It was at almost six in the morning when Kim came back into my room before she was leaving to go home at seven.She told me that Jordan had been restless all night and he kept asking to get discharged. Apparently, the doctor had told him he would not discharge him until later on in the morning and Jordan was frustrated about that.
I asked Kim, “Do you think I could see him again?”She nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure it’s okay. I’ll get a wheelchair for you.”
“That would be great.”
Kim left and shortly after she came back with another hospital wheelchair and helped me into it. I was very tired but I wanted to see Jordan. My foot was propped up again on the foot rest and Kim pushed me through the Emergency Department once again. This early in the morning it seemed as it had quieted down some, not as much commotion and voices were muffled and rooms were darkened or empty.
She peeked into the room, “Jordan, are you decent? Your friend Shay is here to see you again.”
When she pushed me into the room, Jordan was sitting up in the bed and seemed a lot more alert than a few hours earlier. His eyes quickly scanned me in the wheelchair.Kim pushed me closer to the bed and I saw Jordan’s curious dark eyes on me the whole time.
Kim said, “I’ll be back in a bit Shay. If you need anything, push the call button, I’ll be right outside.”“Thanks Kim.”
She walked out but she left the door open and only the curtain was drawn.
I was parked next to the bed and met Jordan’s eyes on me. His wrists were not strapped to the bed anymore but I saw his hands were still shaking. His wheelchair was still parked in the corner. There was only a dim light on in the room.
I smiled and greeted him nervously, “Jordan, hey. How are you?”
Upon looking at him more closely, I realized that his whole body was shaking slightly. He did not have the Oxygen tubing on his face anymore and was obviously breathing without the supply of additional Oxygen.
His eyes flickered nervously when he answered, “I just need to get out of here.”
I was somewhat surprised about his statement and lack of greeting me.
Even though I knew the answer already, I asked hesitantly, “How long do they want to keep you?”“Until later on this morning but I’m ready to get out of here now.”
“So a few more hours and then you get to leave. Me too hopefully.”
Jordan now seemed to focus on me, “How are you?”
I explained to him that I felt okay and was merely very tired since I had not slept all night. I explained to him about my pains.
He then asked, “Can you not walk on your foot? Did you break it?”
I had told him this the first time I had come to see him but he had obviously forgotten about it.
“I didn’t break it but I sprained it. I can’t put any weight on it for a few days, I guess.”
He just looked at me and nodded. Then his eyes travelled over to his wheelchair and up to the ceiling.
I followed his eyes and he explained, “They’ve got a camera on me; making sure I don’t get out of bed and crawl over to my chair or anything.”
I looked around the room and it took a moment until I actually saw the small camera over the door.
Jordan was obviously frustrated and anxious, “I need to get out of here. My stuff is back at my place and it’s probably all stolen by now.”
I didn’t know what place he was talking about, “Where do you live?”
He looked me up and down for a moment, almost like he was wondering how I could ask this question.
He didn’t answer though, but instead said, “I need to get back before they steal all my shit if they haven’t already.”I didn’t know what he was talking about, “Who is they and what stuff are you talking about?”
Jordan focused on me for a moment, “The people in the camp. Last night I was only making a quick run to get something and I didn’t have my back pack with all my stuff with me.”
I lowered my eyes and realized that I was very much the reason for his dilemma at the moment. I remarked softly, “Then I chased you down, slipped and busted my butt and your plans got disrupted.”
He lowered his eyes and pressed his lips together but he didn’t argue this.
I took a deep breath, “Jordan, I’m so sorry. I know I caused all of this mess. I’m the reason we are both in here.”
He looked back at me and his eyes were shimmering with the only light in the room. They were nervous though not staying in one spot very long and I felt he was pre-occupied with whatever it was.
He now stated, “I shouldn’t have let them keep me here last night. I should have left.”“But you didn’t feel good last night and you had a seizure, didn’t you?”
He didn’t reply and looked away.
“I was very worried about you Jordan. Do you remember when I came in here last night?”
He looked back at me questioning and shook his head. His hands were shaking.
I looked down at his hand and moved my hand over it. It was surprisingly warm but I felt it tremble under my hand. His eyes shot up at me surprised. I sensed how he wanted to pull his hand away but I held it there.
He swallowed and pressed his lips together, staring at our hands on the bed. He tried to pull again and I still held it down.
I remarked softly, “You seem restless.”His eyes were up at the ceiling again, “I need to get out of here Shay. I mean it.”
“I understand but they won’t let you leave yet.”
“If they don’t let me go soon…”
He stopped, swallowed, and then added, “I just need to go and get out of here. My body hurts.”
I wrapped my hand tighter around his, “How much longer can you make it?”
He now looked at me, “Not much longer.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
His eyes stayed on me, “Unless you can convince the doc to let me go, there’s nothing you can do. They’re doing this on purpose every time.”
“They’re just trying to make sure you’re okay. I was told a social worker will talk to you before you go.”
