Patient Twelve

Chapter Twenty Five

My chest burned as I was taking short gasps of air. Every time I looked over my shoulder I could see Colin’s unconscious body lying in the backseat. His hat had fallen off of his head, and his curls of hair were covering his face. His chest was rising up and down. I knew he was alive. At least, he was now.

My body was bent forward. The seatbelt was the only thing stopping me from crumpling onto the floor. My face was buried in my hands. The sleeves of my sweater were soaked from my tears.

Oliver had yelled at me a few times to stop crying. He was gripping on the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles turned white.

“Please,” I cried. “Let’s not do this. We can dump him on the side of the road and when he wakes up he won’t remember any of this.”

“But you remember the night you were taken,” he said.

“Yeah, but you injected me,” I said. “You injected me now. Why am I still awake?”

“It was just saline,” he said. “I can’t have you tired for the operation when we get home.”

“I’m not helping you.”

“If you don’t, he’s going to die during the surgery.”

Oliver was speeding through the streets and back to his house. I tried to stop myself from crying, but I could not stop the tears. He pulled into his driveway. Oliver jumped out of the car. My fingers fumbled with the seatbelt.

He was pulling Colin’s body out of the backseat. He had his arms under Colin’s.

“Grab his legs, Diana,” he said.

I grabbed his legs and gritted my teeth as Colin’s dead weight pulled at my muscles. Colin’s head rolled back and rested against Oliver’s chest. We walked toward the house. His legs kept slipping out of my grip. I had to keep stopping to move my hands so that I did not drop Colin. Every time I stopped, Oliver would let out a deep breath.

I managed not to drop Colin as we brought him into the house. I amazed myself by not falling down the stairs to the basement. Oliver dropped Colin on the bed that I was restrained to after my surgery. He wiped the sweat off of his forehead with the back of his hand.

“I’m going to set everything up,” Oliver said before he headed down the hall.

I waited until Oliver was out of my sight before I grabbed Colin’s shoulders. I shook him as hard as I could.

He didn’t move.

I pulled open his eye hoping that would bring him out of his unconsciousness, but it did not work.

“Come on, Colin,” I said.

I dug my fingernails into his skin, but he did not flinch.

Oliver’s steps echoed through the hallway. I jumped back from Colin. Oliver strolled into the room. He had changed into dark green scrubs. A cap was on his head and covering his hair. He had another pair of scrubs folded in his hands.

“You need to get changed,” he said.

“Please,” I begged.”Please, I’m not doing this.”

“If you don’t do it, he’s going to die.”

He held the scrubs out and raised an eyebrow. My hands shook as I grabbed the clothes. I turned, but Oliver grabbed my shoulders.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“You told me to get changed,” I said.

“And? You pulled quite a stunt out there. I don’t think I can trust you. Get changed here.”

“What could I possibly do getting changed in my room?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t care.” Oliver crossed his arms over his chest. “Get changed before I do it for you.”

I set the scrubs down on the bed next to Colin. Oliver’s eyes were locked on me as I pulled apart the different pieces of the scrubs. I slipped on the bottoms and used my dress to hide my body. I turned around and covered my chest after taking off my sweater and dress. I put on the boxy top.

When I turned around Oliver’s hands went into my hair. I jumped back, and he curled his fingers tighter. The hair pulled my scalp and burned. He pulled my hair up into a bun and tied it back with an elastic. He grabbed the cap off of the bed and secured it on my head. He pulled my glasses out of his pocket and I put them on.

Oliver took the brake off of the bed with his foot. He wheeled the bed that Colin was lying on down the hallway. Oliver made me hold onto the head of the bed to help him steer down the hall. We passed the examination room, and through a set of double doors.

Marcy used to watch a lot of hospital drama television shows when she was in high school. This room reminded me of the operating rooms in those shows. It was cold and a shiver ran up my spine. A flat metal table was in the middle of the room. A large mirror was spread across the far wall. Trays, tables, and poles were scattered around the room.

This must have been the room that Oliver dragged my body into while I was unconscious. I could almost see myself lying on that table as Oliver dug my eyes out.

Oliver turned around. He opened a drawer to one of the cupboards and was searching through them. My eyes dropped down to Colin’s body. A corner of a red phone case was poking out of his pocket. I looked back up at Oliver to see his back was still turned to me. I pulled the phone off of him and slipped it into my pocket. Oliver turned back around, and I pulled the hem of my shirt down to hide the lump in my pocket.

My heart was beating so fast that I could hear it pounding in my ears.

“Let’s get him on the table,” Oliver said.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I blurted out.

If I could slip out of this room and into the bathroom, I could call the cops. They would show up before Colin would lose his eyes, and we would both get out of here.

“No,” he said. “This won’t take long.”

“Please,” I said.

“Get his legs, Kitten,” he said.

I looked over my shoulder to the set of double doors. I could take off running, but I learned that I was already getting out of shape. I couldn’t run as fast. My room and the bathroom did not have locks on the doors either. Oliver would be able to barge in before I could make a phone call.

“Diana.” Oliver’s voice brought me back to reality. “Come on. Hurry up.”

I held onto Colin’s legs as Oliver pulled his body onto the table. He handed me a pair of gloves and a mask. I put them on as Oliver stripped the clothes from Colin’s body and put a gown on him.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. Most of my face was covered with the mask and cap. My eyes became even more noticeable as they were the only thing visible on my face.

The wheels on the IV pole squeaked as Oliver brought it over to me. He made me prime the line with saline as he inserted the IV into Colin’s hand. I had memorized the steps from the textbook, but I fumbled as I tried to do it. I could hear a slight chuckle come from Oliver. I struggled, even more, when he passed me the supplies to put in a catheter.

Once he was prepped, I tried to avoid looking at Colin. Oliver pulled out a scalpel and my stomach twisted into a knot. I held onto the pole to stop myself from falling over. I kept my eyes locked on the cold tile floor. I was tempted to plug my eyes as I listened to the operation. I could hear a slice and popping noise.

The procedure did not take long, and my eyes were locked on the floor. I didn’t look up until Oliver started speaking.

“Lift his head, Di,” he said.

Colin’s eyes were covered by a pad of gauze. Oliver’s gloves were covered in blood. I could see two jelly-like balls sitting in a plastic bag on the cart. I had to fight back the taste of bile in my mouth when I realized it was Colin’s eyes.

Oliver pulled off his dirty gloves and dropped them in the bag over the eyes. He picked up a rolled-up ball of gauze.

“Come on,” he said. “Hold his head.”

I placed my hands on either side of Colin’s temple. I lifted his head slowly to prevent the gauze from falling off of his face. The gauze was hiding the inevitable truth I would have to face. Oliver wrapped the gauze around his head.

He made me help transfer Colin back over to the bed. He wheeled the IV pole over and pulled it next to him as we pushed Colin out of the operating room.

Colin’s phone was like a heavy stone in my pocket. I would be able to excuse myself to the bathroom and call the cops. Colin lost his eyes, but at least we were going to keep our lives.

I grabbed the blanket from the bottom of his bed and covered him. Oliver pulled two sets of handcuffs out from a drawer. He clasped one side around Colin’s wrist and secured the other side to the bed. He did the same thing with the other pair of handcuffs.

My hand moved over the phone. Oliver turned his back to me as he was filling a syringe full of medication.

I took one step back with my foot. I was about to ask to go to the bathroom again when the ringing started. My pocket vibrated as the ringing continued. Colin was receiving a phone call.

Oliver looked over his shoulders and furrowed his brows.

“What-?” he started.

I turned and started running to the bathroom.

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