I had fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable chair the hospital had to offer. Out of all the hospitals I've been in, because I have been a few, they all had comfy chairs. They were soft, you could sink into them, some were leather, some pulled out in a small, single bed, but a bed nonetheless. This chair? Wood. Stiff back, it made my butt feel boney, and worst of all there was no recliner. I fell asleep sitting up straight with my legs crossed and my hands folded in my lap. If it weren't for all those hours of falling asleep on the airplane, I would have found this to be an extremely uncomfortable position. But the only thing that made this uncomfortable was the chair I had to sit in.
Nurses kept entering and leaving, simply checking his heart rate and writing it down on their clipboard. The soft beats began to get stuck in my head like a song, a very haunting song. One of those songs that are so bad you think to yourself "Good God, I could live the rest of my life without hearing that song again," but these beeps, depending how his heart was, were beeping between 75-80 times a minute. A normal heart rate, annoying beats, uncomfortable chairs, he owed me for this.
I would have been sleeping, but it was his groan that made sure I stayed awake.
It was New Years Eve, around nine o'clock at night. Maria and Carlito have this great apartment in New York City that they love to throw parties in, and what better way to throw a party than on New Years? So, with half the roster there, I sat alone in the living room on the couch, legs crossed and a single glass of Champaign, just taking in all the happy couples around me. Some were dancing, some were conversing with other couples, or the girls were off in a small circle and pointing at one another's boyfriend's, while the guys stood in their own circle, discussing either football or wrestling, oblivious to their girlfriend's. It was almost cute.
Out on the balcony there were more people, the smokers, the hardcore drinkers… the single people. Some were paired up in the "we'll hook up tonight and never mention it again" category, a popular one in the locker room. Others were casually hanging out at the edge of the balcony, looking at the people below them. It was a spectacular view from where they were standing, a clear spot where we would be able to see the ball drop in Times Square, shout "Happy New Years!" and either kiss the person next to us or clang the glasses of Champaign together. I really should have been out there with the other "singles", but the couch was just far too comfy.
"Lillian! Are you having a good time?" Maria came over and sat next to me, giving me one of those one arm hugs because she had a drink in her other hand. I was jealous over how great she looked in the small black dress she had, and her hair all done up. Her make up, as usual, could only be defined as perfection and she had that wide smile, as if she really was happy that I came. "There's snacks in the kitchen, drinks on the counter, and if you need to use the bathroom, it's just down the hall and third door to the left. Are you having a good time?"
She was too perky, the perfect hostess for the evening. I felt bad for all the animosity I showed towards her when she first came in, because she really was a sweet girl. One of the most polite and innocent ones in the locker room that truly just wanted to experience the world and change her life. Since she's been with Carlito for long enough it was a surprise they weren't engaged, Maria just seems more focused and natural. They did make a cute couple… as did Candice and John Cena, Mickie and Punk… Matt Hardy and Ashley…
"Great time," I assured the hostess, watching her smile again. Her attention left me and went back to her boyfriend, looking quite handsome in his suit. The black jacket undone and matching black pants looked great with the white shirt he had on underneath, the first couple of buttons undone. She clearly picked out his outfit. I watched as they exchanged a kiss on each other's cheeks before retreating to opposite sides of the room.
That's when I couldn't take it anymore. I used her suggestion to use the bathroom, down the hall and third door to the left, to get out of the room with all the couples and lit candles. It was like a scene from an alcohol commercial, the perfect apartment, dim lit room, everyone dressed to the nines and having a good time while sipping martini's, except no one was acting. People really were having a good time and making their resolutions, promising to help each other to keep it, making pact's to make sure the next year would be far superior than the past. Then there was me. Alone with my glass of Champaign and all dressed up, yet no one would speak to me, or even pay attention to me. This wasn't what I needed on New Years Eve.
Yet again, neither was this hospital trip.
Once I reached the bathroom, the door was already slightly ajar, and one of the blond SmackDown! girl's was kneeling by the bath tub with her mane covering her face. A quick snort with her head moving in a steady line, I cleared my voice to make my presences known. When she got off of her knees, she gave me a dirty look, which reminded me why I always thanked my lucky stars I was never drafted to Friday night, and she never came over to Raw. With an exchange like that, it was obvious we wouldn't get along, even if I hadn't interrupted her while she did a line of blow.
When she left, after giving me an obnoxious brush by with her shoulder that knocked me against the wall, I quietly closed the door and locked it. Contact from the outside world, no thank you. They were avoiding me enough. With a sigh, that was when I noticed him, just laying in the bathtub, half awake. It was only 9:15.
"Jeff?" I asked quietly, kneeling where whatsherface was kneeling just moments before. "You look out of it."
He mumbled something, wiping the drool off of his chin from his sleep and squinted his eyes. He was the only person tonight that hadn't bothered to dress up, it made me think he wasn't even invited, just showed up because he knew everyone would be here, including his brother. "Wher'mi?" he asked, scratching the scruff on his face.
