save me; cth

the one where calum makes friends with the nurse who keeps on saving him

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2. chapter 1

David marched up the stairs angrily, clutching an envelope in one hand and drinking a beer he had in the other. When he arrived at the top of the staircase he took a sharp right turn that would lead him to Calum's bedroom. He shook the doorknob but it wouldn't budge.

"Calum! Open this door right fu.cking now!" He roared powerfully.

Soon after, he became impatient and kicked the door in forcefully. Inside the room was his 19-year-old son, Calum, who was still sleeping peacefully. David walked over to the side of his bed while downing the rest of his drink. He studied the bottle for a second before smashing it over Calum's head. He'd become so numb to the pain that he just hummed in his sleep and rolled over onto his side.

David grabbed Calum by his hair and threw him off his bed. He landed on the floor with a loud thump and even managed to hit his head on the side of his desk.

"What the fu.ck is this? You fuck.ing dropped out of school? Seriously? It's a real shame your mother left you alive for me to deal with. Fuck.ing pathetic." He finished before throwing the letter at Calum who was still on the floor.

Once his father left the room, Calum slowly stood up and tried to keep his balance. He brought his hand up to the back of his head and immediately felt warm blood oozing out. He muttered to himself and grabbed his car keys off his old, scratched up desk.

On his way out, he grabbed a dried up rag he found on the floor and held it against his wound. He didn't waste time changing clothes since he kept extras of everything in his truck. There were some days where he'd leave and not come home for days, maybe even weeks. When he ran away, he stayed in a small abandoned building near the edge of town that he shared with some friends. That was mostly when he needed to recover from a bad beating. He didn't need his dad pulling out his stitches while he was trying to recover.

He slowly tiptoed down the stairs, nervous of the beating he knew he would get if his dad heard him. He sneakily made his way out the back door and jumped the fence into the alley behind his house. He'd started parking his truck in the alley since he could get there easier and faster than he could if he parked it in the driveway. Parking in the alley increased the chance of his car getting stolen but he was okay with that. He thought it was an old piece of sh.it anyway.

He hopped into his beat up 1997 Toyota Tacoma and put on a large hoodie he kept in the passenger seat. It was currently winter and it felt below freezing out so he made sure to keep extra warm clothes in his truck. He started his truck and was thankful when the sound of a familiar Yellowcard song began flooding through the speakers. He cranked the dial as high as it would go and drummed on the steering wheel along to the beat. He'd completely forgotten about the multiple cuts in his head and the blood that was probably staining his headrest. He felt the lingering pain in the back of his head every once in a while but he wasn't planning on going to the hospital since they'd probably charge him and he didn't have money for that.

Before long, he pulled up at a gas station and parked at the second farthest tank from the store. His car had been living right above E on the fuel gauge for an entire week and if he didn't fill it now he probably wouldn't get another chance to. There had been an increase in police presence in the area because of so many shootings and crimes that have happened recently but Calum had found a couple ways to illegally get around having to pay for gas so he didn't have to. Most of the times he was here he used stolen credit cards or some other tactic, but today was different.

He would never admit it, but every time he came close to getting caught it was like a high. It would make his adrenaline rush and it would make him feel like he could do anything. He felt invincible.

A small bell was heard as he walked into the store to grab everything he needed. After he had everything he made his way to the line and stood behind an elderly woman who was standing behind a middle aged man. The woman was short, probably due to her age, even though she only looked around 60 or 70. She turned around when Calum stood behind her and began speaking to him happily.

"You are a handsome young man, you remind me of my son when he was younger."

Calum raised his head a little and smiled at the woman. When he smiled at her, she managed to spot one of the cuts on his forehead.

"Oh my, are you okay honey?" She asked worriedly.

"I'm alright, I just fell off my skateboard earlier and got a little scratched up. Came here to grab some bandages." Calum lied, showing her the bandages and the gauze in his right hand.

She had a look of relief on her face and she laughed as she noticed the beer in his left hand.

"I take it that's for the pain too huh?" She joked.

He nodded and chuckled.

"Something like that."

The little old woman turned back toward the cashier and paid for the items she was carrying. When she finished paying she turned back around and smiled sweetly at Calum.

"It was nice meeting you." She told him.

"You too," Calum said to her with a weak smile.

As she walked away, Calum stepped forward to pay for his items. As he set his items down on the counter the cashier spoke to him.

"The lady before you already paid for your things, is there anything else you needed?"

Calum's eyes widened in surprise. He couldn't comprehend why the woman he'd just met would pay for him.

"Uhm yeah, one pack of your cheapest cigarettes and however much gas on tank 5 that this will get me," He said, placing all the money he had left on the counter and leaving behind his illegal ideas.

The cashier rang up his requests and bagged everything he had.

Calum thanked him as he took his receipt and walked out.

He walked back to his truck and inserted the gas pump into the fuel tank in his truck. While he waited for it to fill up he grabbed his backpack and walked to the bathroom.

Upon entering, his nose was met with the stench of weed, diarrhea, and potential death. He tried his best not to inhale the sickening scent as he wrapped his head with the supplies he'd just purchased. He then took his toothbrush and toothpaste out of his backpack so he could brush his teeth. Sure, brushing his teeth in a gas station bathroom seemed disgusting but it was better than nothing.

When he was done keeping up with his hygiene, or at least trying, he took his clean clothes out of his backpack and changed out of his pajamas. He changed into a t-shirt which he paired with some black skinny jeans and his only remaining pair of shoes.

