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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Live, Love, Lose - 37. Chapter 37

Back to Karl's POV ;)

George was drowning in his own blood, and Karl couldn’t do anything to stop that from happening. He could only watch him, breathlessly and helplessly. He couldn’t give him his blood to save him. There was way too much blood. The sight was too horrible. He couldn’t take it anymore. He just wanted this to stop. Soon the bath tube was overflowing with his blood. It was slowly reaching his feet, too fast. Way too fast. He wanted to avoid it, but his legs wouldn’t move.

Help…help!

Help!!!

He woke up with a start, and quickly realised he had just had a bad dream. Bad memories coming back to haunt him.

It was still dark. And he was still alone. It was a strange sensation not to have to share the bed and the room with someone else anymore. Over the last few months, he had got used to George’s presence, and the reason of his absence was even more disturbing.

He knew he could never go back to sleep now that he was awake, even if he tried really hard.

All he could do was think, over and over again.

The time seemed to be endless until the dawn finally came. It was longer than any other lapse of time he had ever experienced.

He dragged his body with a feeling of emptiness invading him all the way to the kitchen. He was overwhelmed by exhaustion and fear.

“Oh dear… You look like you have had a horrible night…” Mrs. Hopkins could only note as soon as he sat down at the table.

He didn’t even have the strength to hide it from anyone, nor did he want to. But he didn’t want to worry Mrs. Hopkins.

“It’s alright,” he attempted to reassure her as best he could manage, still with his thick Danish accent. “It’s nothing serious…” he struggled a lot to say the last word.

But it didn’t seem to be enough to work and make Mrs. Hopkins show him her soft and reassuring smile. As she was about to reply, she was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Who can be visiting us so early in the day?” She wondered before she made her way towards the door.

She came back a few instants later with Jojo by her side. They observed each other silently. Mrs. Hopkins remained silent as well, to his great surprise. She looked grave, with that look of both concern and sympathy plastered on her face.

“Hello,” he ended up saying, still sounding and looking somehow shy.

“Hi,” Karl replied with a tiny smile. There were a few more seconds of silence before he spoke again.

“I was wondering maybe…we could spend some time together...? To get to know each other better...”

He looked like he was too upset to want to stay alone, as if the presence of his parents wasn’t enough to make him happy again and reassure him.

Karl smiled at him, but it wasn’t a tiny smile this time; but a genuine and big lip-closed smile.

After eating breakfast, they went outside. They took a long and nice walk in the city centre and its surroundings. Even if they didn’t speak, Karl still enjoyed it. The weather was warm and sunny, perfect for going out.

Summer was nice. All the seasons were. But of them all, that was winter which he preferred. Yes it was cold and cloudy, and gloomy most of the time. The winters were harsh most of the time in Sønderho. But he still loved the snow, even if it was a major hindrance for work and to live properly. All this white, there was something soothing in it somehow. And when there was a ray of sunshine every now and then it made the landscape even more amazing, with the tiny flakes of snow all crystallized twinkling in perfect harmony.

At some point as they were walking through some narrow street, they ran into a small cat. It was white and orange, with piercing bluish eyes, which he found funny. But he wondered whether it was a male or a female. There was only one way to know.

“Missekat, komme her,” he said with a hint of playfulness in his voice.

He had always loved animals, any species. Except flies. For him they were just useless and annoying. But he enjoyed killing them.

The cat looked scared, and before he could get too close to it, it started running away. Next thing he knew, Jojo was running after him, apparently determined not to let it go. He was running fast, and Karl just laughed a bit at this.

He saw the small boy come back in his direction, holding the cat close to his chest and tightly so it couldn’t jump down.

“Let me see…” Karl said once they were close enough to check. He did this carefully, noticing how the legs of the cat were shaking. “Vær ikke bange,” he spoke with a soft voice. Don’t be afraid.

“We’re not going to hurt you,” Jojo chimed in, seemingly noticing it as well. He sounded much more confident as he spoke, and not upset.

Karl smiled again.

“It’s a girl,” he stated, and Jojo looked happy about it.

“Do you think she belongs to someone?” Jojo asked him after a while.

Karl just shrugged.

“She could be a stray cat. Stray dogs exist so why stray cats couldn’t?”

Karl couldn’t understand the word he used before dog and cat. He still wasn’t an expert in the English language, even though he had improved a lot by that time thanks to Mrs. Hopkins’s teaching.

“She’s really beautiful,” then a few seconds later he added: “My mum doesn’t want me to have a pet. She says it’s too great a responsibility to have any at home.”

Animals are great. But when you grow really attached to them and then lose them, it’s really awful. His mother always told him whenever it happened that it was alright. That they all looked alike and that you could get new ones, and that he shouldn’t mourn over the death of a mere animal like he would mourn the death of a human being.

“It’s better if we let her go,” he ended up saying, sounding grave as he spoke.

She needed her freedom.

Jojo just stared at him in silence, looking upset once again and a bit disappointed. But after he stared at her for a few more moments he smiled.

“I hope I’ll have the chance to see you again,” he said before he let her go.

She ran away without looking back at them.

They looked at each other and just smiled after a few seconds.

“Thanks for accepting to stay with me.”

“Don’t thank me,” it was awful how the words were hard to pronounce. He doubted he would understand what he just said.

Jojo offered him a big grin, seemingly looking amused. But after a while, it disappeared and he looked thoughtful and saddened by what was on his mind. He was probably thinking about George again. In such situations, moments of joy could only be short-lived.

“I know he won’t go back home once he can leave the hospital,” he stated as he glanced down.

Karl didn’t say a thing, nor did he move.

“Can you promise me you will make sure it won’t happen again? For Mum.”

The same feeling was making his stomach hurt. He had got used to it by now, but still hated it as much as the first time it had happened.

