An Angel's Job
Author: Lyndsay Noemia

Chapter 5
The, Um, Visitor

     "Here we need to clean this before you go." The nurse said when I was on my way out the door with Clarice. My hand automatically went to the bandage that was on the back of my head and stretched to my neck.
     "I'm not going to have a bald spot am I?" When Ephraim was with me I had completely forgotten about my bandage and wound. Sort of.
     "Well, by the time you're finally recovered enough to go to school, your hair should be back to normal. It's a good thing you have really short hair." She said with a laugh.
      I didn't respond, she didn't really give me time to anyway. She made me sit down and tilt my head forward. After about ten minutes she gave me a pat on the back and told me I could leave. The car ride was silent until we were about ten minutes from the house. James asked, "What were you doing with that boy?"
     Of course. "It wasn't like I was just in the hospital or anything." I said.
     James wasn't amused. "Answer me, Jasmine."
     I sighed, "I was giving him a ride home."
     "He's a new student. When I saw him this morning, the same guy who did this-" I paused and motioned towards my bandages, "Totaled his car, and he needed a ride."
     James paid extra attention to everything I said, minus the part about my injury. "And you didn't know him?"
     "I was being courteous."
     James pulled into the driveway. "That isn't the point you could have been hurt."
     I rolled my eyes and opened the door. "Yeah, I guess somebody beat him to it."
     "Quit being a smart ass." James said, obviously irritated. I went to my room and slammed the door before anything else could be said. My body ached all over, now that the medicine wasn't effective anymore. The twin sized bed in the corner of my room was unmade, yet inviting. I made myself comfortable, being cautious of my neck so the wound wouldn't bleed anymore than necessary. Before I could check the time, my eyes were shut.
     My sleep wasn't disrupted by any nightmares, yet I woke with a start. Someone was sitting on the edge of my bed. I rolled over quickly, making my neck and head sting. The cut had reopened. "Oh Jasmine, look what you've done." A scolding tone said. My room was illuminated by the pale yellow lamp on my nightstand. Clarice looked down at me, her hazel eyes full of worry. "I came up to see if you were okay. James is just upset about you. He has nobody but that one boy to be angry at, so he's blaming it on that nice Ephraim boy." She checked her watch. "It's been three hours; we need to put on clean bandages." I sat silently while Clarice cleaned my cut and put on fresh bandages that the hospital gave her.
     She decided to talk, probably to keep her mind occupied from the blood. "How are you going to get your homework?"
     I thought about it and then said, "Well, you know how James loves Ephraim; maybe he could bring me my work."
    She laughed and said, "So Blythe will bring you your homework?"
    "Yes," I said then added, "She'll be a better choice, anyway."
    "And why is that?"
    I turned to look at her, because she was done. "For one, Ephraim will still be alive and Blythe will bring me books, too."
    She smiled and said, "You could be my daughter, you know. We're both book worms."
    It was meant to be a compliment, but it was a horrible reminder that my parents were no longer with me. The hurt must have shown in my face because Clarice stood up and said, "Sorry, I'll leave now. Go to sleep."
    Sleep. That's all I'd gotten done for the past three weeks, besides finish at least five books and my mounds of homework. You'd think nearly getting killed would cut you some slack. You'd think wrong, though. My cuts still hurt really bad, but when I was reading or was neck deep in equations, they weren't noticeable. That is, unless they decided to reopen.  If that happened I had to put on clean bandages and make sure it stopped bleeding. It was something that I had been given the chance to practice often, though so I was getting better at it.
     My eyes snapped open at the sound of the knock on the door. It couldn't be Addison, he had a key. Unless he lost it. Again. "Addison, if you lost your key again, I'm not letting you in." I yelled.
     "You'd think that someone would know when it's their best friend, not their brother." A voice yelled back. Blythe.
     "Sorry, I thought Addison lost his key again. Hold on, I'll get your books." I walked back to my room and gathered up five or six books.
     Blythe smiled and said, "And I'll give you your homework."
     "That hardly seems like a fair trade."
     She laughed and said, "So when are you coming back to school? I'll have to warn the teachers to barricade their doors." We laughed again.
     "Next week, I think." I sat down the papers on the kitchen table to get a glass of water. "You want anything?"
     "No," She paused and bit the inside of her cheek. I didn't say anything, but made a motion with my hands for her to keep talking. "Well, Ephraim was in another fight today. It wasn't Kendall, again, though."
     "Who was it then?"
     She shrugged, "I don't know, he doesn't go to our school. I'd say he was about Ephraim's height. Dark black hair, and blue eyes." I almost dropped my glass.
     Blythe stood up instantly, "Are you okay, Jasmine?" Meekly, I nodded. Jasen had come back for Ephraim. "Do you know who he is? He kept saying your name, and so did Ephraim."
     "Yeah, I guess you could say I know him. He did this." I waved my hands around my head.
     "Wait, shouldn't we call the cops then?" She asked.
     I shook my head, "No, it's fine. Ephraim can take care of himself."
     "And you're sure that you'll be okay?" I nodded. She left after she made sure all my bandages were in order. After staring at the small stack of work on the table, I decided to take a shower. The most challenging thing after getting hurt was showering. I had to make sure that absolutely nothing got into the cut by covering my neck with saran wrap, and wearing one of those God awful shower caps. Even with circulation cut off to the area above my forehead, the shower felt great.
      When I was done drying off and reapplying my bandages, my books were almost begging to be open. With a groan, my thoughts dissolved into numbers and letters. Those two things (in my opinion) should never be mixed. With my thoughts completely distracted, I never heard Addison enter my room. "What do you want?" I asked, barely looking up.
      He shifted his weight to his other foot. "You have an, um, visitor." Addison hardly ever got nervous, except around new people, so I knew it wasn't Blythe.
      I got up to see who it was. "No, that isn't necessary, stay still." The voice was instantly recognizable.
      He smiled and walked into my room. Addison silently dismissed himself. I knew he would tell James later, but at the moment it didn't bother me. I was smiling until he sat down and the light caught his eye. "Oh, Ephraim what happened?"
      "Jasen decided to fight me, again. I don't know what that guy's problem is anyway." Something seemed rehearsed about the way he said it, like he knew I'd ask and he had repeated it over and over until it sounded nonchalant. Or like the truth.


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