When he left the bathroom he noticed that the sky had clouded up a bit more and it was now sprinkling. Once he got to his car, he swung his backpack out in front of him and took out his hoodie he'd just taken off. He quickly put it back on before removing the gas pump and hopping back into his truck.

He reached over to the passenger side and grabbed the bottle of Guinness he'd just bought before cracking it open and taking a long swig as he drove off.

He'd occasionally take a few drinks when he hit a stop light or found himself stuck in traffic. He'd figured out from experience that he can drink up to 6 beers and still be able to drive pretty decently. It was very illegal and definitely risky, but that's what made Calum love it even more.

As he pulled up to his small safehouse, he lit one of his cigarettes before walking inside to find his two troubled friends, Roy and Mitchy.

Roy had given up everything for a singing career when he was twenty-one years old. He sang most nights in small bars around town or just on the streets if no one was willing to book him. Along the way, he'd met Mitchy, who was also a singer going from bar to bar hoping that one day he'd get signed to a record label.

Calum met them when he was at a bar one night, he'd been there one of the nights Roy performed and offered to buy him a drink after his set. A couple days later Calum had received the worst beating of his life and needed a place to stay so he asked Roy for some help in hopes that he knew of a safe, sheltered place he could hide. He took Calum to his small, torn up, messy home that he shared with Mitchy, and ever since then, they've been like brothers to him.

He'd always felt like he would have gotten more from life if he'd tried singing or playing an instrument when he was younger. He'd always felt he had talent, he just never had the chance to figure out what he was good at. He always wanted to join the soccer team in middle school but his dad always told him it was a waste of time and money. When he was a sophomore in high school he really wanted to learn to play the guitar or maybe even drums but he'd never gotten the chance.

He was always too busy to consider taking lessons. Between homework, actual work and trying to make sure his dad didn't drink himself to death, he had a full schedule. Back then he wasn't old enough for a real job just yet, so he went up and down the streets mowing lawns and walking dogs. He'd eventually save up enough money to keep himself and his father fed and alive but there were a couple incidents- more than a dozen - where David forced Calum into giving him his hard earned money so he could buy more alcohol instead.

Calum loved his dad, he did. He had no reason to really hate him, his dad was just... difficult. His dad blamed him for ruining his life but Calum knew deep down that when he was born, his dad must have been so full of excitement to finally have a son. There was a picture, a polaroid actually, that used to hang on the fridge, secured loosely by a piece of old tape. It was taken the day Calum was born. David, Joy, and Mali all smushed together on the small hospital bed smiling down at the tiny newborn. Calum always loved admiring the picture and imagining what Mali and his mother were like. One of his English teachers in high school had his mom as a student many years prior to Calum and always told him stories of the shenanigans she tried getting away with back in the day.

His favorite was the one where she and her friends would wait til their teacher was facing the board then proceed to say 'beep' in different octaves all throughout the classroom. Every time the teacher turned back around, everyone stayed silent, at least until he turned back to the board.

Calum always wanted to try that with his classmates, but he couldn't risk getting sent to the office. His father would have him skinned alive.

He kicked off his shoes while greeting Mitchy before taking a seat next to him on the couch. Roy walked in a couple seconds later and immediately noticed the bandaging around Calum's head, which was already stained a deep red color.

"Jesus Cal, what happened to your head?" He asked, cracking open a beer to drink with his sandwich.

"My dad. Took 'im this long to find out I dropped out of school" Calum sighed then winced at his sudden pain.

"Shouldn't you like, go to the hospital or something?" Roy asked with his mouth full.

"It doesn't hurt that bad and if you haven't realized, I don't have money for stitches," Calum informed him while putting out his cigarette.

"You're gonna bleed out dude, just go get stitches, I'll pay for them okay? I have some money left from my last performance." Mitchy informed him.

"You don't need to do that for me, I'll be fine," Calum argued, attempting to stand up but ultimately falling to the floor.

"Jesus Chri- Roy! Help me pick him up!"

Roy shoved the remainder of his sandwich in his mouth and quickly wiped his hands on his baggy t-shirt.

They picked Calum up and held him from both ends of his body while rushing him outside and throwing him in the passenger seat of his truck. Mitchy ran back inside, found his keys and sped him to the hospital. As much as Calum hated hospitals, this had happened too many times and his friends couldn't bare to see him suffer much longer.

Calum woke up in a hospital bed with an almost unbearable pain in his head.

"Mr. Hood! Glad to see you're awake. I'm nurse Eicker, I'm here to stitch up your forehead if that's okay?"

Calum nodded weakly at the nurse as she sat down her supplies on the table connected to Calum's bed.

"So Mr.Hood, how'd you get these cuts on your forehead? If you don't mind me asking," Asked the nurse.

"Call me Calum, Mr.Hood makes me feel old," Calum admitted.

"and I uh, fell off my skateboard," He added.

"Ouch, you're only nineteen right?" She questioned, remembering seeing his age on his chart.

He winced the tiniest bit when he felt the needle break his skin.

"That's right. And may I ask how old you are Nurse Eicker?" Calum asked confidently.

"Haily, and I'm twenty-three. How's that for old?" She joked.

"Not old at all, Haily." Calum smiled.

Haily smiled as her cheeks showed a light shade of pink.

"Alrighty Hood, your stitches are all done. You are free to go." She smiled, cleaning up her tools.

"What excuse do I need for you to stay here a while longer?" Calum asked sheepishly.

"Lucky for you I'm not on call for a while. Join me in the cafeteria?" Haily asked, causing Calum's heart to speed up in a way he'd never felt.

"I'd like that."

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