"sit back, sit back; relax, relapse."

   in the next few weeks, the hype about the party had practically died down completely, which i was happy for. everyone knows my name now, and i guess that's okay, since its not for a bad reason.  i still get waved at by people and i've been invited to alot more parties, but have yet to make an appearance. i'm afraid that everyone just wants me to perform... i'd rather just hang out and have fun and maybe make some friends, i'm not even in a band.
as i walked home on a wednesday afternoon, i was starting to get worried about Bella. she would answer e-mails, but she wouldn't really say much besides that she was staying with her friend, who she wouldn't name. she said she's not shy about her homelife, but she's never told me anything about it, and whenever i'd ask she would get defensive, although i told her all about mine and i didn't even want to. in fact, she's never even told me her real age... you think you know so much about someone, but you really know nothing at all..
   i heard a sneeze and subcontiously said "bless you" not knowing who it was, then i looked over and saw Bella leaning against the wall in an alleyway. "...Bella?" she looked down and away from me. "is that you?"
   "hey Drew."
   "are you alright? what are you doing all the way over here by yourself... its getting dark soon."
   "i don't know, i don't remember..."
   "how do you— you don't remember? here, come on, we can go to my house, you look exhausted." she sighed and walked steadily behind me back to my apartment. when we got there, i got her a change of clothes and had her lie down. "do you want anything to eat?"
   "i don't know..." she growned and turned over on to her side.
   in utter disbelief of her not being hungry, i made her some chicken flavored ramen and a plate of cheezits then set it on the table next to my bed and sat by her. "i havent seen you in almost a month, and right now you look like you haven't hardly eaten for days... did something happen?"
   "i just couldn't stand being at home anymore. so i left and i've been staying with some of my friends."
   "well, at least you had somewhere to go... "
   "they're nice guys...they're a gay couple and they have a nice house. they don't judge me or hold me back so i'm allowed to do whatever i want."
    "i assume that would be why you were this far over here."
    "yeah... i took the bus, my mom never really let me take the bus. i don't remember why i came though, i don't at all remember what i was doing after the bus ride. i just remember standing at a wall, then seeing you, then coming here. before that, there's a big blank space of nothingness."
    "that doesn't sound good.. hopefully nothing bad happened to you, you should check to make sure you still have everything, and go to the bathroom and check for bruises or anything."
    "i don't know... if something's wrong, i don't wanna be a burden..."
   "i hate that word. never say it around me. you're not a 'burden' you're a friend. if something's wrong, i'm going to help you, and i wont let it cause any trouble with the friends you live with or your mom."
    "you promise?"
    "yes, i promise." she nodded to me and went into the bathroom. i took out some cookies from the cabinet to eat as i opened a drawer to make sure i still had all of my emergency phone numbers. thankfully, i did, in fear i might need them.
   "drew, i found something." i walked warily into the bathroom. "look" she said as she turned around and parted her hair near the back. "i think there is a scab there, its hard and i think it was bleeding"
   "it definately looks like it..."
  she rolled up her sleeve and showed me her arms, then the side of her stomach. "i don't know what happened...but there's stuff like this all over me." she sighed, "ugh, my head hurts..."
  "i don't know what happened to you either, but your head looks pretty bad... we should get you checked out, if you have a concussion it could be really bad."
   "i don't have medical insurance or anything like that... i can't go to the doctor.."
   "i have enough money in my savings to take care of it, and we'll go to an Urgent Care, no one will find out."
   "okay...i'll go..."
   "do you think you're okay to ride on the handlebars of my bike or does your head hurt too bad?"
   "i'm not sure... i just don't feel good..."
   "alright, i know what to do." i picked up my pillow and comforter off of my bed and led her down into the garage room.
   "where are we?" she asked as she looked around the pitch black room.
   "we're in my garage, my bike and storage stuff is in here." i turned on the lights and pulled a big red wagon out from under a pile of old toys and set down the blanket in there and started fluffing the pillow.
    "drew? what are you doing...and why do you have a wagon that big?"
    "just lay down in here, the urgent care is close by so i'll walk up there, and with the pillow you wont hurt your head, you can just relax."
    she cracked a small smile and said "thank you." then, she got in the wagon, curled up and cuddled into the covers. it was about a 20 minute walk, but turned into about 35 as i lugged her up the hill. it wasn't bumpy, but it was textured enough to keep her awake, but still comfortable. she groaned lightly and my heart got heavy with worry. i rolled the wagon through the automatic doors of the building and spoke to the woman at the counter who agreed to take her in. i was with them every step of the way as they picked her up into the hospital bed and rolled her into a room.
   "let me see your head, where does it hurt" said the nurse as Bella began to show her the lengthy scab on the back of her head. she started writing things on a notepad, but it was a keroppi notepad. i'm glad that the nurse has good taste in stationary, but i just dearly hope that's professional. she started to examine the bruises and marks, and i noticed there were bruises beginning to show up on her face and on her calf. almost like she had fell down a hill or jumped out of a tree, which i hope she wouldn't have... the nurse pressed a button and a little red light began to blink on a a small machine, it had a phone on it but no numbers. "Dr.Lima, Room 8. Dr.Lima, Room 8." she said into the phone, which turned out to be an intercom system as it echoed throughout the big white room. the little red light stopped shining and the doors opened.
   "Hello, i'm Dr.Lima, the Urgent Care pediatrician. Is this Bella?" she asked me as she shook my hand.
   "Yes, this is her. I'm Aedrian, one of her friends."
   "I see, what has brought her here? I see alot of bruises."
   "She said she doesnt know what happened at all, all i know is that she's been living with some friends of hers and that she took a bus to somewhere around my neighborhood, uh, like near the small apartment if you know where that is. i found her standing there kind of in a daze and it made me worried..."
   "She does look a bit uninhibited. She doesn't recall anything of how she got the bruises?"
   "Not at all. She remembers before on the bus and walking, then she said she remembers seeing me and standing at that wall. And she's got a really big scab on her head, i'm scared it could be a concussion so i've tried to keep her awake."
   "Good, Good... is there a parent we can call?"
   "i... she'd rather her parents not get involved... i've got enough money to pay for her, and she can stay at my place until she's better."
   "you're a good friend." I bowed slightly in thanks and she walked over to Bella's bed and sat on a stool. "hey, Bella, i'm Dr. Lima. I'm just gonna make sure everything's alright with you before i send you anywehre, all right?" Bella nodded. "now, show me the scab on your head."
   "it hurts." she said. "I've had a headache since i can remember, at least since i saw drew."
   "alright, it looks like its just a contulsion, not a concussion. i'm gonna give you some pain medicine and make sure you sleep well and eat before you take them, or you might get nauseous."
   "okay." bella nodded and got down from the bed.
   "do you prefer liquid or pills, i'd assume pills."
   "yeah, pills. as long as they aren't those crazy elephant pills."
   "they're pretty small, don't worry." she smiled and handed Bella a small orange bottle of pills with a lable on front. just follow the directions i told you and you should feel better really soon."
   "thanks Dr.Lima." i shook her hand.
   "Anytime, Aedrian. Take care, you two." we waved as we made our way out, bella sat back down in the wagon and i went the long way to avoid the downhill.
   "You wanna malt?"
   "Haven't you spent enough money on me today?" Bella said with a yawn.
   "That wasn't the question."
   "...a malt does sound good."
   "I thought so too," i laughed. "and you don't have to worry about me spending money, i have a frequent buyers card for DoubleDip this place so i get buy-one-get-one-free ice cream and stuff. i have heard that ice cream helps headaches..."
   "alright!" she giggled. "To DoubleDips!"