He shifted some and I felt a slight resistance of his hand under mine again, “And I don’t need a fucking social worker. I know all the shit they’re going to say. It’s the same shit every fucking time.”
He sounded angry.
I held his hand down still and he asked, “And why do you even care, Shay?”“Because I just do.”
I debated if I should say anything else.
Jordan’s dark, nervous eyes were on me and I took a deep breath, then added softly, “I care about you, that’s all.”
Jordan lowered his eyes and then looked back up at me.
He sighed and said softly, “You’re wasting your time in here with me. You really should not even…”He laid his head back and took a deep breath, “You should not even be in here. You should not even be in this room talking to me. We have nothing to do with each other.”
His words sent a painful sting through my heart.
I felt his hand go limp under my hand. He didn’t resist anymore.
His eyes were up on the ceiling again. I looked at our hands thinking about his words. As my eyes travelled up his arm I realized bruises and small dark spots amongst the tattoos on his skin.
I took a deep breath and then stammered with a trembling voice, trying not to cry, “Jordan, if…if you don’t care even a little about me…and if you really want me to leave you alone, I will leave. If you can sincerely say that you feel nothing for me since we met outside my office a few weeks ago or with me being here…nothing when you saw me again last night as I came after you…or when you didn’t move your eyes from me as the guy last night held you in a choke hold. If you feel nothing…nothing at all, I will leave you alone…and never bother you again. It’ll be difficult for me to leave…but I would oblige to your request if that’s what you want…I’ll let…I’ll let go of your hand and I’ll leave this room and not look back. Just know that I won’t forget you though...That is the one thing you won’t be able to stop.”
Jordan was still staring at the ceiling and I saw his chest rise and fall quickly and I saw him swallow. His hand was still under my hand. Even though he hadn’t looked at me while I had said all those things, I knew he had heard every word of it.
As I looked at him, my eyes had become blurry. He slowly turned his head toward me and his eyes looked at me wearily.
He asked with a trembling voice, “Shay, do you know why I need to leave here right now?”
I thought I knew, but I didn’t say anything.
He answered his own question, “I want to leave here…because I need to find some dope and shoot up. I also need to get to my stuff in the tent I live in…so I can get to my fucking pain meds. I hope they…they didn’t ransack my shit and stole everything but they’re probably selling my Oxy on the street as we speak.”His eyes looked tired and sad and he continued lowly with a trembling voice, “But just know this…from the first moment I saw you Shay…I couldn’t get you out of my head. I wanted to see you again and…and I went back to the spot and there you were again. And then we talked a few words and…and I was overwhelmed with you actually noticing me and talking to me, even getting me a coffee. You weren’t scared or disgusted, you didn’t…you didn’t throw hateful words at me on how much of a loser and disgrace to society I was. You were so…so warm from the beginning. And then I knew I had to leave from there and hopefully never see you again. I had to do everything to not see you again...”
He swallowed the lump in his throat and tears started collecting in my eyes.
His voice was weak when he continued, “Shay, my life is shit...and I don’t want to bring you into this… because I know it’ll hurt too much…for you and me. I’m terrified to let you in. I also think…that you don’t know…you don’t know what you’re asking. I’m not well Shay. I’m terrified to have you in my life but at the same time I feel that you…that you maybe came into it for a reason. I don’t know.”
He took a trembling breath before he said, “I’m terrified that I’ll mess up your life Shay and if I do, I won’t be able to live with myself...And I’m almost certain that, that is…exactly what would happen. I will mess things up. It’s one thing that my own life is fucked up but…but I don’t want to do the same to you.”
Trying to keep my tears inside, I asked softly, “Do you want me to leave, Jordan? Just tell me.”
My heart was racing and my tears were trying to push out at his possible answer.
After a few seconds he silently shook his head. His hair fell over his eyes again and he hung his head. I saw him breathe quickly.
I now reached over and took his hand in mine again, I felt it shake and vibrate. His hand was warm, if felt strong and rough. Jordan’s hands had not seen a lot of tenderness and caressing in a long time.
When I looked at him his glistening eyes were on me.
He said with a trembling voice, “I don’t want you to leave but…but I’m scared if you stay.”I tried to explain, “I’m scared too and I know this is crazy but I want to be in your life Jordan and I want you in my life.”
He took a trembling breath and his eyes were sad when he said softly, “I’ve been living like this for a long time Shay. I don’t know any...any other way.”
I nodded, “I understand but…but maybe I can…maybe I can help you.”
I felt his hand and arm shake in my grip and so did the rest of his body, a constant trembling ran through him, almost like an electrical current running through his nerves causing a persistent twitching and vibrating. His head was resting on the pillow and he was taking deep trembling breaths. The IV was still running through the line into his hand and I could just see how Jordan was not feeling well. He didn’t say anything else and I just sat there and held his trembling, warm hand in mine.
