Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun, Fun, Fun and Games

Hey folks! It's been a while since our last FUN AND GAMES WITH K & K post over on Kelly's blog.  This is completely my fault.  I will admit to a certain amount of Lazy Writer Syndrome and Sucky Writer Disease on my part. 

It happened.  So, get over it.  I regret nothing :)

Ahem.  Anywho, if you need a little refresher, you can find Kelly's last post here.  I'll wait while you go read. 

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Done?  Okay! On with the show.  Enjoy!


Grace’s room was filled to bursting over the next two days. From the second she’d opened her eyes to find Truman sitting vigil at her side, she’d not once had a moment to herself. Which was a good thing, she continually told herself. It should have warmed her, eased the pain of Harper’s absence. But even with as many people surrounding her as there were, a huge gaping hole sat right in the center of it all, the place where her best friend should have been.


Where was Harper? She could’ve sworn she’d heard her friend talking to her while she’d drifted between life and death, and Truman had confirmed that fact. But his sister had yet to make an appearance since Grace opened her eyes. Worse still, no one would tell her where Harper was. Whenever she asked, her questions were met with a long uncomfortable silence, followed by a nervous flickering of eyes and then a hasty change of subject.

The wondering was slowly driving Grace insane.

“You’re looking tired, sweetheart,” he father noted from his station at the foot of her bed. He was the only person who’d sat with her more than Truman since she woke up. The irony of it taking a bullet to make him acknowledge her for longer than a minute was not lost on Grace.

“I’m fine,” she answered automatically, but the moment the words fell from her lips, her mouth stretched into a yawn, proclaiming her a liar.

His lips quirked up in a half-smile and he set his paper aside. Then, he pushed up to his feet. “I’ll let you rest.” Before she could argue that she wasn’t tired, he dropped a kiss on her forehead. “I think I’ll go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee and maybe some lunch. Do you want anything?”

Stifling another yawn, she shook her head. “But, can you leave me your cell? I want to call Abby, see when she’ll be by.” It was only half a lie. She did want to call her cousin, but first she had to find out what was up with Harper.

He dug into his pocket and handed it to her with a gentle admonishment to get some rest. She smiled her thanks and watched him leave.

The first number she dialed—Harper’s cell—went directly to voice mail. She ended the call without leaving a message. Next, she dialed Owen’s number. Voice mail again, but this time, she left a message.

What was going on here? Dread pooled low in Grace’s gut. Something happened with her friend while she’d been unconscious, but what?

“Finally.”

Grace snapped the phone closed, her eyes reaching across the room to meet Lucky’s wide grin.

“I was beginning to think Boy Wonder would never leave your side,” he told her as he sauntered into the room, pulled the chair her father had only moments before vacated close to her side, and then plopped down in it.

Grace rolled her eyes. “I’m sure Truman would love to hear himself be called that.”

“No doubt.” He leaned forward, took her hand in both of his. “How’re you feeling, Grace? You still look so pale.” Concern colored his normally laughing eyes somber. Grace found that she didn’t like this serious side of Lucky. It was just so…un-Lucky-like.

She lifted her shoulders in a small shrug, wincing as the tiny movement did painful things to her injured body. “I guess bullet wounds are not as easy to get over as the movies make them out to be.”

He barked out a surprised laugh. “Guess not.”

“Have you seen Harper?” The question flew out of her mouth before she could stop it. But she didn’t regret asking. She needed to know.

Slowly, reluctantly, he nodded. “Yeah, I have.”

“Well,” she demanded, annoyed by his short answer. “Where is she? What’s going on? Is she okay? Why won’t anyone tell me anything?”

“Because,” he shot a quick look over his shoulder, then back at her, before finally dropping his gaze to their joined hands. “Because…uh…I don’t know why.”

She snatched her hand out of his grasp, glaring viciously at him. “I don’t believe you. Where. Is. Harper?”

“Now, now, Gracie. Don’t get yourself all worked up. The doctor said—“

“I don’t give a rat’s ass what the doctor said,” she snarled, her eyes welling with angry moisture. “I want to know what’s going on. I want to know where my best friend is!”

“Well, I don’t know exactly where she is right now. It’s not my turn to watch her. I’m actually not sure who’s on babysitting detail today.”

“You’re not funny.”

“Aw, come on.” He heaved out a loud, overly-dramatic sigh. “It was a little funny. Wasn’t it?”

“Lucky.”

“Grace.”

“Where is she? Tell me!”

“I’m right here.” They both turned at that softly uttered announcement.

“Harp,” Grace gasped. This girl standing in the doorway was not her best friend. This girl with limp unwashed hair hanging in her face, tired eyes that looked like they belonged to a hundred-year-old lady instead of a teenaged girl, and sallow complexion was not her Harper. Her Harper was bright and shining. Even in recent days, her Harper hadn’t been anywhere near as washed-out and faded as this girl. How could Harper have deteriorated so much in so little a time?

Lucky leaped to his feet and gestured toward his chair. “Sit down, Harps. I was just leaving.”

She didn’t move from her station at the door. “No, Lucky. It’s okay. I didn’t mean to bother you. I just…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have interrupted.”

At last, she brought her saddened gaze to Grace. In it, Grace saw everything that Harper couldn’t seem to form into words. Her guilt at everything that had happened to land Grace in that hospital bed, the agony of all the vicious words that had passed between them, and how desperately she wanted to bridge the gap between them, but didn’t quite know how to make that first monumental step. There was just so much churning around inside her, but none of that bubbled up to the surface.

Instead, she turned away, mumbling, “I’m just so sorry,” before she disappeared into the hallway.

So...? What do we think?  Are we about ready to put Grace and Harper out of their misery yet?  Until next time, folks, when Kelly wows you with her writing prowess.  (FYI: she will be on vacay next week, so it might be a little minute before she gets her next post up. I'm just saying)