This piece contains sexual content and coarse language not appropriate for all ages.
Hey Guys! This is another piece for university that I have decided to upload to my blog. This has been work-shopped by my class and after adding their editorial corrections thought I might open this up to a wider audience. If you see any errors with spelling, grammar or sentence construction, may you please alert me? Thank you!
Bradley Cooper, sat at one end of the table, his orange hair tidily placed atop his head. His eyes were a dull green, with a couple of freckles lining the sides of his nose, his breath slow and strenuous. He wore a checked blue top and black jeans, his arms crossed in front of his chest while he stared at the individual sitting across from him. His name was Steven Carnes and he was the reason why he was there.
Steven had jet black hair which was beginning to recede at the front, his eyes being just as dark. His lips were rather crooked and his eyes were narrowed dangerously as he eyed Bradley, his arms folded neatly across his dark brown leather jacket, a belt buckle visible beneath it which was holding up his loose blue jeans.
Between the two of them at the front of the table sat the appointed mediator, Michael York. He had a round, boyishly handsome face, which was strange for someone who was breaching 60. His hair would have been all but gone if not for the transplants which only managed to cover half of his scalp in a dense light brown colouration of fluff. His eyes were small and blue, his face looking a little crinkled, whilst his blue suit and red tie gleamed pretentiously upon his person.
The door behind Steven opened without warning and another individual stepped into the room. He had graying hair and large black rimmed spectacles that covered half of his face. His nose was rather large for a face his size, his eyes looking as old and frail as the rest of his body did and yet, he walked with a lively passion for life as though every step promoted some excitement. He wore a grey suit with blue stripes down the front and red ones along his shoulders which continued down his sleeves. A checked orange tie completed the image, his entire attire being so well designed it could only ever be described as ‘loud’. It was so ‘loud’ in fact that if it were to speak it no doubt would have screamed.
‘Who’s this douche bag?’ whispered Bradley in the direction of the mediator.
‘That’s Jeremiah Delaney,’ replied Michael out from the corner of his mouth, his lips barely moving. ‘He’s every plaintiff’s wet dream. They call him the terminator; hasta la vista baby!’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Jeremiah, sitting down beside Steven. ‘I was busy having lunch with our prime minister.’
‘Glad you could make it,’ grunted Steven in the direction of his lawyer. ‘I was about to start paving the town with flyers if you didn’t show up in the next few minutes.’
‘Watch your tone boy,’ retorted Jeremiah. ‘I didn’t take this case because of your smile. As long as you can provide the sum I agreed to you needn’t concern yourself with my tardiness. I see Michael York is the man hired to supervise our mediation. This should be a walk in the park. The man is well into his dotage.’
‘He’s not the only one,’ shot back Steven under his breath.
Jeremiah pretended not to hear his client as he cracked his fingers before noting ‘I’ll handle this, you just sit there and look pretty unless called upon.’
‘I see someone doesn’t have a lawyer,’ said Steven mockingly, his voice loud enough for everyone else to hear as Bradley shot him a menacing glance.
Jeremiah took a quick breath before announcing ‘okay, how about we get this show on the road? I have numerous other venues to appear at today and do not wish to be kept waiting.’
‘Is he always so blunt?’ continued Bradley softly towards the mediator.
‘Pretty much,’ replied Michael. ‘May the plaintiff provide his name and age for the record,’ he said, turning to face Bradley.
‘Bradley Cooper, 32, no relation to the actor.’
‘May the defendant do the same’ enquired Michael in Steven’s direction.
‘Steven Carnes, 31.’
‘Now Bradley,’ continued Jeremiah, ‘why don’t you explain to us why you have gone to such lengths to call this enquiry?’
‘Well,’ began Bradley, ‘two months ago I was at home and I made my way outside to admire my front lawn. You see, I had a very beautiful lawn. It had won lawn of the year five times in a row. I took great pride in it. It was my livelihood, the only thing that had never betrayed me. You can tell a lot about people by the type of lawn they have. Me, I had one hell of a lawn.’
‘What do you mean by that?’ asked Jeremiah, ‘your lawn never betraying you I mean?’ he added as Bradley nodded upon realising what he meant.
