My Best Friend's Love-Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Heartbreak
"Why do you keep calling me that?" She asked angrily, as she tried to sit up.
"What do you mean" I asked, confused.
"You keep calling me 'baby,' "
"Do you prefer sweetheart?" I asked her sweetly.
"You have no right to call me that either," she said, clearly upset.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked her, demanded, really.
"I don't know who you are," she said, and my heart broke.
"Are you telling me that you don't remember me?" I asked her, although I was reluctant to hear the answer to that.
"Should I?" She asked, as if she were confused as well.
There was no recognition in her eyes.
"No, I guess not," I said, heartbroken.
"I'll give you a moment alone," Dr. Lassiter said, and he left the room.
"What's your name?" She asked me with evident curiosity.
"Riley Swanson," I replied, thinking to myself that she should know that.
"And who are you to me?" She asked quietly.
"No one," I answered, forlorn. "It doesn't matter."
"Does it matter to you, Riley?" She asked me softly.
"It did," I said gently. "But you don't remember who I am."
"Were you my friend or something?" She asked, still curious.
"We were a little more than friends. Tell me, Ashley. What do you remember about before the incident?"
"I remember my boyfriend Brit called, but I told him not to call me back. I probably should call him back and apologize. He'll probably be the one to take care of me. I guess I'll need a wheelchair," she murmured.
Misery engulfed me. She didn't remember anything about our relationship, and she was talking about Brit saying he would take care of her. After all this time of me being by her side, she never heard any of my words of love. What do I do now? How do I help her remember?
"You really want Brit to take care of you?" I asked her carefully.
"He's my boyfriend, right?" She asked, sitting up.
"Right," I agreed with a frown.
I can't force myself into her life, I tell myself. Maybe she'll remember me in her own time. I just hope that by then it's not too late, for us, I mean.
I brought her phone with me today. I'd put my number in it the other day. I hand her the phone now.
"Thanks, Riley," she said with a smile that made me weak in the knees. "You're a good friend. Your number is in here?"
"Yes," I replied, refusing to let her see how upset I was by all of this. "Call me if you need anything, Ashley. Call me if you remember me, and I'll be there for you, all right?" I asked, and it took all the strength I had not to break down and cry.
"Of course, Riley," she said. "Can you tell the doctor I'd like to be discharged?"
I left the room, but left the door slightly ajar. I heard Ashley on the phone. I listened to her half of the conversation, tears falling down my face as I eavesdropped, all of my strength left me.
"Brit, hey. It's me, Ashley," she said. "I was the victim of a serious incident and I'm paralyzed from the waist down. I need a wheelchair. Can you bring one to Paris Regional Medical Center? I'm sorry I told you not to call me back, sweetheart. Do you forgive me?" She listened to Brit.
Apparently, he said yes, because Ashley laughed quietly.
"I'm in room three-ten. How soon can you be here?"
She listened again.
"Oh. Your grandmother has an old wheelchair? That's great. I'll see you when you get here. I love you, Brit."
I assumed he returned the sentiment, and that made me snap.
"She will be mine again," I whispered defiantly, my anger bringing a frown that I feared would remain a permanent expression on my face, until Ashley was back in my protection, at my house, and with me once again.
I went to look for Dr. Lassiter. I walked up to the nurse's station, and asked Roxy to page him. When he walked up to me, I broke down, falling to my knees and hitting the floor with my fists.
"Riley, I'm so sorry," Dr. Lassiter said, holding out a hand, which I took.
He helped me to my feet.
"Why doesn't she remember me?" I asked him.
"I don't know why, Riley. Just give her time. She might remember you. Just don't try to push it, all right? Let her remember you in her own time."
"She wants to be discharged," I told him.
"What?" He asked, confused. "Who's going to take care of her?"
"Some guy named Brit. Her ex-boyfriend who she thinks is her current boyfriend," I said spitefully.
"Again, Riley, I'm sorry. You seem like a good man. I know how much she means to you. Like I said, just give her time. She'll remember you. I'm sure of it."
"Thanks, Dr. Lassiter," I said.
I walk back to Ashley's room, and knock on the door.
"Come in," she said.
I entered her room.
"I'm just going to wait here until Brit shows up," I told Ashley.
"Thanks, Riley," she said.
"Can I hug you?" I asked her.
She hesitated, then whispered, "Yes."
I walked up to her and embraced her gently.
"I'm sorry I don't remember you, Riley," she said as she hugged me in return.
"Me, too," I said softly. "Remember, call me if you do, and I'll be with you as soon as I can."
"I'll try," she told me quietly. "I'll work hard to remember you, Riley. You're a great friend."
"That's all I ask of you, Ashley. Just try."
I let go of her and we wait for Brit to arrive.
When he does, I step away from Ashley.
"Hey, Brit," she said.
"Hey, Ash," he said. "I brought the wheelchair."
"I see that. Thanks," Ashley said with a smile.
"Are you cleared to leave?" He asked her.
"Just waiting on the doctor," she said.
"Wait a minute," Brit said, looking at me. "Who are you?"
He spoke as if he were an authority figure or something.
"I'm her best friend," I replied. "My name is Riley Swanson."
"Nice to meet you," he said. "I'm her boyfriend."
He held out his hand, and I shook it, despite my blood boiling at the touch.
