***For more on my story STORM, check out my ‘Extract‘ section for the beginning***
For the next week, even though we didn’t see each other, we were always talking. And the more we talked the more we learnt about each other. There was always something new to learn about one another.
I learnt that his favourite colour is blue and that is favourite book is my favourite book Wuthering Heights but for two completely different reasons. Matt told me that he works construction because when David comes home crying after school because he doesn’t have the newest and latest toy or book or clothing, he wants to go out and buy them for him, because he doesn’t want him to have a difficult time at school. He works hard for his brother and mother and would do anything for them, and I can’t say that that doesn’t make my heart beat a little faster.
Then one night Matt dropped a bigger bomb, telling me that when he was younger he dreamt that one day that he would build his own house and fill it completely with children of his own. I hadn’t asked him about it and we weren’t even talking about it, he just said that he wanted me to know. I didn’t know what to say when he told me. It meant a lot to me that he felt so comfortable telling me such personal things so early in our relationship.
On Friday night, I waited for Matt to text me to tell me that he had finished work. But the text never came. I didn’t want to worry, thinking maybe he had picked up another shift or that he was at home busy with David. So I helped Mum make dinner and then watched some television with Lily after as Mum went back to work in her office. I kept my phone close to me just in case Matt rang or texted.
I got lost in the show Lily and I were watching and didn’t realise the time when I heard a knock on the front door. Lily and I looked at each other wondering who the hell it could be. As Lily doesn’t like to answer the door, especially at night, I grabbed my phone and headed to the door. I saw that it was well after eight as I unlocked the door. It was dark out and I was slightly scared about who could be on the other side of the door, so I opened it slowly making sure that the fly screen was still locked. But then I saw the silhouette of the person leaning on their side on the wall of the house and realised that it was Matt.
Matt! Oh my god what has happened? What are you doing here?
“Matt” I asked unlocking the fly screen already knowing the answer.
“Anna who is it?” I could hear Lily ask from the lounge room.
I knew something was wrong before I even opened the door because there was no way that Matt would be here under any other circumstances. I couldn’t see his face as he had a hood over his head.
“Matt what’s wrong?” I asked gently pulling the hood off.
He didn’t move, it looked like he couldn’t even move and now seeing his face I could see why not.
“Matt what has happened? Can you move?” I asked as I walked around to his side to see how badly hurt he is.
He could barely walk or talk but I heard the whimpered no that came out of him. I needed to get him inside, safe, but there was no way that I was going to be able to move him by myself.
“LILY I NEED YOUR HELP COME HERE!”
I could hear her coming towards me and Matt and the only thing I could think about was the fact that this was how my family was going to find out about Matt and me.
“What’s wrong?” Lily asked as she got to the door but couldn’t see us yet.
“I need you to help me bring Matt inside, I can’t carry him by myself. Can you help me or not?” I insisted as she just stood there looking at me as I pulled Matt’s arm around my shoulder.
She looked at me again and then walked around me to get to the other side of Matt where she lifted him off his side and placed his arm around her neck. We slowly got inside and as soon as we cleared the front door and hallway I yelled for Mum on the top of my lungs. I don’t know what she was doing but she came as soon as I yelled. She stopped where she was when she saw the three of us, unsure of what was happening. I couldn’t blame her it’s not like Lily or I had ever been in such as situation.
“Can you pull out a chair?” I said as we got closer to her.
She grabbed a dining room chair and pulled it into the open lounge room area and Lily and I placed Matt down carefully, trying not to hurt him anymore than he already was. With the light on I could see just how bruised and battered Matt really was and see just how much pain he must have been.
“Matt who did this to you?” I asked crouching down in front of him.
“Anna who is this?” Mum asked without letting Matt answer my question first.
“This is my boyfriend Matt and I know I haven’t told you about him yet and I was going to soon. Can you guys help him?” I said looking into Matt’s eyes because if I looked at Mum or Lily I would have seen reactions I didn’t want to see.
“Your boyfriend? Since when?” Mum was shocked.
“I will explain it to you later, can you guys help him or not?” I said getting angry that Matt was still sitting there in pain whilst they were interrogating me.
“I’ll go get my things” Lily finally said leaving to go to her room.
“And I’ll get some clean cloth and water and shut the front door I suppose” Mum wasn’t happy but I didn’t really care at this given moment.
“Everything is going to be okay. I promise. Mum and Lily are great at what they do and I won’t let anything bad happen to you”
Nothing bad can happen to Matt. I only just found him, you can’t take him away from me this soon. I won’t let you.
