As Denny woke up the next morning, it was to find himself in the exact same position as how he fell asleep last night. There was the absence of the parents, which Denny assumed, was because of their work obligations. Ivy, Stan, and Kenny were also gone, due to them going back to their respective rooms most likely. Kyle was asleep on the sofa bed with his mouth slightly open and his IV line dangling on the floor. Denny looked back over at Violet, who seemed to be dreaming, judging by her moving around and talking in her sleep. She seemed to be in distress until Denny gently stroked her hair to wake her up.
“You ok there?”, he asked.
“Oh Denny, thank god. I was dreaming what I was fearing last night.”, she said sleepily.
“I never let go of your hand.”, he pointed out, “Everything is fine.”
“Sorry”, she said. “I’m just still freaked out over what has happened.”
“It’s fine. I just don’t want you to make yourself sick over everything.”, he said, “Don’t forget, that will slow down your recovery.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”, said Violet.
Kyle began to stir slowly, rubbing his eyes as he seemed to be wondering where the others were.
“Hey Kyle”, Denny greeted, “You sleep alright?”
“Oh good”, said Kyle, “I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one here. It took me a long time to fall asleep last night, even after mom and dad had left.”
“Really? Why was that?”, asked Denny, curious.
“I guess wondering if anything would happen. I knew things were fine but something just kept me awake.”
“That’s weird.”, said Violet, looking relieved that she wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
“I guess it’s just a natural instinct.” said Denny, “So much has gone on in the last couple days. It gives us a false sense of security..”
“That makes sense.” said Kyle, “Dude, I’m so glad we don’t have to go to school. It’s just hard to imagine doing that right now.”
“Got that right.”, said Violet.
Ivy came in, IV pole close in tow.
“Godammit, this IV is driving me nuts! Why do we still have to have these in still?”, she ranted.
“Well, look at it this way. If something were to happen to you and you would have to be given fluids or pain meds, it’d be better to have the IV so you don’t have to be stabbed again.”, said Denny.
“Yeah, I’d rather have it instead of getting stabbed.”, said Violet.
“I guess that’s true”, said Ivy, “It just gets annoying when I can feel the needle poking inside of my arm.”
“I know how you feel.”, said Denny, “The worst part of it is when they take it out though. That hurts like a mother f*cker.”
“Thanks for the warning.”, said Ivy, grimly.
“I better call mom now that we’re awake.”, said Kyle, pulling out his phone and dialing the number.
“Hey mom. Yeah we just woke up. Uh huh, ok, I’ll tell him. See you soon then.”
He hung up and put the phone on the table next to him.
“Ok Denny, mom says she’s getting you a phone because she doesn’t want to take any chances of not being able to call you. She’ll be here soon.”
“Cool. I was thinking the same thing about that.. So did you find out when your mom’s going to be here, Violet?”
“I’m guessing some time soon.”, said Violet, “She usually does afternoons but will probably be here before she starts work.”
“Didn’t she give you a phone yet?”, asked Ivy.
“Not yet, I was staying with my aunt while my parents were out of town but I don’t know if she knows where I am. More than likely I‘ll be getting one now. I‘m betting mom and dad are having kittens about me already.”
“Well, why doesn’t your aunt try to figure out where you are?”. asked Ivy.
“She’s very forgetful. My parents weren’t happy leaving me with her but she’s the closest relative I got. I imagine they’re pissed at her right now/“, explained Violet.
“Yeah, I would be.”, said Denny.
“I don’t think my parents will give her anymore babysitting jobs anytime soon.”, said Violet, “I’m betting now that they’ll just let me sleep over at one of you guys’ house.”
“That’d be fun.”, said Ivy, “But I don’t really want to go back to Cartman’s house. I’m willing to bet that she’ll disown me for walking away from that sh*t the other day while Cartman was killed.”
“Well, why don’t you see if you can stay at my house?”, suggested Violet.
“I would feel much better with doing that than going back there.”, said Ivy, brightening up.
Kyle’s phone started to ring and he picked it up looking apprehensive.
“Hey mom, what’s up? Speakerphone? Ok, hold on.”
He moved the phone away from his ear and pressed a little button on the side of it, causing the call to be heard by everybody.
“Hello kids”, said Sheila on the phone, “How is everything?”
“Calm. We’re just talking about random stuff.”, said Denny.
“That’s good. Is everyone awake?”
“All except for Stan and Kenny.”, said Kyle.
“Good. I just got some news. The police are going to be coming there to ask some questions about what happened in the library the other night. This will help them with the investigation.”
“Ok, is the town square called ground zero yet?, asked Violet, seriously.
“Actually, I think it would be easier to refer to the square that way., said Sheila, “I imagine that there’s still a lot that needs to be tested but knowing what happened before the blast would help piece things together too.”
“So, when will they get here?”, asked Ivy.
“They might be there before me and also Mackey and Victoria will be coming to visit too.”
“Dude! These people need to slow down!”, said Denny, suddenly tense.
“Be careful there, hon.”, said Violet, squeezing his hand gently, “You don’t want to make your blood pressure go crazy.”
“That’s another thing.”, said Sheila, “Did they give you your meds yet, Denny?”
“Not yet, why does that matter?”, asked Denny.
“You might want to make sure you get those before the police get there so you can calmly give them the information.”, said Sheila.
“I’ll go tell them.”, said Ivy, helpfully.
“Ok, good. Well, I just arrived at the Sprint store to get you a phone, Denny. I want to be able to get a hold of you to make sure you’re safe.”, said Sheila, a little stern.
“You can count on me.”, Denny assured her.
“That’s my boy.”, said Sheila affectionately, “I’ll see you all soon.”
She hung up and Kyle put the phone back where he left it.
“Damn, I’ll be glad when this day is over.”, said Kyle, white-faced.
“We should see if they’ll give us a sedative to keep us calm.”, said Violet.
Right on cue, the nurse walked in with a few medicine cups and handed him to Denny.
“So, is everyone going to be alright talking to the police?”, she asked.
“Actually, we were wondering if we could have something to keep us calm during the whole time?”, asked Violet.
“I can page the doctor to ask him but I’m sure that would be fine and I can order you all some food while we’re at it.”, she said.
“Thank you.”, said Denny, shooting the pills down with the water.
“Dude, why the f*ck is everything coming at us so quick?”, asked Violet.
“It might be better to do it and get it over with.”, Kyle pointed out.
“That’s true”, said Denny, though these words were of little comfort to him.
“It might be better to do what?” asked a familiar voice.
The voice was revealed to be of Stan, finally having woke up but still looked very tired.
“What happened to you? You look terrible.”, asked Kyle.
“I hardly got any sleep last night.”, he explained, “I was awake most of the night, then turned on the tv, hoping that would help me fall asleep. I didn’t sleep until four this morning, then woke up at like seven and gave up about a half hour ago, so here I am.”
“Jesus dude, I wonder what that was all about?”, asked Denny.
“All I know is it sucked ass.”, he said.
“Sounds like it.”, said Ivy, coming back into the room.
“Where were you?”, asked Kyle.
“I walked around a little bit.”, she said.
“I’ll sure be missing that.”, said Violet, grimly.
“We’ll be wheelchair buddies.”, said Denny, hoping to cheer her up.
“That’s true.”, she said, and sure enough, her face brightened up.
“Besides, it isn’t all bad.”, said Kyle, “At least you won’t have to run in PE class, I’ve always hated that.”
“We might miss it soon enough but for now, yes, that’s true.” said Denny.
The nurse came back into the room carrying a handful of syringes, one for everybody.
“Is that the anti-anxiety medicine?”, asked Violet.
“Yes”, said the nurse, “It’s not much but it should help make things easier when the police get here.”
“Don’t remind me.”, said Denny, looking nervous.
“What’s wrong?”, asked Ivy.
“I just can’t relive that sh*t again.”, said Denny, “It’s bad enough that I’ll have to relive those memories again when I see that counselor.”
“It will be better talking to him about it.”, said the nurse, “It does get difficult doing something like that but if it’s going to be someone who will be able to set your mind at ease, you’ll feel better for doing it.”
“That makes sense.”, said Denny, “It guess I’ve been obsessive ever since it happened and that’s been something that dominates everything else.”
She slid the stopper on Denny's IV line and screwed the syringe to it, injecting the medicine to it and move the stopper back into place. Denny felt a little rush from the medicine, similar to how the morphine felt.
“How do you feel now?”, asked the nurse.
“A little bit of a rush but morphine does the same thing so it’s nothing out of the ordinary.”
“Yes, sometimes medicines do that but it also depends on the person.”
“Yeah, that makes sense.” he agreed.
“I’m going to stick around in here while you kids talk to the police and make sure nothing bad happens, especially with you, Denny, since you came out of a coma not even 24 hours ago.”
“Did Kenny wake up yet?”, asked Stan.
“Did someone say my name?” asked a familiar voice as Stan’s question was answered.
“Did you have insomnia last night too, Kenny?”, asked Kyle.
“Yeah, how’d you know?”, asked Kenny.
“We all did too but now at least all is well.”, said Ivy.
“That’s odd”, said the nurse, “you all followed the doctor’s instructions not to have anything to eat or drink after midnight, right?”
“Yeah. You saw we didn’t.”, said Violet.
“Well, Violet’s we can understand. She been an emotional wreck after what happened and she and Denny are boyfriend and girlfriend.”, said Kyle
“Yeah, sorry about all that.”, said Violet, going a little red.
“It’s cool. I would’ve been the same way.”, said Ivy.
Sheila had arrived. She moved in quietly, assuming that the cops were already there but at second glance, noticed that she was mistaken.
“Hello everybody, how are we all feeling today?”, she asked.
“Tired”, everyone chanted back.
“Why is that?”, asked Sheila.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”, said Kyle.
“Seems as though everybody had a rough time sleeping last night.”, Denny explained to her.
“That seems kind of odd.”, said Sheila, “Why don’t you bring it up to the doctor when he comes?”
“He should be here pretty soon.”, said the nurse, “I did give them all anti-anxiety medicine, by the way. It wasn’t much but it should get them through the police interview. I didn’t want to make them stoned.”
“Perfect!”, said Sheila, in a damn fine mood.
“So where have you been?”, asked Kyle.
“Well, I went and got Denny a phone, then went to the store to get groceries, both of which were before I took Ike to the babysitter’s house.”
She pulled out a phone which was all black, and handed it to Denny. His face lit up at the sight of it, as he opened it up and looked at the inside. The inside was all black also and upon closing it, the front of the phone lit up in blue letters.
“Do you like it?”, asked Sheila, smiling at Denny’s eagerness.
“It’s awesome!”, said Denny, grinning from ear to ear.
“Ok, Denny. What’s the number so I can put it into my phone?”, asked Kyle.
Denny opened the phone again and went into the menu, finding phone info and pressing menu on phone number.
“Ok, ready? It’s (719)734-8648.”, Denny read, “Ok now what about yours?”
“Ready? It’s (719)840-8535.”
“I already put the house and your father’s and my cell numbers in there.”, said Sheila..
“Yeah, I see it.”, said Denny.
A beeping sound made them all jump in their seats. They all looked over toward the source of it and saw the nurse grab her pager and looked at everybody’s startled looks.
“Sorry about that folks. It looks like the police are here. I’ll be right back.”
Everybody exchanged nervous looks and all attention was on Denny. He, himself looked kind of worried but told himself that it would be fine.
“Now remember, just stay calm and stick to the facts.”, said Sheila, breathing a little faster than normal. “Nothing bad is going to happen to anybody, so let’s just get this over with.”
The nurse came back into the room in a hurry.
“It is the police. They will be up here momentarily. Now if you don’t feel right at any time, let me know right away. I will be watching all of you over to spring into action if need be.”
There was nothing to do now but wait. Everyone sat frozen in a stony silence, with nothing but the rythmatic beeping of the heart monitors breaking the silence.
In the wake of it all, Denny was so nervous that he occasionally twitched, resembling Tweek. He knew he ought not to let himself feel like this but it was hard to do.
In what seemed like no time at all, there was the sound of approaching footsteps, as two cops entered, knocking politely on the door before entering.
“Hello kids”, one of them said, with an encouraging smile. “My name is Officer Davies and this is Officer Carpenter. We’re from the South Park PD. We just want to ask you kids some questions to help us piece together what happened with the town square. Nothing to worry about, so don’t be intimidated by us.”
“This won’t take too long, it’s just a few quick questions.”, said Carpenter.
“Ok, let’s get it over with.”, said Denny, feeling the adrenaline pumping.
“Ok, first things first, what exactly happened in the events leading up to the explosion?”
Kyle had decided to explain it for fear of Denny and Violet cracking under the pressure. As he finished explaining, the two cops looked very shocked.
“Jesus Christ, that guy must’ve been insane.”, said Davies, speaking of the maniac that held them hostage.
“He was but at the same time, he wasn’t.”, said Ivy, “ Did you guys find the body of the guy he killed in the library?”
“Not yet”, said Davies, “There’s still a lot of rubble to dig up yet.”
“So, there were underground channels leading through four different places? “, asked Carpenter.
“That’s right and an archway at the center of it all.” said Stan.
“So, it was his belief that there were newspapers made about the town are in the old days?”, asked Davies.
“Yep”, said Kyle, “They’re probably fried now but I’m surprised they didn’t turn to dust when he touched them.”
“Goddamit, I would’ve wanted to see those.”, said Carpenter.
“I would’ve wanted to see the underground channels.”, said Davies, shaking his head.
“So he said that he believed destroying all of that would be the undoing of the bad stuff around here?”, asked Carpenter.
“Yep, exactly that.”, said Stan, with a *nosebridgepinch*.
“That would’ve been a sight to see.”, said Davies.
“ Ok, so what about this Eric Cartman kid?”, asked Carpenter.
“The maniac had told us that he had seen Cartman around the laser tag place and managed to brainwash him into taking that guy’s side.”, said Kyle.
“He had Cartman get supplies for him in order to do his bidding. Cartman had all of a sudden thought he would receive eternal bliss if he sacrificed himself.”, said Stan.
“But, how did you all escape?”, asked Davies.
“He ended up letting us go.”, said Violet, “He said something about not feeling right killing us since he had started to take a liking to us. We had to haul ass back the way we came before he set the trigger for the explosion.”
“That guy sounded f*cked up.”, said Davies.
“Ok, now the most difficult question”, said Carpenter, “What had gone on in that amount of time?”
“Like Violet said, we had to haul ass out the way we came before he hit the trigger.”. said Ivy, dryly, “We made it outside but Violet had stopped to catch her breath. Denny screamed after her when he noticed she was still in the danger zone and went after her. He got to her and about 2 seconds later the explosion happened.”
“That must’ve been scary.”, said Davies.
“The explosion wasn’t the scariest part.,” said Kyle, “The scariest part was when Denny and Violet were thrown into the air by the force of the blast.”
Both Denny’s and Violet’s heart monitors began to go off and the nurse went straight over to them, pushing a button to silence the monitors.
“Sorry about that.”, said the nurse.
“They were thrown into the air and knocked back at least 20 feet.”, Kyle shuddered as he wrapped up the events of the other night.
The monitors continued to go off. Denny and Violet had their hands together and were squeezing them tightly.
“I’m sorry if this is still a lot to swallow.”, Davies said to both of them, “I think we have enough information for now.”
“Why don’t you kids get some relaxation?”, said Carpenter.
“What happens now?”, asked Denny.
“There’s still a lot of intense investigation that needs to be done here and we’ll probably compensate you all for the way you handled it all.”
“If we need more info, we will let you know/”, said Davies.
“We appreciate your time in this manner.”, said Carpenter, as both cops shook everyone’s hands and departed.
“Well, that wasn’t too bad.”, said Denny, whose monitor was still going off.
“Let me go get you some high blood pressure medicine.”, said the nurse, as she went to go fetch it.
“It’s been quite the day today.”, said Ivy.
‘It’s not even noon yet either.”, said Kyle, looking overwhelmed.
“Goddamit, it doesn’t help not being able to sleep either.”, said Stan with a nosebridgepinch.
“I could give you all some sedative to help tonight if you want.”, said the nurse, having come back to give Denny and Violet anti-hypertensive medicine.
“That would be great.”, said Ivy, with a smile.
“What’s next’s on the agenda?”, asked Kyle.
“Isn’t the doctor supposed to be here soon?”, asked Sheila.
“Yes, he’ll be here around two or so but he said Mrs. Shepherd will be here anytime now. I imagine she’s eager to meet the boy who saved everyone the other night.”
Denny turned a little red at this, looking down.
“What’s wrong with that?”, asked Violet, noticing and squeezing his hand.
“It just seems like I’m getting too much credit.”, said Denny, still looking down.
“You risked your life for Violet’s, Denny. You sacrificed yourself and could’ve died. That was heroic.”, said Ivy, trying to reassure him.
“Speaking of which, did we ever get that meeting set up with that counselor?”, Sheila asked the nurse.
“I don’t know anything about that but the doctor should have that info when he comes here.”, said the nurse.
The nurse’s pager went off again but this time nobody was startled by it. The nurse unclipped it from her waist and looked at it and after a moment began to walk out to the hallway.
“I’ll be right back. Your mom’s here, Violet. I need to call downstairs to give her directions here.”
“Dude, my mom’s gonna be so pissed at my aunt for what happened.”, said Violet, as the nurse walked out of the room, “I don’t want to be around when she chews my aunt out.”
“I doubt she’d do that in front of you.”, said Ivy, “I’d be pissed too but I’d just chew her out one on one.”
“That’s true”, said Violet, nodding, “I highly doubt she’ll ever babysit me again.”
“I wouldn’t blame your parents for that.”, said Sheila, kindly.
“Has she always been that forgetful?”, asked Stan, raising an eyebrow.
“Unfortunately yes, but like I said, she’s the closest relative near here.”
“Is it like a disability or something?”, asked Denny.
“I think so”, said Violet, “I think she has some kind of problem that screws up her organizational abilities.”
“That sucks”, said Kyle, “Well, at least now you have us to keep you company.”
“That’s good to hear.”, said a voice in the doorway, making everyone jump..
The lady who had walked into the room had light brown hair, a kind face, and was wearing light blue scrubs. This could only be Violet’s mother.
“Mom!”, said Violet eagerly, holding out her arms.
Violet’s mom crossed the room and hugged Violet carefully. Tears were rolling down Violet’s face as she was finally reunited with her mother. Denny watched this and began to feel the hardship of loss again, trying to use all the self-control he could to hide his emotions. He laid back on his pillow and turned the other way, hoping nobody would notice this.
“I’m never leaving you with your aunt Vicki again.”, said Violet’s mom, still hugging her daughter.
She hugged Violet gently until she realized Violet wasn’t alone.
“Oh, I’m sorry!”, she said, “I’m Charlotte, Violet’s mom, but I go by Char.” Looking back at Violet she said, “Violet, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?”
“Yeah, sorry about that.”, said Violet, “These are Kyle, Ivy, Stan, and Kenny.”, she indicated everybody as she said their names.
“What about this lady here?”, she said, pointing to Sheila.
“My name is Sheila”, she said, shaking Charlotte’s hand, “I’m Kyle and Denny’s mom.”
“Oh sh*t, I forgot!” said Violet, slapping her forehead and turning to look at Denny, “This is my boyfriend… What the…?”
She had turned to look at Denny, only to see his back. She saw that he was shaking and sobbing.
“Denny? What’s wrong?”, she asked, putting her hand on his shoulder. He didn’t answer but maintained the same position as before.
Charlotte frowned and looked confused.
“What’s going on?”, she asked, “did I do something wrong?”
“Of course not”, said Sheila, reassuringly, “can I talk to you for a minute so I can fill you in?”
“Of course”, said Charlotte as she walked with Sheila to the hallway.
“What’s wrong with you, Denny?”, asked Kyle, “Did we do something wrong?”
