The usual disclaimers apply to this story
C'est la vie
His eyes wide with fear darted around the ward trying to find a member of the hospital that could tell him why Timothy's bed was vacant and what had happened. Seeing no one except other patients and visitors he walked out of the ward and made his way to the nurse's station. Arriving there and seeing a nurse on the telephone he waited staring at the nurse willing her to finish her conversation. The moment she put the phone down he asked her. "Do you know what has happened to Timothy Clarkson, his bed is empty?"
The nurse seeing the distressed look on the face of the boy in front of her said, "I don't really know him he's not one of the patient's on the ward that I work on, but if you can wait I'll try and find out."
"Please can you, he hasn't long been out of ICU he was in Mother Theresa ward."
The nurse picked up the phone again and dialled a number. When it was answered she asked, "Timothy Clarkson from Mother Theresa ward have you any information as to why he's been moved."
The nurse waited for a moment then smiled at the information she was given. Putting the phone down smiling she addressed Kai saying.
"Timothy was taken down to the X-ray department he should be back shortly you can wait by his bed if you wish."
On his return to the ward he sat in the bedside chair put his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands. His mind was buzzing with thoughts of what would he have done and how could he live with the guilt he felt if Timothy had died. He was still contemplating these thoughts when he heard a noise and looked up to see Timothy being wheeled in by a couple of orderlies.
He stood and made room for the orderlies to transfer Timothy back to his bed and to hook him up to his monitor and drip. They finished and left leaving Kai alone with Timothy. He looked at the boy who had been asleep throughout the procedure of transferring him back to his bed. Kai returned to his seat and gently lifted the free hand and clasped it between his own. He sat content to be with the boy just gazing at the pale face that seemed to have got a little bit of colour to the cheeks compared to when he saw Timothy yesterday. One of the ward nurses came to check on Timothy and it gave Kai the opportunity to ask her about him.
"He's only tired," the nurse informed him, "he didn't sleep too well last night according to the night nurse's notes. He was taken to the X-ray dept. just to check that he's healing internally."
He thanked the nurse and after she'd gone then thought that it would be better if he left as it was unlikely that Timmy would wake anytime soon. He gave the sleeping boy a quick peck on the lips then looked for the nurse that he just spoken to. He saw her attending to another patient and when she'd finished asked her if she would give Timothy a message if he woke before she went off duty.
"Certainly what is it?"
"Could you tell him I visited today, and that I'll be back on Sunday, I can't come tomorrow as I have to go out with my parents."
"No problem I'll convey the message to him, and your name is?"
"Kai, and thanks a lot."
"You're welcome Kai."
He thanked her made his goodbyes took one last look at the sleeping boy and started on his way home. He was half way down the corridor when he heard his name called. Turning he saw the nurse outside the door to the ward gesticulating with her arm for him to return. When he was by her side she smiled saying, "Your friend is awake."
"Thanks," he responded and quickly made his way into the ward. As he approached the bed he could see Timothy eyes open and with a smile on his face. The moment he was within reach he took the boys hand gently squeezing it saying, "Hi,"
Timothy whispered come closer and doing as the boy requested Kai leaned over putting his face within inches of Timothy's.
"Got really scared," the boy said, "One moment you were here and then you were leaving,"
"Kai was puzzled as to how Timmy had sensed his leaving but smiling said, "What's to be scared about I'm here."
"Thought you weren't going to come back and I wouldn't see you again," the boy said in a voice a little above a whisper.
"You'll see so much of me that you'll get fed up of looking at my face."
"Never Kai," then pulling the boy closer whispered, "I love you too much."
"Love you too Timmy," then leaning forward Kai brought their lips together in a brief kiss, then sitting up said I have to go shortly but I've got something for you. Releasing Timothy's hand he unclasped the gold chain around his neck with his name KAI embossed in platinum. Then reaching behind Timothy fastened it around his neck saying, "There you go even if I'm not here in person," he smiled "you've still got me around your neck so you don't have to be scared anymore."
Timothy fingered the chain then reached for Kai's hand and bringing it to his cheek gently nuzzled it, "Thanks Kai."
