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Live, Love, Lose - 31. Chapter 31

Back to Karl's POV...

“If you need anything, or if there is a problem, you call this number, okay?”

Karl nodded as Mrs. Hopkins kept repeating the same thing to him, to make sure he had understood, or that he would do it. She had shown him how to use their telephone. It wasn’t that hard.

They were going out to see some friends, well at least it was what he thought he had understood, but maybe he had got it wrong.

“Margaret, I think he has understood. You’ve been repeating the same thing to him twenty times in the last five minutes. He is not dumb.”

Said woman looked away from him to stare at her husband.

“I know he is not. I just cannot help it. You know how I am.”

“Stop worrying so much for him. Nothing will happen to him while we are away.”

“I know nothing will happen to him. It’s just that…”

They exchanged a look that seemed to be enough for them to understand each other.

“They will be okay on their own, they can stay alone,” Mr. Hopkins assured her, but he didn’t seem to be really sure of it himself.

“I will call you if there’s a problem,” Karl assured them both.

Why should there be a problem anyway?


Mrs. Hopkins stared back at him and gave him a soft smile.

“I know you will, dear. I just feel a bit guilty about leaving you alone, I mean, it won’t really be entertaining…”

“It’s fine.”

He absolutely didn’t mind staying there alone with George.

Her smile widened a bit. She grabbed his face before she kissed him on the forehead.

“We won’t get back too late.”

Karl nodded again as she let go of his face.

After that, they left the house swiftly.

He stared at the door with a passive face. He remained still for a long moment until he finally looked away from it to look down at the piece of paper on which Mrs. Hopkins had scribbled the number to call. He crumpled it and stuffed it in his pocket.

He wasn’t sure about what he should do now. George was upstairs, and he knew he didn’t want to be disturbed. It was a bit too early to go to bed.

He could have stayed with Paul, hadn’t he been spending the evening with Emma.

He thought about what he could potentially do. He could try to do a bit of writing, but he knew it would be too difficult for him all on his own.

Or he could play chess. He just had to find the chessboard.

He made his way to the living room and looked for it, but he wasn’t there. Wait. He remembered the first time Mr. Hopkins had shown him how to play. He had left the living room to go and fetch it. It couldn’t be either in the kitchen or in his and Mrs. Hopkins’s bedroom. So it could only be in that one room where he had never been. He guessed the couple would let him go there without asking for permission. He opened the door and entered it swiftly. It was spacious, filled with wooden furniture. There was a huge desk in the back. He took slow steps across it to get a closer look at it.

Once he was near the desk, there was a particular photograph that caught his attention. He grabbed it and examined it carefully. There were two young boys. One was probably about three or four years old, and the other one in his teen years. But their age difference didn’t seem to make them any less close. The older one was holding the youngest one in his lap, and they were both smiling. They really looked alike. They were most likely brothers. Karl brought it closer to his face. They looked vaguely familiar. Yes, they both looked like Mr. Hopkins. But in much younger versions of him, of course.

He had never wondered whether he or his wife had siblings, but now that he was seeing them, he found a sudden interest in it. It brought a smile to his lips. They looked good together. It made him think about his own siblings.

They did have family photographs back at home. Cameras were the only kind of machinery his parents were willing to have in their house and use.

He just hadn’t thought about taking some of them with him.

It’s alright, you could’ve never thought you’d stay away from home for so long without them.

He focused his whole attention back on the two black and white smiley faces. He couldn’t even say who was the oldest of the two. Mr. Hopkins or his brother?

Tricky question.

He put the photograph back in place and turned around to scan the rest of the room. It was probably in the tremendous piece of furniture. He approached it, opened all of the doors and drawers, and ended up finding it after a minute or so. He took it carefully, even more carefully as the last time he had taken it, and went to the living room. After putting it down on the round table, he started playing immediately, with the black side.

This became a talk between him and himself in his head. A talk that could be on the edge of the argument sometimes. He sighed at some point.


He shook his head as he shrugged off the thought and resumed playing. Distraction was bad in that kind of game.

He stopped after twelve games. The Black and the White both won six of them. So it was all good.

He smiled satisfied at himself and the way he played. Then he looked out of the window. The sky was dark. He hadn’t even seen the time pass.

It was time to go to bed.

He brought the chessboard back in the room where it belonged, putting it back in its place before he went upstairs. But surprisingly, when he entered the bedroom, he couldn’t spot George anywhere. He scanned it carefully, but he was nowhere to be seen. And he couldn’t be hidden under the bed or in the wardrobe. And he couldn’t be downstairs. Unless he had gone while he had been playing, and he had been too focused on the game to even hear him. He went to check it out just to make sure.

But he wasn’t downstairs. He went back upstairs and stopped in the middle of the hall. There weren’t hundreds of possibilities anyway. He was most likely in the bathroom. Where else could he possibly be at such a late hour? Out? No. Or…could he?

He decided to check the bathroom first. It would be quick. But as he grabbed the knob, he noticed he couldn’t open the door. This wasn’t normal. The last time he had locked himself in the bedroom, they had found him unconscious.

Wait. Maybe he just didn’t want to be disturbed if he was naked and having a shower. That’s what normal people did.

He let go of the knob and pressed his ear against the door. He couldn’t hear the water running, or any other noise for that matter.

Maybe he was just getting dressed, or…what could you do in a bathroom except showering, drying yourself, undress and dress? Wash your hands, get your hair done. And when you were alone, you didn’t need to be noisy to do these things. So there was nothing to be worried about.

But what if there really was a problem?

He just couldn’t take any risk. This time he was alone, so he couldn’t let anyone else make the decisions for himself.