‘My lawn has remained by my side through thick and thicker,’ explained Bradley. ‘Unlike my ex-wife who ran off with the kids several years back, my lawn has never been anything but good to me. It has, did I mention, won lawn of the year?’ he asked, his teeth sparkling as he smiled.
‘Yeah, I caught that part,’ said Jeremiah, rolling his eyes.
‘Anyway,’ said Bradley, ‘I made my way outside one morning to find my lawn had been desecrated! It had been torn to shreds by a lawn mower and the centre of my lawn had been set alight. My roses had been pruned to death and one of my gnomes was missing. And the culprit for this malicious crime was none other than the man sitting before me!’ shouted Bradley, pointing a disapproving finger in Steven’s direction.
‘How you can be so sure that my client was the man responsible for this heinous offence?’ asked Jeremiah.
‘I looked over at his house, which is opposite my own, and saw him watering down my lawn mower which he had borrowed from me several months before but never returned,’ explained Bradley. ‘At the time he had run off with my lawn mower as though it were Julius Caesar’s balls! Also, my stolen gnome was standing directly beside him, and the name ‘Steven Carnes’ was burnt into my lawn.’
Jeremiah shot Steven a menacing look before continuing. ‘Perhaps there was another Steven Carnes?’
‘Another Steven Carnes?’ exploded Bradley. ‘In my neighborhood at 10 a.m. in the morning washing down my lawnmower? I doubt that very much, one’s enough isn’t it?’ Bradley took a deep breath before continuing. ‘Now, I want some justice. That, is my dream.’
‘I had a dream last night that a thick shake was drinking me!’ exploded Michael with a smile, the other three people in the room turning to face him before continuing with the proceedings.
‘Is he alright?’ asked Steven, pointing in the direction of the mediator, ‘or should I call the men in white suits and arrange for a rubber room to be prepared for Mr. York’s indefinite stay?’
Once more his lawyer ignored his outburst as he continued with the proceedings. ‘And where were you when these actions occurred Bradley?’ asked Jeremiah, giving Michael a strange look.
‘I told you, I was at home,’ explained Bradley.
‘And what were you doing?’ asked Jeremiah. ‘I want to know the precise actions that you were undertaking whilst my client supposedly ransacked your lawn.’
Bradley swallowed before answering the question. ‘I was in my bedroom, rubbing my ‘away itch’ formula onto my testicles.’
Michael shook his head whilst Steven sniggered.
‘I think it only fair that we turn the attention to my client and receive his half of the story,’ explained Jeremiah. ‘Were you in any way responsible for the occurrences which took place on Mr. Cooper’s lawn?’
‘You’re damn right I was!’ cried out Steven as Bradley looked as though he wouldn’t be able to contain his excitement for much longer.
‘Excuse me?’ questioned Jeremiah. ‘I think we need to take a moment here.’
‘I don’t think we do’ said Steven with a bright and cunning smile.
Jeremiah wrenched Steven out from his chair by his ear and dragged him kicking into the corner of the room, away from prying eyes. ‘You seem to think you have a choice here boy’ shot back Jeremiah in a harsh whisper that despite his best efforts reverberated throughout the room. ‘You asked me to assist you and out of the goodness of my heart I agreed. Now, I have not lost a single proceeding in my life and I will be damned if you are going to break my record you arrogant little prick! So how ‘bout you and I step outside for a moment so I might educate you on matters concerning our legal system; beginning with how to break it.’
‘I’m not going to deny it’ retorted Steven, Jeremiah realising it was hopeless to even try and coach his client as the two of them returned to the table. ‘And you know what,’ continued Steven, ‘I have the single most perfect and legitimate excuse for doing so as well. Mr. Bradley Cooper slept with my sweet baby sister.’
‘Define slept,’ said Michael.
‘What do you mean?’ asked Steven with a dumbfounded expression.
‘I mean it’s a very loose term,’ stated Michael, ‘and leaves room for speculation.’
‘He knows damn well what I mean by that!’ roared Steven, menacingly staring at Bradley as he spoke. ‘He was in her bed and he was in her, you know! Do I really have to say? This is all very disconcerting!’
