I want you to critique as harshly as you can. :)
Before I knew it, drops of blood fell to my feet. I tried to look at my attacker, but my vision was clouded by falling tears and a shadow that hid his face. The knife lodged in my side was then pulled out, making my body slump to the ground. I was stabbed.
I was on my way back to my apartment when a man bumped into me and stabbed me. It all happened in a second. By the time I was on the floor, the attacker was gone. I looked around frantically; a woman talking on the phone, a dark alleyway, an occasional car that would pass by, and the moon; illuminating this scene. A smell of blood wafted through the air. With the last of my strength, I rolled over onto my back, gasping for air. My hand drifted across my stomach, brushing against the wound. With the touch of a finger, I clenched my teeth and winced in pain. I tried pressing down on the wound, but the pain was too much; and my few stray tears that had been falling turned into sobs. Blood accumulated in my throat, wheezing and coughing in an attempt to stay alive.
The woman from earlier rushed to my side, and words fell from her mouth but never reached my ears. The excess noise from passing cars subsided as I struggled to keep my eyes open. With little to no strength left, I shut my eyes when I saw the red and blue flashing lights.
The ride to the hospital wasn’t pleasant, for when I had regained consciousness momentarily; each bump caused me excruciating pain. Blinding lights and the silhouettes of doctors surrounded me before I lost consciousness again. The murmur of voices, the low engine’s roar, the buzzing of machines, and the ambulance’s siren buzzed in my ears. From the ride straight to surgery, my unconscious body jerked and twisted in discomfort.
Six or seven hours passed before I woke up in a hospital room. The beeping of the heart monitor filled the room, along with shuffling noises coming from the hallway. My eyes drifted around the room, taking in my surroundings. I could see the night sky from an open window. Or the powered-off t.v screen. The smell of antiseptic made my nose twitch. I touched my stomach, jerking back when my fingers grazed against the wound. I glanced in the door’s direction. With a sigh, I rested my head on the pillow, feeling weak and dazed.
“Oh, you’re awake?” A nurse asked, walking into the room. A few minutes had passed since I first awoke. I looked at her and nodded. She had blonde hair tied back and was wearing blue scrubs. She smiled, “I will go alert the doctor.” After a minute of silence, a doctor and police officer walked in.
“Can you tell me your name?” The police officer asked. The doctor began messing with some equipment besides the bed.
“My name is Hector- Um, Hector Seki,” I said, sitting up in bed slightly.
“What can you tell me about the assailant?”
“I think it was a guy… I can’t really be sure, I didn’t see his face; he wore a hood. He just came up to me and…” My words drifted off and I clutched my blanket.
“Is there anyone you can think of who would want to harm you?” I paused for a moment, thinking of everyone I knew.
“No, no one comes to mind. I don’t really know anybody; I just moved here last year for college.”
“Were you on your way home?”
“Yes, I was walking home after work”
“Was that the usual route you take?”
“Yes, I always walk down that street.”
“And where do you work?”
“The cafe, House of Java, on Orchard street. ”
“This was probably just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Get some rest for now; I will contact you if I need to ask any more questions” The officer sighed and wrote something on a notepad before leaving the room. The doctor continued to do his work and asked me a few questions about my health—the usual questions from regular doctor visits; and informing me that the stabbing was a clean-cut and, while large, had minimal damage.
“Oh, Mr. Seki, the woman who called the police, is in the waiting room. Would you like to speak with her?” I didn’t plan for anyone to come to visit or talk to me, as I have no friends, just a few acquaintances and my parents don’t live in the same state as me.
I gave a small, unsure nod to the doctor. He smiled and left the room. A minute later, the door opened, revealing the woman. She was younger than I had first thought, probably around my age, and her appearance seemed disheveled. Her hair was chestnut brown with blonde highlights and had been styled into a messy bun. She wore beige pants, a striped shirt, and a cardigan falling off her shoulder.
“OH! I’m glad to see you are okay!” She rushed over to the chair, sitting down beside the bed, and stared at me with wide eyes, smiling.
“Um, thank you? For calling the police, you saved my life.” I scratched the back of my head awkwardly.
“You don’t have to thank me. Anybody would have called the police if they saw someone getting stabbed.” There was an awkward silence. “Oh, um, my name is Silvia.” She held her hand out for me to shake it, and on the sleeve was a bit of dried blood, probably mine.
