Hanging On

Katerine Willows was falling in two ways. She was falling into an unfathomable comatose, destroyed after her fiancé’s death and on a path of self destruction. Until her therapist forcibly sends her to Paris to help her pursue her once great career as a singer. Then she falls another way. A way she never expected to fall again. She fell in love. Will she allow the equally damaged Louis Tomlinson to heal her? Or will she continue down the cold and lonely road she started out on?

Hey! My first real writing, so fingers crossed! I know some of the things in here are cruel or messed up, but I don't mean anything against the people in it! It's purely fiction! Please enjoy and leave feedback! I'll update as often as possible. Xx -Alex

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13. Chapter Twelve

 

    Louis’s P.O.V. I saw her as often as I could, but between studio time and the limiting visitation hours it wasn’t enough for me. She’s been out for ten days now; ten slow, painful days. I can’t remember a time when I was so low, next to Eleanor’s death. I couldn’t stand not having Katie there with me. It drove me mad not hearing her voice, feeling her near me. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to talk about our kiss. I needed to talk to her and tell her everything.

    I walked through the familiar white corridor down to her room. It was becoming a routine for me. I gave a faint smile to familiar faces and nodded to others. It was unsettling how comfortable I was becoming with this place; it wasn’t right.

    I shut the door behind me and smiled at her beautiful face. I took my regular place next to her bed, holding her delicate hand in mine. I took this time everyday to tell her about everything going on. I didn’t know if she could hear me, but the doctor said it would help. It was strange; he always said she was almost physically recovered and mentally stabilized, but she wasn’t waking up. It made no sense to them. That rude nurse, Jenny, has been lurking around an unusual amount lately. It makes me wonder if she knows something.

    “Good evening, Katie,” I whispered, kissing her cheek gently. “Sorry I’m late; I was held up at the studio again. We were supposed to be finished at six, but the producers made us stay an extra two hours. Don’t ask me why,” I chuckled. I ran my thumb gently up and down the back of her hand. “I know this is tough for you to go through, but I’m ready for you to come back. I’m going insane without you. I’m so scattered and disorganized I can barely remember how I got here. I miss you so much.” I took this time to look at her again. She looked so at peace I wanted to cry. She had always painted on a smile for me to try and hide how much she was struggling. It killed me that she didn’t open up to me like I’d hoped she would, but I took what I got. The way she looked, sleeping peacefully, is how she should look all the time. I only wish I could do that for her.

    “The boys wanted to come and see you today but I didn’t let them. I don’t want them to see you like this. Besides, I want to be the first thing you see when you wake up. I hate that the nurse is so strict about the visitation. They’ve never had a problem with me staying over before, so I think she has something against me.” I frowned at this. “But that’s not important. I have something I need to tell you.” I swallowed hard, not wanting to say it. “It’s December 27 and you missed Christmas. I found something out on Christmas that I wish you could have been there for. We’ve been signed onto an eight month tour across the world. We leave January 2nd.” I paused, almost expecting an answer from her. “I don’t want to leave knowing you might wake up without anybody here. The last thing I would ever want is for you to feel abandoned and alone again. I promised you that I’d never let anything bad happen and that I’d always be there for you. I broke that promise once and I’m making a promise right now that it’ll never happen again.” I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “If you aren’t awake by the first, I’m not going to go on tour. I won’t leave until you’re awake and I can take you with me. That way I can keep you safe with me.” I lay my head down on her arm, stroking her face. I was exhausted from constantly rushing from place to place. I had barely seen the lads at all. I checked the time, seeing I had killed about two hours. I stood up and kissed her head again. “I love you, Katie. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    By the time I got back to the hotel, everyone was back. “Louis, how is she?” Harry came forward and gave me a quick hug.

    “The same,” I mumbled. I plopped onto the couch next to Niall and Liam. Zayn was already asleep; maybe he was as tired as I was.

    “Can we come with you tomorrow?” Niall looked hopeful. “We have the whole day off.”

    I remembered that we had been told that. I was upset I didn’t tell Katie. “I don’t know,” I answered slowly. “I’m not so sure you want to see her like this.” Liam rested a hand on my arm.

    “We do care about her too, Lou. I think it would be good if we all went and saw her together. That way we can see her one last time before the tour,” he said sympathetically.

    I was annoyed by his response. “You’re just assuming she isn’t going to wake up at all? What if she does when I’m gone? What is she going to think of me then?”

    “I’m not saying she won’t, but we have to think of the most logical outcome of this. If she hasn’t woken up yet, she probably won’t for a while. You know this, Louis it’s what the doctor has been telling you since this started.” I scowled at him. “And even if she does wake up before we leave, who’s to say she’ll be completely stable to be able to come with us?”

    “Liam,” Harry warned. He obviously saw how upset this was making me. “It’s been a stressful week; let’s all get some rest and talk this over tomorrow, alright? We’ll all be calmer and thinking straighter.” Harry had a point. Everyone was pretty high strung and worn down.

