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It Was You
‘How long has it been?’ I asked myself. ‘It’s only been a day or two, right?’
The memories of a few days past flooded my mind, drowning out any thoughts I had.
“Someone, help! I’m in here!” I screamed, over and over. My simple, two story house, had been set ablaze by a faulty electrical system. Flames scorched anything they touched; only leaving traces of ash in their place. Even being trapped in my bedroom could not muffle the intense heat coming out from beneath the door. My only way of escape was through that door. Through the smoke, and through the flames. Just to my luck, the previous owner had installed a cage on the window. Turning back to the door, I gathered every ounce of courage I had and opened the door. I dropped onto my hands and knees as smoke poured into the room. Flames nipped at my clothing, and exposed hands and feet as I continued down the hallway. I fought back against my fading eye sight and my lack of oxygen. To my surprise, the exit out of this hellish-like place was just beyond my grasp, but still too far. I had expelled most of my energy getting here, and I had little of it left. I curled upon the smoldering floor and prayed that someone would find me. The blazing orange and red landscape soon faded in nothing. Everything was entirely black. In the still of the darkness, I could hear the crackling of the flames, and what sounded like at first, faint footsteps of boots then, got louder with every step. There was a second of silence before the sound of splintering wood echoed throughout the house.
“Hey! Hey, are you alright?! Let’s get you out of here!” The deep masculine voice was thunderous in my ears. I couldn’t open my mouth to reply the stranger as he picked me up.
“Hey, look at me!” He commanded. Almost as if automatically, my eyes fluttered open. They connected to my rescuer’s eyes immediately. Bright blue stood against the fiery background for only a second before melting into dark…
I woke up to the strong scent of disinfectant and pure white walls of a hospital room. My gaze wandered around the room, finally meeting the eyes of my nurse.
“Where am I?” I mumbled. My voice cracked and was barely audible. The male nurse set his clipboard down and examined a beeping machine next to my bedside.
“You were in quite a predicament, Ms. Grant, you inhaled a ton of smoke, and you were on an oxygen tank when you were unconscious.”
“For how long was I out?” I asked, slowly sitting up in the bed and ruining the crisp and clean sheets.
“Oh, well.” he sucked in a sharp breath, and ran his free hand through his unruly, black curls. “I want to say for at least 36 hours.”
“Was it really that long?” I asked in disbelief. The male nurse sat on the edge of my hospital bed, and pointed towards the beeping machine.
“Yep. You were monitored during the night. We had to make sure your vitals we stable.” He then got up and pulled out a small flash light. He shone it into my eyes. “Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or sick to your stomach?” he asked.
“Alright. Well, we’re going to keep you for another day or two, just to make sure your vitals remain stable, and that your burns heal. I’m Ari, and I’ll be visiting you a few times during the day, alright?” Ari’s blue eyes twinkled with sincerity. His eyes reminded me of the man who save me’s eyes.
“You look and sound familiar. Have we met before?” I questioned him.
“Once or twice. You’re Roberto’s little sister, right? Who, by the way, has been snoozing away in the waiting room. Shall I go wake him up for you?”
“Sure. I guess..” I chuckled lightly as Ari made a face and headed out. I examined my bandages and tried to recall who the man, who saved me from burning was. All I remember were his bright blue eyes. I thought long and hard, so much so that the ticks of the clock were thunderous in the ever silent room.
“Lucia!” I snapped out of my trance and looked around to find my brother bursting through the door with Ari in tow. He ran and crushed me in a tight hug. He pulled away and gripped my shoulders.
“Lucia! What happened? I heard that your house caught on fire and I rushed down from Ohio to make sure you were fine!” Roberto’s voice was grief stricken and tears pooled in his hazel-colored eyes.
“Robs, I’m fine. Somebody got me out and I’m only a bit charred.”
“That’s not funny! You could have died in there!”
“But I didn’t! See! Correct me if I’m wrong but, I do believe that I’m still breathing.” I sighed, rolling my eyes. Roberto shook his head before turning to Ari. “Thank you for watching out for her, Ari”. Roberto bowed his head in gratitude.
“It’s my job, so don’t mention it.” Ari grinned lightly.
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. First of all, how do you know each other? And second of all, do either of you know who saved me from the fire?” I asked. Roberto and Ari glanced at one another before replying.
“Roberto and I were classmates in high school. He was my partner in Chemistry. Which without me, he would have failed.” Ari laughed.
“That was NOT true. I didn’t have time because of my job after school!” My brother denied, while combing his loose, blonde curls out his face.
“Alright. Answer the second question now.” I requested. My brother peeked at Ari before taking my hand and squeezing it.
“We’ll explain who it was later, okay? You need some rest.”
“Promise me you will, Okay? I need to know who it was!”
“Promise.” My brother said, before taking his leave. I slumped back into the bed, and sighed irritatingly. Ari hovered around the edges of the room, scribbling something on his clipboard. I watched him pace back and forth for a minute or two, before I spoke.
“Hey, Ari?” His head snapped up and his blue eyes bore into me.
“Yes, Ms. Grant?”
“Just Lucia, please”
“Alright. Yes, Ms. Lucia?”
“Won’t you tell me, who pulled me out of the fire?”
The corners of Ari’s mouth twitched for a split second. “Well..I,uh”
He was interrupted by a loud crash outside my hospital room.
“I’ll be right back, Ms. Lucia” He said, before dashing out the room. I tilted my head so I could possibly see what was going on. Then I saw Ari rush past my door, which was shortly followed by my brother on a gurney.
“Hey! What’s going on?! Ari? Roberto?” I leaped out of the bed and attempted to go search for them, but I was still attached to the machine and I had an I.V drip in my arm. Though my body wasn’t moving at all, my thoughts raced. I wasn’t sure what happened to my brother or Ari. I stood there, waiting , hoping one or the other would walk through the door.
It has been thirty minutes since Ari left. Thirty-five since my brother left. I still stood there like a statue, listening to the chaos unfold outside my hospital room.
“Roberto, can you tell me what happened?” Ari asked.
“Well…After I left, I went to out to my car, and started it. I shifted it into gear –“
“Roberto, about the accident, not what you did before it.”
“Oh. I was at a four-way and it was my turn. A car coming in from the left, smashed into the passenger side of my car.”
“Alright. Thanks, I’ve bandaged most of what I could but, Doc still wants to examine you for any internal injuries, okay? I’m going to go explain everything to Lucia, now.”
The sound of footsteps echoed against the linoleum floor and I quickly got back in bed and pretended like nothing happened. A few minutes later, Ari wandered in and he shut the door behind him.
“I heard everything.” I told him.
“Oh well, that saves me from a long explanation.”He shrugged.
“Thank you, for taking care of him.”
“You’re welcome. It’s not every day that you get to save the lives of siblings. One’s house catches on fire and the other gets in a car wreck. It’s something that you never expect.” He explained.
“So you were the one that saved me from the fire?”
Ari raised his hands like in defeat to reveal small burn marks on his wrists and under arms, and smiled lightly. At that moment, his eyes looked exactly alike that of the man’s who pulled me out of the flames.
“I somehow knew it was you..” I whispered…