In The Depths

Loneliness is like a deep dark void, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. As much as I try, I just get deeper into the depths of loneliness, and into the depths of my soul. I just want to get out. I don't deserve this.

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14. Wounded With A Savior

The bullet hits my hip.

Pain immediately smears my vision with black spots, like a dark mug of coffee slowly staining a white shirt. I've never felt such a sensation of hurt in my life. It feels like fire slowly devouring me from the inside, charring skin and bone and muscle tissue.

And the blow isn't even at any important organs.

I feel my knees buckle from under me and I collapse to the floor with a grunt. From the corner of my eyes, I see with blurred vision an empty doorway, indicating the enemy has gone. Through all the pain, a sense of relief washes over me. Neither Will nor Harry have be injured today.

The blare of sirens echo throughout the complex, a haze of blue and red. I see Harry bending over me as locks of brown hair fall over his eyes. He’s crying, I can tell by how he heaves as he breathes in and out, in and out. He touching my cheek, whispering things under his breath like, “You’ll be okay,” and, “You’re stronger than a goddamn bullet.” I know he’s trying to comfort himself more than me.

In a matter of minutes, a woman is standing over me, dressed in a nurse’s uniform. She must work for the ambulance that drove here. She looks at me, her mouth drawn in a line. Her blonde hair falls over her clavicle and her deep gray eyes show empathy for me. “Sir,” she says to me.
“Where do you feel pain?”

I point to my hip numbly. She bends down next to me, politely asking Harry to move. Her delicate fingers push my cotton shirt up. I try not to look at the wound, but find my eyes lingering on the bullet hole. Ruby red blood stains the skin around the hole and the bullet hole itself looks a darker red, etched with small, blue veins.

I feel sick.

She-otherwise known as Jeanne, shown by her name tag-grunts with a smile. “You were lucky, young man. The bullet seemed to skim your hip, instead of plunging straight in. You were spared the marrow of your pelvic bone. Still, the wound is pretty bad. I’ll wash up the blood now using a moist wipe that will also ease the pain.” Her hands are soon covered with plastic gloves, and sooner enough she is dabbing my wound. I wince as the numbing medicine touches the tender spot.

I spy Harry biting his nails by my feet. Will is talking to a police officer by the doorway, pointing to where the gunman formally stood. I motion Harry over, and he bends over to my other side. A small smile brushes my face. I hope it will comfort him.

“Harry, I’ll be fine.” I take his hand in mine.

“You got shot, Louis,” he chokes. “It would have been me, but you managed to do something so stupid as to jump in front of me, and why? For me?”

I sigh, suddenly exhausted. “Of course, Harry, for you. Look, the bullet would have hit you straight in the thigh, in the front and out the back. Do you want to not walk for Hell knows how long? I had to save you, I love you.” I feel the eyes of Jeanne from behind me, burrowing into my back.

“I just feel so terrible. You have to suffer, Louis.” He grasps my hand so tight that it hurts. I decide not to say anything.

“Don’t pity me.”

“I-”

“Do not pity me.”

Harry blinks as Jeanne clears her throat from the other side of me. I turn my head towards her, curious of what is to happen next. “We’re going to drive you to the ambulance. There you will get crutches and you will need to wear them for a month or so, unless the wound feels better beforehand.” I cringe as I imagine my acting career go down the drain. I cannot play the role of a character as I hobble across the stage, eyes digging into my skin, pitying me deeply.

I hate pity.

 

 

 

Hospitals always sickened me. Ironic, the one that heals sickens. A white curtain stares me down as I lay stubbornly in a hospital bed, itchy and hot against the uncomfortable texture of the bed sheets. Luckily, they did not put me in a hospital gown and luckily my butt is not shown off to the world.

My jeans seem to be cut at the waist band, making the spot where the bullet hit available. A thick, cushiony bandage is laid across it. I am glad I don’t have to lay eyes on the unappealing bloody and veiny mess.

Harry and Will stand next to the bed, blinking away obvious tears.

“Guys, guys,” I say, cocking my head. “I didn’t die. It looks like one of your most cherished puppy dogs just got hit by a bus.”

“It’s just weird and sad,” Will says, with his voice masked by emotions. “that one of my newest friends just got hit with a bullet and that my apartment complex was raided with a psychopathic shooter and that Harry just admitted his love for you.” He takes his glasses off, rubbing his temples, as if trying to rid himself of a bad headache.

“He was arrested,” Harry says. His face is a blank canvas with no splash of color. “The man who shot you is arrested. That’s what Sam said.”

“Who’s Sam?” I ask.

“He’s a police I met with outside of the complex after the whole incident. He also said that the gunman managed to shoot six other people. Four were shot in the stomach. One was shot in the leg. One was…” He looks down.

Will continues. “My neighbor died tonight.”

I swallow back a sympathetic lump in my throat. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Will breaths. “I barely knew her.”

We all take a moment of silence. The sadness and scaredness washes over us, and we stare into each other’s eyes, knowing that it could have been worse. 

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