Write about a time you had to let go of something you loved or wanted.
A bright fluorescent light swayed over Midge’s bed as he opened one tender eyelid. His head ached, thumping in time to the gentle swaying. He groaned and shut his eye again.
“There you are,” an unfamiliar, shaky voice spoke to his left. “We were worried you wouldn’t come around, but that young woman was hopeful.”
Midge slowly pried his eye open again. The light didn’t seem so bright this time. The speaker was an elderly man in bloody scrubs. One eye drooped and he was missing part of his right ear, but his toothy grin was evidently meant to be calming. “Where am I?” he croaked. His throat was uncomfortably dry.
The old man brought him a plastic cup of water. He eagerly drank it. “You’re in Westgate. Satellite town of New Georgia. They might have been able to save your eye in the Dome, but I doubt they’d have allowed you entry.”
“My eye?” His left eye was open and seeing just fine. The light really wasn’t that bright; he didn’t need to have his other eye shut against it. He brought his hand to his head and found a gauze bandage tightly wound, blocking his vision from his right eye. Panic began to take hold of him. “What happened to it? Why can’t I open it?”
“I’m sorry.” Lara’s voice whispered outside of his periphery.
“Lara? Are you here?”
She grasped his hand in both of hers and leaned over the bed so she was in line of sight of his uninjured eye when she nodded. Her two-toned eyes were red and puffy. She looked like she hadn’t slept in days. “I brought you as far as I could,” she said.
“Our facilities are rather antiquated, but we don’t turn away scavengers who can’t get into the city.” The nurse inserted the contents of a syringe into the IV bag over Midge’s shoulder. “Hopefully that will kick in before the pain starts. I’ll leave you two to chat, but you’ll probably be out again before too long.” He gave Midge a wink and slipped out into the hall.
Lara had his hand against her face, squeezed between hers. Her eyes glistened with wet. “Uh oh,” Midge sighed. “I must look really bad if it’s making you cry.” He gave her a weak smile, hoping to convince her he was ok. The drugs were doing their job; he wasn’t in much pain at all.
She looked away from his face, settling their hands gently on the bed. “This wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t so weak,” she said.
“It wasn’t all your fault,” he shrugged, fighting off a yawn. The memory of their battle came back to him in flashes. Five on two was hardly a fair fight. “We didn’t even know there was such an affinity as nullification.”
“When they shot you, I didn’t know what to do,” she whispered. A mild burning in his side reminded him of that particular wound. Her face contorted in a grimace. “I guess all that training did pay off. Muscle memory and all that.”
Midge squeezed her hand. He didn’t know what she had done to get them out of that mess, but he was grateful for her unique abilities. “I’m still here. Almost in one piece.” His terrible joke was rewarded with a soft chuckle. “Did that guy say we’re outside of New Georgia?”
Midge gaped. “We were days out from here.”
“We were at the end of our supplies.”
Midge narrowed his eye at her. “How are we going to afford this?”
“It’s already taken care of,” she muttered.
“Lara.” She hesitated to look him in the eye. “What did you agree to?”
She pulled her hands away from his and leaned back in her seat, folding her arms across her chest. “Everything is fine. We can walk out of here when you’re no longer in danger of dying.”
“I’m not-“ he stopped when he glanced at her hands. There they were, in the outskirts of a city, and she was not wearing her ring. “Lara where’s your ring?”
Her hands tightened on her arms. “I bartered it,” she said.
Midge’s head was swimming. The drugs were making him hallucinate. “You would never. You need it.”
She scowled at him. “Not anymore.” Her face softened and she added, “Not as much as I need you. I can’t do this without you.”
Yep. The drugs were definitely messing with him now. He laughed. “Well if my bed is paid for I might as well use it. I’m certainly dreaming all of this anyway.” He yawned. As his eyes fluttered closed, a pained smile adorned Lara’s face.
Notes: I decided to explore the possibility of Lara giving up her ring. I think it’s something that will need to be addressed in the second or third act of the story I hope to tell one day. It’s a crutch, and a constant reminder of her past as well as her inadequacies. As cool as it is, she’s going to have to get rid of it someday. I thought about what sort of thing would force her to relinquish it and desperation to save Midge was the top contender. I’m not sure why they were attacked so far out from a city, but it certainly added some tension.
That does it for me tonight. Hump day is over! Only a couple more days til the weekend! Have a great night and I will see you on Friday!