“Of course not, Kyle”, said Ivy, “you have no idea what he’s feeling right now?”
“I have no idea.”, said Kyle.
“Come over here so I can explain it to you.”, she said firmly.
“All right, all right.”
“Now, look” Ivy whispered when Kyle went over to her, “what the problem is is that Violet’s mom being here is another reminder of what he went through with his mom and he’s still having a hard time dealing with it. Don’t forget, it’s harder for him since he’s young and he doesn’t know what to do. Also with him being in the coma. He realizes that he could‘ve died so he‘s depressed about it.”
“Ok, I understand now.”, said Kyle.
Kyle went to Denny’s bedside and hugged him again, trying to calm him down.
Charlotte and Sheila came back into the room, having filled Charlotte in on what’s been going on.
“Denny, when you’re ready. This is Mrs. Shepherd.”, said Sheila.
“Aw, come on now.”, said Charlotte, “that’s too formal. They can call me Charlotte too.”
“Well, ok then”, said Sheila.
“Well, it’s very nice meeting you all.”, said Charlotte, “It’s good to see Violet with so many new friends.”
“So, where do you work at the hospital?”, asked Kyle.
“I’m actually going to be working in the ER”, said Charlotte.
“Oh dude, I hate hospitals.”, Stan moaned.
“Oh come on, Stan.. Stop being such a wuss.”, said Kenny.
“Yeah Stan”, said Ivy, sticking her tongue out at him.
“It’s ok, some people just have a weak stomach.”, said Charlotte, knowingly.
“That’s what one of the doctors here said a long time ago.”, said Kyle.
Denny had sat back up and turned to face the party gathered in the room, eyes puffy and bloodshot. Violet turned and hugged him.
“I’m sorry about that.”, he said, “I’m just still having a hard time with things right now.”
“Not a problem at all.”, said Charlotte, tenderly, “I know what you must be going through.”
“My name is Denny. I’m Violet’s boyfriend.”, he said extending his left arm.
“Nice to meet you”, said Charlotte, shaking his hand
“I feel kind of embarrassed right now for that.”, said Denny, turning red.
“It’s fine, dear”, said Charlotte, “It’s been a rough couple of days for you.”
“Speaking of working at the hospital, I’ve always been fascinated by hospitals.”, said Denny.
“Really?”, said Charlotte, “That’s pretty neat. Did you spend a lot of time in them?”
“Yeah”, said Denny, “I think that’s why I like them. I love watching medical drama tv shows too.”
“Nice”, said Charlotte.
“I didn’t know that.”, said Violet.
“Yeah, I’ve been like that for years.”, said Denny.
“Well, that will give you an advantage later on down the road. You’ll know a lot of medical language where it really counts.”, said Charlotte.
“How long does it take to go through school?”, asked Denny..
“It depends on how far you want to go.”, said Charlotte, “A nursing degree takes 2-4 years plus internship, for doctors, it’s anywhere from 8-12 years of schooling including college, medical school, and internship.”
“Wow, maybe I’ll stick to nursing”, said Denny.
“Nothing wrong with that. You still see a lot of action.”, said Charlotte.
“I always thought that job was for girls.”, said Stan.
“No, there are nurses that are males too. It just seems unusual because it isn’t common.”
“That sounds pretty cool.”, said Denny.
“I really like it.”, said Charlotte, “I’ve done it for about 5 years.”
She looked at her watch and stood up.
“It’s time for me to head downstairs but I’ll come back when I get off.”, she said hugging Violet and heading to the door.
“I’ll see you all later.”
“Hey, what time is it?”, asked Denny as Charlotte left the room.
Ivy looked at her watch and looked impatient when she saw what time it was.
“It’s only 12:30.”, she said.
“Goddamit! This is taking forever!”, said Denny throwing his left arm up in frustration.
“Whoa, take it easy, dude.”, said Violet, “You don’t want to jack up your blood pressure again.”
“It’s just driving me nuts.”, said Denny, looking anxious, “I mean, we’ve only been hospitalized for not even 72 hours and already I feel trapped in this decrepit body of mine.”
“Don’t say that.”, said Violet, consolingly, “Things will get better. I know it doesn’t sound like much right now, but give it time.”
“I try to remember that but the more I think about the current situation, the harder it is to be optimistic about it all.”, said Denny.
“I know, but if you’re pessimistic, it will be harder to deal with everything.”, said Violet.
“I just get tired of being stuck in the hospital for a long time. This feels like the hundredth time I’ve done it.”, said Denny.
“Well, what was it for, if you’re ok talking about it, that is?”, asked Violet, trying to get Denny out of his grumpy mood.
“Well, not many people know this, but I actually have some thing called hydrocephalus.”
“Never heard of it. What is it?”, asked Kyle, seizing on the changed subject.
“It’s a fancy name for a condition which means fluid on the brain. Everybody has cerebrospinal fluid within their brains and that normally moves throughout the body unsupported but with hydrocephalus, there’s a certain part of the brain where the draining of the fluid gets stalled.”
“Why?”, asked Kyle, looking at Denny with his mouth open.
“Nobody really knows why that happens. I have a certain type of malformation called Dandy Walker Syndrome, meaning the malformation is associated in the fourth ventricle.”
Everybody sat there listening closely to Denny explaining his condition, hanging on to every word. The whole thing had taken them through the rest of the twelve o’clock hour and into one.
“Jesus Christ dude, no wonder you want to go into the medical field.”, said Violet, looking very impressed, “If I tried remembering all that, my head would explode.”
“sh*t, no wonder you’re sick of being in the hospital already.”, said Stan.
“Thank god for those volunteers though. They were a big help when I was bored. They would play video games or cards with me. I’m sure that helped my mom a lot too. I’m sure with as many times I was really sick like I was, that was a big strain on her mentality.”
“Oh hell yeah that would.”, said Violet, “Just remember, times are tough but you’ve overcome it all.”
A half hour to go until the doctor’s visit and even though spirits were low, everybody was there for each other.
*End of chapter 10*
“is it almost time yet?”, asked Violet, impatiently.
“We got about 15 more minutes.”, said Denny, feeling the same way.
“That police interview wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be.”, said Kyle.
“Yeah, thanks for explaining it for us, Kyle.”, said Denny, with a smile
“No problem, dude.”, said Kyle, “I didn’t want you to be in distress before you had to be.”
“That’s true.”, said Violet, “That would’ve been a blow.”
“Hey you guys, check this out!”, said Ivy suddenly, pointing to the tv.
There seemed to be a press conference taking place in the mayor’s office. Many camera crews were set up, as well as many other assorted people.
“Ok, so here’s what we are aware of right now, people.”, said McDaniels, loudly over the sounds of movement, “After a meeting with the six children involved, the police were able to confirm that the guy who took them hostage was a total nutcase., not a surprise to anybody, I’m sure..”
“What is their condition at this time?”, asked one of the reporters.
“I was getting to that but let’s get that out of the way.”, said McDaniels, “The two most severely injured kids are recovering at the hospital. They got the worst of it all. Had it not been for the young man who saved the girl, she would’ve been killed.”
“Oh for the love of christ…”, said Denny with a *nosebridgepinch*, “when are people gonna get it through their heads that I don’t want to be reminded of that sh*t, let alone make a big deal over it?!”
“Well, it is an important detail.”, said Ivy, fairly.
“Anyway, on to the injuries.”, said McDaniels, back on the tv, “the young man ended up with three broken ribs, broken arm, and a concussion.”
There was a collective intake of breath from the audience of reporters.
“Anyway,”, said McDaniels, speaking louder to block out the last reaction, “The girl ended up with broken leg, fractured pelvis and smoke inhalation. Both will be just fine.”
“What’s this that I keep hearing about the whole thing back when the town was founded?”, asked another reporter.
“That, I will save for when the investigation is over with, which, given that it’s still early, will be sometime in the future.”
“Now, we have confirmation that the death toll, according to the kids, is also the library assistant who was killed before all this sh*t started.”
“But why didn’t this guy just use him instead of the kids?”, asked the same reporter.
“I don’t know how these nut jobs think.”, said McDaniels, with a face palm, “I assume he thought it was better with more hostages or maybe he thought it he thought he would molest them but I don’t know. If you really want to know how these nutcases think, go look for some child molester and ask him what he would do.”
This shut the reporter up. He looked a little startled but didn’t say anything.
“Now, are there anymore questions? I have an appointment with my stylist soon.”, said McDaniels. There was no response and McDaniels walked off screen before the camera was cut off.
“I’m so glad she didn’t go into detail about the whole thing”, said Kyle, turning away from the tv.
“She’s right though, that guy was a nutcase.”, said Denny.
“For sure”, said Violet, nodding.
“She gets pretty dismissive sometimes.”, said Stan.
“But that’s not a bad thing in this case is it?”, asked Violet.
“Well, no”, Stan admitted.
“Do you think she’s hiding something from everyone?”, asked Ivy..
“Like what?”, asked Kenny, joining in on the conversation.
“I don’t know”, said Ivy, “or is that the way she always is?”
“She seems more concerned with trying to gain popularity sometimes”, said Kyle.
“How is she still the mayor then?”, asked Denny.
“I have no idea.”, said Stan, shaking his head.
This conversation was ended only when the doctor, who’s visit was inevitable, finally arrived, knocking politely on the door as he walked in.
“Well, it appears that you kids have had a busy day already.”, he said. He moved into the middle of the room as everybody sat down and faced him.
“So, how are we feeling this afternoon? I hear there has been some insomnia among the group?”
Everybody muttered in agreement. He nodded knowingly and took out everybody’s charts/
“I see that the nurse has added this into everyone’s charts and requesting permission to supply sedative to aid in the sleep process tonight. I would think that is a good idea so that everyone has one less worry nagging on their minds.”
The doctor took out a pen and signed the request for the sedative and continued looking through the past 24 hours’ notes.
“It’s clear that much has gone on since the big events of last night and the first thing I have to ask, how have you been feeling today, Denny?”
“I don’t want to sound like a wuss about this but I’ve been feeling sore today, and not only my arm and ribs but my whole body. My throat is still killing me today. Is this normal?”, said Denny, looking a little embarrassed.
“You are not weak, Denny. You are the exact opposite of that.. Believe me, I know that for a fact. I will have the nurse give you some morphine for the pain.”, he said. The nurse, who had been coming into the room had heard and turned and walked back out to fetch the morphine.
“Given the severity of your injuries, especially in two different areas, the pain from these injuries is going to be felt all over. If fact, I would like you to undergo a CT just to make sure we caught and fixed everything and if not, what it is. I imagine you must still feel weak too. Being in a coma is very harsh on a person, especially at your age. The effects are felt for an extended amount of time and that also leads to body aches. There is a lack of energy and I always advise patients, post-comatose, not to do anything that could put themselves or others in harm’s way. Just take it easy, even though it drives them crazy.”
“What about my throat being sore? Is that a red flag for anything?”, asked Denny.
“Well, the fact that we had had to intubate you since you couldn’t really breathe on your own, makes this the reason for the throat soreness yet it might not be a bad idea to order an endoscopy just to be safe.”
“Really doctor, isn’t he already delicate enough already?”, asked Sheila.
“Maybe so”, said the doctor, “but it would be best not to wait around if something is wrong so that we catch it and fix whatever it is.”
“I wasn’t breathing?”, asked Denny, turning pale, “Jesus christ, I almost died?!”
“I’m afraid so”, said the doctor, grimly. “You were in pretty bad shape when you were brought in but it’s one hell of an accomplishment that you’ve made this far.”
Denny was in so much shock that he had not even registered anything beyond the confirmation that he had almost died The others were watching his expression with utmost concern on their faces. Violet had taken a hold of his left hand with both of hers, gripping it tightly, though he had momentarily became oblivious to it.
“I know how you must be feeling but just remember that you’ve been able to pull through by the will to live.”, said the doctor.
“That’s one hell of a bullet to dodge.”, said Denny, “It’s all I can think about right now.”
“I understand”, said the doctor, nodding, “I’d be surprised if it were the other way around.”
“So, what about anything else involving the coma?”, asked Denny.
“Well, it’s going to be a while before the tiredness and effects of the injuries wear off but we’ll just run these tests to be safe.”, said the doctor.
“What about meeting with that counselor?”, asked Denny.
“She’ll be free after she sees Stan and Kenny again.”, said the doctor, “We should be expecting your school counselor and principal here pretty soon too. They have been advised to keep their visit short and brief. Your physical therapy won’t start for about 6-8 weeks and throughout the time between now and about 8-10 months down the road, I will have both you and Violet in wheelchairs.”
“I’d feel so much better with that than this bed.”, said Violet, “I feel there’s too many bad memories that have come with it.”
“Understandable”, said the doctor, “Let’s just take it one step at a time though, ok?”
“Could I go with Denny to see the counselor, just to keep him company?”, asked Violet.
“I’m sure she won’t mind that, so I’ll leave that up to Denny.”
“That’s fine with me.”, said Denny, smiling at Violet.
“Ok, I’ll send her a note that you’re coming with him. Speaking of which, it’s about time for Stan and Kenny to head over there right now.”
“Aw, we wanna see what other news there is.”, Stan protested.
“Now, I’m sure the others will tell you that.”, said the doctor.
“Just go get it over with.”, said Denny, eager to see the counselor.
“Oh alright.”, said Kenny, hanging his head as he and Stan walked out of the room.
The doctor took out a pen and added a few notes to Denny and Violet’s charts.
“I’m also going to orders some tests for Violet to make sure things are in order. We will get these tests out of the way and then you guys can head upstairs to see the counselor.”, said the doctor.
“When are the results going to be ready for that?”, asked Denny.
“Shouldn’t be more than a few hours. I’ll be back around 8 or so with the results”, said the doctor.
“How long is all this going to take?”, asked Sheila, “I have some more errands to run.”
“It should be a few hours but the kids will be in good hands so you can go do what you need to, no problem.;”, said the doctor.
“Well, alright then. I guess I’ll go do them right now.”, said Sheila, getting up and heading for the door.
“Ok then,”, said the doctor, turning back to the kids, “Are there any questions for me right now?”
“Is there going to be any anesthetic for the endoscopy?”, asked Denny.
“There will be a mild sedative applied and it will be pretty uncomfortable. If you have any recollection of being intubated, this is almost the same except the scope will be checking for things past where the tube was at.”
“What kind of tests will I have to have?”, asked Violet.
“I’m going to order a full body scan, just to be safe. The biggest thing I’ll be looking to check is the pelvis and tibia, seeing as those are the most likely troublesome.”, said the doctor, “I’m also going to order a CT to check the internal organs. We’ll see where the progress is for you and Denny.”
“I hope this endoscopy isn’t too bad.”, said Denny, “The tube from the coma was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.”
“That’s what the sedative is for.”, said the doctor, “It will make you a little drowsy but more out of it so you don’t know you’re undergoing the test. I can understand what you might be thinking though. Intubation leaves a lot of emotional baggage when remembering it.”
“I will go ahead and make the necessary calls and see you all later.”, said the doctor, scribbling a few more notes to the charts and head back to the hallway.. Denny and Violet looked at each other, at a loss for what to say.
“What the f*ck is a CT?”, asked Violet, after a few moments.
“It’s nothing to worry about.”, said Denny, “It’s a more detailed x-ray that shows more than just bones.”
“What’s it like?”, asked Violet.
“Well, you are laying down on a table and you get put into like a little donut. It doesn’t hurt or anything but it’s a little scary if it’s your first time.”
“And that’s it?”, asked Violet.
“Pretty much”, said Denny, “This whole endoscopy thing is going to be pretty nerve-racking.”. said Denny.
“What? This is your first time having one?”, asked Ivy.
“Yep”, said Denny, “And if it’s anything like being intubated, it’s going to suck.”
“I can’t even imagine that.”, said Violet, shaking her head.
“I’ll get through it like I do with everything else I’ve had.”, said Denny, looking determined.
“Optimism all the way!”, Ivy exclaimed, “That’s always the way to go!”
A nurse walked into the room at that moment. Denny waited for her to walk over to him and wheel him to radiology but instead she went over to Violet.
“Excuse me, are you Violet?”, she asked kindly.
Violet let out a Tweek-like cry and nearly toppled into Denny.
“Gah! I mean yes.”, she said.
“Ok, we are ready for you to head downstairs. Now, is this your first time getting a CT scan done?”
“Yeah and I’m a little freaked out about it.”, said Violet.
“Well, it’s nothing to worry about.”, said the nurse, “It’s simply just taking pictures of your body. You won’t feel anything.”
“Ok, let’s just get this over with.”, said Violet, taking a deep breath.
“I’ll just wheel you down in the bed since the doctor doesn’t want moving around yet.”, said the nurse.
“Good luck with everything.”, said Denny, giving Violet an encouraging smile.
“Thanks”, said Violet, as the nurse undid the brakes on her bed and began wheeling her toward the door.
“They are going to be here to take you down momentarily.”, said the nurse to Denny.
“They’re doing the CT first?”, he asked her.
“The doctor said the sedative will be applied and since it takes a few minutes to kick in, the endoscopy will be afterward.”
“We’ll see how that works out.”, said Denny, taking a deep breath and waiting.
Violet had just been wheeled out when another nurse came in. This nurse was a tall young man with a kind face.
“Are you ready to get this done?”, he asked kindly.
“What are you going to do Ivy?”, asked Denny, looking at her.
“I’ll go walk around the courtyard downstairs.”, said Ivy.
“Ok then, let’s go.” he said, looking back over at the nurse, as he began wheeling Denny into the hallway.
“Now, have you ever had a CT before?”, asked the nurse.
“Yeah, lots of times. It’s an easy process.”, said Denny, “How long is all this testing going to take?”
“The CT should be about 20 minutes, at which time, we’ll take you to get the endoscopy done. That should take about an hour.”
“Damn, why so long?”, asked Denny, feeling increasingly nervous.
“The endoscopy has to be done carefully so that there is nothing overlooked.”, said the nurse, “A lot of times things are found and treated quickly and the sedative is given so that the patient has little discomfort because they are out of it.”
“Well, that’s a relief.”, said Denny, looking brighter about the task that lay ahead.
They reached the elevator as the nurse hit the down call button. The elevator had arrived in about 10 seconds as the nurse had wheeled Denny inside and pressed the number 1 button.
“How are you feeling after all the excitement?”, asked the nurse, breaking the temporary silence as the elevator descended.
“Well, pretty tired and sore but I guess that’s nothing out of the ordinary.”, said Denny, trying but failing to keep his mind off of all that had gone on in the past couple days.
“Well, with any luck, everything’s in order and you can go home soon.”. said the nurse.
“I wouldn’t count on getting discharged anytime soon.”, said Denny, shaking his head, “I imagine the doctor’s going to want me to stay here until the broken bones are healed.”
“Really? What happened? That is, if you’re comfortable saying?”, asked the nurse, concerned.
“Me and some friends were involved in a hostage situation and I broke three ribs and my right radius.”, said Denny.
The nurse winced and momentarily froze where he stood , even when the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. He then quickly jerked out of his trance and moved Denny out of it and led him to where a sign told them that radiology was straight ahead. Denny caught a glimpse of machines that were very familiar to him as he was moved deeper into the radiology department including standard x-ray machines, MRIs, ultrasounds, and finally he was lead into a room which held CT scanning equipment.
Denny had started to get ready to move on to the table when he suddenly remembered of his injuries and realized this was a very bad idea.
“Whoa, wait a minute. Am I supposed to move by myself? That won’t be a good idea.”, he said to the nurse.
“Not to worry.”, said the nurse, “We’ll take care of that but just stay still. We’re supposed to give you the sedative before we do anything and I’ll give you some morphine for when the hard part comes.”
The nurse adjusted the stopper on Denny’s IV as he put the syringes on his pillow.