‘So, sex’ said Michael, ‘yes?’
‘What do you think I’m talking about here, you stupid old fart!’ exploded Steven.
‘Really?’ asked Jeremiah, his eyes lighting up with interest. ‘What was she like?’
‘She certainly wasn’t how Steven described her’ stated Bradley. ‘She was like a wild fucking animal! All of this panting and growling and clawing. We went at it for hours.’
‘I bet the hounds would have been after her,’ smiled Michael.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Bradley, ‘the hounds of the Baskervilles.’
‘What?’ spluttered Michael as those on the other side of the table looked at him peculiarly. ‘Mrs. York apparently took a vow of abstinence when I wasn’t looking so I have to take my action where I can get it…’
Steven cleared his throat, in a failed attempt to garner the attention of the others in the room, continuing to explain his actions regardless. ‘I clearly remember the day it happened too. A couple of days before I destroyed his lawn he came over to my place and met my sister for the first time in years. She had been residing in Brisbane studying at an arts college. I remember his pick up line too,’ expressed Steven as the moment played out in his mind, remembering back to a time when he and Bradley were not bitter rivals.
It was several months earlier, with a gorgeous sunshine descending across the grounds. Steven opened his front door after hearing the doorbell and was instantly thrown a plate of blueberry pudding.
‘My mother baked them,’ noted Bradley as Steven allowed him entrance into his humble abode. ‘Ever since I kicked her arse into an institution she has been making this,’ he said, looking a little disgusted.
The landing was constructed of wood, with stairs opposite leading to the higher levels. The living room was adjacent to the landing, which was where an old creaking arm chair was placed in the corner containing the body of Steven’s decrepit, lifeless, snoring, burping, farting grandfather whom nobody wanted to go near.
‘Why are you here Cooper?’ asked Steven.
‘Can’t a friend visit every now and then?’ retaliated Bradley with a smile.
‘Not if this friend is intending to steal secrets about what I am planning on doing this year to win the lawn of the year award,’ retorted Steven.
‘The day I take advice on lawns from you will be a sad day indeed,’ said Bradley, leaning up against the door frame.
A creaking on the stairs alerted Bradley to another presence in the house. Jeanette, Steven’s sister, was making her way down the staircase. She had long, light brown coloured hair with blue eyes that shone out like street lamps. She wore a pale violet dress that clung to her body and jet black knee high boots.
‘Wow, fancy seeing you here,’ said Bradley with a smirk.
‘I live here you twerp,’ shot back Steven’s sister as the two of them smiled at one another.
Steven instantly recognised that something very wrong was happening in the house he currently resided in. Or was it an opportunity?
Returning to reality, Steven had a look of pain spread across his features. ‘Bradley found her impossible to resist because she has the body of an hour glass.’
‘I’m sure many women would love to be shaped that way,’ exclaimed Jeremiah. ‘I know my wife would especially. Unfortunately for me she happens to be shaped like a pear.’
Steven stared at Bradley wickedly. ‘What you two had in common – remains a mystery’ he said. ‘Bradley has always preferred women who were made from sugar and spice and my sister is quite the opposite. For one, she burps.’
‘She burps?’ questioned Michael with a weird expression.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Steven. ‘When our car broke down in Darwin she got out behind it and burped it across five states.’
‘Seriously?’ asked Michael.
‘All the best stories require a little exaggeration’ shot back Steven with an annoyed look. He shook his head before progressing onward. ‘But what really shakes me up is that he simply used her. I mean, if he wanted some smelly snatch he could have gone anywhere in town, but no, he chose my house to conduct his malicious sexual desires.’
‘For a man who went to so much trouble to defend his sister’s honor you saw have a funny way of showing your affection for her,’ said Michael, looking rather unimpressed at the terminology that Steven had used. ‘You seem like quite the chauvinistic misogynist.’