“I promise,” he simply said, and meant to keep his promise.

He would keep it all costs.

***

Soon it became dark.

Karl was afraid of falling asleep. But he eventually fell asleep without even realising it anyway.

That night, he had a very, very strange dream. Or it could rather be called a nightmare as he was reminiscing it.

In this dream, there was a blue-eyed boy with short platinum blond, wavy hair, a young boy that looked pretty much like him. But this wasn’t all. There was also another boy, around his age he guessed, but who looked pretty much like George. Except for the fact that he didn’t wear glasses, and that he seemed to see pretty well without them.

Yet, the place they were both in was nothing like he had ever seen before. He couldn’t tell where it was, probably in England, but if it really was the case, then it wasn’t in London. Or in Brighton for that matter. It was rather a place embraced by nature and wilderness, yet not quite like his home town. It seemed to be somewhere out of time, out of place and space, some far away place, almost like something otherworldly that was nothing like the modern world.

From what he saw, he figured out that the boy that looked like him was sentenced to death, but he ignored the reason for it. But instead of him dying, the one who died was the boy that looked like George. He died in his arms and the other boy could do nothing to save him. And he was obviously quite saddened and upset about his death.

It wasn’t really anything like a real dream, where everything was precise and accurate. No, it was rather like brief visions that weren’t exactly blurred but definitely somewhat incoherent.

Yet, he could remember everything clearly and precisely as if he had already lived it, which made this all the more strange.

But should he really give much thought and grant any kind of importance to it?

He supposed this was just how some dreams were, weird and meaningless. He couldn’t really speculate much about this particular subject because he had never been a boy prone to having dreams. During his entire life, most of his nights had either been sleepless nights, or dreamless ones.

When he entered the kitchen, he saw Paul sitting down at the table. Mrs. Hopkins welcomed him with a soft smile.

“Good morning, dear. I hope you had a better night than the previous one.”

“Good morning. Yes. I slept better.”

Paul offered him a smile as sat down next to him. He smiled back at him.

They spent the whole day together, went to visit Emma at the pub. She felt so sorry for what had happened to George. She both hugged them, trying to stay positive and happy despite the tragic circumstances. Making Paul smile was a real challenge for her, and Karl was quite impressed when he saw the ghost of a smile form on the older man’s lips. He couldn’t help smiling at that moment. Emma was really a good woman. He really liked her.

Paul chose to stay with her while Karl preferred to go back to the Hopkins’s house not too late. He offered to walk back there with him but Karl told him he could go back alone, that he knew the way.

He remained in the room, sitting on the bed with his legs close to his chest, staring blankly into space, trying not to think about what had happened, but that’s all he could do. So instead to avoid thinking too much about it, he thought again about the strange dream he had that night.

Anyway, before he could think too much about it too, he was distracted by the door that opened. Karl stared without blinking as he saw George enter the room. He couldn't move any more as a weird feeling settled in his stomach.

He looked unharmed, in a normal condition, like before what he did. And not too happy to see him.

Should he be happy and relieved to see him alright and in good health? Well, he wasn’t sure of anything any longer.

They just stared at each other in silence, their faces grave and emotionless.

“Paul told me you were the one to give your blood to save me,” George was the one to break the silence, neither aggressive not happy.

Karl could feel his body shivering slightly. He was silent again for a while, until he suddenly started getting angry at him.

“Why do you care?! Why did you have to save me?! We’re nothing to each other! Never will!”

Karl just remained impassive, still holding his gaze. But it just seemed to make George even angrier.

“Have you ever fallen in love?! Have you ever fallen for someone so bad you want to top yourself after that person dies?! Have you?!”

Of course, he didn’t understand what he meant the second time he spoke. But it was clear that he didn’t appreciate what Karl had done for him.

George just ended up storming out of the bedroom without another word probably due to his lack of reaction, and Karl just looked down thoughtfully.

Had he really wanted to—

No….he couldn’t…

He wished he could know what was happening in George’s head. It would make things much easier for him.

He thought about Jojo again.

Don’t worry Jojo, whether he likes it or not I will keep true to my word.

 

Hey!

Here you go! So what do you think about Karl's weird dream ? 🤔

So about George...Just remember you shouldn't judge a book by its cover :)

Anyway, take care until next time! 💕And a huge thanks to all of you who are still reading this story ❤️ It means so much to me 🥰

Lots of love 😘

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Oh goodness, the psychiatrist hasn’t been able to break George’s death wish and now poor Karl get punished for his heroics in rescue, and life saving blood transfusion; poor Karl, that has to be terribly confusing, frustrating, and enough to make him challenge George’s appreciation for others too.

Maybe that will be just the distraction George needs to… take his hands, grab his ears, and pull his head from his a$$. Perhaps in the heat of that argument Karl will declare his promise to Jojo and make George climb from his depths of despair 😩 .

It’s great to see the independent relationship with Jojo bringing friendship to two deserving young men. Hopefully Karl will start to put his mind at ease as he processes to events and returns to better dreams and rest. If not, I hope George gets the full effect of Karl’s traumatic nightmares and gains more appreciation of what Karl is suffering too.

@LittleCherryBlossom26, this is definitely dark, but it gives us a few rays of sunshine the light the path for brighter days…I hope! 

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Here are some words for Karl's vocabulary lessons.  They will help him understand Elenor better:

Lazy

Controlling

Dismissive

Stupid

Inconsiderate

Here is how they are used in sentences:

Elenor is lazy and stupid for not allowing JoJo a pet.  She is dismissive in treating JoJo's needs as frivolous.  Her controlling nature assumes that he cannot do the job of taking care of a pet and/or become responsible to do just that. How else do kids learn responsibility from an inconsiderate parent. 

 

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