Chapter 4: A Second Breath
Ted’s eyes gazed over toward that bed that Carl was in. He was motionless, just lying there. For a moment, Ted was afraid to even approach Carl for the fear of the worst. What if Carl did not make it? He shook his head and slowly walked forward to the bed. His heart pounded like a drum. Starting low and then picking up in speed. Once Ted was near Carl his eyes watered up. His best friend, the person he swore to protect from assholes like that, was laying there with tubes running from his arm. And it was all his fault.
“God Carl…. What made you do this? Please…Please make it through this.”
Ted would say to Carl before gripping Carl’s right paw. Minutes past as Ted sat in a chair that was next to the bed that Carl was laying in. Those minutes turned into an hour and then to hours. It was nearing 11:00 am as he waited. Though he was still a little tired, he could not even think of sleeping before finding out if Carl was ok.
Then, Carl started to wake up. Carl’s groans made Ted snap out of it and his attention quickly moved over toward Carl. He jumped up out of the seat so fast that the chair almost fell backward. Ted moved to Carl’s side with his ears folded back. Concern was still in his eyes and those tears started to form again.
“Ted...I'm so sorry… I’m so sorry…”
“Carl? Thank God you’re awake!” Ted would say before tilting his head as he realized Carl was talking in his sleep.
Ted did not know what to do at this point. He was afraid to wake Carl up. But it was nearing 12:00 pm. And he knew that the nurse would come in and wake Carl up for breakfast. Ted took a deep breath and placed a paw on Carl’s cheek, slightly rubbing him there while he gazed down at Carl’s face. Carl looked so peaceful; so beautiful. The way the light from the window glimmered off Carl’s white fur made him appear to be an angel.
It was then that Ted looked at every detail of Carl. From his pink nose to his ears, to how peaceful he slept there. But, the way he saw Carl like that only made his tears rain harder. With a few sniffles and a wipe over his eyes, he started to gently shake Carl.
“Hey. Hey buddy? You awake yet?” Ted said in a low voice.
Carl groaned and slowly his eyes started to open up to gaze up at Ted standing over him “Ted? Is that you?”
“It’s me buddy. How are you feeling?” Ted said with a few more sniffs and a forming smile.
“A little better…You, saved my life, didn’t you?” Carl said as he rubbed over his eyes.
“Yes I did,” Ted said with his ears folded back, clearly, something was on his mind. “I’m so glad that you’re ok Carl!”
Ted leaned down and quickly hugged his arms around Carl. Those tears could not be held back anymore. He started to cry against Carl as he laid there. Carl gave a slight squeak in the surprise of being hugged suddenly and then blushed from the feeling of Ted’s tears running against his fur. Carl wrapped his arms back around Ted. While being careful not to pull any tubes that were attached to his left arm loose.
“Please don’t cry, Ted. I know I made a mistake, but I won’t ever…”
“Damn right you made a mistake! What was I going to do if I lost you??!” Ted would say as emotions poured from him. “That moment when I saw you like that, I was so afraid I almost puked! I don’t want to lose you dammit!” Ted would say as his body started to shiver as a storm of emotions went through his body.
Carl was completely struck by Ted’s words. He did not know how to respond to it. All he could do was pull Ted into an even tighter hug against his body and cry against Ted as well. For a few minutes, they stayed like that, crying against each other. Carl would repeatedly say “I’m sorry.” Every few minutes and Ted would reply with “It’s ok Carl.” Soon Ted moved back and placed a paw on Carl’s face and smiled as he gazed into his eyes.
It was the first time that Ted noticed those brown eyes that Carl had without his glasses on. Carl was…So beautiful…Every inch of him was just gorgeous. Maybe it took this incident for Ted to know what he could have, that was right in front of him. His heart started to pound and he gulped a little. That eye to eye contact continued for a few more minutes as Carl gazed back up at Ted with a smile on his face. That was until the nurse stepped in.
“Hello boys. Did you two get a chance to talk for a while?” The nurse said. She was an average height deer.