Lily came back with her work bag and her stethoscope and Mum came with a bowl of water and clean cloths. Lily got to work inspecting Matt to see what was wrong with him and what needed to be fixed and looked at. Matt had one eye that was almost swollen completely shut with bruises and cuts all over his face and neck. God only knows that else what under his clothing and inside if he was that bad on the outside already.
Lily put on her pair of gloves as she asked Matt a whole bunch of questions, not always getting a loud enough response and having to ask again. I watched closely as she listened to his chest and then felt it, feeling that he had two broken ribs. It took her a while but she sat there and cleaned and dressed all of Matt’s wounds from head to toe before sitting back in front of him and pulled off her gloves with a look on her face.
“What’s wrong?” worry was building within me.
“I’m trying to work out if we should bring Matt to the hospital or if he can go in the morning” she finally said just staring at Matt.
Oh god, this is bad. Matt was hurt and he wasn’t okay, not by a long shot.
“What should we do?” I asked walking over to stand next to Matt.
“I’m going to go and call my friend and see what they say because at the moment I don’t know everything and I can’t see everything that might be happening inside and if I miss just one thing, it could cause complications. Give me a minute” Lily walked off towards her bedroom.
I sat in the seat Lily had been sitting in moments ago in front of Matt and carefully took his hand in mine. I was so scared for him and I didn’t know what to do to make any of this better.
“No hospitals” Matt said softly.
“Okay” I replied not knowing why Matt didn’t want to go to a hospital and gently kissed his hand to try and comfort him.
I could feel Mum staring at me after I kissed Matt’s hand. I would have kissed him on the lips if they weren’t covered in blood and he was in so much pain. I was glad that Mum and Lily knew about me and Matt. It was such a relief, even though it wasn’t under the most ideal circumstances. It was good that I didn’t have to keep lying to my family about Matt. Mum came back with a glass of cold water for Matt.
“Everything is going to be fine Matt” Mum said as she placed the glass of water on the table next to Matt before walking over and kissing the top of my head.
Is this her way of telling me that she is okay with me and Matt, that she approves? I hope so.
“Matt is there anyone that will be worrying that you’re not home at this time of night? A parent who needs to know what has happened?” Mum was obviously worried too.
Oh crap! David. How did I forget about him, he must be freaking out that Matt isn’t home.
“Do you want me to call David and let him know what is happening?” I asked Matt realising that his mother needed to know too.
“Call him off my phone but let me speak” Matt said squeezing my hand softly before nudging his head to the left telling me his phone was in his pocket.
I let go of Matt’s hand and stood up to get his phone, hoping that it hadn’t been destroyed in whatever had happened to him. As I slid my hand in his pocket Matt shifted slightly to let me grab it, wincing as he moved.
“Sorry” I whispered hoping that he wasn’t in more pain because of me.
I opened his phone, but it was password protected and I had no idea what his pin would be. I looked up at him for some guidance.
“Storm” was all he said.
It took me a minute to work out what the date was when we met, when the storm was before punching the numbers in.
Oh his phone pin is that day that we meet. Cute!
I smiled slightly as I looked up at him and he smiled in return even though his right eye was now completely swollen shut. I headed straight for his phone book and of course David and I were up the top of the list and pressed dial on David’s number.
“It’s ringing” I stood there holding the phone next to Matt’s ear waiting for David to pick up.
Finally David picked up and quickly started asking Matt questions before Matt even had the chance to say hello. I could hear everything David was saying to Matt and what Matt was trying to tell David. Then I heard a women’s voice on the other end and knew it had to be his mother, because she wasn’t yelling but she was angry at him. Matt kept talking to them and then grabbed my hand. He looked at me and I knew what his mother had just asked so I knew what he wanted to know.
“Mum is it okay if Matt stays here for the next few days until he is feeling better” I asked quietly as Matt was still on the phone.
“If Lily says he doesn’t have to go to the hospital tonight, he can stay the weekend. Let me go get something for him” she said but I couldn’t tell if she really wanted him here or if she just agreed because I asked her.
I watched Mum walk away before looking back at Matt who was asking his mother to put David back on the phone.
“I won’t be home for a few days buddy, so Mum is going to take care of you. Listen to her and nothing bad will happen. Have fun at your soccer game and I will take you to school Monday morning okay? You can sleep in my room if you want. I’ll see you soon, love you David” Matt finished and let me hang up the phone.
“Thank you” Matt said as I closed his phone and he took my hand in his.