I slowly reached my hand out to grab hers, barely linking our fingers. She tightened her grip and after a few seconds; she put her hand down and sat there staring at me, waiting for me to say something.
“And this is the part where you say your name.”
“Oh. Right, my name is Hector.” There was an awkward silence as Silvia thought of something to say.
“I apologize, but would you mind leaving? I’m a bit tired, but I really appreciate what you did”
“Oh well, sure… of course” She stood up and looked at me. “May I have your number?” No one had ever asked for my number, and the only people who had it were my parents, the boss at my job, and my doctors.
“I don’t have my phone with me.”
“You don’t remember your number?”
“No, I never needed to.”
“Well, I’ll try to come visit again” I nodded, then turned onto my side, laying my head on the pillow, and taking a deep breath, causing a slight pain in my abdomen. A few seconds later, I heard the door open, then close. I drifted into sleep soon after.
I woke up to the sound of voices and light footsteps. I looked around the room and saw two nurses.
“Oh, sorry, we didn’t mean to wake you,” said one nurse.
“It’s fine. Can you tell me how long I have to stay here?”
“Well, based on your assessment later, probably just a couple of days.”
“A couple days? What time is it?”
“It is almost 7 am.” He left the room with a warm smile. The other nurse fiddled with the machines; he seemed younger than the other one. His hair was messy and unkempt, with bangs falling to his eyebrows, almost covering his eyes, and seemed slightly nervous. He was silent for a while before he finally spoke up.
“How are you feeling?”
“Fine, despite the pain in my side.”
“That’s good. Tell me if you need anything.”
“You wouldn’t have a book, would you?” He thought for a second, then left the room. After about three minutes, he returned with a book. He handed me one with a dark cover. His hand was slightly larger than mine and his skin was smooth.
“It’s mine, but you can borrow it.” He ran his hand through his hair moving it out the way.
“Thank you,” I looked at his name tag, “Kenzo.” He covered his nose and looked away. He was considerably good-looking and had a nice build.
“You’re welcome,” he said shyly before leaving the room. After reading the blurb, I concluded it was a thriller about a serial killer.
For the next hour or so, I read the book and slowly became captivated by it, but stopped to talk to the doctor. After a long talk of telling me what I could do, what I should avoid, the proper way to care for my wound, and supplied me with pain medications. By the time we were done, it was around 8:30.
For the rest of the day, I was surrounded by doctors and nurses constantly asking me if I felt alright. At one point, the pain medication wore off, and if I moved too much, or in a wrong way it would caused my side to ache and bleed. Along with the pain, the heart rate monitor pierced through my ears with its increasing speed. A wave of anxiety crashed over me, almost suffocating me. The pain and the feeling of anxiety overcame me, causing me to scream. A nurse soon rushed in to calm me down and give me an anesthetic. When the nurse left, I fell asleep.
I woke up to light beaming through the window curtains. As my eyes adjusted, a doctor came in saying he needed to check how well I was healing. I turned away when he took off the gauze. The rest of the day passed uneventfully and the nurse from earlier had come in a few times and we talked for a bit. The following morning, I was released from the hospital and received the date to come back. My clothes were on a chair, so I quickly got dressed, excited to get back to a normal life, and headed to the lobby. Kenzo was in the lobby, going through a backpack. ‘Oh, right, his book.’ I walked over to him.
“Um, your book,” I stammered, handing him his book. He jumped slightly. His hair was neater than when I first saw him.
“You startled me.” He chuckled, then looked at the book. “Did you finish it?”
“No, it’s pretty long.”
“Why not finish it and then call me when you are done?”
“I don’t have my phone.”
“I can drive you home and then give me your number? Of course, you can decline if you’re too uncomfortable.”
“Oh, no, you don’t have to. I’ll just walk home. It’s fine”
“You shouldn’t be walking in your condition anyway.” He held his nose slightly.
“But what about your job?”
“I’m barely a sophomore in college. I just volunteer here at the hospital, besides I was just about to leave anyway.”
