Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Secrets Kept, Lies Told
AJ paced around the
waiting room, nervously fidgeting with his sunglasses in his hands.
He stopped momentarily and glanced at the clock. 'Sheesh, its two-thirty
in the friggin' morning and I'm still here and awake. Of course I
am, Alexa needs me here,' he said to himself, reminding himself his motive.
He continued pacing, passing Howie, Kevin, and Brian, who were all asleep
in the uncomfortable waiting room chairs. He was surprised, however,
to see that Nick was still awake.
"Nick, my man, you
have to get some rest," AJ said, stopping in front of his friend.
Nick's eyes were red from crying, they were trying to close, but Nick wouldn't
let them. He kept rubbing his eyes, wiping away the occasional tear,
but AJ knew he was fighting sleep.
"No, I need to stay
awake 'cause if 'Lexa wakes up and I'm not here, she'll get upset," Nick
mumbled, barely being heard. His voice betrayed his tiredness, and
"Nick, you won't be
any good to Alexa if you're falling asleep on your feet. Go to sleep,
I'll wake you if she wakes up," AJ said reassuringly. 'Dammit, AJ,
when, not if, she wakes up,' he mentally scolded himself. Thankfully,
Nick didn't notice the slip and closed his eyes, leaning his head back
against the wall. Within a matter of minutes, he was asleep, and
AJ proceeded with his pacing.
'Who'd have thunk that
I'd be here with my best friends, waiting for my sister to come out of
a coma? It's too bizarre. This entire thing is too bizarre,'
AJ said to himself. 'But I love Alexa, and I'm not gonna leave
until I know she's gonna be ok, I can't
AJ looked down the
hall at the nurse's station in front of the elevators. He sighed as a nurse
picked up the chart on the counter and walked towards his sister's room.
His mother hadn't come out of the room since she was in there, he knew
it was too hard on her. He prayed that she was asleep, awake she
would only worry.
AJ walked down the
hall and into his sister's room, silently watching the nurse as she bustled
around the bed.
"You shouldn't be in
here," the nurse whispered, noticing AJ.
"Please, she's my sister,
and I didn't even know she was my sister until a few months ago," AJ pleaded,
his voice scratchy. He swallowed hard, trying to hold back the tears
that were threatening to come.
The nurse nodded and
quietly walked out of the room, leaving AJ alone. Well, not quite.
"Mom?" AJ asked
quietly, walking towards his mother's chair. His mother was asleep,
her head resting on the back of the armchair, still facing Alexa. AJ smiled
lightly, his mother always did do anything for her boys. Like the
time Brian was having his surgery, she stayed with him when his own mother
couldn't, claiming that she was his second mother, not wanting to leave
him alone. Or the time when AJ sprained his leg, she stayed at the
hospital with him, overnight, just to let him know that he was going to
'And now this,' AJ
said silently. He looked at his sister, his own flesh and blood,
lying on the bed in front of him. She was as pale as the sheets,
her bony body barely making any impression on the mattress. 'God,
why couldn't I see it before? I was too damn wrapped up in my own
life, I didn't even think twice about how Alexa was feeling about everything.
Shit, even Sherry warned me about this, she told me that Alexa could get
hurt from this lifestyle, why didn't I believe her?' He asked himself,
carefully taking hold of Alexa's hand. 'If only I could turn back
time and pay more attention to her. I would've been able to notice
it when it started, helped her with her problems, instead of ignoring them.'
AJ started to cry quietly.
'Dammit, AJ, how could you've been so
stupid?!' He yelled at himself. 'You're so damn selfish, you
didn't even bother to think about the second most important person in your
life! You used to put your own mother on a pedestal, then placed
Alexa right up there with her. Now, the most important person to
you is yourself, not even giving any regard to the other people around
you! What has happened to you? Who are you?' He demanded
of himself. The tears were flowing faster, he squeezed his sister's
hand and watching the line on the heart monitor go up and down.
"Alexa, I'm sorry,
I should've paid more attention to you, I should've kept you up on that
pedestal. I'm so sorry, Aly, please forgive me, please wake up,"
he begged, falling to his knees. He cried, holding his sister's limp
hand, praying for some sign that she would wake up, that she would live,
that she was listening.
