“And then I will make an incision here…”
Dr Oliver was talking him through tomorrow’s surgery but Noah didn’t understand a word he was saying. Why couldn’t that man just use normal words?!
“And then by this time tomorrow all this will be over and I’ll be back in Dallas where I belong and Oakdale will just be a bad memory. Any questions or can I go back to my hotel room now?”
“Uhm.. what are my chances.. will I be able to see again when the bandages come off?” Noah asked, hoping the answer would be yes.
“Probably. Might not be perfect right away.. but there should be some improvement at least.” Reid shrugged.
“Oh.. ok.. uhm doctor Oliver.. can.. can I ask you something else?”
“What?” Reid asked annoyed.
“Will it..uhm.. how much.. uhm.. will I be.. uhm.. How much pain will I be in? Will it hurt?” Noah asked and felt stupid the moment the words left his mouth.
“Don’t worry about that, they have plenty of nice little things that will take care of the pain after the surgery and I won’t be cutting open your head when you’re awake. You’d move too much. Now is that all?”
Noah nodded. “Yeah..”
“Good, then I will see you tomorrow when you’re on my operating table.”
“No mum, I’m fine, I’m just going to go home.. and wait for the hospital to call me tomorrow to tell me how Noah’s surgery went.” Luke sighed as he put on his jacket.
“Are you sure? Your old bedroom is still here, you can just sleep here. That way you won’t have to drive home in the middle of the night” Lily said trying to convince her son to stay.
“Yes I’m sure. And it’s only 10pm. I just want to be alone tonight.. I think I’ll just watch some TV and then go to sleep. I promise as soon as the hospital calls me I’ll call you.”
Lily gave her son a look that told him she wasn’t happy with the situation but decided to let him go.
“Ok. Good night then sweetie”
Luke said good night to his mother and got in his car, forcing himself to drive home to his and Noah’s apartment instead of the hospital.
“Noah is fine. He’s in a hospital, he’s fine. They will take good care of him” he told himself.
He walked into the empty apartment, not bothering to turn any lights on and went straight to the bedroom and thought about the things his parents used to say when he was little and waiting for something like Christmas or his birthday. “The sooner you go to sleep, the sooner it will be morning.” He just hoped that little trick would still work now he was an adult.
He turned on the little bedside lamp and got changed and decided to sleep on Noah’s side of the bed instead of his own.
It had been a while since Noah had actually slept in that bed but it still smelled like him. Luke wrapped himself in the duvet and buried his head in Noah’s pillow inhaling his boyfriend’s scent.
He grabbed his phone from the nightstand and almost automatically dialled Noah’s number but stopped himself.
Calling Noah won’t do either of us any good right now. He has to rest for that surgery tomorrow. I’ll go see him when Reid is gone. Luke thought and closed his eyes, hoping he would fall asleep soon and morning would be there sooner.
Noah took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. It was just a matter of hours now before this whole nightmare would be over. Nothing to get scared about, Dr Oliver knows what he’s doing.
He turned over in his uncomfortable hospital bed, wondering what time it was, listening to the weird noises. Hospitals were definitely moving up to the top of his hate list.
Hopefully tomorrow he would be home again.. with Luke.
Yes he’d been angry with Luke, yes he had blamed him for what happened and yes he had put the possibility of having his sight restored before everything else.. but he really did love Luke and he really wished Dr Oliver didn’t hate him so much.
What he wouldn’t give for Luke to be with him right now. He could tell Luke how scared he was of the surgery and how close he’d come on more than one occasion in the past 72 hours to calling the whole thing off.
He felt around for the nightstand. One of the nurses had told him earlier she had put his personal belongings in there. His clothes, his cane, his wallet, his iPod and his mobile phone.
Texting might be a little problematic right now but surely it wasn’t against Dr. Oliver’s rules to just call Luke. Just talk to him for a few minutes.
A small smile formed on his face when he opened the drawer and his fingers found the phone. He punched in the number he’d known by heart for almost 3 years now.. but didn’t press call.
