Who I Am (Sequel to How did I get Here?)

Reed couldn't take Jamestown anymore after she and her dad got into a fight about the boyfriend who hit her. So she went to New York to pursue her life long dream of becoming a dancer. The New York Ballet Academy has taken her under their wing and given her an apartment. She lives alone and spends nearly every waking hour dancing as she tries to drown out the guilt and longing she feels towards her all-time-best-friend-and-possibly-boyfriend Alex. She still has no contact to her father or half-sister and she tries desperately to become a new Reed. But at age seventeen is that poossible?


6. Emergency

I bolt for the hospital reception. I revieved a call from a doctor there saying that Gina was in need of immediate surgery and refused to undergo any of the sorts without either me or Alex present. They couldn't get a hold of Alex, so I was next choice. Of course, their parents were out of the question. The school had even been nice enough to pay the cab fare for me and letting me skip class. "I'm here for Gina Wright." I pant with sweat running down my forehead. I am panicking, as I don't know what state she is in since the doctor couldn't tell me because I'm not family. "Floor 16 room 7 hallway D." The receptionist says in a nasal voice and points to the elevators. I bolt once again to reach an open one. A nice old man shoots his hand in to stop it from closing. "Thank you sir." I say with a smile. I use the mirrored walls in the elevator to make myself decent. Gina can't see me panicked. I take a few deep breaths and when the elevator "dings" I hurry out and find the right hallway. "Roon seven room seven room seven..." I mumble as I speed walk down the hall. I find it and walk in to see a horrible sight.
Gina is lying unconscious on a stretcher, her little face bruised and scratched. Her arm is sticking out in an unatural angle and she looks so tiny and pale. A nurse is standing over her, taking her blood pressure and temperature.
"Oh  good. You must be the Reed she was talking about. My name is Angela and I'm a childrens nurse here. Are you aware of what happened to her?" The nurse asks.
"No the doctor wouldn't tell me over the phone." I say.
"Alright then, I'll send him right in." She says and walks out, her white clogs squeeking against the floor.
I sit down on a plastic chair by her head and take her hand. She doesn't react. My eyes tear up and I carefully stroke her hair and forhead until the doctor walks in. He enters with great dignity, an older man in his late fifties and he shakes my hand.
"Hello. I'm doctor Lewis. How are you related to Gina? Her cousin perhaps?" He asks me.
"I'm not. I'm her brothers girlfriend."
"Oh. Have you suceeded in contacting her family?"
"No. I tried to reach him in the cab but it went straight to voicemail."
"Ok. I am going to have to perform surgery on her arm without her parents present. You will have to sign a few things afterwards. Would you like to be present during surgery?" He asks as he jots down things on Gina's patient file thingy.
"Is there any chance she'll wake up while you're doing it?"
"Yes but she will not be able to feel anything in her arm while we do it."
"Then yes. You are aware that she is autistic right?"
"Yes. Ok Angela should be just outside. She'll help you get ready for this and then we'll have her arm fixed."
"So you are able to fix it? I mean, there won't be any permanent damage?"
"No not unless complications arise. Do you even know what happened?"
"No, enlighten me." I ask, holding my feelings back to be here 100% for Gina. Even if she's not awake.
"Apparently she was attacked by a dog in the park. She was alone and the dog pushed her into the path of a segway. It ran her over before the rider could stop it. Do you have any idea why she was alone?"
"No. I have been at rehearsals all day. But I'll see if I can reach Alex afterwards." I say, still keeping my calm. He sends me to get changed for the surgery and the nurse Angela helps me. She shows me into the room where Gina is lying, being rubbed in antiseptic on her arm. I walk over and hold her other hand. Once again I stroke her forehead. The doctor enters and without a word he begins. I have to look away to avoid getting sick. Somewhere along the way Gina starts to stir. I look at her face and give a reasurring smile, forgetting that I'm wearing a scrubmask.
Her eyes flutter open, and she starts hyperventilating. I stroke her cheek with my thumb.
"Gina honey it's ok. You'll be fine."
"Where am I? Where is Alex? Who is this? What is wrong with me?" Her questions come faster than I can answer them.
"Baby girl you have to trust me now. I know it's difficult but you have to. You're in a hospital, Alex is probably looking for you in the park. This is doctor Lewis, and he is fixing your arm. You have to lie very still sweetie. It's ok." I tell her.
She is uneasy and nervous. It is obvious to me that she is uncomfortable with the doctor. I kiss her hair through the mask and stroke her hand. Eventually she calms downa little. But suddenly her legs kick and she starts crying.