“Ok, here we go. I’ve been told the morphine makes you feel a little rush and the sedative might do the same so be ready for it.”
The first syringe was screwed into the IV line and slowly injected. Denny felt the usual morphine rush that was all too familiar and closed his eyes, breathing slowly.
“You okay there, kid?”, asked the nurse, sounding concerned.
“Yeah, just the rush always gets me.”, said Denny, after a few seconds.
“Understandable”, said the nurse, “I’m not sure what you’ll feel with the sedative but it should make you feel relaxed and if there is anything out of the ordinary, let me know right away.”
“Ok, I’m ready for it.”, said Denny, bracing himself.
“Ok, let’s get it out of the way.”, said the nurse replacing the empty syringe with the one that held the sedative.
At first, Denny could only feel the rush lingering from the morphine. As the sedative was injected, Denny could feel the cold inside his arm which told him that he may or may not feel any effects momentarily.
“How are we doing, kid?”, asked the nurse, after a moment. However the voice sounded distant, a sure sign that the sedative was doing it’s job.
“I think I’m feeling it. Everything feels hazy.”, said Denny, sounding as distant as the nurse.
“Ok, good.”, said the nurse, “just lay back and relax and we’ll get things rolling and if something doesn’t feel right, let me know.”
The nurse waited while the technician came out from the back of the room and the two carefully lifted Denny onto the table and strapped him down. The nurse had then put on what appeared to be an apron and waited by Denny’s side as the technician went back to the other room.
“Ok Denny”, said the technician over the loudspeaker, “We’ll get things rolling in a second. I just need to go over a few things first. First, this scan is just to check and make sure everything’s intact. If something is wrong, we will let the doctor know. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, let us know. The nurse will be out there with you to spring into action if need be. The scan shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes and then you’ll be moved into the ultrasound room for the endoscopy.. So before we begin, are you feeling alright?”
Denny had barely taken in a word of what was said due to the sedative. He felt dull-witted but he finally got the point 30 seconds later and gave a thumbs up.
“Ok then, here we go.”
The table began to move backward and Denny, feeling dull-witted still, closed his eyes and tried to lay as still as he could. He noticed the first sign that something didn’t seem right when he started to feel light-headed. Denny was determined to beat this lightheadedness with as much resistance as he could but it had already overtaken him. Clearly, neither the nurse nor the technician had noticed anything. Denny looked down and could see the nurse’s silhouette , even as he began pouring sweat, it was all still going unnoticed.
“God, please don’t do this again. I don’t want to be in the spotlight, especially with what’s already gone down.,” he thought.
He looked back at the inside of the CT and noticed he had begun to shake, causing him to dig his nails into his blanket, determined to keep himself under control. Still, feeling dizzy, he began to feel nervous that the heart monitor would give him away. He began to feel as though he was going to pass out.
“Godammit, don’t do this. We’ll never see the end of this place. What good will come out of this? Don’t pass out.”
The shaking became worse and he was sweating so much that he could feel it moistening the strap which kept his head steady. It was becoming no use. Even when the monitor began to go off, he could do nothing but brace himself.
He passed out.
*End of chapter 11*
“Denny! Can you hear me?”, said a voice Denny could not recognize and was still very much out of it.
The urgent beeping of the heart monitor told him that there was still a lot going on. At first he had no recollection of anything that had gone on since arriving in CT.
“Huh? Whozair?”, he said, startled to hear how weak his voice was.
“Are you still with us?”, asked the voice again. It would turn out that the voice was that of the male nurse, who had been watching over him during the CT scan.
“Huh? What’s going on?”, asked Denny, still feeling weak.
“Thank god! I thought we lost you.”, said the nurse.
“What the f*ck just happened?”, asked Denny, getting more confused by the second.
“Looks like you passed out.”, said the nurse, grimly, “Your blood pressure plummeted and you fainted. Did you feel any onset of fainting?”
“I started feeling light-headed after the scan got started but I get stubborn about it. I don’t want to be the center of attention.”
“You shouldn’t be like that about those things. I know it can get to be a hassle with that stuff, but it could’ve been a lot worse.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”, said Denny, “I’ve just been through a lot so I feel like I get to be a pain in the ass.”
“I understand that. It’s because there are true horrors in your life that your peers can’t even imagine.”
“So fill me in on what just happened here.”, said Denny, still confused.
Just then the radiologist bolted into the room, carrying a couple of wet rags.
“How are we doing in here?”, he asked, concerned.
“Oh good, John,” said the nurse, “Ok Denny, what we need to do here is place these rags on your forehead and the back of your neck.”
Denny still felt very much in a state of shock at what had transpired but comprehended with these instruction, yet with some difficulty. John, the radiologist, placed the rags where they were needed while the nurse took Denny’s vitals.
“Anyway, to answer your question, it appears that the sedative may have caused you to faint. What did you feel beforehand?”, asked John.
“Well like I said, I started feeling light-headed and when this happens, I begin to feel extremely dizzy, sweat like crazy, and I just outright don’t feel good. I experienced all that and it felt like my brain lost oxygen.”, said Denny, before laying flat on the table.
“Ok Denny, take it easy. I know you must be very disoriented after what just happened.”, said the nurse. He looks over at John, “Did we get very far into the test?”.
“Not very much.”, said John, “We should probably redo it. Should we page the doctor?”
“I’ll do it.”, said the nurse, “Looks like the vitals are stabilizing.”
“Ah come on now”, said Denny, his eyes now closed, “Do we have to tell him? I don’t want to make a big deal out of this.”
“I know how you must be feeling but since this happened, we need to let him know so he can determine if it’s safe to do the endoscopy now.”, said the nurse.
The nurse stayed with Denny while John, the radiologist went to page the doctor. Denny, meanwhile, was still in an advanced state of confusion, which wasn’t helped by the effects of the sedative and his head buzzing with having succumbed to passing out. The sound of the heart monitor going off again caused him to nearly jump out of his skin, and having had his eyes closed, they flew open, protesting at the sudden bright light.
“Not to worry”, said the nurse, “the heart rate just went up for a second.”
“Jesus christ, had to happen to me…”, Denny grumbled with a *nosebridgepinch*.
John came back out to the room, “He said he’ll be down here in a moment. We’ll just wait for him before going any further.”
“Godammit”, said Denny, still with a *nosebridgepinch*, “I wish things would just go right for once.”
The doctor entered the room about a minute later, looking as though he had rushed there.
“What’s going on? I was told we had a fainting incident?”, he asked.
“Don’t make me feel worse.”, mumbled Denny.
“Oh sh*t, pardon my French, you’ve had quite the day today.” said the doctor, concerned, “What happened?”
“Dammit”, Denny took a deep breath, “this sedative is annoying the hell out of me, but anyway, I didn’t feel good when we started everything. Once the test started, I started to feel light-headed and tried to stop myself from passing out but that obviously didn’t work. What was that all about?”
“I’m guessing maybe it was given a little too quickly because sometimes that does happen.”, said the doctor, “If it were an allergic reaction, it would’ve been accompanied by a rash or swelling and I don’t see any onset of either one. Are you feeling anything else right now?”
“Well, other than being a little embarrassed, that’s about it.”, said Denny.
“I think it would be safe to pick up where we left off and continue things on schedule but if something doesn’t feel right, let one of these guys know.“, said the doctor, “Otherwise, I’ll see you in a bit.”
The doctor left the room while the technician went back to the other room and the nurse prepared Denny for the scan once again.
“Now, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t play around.”, said the nurse, sternly.
“Alright, alright!”, said Denny, “Take it easy dude. What’s your name by the way?”
“It’s Eric. Let’s get this going, ok?”, said the nurse.
“Whoa, hold on! Your last name isn’t Cartman, is it?”, asked Denny, wide-eyed.
“No, why?”, asked Eric, “Wait a minute, that’s the boy who died, right?”
“Yeah, and no, he wasn’t a friend.”, said Denny.
“Ok, let’s get this started.”, said Eric, turning back to the scanner.
Denny fell silent as he was moved back into position.
The scan passed without any further incident and Denny was moved back on to the bed and wheeled to ultrasound. He was prepared to be moved again. Eric had seen this and shook his head,
“You won’t need to be moved again for the endoscopy but just relax while we set everything up. I’m going to give you a little more sedative to keep things rolling.”
Yet, no amount of sedative could prepare Denny for what the endoscopy would bring. He was mostly out of it but still felt the camera going his throat, making his gag reflex go haywire. This problem was quickly resolved, however, when they obtained permission from the doctor to give Denny some anesthetic, which helped smooth things over.
It was all set to go. Eric helped out the technician with the camera as they moved it down Denny’s trachea. They was some minor irritation from the trach tube and anything else was for the doctor to determine. They finished the endoscopy and pulled the camera out while Eric gave Denny medicine that would slowly wake him up.
Denny slowly lapsed in and out of consciousness as he was wheeled to recovery. Eric couldn’t help but feel bad for the kid. After all, so much had gone on in the last few days and it was impossible for there to be relief after this.
“Uhhh…”, Denny was slowly stirring as Eric went to check on him.
“Hey there, Denny. How are you feeling?”, he asked softly.
“What happened?”, Denny asked weakly.
“The endoscopy is over now. You did great but your gag reflex proved difficult for the test, so we gave you anesthetic.”, Eric replied, gently.
“Anesthetic? No wonder I feel so drugged.”, said Denny, still weakly.
“Just take it easy. We’ll be bringing you back upstairs soon.”
“Can we keep that thing from earlier quiet?”, Denny asked, groggily.
“That’s going to be between you and Dr. Webber, your doctor. I don’t have any control over that.”, said Eric, “Right now, you just get some rest”.
Denny continued to have periods of drowsiness, the longer he laid there. Things slowly dragged on, making Denny dwell on the memories of the past few nights. Hopefully, the sh*t from earlier wouldn’t delay the plans to see the counselor and also keeping it quiet so the others wouldn’t get sick with worry.
Eric had come back after what seemed like an hour, having finally gotten the word to take Denny back to the ICU. He was still feeling the after effects of the anesthetic and fearing that he probably looked like sh*t. The ride up to the 3rd floor seemed to take forever and Denny was silent through the whole thing. The doors slid open and from the angle and looking toward room 13, he noticed there seemed to be something going on, judging by the group gathered by the door. Not until they had reached a distance close enough to hear him did Denny speak out loud, feeling his vocal chords would tear apart.
“Hey, what’s going on?”, he asked the closest person, who happened to be Ivy. She turned to look at him white-faced and shaking.
“Oh Denny, you’re back. Kyle had a fainting spell and doesn’t look too good.”, she said.
Denny’s heart jumped at these words as he tried not to relate to what happened to him downstairs. Eric had moved Denny to the other side of the door, taking care not to block the doorway. There seemed to be a lot of movement inside, as the party gathered outside the door could do nothing but watch helplessly as Kyle was lifted on to a bed and being given IV fluids.
“Well, what happened prior to that happening?”, asked Denny, growing more and more nervous.
“He said he felt dizzy. We had just finished walking around outside and got back here. He seemed to be light-headed and was staggering around but before I could get him to sit down, he went down. I barely caught him and called the nurse in.”
Denny’s semi-conscious mind made it difficult to understand what Ivy was telling him but these details were shockingly similar to what he had just gone through. Determined not to say anything about it, he could do nothing but bury his face in his hands, his heart racing.
One of the nurses came out, looking to each person.
“It’s ok. He’s stable. He’s still unconscious but the medicine is being given through the IV.”, she said.
“What happened to him?”, asked Denny, sounding almost demanding.
“We aren’t sure but from what we’ve been able to figure out, there was a fainting spell. We aren’t sure what caused it but it might have had something to do with fatigue. I’m going to page Dr. Webber and let him know.”, said the nurse.
“Won’t be the first time he’s seen me in the last couple hours.”, said Denny, before realizing what he said and catching himself only after it was too late.
“What are you talking about?”, asked Ivy, raising an eyebrow.
“Oh sh*t”, he said under his breath, “Well, it’s no big deal really but the same thing happened to me during the CT scan.”
“Dude, why didn’t you say anything before?!”, Ivy asked, looking scared.
“Well, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.”, said Denny.
“That doesn’t matter.”, said Ivy, “What if it’s a sign of something that IS a big deal?”
It was because of these words that Denny had a hunch.
“What a minute, I just thought of something.”, he said.
“What are you talking about?”, asked Ivy, confused.
“Kyle is diabetic, right? What if he fainted because of hyperglycemia?”, asked Denny.
“Can you say that in English?”, asked Ivy, not having even the slightest idea what hyperglycemia was.
“His blood sugar. What if it got too high?”
“Denny? Are you alright? You’re shaking a lot.”, said Ivy, trying to calm him down.
“Let me have a look.”, said Eric, appearing from behind Denny. Denny hadn’t even realized Eric was still there.
Denny looked over at his monitor and then at his own shaking hands, having realized that Ivy was right. His heart rate was tachy, as was the blood pressure. He also noticed that his face was wet. Putting his hands to this spot, he was shocked to learn that they were tears, no doubt from the worry of his half-brother’s well-being.
“Denny, you need to try and calm down.”, said Eric, “I know this must be a big scare but don’t forget, you need to look out for yourself too.”
“Dude, I don’t want to lose another person close to me.”, Denny persisted, still shaking and causing the monitor to go off again. Ivy put her hands to her mouth.
“Is that you, Denny?”, asked Kyle’s voice from inside the room.
Eric began to push Denny’s bed back into the room and there was Kyle sitting up in his bed, looking thoroughly confused.
“Dude, you scared the sh*t out of me!”, Denny exclaimed.
“I can see that.”, said Kyle, pointing to Denny’s tear-streaked face. Denny turned red with embarrassment.
His heart still going a hundred miles a minute. “This sedative is making me act crazy. I was hoping I heard that nurse wrong…”
Kyle put his hand up to silence Denny, “Dude, it’s cool. There’s a lot going on and besides, I acted the same way when that explosion blew you 20 feet up and away.”
“Really?”, asked Denny, “That would scare the sh*t out of me.”
“It did”, said Kyle, “That was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Kyle?”, the two boys looked toward the door where Ivy was poking her head in timidly, “Is everything ok?”, she asked.
“Yeah, come on in.”, said Kyle, in a comfortable voice as Ivy carefully walked in and put her arms around Kyle, shaking from head to toe.
There was movement outside and Violet was wheeled back into the room, fresh from her diagnostic tests. Denny couldn’t help but reach over and hug her. It had been a long day already and it wasn’t even over yet.
“Wow, what’s going on in here?”, she asked.
“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you later”, said Denny, trying to snap out of it.
“Did Stan and Kenny come back yet?, asked Violet.
“I don’t think so but I haven’t been back for long.”, said Denny, looking toward Kyle and Ivy, still looking shaken up.
“Huh? Oh, right. No, they haven’t been back yet.”, said Ivy.
“Damn it! I hope it’s not too much longer.”, said Denny, carefully dodging any mention of what happened downstairs.
“Are we going to be in wheelchairs, have you heard?”, asked Violet.
“That’d be my guess. I don’t think even one bed would fit in that counselor’s office.”, said Denny.
“I wonder how we’ll be able to manage that?, asked Violet.
“I’ve seen it before.”, said Ivy, joining in the conversation, “They use like these little nets which are placed around you then you get pulled up and lifted with this lift that has chains and placed in the wheelchair.”
“How do you know that?”, asked Kyle, eyebrows raised.
“I saw it before at school.”, said Ivy.
“Interesting.”, said Denny, impressed.
“Actually, I think you guys are going into an exam room since the doctor doesn’t want you guys to be moving around much yet.”, said a familiar voice, as Stan and Kenny, at long last, walked into the room.
“How do you know that?”, asked Denny.
“Well, we asked her how that was going to work.”, said Stan.
“We had wondered that ourselves.”, said Kenny, “That office is pretty small and one bed wouldn’t fit, let alone two.”
“When are we heading over to talk to her?”, asked Violet, impatiently.
“Pretty soon, I’m sure.”, said Stan, “She said she needs to do a couple things and she’ll be up here.”
A sudden outcry from outside made everybody nearly jump out of their skin. They all looked at one another, confused as the sound of approaching footsteps followed. Stan went to the door and peaked outside as he was nearly tackled to the ground by a sudden flash of purple. Closer observation revealed that it was Wendy, having thrown her arms around Stan and looking close to tears. Stan looked momentarily winded.
“Oh my god.! I came as soon as I heard!”, Wendy choked.
“Did you ditch school to get here?”, asked Kyle, surprised.
“No, didn’t you hear? The school’s been closed because of the shock of what happened downtown.”, said Wendy.
“Then how did you just hear about it? It’s been 2 days!”, said Denny.
“I was visiting my grandma in Denver but my parents told her to keep quiet about it until now.”, said Wendy, calming down.
“So then, how do you know they closed the school?”, asked Stan, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, like I said, my parents told my grandma to keep quiet about it so she said that my parents had excused me from school while I was out of town but I didn’t really believe that. Once I came back, I saw the news report about it and they came clean. I got so pissed since I found out all you guys were in danger.”
“So, how much do you know?”, asked Denny, “The mayor couldn’t have been much help.”
“I went down to the police station and they pretty much said some maniac took you guys hostage and blew up the town square. I thought if it came to that, I would find at least one of you in a coma or something.”, said Wendy, beginning to pace around the room.
“Well, I was,” said Denny, “I got the worst of the explosion but it could’ve been much worse.”
“It’s ok though, Wendy,” said Ivy, “We’ve al pulled through. Denny and Violet were the worst injured but we’ll all make it.”
Eric came back into the room, clipboard in hand.
“Denny, Violet, we will be moving you into an empty exam room so you can meet with our counselor. Her name is Kendra and she has been informed of what exactly it is that this meeting is going to involve. She knows a bit about dream interpretation and I know that’s what you will be leaning heavily on. I will be right back with another nurse who will help me to move you into the other room.”
“Counselor? For what?”, asked Wendy.
“I had memories revisit me while I was in a coma, I want to see if they symbolize anything.”, said Denny.
“Since we were the most injured, we’re both in this together.”, said Violet.
Eric came back into the room a few seconds later with another nurse and both gathered up the monitoring equipment attached to the IV poles, undid the brakes of both beds and began to wheel Denny and Violet out to the hallway.
“Now, just like with the CT scans, we will be standing by in case something is wrong. If there is anything that doesn’t feel right, let us know promptly.”, said Eric, as they turned a corner, heading for the elevator.
“Where are we going?”, asked Denny, confused.
“We booked an empty exam room on the 5th floor so we’re not in the way of anything.”, said Eric, pushing the call button at the elevator.
“Are we going to be sedated so we don’t freak out?”, asked Violet.
“It will be a light sedative, not so heavy that you guys will be zombies but not light enough so that you’re hysterical either.”
Once on the elevator and up 2 levels, they moved onward down one corner and into a room near the end of that hallway. They were moved into the room and discovered that the counselor, Kendra, was already getting things set up. She was a kind-faced and middle-aged woman. Denny was a little surprised at this. He had pictured that the lady would be severe and serious yet Kendra looked nothing of the sort and this comforted him.
Kendra looked up from her notes and stood up, arms wide in greeting.
“At last, I finally meet you guys! My name is Kendra and I am a guidance counselor here at the hospital. Basically, I’m here to help you to understand whatever life throws at you. I want you guys to feel comfortable talking about anything you need to get off your chest. I know it can get difficult to relive these things but doing so helps me to help you. Now, any questions before we begin?”
“Do you think these memories could’ve happened for a reason or just by chance?”, asked Denny.
“Once we get into discussing them, we should be able to figure that out.”, said Kendra. “In some cases, these dreams are affected by what one might be feeling at the time. In some cases, that can be affected by emotional baggage or past events in one’s life. If there are many details of a dream that can be interpreted, the whole meaning of that dream can be more specifically detailed.”
