
“Yeah, I heard that! And so did your aunt. Do you have any idea how rude, how heartless that comment was? Do you have any idea –“
Carla is cut off my Kate, who hands me a sheet of paper. “There are the directions.”
“What?” Carla says. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to the Franklin Centre to find JD because there clearly isn’t enough time to be sitting about here, hoping to God that the next time somebody calls he answers the goddamn phone.” I turn around, and briefly look down at the directions before hurrying out of here.
It was a race against time.
The Princess’s niece ran quickly to the Sacred Heartia stables to retrieve her horse and then…
The horse, steered by the Princess’s niece, burst out of the stables and headed towards the forest. The horse galloped faster than it had ever galloped before and although that made the Princess’ nervous that she would fall off, she knew that there was no time to spare.
While the horse galloped, one of the messenger eagles flew by and desperately tried to get the attention of the Princess’s niece, but she was concentrating too much on not falling off of the horse to respond.
At the horse’s speed, the Princess’s niece was getting closer and closer to the village of Frankville with every second.
But unfortunately, this Monster had more than one way to attack…
Jeez, how much is this traffic slowing down? Dear god, please don’t stop completely. Please let there not have been an accident or a breakdown or any thing of that sort that is going to stop all the traffic.
I switch on the car radio, just in case there’s any traffic report. Oh, here we go…
“There are reports coming in of an accident on the motorway, causing major delays between and tailbacks of about three miles.’
The traffic grinds to a halt.
Today of all goddamn days.
It seemed that the monster that was attacking the Princess had other monster friends that were out to hamper the efforts of those trying to help the Princess. And unfortunately, there was no way for the Princess’s niece to quickly defeat the monster that encompassed her and her horse, trapping them. All she could do was to fight it slowly, while trailing closer to Frankville.
All the while, the Princess was growing weaker, the monster stronger, and the Princess’ child more impatient.
It took the Princess’s niece a long time to break free from the monster that held her and her horse captive. But when she did, she somehow found the ability to make the horse gallop even faster than it had before their capture.
They made good progress though the forest and before long, the Princess’s niece had made it to Frankville. But this was unfamiliar territory, and it took her longer than she would have like to find a stable for her horse…
Freaking Sod’s Law. I hate Sod’s Law. Sod’s Law should curl up in a hole and die. Because Sod’s Law stuck me in nose-to-tail crawling traffic for a freaking hour. An hour. Like there was really an hour to spare here.
That’s me only now at the conference centre. And, because Sod’s Law is such a freaking bitch, there were no parking spaces in front of the conference centre so I’ve had to drive all the way around to the multi-storey car park at the other end of the complex. Not amused. This is costing more time than there is to spare. And just to add fuel to the flames, there is a queue of four cars in front of me. I’m not even into the car park yet.
Okay now I am. And there’s a sign that says ‘Please Park On Level 7’. Level seven? Are you freaking kidding me!!! Seriously?
For the love of God…
So five minutes and seven storeys later, I’m dizzy, but parked. And waiting for an elevator. Which will not arrive no matter how many times I nearly batter the little button.
Okay, to hell with this. A run down the stairs it will just have to be.
As irrelevant as it is, I really wish I’d put sneakers or something on instead of my little ballerina pumps, which are liable to fall off and are not exactly the most comfortable to run in. My feet are aching after running down those seven flights of stairs.
And now is the point I realise I have absolutely no idea where I’m going in this centre. Oh thank God. There is a map just over there. Hmm… okay. So the conference is in the Lattey building. And the Lattey building is….
The other freaking side of the freaking complex.
Sod’s Law. I hate it.
In the Lattey Hall, the Village Idiot was blissfully unaware of anything that was transpiring in Sacred Heartia.
He stood in front of all the other Village Idiots from all over the land, telling them how to be even more colossal idiots... as if there need to be more idiots in this world. Oh, sorry Jack. The story…
“So, are there any questions?” I ask the pre-meds.
