The sweet scent of fall dances in my nostrils, reminding me to wake up. I take a deep breath, absorbing the scent and let out a light sigh. I open my eyes to the welcoming voice of my mother, standing above me. Her hair is up in a straightened pony tail. The sun glistens on her hair, creating a sparkling aroma. "Good morning Brittany." She says, leaning down to kiss my forehead.
I look around the room to see if it is only my mother and I in the bright white room. No one is in sight but the woman next to me. The window is wide open, letting a passage of cool breeze enter the room, air conditioning the surroundings. Under the window lays a small portable light brown table which holds up two vases and a card, along with a white mug. One vase is shaped like a stem itself, with glass leaves coming out of it. It has a light pink taint to the glass and light blue streaks near the top. It holds white lilies. The second vase looks like it had been twisted. It is also glass looking, but translucent. it has no streams like the first. It is taller than the first, and much thiner. Blood red roses tower over its opening, hanging over it's sides. The card stands in front of both flowers, half opened. I can make out the words "better soon" on it's front page.
I take a deep breath and bring my attention back to my mother who is now braiding a small strand of wavy hair by my pillow. I smile at her focused expression and look up at the tiled ceiling. I remember when I was much younger, my mother would read me this one book called Madeline. It was about this one young girl who was an orphan and she lived with many other little orphans. They all slept in the same huge room in their own small single beds. I don't remember much of it though. All I remember is that the house had great vines draped on the house she and all the other little kids lived in, and their guardian was a nun. Another thing I remember is that she, Madeline, was once sick, so she went to the hospital, I believe, and she looked up at the ceiling, like I am now, and made out the undiscovered pictures on it.
I look back at my mother, who has finished the thin braid. "'Morning Mom" I say with a smile plastered on my face. She returns a smile and presses a button on the side of my bed, which lifts the top of hospital bed so that I am in a sitting position, without having to get up. I thank her and reach for her hand. I feel her golden wedding ring around her left ring finger, which has turned cool. I rest my index finger over it and try to keep myself calm. I can see the pain returning into my mothers eyes as he stands over me, staring at the memory of my father. I rub her hand and shimmy my body upwards so my back is straight.
"Where's Bret?' I ask as I let her hand free. She takes a seat in the rolling chair and combs her hair with her fingers, pushing the strands on the left side of her neck. "He is with Harry, getting you a breakfast. Niall had to leave for an Art exam. He said he will be back once he had finished." She says, roller over to the table, admiring the flowers. Just as I open my mouth to speak, short legs come running through the door and onto on lap. I wince from pain but try to keep it in. Bret's small arms are swung around my neck, giving me a warm hug. I pull my arms from under the blanket and hug his waist tight. He lets go and kisses my cheek wetly then jumps off to do the same to my mother.
Another pair of legs come in shortly after, but with less enthusiasm. I look up to see Harry holding a small hand picked flowers in one hand and a tray in another. Bret runs over to Harry, pulling at his skinny jeans for Harry to lean down. Harry obeys. He looks straight into my eyes, and winks, making my cheeks flush. "I want to give them to her!" I hear Bret try to whisper to Harry as he reaches up to grab the bouquet of wild flowers. Harry lets the four year old hands hold them and walks to my mothers side, putting the tray on the tables edge.
"Oh aren't those lovely!" My mother says admiringly, looking at Bret who nods happily towards her. He walks to my side, handing the flowers to me. I take them willingly and give him a soft his on his forehead. "Wow! Did you pick these yourself Bret?" I say, excitement in my voice. I try to make Bret as proud and happy as possible, and high voices help.
"Yeah I did! Harry helped too. He is a good flower picker." Bret's childlike voice fills the room. He looks over to Harry, holding out a hand. Harry grabs Bret's small hand and joins us both by my bed. "Thank you, they are very nice." I say, taking a whiff at the flowers. "I'll go get you another vase." My mother's voice interrupts my smell testing. She stands up from her chair, leaving the three of us alone in the room. "I'm going to go help mommy." Bret say, running out of the room, closing the door behind.
A cheeky smile crosses Harry's face the second the door shuts. I roll my eyes and look back towards the window. "Do I get a kiss on my forehead?" Harry asks teasingly. I look over to his husky voice, which has moved closer than I had thought. He sits on my bed, by my side. "Please?" He asks again. I sigh and look back out the window. The sun is radiating into the room, making it much warmer now that the breeze has stopped. He climbs off the bed and to the window, right in front of the table. He leans against it and looks desperately into my eyes. I sigh and gesture him closer, igniting his dimples. He bows his head and I plant a light peck on his forehead. I pull away quick and look down at the arrangement of flowers.
I push the blankets off my body and to the side, letting my legs breath. I slide off the bed and search for the door to the bathroom. I turn my head to my right to see it. I walk over and turn the knob, opening the small room. I walk inside and close the surprisingly heavy door behind me, locking it. I look in the mirror to see my hair natural. It isn't as bad as I thought It would have looked like. My long waves run down past my shoulders and down my back. I run my hand through the top of my head, creating a middle parting. My bangs have grown out and I don't have a brush to create a side parting. I push the sides behind my ears and rub my face with water. I dry my freckled face with a white towel then move back to my room.