“Is everything going to be interpreted or only certain things?”, asked Denny.
“We will only be able to interpret certain things which is due to the fact that some things are not known to have meaning yet. However, 99% of the time, there will be enough detail to make up for it.”
“What about Denny’s mentality after all is said and done?”, asked Violet.
“It’s not easy having to relive big events in life but often it helps to put that person at ease. Once we get into the big stuff, it will be easier to talk about.”
“Ok, so are we ready to get to business?”, asked Kendra, looking from Denny to Violet and back again, who both nodded.
“Alrighty then, let’s get started.. Now, what I was told by the doctor is that you and your little friends got taken hostage in what used to be the library. This killer had a strange obsession about what he believed was something which involved with why South Park is such an insane town. This made him seem pretty much insane. With me so far?”
“The strange thing is that while he seemed insane, at the same time he didn’t. He seemed like he knew what he was doing the entire time, even though he seemed like a lunatic too.”, said Denny.
“It seemed like as long as he had a feeling of control, he was the most sane.”, said Violet.
“Some things that he said about the founder of the town sounded like he got it off of urban dictionary or something. It was the weirdest thing.”, said Denny.
“What’s urban dictionary?”, asked Violet, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s this place online where there are definitions for words, many that aren’t in regular ones. This place is where people make up words and their own versions of what they mean. That guy seems to be the type.”, said Denny, shaking his head.
“Wow, that’s interesting.”, said Kendra. “So moving on, what exactly happened when you all got inside the library?”
“We were walking around, looking for something to do”, said Denny. “We were going to play laser tag then we decided on bowling. The bowling alley was too crowded so heading back through town, I had a bad feeling lurking. We had stopped then tore into the library about five minutes before closing time. The maniac and the library assistant were talking and as the maniac walked by us, he seemed perfectly kind.”
“Not a second later, he pulled out a pistol and shot the assistant and…” Violet couldn’t continue as she wanted to give Denny a break. She looked petrified.
Denny reached over and gripped her hand, as he continued. “He shot that guy point-blank in the center of the forehead like a piece of meat. It was horrible. Then before any of us could run, he pointed the gun at us and made Kyle lock the door.”
“Ok, just take your time.”, said Kendra. “I know this has to be a lot of emotional trauma. Just take as much time as needed.”
Denny took a deep breath and continued, “That’s when he started going on about the whole thing about how South Park was founded and took us into the office and there was a trapdoor. Once in the basement, there were collections of old newspapers apparently about the town after it was founded. The maniac read some of these which made him cut into one of the bookshelves which revealed a note from the founder.”
Violet squeezed Denny’s hand, telling him to take a rest and then continued for him.
“That kid who died turned out to have been brainwashed by that idiot and seemed to think doing that guy’s bidding would give him some reward or something. He bought that guy a sledge hammer which was used to cut the wall in the basement, revealing an underground chamber. We had noticed explosives were lined all over the walls which eventually led us into the heart of the chamber where an archway stood. There was a channeling network that lead to four places, which all had explosives along them too. According to that note the idiot found, for the whole thing to work, there needing to be explosives all along the channels and joining at the archway which meant that everything was to be triggered at the same time. The only thing left was the explosives to be joined at the middle, which by that time, maniac started feeling guilty about having us hostage so he agreed to let us go. He asked Cartman if he wanted to go too but Cartman felt by doing this, he was guaranteed eternal bliss and so, refused to leave. We were told the explosives would be detonated in 10 minutes so we had to haul ass back the way we came.”
“”So, wait a minute? If that’s what happened, how did you both sustain such severe injuries?”, asked Kendra.
“Well, that’s not the whole story.”, said Denny, “We hauled ass and managed to escape out of harm’s way, at least that’s what we thought. I had turned around to make sure we were all clear and discovered that Violet has become winded and stopped not far enough out of the way. I screamed and ran after her, picking her up and back the other way.”
Violet let out a stifled sob and covered her face. Denny put an arm around her as she laid her head against his shoulder.
“It’s ok, I’ll tell her.”, he said gently and looked back up at Kendra, “This has been torturing her since it happened”, he explained.
“So, as I was running the other way, we didn’t get out of the way in time. The library exploded in a huge ball of fire and we were both thrown up in the air. Everything went totally black.”
As Denny finished the story, he had to close his eyes for a few moments to collect himself.
“Did you guys want to wrap it up for today and relax? This still seems to be a hard thing to come to terms with.”
“I think we can carry on.”, said Denny, after a moment.
“Ok then. I think we can skip the stuff over the past couple days here as Stan and Kenny have already covered that, unless you feel the need to pursue that. If this is the case, we will come back to this later.”, said Kendra, tenderly.
“Now, I assume these memories that you had were all during the brief period when you were in a coma, is that right?”
“That’s right”, said Denny, feeling warm, as though a spotlight was on him, yet at the same time, this was the point he was most anxious to discuss. “After I regained consciousness, I had learned that things seemed grim and I almost died.”
He had to stop again, since this still was hard to swallow.. Violet had got a grip on herself again and yet she still stayed put.
“I was told that when the explosion first happened and the medics got to the scene, I was believed dead.”, Denny continued. “ Then it wound up I had a pulse and deemed in a coma. Because I was hardly breathing, I had to be intubated, (my throat stills hurts, by the way), and I was in critical condition. I didn’t know what had happened except what I was told but what I had first experienced was seeing my mom in purgatory.”
“How did she die, if you don’t mind me asking?”, asked Kendra warmly.
“She had AIDS since I was 3 years old. She made it all the way up to end stage AIDS and was dying right before I came here to Colorado. She was going to send me to an orphanage because she said that she had no idea that my dad even knew I existed, let alone knew where he lived..”
“I imagine this was an extremely difficult period for you.”, said Kendra. “So then, how did you come to end up here if you had no idea if your father was here?”
“I had reached a spur of the moment type of decision, and don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I had decided to set off for South Park using a page that was in my mom’s address book that I pulled out of it..”, said Denny. “The whole thing is still fresh on my mind, especially because that’s the last memory I had before regaining consciousness 18 hours after the explosion.”
“Ok, let’s back up a little.”, said Kendra. “Now, this memory came up during the coma, was she still alive at that point?”
“She had died the day after I arrived here.”, said Denny, pushing himself onward and saw out of the corner of his eye that Violet was hanging on to every word. “We had got into an argument the evening right before I left, which ended in me slamming and locking my door and my mom getting upset and going into her room and crying. I saw that part from my dream-state self. I had come out of my room a few hours later and found the South Park address in my mom’s address book and scribbled her a note before I headed out the door and didn’t look back.”
“This was the last memory, correct?”, asked Kendra.
“That’s right”, said Denny, heart pounding. “I had hitchhiked here on a semi and headed to the address I had, hoping it was my dad’s address or someone who knew him. It wound up being Cartman’s house and when I had asked his mom if she knew my dad, she got nervous but called him over there. He picked me up and brought me to my new home where I met Kyle and Ike. He must have done some fast talking because he was nervous. My new mom and I spent the next day getting me settled in while everyone else was gone for the day and when Kyle and Ike got home, we went to Wallmart to get some stuff. I met Stan while we were there and Kyle, Stan and I went and hung out for a while before we went home and I was told the hospital had called to say my mom took a turn for the worse.”
“This was because of the end-stage AIDS, right?”, asked Kendra, looking concerned.
“That’s right.”, said Denny, definitely nervous now. “They had told my dad that she had been taken to the hospital and was put into a chemically-induced coma to spare the pain. I had asked my dad what was going to happen and he said that it would come down to whatever the power of attorney said. The phone had rang at that moment and my dad learned that he was the power of attorney. He called me into the kitchen and I was told that my mom didn’t have much time left and that my dad didn’t feel right making the decision with what to do with her. Instead, he wanted to let me decide what to do and there was three options. I could just let her go, keep her on life support or take her off the life support and let time run it’s course. I decided to just spare her any further suffering and let her go. I requested them to wake her up and let me say goodbye to her. I won’t pretend that wasn’t a blow…”
“Oh my god, Denny. I had no idea. When you said at school that you just went through a rough transition, I never expected this.”, said Violet, holding him in a tight embrace.
“I’m absolutely speechless about this stuff. Why did this decision rest with you? Were you told?”, asked Kendra.
“The truth is that my dad hadn’t seen her since they broke up ten years ago and because of this, he felt that since I knew her longer, he didn’t feel it fair for me to not have a say in this decision.”, said Denny.
“His heart was in the right place when he did that, I’m sure.”, said Kendra. “Still, that’s a huge weight for a little boy to carry. I just can’t imagine what that must be like.”
“I felt horrible about it all but my dad said my decision was perfectly justified and when I talked to my mom for the last time, she said the same thing.”
“Ok, I think we’ll leave our session here for today. You guys have had enough for one day. I want you all to take it easy for the rest of the day and we’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow.”
Denny opened his mouth to protest but then shut it. He knew that Kendra was looking out for his and Violet’s well-being and he thought it was a good idea. Kendra shook hands with the both of them as the two nurses got up and began wheeling them back to the elevator down to the 3rd floor.
“Jesus christ, did that really happen before school?!”, asked Violet, as the elevator opened and they moved into it.
“Yeah, sure did.”, said Denny, quietly, as now that he got the events of that night out in the open and felt subdued. “That was a rough night. I had fun before that and it was brought to a screeching halt.”
“How come you never told me about that?”, asked Violet, with genuine concern.
“Well, we’ve had our mind on other things, haven’t we?”, said Denny, quietly.
“Yeah, that’s true.”, said Violet. “Still, that’s pretty crazy. If I would’ve known… I wish I could’ve been there to comfort you.”
“Thanks”, said Denny. “That’s been the hardest thing to cope with. It’s been haunting me every since it happened.”
“Well, don’t forget that it was a selfless decision. That matters the most.”
It had been a long, hard day that wasn’t even over yet but because everything was being opened up, this also meant that the healing process was beginning. In the end, the hard work would pay off.
*End of chapter 12*
Denny was still feeling the after burns of what he revealed to Kendra. He still could not shake off the feeling of how strong of an impact this all was. He felt a little guilty about keeping the stuff from the other night a secret from everyone but Kyle yet even though he knew everybody meant well for him, it was just not something to tell just anyone because it meant just that much.
As Denny and Violet exited the elevator on the 3rd floor, they had both come to the decision that they would not mention a word of what happened on that eventful night to anyone. Reaching around the corner, there seemed to be more voices coming from room 13. There was one voice that sounded familiar but Denny had no idea where he heard it before. Evidently, someone else from school had come to visit besides Wendy. As they got closer, they heard what seemed to be a discussion of the events in the library. Denny closed his eyes and did a *nosebridgepinch* again.
“Jesus christ, not this again.”, he said under his breath. “Can’t there be any topic besides that? I don’t want to be reminded of this.”
“I don’t blame you”, said Violet, “I don’t either. I guess it’s still that big of news.”
“But f*ck, it’s still crushing, especially with was I just experienced.”, said Denny.
Violet grabbed Denny’s hand and looked into his eyes.
“Look, I know this is still a lot to swallow but for those who only heard but not seen what happened, they’re going to be curious about it all.”, said Violet, gently.
“True”, said Denny, “but all the same, it’s still hard to relive.”
They both were wheeled back into the room and the babble of talk abruptly ceased. It would turn out that the mystery person who joined the others, along with Wendy, was Butters.
“Hey guys, how’d it go?”, asked Kyle, gently.
“We basically just brought Kendra up to date with the big stuff but she stopped us right there.”, said Violet, looking tense.
“What about the other stuff?”, asked Ivy.
“She said we’d had enough for one day.”, said Denny, head bowed. “At first, I didn’t know what she meant but now I do.”
“It’s been a long day.”, said Stan, knowingly, “she didn’t want to put anymore pressure on you. That’s what she said when we saw her.”
“By the way, did you guys meet Butters yet? Tweek’s here too but he went downstairs to get coffee.”. said Kyle.
“Is it a good idea for a fourth grader to drink coffee?”, asked Violet, eyebrows raised.
“Don’t be surprised”, said Kenny, “coffee is like water to him. He’s a little twitchy too so be ready for that.”
“So, is it true that Eric is dead?”, asked Butters, timidly.
“Yep”, said Kyle at once, the others looked at him and laughed.
“Wow, should I feel bad or not?”, asked Butters, surprised.
“That’s up to you but personally, I would think not.” said Kenny.
“Trust me, you’re better off without him.”, said Kyle.
“Hey Kyle, did they check your blood sugar when you passed out earlier?, asked Denny.
“Yeah, Ivy told them what you said so they did it right away.”, said Kyle. “How the hell did you find out about that?”
“Well, I’ve heard of it before.”, said Denny. “Hyperglycemia happens a lot with diabetics and type 1 and 2 are pretty different from each other.,”
“That’s sounds really complicated.”, said Kyle. “Did you swallow a text book or something?”
Denny laughed at this. “No dude, though I have read some. I’ve had a lot done with my health that I love reading those things.”
“That will be really useful when we need it.”, said Stan.
“I can’t remember that much stuff and I’ve died more than how many people do in a week.”, said Kenny, eyebrows raised.
“Why are you so quiet, Wendy?”, said Stan, looking at her.
“I’m just still shocked at what happened.”, said Wendy.
“Yeah, I don’t blame you.”, said Denny.
“So wait, you guys aren’t playing a joke about this?”, asked Butters, seeming to expect this.
“Of course not.”, said Violet. “How else would we have ended up here in this condition?”
“I guess it’s going to take time to wear off the shock but no more Cartman to take advantage of you.”, said Kyle.
“To tell you guys the truth, that did start to piss me off.”, said Butters. “Maybe I am better off without him.”
“That’s right.”, said Stan. “Now maybe there will be some normality in this town.”
“I doubt it.”, said Kyle, “Remember when he got stuck in Africa but we still had that sh*t with those turkeys?”
“That’s true.”, said Stan. “I guess things will be easier in that case.”
“What else happened while we were gone?”, asked Denny.
“Pretty much just filling the others in on what happened.”, said Kyle.
“Did you find out when the doctor will be in to check everything?”, asked Violet, suddenly remembering the test from earlier and feeling overwhelmed.
“He’ll be in around 8.”, said Kyle. “He’s still trying to figure out what happened earlier.”
“He’s not the only one.”, said Denny, darkly.
“Oh yeah, you still didn’t tell me what happened?”, said Violet.
“I know, I’m still in shock about it.”, said Denny.
“Well, I don’t blame you.”, said Kyle, trying not to think about what had happened earlier.
“Any idea we we’re getting released yet?”, asked Violet.
“We can ask the doctor when he comes in.”, said Denny.
“I hope so, I’m getting so sick of the hospital.”, said Stan.
“Well, look at it this way, I doubt our parents will want us going anywhere when we do get out of here. At least we’re all together.”, said Kyle, reasonably.
“That would suck so much ass. I haven’t been away from you guys since we started school.”, said Violet.
“I doubt either you or I is going anywhere for a while.”, said Denny to Violet. “Especially if those tests we had done show anything.”
“Very true”, said Violet, “We also still have our sessions with Kendra to get through too.”
“Exactly, so don’t sweat it that we will be apart.”, said Denny.
“It’s just that we’ve been through a lot in the past couple days”, said Violet.
“I know but like I said, I doubt the two of us at least are going anywhere for a while.”, said Denny.
Tweek had finally come back from getting his coffee fix and saw that Denny and Violet had come back.
“Gah! I mean, you guys made it back? How was it?”, he asked blinking and moving his head sideways..
“Calm down, dude.”, said Kyle, “They’ve had a lot of medicine today so don’t freak them out.”
“Well, I think in the end, it will work out for the better.”, said Denny, as Tweek slurped more coffee and settled down.
“Ack! That’s great! I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure with it. Gah! Pressure!”, said Tweek.
“Dude, settle down, Tweek. You’re going to make the nurse think something is wrong with us.”, said Violet.
“Sorry, I can’t help it sometimes.”, said Tweek.
“It’s fine, just try not to freak the nurse out.”, said Denny.
“What time is it?”, asked Violet, suddenly.
Kyle looked at his phone, “It’s about 6:30. Mom and Dad should be here soon.”
“Goddamnit, I totally forgot about that.”, said Denny, with a *nosebridgepinch*.
“What’s wrong?”, asked Kyle. “Are you afraid of them now?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just that something happened earlier and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it.”, said Denny.
“But our parents would want to know if it was something big. I understand that you’re made of stronger stuff than they seem to think.”, said Kyle.
“Are you going to tell them about your little adventure with fainting?”, asked Denny, eyebrows raised yet knowing what Kyle was going to say.
“Oh goddamnit, I totally forgot about that.”, said Kyle, cornered and knowing he was.
“Come on you guys, it can’t possibly be that bad.”, Violet put in.
“Did it get hot in here all of sudden?”, asked Denny, trying to deflect telling of earlier.
“Your face is a little red.”, Stan noticed. “Does it feel like you have a fever?”
“Come on now, this is crazy. Why do you guys not want to say anything?”, asked Butters, who Denny had not known was still there.
“Careful, guys. Don’t stress them out, especially Denny. Don’t forget he was in a coma not that long ago.”, said Kenny.
“I’ll tell everybody when the doctor gets here.”, sighed Denny, figuring they weren’t going to leave it alone until it was out.
“Me too.”, said Kyle, figuring the same thing.
Ivy, who had been dozing in a corner, jerked awake.
“Huh? What’d I miss?”
“I was wondering where you were.“, said Kyle, looking surprised.
“I’m just so f*cking tired since I didn’t sleep so well last night.”, yawned Ivy.
“It’s cool.”, said Kyle, checking the time. “Well guys, we have about 45 minutes.”
“This wait is making me insane! Gah!”, said Tweek.
“Same here”, said Stan, fidgeting with his hands.
Kyle’s phone rang at that moment, interrupting the bored silence that fell. He reached over and grabbed it without interest.
“Hello? Is the doctor here yet? No, I guess he’s due around 8. Yeah, they got back about an hour ago. No, nothing out of the ordinary. Wendy, Butters and Tweek stopped by and we’re trying to figure out what to do until the doctor comes in. No, we’ll eat afterward. Ok, we’ll see you soon then.””
“That was mom?”, asked Denny.
“Yeah, they’re on their way.”, said Kyle.
“They better f*cking hurry up or the doctor will beat them here.”, said Violet. “Oh, sorry.”, she added when she realized what she said.
“Nah, you’re right”, said Denny, gently. He heaved a deep sigh. “Guys, do you think I made the right choices over the past few days?”
Kyle looked seriously into his brother’s eyes.
“You’re still thinking about it, aren’t you?”
He reached over and grabbed his brothers hand as once again, Denny regretted having brought the subject up.
“I just can’t help it. Every time I close my eyes, I see that huge burst of flame and everything going black which brings back that one regret I’ve thought about ever since I woke up from that coma.”
“I think we ought to leave you guys alone for a few minutes.”, said Ivy, concerned. “Come on you guys.”
The others mumbled in agreement and got up and headed to the hallway. Ivy closed the door behind the group, leaving Denny, Violet, and Kyle alone in the room.
Kyle looked back into Denny’s eyes which, as was understandably common these days, filled with emotion. Violet grabbed the other hand and moved closer to him carefully.
“Look, I know things have been absolute hell these past few days but talking with us will make it easier for us to help you.”, said Kyle, gently.
“I know it’s tough to deal with anything since you had to relive the hardest sh*t with Kendra but that was a hell of a brave thing to do. What are you thinking right now?”, asked Violet.
“Goddamnit, I really wish I’d stop doing this sh*t.”, said Denny, cursing his emotions but taking a deep breath. “I think it’s because of repeating all that sh*t from a few nights ago. I’m just wondering how things would’ve been different if I didn’t leave home. I know they say that all things happen for a reason but why the f*ck does a 9 year old have to be so emotionally scarred and ashamed of what happened?”
