Kelley’s eyes flew open and she pulled back at the sound of her father yelling for help. Their soulmate’s kiss would have to wait for another time. Hope had waited for her for centuries. She would understand.
Confusion filled her head as she hurried down the hallway, Hope on her heels, to the room where her body lay. She was just in the room and the doctor said that her body had been stable. What happened during the time they had been gone?
The room was in chaos when they entered. Dr. Ellis was shouting orders to nurses and Kelley wasn’t able to follow what was going on. Hope touched Kelley’s shoulder softly.
“Kelley, you’re the strongest person I know and the biggest fighter. Your body will pull through this, even with the injuries you sustained today. You have the best doctors and nurses working on you right now,” Hope comforted.
Kelley nodded. “I know, it’s just hard to see. I still can’t believe that all of this is real. I’m still trying to catch up to everything that’s happened today. It feels like an out-of-body experience.”
Hope couldn’t help but to laugh in return. “Of course. Leave it to you to make a joke like that, even in the middle of all of this chaos. You really are the strongest person I know.”
Kelley gave Hope a weak smile and turned to take in the state of the room. Dr. Ellis had somehow managed to stabilize Kelley’s body and was directing a nurse to bring Kelley’s parent’s back in.
“Mr. and Mrs. O’Hara, thank you for allowing us the space to help your daughter. I believe that her body is still in a state of shock and is reacting to the amount of stress that’s been put on her today. Her heart was unstable and stopped beating for a short period of time, but we managed to restart her heart and she’s stabilized for the moment. I assure you that we’re doing everything we can to make sure that her heart will beat for years to come. We’ll keep a close eye on her tonight and I’ll be in every hour to make sure that she remains stable,” Dr. Ellis assured. Her parents managed a weak nod in return. Dr. Ellis gave a comforting touch to Mrs. O’Hara and left the room, her nurses following behind.
Kelley turned to look at Hope. “Do you mind if I stay here with my parents for a few moments? I just want to be close to them, even though they can’t see me.”
“Of course, Kelley,” Hope agreed quickly. “I’ll be right outside if you need me. I’ll never be far from your side.” With those words, Hope turned and left the room, allowing her soulmate a few minutes alone with her distraught parents.
Kelley walked slowly over to where her parents were sitting. She felt powerless to help them. To let them know that she was okay. Is this how Hope felt all this time, she wondered to herself? The feeling of helplessness was overpowering. Kelley did the only thing she knew how to do. She started to ramble.
“Mom, Dad,” Kelley started, “I know that you can’t hear me. There’s nothing that I want more than for you to know that I’m okay. I can only imagine what’s going through your head, seeing me like this. Bet you never thought that this would be the way this day would turn out. But I am okay, as crazy as that might sound. I don’t feel any pain. I know my body is going through a lot but I’ve been through hard times before. You’ve raised me to be strong, though, and I know that’s going to carry me through. It might not seem like it right now. I’ll be okay. And I’ve met this amazing person today, and she’s looking out for me too. She’s great. I know you’d like her. She’s been watching over me for awhile, just like I’m trying to do for you right now. And she’s doing everything she can to make sure that I’m okay, too. Sorry, I’m rambling again, aren’t I?”
Kelley heard a soft knock on the door as Hope poked her head in. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, just trying to give my parents a little bit of comfort. I know they can’t hear me but they can feel me, right?”
Hope nodded in return. “Absolutely. Just like you could sense me, they sense you looking out for them.”
Kelley sighed. “I just want them to know I’m okay. See, look at me! I’m walking and talking just fine right now.” Kelley wiggled her arms for emphasis.
Hope laughed softly and stepped in closer to Kelley. “Of course you are, but it’s a little difficult to communicate that to them right now. They know and they believe in you, too.”
“So, what happens now?” Kelley asked quietly. “When my body’s better, will I just be able to get back into it? What will happen to you? To us?”
Hope wasn’t sure how to respond. On one hand, Hope was elated that Kelley would be okay. That she would be able to return to her human form and to the family that raised her. She knew, however, that Kelley wouldn’t be able to see her anymore, or hear her. Though it was temporary and they would be reunited eventually, there was no feeling like being able to hold Kelley and to comfort her. It’s what she had been waiting centuries to do. To have Kelley, even for a day, and then to lose her for years again was heartbreaking. But Hope’s job was to protect Kelley, even at her own expense.
“Well, when your body is better, I’ll help you return to it. Nothing will happen to me. I’ll still be with you, waiting, even though you can’t see me. And when the time comes, I’ll be there waiting for you. To guide you to the place where we’ll be able to be together forever.”
“Okay, but I still won’t be able to see you, right?” Kelley asked, sadness filling her eyes.
“No, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to me. I’ll still be able to hear you ramble, even when you can’t see me. And I’ll be listening the entire time. Nothing will take me away from your side,” Hope promised with a smile.
Kelley opened her mouth to respond, but before she could, there was a loud screeching in the hall. Kelley sensed Hope tensing beside her and instantly knew that something was wrong.
“Kelley, stay in here near your body. No matter what you hear, you can’t come out into the hallway. Do you understand me?”
“Hope, what’s going on? What was that noise?” Kelley was starting to panic.
Hope looked at Kelley sadly. “The evil ones are here, Kelley. They’re here for your body. Stay here.”
Kelley was helpless to do anything but let her soulmate walk out the door.