Page 62

Author: Kirsty Moseley

I could forgive him, of course I could, he was my dad and he always would be and I know that Clay had already forgiven him because he was the one that convinced me to let it go and look at it from Brian’s point of view. “Clay knows that you didn’t mean it Brian,” I whispered, nodding reassuringly.

He looked at me, hope evident in his eyes; he really wanted that to be true. “He does?” he croaked, his voice weak and thick with emotion.

I nodded and smiled weakly, “Of course he does, Clay loves you too.”

He smiled then and rubbed a hand over his face, wiping the couple of tears that had leaked out. “I was just so angry, all I could think about was that you two had ran off and gotten married and taken away one of the most special things a dad could have in his life.”

I looked at him quizzically, what had that taken away from him? “What do you mean?”

He smiled and stroked my face again lightly, just looking at me tenderly. “Every dad wants to see their daughter marry the man of their dreams. I wanted you to have the big wedding with the fancy cake, with your whole family watching and smiling. I wanted to walk you down the aisle in your beautiful white dress and when the vicar asks: who gives this woman to be married? I would proudly step forward and say I do, because that’s my daughter,” he whispered, smiling wistfully.

I smiled at the little fantasy that had started to play out in my head, I imagined the proud smile he would have on his face as he placed my hand in Clay’s and I could suddenly understand why he was so upset. It didn’t excuse his behaviour but it explained it to me finally.

“That sounds nice,” I admitted, swallowing the lump in my throat.

He nodded, “Yeah, but that doesn’t matter right now. What matters right now is getting your husband that surgery, because Clay is going to be devastated if he can’t walk.” He winced slightly as he said it and I smiled gratefully that he just knew him so well, that he was thinking about Clay and no one else, and also because he had called Clay my husband, he was finally acknowledging our marriage.

He stood up and held a hand down to me, “I’m going to go outside and make some calls, do you want to come out for some fresh air or are you going back in?”

The thought of being more than a few steps away from Clay made my stomach twist in knots so I shook my head and motioned towards his room. “I’m going back in.”

He smiled and kissed my forehead. “I’m going to call Ron; I’ll be back as soon as I can. Be strong Riley and don’t let them beat you down, you and Clay belong together and you’ll get through this.” He turned and walked off up the hallway; I waited until he was out of sight then took a few deep breaths before pushing the door to his room open again. I strolled casually to the side of his bed, refusing to look at Linda or Richard, just focusing my attention on the love of my life.

I sat there holding his hand for what felt like forever before Brian walked back in, he shook his head at me looking defeated and sad and I knew what Linda said was true. Our marriage wasn’t legal. I nodded in response; I think I always knew it, deep down I knew that it was hopeless. I looked back to Clay and rested my chin on the side of his bed, watching the rise and fall of his chest, ignoring the whispers of the conversations going on in the room around me. I didn’t care what they said anymore, it didn’t matter, the only thing that mattered to me was that Clay open his beautiful green eyes.

The minutes turned into hours and before I knew it the nurse came in and said that only one person could stay with him tonight. I glared at Linda warningly, if she dare tell me to leave I was picking up Clay’s IV pole and beating her to death with it, there was no way I was leaving this room.

She looked at me challengingly for a minute and I didn’t back down. She must have seen it in my face that I wasn’t leaving because she gave me a small nod before turning to Richard and standing up. “Let’s go, we can come back in the morning,” she muttered.

“Thank you,” I said weakly. I know it must be hard for her to walk out of here and leave him, maybe she was a stronger person than I was because there was no way I could force myself to leave this room.

“See you in the morning,” she replied. She gripped Clay’s hand and kissed his cheek before turning and walking out of the room, crying again. Richard, my mom and Brian said their goodbyes and then I was finally alone with my husband.

I pulled my chair closer to him and sat awake the whole night, whispering that I loved him and telling him all the things we would do when he woke up. I listed all of his favourite foods that I would cook for him, all the stupid TV shows he liked that I would watch with him when he was better, and how I wouldn’t even complain about them. Lastly I talked about how our marriage wasn’t legal so he was going to have to marry me again, but this time I wanted the big wedding that Brian had talked about.

I threatened that if he didn’t wake up within the next hour I was spending all of his Vegas winnings on the biggest most extravagant wedding I could think of. When he didn’t wake up within the deadline, I gave him another hour and added something else onto the list that I would waste money on, trying to shock him into waking up.