They stare at me with blank faces. The only exception to the monotony is one guy who lifts his hand. To be honest, he looks more as if he should be going to rehab than to medical school.
“Like… is being a doctor as boring as this conference is?” He asks. “Cause if it is I don’t think I wanna be a doctor.”
I don’t think you should be a doctor, regardless of how boring you think it is. “Well, being a doctor is nothing like this conference. There is a lot of variety with medicine. To find out what being a doctor is really like, I suggest you organise some work experience at a hospital.”
“But…” the stoned guys stutters, “Can’t you make this conference less boring?”
Before I answer, the monotony in the room is shattered by the sound of a door crashing open and somebody storming in. That somebody storming in is Alyssa Reid.
“Hey, moron!” she angrily shouts.
“Well, this is a start,” I hear the stoned guy mutter.
“Why the hell would you switch your cell phone not keep your cell phone on?!” Alyssa yells. “People have been trying to call you for the last freaking three hours!”
Okay… “Hi Alyssa,” I tentatively say, as I point towards the auditorium. “Alyssa, meet the two hundred bored people listening to a lecture about getting in to med school. Bored people, Alyssa.”
With her eyebrows furrowed, Alyssa turns around nervously. “Um… hi?” She waves slightly. “That was… weird,” she mutters, as she turns back around. “So, seriously, why the hell would you switch your cell phone off?”
“My cell phone isn’t switched off,” I calmly answer. “Why?”
“Well it must be,” Alyssa snaps completely ignoring the question, “because we’ve called you fifty million times and not been able to get through once.”
“It’s definitely on, because I checked it just before I came in here. Alyssa, are you okay?” She seems freaked out about something.
“But…” Alyssa seems confused. “That can’t be right,” she mutters to herself.
While Alyssa talks to herself, I go over to the stand where my notes and my cell phone. “Oh. There’s no signal.”
“No signal?” Alyssa quietly repeats. “No signal. All of this because of no freaking signal. God. Cell phone networks should give you some kind of clue about why you can’t get through to someone. The message should say ‘This person is unavailable because they are out of signal range’ or ‘This person is unavailable because their cell is switched off.’ God, if the phone companies had the good sense to do that, then we could have avoiding this whole freaking hoopla and somebody would have had the good sense to drive over here from the hospital about two hours ago instead of leaving it until the last freaking minute.”
“Alyssa,” I ask. “What’s going on?”
For a moment, she didn’t know how to answer. She stood there, frozen. Why? Because she was about to give really bad news to the Village Idiot. You see, Jack, being told that a monster was attacking his princess was trying to fight a monster that was attacking their child whilst he hadn’t been there to help was one of the worst things that the Village Idiot could possibly hear, and being the one to deliver such bad news was scary to the Princess’ niece. And although she was scared, the Princess’ niece knew that this was ineluctable.
With a heavy sigh, she began. “A vicious monster attacks the Princess’s child.”
This understandably shocked the Village Idiot. “What?”
”There is no time for you to ask questions,” the Princess’s niece said quickly. “For The Princess is fighting off the monster the best she can, but she needs your help. There’s no time to spare. The Monster’s attacks are fierce, very fierce. You must return to Sacred Heartia at once, before it’s too late.” The Princess’ niece turned on her heels and quickly began to make her way out of the hall before she even waited for a response from the Village Idiot.
Without hesitation, the Village Idiot followed her out of Lattey Hall. He had forgotten all about the other village idiots he was supposed to be teaching. They didn’t matter. All that mattered to the Village Idiot now was the Princess, their child, and the battle he knew he had to fight for them.
When he arrived back in Sacred Heartia, the Village Idiot wasted no time in looking for the Princess and the Monster she was battling. But the Turla was standing there waiting on him with bad news…
”The monster broke in two,” the male Turla told the Village Idiot. “It was too much for the Princess to take all by herself. It separated her from her child. The brave knight Percival Cox fights a monster on her behalf. But there’s still another monster at large.”
Upon hearing this news, the Village Idiot immediately began to run in the direction of the other monster.