“I don’t know what time it is, he’s probably sleeping.. he has to work tomorrow.. I can’t wake him up now..” he mumbled softly to himself.
He jumped a little when he heard someone open the door to his room.
“Hello? Who..who is there?” he asked and tried his best to hide his disappointment when Alison answered instead of the person he’d hoped it would be.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just started my shift, I’m just checking in on everybody.” Alison said walking towards the bed and Noah suspected her of trying to make as much noise as possible so he would hear her coming.
“It’s ok.. I’m just a little.. nervous for tomorrow I guess.. and really sick of this hospital.”
“Yeah I can imagine.” Ali said and Noah heard her pull over a chair and tried not let her know he wasn’t exactly in the mood for a nice midnight heart to heart.
“You don’t have to stay with me Ali, you have better things to do than keeping the blind guy company.”
“No I don’t actually. You were the last one on my list and Carol can handle things on her own” Ali said a little too happy for Noah’s liking. “And besides, with a little bit of luck, this time tomorrow you won’t be the blind guy anymore.”
“Don’t get too excited.” Ali said sarcastically “I thought you’d be happy about getting your sight back.”
“I am. I just.. don’t want to get my hopes up.. it might not work.” Noah said softly.
“And you’re scared.” She wasn’t asking a question, just simply stating what she knew was true.
Luke rolled over again and glanced at the alarm on the nightstand. It was just after midnight and he was no closer to getting some sleep than he was when he went to bed.. over two hours ago.
Maybe if I just call the hospital and ask if he’s ok. That way I won’t wake him up and I can get some sleep. He thought and looked around for the card that had the neurology ward’s number on it.
He dialled the number and waited for someone to answer.
“Oakdale Memorial Hospital, Neurology, Alison Stewart speaking”
“Ali? Since when do you work in neurology?” Luke asked surprised.
“Luke? Is that you?”
“Yes, yes, sorry, it’s me. I didn’t expect you to answer that phone. I didn’t know you worked in neurology.”
“Yes, it’s part of my training that I work in all departments for a few months. But you didn’t call to talk about nursing school did you Luke?” Alison asked her friend.
“Uhm no not exactly..” Luke admitted and realised he was on his way outside when he pushed open the apartment building’s front door. How did I end up out here?
“He’s scared and he misses you” Alison told him.
“I miss him too..”
“Reid Oliver left hours ago you know.. and I’m a pro in creating diversions. He wouldn’t have to know you were here.”
“How do you know about Dr Oliver’s rules?”
“I just talked to Noah for a while. He told me Reid Oliver isn’t exactly your biggest fan.”
“Yeah that’s the understatement of the century. He will only treat Noah if I stay away from him.. and I’m sure there are plenty of things legally wrong with that but if I drag him to court he’ll never help Noah.”
“Yeah but- Luke.. what’s that noise in the background?”
“Oh I’m in the car.. you’re on speaker. Didn’t I tell you?”
“I am getting way too used to sneaking you into this place” Alison said as she opened the door to the staff entrance to let Luke in.
“I know..and thank you for that, really, I appreciate it. I was just going crazy at home.”
Alison nodded and looked around to see if the coast was clear.
“Ok we have to take the stairs and neurology is on the third floor so I hope you’re in good shape”
“Don’t worry, I’ll live. I just have to see him for a minute. Make sure he’s ok. I’ll leave right after I’ve seen him.”
“Sure, sure. Just don’t let anyone see you or I’ll be in trouble” Alison replied knowing her friend would not be leaving any time soon. “Ok it’s room 308, right around the corner. Make sure no-one sees you at the nurses’ station”
“No problem. Thanks again Ali” Luke said and hugged his friend before going to find Noah’s room.
“I’m not going in, I’ll just look through the window and then I’ll see he’s fine and I’ll go back home and get some sleep.” Luke told himself but that thought went out the window when he saw Noah’s name on the little sign next to the door.
“He’s probably asleep, I’ll just sit with him for a little while”
Luke opened the door and tried not to make any noise.