“Oh,” I scratched the back of my head, “Well, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course not.” He smiled at me before turning around and zipping up his backpack. I stood there for a second before he led me out of the lobby and guided me to his truck. It was gray and overall seemed in good condition, but a thin layer of dirt covered the area of the truck. He helped me up to the passenger seat before he got in. The interior was mostly clean, with just some clutter, and the seats were comfortable. It had a musty smell, but wasn’t particularly unpleasant.
Kenzo then asked for my address and put it in the GPS. The ride was mostly silent, despite the several times his phone gave directions. It was close to 5 minutes later when we pulled up in front of my apartment complex. He helped me out of the truck, telling me not to over-exert myself.
“Um, I guess you can wait inside because I need to get my phone,” I said; standing in my doorway. Kenzo followed me inside and sat on the beige couch. My apartment was quite lackluster and had an earthy smell. The walls were white but seemed to be gray because of the dim lighting. A lamp was in the corner, providing a dim yellow light. The TV was on a small table by the wall; it was small compared to other TVs. The coffee table was cluttered with books and random junk. Books were stacked on shelves and took up most of the open area.
“Please pardon the mess,” I muttered, leaving the living room and entering my bedroom. It wasn’t particularly messy, just cluttered. I went through the clutter on my desk, searching for my phone. It was under a stack of papers. I turned around, glancing around the room before laying my eyes on my reflection. My hair was messy and ruffled; my blue shirt stained with blood, with a hole revealing the gauze wrapping my stomach. I took my shirt off, throwing it in the trash. “What a waste,” I muttered to myself as I put on a white short-sleeved button-up shirt and ran my fingers through my hair to fix it slightly before returning to the living room, where Kenzo was waiting.
Kenzo was looking around the room and turned to face me when he heard me enter. Almost immediately, he held his nose.
“Why do you do that?” I asked, handing him my phone.
“Do what?” He turned on the phone.
“Hold your nose, you’ve done that before—does it smell?”
“What? No, no. It’s just an old habit.” He put his hand down, smiling. “You don’t have a password?”
“I never needed one.” A second later, he handed me back my phone. The screen showed a new conversation with Kenzo.
“Well, I guess I should go. Just text me when you finish the book, or if you need anything.” I nodded and guided him to the door. Closing the door after him, I sighed and looked around my apartment. Should I clean? I thought. I never found a reason to clean before, mainly because no one ever came over, as well as the fact that it never got too dirty.
I shuffled to my couch and continued reading the book from earlier. By the time it was noon, I had read close to half the book.
“I should eat something I didn’t get to eat anything for breakfast,” I said to myself. I got up and headed to my fridge. It was practically empty. It mostly had drinks, fruits, and frozen foods. Should I go to the convenience store? I thought, closing the fridge door.
I brushed my hair and put on a thin coat before heading out. I walked to the convenience store; it wasn’t far and less tiring than I thought it would be. I went in and looked for something to eat: It should be something light. There was hardly anyone in the store, so no one was in front of the cashier. I put my items on the counter.
“Hector?” I looked up to see who was talking to me.
“Oh, Silvia.” She was wearing the same cardigan from the hospital but had on a work shirt.
“You’re out already?”
“Oh yeah, I got out earlier today.”
“Well, it will be $5.89,” I handed her six dollars, and she gave me my change back. I headed out the door.
“Did you walk here?”
“Oh, yeah I-“
“If you want to wait, I will be off in a couple of minutes, and I could drive you home.”
“No, I don’t live far.”
“But you shouldn’t push yourself. Just wait for me,” I sighed and walked towards the cashier again, “You can wait in the staff room for me and eat your sandwich.” I nodded and went through the door, saying staff only. I sat and ate my sandwich; it was close to 15 minutes before Silvia came in. She took me to her car and drove me home. Silvia talked for the majority of the time, and I did my best to respond. I tried to exit the car but stopped when I was pulled back slightly. Turning around out of surprise, Silvia was leaning across the seat, holding my wrist.
“Ah! I-I’m sorry. Um… Can I come inside?” She said, looking down but still not letting go.
“I’m not sure-”
“W-Why would you want to?”
“I, uh, have to use the restroom,” she looked away, towards the steering wheel.
“I guess it’s okay then…” She looked up at me with a faint smile. I waited by the bottom of the stairs, and she came running after me. She followed me to my apartment, and, once there, I showed her to the restroom.