Thank you Noreah for keeping me in check! Here's the extra scene I added in!
He let out a long breath and sat back in his chair once again as he dragged his hand over his face and groaned. "That's why you ran."
I was so confused. I ran? Well, I wouldn't have without reason. And back to my question. Who was he? "What is your name?" I demanded.
He stood up, shoving his hands into his pockets and looked towards me "My name is Tyler McGuire. I'm your boyfriend."
My boyfriend? I didn't remember him. I turned my head to the door when I heard someone else come in. Two other guys walked in, one held a bouquet of flowers and the other one raced towards me. "Finally! She's awake!" He glared over at the guy named Tyler, "Why didn't you tell us?"
"Kayden, she just woke up," he defended, moving back to make room for the other two guys I did not recognize. Kayden? That rang a bell.
The guy named Kayden came to the side of my bed and leaned down, giving me a brief kiss on the lips and his hands held my head. He pulled back, his eyes watery with tears, which I was sure I didn't deserve, "Don't ever scare me like that again."
My heart sped up. He was pushed aside by another set of lips that met mine. When those lips lifted, I peered up into crystal blue eyes. "You are never leaving our sight. You scared the living daylights out of us, Daniels! Do you know what would happen to us if we lost you?"
I reached up, overwhelmed, and pushed him away, shocked and confused yet again. All three of them kissed me, and it was familiar. The taste and my feelings. Something teased at the very edge of my memory, but it was just out of reach. "Air. I need air people. And I thought he was my boyfriend," I stated, as I pointed to the guy named Tyler. Isn't that what he had said?
The other two turned to Tyler, then back to me confused. I was glad I was not the only one. Uh-oh, I thought as my heart raced, when another thought entered my mind. They looked like brothers. Was I two-timing- no, three timing on them? I cringed, realizing that this would not bode well for me. What if a fight broke out?
"Daniels," the guy who was still leaning over me said, demanding my attention. His crystal blue eyes were intense as they searched mine, "Do you know who I am?"
I started to panic. Something was wrong. My head hurt like a mother of a headache and I didn’t know these guys, but they knew me. At least they seemed too. Either that or they were confused.
"Lincoln," Tyler warned him, as he put a hand on the guy's arm, pulling him away from me.
"Give her some space. We’ll figure this out."
"No," I answered in a whisper, as I glanced towards Tyler, "I don’t know you."
Moments later, I let out a sigh of relief when I noticed the next person to step into my room was Brady. Hopefully, he would know what was going on. "Ah, so you're finally awake." He walked over to me with Sarah, his wife, not far behind. Tension in the room was high with the guys and me. Why? I wasn’t quite sure, but I was too confused to care at the moment.
"Oh honey, we were worried that you wouldn't wake up," Sarah cried as she reached my bedside and took hold of my hand.
"What happened? Are my foster parents talking to the doctors?" I asked her, as I tried to get some sense of clarity. I was not sure who I was living with at this time. I avoided the guys’ eyes and focused on her. I knew I was missing things, but surely not that much, right?
Sarah's eyes went wide as her mouth opened, but she couldn't come up with anything to say and turned to Brady, who froze. "What do you mean foster parents?" he questioned, his brows pressed downward.
My palms started to sweat as nervousness set in. I knew I was missing things. A lot of things. Like what home I was living in. "I can't remember which one I'm supposed to be with. Am I in a new home?"
"Daniels, you're in our home. We moved to New York, remember?"
My heart pounded and my headache grew worse. I rubbed my sweaty palms against the top blanket as my nerves set in.
I lived in New York. With Officer Brady? I was apparently missing a lot.
"Since when?" I croaked out, the ringing in my ears becoming louder. "Because the last thing I remember was getting accused of stealing money out of my fosters mom’s purse."
"Did you?" Brady asked quietly stepping up to my bedside.
"Tom!" his wife cried, appalled at his question.
I glared at him, pressing my lips. "I’m not a thief. I never touched her purse."
He smiled. "I know. You said that the first time, too."
"So, I really did lose my memory?" I asked, scared about what else I was missing.
"Yeah, baby, you did," Tyler said softly, and I turned to look at him. He was standing alongside Kayden and Lincoln. All of them had stepped back, standing with hands tucked in their pockets, looking upset.
"And we’re going to find out what we need to do as soon as the doctor comes in. We paged him." Brady said but I kept my gaze on the three guys. Their eyes held secrets. Secrets that, deep down in my soul I knew too. Secrets I was supposed to know, but now were scattered pieces of broken glass all scratched and unclear. All I had to do was put the pieces back together and for the glass to clear. If it ever would.
The doctor came in and the guys left, leaving me alone with Sarah and Brady. He looked me over as he asked questions.
How old are you?
Do you know these people?
Where do you live?
I thought Denton County.
What year is it?
It’s almost September. Count to ten, please.
My mind was still reeling as I did as he asked. Three months. I’d lost three months. Tears started to well up as I stopped at thirty. I went further than he asked to prove a point but it was all too much. Months. I’d lost months.
