Vee paced the room, over and over and over. Her mind raced, each scenario worse than the last. 'She might have broken a bone or lost an arm or put on those lifesaver things or she might be dead or-'
Vee was pulled to an abrupt stop by a person behind her. "Vee, calm down. You're hyperventilating," A familiar voice said soothingly. Saga. "Come on. You know she'll be fine. Breathe in, and breathe out."
Saga was right. Vee was breathing shallow, ragged breaths. No wonder she was over thinking again, without enough oxygen. Vee took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Sorry, Saga," she murmured. "But Tai should have been more careful! Those rocks had handholds, yes, but she went too far." Vee took another shuddering breath. "I'm just worried-" but her voice cracked and stopped working.
"Hey, it's okay, Vee, it wasn't your fault." Vee felt a different hand on her shoulder, and turned to see Asha giving her a bright smile behind her countless freckles. "Tai couldn't have gotten more than a concussion at worst, a few scratches. She landed on a bush, and it wasn't from very high up. She'll be fine."
"I-I know you guys are right…" Vee trailed off, then sighed. "I just can’t help but worry."
"You think we don’t know?" Another voice said. "Vee, you’re freaking out the nurses." Ray gestured to the reception desk, where, indeed, a nurse stared at Vee. "Besides, we should all get something to eat. They said Tai won’t be out for awhile, and the In’n’Out is across the street."
Vee appreciated the offer, but hesitated. They would have to cross the street, and that would mean risking getting run over, and leaving Tai here-
Stop it. You aren’t getting anywhere by doing that. She took a deep breathe. "Okay. Before I change my mind and/or panic."
Ray, Saga and Asha grinned at each other. It wasn’t uncommon for Vee to say those words, if rephrased. Vee might have been an anxious mess most of the time, but she tried not to let that stop her from having a good time with the other four.
The four teenage girls got up and left the hospital to grab some food. As usual, the three up front chatted away, with Vee chiming in every once in a while. Currently, the topic was on the hiking trip a few hours ago.
Ray started up. "Honestly, I think that was definitely worth it, even if Tai got hurt."
Saga followed up. "It was quite interesting, I didn’t think we would really get to see so many different animals and plants."
Asha spoke then. "I wish I could have taken that squirrel home, it was so cute!"
Ray scoffed, "as if your Mom would let you!"
Suddenly the three were pulled to a stop by Vee. "GUYS, slow down, you’re about to get run over!" It was true. The three had been too distracted to notice the sidewalk ending. They had nearly walked right into the road.
Vee breathed out a sigh of relief. "You guys would be dead a hundred times over if I weren’t here…"
The group looked at one another, then broke out in laughter. "Too right, Vee, too right." Ray chuckled.
The four waited until the walking light flashed on, and crossed, quite quickly for the sake of Vee. That didn’t stop them from talking.
"As I was saying, I was really looking forward to seeing the pond, I’m kinda disappointed we didn’t get to, but we can always try again later, minus the rock climbing…" Saga said, continuing the conversation.
"Aww, c’mon, who doesn’t want a concussion?" Ray smirked, elbowing Saga.
By this time, they had crossed, and all of them raised their hand. They broke out into giggles, and continued the silly chatter until they came to In’n’Out.
Vee looked at the building. She hated social interaction. "Can we go through the drive-thru without a car?" she inquired.
The others hid their smiles. "Don’t think so, Vee," Asha said, bringing a hand onto the younger’s shoulder. "Most of us aren’t made of metal, so I don’t think it counts."
"Hey!" Saga called out. "I am not a robot! I still have emotions, you know." She crossed her arms, pretending to be offended. "Now come on, the longer we stall, the longer Tai is alone."
So the four friends walked into the fast-food restaurant, ordered their food (Vee with quite a bit of stuttering), and left with burgers, fries, and ice cream in plastic bags. They crossed the street back to the hospital and ate outside. Asha had been the one to point out the fact that the nurses and doctors would probably not enjoy the burgers with their animal-style sauce, since it was very messy. They nearly, however, got salad from the Fry’s nearby for Tai, but Vee pointed out that chewing so much wouldn’t help a concussion. They settled on some canned soup.
Once they finished their meal the four freshmen headed back inside the hospital. Vee picked up the bag containing the canned soup and followed.
So, obviously, something had to go wrong.
No, not really. The lady at the reception desk was called. Once she put down the phone, she called the four girls over.
"You are Tai’s friends, right?" They nodded. "You can go see her now. She’s in the third door off the right."
Ray, Saga, Asha and Vee looked at each other, thoroughly relieved. They hurried to the room the lady had indicated and pushed the door open.
Tai was sitting up, looking bored out of her mind, and had gauze wrapping around her forehead, along with various Band-Aids. Other than that, she looked to be fine, and her bored expression was replaced with happiness at seeing her younger friends.
"Finally!" Tai exclaimed. "I’ve been awake the entire time, they wouldn’t let me sleep, and I’m bored out of my mind…" she focused on the can of soup in Vee’s hand. "And hungry."
Ray snickered. "Yeah, it’s for you. But we’re not allowed to give it to you until your out of this place."
Tai was about to respond when a doctor came in. "Tai, here’s the medication. Once a day, okay?"
"Fiiiiiiine." Tai sighs dramatically.
"Your free to go, then. Be careful, and no electronics until tomorrow."
"YES!" Tai kicked off the sheet and got up, wincing slightly.
"Which of you lives closest to her?" The doctor inquired at us.
Vee raised her hand. "I’m a couple houses down from her, so me."
"The rest of you may be excused." The doctor looked at the other freshmen, clearly telling them to leave. They wearily obliged. Asha stole a glance at Vee, worried. All of them knew that Vee wasn’t anti-social, but had social anxiety. However, Vee gave a thumbs up, and the others left the room.
"So…" Vee said awkwardly. "What is this about?"
"Well, I didn’t want to worry Tai, but she does indeed have a concussion, a bad one. Would you keep her from doing anything… reckless?"
Vee looked stunned. "I do that on a daily basis. I-I can do that."
"Thank you. Have a nice day." The doctor gave Vee a bit of paperwork, opened the door for Vee, and she followed her friends, finding them waiting for her in the lobby, various looks of concern and worry on their faces.
None of them liked leaving Vee alone, no matter where. Not since it happened.