'I'm so sorry, Aly,
please forgive me, please wake up'.
Alexa could hear the
words, but they were so faint.
'Aly, please, I love
you, I only found you six months ago, please wake up. 'Lexa, you're
my little sis, I need you, we have to have our long talks again, we need
to pig out on Butterfingers. Please, Aly, wake up.'
Alexa fought to open
her eyes, but it wouldn't happen. She felt something tug on her hand,
something squeezing it. She tried to squeeze back, but something
wouldn't let her. She felt like a prisoner in her own body, so immobile,
'Aly, I love you, you
can't leave me. We all need you, Mom, me, the guys, and especially
Nick. Honey, he loves you so much, I'm wondering why I never really
saw it before. I accept you two, now, you two deserve each other.
He needs someone who won't hurt him and you deserve nothing but the best.
He is the best, though I hate to admit it. He's the best for you,
but right now he's in pain, we all are. Aly, you have to wake up,
we need you here.'
Alexa knew whose voice
it was. She tried to talk, but she couldn't. 'AJ, don't cry, please,
I can hear you, but I just can't wake up, I don't know why,' she thought.
She wanted to cry. 'AJ, please don't leave me, help me please.
I feel so weak, I feel so trapped. I need some help, AJ, help me
please,' Alexa begged. She fought to open her eyes, not succeeding
"AJ," she whispered.
AJ's head snapped up
and he looked at his sister. "Alexa? Did you just say my name?"
He asked her. "Alexa, if you just said my name, squeeze my hand,"
he said. He waited, but felt nothing. Then, a flinch.
"Alexa, can you hear me?" He asked. "If you can hear me, squeeze
my hand twice," he said.
AJ nearly jumped up
and down for joy as he felt two flinches of Alexa's fingertips in his hand.
He smiled brightly and edged closer to her bed, raising his hand to her
forehead and smoothing down her hair. "That's good, Alexa, can you
do me one more thing? Can you open your eyes, sweetie?" He
He saw her face twitch,
he could tell she was trying, but something seemed to be preventing her.
"Ok, sis, you can stop. I know you're awake, you just can't open
your eyes. Its ok, you just rest and get your strength back, then
you'll be able to open those eyes to the world, showing them all your beautiful
brown eyes," he whispered. He kissed her on her forehead and stood
up. He saw her features relax and noticed that the beeping from the
heart monitor slow down. 'She's asleep,' he said to himself.
He let go of her hand, leaving it next to her body. He took off his
silver ring and carefully put it on Alexa's skinny fingers. He walked
out of the room and down the hall, sitting in a chair. He fell asleep,
happy to know that Alexa
was going to be ok.
'Help her, please,'
Nick cried out. He leaned over Alexa's limp body, trying to shake
her awake. 'Alexa, honey, please wake up! Come on, Alexa, I
need you to wake up! Alexa! Alexa!' He yelled.
He was suddenly pushed away and someone blocked his view.
'No, Alexa, I need
you! Alexa, please don't leave me! Alexa!' He hollered.
He watched as Alexa's body was carried away in a large black bag.
said as he sat up. He looked wide-eyed around the waiting room and
sighed, relaxing, remembering where he was.
'It was just a dream,
Nick, just a dream,' he said to himself. He pushed his hair out of
his face and looked up at the clock across the hall. 'Ten o'clock?
Why didn't anyone wake me?' He asked, standing up. He stretched,
feeling the kinks in his body disappear, the kinks from the horribly uncomfortable
waiting room chairs. He walked slowly, almost painfully, down the
hall to Alexa's room, wanting to see if she was ok.
"Hey, Nick," Brian
said as Nick walked in the room. Brian looked back at Alexa and squeezed
her hand again. "Alexa, I'm gonna let Nick visit you for a little
while, ok? I'll be back soon," he said, letting go of her hand.
He gave her a kiss on the forehead and walked towards Nick.
