"Sign here, and you, Hallie, sign here." The nurse said handing us waivers.
I grabbed the pen and signed quickly. "Here you go," I said handing her back the papers. Hallie did also. She grabbed my hand and squeezed it.
"Well," the nurse said, looking the forms over,"you two are all set to go!" She smiled at us.
Hallie smiled back and said, "Thank you," Then she dragged me out the door.
She released my hand so she could run ahead of me. I trailed behind her.
When I met her outside, her face was suddenly struck with worry. "How are we getting back?" She asked, her eyebrows furrowing.
I pointed to a mini van parked in the corner of the hospital parking lot. Her eyes widened.
"The boys dropped off the keys last night," I said, throwing her the keys I had just pulled out of my pocket.
"I'm driving?" She asked, and her eyes widened even more.
I laughed. "Why not?"
She turned away from me. "I-- I never learned how..." She whispered.
I walked over to her. "Hal, it's fine," I soothed as a tear slipped down her face. "I can drive."
She nodded. "Okay," she paused, thinking, "But Harry?"
"Don't tell the other boys." She said, her face now serious.
"Promise." I said, grabbing her hand. Together we walked to the dirty, rusty, puke green mini van.
"This thing is disgusting." Hallie said, attempting to avoid the rust covering her door handle as she climbed in.
"It's discrete. Which is all I care about." I said. But, even if the van was concealing, one could never be too careful. I pulled off my Jack Wills sweatshirt and handed it to Hallie. "Put this on and pull the hood up." I grabbed another hoodie from the backseat and pulled it over my head.
"But why?" She asked, yet she still put it on. "No one knows me!"
Without saying a word, I pulled out my phone and loaded the Twitter app. I held it out to Hallie.
She gasped as she read. "Wow." She mouthed.
"Read them to me," I asked as I turned the key into ignition.
"Okay, well this one says: @bookworm_hallie: feel better! my prayers go to you!" She said, and her finger moved to scroll. "Aww, this one says @bookworm_hallie @harry_styles: you guys are so stinkin' cute! Like seriously! get out of the hospital so hallie can show her pretty face to the world!" Hallie stopped reading.
"What's wrong?" I asked, pulling out of the parking lot. We pulled onto a side street that soon led us to the highway.
"How did they know about me?"
"The media. They were there as soon as the hospital checked us in. We were in all the magazines. One title said I was dead. Psh, there is a fine line between unconscious and dead." I rattled on.
Hallie laughed. "You know the media. They try to make something out of nothing."
I pulled off of the highway and onto a small residential suburb. Off of the suburb, I found what I was looking for. The small dirt road.
"How did you find me?" Hallie asked suddenly.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"How did you know to find me in the sanctuary? How did you know about Dan?" Her brilliant blue eyes stared into me.
"I-- I did some research. Nothing too complicated." I said, keeping my head facing forward.
"There's no way you could've found out that much from a Google search. How did you know?"
"I had some help." I replied shortly.
"Janie," She said, sinking back into her seat. "How much did she tell you?"
"Barely anything." I pulled the car off to the shoulder. "Hallie, what happened?"
She sighed and turned towards me. "Dan and my mom were high school sweethearts. He was the perfect man for my mom. Kind, sweet, sensitive... he was her everything. My mother loved nature. She had a day job at the Sanctuary and when she wasn't at school or at home, she was there. It was her second home. So eventually, the day came when Dan wanted to get serious. And they did. And that was it for my mom. That was when she was sure that he was the one for her. So in two months time, he proposed to my mom. And she told him something too. She told him that she was pregnant. With my sister. He was furious. Told her that it was all her fault. He left her in the sanctuary that night. All alone and crying. Finally, he cooled down and said that it was fine, as they were getting married anyway. My father was a jerk. He proposed to my mom, but was never fully happy with her. He cheated. And my mother never knew. After my sister was born, he said that he hated what his life was coming to. But he still stayed. And got my mom pregnant again. This time with me. And I think that did it. He never wanted a family. He wanted free roaming. And with my mom he couldn't get that. He blamed me and my sister for his misery. And he left. Left us forever. Until a week ago." She touched the scar on my forehead. It was healing. I had cracked my head open on the concrete pathway of the sanctuary when I fell after I was shot. "I'm so sorry," She said, as the waterworks started.
"Hallie," I said drawing her to me. "I'll always love you. No matter what happens or what we go through. Know that I'll never leave you. Ever. Cause we're in this together. Forever." I kissed the top of her head.
"Can we go home?" She asked, her voice slowly muffled because she was speaking into my sweatshirt.
"I have a better idea." I said, pulling back onto the road, with Hallie's fingers still entwined in mine.