"In a bathtub. Comfy?" I moved a piece of hair that was lying across his eye, so he could see better, only to notice small beads of sweat forming at the top of his hairline. "You're burning up," I whispered, standing up to grab a face cloth and put some cold water on it. I noticed him as he grabbed his stomach and groaning, his eyes closed and an agonizing pain look on his face. When I put the cold face cloth on his face, he swiped it away quickly, letting out a yell. My heart began racing while my stomach turned, I was almost in complete panic mode. The only thing I could think of to do was to hop into the tub myself, straddle the poor guy and make him face me.
"Follow my finger, Jeff," I told him, putting my index finger in his eyesight and moving it side to side as slowly as I could. When he shot up forward and threw up on my dress, I held my breath at the smell and stepped out of the tub, grabbing him by his shirt and attempted to take him out. I begged him to work with me, which he did, very sloth like. He tripped over the side of the tub.
"Help!" I opened the door and shouted. The first person to come to my rescue was John, who instantly scrunched his face when he saw my dress. "I need you."
"Lillian, not here at the party…" he told me with a wink while slipping by me. I heard him let out a gasp when he saw Jeff on the floor, and John mentioned he just stepped on the poor guy's fingers.
"He's sweating, he's in pain, and he threw up on me…"
"Go to my bag in the guest room, take out a shirt and some pants. Change, and I'll meet you down in the parking lot. We're going to take this guy to the hospital."
I left the bathroom and went to the guest room, at the end of the hall, fifth door on the right. John's bag was easy to find underneath Candice's, who looked like she had already moved in and claimed the room as her own. The shirt went down to my knees, and the pants were so baggy I had to tuck the ends into my shoes so they wouldn't drag on the ground. I felt bad for not explain to Maria in full, but I made sure to tell her to let Matt know we were taking Jeff to the hospital.
He met us there. I sat in the back of John's car with the youngest Hardy, doing the polite girl thing by holding his hair back when he decided he had to vomit. I was glad we had a good driver, John drove kind of slow, but we got to the hospital in good timing, seeing as Matt showed up a little less than five minutes later when we were in the waiting room.
Jeff was shivering in the uncomfortable wooden chairs that while we were waiting when Matt showed up, instantly running to the side of his younger brother. "Gosh Jeff," I heard him whisper. It was a little after ten o'clock.
When Jeff was finally admitted to a room, at 11:34 PM, two nurses went to Jeff's side and began to stick a tube down his throat, while a doctor pulled Matt, John and I back out into the hall. "Does he have a history of abuse?" he asked. I couldn't help but notice how handsome the doctor was.
Matt nodded his head. "Yes sir," he answered. John put a hand on both Matt's and mine shoulder and told us he was leaving.
The doctor turned to me. "Have you noticed a change in his moods?" I didn't know what to say to that. I never travel with Jeff and I sat next to him on a plane once, where he slept the whole time. Sure, I see him backstage, but he does his own thing and I do mine… "Not really," I said with a shrug. "He's pretty distant from everyone, and I found him in the bathroom."
"We're going to pump his stomach and go from there. I suggest the two of you stay out here while that is happening, and we'll have Nurse Michelle will inform you when it is safe to go see him." He gave us a quick, small smile before he entered the room where Jeff was, leaving Matt and I on our own.
We took a seat in those chairs that I began to dread and sat in silence, until he said, "you can leave if you want."
"No, Matt. I'll stay here with you, you shouldn't be by yourself right now." I put my hand on his knee to get his attention. "Go back to Maria's and see Ashley."
"He's my brother, I have to be here for him. Lils, he was doing so well… and then I let him out of my sight." I had to give him a hug; he was almost breaking down into tears. When Nurse Michelle came out, she gave us a positive smile as she approached Matt and I.
"He'll be OK," she told us. "He's still in a lot of pain, just some stomach cramps and they will last a while. He was dehydrated, so we have him hooked up to an IV, but we're going to keep him overnight just for observations and keep our eye on him. We did have to pump his stomach and found he had taken quite a bit of pills, but Dr. Baron said Jeff has had a history of drug abuse, correct?" Matt nodded his head again. "You must be his brother and girlfriend."
"Oh, I'm no…"
"Yes," Matt answered, giving me a slight jab to the ribs. "He's very close to the both of us."
She gave us another positive smile. "He'll be just fine, but maybe a new profession? These pain killers aren't going to work much longer." She raised her eyebrows at us as she left, and Matt let out a sigh of relief. "He's fine," he repeated her words. "He's going to be OK."
"Just fine," I assured him. "Go back to Ashley, I'll stay here with him." I could tell in his eyes he wasn't sure if I meant it or not. "Promise." He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before he left.
Walking into the room where Jeff was, I sat down in the wooden chair, where I would remain for the longest hours I've witnessed. He was sleeping silently, groaning every now and then from the stomach cramps the nurse told us about, but I couldn't help taking his free hand in mine and bringing it to my lips. His hands were so soft.
"Happy New Years," I whispered, tucking the strand of hair behind his ear again.
It was 12:07 AM, New Years Day.