"Today was amazing," I said as we turned onto my street.

It was hard not to take advantage of a sunny, slightly warm day. First, Carter and I went for a walk along the sea wall. Then he took me took me back to his house for some of the most mind-blowing sex imaginable. Needless to say, I was a very good day.

"Damn," Carter grumbled.

"What's wrong?"

"The parking spots in front of your house are all taken," he said.

That's one of the bad things about living in the city; limited parking.

"All I have to do is walk across the street. I think I can handle it," I joked.

"Very funny," he replied as he leaned in for a kiss, his breath caressing my face.

I sighed in contentment when he pressed his lips against mine. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pilled him tighter against me. The kiss quickly intensified, and we had to separate before we went too far. Call me crazy, but I don't think pedestrians would want to see that.

"I'll call you later. I love you," he whispered, leaning his forehead against mine.

"You're sure you have to go home?" I asked.

"Afraid so. I have to take Betsy to dance class," he said.

I pictured Carter in the middle of a room filled with toddlers in tutus and almost burst out laughing.

"Alright," I sighed. "Bye. Love you," I sighed as I climbed out of the car.

I was messing with my phone as I crossed the street, not paying attention to the oncoming traffic. All of a sudden I heard a high-pitched screech. Something hit me, hard, and everything went black.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't remember much, just that I was floating. There was no sense of time or anything....just peace. I briefly thought of Purgatory, but this didn't fit the descriptions that you often read about. Letting all thoughts go, I let the darkness take me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My eyes opened to a bright, white light. Above me, the glaring fluorescent lights were blinding. I was propped up on and uncomfortable bed with a hard mattress beneath me. The beeping of a machine next to ge grated on my nerves. Then it dawned on me; I was in the hospital.

I reached my right hand out, searching for the nurse button when a small hand grabbed mine.

"Honey! He's up!" my mother exclaimed. I heard a ragged sigh of relief next to me, but I didn't have the strenght to turn my head.

My clouded eyes cleared, and I saw my parents standing above me. They both looked worn and tired.

"What happened to me?" I croaked.

"You were hit by a car," Carter whispered.

The words hit my mom hard, and she ran outside in tears.

"We'll, uh....give you some time alone," my dad said.

When the door closed, Carter walked over and sat beside me, taking my cold hand in his warm one. I looked at his face and almost didn't recognize him. His hair was a complete mess and he had dark circles under his eyes. It looked like he hadn't slept for days.

"How long have I been out?" I asked.

"3 days," he said.

"How bad off am I?"

"You have a broken leg, four broken ribs, bruises coverign every inch of your body, and a concussion," the anguish was clear on his face as he said this.

"Of course this would happen to me," I rasped. I tried to smile, but my face hurt too much.

My pain affected him even more and I saw tears in his eyes.

"God, I thought I'd lost you," he sighed, laying his head on his arm. I felt his body shudder and heard a sob tear out of him.

"Carter, don't," I whispered as I smoothed his wild hair.

"I can't live without you. If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be in this mess," he said tearfully, his words muffled by his arm.

If it weren't for him?! What did he mean? I was the one who wasn't paying attention. I was the one whose fault it was, not him. It killed me to see him beat himself up like this.

"Carter, look at me," I demanded.

He raised his head and looked at me with tired eyes.

I fixed a stern look on him. "This is not your fault. None of this is. I walked out in front of he car, you didn't push me. You had nothing to do wiht this," I said as I softly stroked his rough cheek. He hadn't shaved in a while.

"You look tired," I whispered, lightly tracing the dark hollows under his eyes.

"Only you would be worried about someone else when you're lying in a hospital bed," he said with a wan smile.

We lapsed into silence for a while, until something came to me.

"Who hit me?" I asked.

"Some lady. She was texting and speeding," he said through clenched teeth. "Charges are being pressed against her. Not by your parents; by the cops," he said.

I was horrified. "I don't want charges pressed agains anyone."

"It's out of our hands, babe," he said, brushing my hair out of my eyes.

My parents came back in then looking calmer than before.

"Carter, darling, you need to eat something," my mom said.

"Ok. I'll be back," he muttered. He stopped at the door and gave me a look of anguish mixed with intense love before he shut the door.

"We're so glad you're alright, honey," she said as she patted my hand. All anyone could do was either hold or pat my hand, because I was so beat up.

"Mama, Carter blames himself for this. Talk to him, please," I said urgently.

"Alright, we'll talk about it later. Right now, you need to sleep," she whsipered soothingly.

After she said that, I realized how dead-tired I was.

I closed my eyes and slept.

To be continued......

 

Red

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