The Fall Chapter 9
Atlantic General Hospital –
Sheldon glanced quickly down the hall before quietly entering the room. He knew he wouldn’t have much time before Savannah returned. He’d come to apologize but now the conversation that he’d overheard was also pressing on his mind.
Darren slowly opened his eyes and smiled up at the man above him. Darren saw the worry and the guilt. He didn’t blame him, he never would instead he was grateful for the fact that Sheldon may have very well saved his life.
“Hey man, it’s a little late for you to be out trolling these halls isn’t it?”
Sheldon smiled nervously as he searched for the words to apologize.
“I didn’t mean to wake you. I just wanted to…”
“Please, I see that look in your eyes. Me falling wasn’t your fault.”
“But if I had been on time…”
“What, you would have stopped me from climbing up that ladder?”
“Yes, I mean no…I should have been there, that’s all.”
“It was an accident. Besides, Savannah has been asking me to get rid of that old ladder for months now. This was my fault me and my hard head.”
Sheldon shook his head and even though a slight smile appeared across his face, his friend’s eyes told Darren that he wasn’t quite ready to accept absolution for his offenses.
“So, when are they springing you from this place?” Sheldon asked changing the subject.
“Tomorrow morning. I’m only here as a precaution.”
“Who knows maybe I’ll come by in the morning when the old ball and chain leaves and bring coffee and donuts.”
“That sounds like a plan…”
Both men shot glances of fear at each other.
“I just wanted to see how Darren was doing, that’s all.”
“Well, he’s fine and I don’t want you here!”
“Savannah, stop! Sheldon is my friend!”
“Well, if your friend had been on time for work you wouldn’t be in that hospital bed!”
“No, she’s right. I should have been there and for that I hope you can forgive me…both of you.”
Sheldon looked at Savannah who continued to glare at him refusing to commit to any sort of forgiveness. Darren felt the anger boiling inside as he watched the woman who he hardly recognized now.
“It’s getting late…”
“No, I understand and I’m leaving.” Then looking at Darren. “Take care of yourself, Boss.”
“Sheldon, please don’t leave.”
Without responding, Sheldon hurried from the room. Once the younger man disappeared from sight Darren turned his anger toward his wife. He couldn’t help but notice the gloating expression on her face as she crossed her arms across her chest.
“Why did you do that, Savannah?”
“Honestly Darren, I don’t know why you put up with his triflin’ ass!”
“He’s a good man and he’s my friend!”
“Well, I don’t like him and I want him fired!”
“You can’t mean that.”
“No, I mean it! You do it or I will!”
Darren’s head began to throb and his vision began to blur. Savannah noticed his discomfort and rushed to his side.
“Darren, are you alright? I’m sorry I didn’t mean to upset you! I’ll call the nurse to give you something for pain.”
“I’m okay, I don’t want anything. I’ll be fine.”
Savannah pushed the call button and watched helplessly as he closed his eyes trying in vain to deal with the pain.
“Is everything okay?”
A small petite redhead entered the room.
“I think my husband needs something for pain.”
“Sure no problem. The doctor has already ordered something so I’ll be right back with it.”
Savannah began running her hand down the side of his face trying to soothe him.
“It’s going to be okay, I promise.”
“Why were you so rude? This isn’t Sheldon’s fault.”
“Shh…we’ll talk about it later. Calm down the nurse will be right back with your pain meds and then you’ll be out like a light.”
“No, I don’t want to go to sleep…”
“You need to rest. I knew that if that man came in here you’d get upset.”
“No Darren, this is too much! Too much!”
Before he could reply, the young nurse reappeared with a syringe in hand. Savannah stepped out of her way while Darren was given the medicine in his IV. It began taking affect almost immediately.
“Okay, Mr. Matthews you should start getting some relief any time now.”
“He’s so lucky to have you.” The nurse smiled at Savannah before heading toward the door. “Let me know if you need anything else.”
“Thank you.” Savannah smiled relieved. “Thank you so much.”
“Not his…fault…” Darren drawled.
“Don’t be mad, baby. Spencer didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Sheldon…don’t blame him…please…”
Darren wanted to stay awake to explain that her happiness was still of utmost importance to him. He needed her to understand that Sheldon was a friend and to plead with her to give him a chance to prove himself to her. He was afraid of the look in her eyes, the anger for what he didn’t know. He was terrified of the dreams of the strangers and the beautiful blonde that seemed so familiar so unlike Savannah. Despite his fight against the medication he felt himself being pulled into the darkness. He wondered if he would see the woman again and if he could persuade her to stay this time.
Savannah watched as his breathing evened out and his eyes closed. As he was lulled into a deep sleep, she felt the panic welling up and she felt as if her dreams and her plans were unraveling before her eyes. Hamilton and Marcos had warned her time and time and again to be careful but she couldn’t stop the train wreck before her and she knew that if Hamilton couldn’t fix Darren it would be her fault.
Golden Adobe Apartments –
Sheldon climbed the three flights to his apartment. The white envelope taped to his door didn’t surprise him. He was three weeks past due on the rent and he had no means in sight to make it right, especially if Savannah was successful in convincing Darren to fire him. So, grabbing the envelope from the door he let himself inside.
He’d only been in Atlanta for just under a year and it had been hard. Sheldon had held high hopes in his new beginning willing to wait it out until things turned around. No one knew him there and he could hide from his past, make new friends and perhaps prove that he was more than the disappointment he’d turned out to be. He could still see the tears in his mother’s eyes as if it were yesterday and after today he was afraid that he’d have to return to the old life that had landed him here in the first place.
Atlantic General Hospital –
“It’s not working! Are you sure you want to continue?”
“YES! I’m sure, we’ve come too far to give up know!”
He struggled against the tight leather around his wrists. He’d fought so hard to break free that he no longer felt the pain. His wrist had been rubbed raw with his persistent pulling and the blood had stained the rough leather a deep burgundy.
“Please, let me go!”
“What’s your name?”
“Stop! Let me go! I want to go home!”
“Tell him or he won’t stop!”
The older white-haired man leaned in close his breath smelled of stale coffee and whiskey. His wrinkled hand forced his head back roughly against the headrest. He could smell the woman’s perfume…even after so long being in the dimly lit room, she still smelled like Jasmine.
“No! No! Never! Just leave me…”
The man…the one who had suddenly stepped from the darkness sent his heavy fist across his face. He’d forgotten that he was still in the room.
“Darren! Wake up it’s just a dream! You’re okay now. I’m here and I’m not going any where, okay Baby?”
Darren’s eyes opened as he struggled to catch his breath. He saw something in her eyes, something he didn’t recognize. He didn’t like being there, in the small bed. He struggled to sit up against her firm hand.
“Please Darren, just relax.”
“I want to go home.”