Monday he returned to school with Timothy's slow progress to recovery still weighing on his mind. He was sure that because he'd not seen Timothy for a day that he'd see an improvement in him on Sunday only to be disappointed. Timothy looked just as pale and thin as he'd been on Friday, he just didn't seem any better.
He walked into the classroom to see Mr Beardsley already there. As he passed him to get to his desk Mr Beardsley stopped his progress by placing a hand on his shoulder. "Webster have you been to visit Clarkson in hospital?" a few of the students stopped on hearing the teachers question and waited for Kai Webster to reply.
"How is he?"
"I dunno sir, he looks really thin and pale I thought he'd be better by now." There were whispers from the other pupils nearby who'd heard Kai's response.
Roger Beardsley could see the boy's eyes verging on tears, "I think it will be a few days yet before he starts to show improvement," the teacher said smiling, trying to give the boy in front of him encouragement, "Timothy wouldn't have been moved from ICU if the doctors thought he was in any danger." Patting the boy on the shoulder he said "Don't worry he'll soon be back, now go and take your seat."
"Thanks sir," and Kai Webster in a happier frame of mind went to his desk. As he took his place his eyes wandered around the class, he noticed Fletcher at his desk keeping his eyes firmly fixed to the front he looked further a field and his eyes came in contact with Brian Hunter, he smiled at Kai who returned the smile with a nod of his head. Then he saw Samantha who he normally met outside the school gates but hadn't this morning, she smiled at him and he lifted his hand in recognition.
At the first morning break he had questions hurled at him from various students enquiring how Clarkson was, and on hearing how close Timothy had come to not making it they were suitably subdued. When there was a lull in the enquiries Brian Hunter came to his side asking if he could talk to him for a minute.
"Do you want me to leave Samantha Clayton asked?"
"No its okay it's no big secret what I have to say," he said addressing Samantha, then turning to Kai asked, "Are you going to see Timothy after school?"
"Yes my dad will drop me off at the hospital after I've eaten."
"Do you think I could visit as well?"
"Sure if you want to, I know Timmy won't mind." Kai hesitated a moment then asked, "I've noticed since you came back from suspension that you've changed. What happened?"
Hunter looked at the boy standing in front of him envying him his popularity with the other kids in the school, "When I was on suspension," Hunter said, "one day my younger brother came home from school with a split lip and a bruise on his cheek. He'd been beaten up and I wanted to know who had done it so that I could go and sort the kid out. My mother who heard what was going got mad at me. That's all you know beat up some kid and that makes you happy. You're angry now because your brother got beaten up, have you ever stopped to think how the family and friends of the boy you put in hospital feel. That's when I realized that what I'd done to Clarkson was just plain meanness, I wanted to apologize to him when I came back to school but didn't have the guts. Now I think it's time I did so, and I would also like to also see him."
"Okay you know Yew Tree Close?"
"Well I live at number 4 if you get there at about 5.30pm my dad can give us a lift to the hospital."
"Thanks Webster I appreciate it," and Hunter made his way back to the classroom as the bell rang for the resumption of classes.
Before they too followed Hunter Samantha stopped Kai, "Is it possible for me to visit Timothy as well."
"Okay 5.30pm but ask your mum first Sammy."
At 5.20pm the Webster doorbell rang and Frank Webster made his way to the front door and opened it.
"Hi Uncle Frank," the girl on the doorstep said giving him a kiss on the cheek, then turning to the boy who stood behind her said,
"This is Brian."
"Come in," the man said standing to one side allowing the visitors to enter the house, "Kai won't be long he's just finishing getting changed."
Within a couple of minutes Kai was downstairs and saying goodbye to his mother as he followed his father, Sammy, and Brian out to the car. It was twenty minutes later that his father was dropping them off outside the Hospital entrance telling Kai to call him when they were ready to come home.
He took Sammy's hand and led the way to Timothy's ward, and reaching saw Mr and Mrs Clarkson, and Linda already there.
When Brian Hunter and Samantha, saw Timothy they tried to hide the shock they got at his appearance. They stood at the foot of the bed and waved to him.
Timothy smiled at them but at the same time he was a bit concerned seeing Samantha Clayton standing next to Kai and holding his hand.