"Though you may not
think so, she can hear us. Talking to her can help, it can help a
lot," he whispered. He patted Nick's shoulder and walked out of the
room, leaving him alone.
said as he walked to the edge of the bed. He took his
girlfriend's hand in his and carefully
kissed it. "Alexa, baby, I'm here," he said. He felt fresh
tears coming into his eyes, just when he thought he was out of them.
"Alexa, I know you can hear me, I need you to wake up, please. I
need you, I love you," he said. The tears coursed down his face,
falling silently on the white sheets of the hospital bed. "Alexa,
please wake up," he begged.
Nick bowed his head
and cried on Alexa's hand, holding on to it for dear life. He felt
it twitch, then wipe his tears away.
"Nicky, don't cry,"
she whispered. Her eyes were still closed mostly, but they were opened
a tiny bit.
"Shh, Nicky, don't
cry," she whispered, her voice soft and low. It was scratchy, dry.
"I'll go get the doctor,
ok? I'll be right back," Nick said. He bolted out of the room
and ran to the nurse's station where Dr. Davenpraut was talking to a nurse.
He exclaimed, out of breath.
Dr. Davenpraut looked
at him, surprised, and then rushed past him, her white lab coat flying
behind her. Nick ran back towards Alexa's room and tried to walk
"Stay out here, please,
let me check her over," the doctor demanded briskly. She pushed Nick
out of the room and he looked around anxiously as AJ and Brian came in
off the elevator.
"Frack, man, what's
wrong?" Brian asked worriedly, putting down the bag he was carrying.
Nick exclaimed, rushing over to his two friends.
She's awake!" AJ exclaimed. He ran to the elevator as the doors
opened and his mother stepped out. "She's awake!" He said to
Denise started to cry
and hugged AJ, then hugged Nick and Brian. "Oh, my baby's awake,"
"Yeah, she was talking
and everything," Nick said excitedly. He looked down the hall and
saw the doctor come out of the room.
"Mrs. McLean, your
daughter is awake, but extremely weak. You can go see her, but still
one at a time, please, and try to not excite her too much, she can't get
too excited about anything, it'll tire her out," Dr. Davenpraut said, closing
over Alexa's chart. "After you see her, however, I would like to
speak to you in my office, please," she said.
Denise nodded and hurried
down the hall, leaving Nick behind with AJ and Brian.
"Isn't this great,
guys, she's awake!" Nick said, smiling for the first time in what
seemed like a long time.
"Yeah, it is," AJ said,
somewhat occupied. He sat in a chair and pulled a package out of
the bag Brian had sat down and started eating his breakfast, ignoring everyone.
"Brian, she's awake,
she's finally awake!" Nick said to his best friend.
"I know, man, it's
excellent," Brian said, smiling. He sat down and handed Nick a small
package with a bagel inside. Nick started eating, happy and anxious
to see Alexa again.
Denise walked happily
into her daughter's room and looked at the small figure on the bed.
Denise felt tears come
into her eyes and hurried to Alexa's side. "I'm right here, Lexy,
I'm not going anywhere," she said, smiling through her tears.
"Momma, why are you
crying?" Alexa asked. Her voice was quiet, almost inaudible.
It was slightly dry, papery sounding.
"Because I'm so happy
to see that you're awake, Lexy, that's why. Honey, you have to tell
me, what has been going on the last week? What happened to cause
this?" Denise asked, holding her daughter's cold hand.
"I don't know, Momma,
I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't do anything except try to
keep myself occupied. I don't know what happened, Momma, but I feel
so tired, so hungry, so worn out," Alexa said in a sleepy voice.
She yawned as best she could and her already low eyelids started to droop.
"Its going to be ok,
baby, you just get some rest, ok? I'll be right here, I won't leave
your side," Denise said, pulling a chair over to the bedside. She
sat down, still holding Alexa's hand.
"Thank you, Momma,"
Alexa mumbled. In moments, she was asleep and Denise couldn't stop
'I won't leave you,
Alexa, and I won't give up until we find out what's wrong, I promise,'
Denise said silently. She sat back in the chair after placing her
daughter's limp hand on the sheets, and watched her sleep.