Ten threats later and he still hadn’t woken up, our wedding plan included: A Chanel wedding dress, Gucci suits, elephants to take us to the church, money bouquets, chocolate dessert bowls, a ten piece live band for the party, iPod’s as table favours for the guests and a whole heap more. I was going to have to send Clay back to Vegas to pay for it all if he didn’t wake up soon. I smiled a little at the thought, knowing that I didn’t need any of that stuff. All I needed was for him to wake up, get better and be happy.

Linda and Richard came back in the morning. My mom and Brian brought me a change of clothes and food. I took it to the bathroom, changing into the fresh clothes but dumping the food into the trash. I couldn’t even think about eating, my stomach was already full of worry, nerves and knots; I couldn’t possibly fit anything else in there too.

Just after lunchtime the same cop that was at Blake’s house came in. He told us that Blake had been charged with defying a court order, breaking the terms of a restraining order, aggravated assault, attempted murder, and kidnapping. Apparently he was currently in a facility for the mentally ill; it had taken them a while to charge him because he needed treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg. I hoped he rotted in jail for what he did to Clay, I had no sympathy for him at all anymore, he should be the one laying here not my baby.

I tuned out as Richard quizzed the cop about why they had not acted sooner, how this could have happened; he wanted to make a formal complaint against the police for hesitating and allowing Clay to get stabbed, not once, but twice. I didn’t listen to the conversation, those things weren’t important to me right now. It was too late and I just couldn’t think about it.

My tired brain was slowly zoning out, I sat there like a zombie, unable to take my eyes off of Clay. I didn’t want to eat or drink, people fussed over me but I couldn’t answer their questions. I didn’t have the energy to fake a smile and put on a show for them, with every minute that Clay lay there motionless, I was slowly dying inside.

Exactly twenty seven hours after the knife pierced his body, his hand moved in mine. I gasped and looked down at it shocked, did that really just happen or did my sleep deprived mind make that up? My heart was crashing in my chest as I looked at his fingers, willing them to move again so I would know I wasn’t just losing my mind. As if on demand, his index finger twitched a little and I jumped out of my seat excitedly.

Chapter 29

“His hand moved!” I cried, looking at his face waiting for him to open his eyes.

Linda and Richard jumped up too and we all leant over the bed just waiting. When his hand tightened on mine, Linda laughed quietly and Richard pressed the call button the wall to get the doctors attention.

The same doctor from yesterday came rushing in, obviously his shift had ended and started again and that made the time seem even longer somehow. A nurse came in behind him; they both looked at us curiously.

“His hand moved,” Richard explained.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of Clay, I daren’t even blink incase I missed anything, I couldn’t breathe as I stood there waiting and waiting. After about a minute his eyelids fluttered.

The doctor walked round to the machines, checking the printout of his heart monitor making Linda and Richard step back out of the way to give him access.

Suddenly it happened and I dragged in a ragged breath as my fear and worry loosened slightly. I worked hard to keep the horror and sadness off of my face as Clay’s eyelids fluttered, before opening. I smiled weakly as he groaned and raised his hand to pull at the tube that was going down his throat. I took his hand quickly and brushed his hair back from his forehead.

“Shh Clay, it’s ok. Everything’s ok, they’ll take that out just don’t worry,” I cooed soothingly as the nurse and doctor stepped forward to the edge of the bed. His eyes met mine and I saw panic and fear there, which broke my heart. “Everything’s ok, baby,” I lied. He squeezed my hand hard as they pulled out the tubes from his throat making him gag and cough as he gasped for breath. They fussed over him for a couple of minutes while he just gripped my hand as if his life depended on it.

I felt sick, they were about to tell him and I was about to watch his heart break. Was I strong enough to be here when they told him? Could I watch them rip his heart out without breaking down and making it worse for him? I didn’t want to be here but Clay’s green eyes met mine and I knew I needed to stay. It would hurt like hell to watch, but I would never leave him when he needed me, I needed to be strong for him, I refused to cry and make this worse for him by being weak.

I sat on the chair next to his bed as the doctor and nurse looked at Linda, silently asking for permission to tell him the news. She nodded and they stepped forward again. Clay didn’t pay any attention to them, he tugged on my hand slightly, making me move closer to him. I smiled weakly and pressed my lips to his dry chapped ones for a second before pulling back. “I love you, Clay,” I whispered fiercely.