❯ Stop Pretending to Sleep – Coffee, Cigarettes and Hospital Food ( Chapter 6 )

[ A - All Readers ]

Stop Pretending to Sleep *part 6*

Andrew explained to Justice that Kevin was not doing very well. He had been asking about her in between passing out and Jason had been going crazy wondering what was taking her so long. He refused to leave Kevin’s side. Roger and Donna Mitchell (Kevin and Jason’s parents) hadn’t made it to the hospital yet and Jason was saying that his parents didn’t care enough to be there for their own kid. Everyone knew that it was true but everyone also knew that trying to figure out why they didn’t care was a waste of time and brain cells.
Justice let go of Andrew and looked at him with tears in her eyes. “I’m gonna go see them. Can you do me a favour and bring two coffees and lots of Advil. This is going to be a long night.”
Without a word Andrew left to get the coffee and Justice walked slowly into Kevin’s room. The door was open and the room was dark. Justice stepped in one toe at a time and the first thing she saw was a body in a hospital bed with tubes and cords sticking out if his arms and face. She didn’t recognize the boy in the bed or the boy in the chair with his head in his hands, as the two that she had considered closer than friend; for over a decade Justice introduced Kevin and Jason as her brothers and her best friends. But the two boys in the hospital room that night were not her brothers; they were more strangers than a bum on the street. They were not the ones who Justice would run to when her mother brought a new man home; they were not the ones who had made Justice her own special room in their tree-house when they were eight and nine years old; they were not the ones who threatened one of her mother’s old-flames with a baseball bat and a two-by-four if he ever touched Justice again. Justice didn’t know who these two were any more but she did know that, no matter the outcome, from this day forward, they weren’t boys… they were beaten, battered and scarred men.
Jason looked up from the chair and, with tear stained cheeks, slowly began to stand up. Justice immediately rushed over to him and began to cry. For the next couple days she just sat there in Kevin’s room with Jason and their other friends. Most were excused from classes so they didn’t go back to Hawthorns; they barely even left the hospital.
About a week had gone by and Kevin hadn’t opened his eyes. He was hooked up to ventilators and heart monitors and other machines that Justice didn’t understand. Day in and day out all she heard was the beep-beep-beeping of the machines. Days faded into nights and back into days; the minutes ticked by like hours and the hours seemed endless. All form of life ceased to exist as time stood still.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*
Two weeks had passed and still no sign of recovery from Kevin. He didn’t seem to be getting worse which everyone thought must be a good sign but he wasn’t getting any better either. Justice and Jason only left Kevin’s room to go to washroom and to allow the doctors and nurses do their job. People walked in and out of Kevin’s room periodically throughout the days but the doctors wouldn’t let anyone else in to see him who wasn’t family so everyone except a select few went back to Hawthorns with permission to visit on occasion. The problem was that Kevin and Jason didn’t have any family except their parents and they hadn’t so much as called to check on their sons. Jason’s parents had sent their sons to Hawthorns about three years prior because they couldn’t handle them. Jason and Kevin were good kids when they wanted to be. They never got into any real trouble; nothing big at least. They didn’t smoke or do drugs or drink, they had never broken the law or even been suspended from school until the last year living at home. Their parents had begun to care less and less about Kevin and Jason so they began to act out more. The day their parents decided to have another baby was when everything got out of hand. They were being brought home by the cops at least once a week, getting suspended for smoking on school property, fighting, verbally assaulting the teachers and disrupting class to the point of making three teachers quit in one semester. Everyday of their life Kev and Jason were being told they were worthless, helpless, hopeless so they decided to live up to the title they were so wrongfully being given. Their parents had finally had enough and sent them to a boarding school in Scotland but were transferred to Hawthorns at the last minute to be with Justice.
Justice had been living with her mother and newest step-father, Thomas when she started going to school with cuts and bruises. She didn’t want to be hugged or even kiss her boyfriend. The slightest touch made Justice jump. She was getting into more fights at school and smoking more; she got heavy into drugs and drinking. Finally, after three months of her strange behavior, her brothers confronted Justice and she told them everything. Her step-father was beating and raping her every night for three months and her mother knew but did nothing.