“Oh well…Carl is just waking up.”
“That’s great, just in time as well. Let me fill you two in ok?”
The two looked at each other and then back at the nurse with a nod. Ted sat down in the chair with a nervous arm as he was unaware of what that nurse was going to tell them. She went over what happened last night, and Carl’s expression changed again to a more saddened one. His tail wrapping around himself as he looked down toward the foot of the bed. So Ted moved the chair close and gripped Carl’s paw, holding it tight. When Carl looked over at Ted, he was welcomed with a bright warming smile. Carl nodded twice and returned the smile back to Ted. The conversation lasted until 12:10 pm.
“That is when we brought you here. Now all vitals are good. Your blood pressure is stable again. And your one healthy little guy so you will be getting out of here soon. We understand that your caretakers marked you as an adult correct?”
“Yes, that is correct,” Carl said with a nod.
Ted looked over at Carl and wondered to himself what did she mean by caretakers? Is she talking about his parents? He wanted to ask but felt it would be out of place right now.
“Ok, now since you were suicidal, we do have to keep you in a few more hours and make sure everything is ok. That includes bringing in a psychologist to check you out. Do you agree with that? Or would you like an alternative?”
“No that is fine,” Carl said with a smile.
“Ok then! That is all. I’m going to leave out and give you two a second to say goodbye for now. Ted, is it?”
“Yes mam. That is my name.” Ted said before standing up.
“Once you're done, I will escort you down to the lobby. But you're going to have to come back and pick Mr. Henderson up ok?”
“Ok…I can do that.” Ted said, knowing good well he did not have a car.
The nurse left the room and left Ted and Carl together to say their goodbyes for now. When the door closed behind her, Ted looked back over at Carl who was looking out toward the sunlight invading into the room. Ted slowly moved over to the bed and Carl looked at Ted with a smile.
“So you’re going to carry me to my house big boy or you going to get a permit in one day?” Carl said with a laugh.
“Shhh! Don’t talk too loud you idiot!” Ted said before laughing.
“You know…When I blanked out…The only thing that made me keep fighting. The only thing that made me realize how stupid I was… Was you Ted.” A blush came across Ted’s cheeks as he stayed silent and listened to Carl speak. “I’m just so happy that I could get the chance to wake up and see you again.” Carl would continue before wiping his eyes.
“Don’t worry Carl.” Ted would lean over and pull Carl in close to him. “I won’t let this happen again. I promise you. Now get some rest ok? I will be back, later on, to pick you up”
“Ok Ted. And don’t be late ok?” Carl said with a laugh.
“Don’t worry I won’t be late at all.”
Ted told Carl as he walked toward the door. He gave one look back at Carl and sent a warming smile before waving goodbye. And Carl did the same back to him. As Ted walked out and closed the door behind him, he saw the nurse leaning against the wall. She waved over to him and started to walk up. Ted could tell though, she had something on her mind. A slight nervous shiver traveled up through his spine as he approached the deer.
“Mr. Ted. Sorry, I don’t know your last name. We may have to keep Mr. Henderson for one day. Don’t worry, everything is fine, but the doctors informed me that Med Law 304 state we must keep him in for at least one day. And that is if the psychologist and other doctors say he is stable.”
“Don’t worry Ms. he is ok I promise you. But just so I can be here to pick him up. I will come by early morning. Will that be enough time to meet that requirement?” Ted asked as he walked down the hallway with her.
“Yes, that would be plenty of time. And he has your number so if anything changes, we will let him call you ok?”
“Alright, that sounds splendid! Thank you so much, Ms.” Ted said with a rushed pace. Like he was in a hurry to get somewhere.
Ted ignored everything else, even if she tried to say something he just pushed the doors open and kept walking. One day before school. And then he could finally give that asshole what he deserves. Ted clenched his fist and bared his fangs with a deep growl that made people walking pass him step to the side and stare. But he did not care what they said or thought. There was only one person on his mind right now.