A sob tore from my lips, but I pressed my lips tight before I could let another one out. Sarah came over to me, putting an arm around my tense shoulders. "What am I going to do?" I broke out as I glanced up to the doctor. My head felt like it was going to explode with all the pressure. "Will it ever come back?"
The doctor looked resigned. "It’s a possibility, but with kind of this kind of trauma…"
I blocked him out. I'd heard it all before. I wouldn't remember. I didn’t the last time. I remembered that much, I thought bitterly. The past still haunted me. It always would.
The Doctor left shortly after telling us he was going to request another CT scan. He wanted to make sure they didn’t miss something, that I didn’t suffer from a brain bleed or any swelling.
I wanted Brady to go. I wanted Sarah to leave. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to roll over, curl into myself and let the ache in my chest and heart out. I wanted to cry alone. With no one to see. With no one to know how broken I’d become. My chest hurt. I was bruised and my ribs ached. Why wouldn’t they just go?
Brady and Sarah stayed and I suffered as I kept all my emotions in. I needed a moment to myself but I couldn’t even have that.
The guys didn't come back in, but I knew they were still there, just beyond my hospital door. Brady never stepped out, but opened the door and leaned out, while keeping his body inside the room to talk to them about what the doctor had said. I heard one of them asked to come back in, but Brady said no. That it wasn’t a good time. It didn’t matter. They waited anyway, and when the nurses came in to wheel me to my scan, I saw the three of them, along with a few others lined up just outside my room. None of them looked familiar, except for the three guys who were in my room earlier. Tyler looked towards me, his mouth pressed. Worried.
I turned away, not wanting to give him, or any of them, the impression or a glimmer of hope that wasn’t there. I wasn’t going to remember. I was pretty sure of that.
When the scan was over and they wheeled me back, I was relieved to find the crowed was gone, but Brady and Sarah still stayed.
"You’ll be ok, Faith," Sarah said for the millionth time, putting another vase of flowers on my window sill. "You have nothing but time. You’ll get there," she said, turning away from the flowers and towards me. She had that same, sure smile on her face. That same positive attitude that I was sick of. "You only woke up a few hours ago."
"Sarah," Brady sighed, as he glanced to me, then to his phone. "It’s dinner time," he murmured, glancing back up towards her, "and the McGuires are here. Do you think you could go down and give them an update? Maybe grab some dinner with them down in the cafeteria. Possibly bring me something back too?"
She glanced over at me and her smile dimmed a little. "Sure." She came over and leaned down to kiss my forehead, then whispered that she’d be back in a few.
When she left, I eyed Brady as he stared at me.
"She just wants you to get better," he gruffed. Brady was trying to hold it together too. My heart trembled as it became hard to keep the tears at bay.
He pulled a chair up to my bed and took my hand. "You scared me. So bad, Faith." His eyes watered with tears that were on the edge of breaking. He bent his head as his shoulders started to shake.
I panicked. "Don’t cry," I pleaded. Brady was the strongest person I had ever met. He never cried. "Please," I broke out as my nose burned with my emotions threatening to break.
His voice shook when he spoke. "Two times, Faith. Two times I had to see you so broken. Two times that I had to bring you back to life. Two damn times," he broke.
My lungs burned. I died? Two times? He brought me back two times? Emotions rolled through me as the reality of everything came to head. My father did kill me and Brady brought me back and now I was back in a hospital with the same situation but this time it was….my fault? I choked. "I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Brady."
I don’t know what happened in those months leading up to now, but I owed Officer Brady my life, not once, but twice. It was too much. I was breaking.
"No-No. I’m sorry," he said picking up his head. "The first time was my fault. I should have known there was a child in the house when it got so bad with your parents. This time… this time was my fault too," he said gruffly, sitting back and wiping away his tears. "Things were not as they seemed."
I shuttered on a breath, with the truth on my lips as I looked at my bed sheets, ashamed for what I was going to ask when he was emotional. I didn’t want to see him like that. "I-I- I need some time. Time alone, Brady," I took in a swift breath trying to rein it in. "I’m overwhelmed. I-I need space." I looked up to him guiltily. "Go have dinner with your wife. Talk to your friends. Let me think. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here when you get back."
He sighed and sat back in the chair. He held my hand, with his tears gone and only slightly puffy eyes to show for it. He looked unsure.
"Please?" I begged. I needed to be alone. To cry myself. To have my own breakdown moment.
I could see the moment when he resigned. He didn’t like it, but he patted my hand and stood. "Won’t be too long," he said, and then he turned and left.
I reached for the remote at my bedside that controlled the TV, along with everything else, and turned it to the Spanish channel. I didn’t know the language, but I didn’t care. I wanted noise. I turned the volume up and let the dam break. My ribs burned, my head pounded and my monitor went off, but I cried, pulling out the plug to the damn machine. I cried myself to sleep.
I woke up the next morning feeling worse than I had yesterday, and again I wasn’t alone. I glanced over to the guy in the chair, who was snoozing soundly. I thought his name was Lincoln. I grunted when I realized I need to use the restroom. I glanced to my IV pole and the monitor and wondered if I could manage it.