Harry lays on the bed, one leg over the other. He is looking up at the ceiling as I was moments ago. I clear my throat and he jumps off the bed, allowing me to return to my spot. I shake my head and walk towards the window. "Fine. I'll sit in comfort." He says and goes back to laying on the bed. I inhale the smell of the lilies, roses, and arrangements as I look at the choice of food on the Hospital tray. I take a bagel in my hand and start to eat. I am hungry. I hadn't noticed how hungry I am until now. I finish off the plain toasted bagel and grab a crumpet. "Do you know, by change, um- why I am- well, here?" I ask while devouring the delicious food. I pick up the white mug, placing my wild flowers down for a moment to open the top if the mug. I twist it open and see tea inside. I put the top piece down and pick up the flowers once more. I take a sip and recognize the tea. It's from Harry's. I can't fight the smile that comes as I swallow the heated liquid.
"After you left my place, with Leprechaun, you fainted in your bathroom and hit your head on the sink." Harry says, fiddling with his fingers. "You only locked the door half way." He looks up at me and then back to his fingers. "Blondie called me once you were in emergency." He smiles on the side slowly. "I made sure I brought you tea and flowers." Harry nods towards the lilies. I look at the white flowers. I take another sip of the tea, then walk back to the bed. Harry is playing with two rings he is wearing. I sit up on the bed next to him. He moves over, allowing me more space to lay. I shimmy over and sit against the head board, letting myself cough lightly.
I hear the creak of the door open and steps coming closer. Bret holds a small round bowl of green stained glass, filled with water. He puts it next to the lilies, stealing a cookie from the tray. My mother follows, siting, once again, in her rolling chair. I get up off the bed with the flowers in my hands, placing them in the round bowl.
"I liked this one. The other ones didn't look cool." Bret says, admiring the bowl. I smile at his innocence and give him a hug.
"I like this one too. Thank you for picking it for me." I say lightly.
Harry moves off the bed, towards Bret and I. Bret grabs Harry's hand and wraps his arms around his long legs, much taller than Bret himself. "I like Harry." Bret mumbles against the jean fabric. Harry looks at me proudly, making me stick my tongue out at him. He chuckles, picking Bret up and putting him on the bed.
"How are you feeling Brit?" My mother says, tapping her heels together. I finish off Harry's tea, placing it back on the tray. "Much better." I say, alarmingly positive. "Good." My mother replies, looking at Bret, who is now crawling on the floor. I laugh at my little brothers chubby legs as he makes his way across the room towards my mother. I search for my phone, wanting to wish Niall good luck on his test or exam, or whatever he is doing. "Here." I hear the low voice against my ear, sending shivers down my spine. In Harry's hand holds his phone, which I have used so many times in the few days we have known each other. I take it from his large hand and press the home button. I type in his password and text Niall. *Good luck on your test today. -Brit* I shut it off and give it back to him.
"Bret and I will go see what the doctors say. We will be back soon. Hopefully, we can get you out of here!" My mom says as she climbs out of her signature chair, grabbing Bret by the hand and holding him up. She leaves the room, leaving the door behind. I leave the tray and head back to the bed. I sit cross legged on the pillow looking at Harry's bare arms. He has a star on one of his arms, which seems to be a tattoo. Harry notices my glare and joins me by the bed.
He sits cross legged across from me, holding out his arm. I trace the ink with my finger slowly, over and over. "When did you get it?" I ask, still tracing the figure.
"February 2nd." He replies, looking down at the outlined star tattoo. I continue to run my finger over and over it. I can feel Harry's muscles flex underneath my touch, which makes it, somehow, intoxicating.
I feel the breeze coming back, cooling the hot room down, raising my mood. I close my eyes at the sweet sensation if the wind blowing through my hair and hitting my face. Harry moves his arm away, and I notice why, when I open my eyes to see my mother holding her black leather purse and Bret in her arms, who hold the car keys in his small hands.
I move my body away from Harry's and onto the Hospital floor. My mother clears her throat, and bounces Bret in her arm. "We're all set. We can leave whenever you want." She says after letting out a cough. "Harry, can you grab Brittany's clothes in the back of the car while we get ready?" My mom says, holding her keys out to him. He nods, grabbing her keys and heading out the door on his mission.
Bret slips down my mother's side and gathers the card and tray off the table. "Where do I put this?" He asks to the floor. My mom points towards a desk beside the door. Bret follows the directions, struggling to place the tray on top of the desk. I walk over to him, helping him reach the top. He holds the card in his hands and runs back to mum.
Harry comes back moments later with a small plastic bag in his hand and another white mug. He puts the bag in my hands and places the mug on the window table. I walk to the bathroom, and open the bag to see a small piece of paper on top of a pile of clothes. I take the slip in my hands and read it.
Halloween Party at my place Friday, if you and Leprechaun would like to come? It's a costume party ;) You two can come early after school if you want. Sleep over if wanted. -Harry
I smile at his use of the nick name for Niall. Leprechaun. It makes me laugh. I put the paper on the sink and slip on a long sleeved plain light blue V Neck shirt and black skinny jeans. I check my hair one last time before tying the bag close, taking the invitation, then going out to my mother, Bret, and Harry.