Chapter 15

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I knew something was wrong about 5 minutes after I drove away. I could feel her anxiety skyrocket. Then I felt the anger. I raced back over to the apartment and stood outside trying to listen. I could hear an argument. But the voices were muffled from out here. I definitely heard Hank though, and that was never good. So, I decided instead of trying another pizza boy trick, I had to do something more effective. I hoped amber wouldn't be mad, but I decided to call the police and report a domestic disturbance. I hoped they would arrive before anyone got hurt. I heard a loud thud. My heart was racing so fast when I felt the twinge of pain from her. I wanted to break down the door right then. But I decided the police could arrest me along with him if I started something. I needed to be there for Amber, not stuck in jail overnight. When I saw the police car pull up, I hid around the corner, so I could listen. They knocked on the front door. When no one responded, and the arguing continued, they broke it down. Thank God.

I watched as Hank was taken out with handcuffs. The wife followed behind. More police had gone inside. A female officer came out with the two little girls in her arms. They were clinging to her desperately and crying. Where was Amber? I started to approach the apartment door when I saw another officer carrying her. That was not a good sign. I approached him. "I'm Grayson Parker. I called in the disturbance. She's my girlfriend. Is she okay, what's wrong?" I asked quickly with anguish in my voice. "I have to get her to the hospital. All we know is that she passed out." An ambulance pulled up to the curb. The back doors flew open and all three girls were put inside. I jumped into my jeep and followed behind. Praying the whole way that they would be okay.

I didn't get any help at the hospital. They said only family would be notified as to her condition. I told them I was her brother. The nurse didn't seem to believe me. But after I waited out there for three hours, and brought her coffee from Starbucks, along with a little lemon loaf, she seemed to think that maybe I was her brother after all. She told me Riley had been assaulted and had a concussion. She had woken up but was on some pain medication and needed to sleep. I needed to get inside and see her. I thanked her profusely and exited the building. Then I went back in through a side door when I saw a male nurse step outside to smoke. Idiot. I went down a hall and entered a couple of rooms before finding a locker room. That's where I was able to pick up some dirty scrubs from a laundry basket. I put on a mask and a pair of rubber gloves, just to look official. Then I searched for her last name on all the doors. I finally found her room. It smelled of antiseptic. I had never been in a hospital before. I didn't like it at all.

Amber was under a thin blanket. Her hair was splayed out on a pillow. I could see bruising starting on her face. I might have to kill Hank later if he got out of jail. She was asleep. The machines beeped rhythmically. She had a tube going into her arm that lay on top of the covers. I approached and kissed the top of her head. She didn't stir. Must be some good pain meds. I pulled up a chair in the far corner beside her bed and made myself comfortable. I pulled out my phone and texted my Dad about the situation. He said it was time for him to come help. I wasn't really in a position to argue with him at the moment.

A nurse came in and was surprised to see me. I had taken off the disguise, but kept it under my chair, just in case. I told her Riley was my sister. She believed me and told me visiting hours were just about over. I promised to leave soon. But I didn't actually plan on doing that. After about half an hour, she began to stir. When her eyes opened, and she looked around the room, she saw me, and her face brightened immediately. "Grayson" she croaked. "Shh, it's okay, you don't have to talk. Do you want some water?" I picked up the nearby cup with a straw in it and held it up to her. She took a big drink. "Thank you," she whispered.

Her colors were kind of mixing together. They weren't sharp and clear like usual. It must be the medication muddling her brain. She continued to look at me. The colors started to become more distinct. The one I could see overshadowing the others was my favorite. Cotton Candy Pink, Love. That sure made me happy. I noticed her looking at my colors. She smiled. "Thank you for saving me. I heard the sirens just as I hit the floor." She whispered. "I wish I had stopped him before he hit you." I confessed. "But then he may not have gone to jail. I can testify against him now. He won't be out for a while. Hopefully long enough for the girls to go to a new home." So, she sacrificed herself for them. She knew he would hit her. She was the best person I knew.