    That night, I dreamt about Katie again. Only this time, she was asleep, never waking up again.

 

    “Listen, we all need to be quiet when we go in, alright?” The boys nodded as I opened the door gently. She was exactly the same as I had left her last night. My heart fell again, beginning to lose hope. The boys were silent as the door shut behind us, their faces sad. I warned them about it but I figured they hadn’t taken it too seriously.

    “Louis, she’s so still,” Harry whispered. Niall nodded in agreement.

    I just nodded along with him and walked to her bedside. “Katie, I’m back,” I whispered, kissing her forehead. “The boys came with me today; they wouldn’t take no for an answer,” I smiled. I gestured for them to come closer. They took places on either side of her bed, looking down at her in awe.

    “She’s never looked so peaceful,” Liam said quietly, looking up at me. “It’s almost too painful to look at.”

    “She’s beautiful,” Zayn agreed. I smiled at this.

    “She really is beautiful.” I took her hand. “We have the day off today, so that’s why I’m here so early,” I explained. “I figured this way we could spend more time together before the tour.” I hadn’t told the boys my plan yet. I wasn’t until we were boarding the plane.

    We all sat there and talked for a while, passing the time and not realizing how long we were there. When Harry announced it was seven, I looked up at him in surprise. “Do you want something to eat?” Everyone sounded in with a yes. “Let’s go make a quick run, okay?” I looked down at Katie. “Lou, she’s not going anywhere, okay?”

    “Alright let’s go.” We all stood up to leave. I turned back to Katie, waiting until the boys had left the room. “I love you, Katie.” Jenny walked in with Ella who smiled at me and waved. I nodded back to them.

    I was on my way down the hall, thinking of ways to tell the boys. At this rate, I accepted how slim the chance was that Katie would wake up before I had to leave. But I still didn’t want to leave her. I couldn’t stand the thought of her being alone when she woke up. I felt terrible for her mother especially. As it turns out, she had lost her phone when Katie had tried to contact her before and she only just bought a new one. Now that she was filled in on the situation, she felt awful but her job was preventing her from taking time off. I thought it was bullshit, but she’s the one in the job; I’m in no place to call her a liar.

    So that was it; that’s what I would tell them. I wasn’t going to leave her until I knew she was safe with me. I made that promise to her and I wasn’t ever going to break it. I finally caught up to the boys at the elevator. “Listen, I need to tell you all something important and I want you to just hear me out until I’m finished, alright?”

    “Louis, wait! She’s awake, Louis! Katie’s awake!” I turned around to see Ella running towards us, a smile plastered on her face. “She’s woken up, Louis. She’s a little disoriented but she’s okay now.” I felt a smile come across my face as the boys surrounded me in a group hug.

    “Can I please go and see her?” I broke out of the hug and gave Ella a desperate look. I needed to hear Katie’s voice, hear her say my name.

    “Of course you can,” she smiled, squeezing my arm. I ran past her back down the hallway as fast as I could. Katie was awake; she finally came back to me. I opened the door to her room, the lights off except for a dim table lamp.

    “Katie, is that you?” I whispered. I faintly saw her eyes meet mine.

    “Louis.” Hearing my name pass her lips in the sweet, gentle voice she had said it in so many times made me go weak. I made it to her bedside, collapsing next to her. I grabbed her hand and kissed it so many times, not able to stop my tears. I felt her free hand run through my hair gently, trying to calm me. In that moment, I realized how truly happy she made me. She was my everything now.

    I looked up into her eyes. “Katie, I love you.” It was the first time I had ever said it to her while she could hear me and I couldn’t explain how perfect it felt to hear it roll off of my tongue, almost as though her name belonged there.

    “Louis, I…”

    “You don’t have to say anything. I understand if you aren’t ready to say it and that’s fine. I can wait for you, I promise. I told you I’d never leave you again no matter what and I meant it. I meant every last word.” A small smile played at the edge of her lips as she took my face in her hands, tilting my vision up to her face.

    “Louis, I love you too.”

 

Katie’s P.O.V. A shiver went down my spine as the words came out of me. It felt so right to say this to him. It wasn’t anything like the love I had shared with Toby, but it was the next best thing. Louis was everything I needed; I don’t know why I would ever think otherwise.

    He stood up and kissed me gently; it was wonderful. I couldn’t imagine us being anywhere else but in that moment. It was the most amazing thing. When he pulled back, we stayed close, wanting to feel each other’s presence. I had been asleep for longer than I had anticipated, but it gave me the time I needed to finally gain back my sanity. I knew, for once, what I wanted and what was good for me. I was happy for the first time in almost a year and it was all because of Louis.