I grabbed my remote and buzzed the bed up. Glancing towards Lincoln, I stopped when I realized how loud it was. He didn’t move. I pushed it again until it was at the right angle for me. Then I reached for the latches on the side rail and lowered it with a soft swoosh.
I was happy with my stealthiness as I slid my feet to the floor, unplugged myself from the heart monitor and then grabbed my IV to head to the bathroom.
"Daniels?" A gravelly voice spoke from behind, startling me to the point that a bathroom might not be needed any longer.
I took in a breath and ignored him as I clenched my thighs and kept moving towards my desired location.
"Daniels! What are you doing?" Lincoln's voice was suddenly more alert and right next to me.
"Bathroom," I grumped out, reaching for the door to it.
His hand touched my back, steadying me as I wobbled when I pushed the door open.
"You shouldn’t be out of bed," he said firmly as I hobbled inside the bathroom, not caring that he was watching. I needed to go.
"Then how the hell would I go pee, Lincoln?" I questioned, as I parked my IV pole. As I turned towards him, I saw a blush rise on his cheeks.
"You might fall," he argued, not shutting the door as he folded his arms.
"Then by all means, Lincoln," I said sarcastically, "come in and watch me pee." I didn’t wait to see if he did as I sat and relieved myself, muttering hateful things his way.
When I finished and went to stand up I wobbled and a hand reached out to steady me. The hospital gown fell back in place, keeping my butt covered. I stood there, trying to gain my bearings, as I looked towards the white wall in front of me. I clenched my jaw, upset that I needed help. I hated that I was so weak.
I looked past him, seeing the closed door and sighed. He did come in and shut the door. Didn’t think he would. At least I had some privacy. I must have seemed surprised, because Lincoln replied, "You’re hurt and needed help. I wouldn’t ever leave you alone like that."
I nodded, warmed by his words and I accepted his help back to my bed. He was familiar. His touch, his voice and how he was with me. He made me want to remember. After settling back in the hospital bed, he leaned in and kissed my forehead, whispering. "You’re adorable."
The doctor stopped by and said it would be afternoon before he would visit again. He said there wasn’t anything unusual about my scan, minus the concession that they had seen before, and the bruised ribs that were a thorn in my side.
A few people came in, but none of whom I remembered. The guys’ sister and their friends came in, but it was useless. I felt familiar with them, but got nothing. My mind wasn't blank. It was cloudy, more broken than anything. Like bits and pieces teased at my consciousness but held back just enough to keep me in the clouds. Never clearing.
They brought in pictures of us on a camping trip the weekend before my accident. It did stir something. Things were familiar. Almost ghost like. As if I’d had seen those places in a dream.
Their friends left and only the five stayed. The guys, Brady and Sarah were talking about the camping trip and said something that jarred my memory. Lincoln was telling them about a car ride and I had a flash. It was like everything was in slow motion.
"What did you say?" I spoke up desperately, trying to hold onto that glimmer of the forgotten memory.
Tyler sat up straight on alert, as did the others. While everyone looked excited about the prospect of me remembering Tyler looked leery.
"You were driving with us," Lincoln spoke up and my eyes turned to his hopeful ones. "You wanted to know how to get rid of bears and-"
My eyes went wide and I waved my hands in the air halting him. "I was just going to throw Kayden in the way if one came." I breathed out. I remembered. I remembered them. I remembered the car ride, but things were still fuzzy.
I glanced to Kayden who looked like I just gave him the biggest cookie in the world and not that I had planned his death by bears. "You remembered!" he laughed, excited.
I gave a slow nod, looking hopeful. "Give me another one," I demanded, wanting to put the pieces back together.
Brady cleared his throat and looked to the guys, “Pollination and-"
"Flowers!" I blurted out. "Sex talk." I was too busy to be embarrassed by my comment. I could see it. Clips of moments from the past.
"Stealing kisses." Tyler spoke quietly glancing to his brothers. I turned to him as things went silent. Racking my brain for anything that would be familiar.
"Gum. Peanut butter gets it out of hair," Kayden voiced, his blue eyes intent on mine.
"We will defend you no matter what. It’s not something we can control," Lincoln finished, his crystal eyes holding an emotion I could only place as desperation.
My heart pounded as they spoke. It was like their words triggered the missing pieces, that were jumbled all together in my mind, to come together. I turned away from Lincoln as Sarah came over to me and I clung to her hand like a lifeline. When the glass cleared, and my memories flooded back to me, it was almost too much: the football, my first kiss, the campout, and Raina. All clear. I turned back to Tyler, who was staring at me worriedly.
I remembered everything. My heart hammered as panic set in. Brady must have pressed the nurses button, because people were panicking around me. I searched Tyler's eyes to try to find any hatred within them, but found none.
He knew my secret. I was Austen's little sister. I squeezed the hand holding mine as my eyes teared up. How could I let this happen?
"I remember," I told everyone as I kept my gaze on him. "It's still fuzzy, but I remember." Then Tyler turned around and left. My heart fell.
Welcome to my nonsense!