Friday, August 19, 2011

Chapter 33: Waiting

After Nora was settled into another hospital room, the doctor left her and Tristan alone. Nora was sitting in a hospital bed and Tristan was standing near the door awkwardly. The two of them stared at each other for a few minutes, neither one with anything to say. Tristan rubbed the back of his neck and looked away from Nora before he finally spoke.

“So…I guess I’ll just go, then…” Tristan said slowly.

“No!” Nora exclaimed, reaching a hand out towards him. Tristan stared at her, a baffled expression on his face. Nora slowly pulled her hand back and smiled sheepishly.

“I mean…um… Don’t go. I…I don’t like hospitals. I don’t want to be alone.” she said softly. Tristan stood there for a moment longer, still not sure as to what he should say. He fiddled his fingers before he spoke again.

“Okay…I guess I’ll just stay, then…” he said with a shrug. Nora smiled a little. There was another pause between them. Nora pointed to the chair beside the bed.

“If you’re going to stay, you might as well sit down.” she said politely. Tristan chuckled.

“No, thanks. I’ve sat on hospital chairs long enough to make my…uh, rear…go numb. I think I’ll stand for a while.” he said with a soft smile. Nora let out a small laugh.

“So, what did it feel like inside the chamber?” Tristan asked suddenly. Nora’s expression darkened and she turned away.

“Cold…lonely…cramped…” she replied softly. Tristan watched her as her frown grew larger. “Scary.” she added in a voice just above a whisper. He saw tears gathering in her eyes and he wondered what he should do. He took a step forward then hesitated. He slowly reached out his hand towards Nora, but stopped when she suddenly looked over at him. Her eyes had cleared and she looked happy again.

“But I’m not in there anymore, so it doesn’t matter.” she said quickly. Tristan stared at her for a moment, confused.

“Um, yeah, right…” he said slowly, lowering his hand and letting it dangle at his side.

“What do you think of that doctor?” Nora asked softly, a little smile on her face. Tristan scoffed and rolled his eyes.

“Well, the guy is totally impersonal, and he’s arrogant and impatient…” Tristan’s list of complaints went on and on, and Nora listened patiently, just happy to have something to talk about.

A few hours later, Nora was cleared to leave the hospital. The doctor determined that Nora had fully healed and that the decompression sickness would not return. Nora and Tristan walked out of the hospital hand in hand, both of them very relieved to have the experience behind them.

“So, where do you want to go?” Tristan asked Nora as they walked to his car.

“Well, I don’t really want to go back to the marina, but I kind of have to…” Nora replied.

“What? Why?” Tristan asked, surprised. Nora looked up at him and raised an eyebrow in an incredulous manner. Tristan noticed a light smile on her face.

“I left my car there, goofball.” she said quickly.

“Oooooh, right…” Tristan said slowly. Nora laughed and rolled her eyes, shaking her head. They reached Tristan’s car and the two of them climbed in.

“Do you want to go grab some lunch or something before we go back to the marina?” Tristan asked as he started the car.

“Um, more like dinner.” Nora said. “In case you haven’t noticed, Tristan, the sun is setting.” Tristan looked out the windshield and studied the sky intently.

“Oh…yeah…it is.” he said softly. Nora laughed. “So, do you want to go get dinner, then?” Tristan asked, smiling at Nora. Nora returned his smile.

“I’d love to.” she said.

“Okay, but I’ll warn you now, we’re going some place cheap and casual. I don’t have a lot of money, I’m currently wearing my nicest clothes, and I most definitely do not want to wait in a line to get seated. I don’t know about you, but I’m starving.” Tristan said quickly. Nora threw her head back and laughed.

“Sounds good to me, Tristan.” she said between laughs. “Sounds good to me.” And with that, Tristan pulled out of the parking lot and drove off to find some place cheap and casual. He hoped that dinner would go over better than the scuba diving had.

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