True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 38
Sickening Surprise pt.2

When I walked into the room he was shaking, convulsing violently, his face ashen and sweaty.  I sprinted to do something for him; something, anything, to help.  He was sweating profusely, at first glance, anyone would’ve thought that he’d jumped into a swimming pool.  Dehydration, I thought frantically.  I raced to the bathroom, failing to find a cup.  Of course there was no cup!  It was a bathroom!

            “Lena!” I cried.  I screamed so loud that five different knocks sounded at the door.  Alex groaned and twisted over in pain.  I grew more anxious and yanked the door open.  Othello, Joey, Samuel, Lena, and Giovanni were all there. “Help him!” I pleaded.  I struggled to find my voice though thousands of thoughts were racing through my mind. “Get him water!  Or-or-or s-something!  Washcloths!  Help him!” I let Othello, Giovanni, and Joey bustle past me to go to Alex’s bedside.  I was glad that Giovanni had had medical training.

            Then everything went by in a scrapbook form.  It was like my eyes were taking pictures and I was just looking back on some recorded nightmare.  I could even hear the camera click every few seconds.  Samuel stayed by my side and steadied me with one arm, telling me to sit down.  Click.  Lena took my hand and led me to the couch.  Click.  Joey rushed out of the room.  Click.  Samuel watched me with wary eyes.  Click.  Lena stroked my hand and shot nervous glances back and forth from me to Alex.

            My eyes, however, remained trained on Alex’s face.  His skin was still pasty and nearly green.  His eyebrows were pulled in agony down and together.  Every time Giovanni would touch him he would recoil, scream, or lash out at her.  After about three minutes of this, Giovanni shot a meaningful look to Othello.  Othello’s arms locked Alex to the bed and Alex thrashed and bucked against him until Joey strode swiftly into the room.  He slapped a cold compress to Alex’s forehead making Alex’s body go still.

            His breathing was still on the brink of hyperventilation.  Or maybe that was me.  I watched as Joey jogged right back out of the room after Giovanni had whispered something to him.  Joey loved Giovanni. He would have done anything she’d asked him to.  That was my guess, anyway.  I tended to have a better eye for those things than most people, considering my previous occupation.

            “Don’t worry,” Lena repeated for another ten minutes.  What if Alex died?  What if he had been poisoned?  Edward would never stoop that low.  Right?  Before I could stop the mental movie, some unknown force pressed play and I watched helplessly as my mind pictured Edward Stone commanding a goon or even a servant to shake rat poison in Alex’s meal.  I cringed as I remembered sitting only two chairs away from Alex, silently eating my own food at dinner last night, doing nothing to stop him from eating!  I should have done something.  I should have saved him.  I almost cried when the mental movie fast-forwarded itself to Alex turning and tossing on the bed in pain and then going completely still.  He died.

            I shook myself out of that horror film and snapped my head back to Alex on the bed, he was moaning, his face contorted in agony all over again.  I jumped up and started to go to his side.  Samuel caught me and held me back.  My back was against his chest and I tried to push myself off of him.  He just gripped my waist tighter.  I let out a loud groan of frustration.  Giovanni was doing something to Alex; I just knew it.  My hair whipped into my eyes as I struggled to get out of Samuel’s hold.

            “Let go of me!” I screamed in anger.  Samuel hushed me, trying to calm me. “Let me GO!  You’re hurting him!” My voice was louder than I’d ever heard it.  There were no thoughts in my head at all.  I was running on vapors; acting on instinct.

            “Keep her back, Samuel.  Joey needs to hurry up,” Giovanni’s cool, calm tone just infuriated me further.  I yelled out something incoherent and thrashed in Samuel’s arms.

            “Get off of me!” I insisted, tears blocking my vision. “Alex!” I cried hopelessly, feeling useless, angry, and terrified all at once.  I caught Alex’s pained stare and he only lifted one weak hand in an attempt to reach me.  His feeble gesture only made me need to go to him even more.  My hair whipped in my eyes as I tossed my head back and forth still trying to escape Samuel.  If someone had later asked me what was everyone else in the room was doing I wouldn’t have been able to utter one single syllable.  All of my attention, all of my thoughts, were on Alex. “You’re killing him!  Get the hell off of me!” I screamed, my anger rising, almost sky-rocketing.  Everything in the room was hot.  My skin was burning up; my hands shaking furiously.  I bit down hard on Samuel’s forearm and his arms retreated back into his own personal space, disappearing as quickly as my calm demeanor did when I’d seen Alex in pain.

            I bolted to Alex, pushing my fingers through his hair and cradling him in my arms.  Othello reached out for me, to pull me away from Alex.  I shot him the deadliest look I could manage.  Othello gave Giovanni a pleading glance.

            “Go find Joey,” she snapped, waving him off.  I intertwined my fingers with Alex’s; his hands were clammy and cold.

            “It’s okay,” I told him, not believing my own words. “I’m here, Alex. It’s okay.”

            “Stay,” he mumbled before breaking off into an anguished scream.  I cringed and held him more closely. “Stay,” he groaned again, nearly inaudible this time.

            “I’m right here,” I told him.

            “Here,” Giovanni muttered in her low, soothing voice.  I bit my lip and turned my head to see that she was holding out a dripping wet washcloth.  I took it from her and held her gaze for a split second longer than was necessary.

            “Thank you.” Giovanni nodded in understanding.  I pressed the washcloth to Alex’s head and wiped his face. “Alex,” I tried to get his attention, but he was busy holding his stomach. “Alex!” I shook him until he looked at me.  At that moment, Alex reminded me of an angry cat that was woken from his daily nap. “Talk to me, honey,” I whispered.  He grunted and tried to turn away. “No, Alex, tell me what happened.” I stroked the sides of his face, my anxiety growing when his eyes fluttered shut. “Alex, please, tell me what did this to you.” I didn’t think he would answer.  Little grunts of hurt bubbled past his lips; making my nervousness spike.

            I leaned over, still clutching Alex to me, and touched my forehead to his.  Joey sprinted back into the room and told me to hold Alex tighter.  I was only three seconds away from asking him what he was talking about.  Then I looked at Joey’s right hand and saw exactly what he was talking about.  He handed the needle to Giovanni.

            “Alex, listen to me.  Giovanni is going to give you something to make you feel better, okay?” Alex tried to turn out of my grasp to receive the liquid medicine he thought he would find.  I held fast to him. “No, honey, it’s a shot.” Alex’s reaction was something of a nervous breakdown.  He began to shake, and not convulse like he had been, but literally trembling with fear.  His hands clenched into fists and his teeth clamped down hard together.  Because Alex’s biggest fear was, as silly as I thought it was; needles.

 

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