“Oh my god! Rayne, is that you? I can’t believe it!” It’s Lyle, and he sounds more agitated than I’ve ever heard him sound as he is normally an even-tempered guy. “You have to come quick. Paris is in the hospital. We had a fight, and he left, and now, oh god. He won’t open his eyes! Why won’t he open his eyes?”
“Lyle, calm down,” I say, fighting back my own panic. “Please. You’re not making sense.”
“I’m at St. Luke’s. Can you get here? Now? I can’t talk over the phone.” He clicks off before I can get any more information.
It’s a nightmare, it has to be. I hang up my cell phone, stupidly looking at it in my hand. Vashti asks me what’s wrong, but I brush her off. I need her to drive me to St. Luke’s, and I’m praying that she knows the way. She does. We are out the door in a flash, and soon, she’s speeding down Caesar Chavez as fast as she dares. Neither of us speaks on the way over. Thoughts are rushing through my mind at breakneck speed, and I don’t bother trying to separate them. I can’t even think about Paris being in the hospital without wanting to either hurt someone badly or bursting into tears, so I push it to the very back of my brain. I keep my eyes fixed on the window as Vashti pulls up to St. Luke’s. She drops me off at the front door and goes to park the car. Information points me to ER, and I race down the hall.
“Lyle!” I call out as soon as I glimpse him. He catches me in his arms and crushes me to his chest.
“It’s so horrible, Rayne. He was deliberately hit. Who would do that? Why won’t he open his eyes?” Lyle is weeping and has been for a while judging by the looks of him. We sit down, our arms wrapped around each other.
“Can I see him?” I ask anxiously, wanting to reassure myself that Paris is ok.
“He’s still in surgery,” Lyle moans. “Why did I let him run out? Why didn’t I try to stop him? What was I thinking?”
“Lyle, tell me what happened!” I shake him slightly to try to calm him down. I am sympathetic to his pain, but I have to know what is going on.