‘Well shit old timer!’ cried Steven. ‘Perhaps I should watch my fucking language? It’s not like that worm of a man inserted himself into your sister!’ he roared, pointing a finger in Bradley’s direction, ‘so excuse me if I am a little fucking infuriated right now!’ He took a deep breath as to calm himself down before beginning to speak once more. ‘On top of that I don’t know what my sister saw in him. I’d always given her credit where it was due and believed her to have sufficient intellectual capabilities. She told me Mr. Cooper had informed her that her presence helped open a window to his soul. Well, I can tell you I once looked through that window, and screamed at him to close the blinds.’
‘I don’t see why I have to be humiliated by this man!’ shouted Bradley, ‘besides, how did you find out about any of this in the first place?’
‘How do you think?’ retorted Steven. ‘My sister and I don’t keep secrets from one another. She told me all about how you firstly couldn’t get it up, and then how you couldn’t get it in.’
‘That is a blasphemy!’ erupted Bradley. ‘Just because I took his sister’s virginity!’
‘You did what?’ cried an astounded Steven, ‘oh you mother fucker!’ he shouted, launching himself across the table before Jeremiah could contain him. Steven grabbed hold of Bradley’s hair, who struggled to be free from his grip. ‘That’s just great!’ shouted an out of control Steven as he ripped at Bradley’s hair with all his might. ‘Not only does her vagina have to be fumigated because you decided to desecrate it with your filth, but you were the first one to give her the snake. Terrific! She’ll be remembering you until the next friggin’ apocalypse!’ he cried, just as a great ripping sound echoed about the room and Bradley’s hair came off in his hands.
‘Oh my fucking God!’ shouted Bradley as he felt the naked flesh atop his head. ‘First my lawn now my toupee! Give it back to me you bastard!’
‘Never!’ shouted Steven, jumping back to his side of the table.
‘Release the hat back to its owner,’ said Jeremiah to his client through pursed lips. ‘Male baldness is no laughing matter. After you do so, perhaps we might continue this ridiculous mediation.’
‘Oh, I’ll release it!’ shouted Steven, spit flying out in all directions, ‘I’ll release it into the fucking atmosphere! Would you like that?’ he laughed in Bradley’s direction.
‘Hey!’ shouted Bradley, ‘you sent your sister over to my place to spy on me in your last desperate attempt to win the lawn of the year award! You used her to get to me, and then you complain when we fall in love?’
‘Fall in love?’ roared Steven. ‘What the hell are you on chrome dome! I sincerely doubt the feeling was mutual baldy.’
‘You should have been there on our first night together,’ said Bradley with a smile plastered across his lips. ‘I made love to her smack bang in the centre of my lawn in front of an audience of several dozen gnomes.’
‘I don’t think we needed to hear that,’ stated Michael.
‘You are sick!’ roared Steven. ‘Who has sex with gnomes?’
‘I said we did it in front of gnomes!’ retorted Bradley. ‘Besides, I don’t know why you are complaining. Your sister is a consenting adult. She was nineteen at the time! I thought she would have seen a million of ‘em by then!’ he said, looking down at his crotch as he spoke. ‘Besides, you should have known what I did to her if she indeed tells you everything!’
‘She had a boyfriend up in Brisbane!’ roared Steven. ‘I thought she would have played doctor with him.’
‘I guess she wasn’t your prized informant after all!’ said Bradley, stifling a smile.
‘Just because of that,’ said Steven angrily, ‘you’re not getting this back now’ he said, shaking the orange hair hat in Bradley’s face before thrusting it into his pocket.
‘Well,’ began Jeremiah, halting the fight as to continue the legal proceedings. ‘I personally concur that this particular occurrence, along with my client’s testimony regarding the events which took place is a sufficient excuse to explain his actions, malicious or otherwise.’
‘What?’ roared Bradley angrily. ‘But what about justice? That is what I want.’
‘Mr. Cooper believes that Mr. Carnes should reimburse him twenty- five thousand dollars for the pain and destruction he has so wrongly caused him,’ expressed Michael.
‘No,’ said Jeremiah with a shake of his head.
‘Okay, how about twenty grand,’ said Bradley, receiving the same answer.
‘Fifteen thousand?’ enquired a desperate Bradley.
‘No,’ replied Jeremiah once more.
