He lays on the floor very still. Minutes tick past, maybe hours, before Lyra drags Cole out of the car, somehow unharmed by the accident. I am sat next to Chance; the shirt from his leg now tied around his stomach to supress his bleeding and my hand brushing his face gently.
“What happened?” Cole asks, kneeling down opposite me and examining Chance’s still body. I look up at him and frown, wondering how he managed to escape the car without a scratch on his body.
“He’s got internal bleeding,” I say, keeping my explanation short and snappy, “we need to get into the city and get him to a hospital quickly. He doesn’t have long, maybe a day or two at most.”
The ghost of a smile passes across Cole’s lips so quickly that if I’d blinked I would have missed it. I scowl at him, and then turn to Lyra.
“Do you know how to drive?”
She shakes her head.
I raise my eyebrow at Cole. “Nope,” he says, “Chance was the only one that knew. Looks like we’ll be going on foot.” I sigh helplessly, regaining my strength and looking between the two of them. Cole volunteers to help me move Chance, so we wrap his arms around our necks and watch helplessly as he coughs violently.
“Blaire,” says Chance as we slowly take him up the bank with us. I look at him and he tries to smile at me, but it doesn’t work as he planned. His lips are red. Red with blood. Rather than telling him it’s going to be okay, I nod. Who knows if he’s even going to make it into the city? Let alone the procedure we’ll have to go through to stop his bleeding. Something inside of me feels empty as I start to think of all of the possibilities of his surgery going wrong.
If my theory is correct, and I was a doctor before the virus hit and killed most of the population, then maybe going to the hospital with trigger my memories. That’s what I hope, anyway, that being in a hospital surrounded by all of the equipment will trigger some sort of memory of me doing surgery. Maybe I will remember how to stop his bleeding. But if I don’t…
“How far is the hospital?” Lyra asks, bringing me back to reality. I look further into the city, trying to work out where the hospital would be. In the centre? We’re about a day away from the centre of the city with the weight of Chance on our shoulders.
“A day, probably,” I shrug my shoulder. Looks like I’m in charge now.
An hour passes, and we get closer to the centre of the city. We found a wheelchair that Chance is now slouched in, but one wheel is missing. Cole is holding the side without a wheel upright, whilst I push the wheelchair, carefully steering around pieces of rock and debris. A few times I’ve thought that Chance was gone, he’s been having violent fits of coughing and shaking, and to be honest, it scares me. What will we do without him? Cole certainly isn’t fit to be a leader, and neither is Lyra, but me? I sigh.
The sun slowly starts to go down behind the city, casting brilliant shades of pink and red all across the tall glass buildings. It’s like something from another world, so unfamiliar that it almost kicks something in my brain.
“How long is it again?” Tom nudged me playfully. I looked over at him, and his deep blue eyes were reflecting the rays of sun being cast over the city. I smiled a little and shook my head.
Three weeks until our wedding. I bit my lip hard to hide the squeal of happiness that would have escaped if I didn’t. I could still remember every second of his proposal, every emotion that crossed his face. Now the small diamond ring sat on my finger, gleaming like Tom’s eyes. Gleaming like the sun casting over the glass buildings. The buildings looked like diamonds, like the diamond on my finger.
Tom grinned, “Tessa,” he said, and my heart leaped, “it’s just you and me. You and me against the world.”
“Blaire!” I feel a heavy hand on my shoulder, and realise that I’ve stopped dead in my tracks. I brush Cole’s hand off and go to push the wheelchair again when he stops me. “What was that?”
“What was what?”
Cole arches his eyebrows and leans in closely, his lips brushing my ear, “we all have secrets darling.”
I hold in the argument rising inside of me and push Chance into a small building, the door being held open by Lyra. On the walls inside are rows and rows of glass shelves all filled with different sized and shaped glasses. I know what glasses are! There is a desk pushed into the far corner, and two small tables with chairs around them in the centre of the room. Both of the tables, I notice, are topped with many kinds of mirrors and rulers.
I turn to look at the glasses, and my fingers find a large square pair with thick black frames behind the counter. The plastic frames are smooth and somewhat familiar in my hands as I pick up the mirror and slide them in front of my eyes. I blink, once, twice, three times, and my eyes adjust to what feels like a heavy weight on my nose. But something is different. I put the mirror down and look up at Cole and Lyra, who are wondering aimlessly around the room. They seem…clearer. Did I used to wear glasses?
I run my finger along the frames that surround my eyes and chuckle quietly to myself. Of all the things that could be wrong with me, I never suspected that it would be my vision.