"What's your last name?" I asked him.
"Little," he replied.
"It's nice to meet you, too," I said, managing to control my voice when I was seething inside.
I thought that his name aptly described how small his character was, since he was lying to Ashley about being her boyfriend.
"Thanks, man."
"Take good care of yourself, okay, Ashley?" I said.
"I will," she promised.
"Don't worry, Riley. She's in good hands," Brit said cheerfully, smiling at Ashley.
That's what I'm afraid of, I thought bitterly.
"Your place or mine?" Brit asked Ashley.
"My place," she answered. "I still have to study online."
I frowned. She remembered that she was pursuing a degree, but she can't remember our earth-shattering kisses? How is that possible? Where's the justice in this world?
The doctor came back in the room and asked Ashley to sign the discharge papers.
"You're free to go," Dr. Lassiter said.
"Thanks," Ashley said, a smile on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes, as she looked to me and said, "Bye, Riley."
"See you around, Ashley. Call me if you want to talk, or message me on chatango."
"Sure thing," she said.
A nurse came in and pulled the curtain around Ashley, and helped her dress, then left.
Brit picked her up, and placed her in the wheelchair. Then, he leaned down and tried to kiss her, but she moved away from him.
"i'm not ready for that, Brit," she said gently.
"I understand," he said with a smile. "Riley, do you know who did this to her?"
"Some friends of Julie Cohen," I replied.
"Do you know why?" He asked.
I looked at Ashley before carefully answering. She looked back a me, waiting for my response, her eyes wide and innocent, despite the ordeal she'd been through.
"Julie wanted to date me, and she thought something was going on between me and Ashley."
"Was there?" Brit asked curiously, but seriously.
"No," I replied curtly.
"Ashley," Brit said softly. "Who were you talking about when you said you were with your boyfriend?"
"Baby, I don't remember saying that," she said. "But if I said it, I'm sorry that I hurt you."
"She's had some memory loss," I told him quietly. "Brit, may I talk to you in the hallway?"
"Sure," he said with a smile. "Ashley, I'll be right back."
" 'kay," she said, as she started humming with smile on her beautiful face. "Hurry back, honey."
I went out into the hallway and walked down three doors, where we'd be well out of Ashley's earshot. Brit followed me.
"Why are you pretending like she never broke up with you?" I asked him in an irritated tone.
"Because I'm still in love with her," he said defensively. "And if she doesn't remember that she broke up with me, then I'm not going to be the one to tell her. Hold on just a minute. How the hell do you know she broke up with me?"
"Because I'm her best friend, and she told me," I said honestly.
"Tell me something, Riley," he said sarcastically, sneering my name. "Were you with her when I called and she said she was with her boyfriend?"
"No," I lied. "I don't know who she was refering to when she said that, but it wasn't me."
"You know what, Riley?"
"She doesn't need you anymore, so you can run on home now."
"You know what, Brit?" I asked in return.
"What?" He asked angrily.
"I think she'll remember she broke up with you," I said acidly.
"Will you be the one to tell her?" He asked, smirking, and in my opinion, it's like he's asking for me to hit him directly in his smug face.
"No," I said curtly, my fists tightening in anger. "But when she remembers by herself, she will hate you."
"Not if she falls head over heels in love with me," Brit said confidently.
"Over my dead body," I growled.
"Why do you care, anyway, Riley? What are you to her?" He asked me, a mocking smile on his face.
"A good friend who doesn't want to see her hurt," I replied with a genuine smile, one that showed my concern for Ashley.
"I'm not going to hurt her. In case you haven't noticed, I'll be the one to take care of her. And where are you in that equation? Let me answer that for you, Riley. Nowhere," he said scathingly.
"I'm still her best friend," I said in sudden hostility, raising my hands and balling them into tighter fists.
"Riley, if I have it my way, she'll forget all about you," Brit said possessively.
"We'll just see about that," I said. "Take good care of her, and remember if you don't, then I will."
"You don't have to worry about that," he yelled at me as I walked away.
I left before I got really angry and I turned around to kick his sorry butt. I had that much self-control, at least.
So, I drove home alone, wondering to myself if Ashley had allowed Brit to kiss her yet. Maybe she wanted them to be alone before she kissed him. Of course, thinking of her kissing Brit brought back the memories of the few times she'd kissed me.
The thought that she was now with someone else other than me, that was just too painful to bear. I arrived hom with tears in my eyes. It does seem as if that's all I have been doing since Ashley was in a coma: crying. I wiped the tears away, but others quickly followed. I was feeling completely miserable.
I entered my home, locked the door and walked straight to my workout room.
For the next six weeks, I did not go to the library, or back to work even. I had an alert on my phone that would tell me if I got any messages at chatango. Plus, I checked my email daily on my phone.
I felt that she should have contacted me by now. I've been working out almost nonstop. I've added about twenty-five pounds of muscle.
On the fourty-third day of working out, I exercised for three straight hours.
After my workout, I went and took a shower. As I got dressed, I sighed heavily.
"I guess she has forgotten me,'' I said sadly.
My phone rings. It hasn't done that in two months. I check the caller ID. It's Ashley. I answer it with a smile.

karikaiba karikaiba
22-25, F
Sep 6, 2012