‘Ten thousand?’ asked Bradley, his face beginning to droop.
‘Not on your life,’ explained Jeremiah.
‘Okay, I can go as low as a grand, but that is it,’ said Bradley.
‘No,’ restated Jeremiah, his arms clasped over his chest.
‘Not even nine hundred dollars?’ probed Bradley, grasping at straws.
‘No, not even nine hundred dollars,’ replied Jeremiah in an unchanged, unemotionally zealous tone.
‘Eight hundred dollars?’ pleaded Bradley.
‘No,’ shot back Jeremiah.
‘Five hundred?’ questioned Bradley, his hands clasped together as though he were about to pray.
‘Not in this life time,’ exclaimed Jeremiah as Steven smiled menacingly beside him.
‘One hundred?’ asked Bradley.
‘What did we just say?’ retorted Jeremiah with a chuckle.
‘Okay, how about fifty. Fifty dollars?’ cried Bradley, realising his chance to be reimbursed for his losses was slowly dissipating.
‘Not going to happen,’ said Jeremiah.
‘Twenty?’ asked Bradley.
‘Nope,’ replied Jeremiah.
‘Ten?’ cried Bradley, with what looked to be a tear making its way out from the corner of his eye.
‘Not today,’ said Jeremiah with a smile, knowing full well he had won.
‘Okay, how about four dollars and fifty cents for the train ride home?’ questioned Bradley.
Jeremiah nodded. ‘Sure, we could do that.’
Hey guys! This particular piece is a short story I am working on for one of my university classes. It has been previously workshopped by both my tutor and fellow students alike and I would very much like to know your opinions. If you believe there are any editorial issues, grammatical errors or general sentence concerns, et al, please notify me and I will gladly take them all into consideration before I am to submit the finalised piece in three weeks time. Thank you!
People say that a person can eventually move on after losing someone they love. It has been ten years since I lost Katarina and I never have. Today is the anniversary of her death and I cannot help but reminisce on what could have been, for the day I lost my girlfriend, is the day that I too died, for I’d hardly say I’m alive when I feel so dead inside.
The rain was the heaviest I had ever seen. The headlights on our vehicle barely managed to reveal anything that night, the entire highway more like an endless tunnel than a road. The heating in the car could barely keep out the cold; our breath was coming out before us in clouds as the two of us shivered. Even my favourite dark brown leather jacket was unable to contain my warmth.
‘I can’t believe we chose this night to celebrate my birthday,’ sighed Katarina in her natural, high pitched accent. Because English was not her first language, she often spoke slowly to avoid mixing up her words. She wore the jet black jacket I had bought her two Christmases earlier. The collar was beginning to fray as she must have worn this a hundred times or more. Can’t believe she couldn’t wear something else on her special day. Her dark brown hair hung down to her shoulders, her naturally pink lips stood out on her ghostly white complexion, her brown eyes watching the rain droplets move across the windscreen.
God, I realise I must sound like a love struck teenager on her first date, but you must understand something. For us, every date was like our first because we would always discover something new, and every time we made love it was as though we had never explored our bodies before. Every second of our time together was divine, well, most of it.
‘It’s just a little rain, it’ll dry,’ I reassured her, pulling one hand away from the steering wheel and rubbing her freezing cold hands. I saw my reflection out from the corner of my eye in the rear-view mirror. My dark hair was tied back in a green hair tie, which, according to Katarina, perfectly matched my eyes. My lips were stained with dull red lipstick, whilst blue mascara lined my eyes. ‘You’d better button up Kat,’ I noted
She smiled back at me. ‘I’ll be fine. The cold has little effect on me.’
‘I hope you don’t expect me to care for you when you’re all sick and disgusting,’ I retorted.
‘Shut up,’ snorted Katrina. ‘I cared for you when you had pneumonia; took time off work and everything so I’d expect you to do the same for me.’ She folded her arms across her chest and looked out the window once more. ‘I only hope we get there before this storm gets any worse.’ Her eyes no longer sparkled like they so often did.
I could feel Katarina’s emotion as though it were my own. ‘We’ll get there eventually,’ I promised.