"Grayson, I have an idea. I'm on some strong pain killers right now. So, I think this is the perfect time to try touching again. The meds will mask the pain. Maybe we can break through this barrier." She suggested. I thought she was probably on to something. But she had a concussion. We shouldn't be messing with her head right now. "How about we try it tomorrow?" She looked disappointed. "I just want to be connected to you again." She pleaded. I couldn't resist her. "Okay, but as soon as you feel anything even slightly uncomfortable, you let go okay?" "I promise."

She held out her hand to me. I took it my larger ones. She fit so perfectly. We saw the spark. I knew it was happening, but she didn't flinch. Maybe she really couldn't feel it. But I heard the monitor. It started beeping. Her heart rate was increasing. She held on tighter, knowing that I was going to pull away. "Just another minute." She asked. I nodded and kept holding her hand. "Does it hurt?" "No, it just feels tingly. No pain." I could see that she was telling the truth. "Our amber jewelry!" she said suddenly. I hadn't even thought of that. "I released her hand with one of mine and put it on my bracelet. She did the same with her necklace. At that, I could feel a tingle running up my arm. Her eyes widened. "You okay?" I asked concerned. She smiled and nodded. The tingles spread out through my body. It was an energizing sensation. It felt good, familiar. This was how it was supposed to feel. She suddenly took in a shuddering breath and let go.

"What happened? Did it hurt?" I asked. "No, it didn't. But at that last moment, I remembered something." She looked confused and perplexed. "What was it?" "I think it was the accident. I remember a man getting out of a vehicle and watching as our car exploded into flames. Then he just got back in and drove off like it was nothing." "Do you have any idea who it was?" I asked. "No, not at all. I remember being confused." She told me. "Did you remember anything else?" She shook her head and looked down. Her mood was somber. "I'm sorry that's what you remembered. I wanted it to be something good, about us." "I'm glad that I had a memory. It was my very first one. But now that I had it, I remember the feelings that went with it. Fear and loss and such sadness. I haven't really mourned my parents because I didn't remember them. But now I remember the feeling. It's horrible." Tears started streaming down her cheeks.

This was my fault. I shouldn't have let her do this. What was I thinking? "Amber, I'm so sorry." "Grayson, I have to take the good with the bad. That accident was a horrible thing. I have wished for three years that I could remember it. And now I do. I was just surprised and a little overwhelmed. I need to process this a bit before recovering anything else." I sat down in the chair beside her. Just then a different nurse came in. "Visiting hours are over young man. You can come back tomorrow at 8." She told me. She was smiling and reminded me of a grandmother. She was round and short. I liked her. I read her name tag. "Betty, this is my sister and she's been through so much tonight. All we have is each other. Could I please stay here in this chair tonight? I won't make any noise or be an inconvenience to you at all." I told her with my best puppy dog eyes. "Oh, I guess so. Just this once. Just don't tell anybody that it was me who let you stay." She insisted. "I will never do such a thing."

Amber smiled when the nurse left the room after checking her vitals. I was not about to leave her side. We talked for a while and then she fell asleep. She was so beautiful. Even with the bruise blooming on her face. I wish I could just curl up next to her and keep her safe forever. My mind wouldn't let me sleep. I was too wound up.  Who was the man watching the accident? Was he responsible for driving them off the side of the cliff? I wanted her to get her memories back more than anything, but would that bring her more pain than happiness? The worst thing that ever happened to her, before she lost her memory, was that accident. Now that she was starting to remember it, we had only good memories to follow, I hoped.

I finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the night. Hospitals were a terrible place to get some rest. Things were beeping, and alarms were going off all the time. The nurse came back numerous times to check on Amber. I was thankful for that, but also bothered that they kept waking her. I had a horrible dream that Hank came in while I was asleep and took Amber away. I was tied to the chair and couldn't get up. I tried to cry out, but I had no voice. That was probably how Amber felt when she couldn't remember anything. She was without her memory, so she was stuck, tied to this life with no voice of her own. She couldn't do anything about the injustices she saw. I would have to help her change that.

Who do you think the man was? Any ideas?

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