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Last Goodbye Part 5
I’d never really realised how long the walk from the Relatives Room to Rick’s
room seemed. It probably wasn’t that long really, it just seemed like it went on
As soon as we got into his room, I noticed he was looking better. Not much
better, but the small improvement that I could see was enough.
“Morning, Kay.” Rick smiled. I smiled back and, when I went to hug him, I felt a
sudden warmth rush through my entire body.
“You alright?” Rick asked. I nodded.
“Fine, thanks.” I answered. I realised I’d automatically sat down without even
offering Rick’s brother the chair, so I stood up.
“You wanna sit?” I asked. Rick’s brother shook his head.
“Nah. You stay where you are. I’m fine here.” He replied. I sat back down.
“So, did you sleep well, Kay?” Rick asked, and I could see a happy, slightly
teasing, look in his eyes. I blushed.
“Yeah. I…I ate well this morning, too.” I answered, knowing the response I’d get
out of Rick’s brother.
“She did… She ate… a whole… Mars Bar…all at once.” Rick’s brother howled, in
between gasps of laughter. Rick raised his eyebrows.
“Seriously?” Rick asked.
“Yeah, seriously.” I answered.
“Why?” he asked.
“Well… I… I wanted to get back.” I mumbled, looking down. Rick hugged me.
“Katie, what am I going to do with you?” He murmured. I shook my head and tried
to laugh, but it came out sounding way too much like crying.
“Dunno.” I shrugged.
“Katie,” Rick began, after a long period of silence, “D’you not … d’you not want
to go home?” He asked. I sat up straight.
“Rick. When will you get the message?” I asked. “I. Am. Not. Leaving.” I added.
“Hey, alright. Calm down, Kay.” He said softly. I realised I was shaking, and I
made a conscious effort to calm down.
“Stay as long as you want, Kay. I was just checking that you didn’t feel like
you had to stay, or anything like that.” Rick told me. It took a second for his
words to register, but once they had, I quickly turned an angry shade of puce.
“Felt like I had to stay?” I repeated quietly, making the words a question.
“Have I ever… Did I ever say, or do… anything… to even suggest…” I was so
furious, mostly with myself at that point, that I had trouble talking. I stood
up and tried to walk out and calm down, but Rick’s brother held me back.
“Get your hands off me.” I growled, and I almost ran out.
I didn’t go home. I sort of knew that it was the first place they’d look for me,
so I headed into the centre of the city. By the time I got there, I was already
berating myself for leaving. You stupid, stupid IDIOT, I thought, how could you?
I stayed in the city centre for hours, until dark set in and the orchestra of
car horns grew quiet. I thought I’d better find somewhere to stay for the night,
so I ducked into a nearby alleyway and hoped it was empty. It was, so I hid
myself in a doorway and tried to get to sleep, still cursing myself for leaving
I never stopped thinking about Rick, so when I thought I heard the roar of his
motorbike, I assumed I was imagining things. It was only when the roaring
stopped, and I heard running footsteps heading up the alley, that it occurred to
me that I should get up.
“KATIE!” the voice of Rick’s brother rang out, and I knew he’d seen me. “WHAT
THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?” he exploded, as soon as he was closer to me. I
“I don’t know. But shout at me all you want, call me whatever you like, because,
believe me, I’ll have called myself worse.” I answered.
“Do you KNOW what could have happened? What you could have done?” He went on.
“You didn’t know whether that would be the thing that-”
“I KNOW.” I screamed, tears running down my face. “DO YOU NOT THINK THAT I’VE
BEEN TORTURING MYSELF FOR HOURS?”
Rick’s brother reached towards me, then thought better of it.
“Katie, we’ve been worried sick about you.” He told me, trying to lower his
voice. “Rick’s been in a right state, he’s wanted to come out and look for you
himself. The only way I could get him to calm down was to promise that I would
come out and not stop looking ‘til I found you.”
“So what are we doing here? Let’s go.” I told him, already heading past him to
the main street, where I assumed he’d parked the motorbike. He started the bike
and we sped back to the hospital.
Once we got there, I wasted no time. Despite the fact that Rick’s brother tried
to slow me down, I totally ignored him and almost ran up to Rick’s room.
“Katie. For Christ’s sake, will you WAIT?!” Rick’s brother hissed. Even though
it was against my better judgement, I stopped.
“Why should I?” I mouthed, but he ignored me and walked right into Rick’s room.
“Sam, did you… have you found her?” Rick asked.
“Yeah, I found her, Rick. Just like I said I would.” Sam replied. He turned to
the door, looked at me and gestured for me to go in. I walked in, bracing myself
for Rick’s reaction, which I fully expected to be similar to Sam’s.
“Thank God for that.” Rick whispered. He tried to get up and hug me, but he
turned ash grey and slumped back onto the bed. I automatically moved forwards
and hugged him, although I was definitely gentler than before.
“I’m so glad you’re safe, Kay.” Rick whispered, while we were still hugging. “I
was… I was worried.”
“I’m sorry.” I told him. “I was so stupid, I shouldn’t have-”
“You only did what anyone else would have, Kay. If I hadn’t said what I did, you
wouldn’t have left. So, really, it should be me apologising.” He told me.
“Don’t blame yourself.” I pulled out of the hug and sat in the chair beside his
“I struck a nerve, Katie, I know that.” Rick said quietly. Tears burned in the
corners of my eyes and, within seconds, I’d dissolved into a shaking, crying
Part 1 --
Part 2 --
Part 3 --
-- Part 5
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