Curbed – by: Jake

I learned today that ribs don’t get fixed. They stay fractured until they heal on their own. Chris is dealing with it too, at least I think he is from what I could hear across the hallway. His whole stupid band ended up coming to the hospital to get him. I really didn’t want to know what was going on in there but for some reason none of the nurses would keep my damn door shut. I could hear his friends all laughing their asses off in his hospital room…something about them trying to find him, and a man in his boxers chasing them all down the street.

Then when someone figured out who they were (insert squeals from a nurse way too old to be squealing), some of the big shot doctors came to get pictures taken with them. I could hear the cameras and see the white coats going in and out, the loud, stupidly-embarrassed explanations about needing autographs for their daughters. My room was quieter. I was next to some kid getting stitches from falling off his bike who was really into the Disney channel as loud as his little TV would go, until his mom finally plugged in some headphones. The nurses were cool, except for one old lady who thought  she was some kind of an evangelist-psychiatrist and wanted to help me with my ‘anger issues’. She had this son who used to get in fights until he got killed. So she spent about an hour sitting with me trying to tell me about God. Are you even allowed to do that in a hospital? It’s not like I was going anywhere so she had her captive audience. I told her I’d find God again when I got old and was about to die. That I’d ask him for forgiveness when I’m done with being an asshole, incase there’s a limit to how many times you can ask. She said it would be too late then, so I pointed out there is a huge billboard on Highway 30 with a picture of a girl who looks pregnant and 13 and it says, God Forgives Everything. Then it has the phone number for Right to Life. I said it doesn’t mention anything about a time limit. She just shook her head sadly at me so I told her not to worry because when I’m home for the holidays, there’s so much praying going on at my grandfathers house that I’m probably saved the moment I step in his front door. That’s when she got up and left the discharge papers on my bed.

I walked out into the parking lot with my chest and fist bandaged, drugged up nicely while sipping at a small Gatorade bottle with a straw in it. It was dark out now and I didn’t see my truck. Rissa had my phone too, so I sat on the curb and waited. I saw Chris and his friends coming out of the parking garage in a van and he met my eyes from the passenger side with total hatred as they slowly drove passed me sitting out there on the concrete. It was about then that I really wanted to go home. Where the hell was Rissa? Was she even coming back?

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