‘If anyone else said this I would be unsure,’ stated Katarina, turning to face me. ‘But because it’s you Aryah, I’d believe anything,’ she giggled. We stared into each other’s eyes, neither of us noticing the van veering onto the wrong side of the road until its blinding headlights collided with our own.
It is said that a person always remembers their first kiss, or, more accurately, the person who first kisses them. Funnily enough, I don’t, I only remember Katarina. Our first chance encounter was anything but normal: she stole my car.
At the time she had been working as a journalist and I as a public relations manager. I was hired to facilitate an agreement with two rival companies who wanted to merge into one. Apparently the idea of acquiring more money was enough for them to set their differences aside to work co-operatively towards mutual goals. Katarina had been asked by her boss to write an investigative article on the merger, but had unfortunately been denied access. For the best I would presume. I left the merger almost immediately after it began. I know, I know, how unprofessional of me! But I personally felt as though my talents had been squandered. I guess I was simply unable to listen to a gaggle of grown men strutting around talking shop. On the drive back to my hotel I received a phone call and only took my eyes off the road for a second when I hit something. I slowed down to retrieve my phone so I was glad that when the collision occurred, Katarina, the victim of my bad driving was not terribly injured. Apparently Katarina had never received her driver’s licence despite taking the test a few times and was forced instead to use alternate means of travel – in this case a bike – which unfortunately bore the brunt of my vehicle’s bonnet. I did try to apologise, I swear! However Katarina was in a state of shock and would not hear any of it. This led to frustration and eventually anger, which led to her kicking me in the shin. She just so happened to be wearing metal toe capped boots, so you can imagine the pain I was in; it was probably more than what I had inflicted upon her. After I fell to the ground she looked me up and down, jumped into my car and drove off. She did leave me the twisted carcass that was once her bike, which was awfully kind of her.
Luckily for me, her inability to drive led to her arrest. According to the patrol officer, he found it a touch odd when he recovered my purse and driver’s licence on her person, stating how I had apparently changed in ‘height, weight and appearance.’ Katarina had replied with ‘shit happens,’ and shrugged at his remark. She always was bold and her mouth almost always got her into trouble. I think it was this trait of hers that I first fell in love with. The officer, as strange as it might seem, decided to drop all charges, believing that we had paid each other back in full.
However, this chance meeting progressed into a friendship, which in turn became something else. This might have been because we couldn’t keep our hands to ourselves – probably because we were always fighting, and when we weren’t, well, we’ll get to that.
Katarina’s apartment at the time was in no way the definition of cleanliness; the floor was her wardrobe and the bed was her bathroom cupboard. We had decided to test our wits at a game of poker on this particular stormy night, and neither of us wanted to brave the weather to get a good night’s supper. However, the game seemed to be one sided. I was left in the bedroom to set out the cards across the bed, whilst Katarina was inside the bathroom, the door just open a crack, enough for me to see her shadow skirting the walls as she busily went about her post-shower business.
‘How long does it take to get ready?’ I shouted.
‘Patience Aryah!’ shot back Katarina in return. ‘You shouldn’t be so eager to charge headstrong into the fight. I always win you know.’
‘Do you now?’ I asked with a sly grin.
‘I am known for being quite vicious,’ she replied. ‘I take what I want and I always play for keeps.’
‘You sound as though you do this often,’ I commented.
‘Only when there is something worth fighting for,’ replied Katarina.
‘Is that why you are getting all pampered up in there?’ I asked. ‘Are you gearing up for battle, or do you have a hot date planned after this?’
‘Don’t know’ said Katarina in reply, ‘depends if she’s interested.’
Little did Katarina know I had already left the bed, quietly navigated the room and opened the bathroom door to find her standing before the mirror in her fluffy white towel, drenched with the water continuing to drip from her body. ‘Oh, she’s interested’ I replied as I wrapped my arms around her and planted my lips to hers as she did the same to mine.
A second later I had slipped the bath towel away from her body and let it fall to the tiles. Words could not begin to describe the flawless sight that befell my eyes and it would be an insult to even try.
