Small Cuts (19) Oliver

To find links to all parts of this story, please visit the Small Cuts Page. Here is Oliver:

“We killed him, Oliver. And we nearly killed Gen too.” Those were the last words Elaine spoke to me that night. I had tried to soothe, to assuage the guilt, but she was having none of it. She turned her back to me, pulled the covers up tight and when I tried to lie beside her and take her in my arms, she stiffened and shifted away. Panic began to rise like water in a pot about to boil over. I was losing everything. I couldn’t lose Elaine, too. Willing myself to calm down, I determined to give her some space and try again tomorrow. Reluctantly, I kissed the back of her head and left.

I drove aimlessly, not wanting to go home to my empty house. My mom had offered to come and stay with me, but between spending so much time at the hospital and the rest of it with Elaine, I thought it would be pointless. Besides, Gen’s family was enough to deal with without having my mom hovering, too. Nevertheless, tonight the last thing I wanted was to be alone. I had imagined spending the night with Elaine —the first night we’d have together without fear of discovery. I had needed that comfort tonight. Needed the solace of her arms and the promise unspoken that we could be together after everything had been resolved. And so much was left to be resolved. So many decisions to make and ultimately only me to make them.

Without realizing, I found myself following the route to the hospital. As much as I dreaded the visits to Genevieve’s side, I knew it was the right thing to do. The doctors encouraged us to talk to her in the hopes that maybe something would register. So far it hadn’t worked. The prognosis was grim. The life support machines were the only reason she was still alive. If you could call it that… Though the rest of her injuries had been successfully dealt with, her brain had been without oxygen too long, her heart only restarted when the paramedics arrived. The damage had been severe, the levels of brain activity were negligible. The doctors couched this diagnosis with the caveat that it was still early and the situation could change.

I pulled into the Jefferson Hospital visitor’s garage and parked. Then taking a moment to brace myself, I locked the car and began the long walk to the ICU. Gen’s mother and sister were a constant presence —her father and brother left at home to mind the nieces and nephews. One or the other of them slept curled up in the uncomfortable hospital version of a recliner every night. They were both by her bedside when I entered the room. I nodded my hello. Without saying it, their looks told me they thought I should be the one keeping vigil.

Gen’s injuries had spared her face, so that as she lay in the intensive care unit, she looked just like she was sleeping. With her golden hair and delicate features, I imagined her as a fairytale princess under the spell of a wicked witch. Except I was no Prince Charming to kiss her awake. I stepped to the side opposite my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. “Anything to report?” I asked.

Gen’s sister, Allison shook her head. “No, nothing.” Gen’s mother cleared her throat. “We thought you’d have been here earlier….” she said with a frown.

“Yeah. It was James’ funeral today. I needed some time…”

Her expression softened. “Oh. I’m sorry, Oliver. I forgot. How is Elaine holding up?”

“She’s resting. Her family went home today. I think she’s overwhelmed.”

“She’s going to need your help, Ollie. You and Gen, when she gets better.”

I smiled what I hoped was a sincere smile. Denial. I wasn’t buying into it. Gen was gone and with her, well… Oh, if they only knew. If they had any idea of the secret I kept from them. The secret I could barely admit to myself. Which is why I couldn’t stand the thought of losing Elaine. She was all I had left. She was my only chance at happiness. My only chance at redemption. My only chance to make things right. If I lost her now, it would make all of this horrible ordeal unlivable. I had lost my best friend, I was surely going to lose Gen, and as the doctors informed me shortly after they had stabilized her, she had lost the twelve week old fetus she had been carrying. The child I so desperately wanted was lost to me, too.

28 thoughts on “Small Cuts (19) Oliver

      1. Well Elaine is blaming herself and Oliver because if Gen and/or James hadn’t been suspicious, neither of them would have been coming into the city. Not that they actually killed them… I think maybe I need to elaborate on that! Making a note for the rewrite!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, I followed what the story was, it just surprised me that she was hurt as well. I’m super curious to see where it heads next, but I’m guessing Oliver and Elaine isn’t gonna happen. That’d be one cursed beginning to a relationship. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, hmm… well, I was actually planning on having Gen’s episode (the next one) be the last. I guess it will leave the story hanging but it was never meant to be super long! It’s really a dreadful tale isn’t it? Maybe I’ll do something else with it in the future but I am ready to wrap it up for now!

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  1. I had to go back and reread all because I’d thought I’d gotten confused but I found I’d missed a few episodes anyway so it was good to reread everything. I was (and still am) surprised that Gen had been pregnant because at the beginning she was so adamant about not wanting children… so I’m hoping you’ll explain this a little, if it was supposed to be a surprise for Oliver or it wasn’t even his or what changed.

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    1. Well… since Gen had pretty much been losing her mind, she hadn’t even acknowledged the pregnancy actually. As I am finishing up the story, that thread will be left dangling I’m afraid! (This is what happens when you write by the seat of your pants!) 😳

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  2. I’m so impressed with how you keep these characters and their plotlines straight! Only one more installment? I need more! This has been such fun, like the best about a soap opera–plus great writing. Takes me back to my Santa Barbara days in high school–remember that soap? And, every time I see your photos of Philly, I laugh to myself, thinking of the comedy series my husband and I are watching (late, as always): It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Have you seen? It’s pretty crude and totally a-politically correct, but does bring to light some of the things I’ve noticed about friends from Philly (how loud they talk, for one)–who are definitely of a different class than your characters here.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yo Fulladulfia! Yes, they’re suburbanites! Lol! I’m so glad you have enjoyed it. It really was challenging to keep all four straight from each other. That’s what meticulous record keeping is good for. I don’t remember Santa Barbara. I watched General Hospital during the Luke and Laura years and Days of our lives… So funny!

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  3. I agree with Tony… I’m having trouble feeling bad for Oliver… or wishing good things for him. He kind of seems like he’s taking advantage of the (horrible) situation to get closer to Elaine. I don’t think it’s the right time. Too soon, I guess…

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