    They kept me in the hospital for another night, just to be safe. Louis stayed with me the whole time. I couldn’t help but feel as though he was holding something back, but I didn’t press it; I couldn’t risk losing what I had just gained back. We still had our problems to sort out; the fact that I lied to him about my medications, my overreaction and, even though confessing our love summed up the situation, we still had to talk about what happened a few weeks ago during my meltdown. I didn’t want it to happen again because I knew it would hurt Louis. But sometimes I can’t stop it and it all just comes out at once, destroying me in the process. I knew, though, that he could help me overcome this and that I’d get better.

    Louis was lying next to me, playing with my hand. “Louis, is there something you’re not telling me?” I felt him tense slightly. “Please, I don’t want to start out like this again. Just tell me please.”

    He kissed the back of my hand before looking into my eyes. “Katie, the boys and I…we leave on tour January 2nd.” I looked at him, trying to see what he was getting at. “I had asked before if you could come with me as long as you were cleared, but they don’t think it’s a good idea; they don’t want an incident.” My heart fell immediately.

    “Oh…well, at least I woke up in enough time to spend a few days with you before you left,” I smiled, trying not to seem upset. I knew this might happen so I was trying to prepare for it. But nothing could numb how I felt; I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it without Louis helping me.

    “That’s just it, Katie.” Louis turned to me, crossing his legs and taking my hands in his. “I don’t want to leave without you, especially for eight months. I’ve decided to stay behind until you’re all better.”

    “Wait, no you can’t! You’re part of the group you can’t just leave! They can’t do the tour without you and you know that.” I grabbed his face. “You need to trust me when I say it will be okay. I can spend these few days with you and then you’ll go on tour and I’ll work on my own career and see a better therapist who actually knows something about helping people.” We both laughed at my last statement. I met his gentle gaze, smiling as he intertwined his fingers with mine. “Louis, this is an amazing opportunity for you and I don’t want to be the thing that holds you back. I promise you that we’ll keep in touch every day and we won’t break apart.”

    “I just don’t think I could stand being apart from you for so long,” he whispered. I could feel tears building, but I fought them back. I knew if I started crying he’d never believe a single word I just said. We didn’t speak for a few minutes as he thought about this. “I’ll see how these next few days go; if you seem to be alright then I’ll go on tour.” He leaned forward and kissed my cheek. I turned my head and my lips met his. It felt so right to be with him; everything was so natural and I didn’t feel rushed. I felt his hand slide behind my neck, pulling me closer. I giggled against his lips.

    “Louis, we’re in a hospital,” I mumbled.

    “I find it hard to care where we are right now,” he whispered back, sliding his tongue into my mouth. I put my hands around his neck, pulling him down on top of me. Suddenly, a knock came to the door and we quickly pulled apart. Ella walked in with a smile on her face.

    “I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything; I knocked just to be safe.” Louis smirked, making me blush. “You seem to be recovering very well, Ms. Willows. You can check out tomorrow morning,” Ella said, patting my arm.

    “Thank you so much for everything,” I responded, sincerity in my voice. She squeezed my arm and walked out, giving us a mischievous look before she did, making my blush deepen. Louis looked over at me laughing.

    “No need to be ashamed; she understands.” Louis leaned in for a kiss again, which I gladly gave to him. I fell asleep in his arms, completely content.

 

    We checked out the next morning and I was practically charging out the door. Louis had to hold me back, stopping me from speeding to the parking lot. I had spent enough time alone in the hospital and I was ready to head back to the hotel.

    “Aren’t you going to miss this place, love?” Louis caught my waist as we made our way through the brisk air to the car.

    “Hell no,” I laughed. “I’m ready to be home now.” We got in the car and started driving off. I held Louis’s hand the whole way and I couldn’t stop smiling. The word must have gotten out that I was released because the hotel was swarmed with fans.

    “Dammit, we aren’t going to get in quietly, are we?” Louis pulled up to the curb as fans began to swarm us. “Stay in here until I come around to the door, alright?” I nodded and stayed in the car, watching him weave his way around the fans to my car door.

    The second my door opened the once muffled shouts became full on screams; I couldn’t tell if they were good or bad. Louis wrapped his arm around my waist, taking my small duffel bag in his other hand. “You aren’t slipping away from me this time,” he growled playfully, kissing my cheek. I giggled and placed my hand on his shoulder, letting him guide me through the crowd. I wasn’t listening to what the people were saying; at that point I honestly didn’t care. The majority of them were asking for Louis, but I heard my name a few times.

    When we finally got into the hotel and up to our floor, I was led past my normal room. “Uh, Louis, that was my room back there,” I trailed off as he took me to a different room.

    “I know, but I got our own room. You know, since we only have a few days left together,” he winked. I smiled and kissed him. As we walked in, I was attacked with hugs from the boys. I laughed and gave them each a kiss on the cheek as I walked over to the bed, throwing my duffel onto it. I’d deal with it later.

    We all stayed up and hung out, laughing and having fun all day. I didn’t want to take any moment from these next days for granted. They were becoming my family now; I didn’t want to lose them too.

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