”Wait!” The female Turla called after him, causing the Village Idiot to turn back around again. “Take this,” she continued, brandishing a powerful and magical sword. “You’ll need it.”
The Village Idiot thanked the two-headed witch before running once again in the direction of the Monster.
When he first saw the Monster, the Village Idiot was so frightened that he couldn’t move his legs. He wasn’t the bravest, this Village Idiot, and he always tried to run away from a fight. But this time… this time, Jack, something was different. Because this time, the fight really meant something to him.
He swallowed down his fear and choked out: “My name is Village Idiot. You’re hurting my Princess and my child. Prepare to die.”
The battle was long and arduous. The monster was tough, however. No matter how hard he tried, the Village Idiot didn’t seem to be making any progress while the Monster seemed to be gaining power. Somehow, it managed to steal the Idiot’s sword.
The Idiot didn’t know what to do next. Without his sword, he was powerless and the Monster would surely win. But, remember how I told you that the Turla had given the Village Idiot a magic sword? Well…
To his surprise, the sword disappeared from the Monster’s grasp and found it’s way back to the Idiot’s hands and the battle continued.
The Village Idiot fought as hard as he could. With every swipe of the sword, he chipped just a little bit of strength away from the monster.
And then, all of a sudden, it was all over.
The monster exploded into a million pieces and then evaporated, leaving Sacred Heartia forever.
For a moment, the Village Idiot stood there, frozen. He couldn’t believe what he had just done. He, the Village Idiot, had for once in his life, plucked up the courage out of somewhere to fight a monster. And he had won.
He walked out of the battle room and into the town. It was peaceful. The messenger birds were singing again in the trees and the sun was shining.
Everything was once again right in Sacred Heartia.
What do you mean what about the Princess and her baby?
Well, they lived happily ever after with the Village Idiot, didn’t they?
I tiptoe quietly out of the room, careful not to wake him up. After I close the door, I glance to the side and see Jordan.
She’s sitting on the floor, looking expectantly up at me. “Perry.” Jordan’s voice is low and serious. “Is that how it really ended?”
I don’t answer.
”That… that’s not how it really ended.”
“Alyssa,” I ask. “What’s going on?”
Alyssa doesn’t answer. Instead she just stares at me. But she looks really frightened and startled.
“Alyssa, what’s wrong?”
Still no answer.
“Oh my god,” Alyssa mutters to herself.
“Alyssa, would you just tell me what the hell is going on.”
“Elliot’s in labour,” she blurts out.
“Elliot’s in labour.”
“How is that possible? She’s only 31 weeks pregnant.”
“Yeah.” Alyssa looks down at the ground.
“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god” Pause. “You can’t be serious, right? This is all just some elaborate sick joke you’re trying to pull?”
“Do you see me laughing? And I don’t mean to be sarcastic, I really don’t,” Alyssa says. “But there really isn’t time for you to freak out. There isn’t time for you to hang around here and ask questions.”
“What the hell do you mean?”
Alyssa sighs. “Because when I left Sacred Heart an hour and a half ago, she was eight centimetres dilated. So you need to get our skinny white hiney out of here now if there is to be any chance of you making it back their before your kid is born. So move your ass.” Alyssa immediately turns and leaves the room.
Holy mother of god.
“How could I not have known? Elliot was complaining of pain this morning and I thought it was nothing. She thought it was nothing. This can’t be right, this can’t be happening. Why didn’t anybody call me?”
Trying to remain calm here. I’m in control of a car that’s travelling at nearly one hundred miles-per-hour here… “People tried, but nobody could get through to you because you had no signal on your phone. I’ve already explained this.” See, calm. Ish. Except I’m really not calm in the slightest.
“Well, somebody should have gone to the conference centre earlier, not when Elliot was at eight centimetres dilated. And that was nearly two hours ago when you left. For all I know Elliot might have had the baby already. And god only knows how the baby will be, what with it being two months early and all. God, what if something has happened to the baby. And what state is Elliot going to be in? God only knows-“
“For the love of god I’m trying to drive this car at nearly one hundred miles an hour so that there’s the slightest chance you might make it to the hospital in time. Do you want me to crash it before you meet your kid?”