I sit at her head and make her look away from her arm. I don't say anything. I just stroke her shoulder and whisper a little "shhh" every now and then. The doctor patches her up and sends in a nurse to wrap it. She instructs me on how to change the bandage and how often to do it. I write it all down and help Gina get changed into her normal clothes. We take a cab to my apartment and I put her down on the couch for a little nap. I sit with her head in my lap and brush through her hair with my fingers until she falls asleep. When I'm sure she wouldn't wake up again, I gently lift her head and slide out under her. I replace my lap with a pillow and watch as she snuggles into it.
I go to the kitchen and call Alex again. He still doesn't reply. His phone has probably died. Looking at the time I consider Gina's usual dnner time. If things don't go the way they usually do she won't go completely crazy, but she'll get a bit whiny and uncomfortable. And especially after today, I think things should go the way they should according to her, so I start cooking some homemade pizza. My phone rings from an unknown number. I hold the phone between my shoulder and ear as I knead the dough.
"Reed it's me. Are you with Gina?" Alex asks.
"Yes she's sleeping on the couch. She is alright. I'll explain later. Are you coming to get her?"
"Yes I'm on my way. I lost her at the park."
"Yes so I heard."
"God I was so worried! And then my phone died in the middle of everything. Please insert an additional 25 cents"
"Alex are you at a payphone?"
"Yes. I'll be there soon." He says and a beeping tone tells me that he has hung up. I put down the phone and put the dough to the side to rise.
I check on Gina and sit back down with some theory work for school. It is a french test we are taking next week. Just about the moves and such. I could do this in my sleep really, but I like to be thorough. There is a knock at the door and I answer holding a finger to my lips. Alex comes in and kisses me before going over to the sleeping Gina. He kisses her forehead and tucks away a stray hair. He carefully touches a bruise on her cheekbone and a crease forms on his forehead. He looks up at me with furrowed eyebrows and I signal for him to go to the kitchen. I quietly close the door behind us and sit down at the little table.
"I got a call from the hospital during class today, saying that Gina was in need of smaller surgery and she refused to get it unless you or I were there. They couldn't get a hold of you or either of your parents so she had them call me. She must've gotten lost in the park looking for you. The doctor told me she was attacked by a dog that pushed her in the way of someone on a segway. Her arm was broken, but it's only a little crack in the bone so she doesn't need a cast. They had to operate a bit on her arm though. Don't really know why. I gave them your mothers number when they asked about the money. They told me that we had to clean the scratches at home but I thought she should sleep first. I'm cooking dinner now so that she doesn't freak out again." I say. Alex oddly enough smiles. He doesn't say anything, he just smiles and stands up. He walks over and stands in front of me reaching out his hands for me to take. I put my plams on his and he pulls me to my feet. He kisses me and whispers in my ear.
"I am so glad she has you. I love you you know."
I smile. "I love you too."
Suddenly the lamp in the kitchen flickers and dies. Muts've burned out. The kitchen is pitch black. We stand so close I can feel his breath, warm on my forehead. I kick my foot backwards using it to open the refridgerator door so that the light turns on. I also kick a chair in front of the door to the fridge so it doesn't close. We start to slowly dance in the refridgerator light.
This is exactly why I love Alex. He is the right one to do these gooey romantic things with because he makes them non-gooey... If that's a word. But you get the picture. He makes me feel safe and loved and above all cared for. I have absolutely no idea what I would do without him. How I survived the city for so long without him is a mystery to me. 
Our foreheads touch, and we both smile. And so we dance for nearly an hour.
"I should roll out the pizza dough." I whisper.
"Nooo. Dance with me a little longer." He whines softly. I laugh a little and let him spin me around. When I face him again he kisses me lightly and lets me go. In the light from the fridge I roll out the dough and manage to make a few acceptable pizzas. I stick them in the oven and Alex pulls me back into his arms. This time we don't really dance, we just stand very close, swaying. The oven beeps and I pull out the pizzas. 
"Will you wake up Gina?" I ask him. "I think she needs it to be you after today if you know what I mean." He nods and returns a little while later with a sleepy Gina on his arm. I put some plates on the table and we eat in almost complete silence. Gina still looks a bit shaken up and I reach over and put my hand over hers. At first she flinches, but then she realizes that it's just me and her muscled relax. Alex looks a bit out of it too. 
We finish eating, and Alex decides to take Gina home to his parents place. Before they leave I show Alex how to change the bandage and kiss Gina on the forehead. She goes ahead, and Alex pulls me close. 
"Thank you for doing all this. Being there for her. I don't know what would have happened if she couldn't reach you today."
"You're welcome. I do love her. And I owe this to her after just taking off like I did." I smile and kiss the tip of his nose.
"Now go." I whisper, and his arms drop. He quickly kisses me and goes after Gina. 

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