  we stopped at the walk up window and i got us both a malt, then kept on going back to my house. i put the wagon back in the garage, walked us back up to the apartment and unlocked the door to sit down. i turned on the TV and let her choose a channel.
   "I think i remember what happened now."
   "Really? What happened?"
   "Its starting to come back to me, kinda... i got into a fight with somebody from school." she sipped from her malt. "i didn't come up here alone, i came up here with my boyfriend."
   "boyfriend? you never told me you had one..."
   "i didn't? i could have sworn i did... we've been dating since before i met you..."
   "i' never even had the slightest clue."
   "well, his name is Oskar, and he's from Sweden. He still has a really thick accent and people make fun of him for it... i know the person went to my school, but i didn't know her name. her and her friends were making fun of him, and i asked them to stop, but they wouldnt. they followed us all along the shopping strip mocking everything he said, and insulting us and calling us names and stupid lables, so i just punched her and told her to back off..."
   "then what happened to your head?"
   "you know the stairs infront of Gamestop? they tripped me down them and i hit my head. i didn't realize it bled at all, i wans't paying that kind of attention. i was just angry, and Oskar fell too, and they mocked us... i went after the girl for tripping us and Oskar was trying to stop me but i kept going, and when i stopped she had a bloody nose... and her friends came after us, so we were running but they caught up to us and we didn't have that much of a chance.. he tried to protect me and got  beat up, and i did too.. those guys were probably in the 10th grade, the girls were in my grade. they just pointed and laughed like all of this was funny, but it wasnt. and i didn't have the energy to get up. i think oskar was going to get help, and that's why i was by myself."
   "damn, i'm really sorry... hopefully your boyfriend is okay too. if you know the girls names we can look them up, they probably said something about it on thier profiles, knowing people like that. you should really call your boyfriend though, it's been hours since i found you and he's probably worried about you."
   "you're right... i'm gonna go call him." she got up and went into the bathroom. i got onto the computer and started browsing on MySpace for anything that sounded like what happened to Bella. but so far, i saw nothing.
   "my friend's coming to pick me up, i'm gonna go back to thier house."
   "alright, as long as you've got everything."
   "mhmm." she put her phone into her pocket. "lunch at Melt tomorrow?"
   "sure." i smiled.
"thanks, Aedrian."
she walked out the door.

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