“Then shut the freaking hell up!” I snap.
Way to go, Alyssa. Fantastic time to snap at someone who’s worried whether or not their kid is going to be okay. Just terrific timing.
Fifteen minutes later and I’ve managed to drive back to the hospital without crashing, knocking anybody over or causing damage of any sort. I’m quite proud of that, if I do say so myself. I pull to a stop just in front on the hospital door.
”Room 163, third floor. Go, and I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
JD gets out of the car quickly and closes the door, but through the open window says, “Don’t worry about it.” He hurries up the stairs and into the hospital.
I drive slowly (which I haven’t been doing a hell of a lot of today) along the hospital car park to find a space.
Maybe I’m just being an optimist, but I think things might start to be okay now.
In contrast to my running out of the hospital and running everywhere else earlier, I’m not rushing now. Feels good to walk for a change instead of run, as pathetic as that sounds. My feet hurt less, which is always a bonus.
The elevator up to the third floor is busy. I wonder how Carla’s feeling now. She’s bound to be a relieved slightly. I don’t know how much longer after I left that she would have been able to keep up her calm, collected, un-freaking-out façade, because it was really starting to crack by the time I left. And I wonder if Aunt Elliot has actually had the baby. I’m going to assume that she has. I hope the baby’s okay. They will be, they will be. It’ll all be okay.
There are still so many people in the elevator that I practically have to push past people to get out of it. That wasn’t fun. When I eventually get out of the elevator, I notice Kate standing there, almost as if she’s waiting on me.
“Hey, Kate,” I say.
“Lys, I tried to call you but you didn’t answer your cell,” she says, looking deadly serious.
”Was that you calling?” I ask. “I couldn’t answer; I was driving. What’s going on? What’s wrong?” I ask, when she doesn’t seem to lighten up any.
“Something happened, I don’t know what,” she answers. “And I tried to call you to warn you but…”
“Kate, what happened?”
She doesn’t answer.
“Kate, what the hell has happened?”
Kate doesn’t verbally answer, but she looks off to the side, along the corridor.
I look where Kate is looking. Carla is sitting on a random chair, looking completely shocked. I think she’s crying because her eyes are red and puffy. Turk is talking to JD, but even he looks deadly serious and worried, but like he’s trying to be optimistic. When Turk stops speaking, JD steps – almost staggers back – eyes wide as all get out, hand covering his mouth. Then he starts to cry, and Turk puts a hand on his back.
“Kate,” I begin, as I turn my head to look at her. My voice is low and stern. “What happened?”
But it’s not Kate that answers.
“While you were gone there were some complications.” I turn around and see Dr Cox there. “The baby went into distress, so your aunt was rushed for a caesarean section. There were complications and your aunt lost a lot of blood. As a result, she’s on a life support machine in the ICU.”
“Oh my god… wait… what… what about the baby?”
“Little girl,” Dr Cox responds. “She’s ill, as would be expected of a baby born so early. She’s on a ventilator because her lungs aren’t developed enough for her to breathe on her own.” Dr Cox sighs heavily. “Alyssa, I’m going to be honest with you here: it’s touch-and-go. For both of them.”
“Oh my god.”
At least the traffic isn’t so bad going this way. I don’t feel so much like I’m going to hit something. Or I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for…
Jack falls asleep shortly after I finish telling him the story.
A part of me wishes I had never agreed to this. For the last four hours I’ve been talking to different sets of pre-meds about getting into medical school and what’s it’s like to be a doctor – basically all the usual things you tell pre-meds – and having repeated the same speech over and over, I’m bored; the people I’m talking to are bored; and there’s still another six hours left of this conference. I just wish somebody would get me out of here.
The traffic ahead of me is slowing, so I slow down too. I don’t think anyone would really appreciate me crashing into the ass of another car. Really not what anybody needs today.
It’s going to be a long day.
Today’s going to be a long day.