Throughout my shift, my mind is constantly bombarded with ‘What If’s’. What if I told him what I really wanted to? What if he told me the same things? What if he told me the truth about Rachel? And other questions like that. I can’t get my head around this whole deal though. Maybe he just puts up this front? ‘Of course he does Ava.’ Her voice says to me. Though I have figured out that the voice in my head is not my own, I have not yet met the person who invades my every thought. Do other people hear voices like I do? Or am I just going crazy?
“Ava.” Mike puts his hand on my shoulder. I slip from my thoughts, back to reality and see that the pub has gotten quite a bit busier since I slipped from this place. “Could you cut up those limes into wedges please?” Mike asks me and I nod.
I grab the knife from the side of the counter, and start to slice the limes into wedges, still half in my daydream. I think about where he is now. I look around the pub and see Mary looking at me. She gives me a light smile and walk away though. Strange. Her tall figure appears sickly today. Her skin is more pale than usual and she looks awfully tired.
“Shit Ava.” I am shaken once more from my thoughts by Mike sitting me down. I feel light headed all of a sudden and I fail to realize the deep cut down my hand from the sharp knife. Blood seeps from the cut and I panic, trying to grab a cloth so that I can put pressure on it. I feel slightly drowsy and I look to the small pool of blood on the floor. Mike becomes slightly fizzed in my vision, but I focus in on his voice, determined to stay awake. ‘Is she alright?’ ‘They are on their way.’ ‘Oh dear.’ Surrounding voices fill my thoughts. “Ava, stay with me. The ambulance is on its’ way. Focus on my voice.” I look to Mikes eyes and he presses a fresh white cloth to my hand. I watch as my blood soaks the cloth and I hear the bell on the door ring. A large man with a first aid kit comes over to me, but I close my eyes before he can get here.
When I open my eyes again, I see a white ceiling above me. I lift my head and focus in on the bumpy texture of it, the one that crumbles when you touch it. I look around the room and set my eyes on my left hand. With a large bandage and all, my hand sits in a sling held to my chest. I can see a small black thread poking out of the bandages. I wonder how many stitches I got? I hear a soft breath on the other side of me, and as I look over, I see Zayn resting his head on the side of my bed. I smile a bit and emerge a bit more from my drowsy state. I reach my free hand out to meet his as I hear him drag in a deep breath. His eyes flicker open and set on me and I rest my head back on my pillow.
“Hi.” I smile at him and I get the same in return.
“Hi. Are you okay?” He asks, raising his eyebrows at me.
“Yeah. Um, how long was I asleep?”
“Just a couple hours. It’s almost 1 a.m.” He says, stretching a bit. I hear the click of the door and a doctor walks in.
“Oh, so you are awake. Hello Ava, my name is Dr. Reynolds and you are at London General Hospital“. I haven’t realized this until now, but my hand still rests in Zayn’s. It’s a nice feeling; warm. I smile and nod. “Okay, so the knife that cut your hand resulted in 11 stitches. You are on some medication right now for any discomfort that you may feel and you may feel a bit drowsy. We are going to keep you until noon today, okay?” I nod once more.
“Thank you.” I try to say, though the voice within me comes out in a mere croak.
“No problem.” He checks his clipboard. “You to make a lovely couple by the way.” He adds.
“Oh, we’re not—“ But I am cut off by the door closing before I can finish my correction to his unneeded statement. I look over to Zayn who has his gaze at his lap and I squeeze his hand slightly. We both smile and look up.
“You should probably eat something, Ava.” He breaks the silence. “Can I get you anything?” I shake my head.
“No thanks. I think that I just need some sleep.” I say closing my eyes. I hear a slight ‘okay’ from him. “Zayn?” I ask him with my eyes still closed.
“Yeah?” He replies. His voice has a bit of a raspy tone to it.
“Thank you for coming.” I smile when I feel his lips on my forehead. Although I wondered how he got here, I don’t ask him. Don’t want to ruin the stretch of us not fighting for once. A pleasant feeling fills me as I am consumed by slumber and my dreams take me away.
She didn’t notice that I’d put my number into her phone this morning when she woke beside me. It’s been a long day full of controversy and confusion mostly. But all that matters is right here. She is okay and for once since we’ve met, everything is fine.
I see her relax in her chair as her grip on my hand loosens itself. I grab my sketch book from my bag and flip to a blank page. I draw her relaxed face and her wavy hair. I shade the strands of her hair to show her colour change from top to bottom.
No voices enter my brain. My attention is focused on her. Her cheeks slightly pink and her lips slightly parted. Perhaps she is in a dream, somewhere far away from here; living a life that she hopes to have one day. I only wish that I could do the same.
I sign the new drawing of her, close my book and set it on her side table before I rest my head on her bedside once more and fall asleep.
I open my eyes to the beams of light shining through the large hospital window. Zayn is no longer by my side, but his bag is still here. Perhaps he went for some tea, or a bite to eat, or to change his clothes. The drowsy feeling behind my eyes has disappeared. I look to my left hand, bandaged up tight, it felt weird… tingly. On the table on my right, there is a black sketch book, I guess it is Zayn’s.
I pick it up and flip to the first page. I think it was from the day when I saw him in the woods. He was an amazing artist. The second drawing was of a girl. She was beautiful. From the looks of it, she had light hair and light eyes. Maybe blue? Or green? Zayn had captured her liveliness perfectly. There was a quote under her portrait. ‘My heart will forever remain enclosed with the cold stone that you are remembered by.’ Is this Rachel? Okay, it’s a bit strange. I flip to the next one. It was of me the night of the attack. It looked just like me. There was a quote at the bottom of that page as well. ‘By the look in your eyes, I know that my soul will forever remain in your hands.’ I scrunch up my nose and flip on. The next was of me too. At school, I think. My hair was in a ponytail and I was sitting at a bench working on something. Okay, this is creepy. As I flip through the next ten or so pages, I am filled with self-images. In the library, walking home, when I am mad, scared… and then I flip to the last page. I am here. He has been drawing me. ON one side I am kind of flattered in a weird way, but my disgust at this is much more dominant. What kind of stalker is he? I look up to see him standing with a tray of food in the door way. Shit.
“Dammit.” He says walking over to me, placing the tray down on the side table. I am speechless. I mean, this man has been drawing me. When I was asleep in my own room, he was drawing me.
“Zayn…” I start to say, but he cuts me off.
“Shit, I have to go. You weren’t meant to see that.” He grabs the sketch book from my hands, but I pull it away from his grip.
“Zayn, what the hell is this?” I look at the book. I am trying to give him a chance here, maybe he will say the right thing.
“Nothing, it’s nothing. Just let it go ok?”
“How am I supposed to let this go?” I know this isn’t a big thing, but I mean, I want to know why he has been drawing me.
“Fuck. Ava, just give me the damn book okay?” He pleads. “I’ve let this get way out of hand.” He mumbles on.
“You’ve been drawing me. Why?” I push, ignoring his comment.
“No, it’s not just nothing.” I raise my voice a bit. “You are supposed to hate me. We were literally ready to rip each other’s heads off this morning.” I point out. It’s true though.
“Why am I supposed to hate you?” Well, that was unexpected… “Sorry bad question.” He shakes his head a bit. “No… I hate you. You are an over dramatic bitch. Why would I like you? Why am I even here?” What is he doing? He is acting like he is trying to convince himself.
“Zayn…” I feel tears start to prick my eyes. Why am I crying? I hate this guy. He’s a prick and doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
“Ugh, I’ll see you around.” He grabs the sketch book from my hands and basically runs from the hospital room, losing the door with a BANG behind him.