It was not long after I had pushed Katarina up against the bathroom wall that she had pushed me back as well, forcing me once more into the bedroom where we found ourselves a couple of feet short of the bed, her clothes cushioning the fall as we fell on top of one another onto the floor, giggling as we did so.
Katarina pinned me to the ground before tearing ravenously at my clothes, a number of buttons coming loose in the process as my shirt was thrown to the side. With that, she came down upon me like a tidal wave, ever so slowly nibbling her way down my front, not daring to stop until she reached my clitoris. From where she lay her head, Katarina smiled up at me, before taking me into her mouth, a spasm of ecstasy rushing through my veins. Mind, heart, body; I was entirely hers and she mine, and nothing but the steel of an out of control vehicle would ever separate us from one another.
Pain was the first thing I felt upon waking in the hospital ICU, the flashbacks which had comforted me disappearing into the room. My arm was broken, my face badly bruised and my lips swollen from the airbag (deploying in front of me), a deep gash cut into the left side of my face from where my head connected with the side window. Only three of my ribs were fractured and yet all of them ached unanimously. The ramblings of the doctor meant nothing to me, for all I cared about, all I would ever care about, was lying a few rooms down from me.
I was allowed the privilege of seeing Katarina almost immediately. The walk to her room felt like an eternity and although Katarina looked nothing like I remembered, my feelings for her were unchanged.
She was lying back in bed, a great portion of her body having received terrible injuries during the crash. Her right leg was elevated and in a sling, being fractured in several places. Five of her ribs were broken, her left arm being wrenched from its socket whilst her right wrist, along with several fingers, were broken. Her face had been battered, a significant portion of her cheeks and nose being caved in from the smash. This of course was just the physical damage, the doctors warning me of the severe internal injuries.
At present it seemed that Katarina was in no position for any further surgery and the medicos were planning to wait for a good eighteen hours before they attempted any further procedures. Despite all this, Katarina was conscious, fighting the twilight that was creeping up around her.
‘Hey,’ she managed upon my entry as I grimaced when sitting down beside her. ‘I’m glad to see you were not badly injured.’
‘Tell that to the rest of me,’ I replied, attempting to keep up appearances as I ran my free hand through her hair. ‘The doctors say you are going to make a full recovery,’ I said as Katarina smiled weakly at me.
‘I’m a journalist, remember,’ she stated, her lips barely moving. ‘My job is to search for the truth; don’t start lying to me now.’
‘I’ll try to keep that in mind,’ I noted, maintaining eye contact as I did so, a tear running down my cheek.
‘Please,’ said Katarina. ‘I don’t want you to remember this as anything but a happy moment.’
‘How can that be when the woman that I love lies before me in critical condition?’ I asked. ‘Besides, how do you know that this is not a tear of joy? I was not lying when I told you that you may very well pull through, because there is still every chance. You are a fighter Katarina and I don’t want you to give up in the moment when you need to fight harder than you ever have before.’
‘You know as well as I that’s not true,’ replied Katarina out from the corner of her mouth.
‘Don’t talk like that,’ I sobbed, gripping her hand with mine as she winced from the pain, but continued to hold on regardless.
‘We’ve shared in a lot of adventures,’ she said with a smile as though recalling every one of them with those words. ‘But I won’t be coming with you this time.’
‘What?’ I spluttered as tears continued to well up in my eyes, yet Katarina continued to remain strong, although even she was having trouble trying to keep her emotions in check. ‘No,’ I retorted, ‘we-we stay together. I should have watched where I was driving. I was supposed to take care of you.’
‘No,’ replied Katarina with a sigh. ‘We were supposed to take care of each other. Don’t ever blame yourself and don’t stop living because of me. I’ve been strong enough for both of us, but now you must be strong enough for yourself.’ Katarina swallowed before continuing slowly once more. ‘Who knows, if there’s a bar up there or something I’ll save a seat for you and I’ll look down on you from time to time. You will never be alone and no matter what, I will always lo-’
In that moment, Katarina slipped into unconsciousness. She never spoke again. I remained with her until the monitors around us came to life with the sound of raucous beeping, and just like that she was gone.