He knew calling his name and knocking would be useless, so he just rushed downstairs, headed towards the kitchen, took a knife, and went back upstairs; and he did what he had done a few weeks earlier. He managed to have the door opened after a few attempts, and he entered the bathroom without wasting another second. But he couldn’t see George anywhere. If the door had been locked, he was obviously there.

What…What was really happening?

His skin was suddenly tingling. His breathing began to become slightly irregular.


He waited for an answer. But as expected, it never came. He took slow and cautious steps across the room and headed towards the bathtub.

He froze once he was near it, and his heart skipped a beat. His eyes widened, and then his heart caught in his throat.

This…this…this couldn’t be real…

He heard something fall on the floor, but he didn’t even pay attention to it.

No, no, no, no, no…why…what…just what..how…

He had never seen so much blood in his entire life…it was…it was…


He flinched as his brain suddenly caught up.


He kneeled down on the floor and dove his hands into all this blood, no matter how frightening it could be. George’s life came first.

It was water, he realised, bloody water. He caught George’s body, but he struggled to get him out of the tube. He let out small grunts as he was straining. He just couldn’t leave him in that bloody water.

Come on! Now’s not the time to be weak! His inner self shouted.

His grunt intensified as his body strained more and more. He finally managed to lift him out of the water, and he almost fell to the floor but caught himself just in time.

He stared at his unconscious body as his own body started shivering. His legs were soaked, but he knew it wasn’t because of that.

He suddenly noticed the unusual marks on both of his forearms. Blood was flowing.

“Nej…nej…” he uttered with a shaky voice.

He put his hands on them and pressed, hoping it would stop. But he could only feel his hands becoming wet. He abruptly withdrew them.

This wasn’t helping anyway.

He was extremely pale. His breath hitched in his throat.

What…just what had happened….? How had he got these marks…?

He glanced at the knife that was on the floor not far from him.

With a knife.

It was becoming harder and harder for him to breathe.

What could he possibly do now?

There was no one who could help him. He jerked slightly as his brain remembered.

The telephone number.

He hurried to grab the crumpled paper that he had left in his pocket. He uncrumpled it quickly and looked at it with shaky hands.

But he could already imagine how the couple would react. He knew how worried they had both been about George. And he didn’t want them to be even more worried.

But he couldn’t manage anything on his own…

He grabbed George’s body and moved it carefully so he could remove him from his lap. He laid it down carefully on the cold tiled floor.

And quickly, paper in hand, he went downstairs at the speed of light, ran to get to the telephone. He looked again at the piece of paper that had become bloody before he put it down and grabbed the telephone. He dialed the number with a shaky finger.

Normally, they shouldn’t take too long to respond. Unless they had already left. But then if they had already left, it meant they were on their way there, and that they should be back soon.


He instantly recognised Mrs. Hopkins’s voice.

This meant they hadn’t left yet. He hoped it wouldn’t take them too long to get back there. He sincerely did.

“Komme! Quick!” He sounded totally panicked and desperate.

“What happened?”

“George!” He didn’t have time to try to explain. “Komme! Quick! Jeg beder dig…” I beg you.

“Please, don’t panic. Stay calm. We’re coming, okay. We will get home soon.”

He remained mum.

“We’ll see you there, okay?”


And with that, he hung up.

His body was still trembling. And his breaths were still heavy. He remained frozen in his spot. He did for a long while until he made his way towards the main door. He opened it and stood still on the threshold. And he just waited.

He really hoped they wouldn’t take too long.



I don't know what to say any longer... :(

Take care and thank you so much for the reactions and comments ❤️

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Yay, Karl is back and he’s to the rescue. Given his young age, as a war refugee, country raised, with English as a foreign language, foster child Karl is being put to the test tonight; and he is rising to the challenge one should never have to confront.

Without modern first aid training and suffering a lack of help present, at least Karl stayed composed enough to call without going into shock himself. Hopefully he maybe applies compression bandages to stem the blood loss, but even the old procedures of a tourniquet could likely suffice and be tolerated for this short rescue delay.

No doubt now, the Hopkins clan will take more drastic measures to oversee George’s recovery, as giving him space and encourage alone is not working nor is it safe any longer. Whether a desperate cry for help or an ultimate act of surrender, even George will likely be shocked by his own actions once the cruel reality is laid exposed, and hopefully he will they be more willing to accept help.

Then in healing maybe George may have faith enough to share his burden with those most able to try understanding his situation; a difficult burden to have and hold in the 1940s, but I have faith in these people enough that even Mrs Hopkins would know to not put her church above her children publicly.

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I hope Karl returns to George quickly and tries different things and is able to stop the blood flow where the cuts are. He made a good move by placing George on the floor.  He will need to keep going and not let the blood send him away again or get sick. He is not trained , but he has common sense. Towels might help ?

If he survives and is not brain damaged from loss of blood, George will need professional help.

BTW, as a doctor in training George might know how to do a proper suicide by wrist cutting. Will he do it the right way? He started by being in warm water that will  increase blood flow. As I have learned from watching TV shows--like CSI-. cuts need to go along and in the veins and deep. Some fail to kill themselves if they only cut shallowly across the veins ( but very painful anyway) and are found in time.

Edited by scrubber6620
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Poor Karl……what a sight to walk in on.  I’m so glad we’re back to his POV and able to see things through his innocence and inexperience in worldly things.  He’s such a sweet young man.   George, what a stupid thing to do.  He needs psychological help.  That’s not judging him, just stating the obvious.

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Now that Karl has the Hopkins on the way to help him,  he needs to get back to  George and see what he can do for him.  Karl should try talking to George as he attempts to stop the blood loss. 

Karl once again is back trying to help and do something.  He probably has never dealt with blood loss before,  or has he??

Can't wait for the next chpater. 

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