“Alison? Is that you?” Noah asked, sitting up in bed
Luke thought about turning around and leaving for about 3 whole seconds before he walked over to the bed and grabbed his boyfriend’s hand.
“No, not Alison this time. It’s me. I couldn’t sleep. Came to see how you were doing.”
“Luke? What? How? What about Dr Oliver’s rules?”
Luke sat down and kissed Noah’s knuckles.
“Dr Oliver isn’t here right now and I’ll make sure I’m gone by the time he gets here in the morning.”
Noah was silent for a minute while he tried to wrap his mind around what was happening.
“No. Don’t go. I.. I don’t want you to go. I want you with me and I don’t care what Dr. Oliver says.” He finally said
“Ok. I won’t go.” Luke promised “I’m sure Ali can hide me somewhere when doctor evil comes in. Or I’ll just go home to get my laptop so I can work from here and be here when you come out of surgery.”
“Home?” Noah asked surprised. “You mean your parents’ house?”
“No.. I uh.. I know I said I uh I mean we.. had to give up the apartment.. but when I went down to Mr Reese’s office I couldn’t do it. All I did was drop off a cheque for the next 3 months rent.”
“So.. we still have the apartment?” Noah asked not sure how he felt about that piece of news.
“Yeah for the next 3 months anyway. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you right away. It’s just that.. well when or if we ever move out of that place.. I want it to be because we’re moving into a different apartment or maybe even a house together. Not because you’re in hospital and kind of living with Maddie and my family is falling apart over the latest Snyder/ Grimaldi drama.” Luke blurted out.
Luke felt more than he saw Noah move away from him to the other side of the bed until he was laying right on the edge of the mattress.
“You don’t have to come back to the apartment if you don’t want to.. I understand if you think it’s too soon or something. I don’t want to push you into anything you - ”
“Luke.” Noah said, interrupting the verbal flood spilling from his boyfriend’s mouth. “I’m not mad.. I was just thinking that.. if we still live together.. we should really share a bed shouldn’t we?”
It took Luke’s mind a few seconds to process what his boyfriend meant.
“You want me to get into bed with you?”
“Well I definitely don’t want Dr Oliver to.. and unless you gained a lot of weight in the past few days I think there’s enough room here” Noah said and Luke was happy to see a smile on his face.
Luke grinned and quickly took off his jacket and shoes and got into the tiny hospital bed and softly kissed Noah’s lips.
“I missed that. I missed you.”
Noah smiled and traced Luke’s face with his fingers.
“I missed you too.. I’m sorry I let Dr Oliver control me..”
“It’s ok. I’m here now and Reid Oliver can hate me as much as he wants but I’m not going anywhere.” Luke said and wrapped his arms around his boyfriend. “How are you feeling? Are you scared?”
“Terrified.” Noah admitted. “What if something goes wrong and I end up as a vegetable? Or he finds out he can’t do it after all?”
“Nothing will go wrong. And whatever happens.. we’ll figure it out together. I’m scared too and Dr. Oliver is really one of the last people I want anywhere near you.. because well..he’s a jerk. But jerk or not.. he’s good at his job”
“I hope so. He talked me through the surgery earlier but I barely understood half of it. Ali tried to explain some things but she didn’t know everything either.”
“Maybe it’s better not to know exactly what he’s doing..” Luke tried but then had to admit to himself he did want to exactly know what this Dr Oliver was planning on doing to his boyfriend. “Or we can make him explain it all again tomorrow.”
“He’ll hate you even more for that.”
“Ah I can live with that, as long as he tries his hardest to fix your eyes.” Luke said and kissed his boyfriend. “I love you Noah Mayer and I promise I will be here for you every step of the way from now on.”
Noah smiled and wanted to tell Luke how much he loved him when a soft knock on the door interrupted him.
“Noah, is everything ok? Do you need anything?” Alison asked.
“Nope, no thanks..I’m fine, I have everything I need now” Noah answered happily, snuggling a little closer to the man he loved.
“And then I will make an incision here…”