After one particularly horrifying night, Justice packed a bag and ran away from home. She stayed in the tree-house in the Mitchell’s backyard for about a week before Kevin and Jason’s parents found out and told her to leave. Justice stayed with friends for no more than a couple weeks at a time before she was either asked to leave or left voluntarily because she felt like she had over-stayed her welcome. She had no family in Hamilton except her mother and her sister but her sister had a newborn baby and a fiancée in a small apartment; there was no room for the runaway. So she lived on the streets, running from her mother, her step-father and the cops. After two months of running she was caught sleeping on a park bench and taken to the police station where she was held until her mother could pick her up. Justice knew that her mother wouldn’t say anything about the abuse and once she got back home it would only get worse so she told the police everything about her step-dad. When her mom and Thomas walked into the police station they were both charged with child abuse and neglect. Her mother’s only concern was J.C, the `family’ cat. Since Justice had no family to live with she was sent to a boarding school in England; Hawthorns. There she was reunited with her brothers and together made new friends and started their new lives. Finally, they were happy…
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*
The doctors came in and said they needed to take Kevin for a few more tests and they would have him back in about an hour. Jason headed to the cafeteria for some coffee. He hadn’t slept much since he got to the hospital and it showed. Jason had been drinking coffee and going out for smoke breaks so often that Justice began to worry that he was going to need his own hospital bed soon.
Justice decided to go outside for a smoke and asked Matt Ridge to text her when the doctors were finished. She took the elevator downstairs and passed nurses, doctors, patients and visitors. The doctors and nurses seem emotionless but Justice assumed it was just their job so they were used to it. Most of the patients seemed a little loopy from the drugs and the visitors looked about as depressed and scared as everyone on the third floor. Outside it was calm and peaceful, there was no one around. Justice sat against the brick wall of the hospital’s east-wing and lit her cigarette as she thought back to the day that Glen told her what had happened.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*
“Here… you look like you could use this.” Glen said offering Justice a cup of hospital cafeteria coffee. She accepted the coffee and Glen sat down beside her. Glen was asking routine questions someone would ask on a normal Thursday night.
“What are your plans for March break? Are you going home or to B.C.?”
Justice’s mom and step-dad moved to British Columbia last April; almost three years after Jasmine left home.
“Well? Are you going to visit your mom?”
“Probably not; the seventeenth is Patrick’s birthday and I promised him I’d be here.”
“You know its Scott’s birthday too.”
Scott was one of Justice’s ex-boyfriends-turned-good-friend but something changed in him and he started talking about her behind her back and then eventually to her face. Scott knew that Justice had a serious pill popping problem for years and on New Year’s that year he told Justice that he hated her and hoped she overdosed. Scott and Justice hadn’t spoken since.
Justice knew full-well what day Scott’s birthday was but she ignored Glen’s comment. “What happened to Kevin? The doctors won’t tell me because I’m not family and everyone else is still too shaken up to talk about it.”
“You know something? I bet B.C. would be beautiful around Christmas. Why don’t you go for Christmas holidays and bring us along?”
“Glen please, just tell me. Kevin is my best friend, I have to know, what happened?
Glen took a deep breath and told Justice the story.
The guys went to the basketball court on school grounds but there were already kids playing so they decided to sneak off school grounds to St. Jerome’s Catholic school to play ball because St. Jerome’s was out for the day. They played for about an hour when they noticed a car driving by slowly. Then it happened; gun shots rang out and everyone hit the ground. The car stopped and about six guys got out all carrying guns. The six guys walked right up to Jason and told him to stand up. Jason did and looked the lead guy right in the eyes with no fear. Glen described it as incredible and heroic. Jason and the other guy (Justice later learned his name was Terry) got into a fight and Terry pulled his gun on Jason, threatening to shoot if any one moved. He and his gang walked slowly to the car and got in. They started the ignition and drove away with one more gun shot aimed right at Jason. Kevin reacted immediately, stepping in from of Jason on an angle hoping to get hit but not fatally. Kevin’s plan worked for the most part; Jason wasn’t harmed in the least but Kevin was hit in the chest just below his heart. The car drove off and no one got the license plate number so Terry and his gang got away and everyone left was running around frantically trying to call for an ambulance and making sure everyone else was ok.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*
Justice finished her smoke and lit up another one before heading back inside.

Stop Pretending to Sleep – Assult, Grand-Theft Auto, Driving Without a License and an Illeagal U-Turn
Stop Pretending to Sleep – A Doctor’s Regret