She Loves Me

Entry by: Mr Golightly

23rd February 2015
They had stopped bringing him flowers when they kept disappearing. He would make excuses about hospital policy, giving them away to people more needy or... a runaway goat?

That probably wouldn't wash.

The truth is that he would wait until the room was empty, then he'd run through the same futile ritual over and over again. She loves me. She loves me not. She loves me. She loves me not...

The answer was always the same. At one point he became convinced that all flowers must have an even number of petals, or maybe just certain types of flower. That would make sense right? Science? So he tried to cheat by starting with 'she loves me not'. Same result.

He repositioned himself in bed, careful not to put undue pressure on his stitches. They had already ruptured twice in his sleep and he always felt guilty seeing the crisp white linen stained with blood, knowing that someone else would have to clear up after his mess.

Being stabbed in the stomach, even while drunk, hurts. It hurts quite a lot. Unrequited love hurts more.

On the night in question it had been the usual crew in the usual places; John Doe, his friends, the love of his life and, of course, her boyfriend. He'd never liked the boyfriend and, while he could point to a few specific things that irked him, he was smart enough to know that the real reason was jealousy. As it happens, the boyfriend didn't like him much either and for the most part they kept their distance.

They hit the standard string of clubs and bars without much incident, the couple had a minor falling out that was soon patched up over vodka and Journey and the various friends all had minor dramas of their own, but nothing of note had really occurred. It was only when they arrived at a club called Bounce that the mood started to sour and a few of the group found themselves transitioning from happy drunk to... well, not-so-happy drunk.

At one point the boyfriend had tried to start a fight with him but he had let it slide. The theory had always been that one day the boyfriend would be out of the picture and John wasn't going to do anything to jeopardise his future chances. It seemed like a bad idea to burn the one bridge you wanted to cross above all others. Unfortunately fate had other plans for the night.

After his first failed attempt to instigate a fight the boyfriend had turned his attention to some strangers who were now giving him a pretty thorough kicking. This might have felt like karma to John and provided some much needed catharsis were it not for the fact that the assault quickly turned brutal. John wasn't a physical man and the needle on the fight or flight gauge in his mind quickly shot to the right. This wasn't his doing and it wasn't his fight.

Walk away.

Then he saw the look of horror on her face. She wanted to help but her friends were wisely holding her back. She thrashed about, desperate to run to his aid but to no avail. He was probably done for and she knew it.


When John entered the fray that night he found a strength he never knew he had. He fought like an animal. He fought like a man possessed. He fought until he got stabbed. Three times.

He woke up three days later in a surprisingly pleasant hospital room. His friends were the first to visit and they told him all about how the three lads had been arrested and that, save for a few broken ribs, the boyfriend had actually got off pretty lightly. He had been released from the hospital the day before.

When his family visited they told him that he was a hero and lauded his selfless behaviour.

When the police visited they told him much the same.

It didn't matter all that much. After all the interviews and conversations only one thing mattered to him.

She never visited.

He spent the days waiting. He read the papers (he had been in some of them) and he did the crosswords (badly) and all the time he kept his eye on the door. The empty hours ticked by slowly. Nothing proved to be a sufficient distraction from the ache he felt inside. When the drugs finally caught up with him once more, he settled back down in his bed and started to drift off to sleep, hoping that this time he wouldn't wake to blood soaked sheets and embarrassment.

As he slumbered he dreamt a foolish dream about a girl, standing just outside his hospital door, picking the petals from the flowers she had brought.