I smiled at him and knew that everything was going to be okay, that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to him. Moments later Mum and Lily came back to the lounge room with towels, blankets, a spare tooth brush and a set of Dad’s old pyjamas.
“So?” I asked needing to know what had to happen next.
“I am going to have to do a full body exam to rule out if you need to go to hospital or not. So we need to move you onto a flat surface” Lily replied.
Before I knew it, I was speaking without realising what I was saying out loud.
“Let’s take him to my room, my bed is big enough and he can sleep there without having to move again” I never usually speak without thinking, but for some reason I did and the looks that came from Mum and Lily were beyond hilarious.
“Look Mum, there is nothing happening between me and Matt. We have only been together for two weeks. All we do is kiss and talk and not much else, so nothing is going to happen if we stay in my room together for a night or two. Nothing is going to happen especially if Matt is hurt. I’m still the same girl, I haven’t changed overnight, you can trust me and Matt” I had to add because I knew there was no way that I was going to be able to get away with what I had said without backing myself up.
“I wasn’t going to say anything Anna, I know exactly who you are. I just would have like a little bit more time to sit with the idea of you and Matt before sticking you in a room together is all. I just need to process all of this and so will your father” Mum replied.
“I was going to tell you, I was just waiting for the right time”
“Okay Anna, we get it, you and Matt are together, so if you’re happy we are happy too. Now can we move Matt onto your bed so I can look after him or are we just going to stand around talking about our feelings all night?” Lily interrupted before I got to say anything else.
At least she isn’t opposed to the idea of Matt and I.
Matt had been sitting there as we spoke and hadn’t moved or spoken the whole time, but as soon as Lily and I went to help him stand up, he groaned in pain. He was in so much pain, but we had to move him to my room so that he could be more comfortable in the long run. Lily and I slowly took our time so we weren’t hurting Matt as Mum went ahead and got my room ready. By the time we got to my room, Mum had moved all of my bed pillows, moved what was on my bed to my table and put Matt’s things and what he would need on my bedside table. We were finally able to sit him down on the side of my bed. I moved out of Lily’s way so that she could take Matt’s top off. As much as I wanted to be the one to strip him, I didn’t want to hurt him and I knew Lily would be able to do it without hurting him. As his top came off, there was a large bruise starting to develop on his side. I couldn’t look at Matt in so much pain when Lily listened to Matt’s chest again. I turned away from what she was doing so I wouldn’t have to see him and waited until I she said that she was done to turn around again. But I didn’t wait for her to finish, I turned around as soon as I heard Matt yell at the top of his lung.
You’re not supposed to hurt him, you’re supposed to be helping him Lily.
“I’m sorry. I’m just trying to work out whether it is a bruise or if you are internally bleeding” she said as she continued touching Matt’s bruise that was increasing growing and getting darker.
After a few minutes of umming and thinking Lily was sure enough that it was just a bruise and that Matt wasn’t bleeding.
“We need to see if this bruise grows bigger or changes in any way tonight. So you won’t be able to sleep with a top on” Lily said as she grabbed a marker off my table and outlined the entire bruise with it.
I think we can work with that. No don’t think like that Anna, Matt is hurt, and this isn’t the time to think like that.
“What else do we need to worry about?” I needed to know what I was looking out for if I was going to be watching him all night.
“From what I can tell, you have a broken rib under that bruise, which will have to be checked by a doctor at some point to make sure that it is healing properly. I can’t rule out if you have a concussion or not because I don’t have the right tools and because you yourself don’t remember how many times you have been hit or have hit your head on something. So you won’t be able to go to sleep until at least one o’clock in the morning and if he does fall asleep before then Anna, come and get me straight away” Lily said checking her watch “Two Panadol’s now and in the morning will get you through until I examine you again” she said standing up.
“Is that it?”
“Yep, if anything changes just come and get me. Try and get as comfortable as you can and don’t move if you don’t have to, we don’t want that rib breaking anything else. Now go get a tall glass of water and two Panadols and sit tight for a long night” Lily replied heading for the bedroom door.
“Thanks for everything Lily”
“It’s what I’m here for” she laughed as she left.
I looked at Matt before heading to the kitchen for his water and Panadol. When I got back, Mum was moving pillows under Matt’s head to make him comfortable.
“Is that comfortable?” she asked as I handed Matt the Panadols and water.
“Yes, thank you” he replied throwing them both back.
I took the empty glass and followed Mum to the door.
“If you need anything you know where I will be” she said kissing me good night before leaving.
I closed the bedroom door and walked over to my table to leave the empty glass before walking over to the bed.