Denny looked back up and into Kyle and Violet’s faces. Kyle’s mouth had fallen open and Violet said, “Damn”.
“Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life?”, Denny went on, squeezing his hand in frustration, which squeezed Violet’s hand in turn.
“Dude, you need to calm down. I know how frustrated you probably are and I understand that, but if you keep allowing this sh*t to bug you, you won’t recover for much longer.”, said Kyle, trying to calm his brother down.
“You have a good support group. We will do what we can to make life easier.”, said Violet.
“Yeah, I guess you guys are right.”, said Denny. I haven’t been myself lately. If my mom saw me like this, she’d be ashamed.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself , dude. You of all people have the right to vent when you need to.”, said Kyle.
“I seriously need to get a grip on myself though.”, persisted Denny. “I’ve been too f*cking emotional lately.”
“You have every right to be emotional. That’s nothing but the truth.”, replied Violet.
“I just want to put this little incident from my mind until we see Kendra tomorrow.”
“Just let me know when you need to vent, I’m right here”, said Kyle.
Ivy carefully closed door behind her and turned back to look at her companions, feeling as though things would be grim for the rest of the night.
“Dude, I hope this turns out ok.”, said Stan, looking nervous.
“Has he been like that the whole time?”, asked Butters, surprised at what he’d just witnessed.
“Yes, unfortunately. I don’t blame him though. If he’s been like that, I can’t imagine what I’d do.”, said Ivy.
“He must still be under a lot of pressure. Ack! Pressure!”, said Tweek.
“Tweek, will stop doing that?! It’s f*cking annoying the hell out of me.”, snapped Ivy, frustrated.
“Calm down, Ivy.”, said Stan. “He can’t help it sometimes.”
“Look, I don’t f*cking need this right now.”, Ivy went on. “It’s pissing me off.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault.”, said Tweek “I have A.D.D for christ’s sake!”
“A.D.D., my A.S.S.! I can’t take this twitching anymore!”, shouted Ivy, feeling like her old self again.
“Fine! I give up! Come on, Butters!”, stormed Tweek, turning and beginning walk the other way, with Butters following along in his wake.
“What the hell was that all about?”, asked Kenny, surprised.
“Look, I can only take so much of that sh*t.”, said Ivy. “I’m surprised you guys can tolerate it.”
“But now, you made Tweek upset. Does that make you feel guilty?”, asked Stan.
“f*ck no.”, said Ivy. “I’ve never been one to show remorse for my actions, except for Denny and you guys.”
“Wow, that’s kind of surprising.”, said Wendy. “I usually get bitched at when I try to act different than what my gender is supposed to be.”
“Well, stick by me then.”, said Ivy. “I get bitched at all the time for that but I really couldn’t give a f*ck. I’m so free-styled and hardly girly-like and I’m going to stay that way.”
“I think I caught sight of that when you guys beat Fat Ass up at school.”, said Wendy. “I remember when he pissed me off when he was making fun of breast cancer awareness. The principal was pretty much telling me to kick his ass and I f*cked him up bad.”
“Damn, I would’ve wanted to see that.”, said Ivy, evilly. Stan and Kenny laughed.
“Do you guys think everything’s all right with Denny?”, asked Stan, suddenly serious.
“I hope so., said Wendy. “I still can’t believe I just found out about everything today.”
Ivy put her hear to the door but couldn’t hear anything, so carefully opened the door. Expecting the situation to be grim as predicted, she was shocked to here what sounded like steady conversation.
“Hey guys, is everything all right?” she asked, carefully.
“Yeah, go ahead and come back in.”, said Kyle, as Ivy opened the door the rest of the way and her and the others reentered the room.
“Hey, where are Tweek and Butters?”, asked Violet.
“Well, I’ll be honest with you. I got annoyed at Tweek and told him off, so he got pissed off and left, taking Butters with him.”, said Ivy.
“I was getting pretty annoyed at that myself.”, said Violet, nodding. “I probably would’ve said something if you didn’t.”
“So, how’s everything going?”, asked Stan. “I could tell something was up.”
“I just needed to vent but no big whoop.”, said Denny, shrugging it off. “I feel way better now so I should be good to go.”
“I’m glad to hear it!”, said Wendy. “I was afraid we were going to lose you, to be honest.”
“Nah, nothing to worry about, unless there’s something that those tests picked up.”
“Is that likely?”, asked Kenny, nervously.
“Well, whatever happens, happens, but I’m not worried about it.”, said Denny.
“God damn, I don’t know how you do it, dude.”, said Stan, astonished. “Even the day I met you. If it was me, I’d be a walking nervous wreck.”
“Heh, yeah.”, laughed Denny. “I sometimes wonder the same thing but I’ve been through a lot.”
At long last, Sheila and Gerald finally showed up at that moment, with Ike in close tow. Sheila seemed expecting to find the situation grim but instead found everyone in good spirits.
“So, how is everyone doing?”, she asked brightly.
“Fine”, everyone chorused as one.
“How were the tests?”, asked Gerald. “I heard they were going to do an endoscopy?”
“That sucked ass.”, said Denny. “They wound up giving me anesthetic because my gag reflux went haywire.”
“Did they find anything?”, asked Sheila, worried.
“No idea.”, said Denny. “If they did, I guess we’ll find out soon, won’t we?”
“Thank god. It’s been a long ass day.”, said Violet.
“Hopefully, the tests were clean. I can’t take much more pressure.”, said Kyle.
“Come on now, dude. Some things are not always to be feared.”, said Denny.
“But what if I have a brain tumor or something?”, asked Kyle, a little annoyed at himself for worrying.
“Dude, if you had a brain tumor, I’m sure you wouldn’t have been able to walk or something else would’ve happened.”, said Denny
“They probably would’ve caught it right away but that is still a possibility.”, said Kenny.
“I’m sure it’s all fine.”, said Ivy, quickly.
“Damn it! I just want to know already!”, said Kyle, impatiently.
“Kyle, settle down before you get everyone worked up.”, said Sheila, sternly.
“I can see we’re all a little tense from today’s events/”, chuckled a familiar voice, as the doctor arrived at last, clipboard at the ready.
“Thank god!”, said Violet, looking scared.
“How did everything go with Kendra?”, asked the doctor. “She seemed very interested in meeting you guys.”
“Pretty much, we told her about the stuff from the past few days and the memory from the coma.”, said Denny, pressing himself on.
“Interesting”, said the doctor. “I imagine it wasn’t an easy thing to do.”
“Actually, I think it was a good thing, opening up. It should open up the healing process.”, said Denny.
“Very wise”, said the doctor, “you might not want to overdo it though. It’s still a very tough thing on the mind and the healing will take time to adjust. I still would like nobody to ask too many questions until you are ready for them.”
“I feel awful about what happened. It’s all I can think about right now.”, said Violet.
“Yes, I think we can all agree that the events since that first night are very hard to cope with. Yet, don’t let that interfere with things that are hurdles right now.”. said the doctor, gently.
“I would’ve gone on but Kendra felt what we told her was enough for one day.”, continued Denny. “At first I wanted to continue but then I realized what she said as being true.”
“Kendra’s heart is always in the right place. Now, if you don’t mind me asking, can you give me a little summary of what happened so I’m not lost?”
“Really doctor, hasn’t the poor kid had enough for one day?”, asked Sheila.
“It’s ok, mom. I can do that much.”, said Denny, then looked back at the doctor
“I assure you, Mrs. Broflovski, that I only ask this because it’s best for me to know the situation so that it helps me treat him the best.”, said the doctor.
“I started out by giving her the details of the hostage stuff and explosion, with help from Violet, and the aftermath, including the stuff from when I saw my mom in purgatory. I also got into the details of the last memory when I left home, then hoping on that semi and hitchhiking all the way up here. The address I ended up pulling out of that address book, led me to Cartman’s house, which Dad had picked me up from there and brought me home. The next day was pretty much a winding down day and Kyle and I met Stan at Wallmart so the rest of that afternoon was a lot of fun…”
“If I had known what that would end up…”, said Stan, darkly.
“Hold on a minute, dude.”, said Kyle, holding his hand up.
“Anyway, Kyle and I had got home and Mom and Dad were waiting for us and Dad told me that my mom had been taken to the hospital the night I left because her condition worsened. I asked him what would happen to her and he said it was up to the power of attorney, just as the phone rang and it was the hospital.”
“Your Dad was power of attorney?”, asked the doctor, nodding
“That’s right.”, said Denny. “He had me in the kitchen a minute later, deciding that I should have a say in what would happen since I knew her longest. Her doctor discussed the options about her care, her being in a coma to spare the pain. I decided to just do the right thing and put her out of misery, but I had the doctor wake her up to say goodbye and that was the end.”
“Jesus christ, that’s even worse to hear the second time than the first.”, moaned Violet.
“I can see where that doctor was coming from but that’s an impossible decision for a 9 year old boy to make.”, said the doctor.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”, said Denny.
“Well, I must say that you are one hell of a brave kid to have gone through what you have.”, said the doctor.. “I have faxed your doctors in Arizona for your medical records and I’ve never seen medical records as different as yours in my whole time being a doctor. It’s that incredible.”
“That reminds me, I did call the vital statistics office and got your stuff from there.”, Sheila suddenly spoke up.
“Normally when I see a kid, it’s usually typical for them to be crying when they’re alone but you’ve got your friends with you, them screaming from pain but I haven’t heard any of that from you.”
“It’s like another day at the office, I guess.”, said Denny.
“You know, I’ve really grown to like you.”, said the doctor. “I’ve never seen a patient quite like you before.”
“That’s great to hear.”, said Sheila.
“So, what did the tests show?”, asked Violet.
“For Denny, we found that your brain activity is being very rapid and we’re concerned that, since you have a history of hydrocephalus, it might be making a comeback and that’s what caused you to faint during the MRI.”
“What?!”, said Sheila. “Why didn’t you call me to tell me that?”
“I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.”, said Denny.
“Big deal, my ass, why didn’t you say anything, even to me?”, asked Violet.
“I didn’t want there to be more stress than there already was.”, said Denny.
“Oh sh*t, I forgot about that.” said, Violet.
“Don’t worry about it.”, said Denny, quickly and turned back to the doctor. “How do we confirm that it’s the hydro?”
“It should be easy enough to find out. First of all, I want make sure the spinal fluid is alright so I would like to have a spinal tap and also another MRI, only this will have the sole purpose of looking for any cranial problems.”
“Holy sh*t, a spinal tap?”, asked Denny, suddenly tense “I’ve seen those done on tv before and it looks painful.”
“Yes, unfortunately.” , said the doctor. “I’d hate to put you through anything else but better to find it early and fix it. I also would like to have a blood test done to check your kidney function.”
“Blood tests are cake for me. I’ve had a lot of those.”, said Denny.
“That’s very brave. I know this must be a major strain on you but you’re handling it with ease.”, said the doctor.
“What about the results of the endoscopy?”, asked Sheila
“Nothing to worry about there, but there looked to be some slight irritation from the intubation tube. We will keep an eye out and make sure it doesn’t do anything “
“What other possibilities are there from the results of the MRI?”, asked Denny.
“Well, there’s the stuff about the hydrocephalus like I mentioned. It could also be something from the concussion. We’ll make that determination when we do these tests.”., said the doctor.
“Great, more anticipation.”, sighed Violet.
“You ok there, kid?”, asked Denny.
“I just hate seeing you have to suffer. You’ve had enough. You’re a kid, dude.”, said Violet.
Denny took her hand and met her eyes. “Hey, I know it’s tough but we have to be tougher if we’re going to get through it.”
“How long do you think this recovery process will take?”, Kyle asked the doctor.
“It won’t be overnight. There will be a long road ahead and like I said, it starts with getting Denny and Violet to learn to walk again. I’m still a little touchy about you guys moving around with Denny’s broken ribs and Violet’s pelvis, so for right now, I want to just focus on our testing and counseling.”
“What about Kyle? I still haven’t got a straight answer about what happened earlier?”, persisted Stan.
“Ivy and I went for a walk around outside while everybody was off doing their thing and as soon as we got back, I started feeling dizzy and light-headed and fainted. When I woke up, I saw that I was started on a lot of iv fluids. I’ve never seen Denny so freaked out.”, said Kyle.
“You know what occurred to me just now?”, asked the doctor, looking at the nurse. “What pain killer did we give Denny this afternoon?”
“I believe it was Dilaudid.”, said the nurse. “How did that work for you, Denny?”
“It seemed to work pretty good. My arm and ribs haven’t really bothered me.”
“I think I may just put you back on Morphine because Dilaudid can make you pretty loopy. It’s 4 times stronger than Morphine but since you’re in the ICU, you could end up getting psychosis, meaning that since the lights are always on, sometimes people can’t tell night from day and they start to freak out. Dilaudid also will make you a zombie. You‘ll say things but not remember saying them later.”
“Do you think that was why I freaked out so bad earlier?”, asked Denny.
“It’s hard to say.”, said the doctor. “You seem very close to Kyle so it may have been that that was the case. We looked into your hunch about the possible reason for the fainting spell and the blood sugar was pretty high and we immediately give him a shot of insulin.”
“I had a feeling that’s what it was.”, said Denny.
“He went down as soon as we hit the room and I caught him before he hit the ground.”, said Ivy.
“In any case, we’re going to be keep Kyle on iv fluids and closely monitor his blood sugar.”, said the doctor.
“That means no out and about, right?”, asked Kyle.
“At least not anymore tonight but if you do want to move around, I only want it to be around the pod and your iv pole with you to keep the fluids flowing.”, said the doctor.
“What about Stan and Kenny?”, asked Wendy, once again coming out of the shadow .
“Basically, the only injures they sustained was just emotional trauma so they’re being helped by Kendra and once she’s done with them, they should be good to go.’, said the doctor.
“So what tests will we be doing when?”, asked Sheila.
“I want to order that MRI tomorrow, along with periodic blood tests for Denny and go from there. I’ll have blood tests done for Violet and Kyle too to keep an eye on things. Do the rest of you think you need that too?” asked the doctor.
“Hell no, I hate needles. That iv was bad enough to have put in. I mean, I understand what it’s for.”, said Ivy.
“Well alright, but if you start looking a little sick, I’ll have to do that but for right now we’ll just stick to the iv fluids.”
He added a few quick notes to everybody’s charts and everything was quiet for a few minutes.
“Ok, now I want you all to eat dinner and relax. If you feel the need for Valium, tell the nurse, but I don’t want you staying up too late because you’ve all had a big day and I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
“I guess I better get going too.”, said Wendy. “My parents will bitch at me if I get home too late but I’ll be back tomorrow.”
She kissed Stan on the cheek, making him turn a little green. The nurse saw this and grabbed an emesis basin, ready in case he got sick.
“Did you want me to give you some Zofran?”, she asked.
“Don’t worry about it.”, said Kenny. “He does that all the time.”
“I’ll kick your ass, Kenny!”, said Stan, embarrassed.
“So then you’re all right?” asked the nurse.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”, said Stan.
“Ok then, let’s get dinner ordered so you can all get some sleep.”, said the nurse.
Dinner arrived half an hour later and by the time it was finished, everybody began to feel full and sleepy. As they all climbed into bed, they were given the promised Valium and medicine to help them sleep. As everybody dozed off, Denny had hold of Violet’s hand again to keep her at ease and at long last, the day had ended.
*End of chapter 13*
Denny woke up the next morning, feeling stronger than the previous day. He looked over and noticed the nurse was busy injecting medication into his iv.
“What’s that for?”, he whispered curiously.
“Morphine to keep you comfortable.”, the nurse whispered back. “Do you remember anything from when you were on the Dilaudid?”
“Some stuff. Didn’t I freak out a couple times?”
“Your friends said you got upset when everybody was here. You were having another emotional breakdown. Dilaudid can sometimes do that so be glad the doctor put you back on Morphine. Did it work last night?”, asked the nurse.
“It seems to work all right.”, said Denny. “Now that I felt a rush with the Dilaudid, there isn’t one on the Morphine anymore.”
“That’s not unusual.”, said the nurse. “Since the Dilaudid is stronger than the Morphine, it has the stronger effect and switching to the weaker one, you’re already used to the other one.”
“That makes sense.”, said Denny.
Violet began to stir. Denny turned to look at her. She looked much better than yesterday, even having just woke up. Denny also looked over at Kyle, still hooked up to all the iv fluids. Kyle was still pretty out of it. Violet turned over and looked at Denny.
“What’s up, there?”, asked Denny, looking at her.
“Oh hey Denny, how’d you sleep?”, asked Violet, sleepily.
“Pretty good, actually.”, said Denny. “How about you? Did the medicine help?”
“I feel better than I did when I got up yesterday, so yes.”, said Violet.
“I can give you more tonight if you want?”, suggested the nurse.
“It mellows me out so that’s not a bad idea.”, said Violet.
“That would be the Valium, the sleep medicine just helps you sleep.”, said the nurse.
“All the same, that stuff works good.”, said Violet.
“Remember, I can give you Valium in the morning too but I can only give it to you every 8 hours, so keep that in mind.”, said the nurse.
“What about Morphine, if I need it?”, asked Denny.
“That’s every 6 hours.”, said the nurse. “I just gave you some and it’s 8:00, so if needed, I can give you more at 2:00.”, said the nurse.
“Did they get the MRI scheduled yet?”, asked Denny.
“They’re going to do that at noon.”, said the nurse. “I was told you and Violet will be meeting with Kendra at 10.”
“Sweet, I was hoping to go there earlier.”, said Denny.
“At least the hard part is out of the way.”, said Violet.
“That and I’m off the Dilaudid, so I won’t freak out.”, said Denny.
“Come on now, even Dilaudid or not, all that sh*t is enough for anybody to have a similar reaction.”, said Violet.
“Whatever, I’m focusing on the next step now so that’s behind me.”, said Denny.
Kyle began to stir, wincing a little bit, no doubt due to the uncomfortable iv. He also looked better than yesterday, despite being hooked to the iv, pumping fluid.
“Hey there Kyle, how do you feel?”, asked Denny.
“Hey Denny.”, said Kyle, sleepily. “My head feels better than yesterday. That saved my life, that hunch you had..”
“Anytime, bro.”, said Denny.
A lady dressed in a white lab coat walked into the room, carrying a toolbox.
“Hey everybody, it’s time for a blood test.”, she said.
“Great, I hate needles.”, said Violet.
“I know a lot of people do.”, said the phlebotomist. “Who would like to go first?”, she asked, taking materials out of the toolbox.
“I’ll do it.”, said Denny. “Unless anybody just wants to get it over with?”
“I must be out of my mind but I think I’ll just suck it up and get it over with but I want you to hold my hand, Denny.”, said Violet.
“It’s always best to just do it and get it out of the way.”, said the phlebotomist, nodding. “It’ll be quick and we’ll be done then the next person can go.”
She put the stem of the needle on the tubing and prepped an alcohol swab before getting out the tourniquet and wrapping it around Violet’s arm. Violet grabbed Denny’s hand and looked away. The phlebotomist began to feel around for a vein, grabbed the alcohol swab and rubbed it over the area. She took the cover off the needle and prepped the vaccutainer tube.
“Ok, here it comes.”, warned the phlebotomist, sticking the needle in. Violet shut her eyes tight and squeezed Denny’s hand tightly.
As sudden as it started, it was over. The phlebotomist took out the needle and put gauze and tape over the area. As she stuck the tainted needle into the sharps container, she turned back to Denny and Kyle. Denny looked at Kyle, who didn’t look too eager to be stabbed.
“Do you want me to go first, Kyle?”, asked Denny.