He kept glancing at the two of them at times not hearing what his parents were saying and having to ask them to repeat what they'd said. Half an hour later Linda was getting restless and so Timothy's parents decided to take her home and saying their goodbyes they left.
Brian Hunter was the first to speak he went to Timothy's side and started to apologize for what had happened.
"You don't have to apologize Brian you weren't the one with the knife."
"I'm also apologising for the previous incident for which I got suspended."
Timothy smiled. "Okay apology accepted," he said, "so can we talk about something else."
They talked about what had happened at school and how all the kids in the class wanted to know how he was.
They sat talking for another half hour before Kai went out side and phoned his father telling him they were ready to leave.
Back at Timothy's bedside he told the other two that his father would be back to pick them up in twenty minutes. When the time came Brian and Samantha said there goodbyes while Kai squeezed Timothy's hand saying he'd be back shortly. He went outside with the other two and at the car asked his father if he could drop Brian and Samantha home he was going to stay on a bit longer with Timothy.
When they'd left he made his way back into the ward and the moment he reached Timothy's bed he leaned over and brought his lips to brush lightly over those of the boy he felt a great affection for.
"What about Samantha," Timothy enquired, "won't she get annoyed your leaving her to stay with me?"
"Why should she,"
"Well you were like going together weren't you, and now you just let her go home by herself."
Kai laughed and leaned over bringing his face close to that of Timothy's, "So that was why you've been giving me those funny looks all evening. You thought Sammy was my girlfriend."
"Well isn't she."
"Yeah sure she is, she's been my best friend for ages and happens to be a girl and also my cousin."
"You heard my cousin, her mum and mine are sisters, and Sammy and I grew up together, are birthdays are only two months apart. From the age of two my mum used to baby sit Sammy at our house while her mother went to work."
Timothy's face broke out into a big grin, then getting a bit serious, "So I'm not your best friend."
"Nope, you're more than that."
"What does that mean," Timothy asked shyly
"It means if you're willing I want you to be my boyfriend?"
Timothy closed his eyes and lay silent for a while when he opened them again he had a look of concern on his face.
"I'm sorry, Kai said, "I shouldn't have come out with it so sudden."
"No it's not that Kai," Timothy said quickly putting Kai's doubts at rest.
"Then why do you look so worried."
"I'm scared that something will go wrong again, and I feel so hopeless just lying here and not getting any better."
"Come on Timmy," Kai said kissing his hand. "You've nothing to worry about, and don't forget you've got me hanging around your neck. Any time you feel a bit iffy just hold the chain and you'll have me in the palm of your hand, and all your worries will be gone just like that. Before you know it this time next week you'll be out of here and in your own room just you wait and see."
"You really think so Kai, you're not just trying to cheer me up."
"Of course you'll be out of here, and you've not given me an answer to the question I asked you."
"Timothy smiled, "That's the best thing that could have happened to me I'll be your boyfriend."
Kai leaned over and brushed his lips against those of the frail looking boy saying, Love you Timmy."
"I'm feeling a bit sleepy now Kai, will you stay here for a while till I fall asleep.
He sat by the bedside stroking Timothy's hand looking at the face that had so captivated him. It wasn't strikingly handsome, nor even good looking it was just a plain face but it reflected the goodness of the boy's nature. With all the abuse he'd suffered at school it had never at any time shown a glimmer of anger or hate. He just bore the abuse in silence.
His thoughts were cut short by a pair of hands on his shoulders. Twisting his head and looking up he saw his father standing behind him.
"How's Timothy?" his father asked.
"I dunno dad, he just doesn't seem to be getting any stronger. I thought by now he'd have improved a lot more than he has."
"Don't worry Kai he'll pull through he's a fighter. The doctors didn't think he'd make it when he was first brought to the hospital but he proved them wrong."
Startled at the news Kai swivelled in his chair to confront his father, "How did you know that?"
"Your mother's friend Diana Winthrop who works in A&E I saw her when I was returning to the hospital I spoke to her and she told me."
Frank Webster's words were proved to be true and 11 days later on a Friday morning Timothy Clarkson was discharged from hospital.
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