“I… I think I’ll get it over with too.”, said Kyle, still not looking eager to be stabbed but looking determined. The phlebotomist once again connected the stem of the needle to the tubing, prepped the alcohol swab and vaccutainer tube, found the vein, and took the cover off the needle.
“Ok, here I come.”, said the phlebotomist. Kyle took the needle a little better than Violet, only slightly wincing at the pinch. Just like the first time, she pulled the needle out, taped the wound, and stuck the needle into the sharps container.
“That just leaves Denny left.”, said the phlebotomist, turning to him. Denny looked right back, nodding. When the needle went in, Denny held his breath but didn’t make a sound. When the phlebotomist turned back to the group, she gave them little papers.
“Well done everyone. You’ll need to keep the tape on for about 20 minutes. I also gave you a little paper with instructions for post-care.”, said the phlebotomist, picking up her toolbox and heading out of the room.
:“f*ck, I don’t want to keep doing that sh*t.”, said Violet.
“You’ll get used to it. It’s a bitch at first but then it’s more of an annoyance than a fear.”, said Denny.
Stan, Kenny, and Ivy came into the room, iv poles in tow. Ivy looked hesitant to see Kyle’s condition but then relaxed when she saw him sitting up. Stan looked ready run into Kyle’s arms.
“Kyle! I’ve been so worried about you!”, he exclaimed.
“I feel so much better seeing you all right!”, said Ivy, going to his side and kissing him. Denny saw Stan roll his eyes, annoyed.
“You ok there, Stan?”, asked Denny.
“Huh? Yeah, everything’s fine.”, said Stan, pretending he hadn’t done anything.
“How’s that Morphine working?”, asked Kenny to Denny.
“It seems to be working fine.”, said Denny. “I’m still kind of having withdrawal from the Dilaudid.”
“It works pretty good for me.”, said Violet. “How come I still get a rush from it?”
“Because I was on the Dilaudid and that’s stronger . You’ve never been on it so Morphine will be the one to give you the rush.”, said Denny.
“What do you think Kendra’s going to say today?” asked Violet.
“Well, the hard part is out of the way but that doesn’t mean she won’t still touch base with it.”, said Denny. “I think we’ll go more into detail with the dreams today.”
“I’m glad the hard part is over. That would’ve put me in a loony bin if I had all that sh*t to deal with.”, said Violet.
“I get told that so many times.”, said Denny. “I see their point too.”
“That needle f*cking hurt.”, said Violet.
“I’m sure it did but like I said, you’ll get used to it.”, said Denny.
“How’d you take it, Kyle?”, asked Ivy.
“He was kind of nervous at first but did reasonably well.”, said Denny.
“It hurt me too but I have to poke myself because of my diabetes, so I’m somewhat used to it.”, said Kyle.
“I understand that.”, said Denny. “It’s like the Arizona heat, you put up with it for a long time but you never get used to it. I’ve had to be poked by needles so many times, that it’s more of an annoyance than anything else.”
“f*ck, I couldn’t do that.”, said Ivy. “I fall to pieces with those f*cking things.”
“Lucky you aren’t getting this.”, said Kyle, jealously. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, how’s the emotional trauma of the other night going?”
“I’m coping.”, said Ivy. “It hasn’t been as traumatizing to me since I wasn’t in the explosion but it was still scary sh*t. How the f*ck did we get out of that?”
“I keep asking myself the same thing.”, said Denny. “We were a split second from being blown to pieces.”
“I’m never ignoring a gut feeling again. You were right that things didn’t feel right, Denny.”, said Violet
“Therapy’s going to be a bitch to go through. How much longer are we going to be confined to these f*cking beds until that starts, not that I’m looking forward to it?”, said Denny.
“I’m sure they’re going to do everything real slow since you have those broken ribs and Violet has the fractured pelvis and it ain’t going to be easy either.”, said Kyle.
“Oh f*ck no, now that you mention it. I’ll be all paranoid about puncturing a lung or something.”, said Denny.
“How the f*ck am I supposed to walk like this?”, asked Violet.
“I have no idea but you guys ought to worry more about the current task with Kendra.”, said Stan, trying to restore calm.
“What time is it?”, asked Denny, suddenly remembering this.
“It’s almost 9.”, said Kyle, consulting his watch.
“Ok, let’s go over the memories before we head upstairs.”, said Denny.
“You said the purgatory stuff happened first, then you were at home getting ready for school, right?”, asked Ivy.
“Yep, then the last day of third grade. Everyone was jealous that I was going to Vegas. I sprained my ankle from all the walking we did on the strip though.”
“We went to Vegas before too.”, said Kyle. “We were there for new year’s eve 2000.”
“I’ve been told Vegas sucks ass now.”, said Violet
“The memory of the pre-op of that eye surgery came next.”, said Denny, back on track. “Can you imagine a little kid screaming bloody murder, being so scared of what’s coming to them?”
“f*ck no, I couldn’t watch that.”, said Kenny. “At least you didn’t see them cutting your eye open.”
“That would‘ve scarred me for life.”, said Denny.
“How come they had to do surgery on your eye, anyway?”, asked Stan.
“My eye muscle was turning and it was f*cking up so they had to go in and straighten it.”, said Denny.
“How old were you when that happened?”, asked Ivy.
“In that memory, I was 7, almost 8. I think I was 3 the first time.”, said Denny.
“You mean you had it done more than once?”, asked Violet.
“Yep and I think next to the memory of the night I left home, watching me screaming like that was the hardest to watch.”
“So, what was the next memory again?”, asked Kyle.
“The one where I was just getting home from school and was doing homework. It was last year and I remember my best friend and I used to call each other when we got home even though we had just seen each other and only lived like a block and a half away.”, said Denny.
“I used to do that.”, said Ivy. “It sucked though, since I’m such a rebel, I got in trouble and had to move around a lot and also we moved a lot because of my dad.”
“Then, there was the last memory. I don’t think we went into much detail about that yesterday since we were too busy explaining the hostage stuff and the stuff that happened before school.”, said Denny.
“That still haunts me.”, said Violet. “Why the f*ck would it be up to a 9 year old boy to make a decision about his mom’s fate?”
“Don’t forget now, my dad was power of attorney but he hadn’t seen my mom in 10 years. He felt better that I had a say in that sh*t since I knew her longest.”
“That’s what I thought.”, said Kyle. “When Mom told me what happened, I had already put two and two together before she even went upstairs.”
“So it’s true that you wound up at Cartman’s house first when you got into town?”, asked Stan.
“That was the first South Park address I found in my mom’s address book the night I left.”, said Denny. “When she dropped the news of the orphanage to me, I was so pissed. We were in a big argument about it when the memory started. It seemed more out of feeling betrayed than a spur of the moment thing, making the decision to leave. I grew more hesitant as I got closer to it but I still felt horrible for doing it.”
“That’s still not right, not even trying to try and get a hold of you dad, in case of sh*t like that.”, said Violet. “Sorry if it pisses you off that I said that but it’s true.”
“No, you’re right. I kept thinking that while I was locked in my bedroom after that argument. I might’ve thought of leaving right at that moment if I wasn’t so upset and pissed.”, said Denny.
“Well, I don’t blame you for feeling that way.”, said Violet. “If it was me, I probably would’ve been pissed off enough to burn the house down.”
“Same here”, said Ivy, “but my parents wouldn’t do sh*t like that, I trust that fact.”
“Then why are you such a rebel?”, asked Stan.
“Because it’s who I am, who I was born to be, and always will be. It’s just my lifestyle and nothing to do with living arrangements or problems at home. Why do you think I was a bitch to Tweek last night?”
“That makes 3 rebels then,”, said Denny, “you, me and Violet.”
“Are you sure about that because I haven’t seen that come out yet?”, asked Violet.
“It will, trust me. I just haven’t had a chance to show it yet.”, said Denny. “We all kicked Cartman’s ass good, didn’t we?”
“Psh, anybody could whip that douche bag’s ass but true, we whipped his ass good/. We didn’t fight fair either.”, said Ivy.
“Yeah, I have a feeling nobody will f*ck with any of us from now on.”, said Violet.
“Especially not Craig or Clyde.”, chuckled Denny. “They got a big dose of pain.”
Kyle’s watch beeped to signal 10 o’clock and Denny’s attention went straight to the door, waiting for whoever the nurse was to show up.
“Damn dude, are you that edgy about doing this?”, asked Kyle. “I was under the assumption that you were taking it all in stride?”
“Huh? Oh yeah.”, said Denny. “I just want to get this out in the open.”
“Hey, weren’t Mackey and Victoria supposed to come here?”, Stan remembered suddenly.
“I totally forgot about that!”, said Kenny. “They must have forgot about it.”
“Oh dude, I do not want to put up with Mackey’s mannerism after the other day. I was about to scream.”, said Violet.
“Tell me about it.”, said Denny.
“You’ll get used to that eventually.”, said Kyle. “Still, I don’t want to put up with that either.”
“Screw getting used to it, I’ll just avoid it.”, said Violet.
“What’s all this about pulling that fire alarm at your old school?”, Denny remembered suddenly.
“Oh that.”, said Violet, an evil grin spreading across her face. “You should’ve seen the look on the principal’s face when she saw it. I was known for being a badass at that school and everybody knew it but I don’t think the principal thought I had the balls to do that.”
“Define “badass”. What else did you do?””, asked Kyle, mesmerized.
“All kinds of sh*t. I would ditch class and spray paint cuss words on the walls, go camp out under trees outside, and beat up kids who annoyed me. When I did go to class, I slept all the time, back talked to the teachers, gave sarcastic answers when they asked me sh*t, and a lot more.”
“God damn,”, said Denny, impressed. “There was this kid in my class that reminded me of Cartman and he got f*cked up pretty bad a few times when he pissed me off enough, including when he said something while I was trying to tell a girl I liked her. I f*cked him up so bad that his mom had to come pick him up and I was in detention for 2 weeks.”
“Very nice”, said Violet. “How bad did you f*ck him up? I mean like, injury-wise?”
“I gave him 2 black eyes, a bloody nose, knocked a couple of teeth out and gave him a concussion. Oh, and his arm was in a sling.”
“God damn, and they didn’t suspend you for that?”, asked Ivy, looking impressed.
“My mom managed to talk the principal out of it even though she had the paper ready to sign right then and there. Connor’s mom was livid. I used to piss off the teachers because I used to be sarcastic and would cuss in front of them and not give a sh*t. I also used to rebel against any rule I didn’t feel like following.”
“sh*t, I’m never underestimating you again.”, said Violet.
“So basically, you’re laid-back until somebody pisses you off, then watch out?”, asked Kyle.
“Yep, that’s right.”, said Denny.
“I’d hate to breakup this conversation but Kendra is ready for you, Denny and Violet.”, said a voice, which turned out to be the nurse, while another one went to get Violet ready to go too.
“We’ll carry on with this convo when you guys get back.”, said Ivy, eagerly.
“Damn, that was fun.”, said Denny, as he and Violet were wheeled out into the hallway.
“Good luck!”, called Kyle.
“You’re not kidding about beating the f*ck out of the kid?”, asked Violet, still surprised at what was said, as they boarded the elevator once more.
“I’m 100% dead serious that I did that.”, said Denny, looking straight into Violet’s eyes, non-blinking. “You saw how I reacted with Cartman. I don’t f*ck around.”
Out of the elevator on the 5th floor and into the same room as yesterday, Denny and Violet were put into the same position, facing Kendra as she eagerly awaited to begin.
“So, how are you guys feeling after the excitement yesterday?”, she asked.
“I needed to vent a little afterward with Violet and Kyle but other than that, it went smooth.”, said Denny.
“Ok, if you don’t mind me doing so, I’d like to start by going over what we covered yesterday, as a refresher. We first went over what pretty much happened the night the explosion happened and you guys ended up here in the first place. With me so far?”
“We were just talking about what happened at school that day, before all that sh*t happened.”, said Denny.
“Maybe Cartman was so pissed off at us and allowed that idiot to brainwash him to get back at us?”
“Is there anything you want to mention about that before we move on?”, asked Kendra.
“I think we’re past that, right Denny?”, asked Violet, who nodded confidently.
“Next, we went into Denny’s comatose mind visiting his mom in purgatory and the story behind what led to him arriving in South Park. What extra details do you want to cover with that?”
“We were talking about that about an hour ago. I’m surprised I didn’t burn the house down from being so pissed.”, said Denny.
“I’m sure you only say that to emphasize the anger you felt at the time.”, said Kendra, nodding. “There weren’t any other alternatives considered?”
“Nope”, said Denny. “Going to the orphanage was the best and only thing she could think of. I doubt she even remembered having that address book or maybe it would’ve been different.”
“What did your mom do for a living?”, asked Kendra.
“She tried hiding it from me and it worked for a while but I’m too smart for that sh*t and eventually I knew something was up. Turns out she was a whore and that’s how she ended up with the AIDS. That had to be tiring if it paid for medical bills and all that other sh*t. I think that’s why Cartman’s address was in that book.”
“What do you mean by that?”, asked Violet.
“Something didn’t seem right when I got here and only saw Cartman’s mom here, and when I asked for the guy that was in the book, she acted all panicked. I never did get a straight answer about all that.”, said Denny.
“Maybe Kyle knows?”, suggested Violet.
“I hope it isn’t something I’m going to regret hearing.”, said Denny uncertainly.
“What happened when your dad got to the house you were at?”, asked Kendra.
“He seemed more nervous than anything else.”, said Denny, thinking back to the night he arrived in town. “Like I said, he hadn’t seen my mom for 10 years and didn’t even know I existed. I think he was more worried about being thrown out on his ass when my new mom found out about everything. He said something to Cartman’s mom about saving secrets until tomorrow over there probably because I was a wreck that night so he just said he wanted to get me home and settled in.”
“How was Kyle with all this when he found out?”, asked Kendra.
“Like I said, dad was all paranoid about everything and when I asked him what he was going to say to Kyle about everything, he just said he was going to come clean about me to him but then have him keep quiet about it until he told my mom, who he was going to lie about it to. I got to the house. Turns out dad never got to telling mom anything about it until he obviously came clean because while she was fixing me something to eat, dad called Kyle into the other room and told him what was going on. Dad obviously felt he had no choice after that but to tell mom and had her go upstairs with him to do so.”
“What was Kyle’s attitude after he learned of everything?”, asked Kendra.
“I’m sure dad told him to not bug me about any of what was going on so he just started general conversation with me. Once I got done eating, it was time for bed so that was the end of that night.”
“Ok, let’s skip ahead to when that phone call came, what was your mentality after what happened?”, asked Kendra, leaning forward, as Violet took a sharp intake of breath.
“Basically, I had a bad feeling about the whole thing when I got told what was going on after I got home. After dad told me about the whole power of attorney thing and the phone rang, I just knew what was coming. I’ve always had a sharp mind and I just simply knew it. When I got in the kitchen, what I thought was going on, was confirmed. I was more f*cking nervous than I’ve ever been in my whole life and the doctor suggesting letting her go just made my whole body numb. When they woke her up before they pulled the plug, I remember just blasting off into the things I felt since leaving home but she said not to worry about it then it was over. I remember just standing there, staring at the phone for like 5 minutes until my knees just gave away and dad barely caught me before I crashed to the floor.”
“Ok, now I want to get into the stuff about being in purgatory. What was that like?”, asked Kendra, getting ready to write stuff down.
“I remember I woke up in this field, which the weather was warmer than South Park and with flowers of every color. I was momentarily distracted by my surroundings but then I started recalling visions of what I remembered before ending up there. It was like a scene from a bad horror movie. We were running for our lives out of the library, Violet was winded so I went after her and next thing I knew, we were thrown back and into the air 20 feet and poof, that was it.
I had started to walk around trying to find civilization and without any idea where to go and after walking for several minutes, I noticed I didn’t feel at all tired. Only then did I realize I wasn’t alone because I saw a tall figure in the distance.”
“That ended up being your mom, right?”, asked Violet. “That place must’ve been interesting to see.”
“The first thing out of my mouth was “am i dreaming?” and she said that was one way to put it and only then did I realize it was her and of course, my suspicions were either whether she was still alive or that I was dead. She explained to me about purgatory being more than just for dead people in denial and I asked her if she saw what happened that morning. She gave me words of encouragement like everyone else has and after one last hug, that was it.”
“Ok, are you ready to move on?”, asked Kendra, with concern.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.”, said Denny.
“Now then, you said these memories were of younger days, correct?”
“They seemed to all be from when I was in 3rd grade.”, said Denny. “The first memory, I ended up in the inside of a closet. My former self then opened the door and caused sunlight to hit me right in the face. I got a pretty big shock when a hand passed through me and my former self didn’t even notice anything.”
“What were you doing in this memory?”, asked Kendra.
“Getting ready for school.”, said Denny. ‘I moved out of the closet to get a better look at everything and saw my former self digging around, looking for something and then I heard my mom’s voice calling me, saying I was going to be late for school. I remember saying “sh*t, I’m gonna miss the bus”, and once downstairs, my former self got a packed lunch from my mom, as she was saying to ignore whatever sh*t my old enemy did.”
“So there was a bully at your old school?”, asked Kendra.
“Yeah, he may have tried to act the part of the typical schoolyard bully but he failed epically at it. The truth is that he pissed off a lot of kids, including me, and he constantly got his ass whipped. The truth is that I get extremely violent when I get pissed off. He pissed me off so bad one day that the principal was ready to suspend me because I beat him up so bad.”, admitted Denny, having come too close to the subject.
“Really? You don’t seem that type to me?”, said Kendra. “However, not important. What were you doing in the memory at that point?”
“”It was so f*cking weird to see my old friends. The teacher was in the middle of a lecture about world war two and my former self was dozing at my desk. We went out to recess and were playing kickball. I remember seeing douche bag get tagged out, threw a fit, and then tried to pick a fight with the other kid.”
“Sounds like Cartman.”, said Violet.
“He was just like him.”, Denny agreed. “If they would’ve met each other, they would’ve been engaged in a heartbeat.”
“I bet Ivy would get a kick out of that.”, said Violet.
“I wouldn’t doubt it.”, said Denny, then he turned back to Kendra. “So, is there anything that could have meaning from that?”
“Well, before we get to that point, let’s outline elements of the memory first. Things like school, childhood, and even lateness can be interpreted.”, said Kendra. “You said the first thing you saw when you arrived in the memory was a younger Denny after you were in a closet. Being in a closet means there’s something in your life you may be keeping hidden and seeing the younger you says that you want to return to older days. Next is the fact that your younger self was running late and that suggests maybe feeling unready or unwilling for change. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with current circumstances, which I don’t doubt is true, given what you’ve been through.”
“God damn, this is far more complicated than I had pictured.”, said Denny. “Maybe that can sum up to being too overwhelmed with what’s going on because I’m not ready to move on because I’m still keeping things hidden with my past, which I kind of miss being in?”
“Holy sh*t,”, said Violet. “I couldn’t have come up with all that if I tried.”
“Very nice.”, Kendra said, nodding approvingly. “I think we’re off to a great start with this. I think that would be a good way to put it. So now let’s add the other details of this particular memory. Let’s leave the stuff with your mom, etc. for later. Now we have school, bully can be thrown in here too, any other details we haven’t covered?”
“Oh yeah, the scene dissolved to the last day of school and we were talking about summer vacation. My friends were so jealous since we were going to Las Vegas and me and my bff were going to play laser tag too.”, said Denny.
“Ok then, we can also add vacation and friends. So, first of all, we have school, which signifies feelings of inadequacy or childhood insecurities that haven’t been resolved or metaphors of lessons you’re learning in your waking life. I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you but the detail about a bully means suppressed rage.”
“Hey, maybe that’s how you beat that kid up so bad.”, said Violet.
“Now, seeing friends signifies aspects of your personality that you have rejected but are ready to acknowledge these aspects again. The relationships you have with friends is important in learning about yourself. Vacation signifies the need to recharge your energies and revitalize yourself.”, Kendra continued.
“Let’s see, I think the thing about the lessons I’m learning in life are that I should never take anything for granted, no matter what it is, because it can all just as easily be taken away in a heartbeat, the suppressed rage part only comes out when I get really pissed off, and I think the revitalization stuff is what’s taking place right here.”, said Denny.
“You’re a pretty damn smart kid, Denny. I would’ve never expected to hear such deep thoughts coming from a 9 year old boy. Even Violet is at a loss of what to say.”, said Kendra, looking at Violet who, sure enough, was watching Denny with awe.
“So, moving on, where are we at now?”, asked Kendra.
“The next memory was hard to watch.”, said Denny, remembering seeing his old self in such a state of panic. “My dream state had appeared right next to my former self, in a hospital bed, where I looked paranoid, covering my face with a teddy bear and staring at a pair of double doors. I knew it had to be in a surgical unit and the doctor came out to talk to my mom. He looked at me a few times and came over to me holding chapstick, then he asked me which one I wanted. I looked at my mom and then picked the cherry kind, so he pulled out an anesthetic mask and smeared it with the chapstick and now I knew what was going to happen and I started screaming at the top of my lungs. I just wanted to reach out an comfort the poor kid and apparently, my mom thought along the same lines because she tried and failed to do so, and now the doctor has no choice but to bring me to the OR like that. I was taken back there and it was shocking to hear the screaming and looking like being knocked out with an invisible hammer a minute later.”
“Do you know what kind of surgery it was?”, asked Kendra.
“It was an eye surgery.”, said Denny. “I actually saw them getting ready for it but the memory ended before they could cut into my eyeball. They only got as far as pulling the eyelids back and taping them It was kind of freaky seeing that.”
“Ok, a lot can be interpreted here such as surgery, anesthesia, hospital, eyes, and fear. First and foremost is the feeling of fear, which means your achievements won’t be as successful as you anticipate. Surgery means the need for emotional healing, needing to “cut out” or eliminate something from your life. Hospital signifies the need to improve physical or mental health, (which you’re doing now, while you’re in the hospital obviously). The detail about anesthetic means you’re trying to suppress feelings instead of confronting them, and again, that’s what you’re here for.”
“Let’s see, I have no idea what achievements won’t go right, and I think the other stuff can all go together as the healing process being in the hospital.”, said Denny.
“Seeing that memory would’ve torn me to pieces, especially seeing that poor kid so scared.”, said Violet, shaking her head.
“I don’t blame you.”, said Kendra. “It’s always harder when it’s a child. That’s just too young for something like that. Are we ready to move on?”
“I don’t think this next memory will be much different than the others.”, said Denny. “I was in my old room when the memory started, just as my younger self was getting home from school. It was the same old routine, let the dogs out, call my mom to tell her I was home, then do my homework. My bff called when I got done and we talked for a few minutes, then I watched tv until my mom got home and that was it.”
“The only new detail here would be homework, which symbolizes lessons learned in life or are learning. It’s important to pay attention to what the assignment involves and see how it can applied to your waking life.”, said Kendra.
“It was just old third grade stuff so I don’t know how to apply that to anything.”, said Denny.
“I’m sure it’ll come to you.”, said Kendra.
“Now comes the last memory, which is the night I left home.”, said Denny.
He took a deep breath and began to recite the difficult night that had been.
“It started with an uproar, most likely my mom had just told my younger self the news about the orphanage. I kept demanding why we couldn’t figure out where my dad was and I could just live with him but she kept saying she didn’t know if he was still in the same place or if he even would take me in. She said I’d be better off at an orphanage, so at least she would know I’d be in good hands but I kept arguing, saying those places suck and questioning doesn’t she think I want to at least know I HAVE a dad. She started to get annoyed and even though she didn’t show it, I could tell. She would like things to go as I want but that seemed unlikely, so I got so pissed and turned around and slammed and locked my bedroom door. She stood there for a minute and then went to her room where she finally broke down. Watching this in my dream state self made me feel awful about that whole thing.
So two hours goes by and the house is dark and quiet. I came out of my room and went to the junk drawer in the kitchen for my mom’s address book, where I looked and found the first South Park address I could. I seemed to make up my mind at that point and went back to my room and filled my backpack with clothes, etc., went back to the kitchen and scribbled a note to my mom, and headed out the door. I took one last look at the house and might’ve thought of going back but then turned and was gone.”
“This is the big one, isn’t it? I can see that right away.”, said Kendra. “There’s a lot to cover here. First of all, I can imagine you were feeling a lot of mixed emotions like sadness, betrayal, anger, guilt, regret,, that sound right?”
“Yeah, I try to not let it get to me but it still haunts me. I think the mixed emotions are what dominated the memory.”, said Denny.
“One person can’t feel all that sh*t at once, they’d explode!”, exclaimed Violet, wide-eyed.
“Trust me, that’s exactly how I felt.”, said Denny. “I think I can piece that all together. I was sad because of my mom being so close to death, I felt angry and betrayed by the whole idea of landing in an orphanage, guilty about leaving at a time like that, and regret for doing it.”
“Very wise.”, said Kendra. “Now, since you feel no need to interpret your feelings at that time, what else do you feel is important to cover in this memory?”
“Do you think revisiting this memory was for a reason like my mind wanting me to feel haunted by what went on or just something that I revisited because it was a huge turning point?”, asked Denny.
“That’s hard to say. I think it can be conquered if it’s a fear, by confronting it head-on. Remember, this has all happened in your short life but you’ve been handling it better than I would think most would.”. said Kendra.
“So maybe it’s a reminder of how far I’ve come and all that I’ve seen?”, thought Denny out loud.
“Could be.”, said Kendra.
“That’s a hell of a thing to drag with you your whole life.”, said Violet.
“I think we will wrap it up for today. You’ve had enough.”, said Kendra, standing up.
The nurses stood up and headed back to the beds as Kendra shook hands with Denny and Violet and headed out the door. Denny was thinking about what they’d covered. He was able to put what Kendra had said about the details of the memories and have at least some success in putting that into context.
“Doesn’t all that sh*t give you a headache?”, asked Violet, as they were wheeled back out into the hallway. “Not to piss you off or anything off of course.”
“It does but it doesn’t.”, said Denny. “I’m sure it would give you a headache but it’s interesting to look at it from this angle.”
Back inside the elevator and down to the 3rd floor once again, they arrived back to the ICU. Denny felt better about the events of the last few days. It shook him as it always did when he remembered the day he beat up Connor. He had been hoping more than anything that he could charm the 5th grader but then Connor had come and let something inappropriate slip and he embarrassed himself, which then they shot him down. He felt himself getting hotter by the second and he let out a yell and threw himself at his enemy.
The others looked up from whatever they were talking about when Denny and Violet arrived. It seemed there was a more positive air about the room.
“Hey guys, how’d it go?”, asked Kyle.
“Pretty much what I thought it was going to do. It’s a lot of sh*t to think about.”, said Denny.
“Sorry”, said Kyle.
“Oh sh*t, I forgot about the tap. f*ck.”, said Denny.
“Is that a bad thing?”, asked Stan.
“f*ck, haven’t you ever seen one of those?”, asked Denny. “That’s where they stick this long f*cking needle into your back to collect fluid. I’ve seen it on House before.”
“Holy sh*t.”, said Violet, looking horrified. “How can somebody go through that?”.
“Hey Kyle, I almost forgot, there’s something I wanted to ask you about.”, said Denny. “I want you to be straight about this. The night I got here, I first noticed something didn’t seem right. When I took that page out of my mom’s address book back home, the name in it was Liam Cartman but when I got here, there was only his mom there and I never saw anybody else there…”
“Uh oh, this isn’t going to turn out well.”, said Stan, feeling tense.
“Anyway”, continued Denny, as though there had been no interruption, “My mom always liked to keep secrets from me but I’m too smart for that, do you know what the f*ck is up with the whole deal with Cartman’s mom?”
“Uh, trust me, dude, you’re better off not knowing. It will give you nightmares if you knew the truth about Cartman’s mom.”, said Kenny, shaking his head.
“He’s right, dude. You don’t want to know.”, said Stan.
“Something tells me, I’ll get nightmares if I hear this.”, sad Violet, uncertainly.
“My guess would be yes.”, said Ivy, feeling ominous. “I’ve heard rumors and none of it would surprise me.”
“Another thing too. When I mentioned who I am, she got all tense, AND I never got a straight answer from her about that.”
‘’This just keeps getting more uncomfortable by the minute. Dude, I really don’t think you want to hear this.”, said Stan.
“Kyle! Spit it out!”, snapped Denny, causing Kyle to jump badly. He had been silent up to that point and still was silent long before he answered.
“It started when Cartman began to become obsessive over finding out who his dad was. He was ditching school and playing with dolls in his backyard. We went to Mackey, who had us tape Cartman’s behavior. We wound up…”
“Just get to the point!”, snapped Denny, again.
“Cartman found out he could do DNA testing to find out who his dad was but before he could… never mind, when was all said and done, the test showed that the father of Cartman was… Liane Cartman.”
Kyle looked at Denny, who seemed all right. Apparently the message hadn’t sunk in.
“Ok, what the f*ck does that mean and what does it have to do with my mom?”, asked Denny.
“Liane Cartman is a hermaphadite, meaning she has both male and female genitals.”, continued Kyle, bracing himself for the reaction.
“And what does that have to…? Oh my f*cking god, are you f*cking serious?!”, said Denny, putting two and two together. “But wait, the name on the entry was Liam?”
“Liam is the masculine form of Liane.”, said Stan, regretfully.
“Ok, let me see if I got this straight,”, said Denny, slowly, “You’re telling me that Liane Cartman is a hermaphadite, meaning “Liam” is the same person and my mom having been a prostitute and had “Liam” in her address book can only have one explanation?”
“Jesus christ, you’re not serious about this?!”, exclaimed Violet.
“That’s pretty much it.”, said Kyle. “That’s why I didn’t want to say anything. When you mentioned that stuff about your mom having been a prostitute, then you ending up at Cartman’s house when you got to town, looking for “Liam”, everything clicked into place. I knew it wouldn’t be something I wanted to mention.”
“Oh my f*cking god, are you sure you’re not bull sh*tting me about this?”, asked Denny, beginning to feel very numb.
Kyle looked at him sadly. Denny was acting exactly as Kyle had feared he would. Violet was just sitting there, mouth wide open.
“Dude, I’m sorry. This is why I didn’t want to say anything. When I figured everything out, it was the most shocking thing I could’ve possibly imagined. I didn’t want you to have to get hit with something like this.”
“So then, it’s true?”, asked Denny, weakly.
“I’m afraid it is.”, said Kyle, sadly. “I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now but please don’t hate your mom for this. She probably didn’t know at the time either.”
Denny could only sit there in total shock. Violet had a hold of his hand and squeezed it gently while the others looked on, too nervous about his reaction and that this might only be the mild part of it. Kyle felt horrible for having touched such a delicate subject. It had taken a lot of nerve to do it, even though he knew it was nothing compared to the emotional agony his brother was feeling at having been told where his suspicions had led him.
“Jesus christ, this is unbelievable.”, said Denny, in a hushed voice. “How the f*ck could she have not known…? What was she thinking?!”
“She had to be really drunk not to tell the difference.”, said Violet. “Either that or “Liam” appeared more masculine at the time.”
“But how…? How could this happen?!”, stuttered Denny. “Is God punishing me for something?”
“Of course not.”, said Kyle. “You said your mom had to be really active of a whore if it paid for all your medical bills.”
“That’s even worse, how many other hermaphadites did she come across in that time? I’m 9 years old, dude, I’m too f*cking young to be learning about that sh*t.”
A nurse came into the room at that moment and spotted Denny, which she then made straight for him.
“Denny? Are you ready to head downstairs for the spinal tap?”, she asked.
“Oh goddamnit, this is the last thing I’m worried about right now. You can’t imagine what I just found out.”, said Denny.
“Just go, dude.”, said Kenny, “That might take your mind off of that unwelcome news.”
“Alright fine, let’s get this over with.“
Denny allowed the nurse to undo the brakes to the bed and begin wheel him out of the room, not really caring about much else but “Mom, what the f*ck?”.
“Good luck, dude!”, called Kyle, trying but failing to sound like he wasn’t thinking about just how f*cked up the stuff between Christy and Liane sounded.
“Holy sh*t, this is really true? No bullsh*t?”, asked Violet, still at a loss for words.
“Yep, every word.”, said Kyle, sadly. “This is going to take a while to sink in.”
Yes, it would. Out in the hallway and into the elevator, Denny was wrestling with the thought of his mom but at the same time, scolding himself for becoming so obsessive about it. His paralyzed mind came crashing back to earth as they got closer to wherever they were going.
“Uh, how exactly is this going to work?”, asked Denny, hoping he didn’t sound offhand.
“I’m sure you must be feeling scared right now.”, said the nurse, still looking straight ahead, so as to not run into anything. “Once we get downstairs, they will be able to explain the procedure to you. I’m sorry that I’m not of any help.”
“Where are we going? Oh sh*t, not the OR?”, exclaimed Denny, definitely scared now.
“Not the OR, no.”, replied the nurse. “We’re going to radiology and interventional CT since there’s a little bit to do before the tap is done. The doctor will let you know of the results later.”
They turned left down a hallway and through a door labeled “radiology”. Denny was wheeled into a room that looked similar to a regular x-ray room except there was a little metal table that was covered. They found the technician and nurse waiting for them as the other nurse moved the bed next to the x-ray table.
“How am I supposed to get on the table?”, asked Denny, trying his best to hide the shakiness he felt.
“Don’t worry about that.”, said the nurse, kindly. “We’ll take care of everything. You just lay back and relax and we’ll get you set up.”
The tech was busy adjusting the table as the nurses were setting up an iv pole to set up all the bags and monitor. The tech looked satisfied with the adjustments and motioned for the nurses to move the bed so that it was up against the table, got on the head and foot sides of the bed and lifted Denny onto the table, taking great care to be very wary of the broken ribs.
“Ok Denny, here’s the plan, what we’re going to be doing here is called a spinal tap. This is not going to be a fun experience but it’s a necessary thing. First things first, we’re going to do a CT of the spinal column and pinpoint exactly where we do the tap at, we mark that place, sterilize the area, stick the needle in, and collect the CSF to be tested. When the doctor is doing the tap, we need you be a in a fetal position (like being curled in a ball), that’s important.”
“How bad is this going to hurt, assuming I get no numbing?”, asked Denny.
“That will be a question for the doctor. I help out on a lot of spinal taps but I don’t know every detail of the pre-op stuff.”, said the tech.
“I guess that does mean it’s gonna hurt then.”, thought Denny, as the table was positioned to get ready for the CT.
“This will only take about a minute.”, said the tech. “After this, we will be able to mark and sterilize the area like I said. The doctor should be here momentarily but just try to relax. We will start the scan right now.”
He finished adjusting the table and went back to the control room where meanwhile, the table moved completely toward the inside of the scanner, coming to rest around Denny’s chest cavity. This was the easy part and when all was done the tech came back out, this time accompanied by the doctor, who had a surgical mask tied around his neck but not yet covering his mouth.
“Hello Denny, I’m Dr. Bailey and I’ll be performing the spinal tap. While I stick the needle in, it’s very important to stay as still as you can. It will hurt but you have to stay calm. Dr. Webber ordered this test to check the CSF for anything out of the ordinary and I urge you to trust his judgment . So then, let’s get started.”
“Ok Denny, I’m going to give you a little Valium so you don’t get too stressed out while this is being done.”, said the nurse who brought him in, as she injected the Valium into his IV.
The other nurse began to uncover the stuff on the table which ended up being gloves, sterilizer, gauze, a small vial, and a pretty long ass needle, evidently what was going to be stuck into Denny’s back. This made him start to feel tense. The doctor began to putting on the gloves as the nurse had Denny positioned carefully on his side and having him curl up into a ball with his spine exposed. As his gloves were put on, the doctor pulled up Denny’s gown and grabbed the sterilizer. As professional as he was, Denny could hear the sharp intake of breath as the doctor evidently saw the dressings covering Denny’s midsection.
“I’m going to apply the sterilizer now. This is probably going to be a little cold.”, said the doctor as he did so.
Denny jumped a bit as this was going on. Next was going to be the hard part.
“Ok, now we are at the difficult part. Remember what I said about staying as still as possible and also staying calm. This will all be over soon.”
“Calm?! How the f*ck am I supposed to stay calm with this sh*t?!”, thought Denny, but did as he was told and did his best to keep calm. Just like Violet had done that morning when they were all having blood tests done, Denny shut his eyes tight and gritted his teeth.
The doctor picked up the needle and found the area to stick it and looked at over at Denny’s face with concern.
“Ok, get ready. Nurse, be ready for the vial. On the count of three, then. One, two, three. Here we go.”
There was a sharp pinch as the needle went into the top-middle part of Denny’s back. He couldn’t hold back the cry of pain yet didn’t move a muscle. On the other side, the doctor had the needle positioned where he wanted it and grabbed the vial. From here, he was able to collect some CSF fluid, capped the vial, grabbed the gauze, and withdrew the needle, placing the gauze over the bleeding area before taping it.
“That’s it, we’re all done.”, said the doctor, discarding the needle. “How are you feeling right now?”
“I think I’m alright.”, said Denny, opening his eyes and relaxing. “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It looked even worse on House.”
“I take it that’s not the first thing you’ve had done that you’ve seen on there either?”, asked the doctor.
“No it’s not. There’s been a couple things and even stuff I’ve seen on older shows.”, said Denny.
The nurses got back on either side of the table, after positioning the bed back next to it, and lifted Denny back to the bed.
“Ok Denny, the post-op stuff is easy enough. I want you to take it easy for the rest of the day and try not to move around much. Stay put with your back pressed against your pillow. The results should be ready by six or so. It was nice to meet you.”
As the doctor walked to the back again, the nurses undid the brakes on the bed and began to wheel him back into the hallway. Now that it was over with, it was a huge load off Denny’s chest. The look of relief on his face was the last thing anyone expected to see when he got back upstairs. He had not forgotten what he had been told before he left but decided not to let it get to him at the moment.
“How’d it go?”, asked Kyle, brightening up when Denny had made it back to the room.
“To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.”, said Denny. “It looked much worse on House, you should’ve seen it.”
“I think I’ll pass.”, said Kyle, shuddering at the thought. The others muttered in agreement.
“Oh come on now.”, said Denny. “It may be a lot worse going through it but it isn’t like it’s going to scar you to watch it on tv. Maybe surgery.”
“What time is the doctor supposed to be in?”, asked Kenny, deliberately changing the subject, though probably for the others’ sake and not his own.
“I guess the results of the tap will be ready by six but that’s the only thing I have to go by.”, said Denny.
“Why don’t you take a nap while you’re waiting?”, suggested Violet.
“You know, that might not be a bad idea. It’s already been a long day and that doctor told me to take it easy after the tap.”, said Denny.
“Go ahead then. We’ll wake you up when the doctor comes in if you’re not up by then.”, said Stan.
So Denny carefully turned over and closed his eyes, knocking out almost instantly.
“How far away from six is it?”, asked Violet,, seeing Denny pass out and feeling bad for him.
Kyle pressed a button on the side of his phone and looked at it. “It’s about 3 right now so that should be enough of a nap.”
Maybe it was because he had once again revisited the memories that were seen during the coma or maybe it was just his physically and mentally exhausted body letting it’s guard down, but as Denny slipped into his dream state like someone given knockout pills, the nightmares began. He had found himself next to the others in the heart of the underground chamber underneath the town square, and there, again, was Kyle trying to get Cartman to rationalize his hellbent desire to assist in the final phase in blowing up everything above and around the entire area within the chamber,
“Oh christ, you can’t be serious. I can’t relive this again.”, he thought.
“Come on! Let’s get the f*ck out of here!”, Kyle had shouted and then the six of them were off, hauling ass back through the passageway leading from the library basement, through there, into the library itself, and back outside.
“Wake up, goddamnit! Wake up!”, his subconscious mind was screaming at him. “Somebody wake me up or make a loud noise or something, for Christ’s sake!”
There was only the scream of horror that he, himself, had made. As if in slow motion, Denny could only watch helplessly as he recklessly tore after his girlfriend, momentarily winded and thus unaware that she was in danger. There wasn’t enough time, he knew that even now, but he was damned if he was going to see Violet or any of his friends in danger and not put himself in the face of it to get them out. 3,2,1, BOOM. It was even worse seeing the blast from the sidelines, even if it was just a dream. He and Violet had both been blasted backward into the air with the force of the blast and landed with a sickening crunch on the ground, some 20 feet away. Violet had began to come around after a few seconds, sobbing and hurt, as the others were running to the scene. As more of the dust cleared, Denny could make himself out and felt his stomach tighten. There was his limp figure lying 10 feet from where Violet was and there was not one single sign of life present; Violet’s scream was shrill and petrified in the cold night air and Denny felt himself jerk back into consciousness, screaming at the top of his lungs, and scaring the sh*t out of everybody.
“Jesus christ!”, yelled Kyle, having jumped badly at the sound. “Dude, what happened?”
“Oh my god, I never want that to happen again.”, moaned Denny, holding his hand over his chest and hyperventilating.
“Did you have a nightmare or what?”, asked Violet, shaken up as well.
A nurse came running into the room, looking alarmed. Denny became aware that he was trembling and all eyes were fixed on him.
“What’s going on?”, asked the nurse. “Is there something wrong?”
“I had a really bad nightmare and now I think I’ve slept all I can.”, said Denny.
“What happened in it?”, asked Stan.
“I think you already know what it was about.”, said Denny, grimly. “The worst night of our lives, of course.”
“Did you want me to get anything to calm you down?”, asked the nurse, wanting the kids to know she was still there.
“No, I’m fine.”, said Denny. “I’ll be good to go.” She then headed back to the hall.
“Are you sure you’re ok?”, asked Kyle.
“Yes, dude.”, said Denny. “How long have I been asleep?”
“About half an hour.”, said Violet. “There’s still about 2 hours left until six.”
“I think I’m going to try again.”, said Denny. “I thought I wouldn’t but I’m so tired.”
“Go ahead. We’ll wake you up when it’s time.”, said Ivy.
This time, sleep washed over him without incident.
They woke him up at ten to six. Denny’s head felt a million times better than when he first laid down to sleep. Still, he stayed put, on his back, and a little sore from the spinal tap.
“How’d you sleep this time?”, asked Kyle, expecting Denny to still be shaken up from his nightmare earlier.
“That was much better than earlier. Whatever caused that sh*t from earlier to pop up, it seems to have gone.”, said Denny.
“That’s a good thing. Are you still sore from earlier?”, asked Violet.
Denny considered this for a second then went with the truth. “Yeah, kind of.”, he said. “I didn’t expect anything different.”
The doctor walked into the room at six on the nose just as the parents got there, clipboard in hand and as usual, had the same unreadable expression.
“So, I have some good news today but that being said, we have to plan out how this is all going to work.”
Denny’s heart jumped. He wanted more than anything else to get out of this damn hospital already. “Does that mean what I think it does?”, he asked, slowly.
“The spinal tap came back negative, so that means nothing wrong on the hydro side. As far as everything else is considered, we’re making swift and significant progress. I think we can start off slowly with mobility and start getting you ready to get out of here, how does that sound?”
“Are you serious?”, asked Denny, voice cracking from excitement, “f*cking puberty”, he thought.
The doctor nodded. “This is going to take time to get used to but let’s give it maybe 2 weeks and I say we can get you ready to go. We’ll send you off with a wheelchair but remember that it’s still very important to be wary that your broken bones are still going to take time to heal, same with Violet. We are going to start to get you two accustomed to the wheelchair tomorrow and go from there.
“Kyle, we are going to keep for one more night just for observation and we’ll discharge you tomorrow morning, same with the others. Any questions for me?”
“When is the therapy going to start?”, asked Denny.
“We’ll give it about a month and we’ll get everything set up with school, etc. when we get you guys ready to be discharged. Anything else? Ok, well, get some rest and we’ll see you all later.”, said the doctor, as he took his leave.
An air of excitement began to overtake the whole of room 13 at what was just said. It was true, not one of the six survivors wanted anymore to do with this goddamned place, so not one of them was pleased about being told of having to be there another second. Kyle, indeed, was bouncing up and down in excitement, looking like a kid about to piss himself, then seeing Denny and realizing what he was doing to his brother, abruptly stopped and muttered, “Sorry”.
“Come on Big D, you’re not going to let something like that get in the way of anything, are you?”
“Not me, Boss”
“’Atta boy. Go kick some ass.”
“Hey, at least we’ll have each other, right?”, said a voice from nearby. Denny jerked out of his trance and realized his girlfriend was talking to him.
“Huh, what? Sorry, ears are buzzing, what was that?”
“I said, at least we’ll have each other, right? ”recited Violet.
“Oh, uh, yeah, and uh, no school, right?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s true.”, said Violet.
“Whew, nice catch Big D.”, he thought.
As was true last night, dinner was ordered and there within a half hour. There was little left to do at this point but shut off the lights and crowd around the “big “screen tv until one by one, everybody either went off to their respective rooms or curled up in their beds and went off to sleep.
Their first human contact with the outside world since school the morning of that fateful day, was imminent but it would pushed through like anything else.
*End of chapter 14*
chapter 15 is in the works right now. that will probably be the end of it.
Chapter 15-The end of the road
Nearly three weeks had passed since the day that changed Denny, Violet, Kyle, Stan, Ivy, and Kenny’s lives forever, though it just as well could’ve been an eternity. The other four had been discharged two weeks ago, at which time they had decided to reopen the school. They had described what it was like on the first day back.
“Everybody just got completely quiet when we walked by. It was like somebody hit a mute button or something.”, Kyle had said.
Meanwhile, Denny and Violet had spent the last two weeks getting accustomed to their new wheelchairs, which they would be confined to for a long time. There had not been any word on when therapy would be due to start but as the day of their discharge got closer, they knew it would all be set up soon. Fortunately for Denny, there had not been anymore nightmares since the day of the spinal tap.
Finally, the big day came. It started out like any other day. Denny was the first one to wake up, as usual, only this time, he found that things seemed to have moved around and he was about to page the nurse to find out what was going on when she actually came in, carrying some alcohol swabs, gauze, and colband.
“What are those for?”, he whispered, sleepily.
“I think I’ll save that bit for when Violet wakes up.”, said the nurse.
“I’ll take care of that.”, said Denny, as he turned to her and began to rouse her. “Hey you, wake up. The nurse wants to tell us something and I think it’s big.”
Violet began to stir slowly, sitting up and rubbing her eyes.
“Denny, what going on? What time is it?”, she asked.
Denny looked at his phone. “It’s about 9:30. How’d you sleep?”
“Pretty good, how about you? No more nightmares?”, she asked.
“Nope, I think we’re good.”, he then turned to the nurse, “So what were you saying?”
“I’ve just been told by Dr. Webber that today’s the day that we are officially going to go ahead and discharge the both of you. This stuff here,”, she indicated the swabs, gauze, and colband, “is for the purpose of taking your Ivs out.”
“Wait, you’re not kidding?”, asked Denny, not daring to believe it.
The nurse smiled and shook her head. “I promise you, this is really happening.”
“Holy sh*t, I have to tell Kyle.”, said Denny, pulling out his phone and texting the message “Call me when you get the chance.”
Not a minute later, the phone began to ring. As Denny picked it up and answered it, he was greeted by Kyle’s voice, which sounded worried.
“Denny? What’s going on ? Is everything all right?”, asked Kyle.
“Dude, are you already out at recess?”, asked Denny, surprised at the promptness of Kyle’s answer.
“Not yet, I snuck out of class and went into the bathroom so no one would see me. So what going on?”
“I couldn’t wait to tell you but they just told us that the doctor is letting us go home today.”, said Denny, fighting the urge to whoop.
“That’s great!”, said Kyle.. “Do you know when they’re letting you go?”
“Not yet. I haven’t even told mom yet.”, said Denny.
“Why don’t you do that right now and I’ll call back around lunch?”, said Kyle.
“Ok, talk to you in a little while.”, said Denny, as he hung up the phone and opened the contacts list to call Sheila. He looked over at the nurse as he waited for an answer on the other line.
“When are we getting discharged, by the way?”, he asked.
“The doctor wants to see you one last time so he can let you know of any last minute details, when your therapy is starting, etc. He should be here by eleven, so you may want to tell your mom about that.”, said the nurse.
Sheila picked up the other line just as it rang a third time. She sounded as if she had just ran to answer the phone.
“Hello, Denny? What’s going on?”, she panted.
“Hey mom. I need you to come down here before eleven. The doctor’s supposed to be in and also, they’re discharging us today.”, said Denny.
“They are? You’re sure about that?”, she asked.
“Yeah, the nurse told us when we woke up. They even have the stuff to take the Ivs out here already.”
“That’s good. I’ll make sure Kyle has everything cleaned up in his room so you can get around in it and I’ll be up there.”, said Sheila.
“Ok, see you then.”, said Denny, as he hung up the phone.
“How much longer do we have now?”, asked Violet impatiently.
“It’s only been about 20 minutes.”, said Denny. “I can’t wait to get this damn IV out of my arm.”
“Is it going to hurt?”, asked Violet, suddenly anxious.
“It might, if you have hair on your arm.” said Denny. “Then also when they get to the part where they pull the needle out. I usually have them rub the alcohol swabs around the area of the tape as they’re taking it off so it pulls less.”
As eleven o’clock got closer, they grew more and more anxious to be ready to leave. Sheila arrived at a quarter to, bringing with her some regular clothes for them to change into.
“Where did you get these?”, asked Violet, looking at what Sheila had brought her.
“I let your mother know that you were being discharged today and she asked me to help make sure you got home safely, so I’m going to bring you home with us while your parents are at work.”, said Sheila. “She dropped these off before I came over here.”
At last, the doctor arrived in the room, a smile on his face as he saw Denny and Violet’s eager faces.
“So, are you guys ready to go home today?”, he asked.
“You bet your ass we are!”, both exclaimed excitedly.
“Excellent!”, said the doctor. “So, just a few things before I get the discharge papers ready and the nurse will take the Ivs out. I will allow you to go back to school as soon as you’re ready but keep in mind that you’re both still a little fragile. It would be wise to have someone who can be with you at all times while at school to make sure nothing happens, preferably someone in your class.”
“That won’t be a problem since our group is all in the same class.”, said Denny. “I can have Kyle be that person and Ivy can be Violet’s.”
“Excellent.”, said the doctor. “Secondly, I’m going to arrange therapy to start in two weeks and this will mean intense rehab, given the trauma you both sustained 3 weeks ago. Last and most important, if anything doesn’t look or feel right, anything at all, swelling, unexplained bruising, etc., I want you to call the hospital immediately because we sure as hell don’t want to sacrifice any of the progress you’ve made since you first got here. Any questions?”
“Are we going to be doing therapy in the hospital?”, asked Denny.
“There’s actually an outpatient building behind the hospital, where you’ll be doing that.”, said the doctor. “Anything else? No? Well, I never thought this day would come when you guys first landed here, especially with Denny, but you both have made a spectacular recovery. I will go type up the discharge instructions while the Ivs come out and then you’re free to go. Take good care of yourselves. I’m glad I could be a part of making you better.”
The doctor shook both Denny and Violet’s hands and then Sheila’s and went off to get the last thing done. The nurse came in after a minute, putting on gloves and first going to Denny.
“I usually have them use the alcohol swabs when taking the tape off so it doesn’t pull the hair off my arm.”, said Denny.
“I figured that would be the case.”, said the nurse, kindly. “Not to worry, I have some right here.”
The tape began to come off, pulling just a little bit. The nurse took it off all around the needle before actually taking the needle out. It was a little sore coming out and Denny could see that it was bent. The nurse put gauze over the area and wrapped the collband around his arm to hold the gauze in place. She then turned to Violet, replacing her gloves.
“Can you do the same thing with taking the tape off me?”, asked Violet. “I don’t want to take any chances.”
“Sure, not a problem.”, said the nurse.
She repeated the same process with Violet. Her needle seemed a little more sore coming out than Denny’s did but then when it was finally out, she looked very relieved. The nurse took off her gloves and threw them away.
“The papers should be done in a minute but while we’re waiting let’s double-check and make sure everything is picked up and ready to go.”
The papers were brought in just as the last of the things that were collected in the room were picked up. The nurse went over them and Denny and Violet were loaded into their wheelchairs. Denny took one last look at room 13 as they took their leave. After all that happened over the last 3 weeks, after all they had been through, it was finally time to go home.
Sheila went off ahead of them to bring the car to the front of the entrance. As Denny got outside, he couldn’t help but smile. Not only had he not been home in 3 weeks but he hadn’t even been outside either. Violet reached over and kissed him, smiling herself.
“I can’t believe this is really happening.”, said Violet, starting to tear up. “I thought I was going to be in here for a while but I know nobody thought you would ever make it out yourself. Hell, when you first got here, we thought we were going to lose you and it wasn’t going to take long.”
Denny was a little surprised at this abrupt change of mood from Violet but then, this whole thing had been very tough on her. After all, she was the one who was with him when he was caught in the blast that landed them here in the first place.
“Hey, you don’t have to be ashamed of that. We are fighters and fighters win.”, said Denny.
“I love you so much.”, said Violet, kissing him again. “You always have a way to make the best of a bad situation.”
Sheila pulled up in front of them and opened the trunk of the car, while the nurse opened the passenger side doors. It was a little difficult but Denny and Violet were finally helped into the car. The wheelchairs were easier to store away, since they folded up neatly into the back.
“Well, good luck with everything.”, said the nurse.
Sheila got back into the driver’s seat and they finally made their way out toward the parking lot and on the way home.
“So, are you kids happy that you finally get to go home?”, she asked.
“Hell yeah we are!”, said Denny. “Three weeks in the hospital is insane to put up with.”
“I haven’t even seen my new house yet.”, said Violet.
“What do you mean?”, asked Sheila. “Your first day in town wasn’t the first day of school, was it?”
“I was at my aunt’s house when I first came here so my parents could go back and get the rest of our stuff back in Pennsylvania.”, said Violet.
“I remember you saying something about that a few weeks ago.”, said Denny. “You said your aunt is very forgetful, right?”
“Yep, she sure is.”, said Violet. “I think she has dementia.”
“You’re always welcome in our home, hon. If you’re parents are going out of town or they need someone to look after you.”, said Sheila, looking up at Violet through the mirror.
“Thanks, I’ll make sure they know that.”, said Violet.
“I don’t know if they’ll want you to be home alone just yet.”, said Denny. “Maybe you could just hang out at our house until they get off?”
“That should be fine, if your parents are ok with it of course.”, said Sheila
“Thanks/”, said Violet. “Hey, can you imagine how different school will be now?”
Denny thought for a moment. “I have some idea. We’ll probably get stared at a lot. Nobody else has seen us since the last time we were at school except Wendy, Butters, and Tweek. Kyle said that’s how it was for him and the others.”
The car pulled into the driveway of the Broflovski residence a moment later. Denny, having not seen the place since before he and Kyle left to go out after his first day of school, was even more stoked about what was happening. Sheila opened the garage but didn’t drive in.
“You kids stay where you are and let me take care of getting you out of there!”, she barked. Violet raised an eyebrow at Denny, who merely shrugged.
“My mom would’ve done the same thing. She was pretty protective with me..”, said Denny.
“It’s so weird being back in the outside world. I always wondered what your house looked like.”, said Violet.
“It’s still pretty new to me. I only have what I saw in pretty much 2 days.”
“Hey, what time is it?”, asked Violet suddenly. “The others will be home soon, won’t they?”
Denny looked at his phone. “School gets out at 3 so about an hour and a half.”
Denny’s door opened and Sheila’s face appeared. She carefully grabbed him under the arms and lifted him into his wheelchair. There had been a ramp built so he could get in and out. Sheila wheeled him up here and into the house then went to get Violet out of the car.
“That was quite a workout.”, said Sheila, mopping her forehead when they were all in the house at last.
“Holy sh*t, I forgot, how am I going to get upstairs with this wheelchair?”, asked Denny.
“No upstairs for you. We cleaned out our old guest room, which luckily is downstairs, so now you have your own bedroom. You might also see that it’s a lot more full than you think.”
Denny opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out. He didn’t know what he could say that could possibly express how happy he was at that moment.
“Let’s go check it out.”, said Violet, seeing his face light up.
Sheila led Denny to a bedroom off the side away from the kitchen. Violet, who had practiced steering her wheelchair vigorously over the last few weeks, followed. As the door opened, the sight that greeted them inside, made both of the kids gasp loudly and Denny’s eyes filled with tears of joy.
“Jesus christ, I never expected any of this.”, he said in a hushed voice. “The night I left home, I had no idea what was going to happen to me but I never dreamed I would end up in such a wonderful place with such wonderful people.”
For there was a neatly made bed with a navy blue comforter and light blue sheet, a fairly new dresser, desk, and assorted toys in a box. The drawers in the dresser were closed, as were the closet doors. The walls were a darker shade of sky blue, which brightened things up.
“The doctor doesn’t want you moving that much on your own, especially from your chair to your bed, so we decided the best way to communicate this when you’re alone is texting. I really don’t understand it but I’m sure you and Kyle can teach me. That’s not the end of the tour, by the way. Look inside the dresser and closet.”
Denny reached an already trembling hand to the closet door and was met with the sight of new school supplies, new clothes hanging, and a brand new big wheel. He silently went to the dresser and opened the drawers to find new pants, tee shirts and socks and underwear. He turned to Sheila and gave her the biggest hug he could, tears rolling down his face.
“Thank you for everything. You and Dad have really been wonderful. I don’t know how to thank you.”, he choked.
“Staying alive and out of trouble is thanks enough.”, said Sheila, smiling at him. “I don’t know what you like so give me an idea and I’ll get Kyle to pick you up some posters at the mall.”
“That would be great.”, said Denny, realizing his mouth was still open and closed it.
“Pretty cool, isn’t it?”, said a voice behind them and there was Kyle, having just got home from school and was grinning from ear to ear.
“You’re home already?”, asked Violet, surprised.
“Yeah, Garrison was being nice and let me go early because he heard Denny was coming home.”, said Kyle. He turned to Denny and hugged him carefully, “Welcome home, dude.”
“Thanks”, said Denny. “I’m glad to see the end of that place. I can’t believe this is really happening.”
“It sure is.”, said Sheila, happy to see Denny so excited. “We picked navy for you since we figured you wear a navy jacket and might like that.”
“That’s perfect.”, said Denny.
“I’m so glad everything is going so well for you!”, exclaimed Violet.
“Why don’t you kids come into the kitchen and I’ll make you something to eat?”, said Sheila. “You have to be wiped out from all this excitement.”
The kids followed her into the kitchen where they had a pizza and soda, talking and making the most of their time together. They rejoiced on how three weeks ago, they wouldn’t have dared thought they would even be here right now.
In the end, everything would work out and they would pull through.
April 2010-July 2011
2. Very well written story with an excellent ending.
3. You going to write any more?
tbh, this story is actually the first real thing i've ever written. i didn't really think i was going to ever get it done or that it would turn out as well as it did. a lot of stuff in here actually happened to me like a lot of stuff in the hospital scenes and the memories (not the real major stuff).
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