I glanced at his Quickie wheelchair parked across the room and I remembered how it had been the very thing that had caught my attention when I had first seen Jordan. Now I knew I had to do everything in my power to be there for him in any way and all the way because I wanted to be with this man and I wanted him to be in my life. I didn’t want to worry about what I was getting into and what I was doing, I couldn’t just leave him like this and not care anymore.
Kim came back into the room and asked softly, “Shay, do you want to go back to your room now?”
I actually had been debating to just stay with Jordan. It was evident that he wasn’t feeling well and I could feel a permanent tension in him. He didn’t even open his eyes and he didn’t make a sound.
I looked from Jordan to Kim, “Is there any way I can stay here with him? I don’t think he’s feeling well.”Kim replied, “I’ll talk to his nurse about it.”
I smiled weakly, “I would appreciate that.”
Kim seemed to realize that something had happened between Jordan and I, and her facial expression was concerned but also compassionate.
“Let me talk to his nurse. I’ll be right back.”
I just sat there holding Jordan’s hand. Upon looking down at his hands I now noticed the small bruises and wounds on his skin, on the back of his hand and up his arm. I scanned this with my eyes and I felt my heart beat fast at the realization of this. I still pushed the thoughts over what I saw right then and there way back into my mind but even when I moved my eyes and looked back at his hand, I still saw all the signs of the kind of life Jordan was living. I wanted to ignore it and stay in denial but even if this worked momentarily, I was well aware that this was part of what I was getting into with Jordan.
I took a deep breath and wrapped my hand around his tighter, covering up the evidence of something very bad. Trying to distract myself, I looked at the TV mounted up on the wall playing in a low volume. My mind was racing at what I was doing and what I was getting myself into.
Kim came back in with Jordan’s male nurse.
He came up to the bed, “Hi there, I’m Troy, Jordan’s nurse on the nightshift. You’re Shay?”“Yes, I’m Jordan’s friend.”
Troy stepped around to the other side, looking at Jordan, and said louder, “Jordan, bro, can you look at me?”
Jordan shifted slowly and moved his head and face toward Troy.
Troy asked loudly but with a warmth to his voice like he actually cared, “Hey, what’s going on man? Are you struggling a little bit?”Jordan now replied with a scratchy voice, “I need to get the fuck out of here. Why don’t you people just let me go?”
Troy stood right next to the bed, “The social worker gets here about nine and will come in then. Doc wants her to talk to you.”
Jordan now said between taking some gasping breaths, “I don’t need to talk to her…I know what she’s going to say…I just want to leave...I didn’t do anything; I just need to get the fuck out of here.”
Troy then asked, “Where are you going to go?”
“To where my shit is.”
“Where may that be?”
Jordan sounded annoyed but he gasped, “Why the fuck does it matter to you?”
I just listened and I could sense that Jordan didn’t have any desire to talk to anyone at the moment.
I now cut in, trying to ease the tension, “He can possible stay with me if we both get discharged soon. I actually am also ready to get home. I’m very tired.”Troy was curious, “Well, Shay…you’re dealing with some stuff as well. Will you have someone at home to look after you?”
Jordan now shifted some and cut in tensely, “It’s none of your fucking business who’s looking after her.”
Troy sounded stern but compassionate, “Jordan, my man, we’re just trying to figure out what’s best for you and Shay.”
Jordan now sat up some more and his hand slipped from my hand.He seemed frustrated and put his hands by his sides pushing himself up.
I saw he was obviously struggling holding himself up and sounding stern as he gasped, “No one needs to figure anything out…”He stopped and took some quick breaths before he continued angrily, “It’s very simple…If she wants to leave, you let her…and as for me…just get me fucking discharged…I don’t know why you’re still keeping me here…you people are doing this on purpose every fucking time…It’s like you’re just waiting for me to lose it so you can admit me…or some shit like that…I’m… I’m not giving my consent for anything so just let me fucking go. I’m good.”
Jordan was breathing quickly now; his chest rose and fell with every gasping breath he took. He hung his head but still held himself in a sitting position.I looked on and I was worried about him, because I could clearly see that this was not a good situation.
I didn’t know whose side I was on, but Troy stood his ground “Doc wanted to get you some new prescriptions for your meds. Also waiting on your labs still. Doc is coming in at eight.”
Jordan didn’t look up when he said, “What I do need is some pain meds and some shit for spasms.”
He seemed occupied with holding himself in a sitting position.
Troy explained, “Jordan, you know we won’t just give you a bunch of pain meds. You should need some more seizure meds though. The last time you were here we gave you a ninety-day supply. You should be out of those by now unless you got some more at some other place.”Jordan mumbled without looking up, “I’m almost out of all my fucking meds.”
“Okay, so when the doc comes in, we’ll get that for you and then the social worker can talk to you and then you’re free to go.”
Jordan seemed very frustrated, “Why can’t another doc get me the fucking prescriptions and the social worker can just not talk to me because she’ll be wasting her fucking time?”
I listened to this and I really didn’t know what to think or say. I understood how Jordan wanted to get out of the hospital but I also understood Troy representing the hospital. Jordan needed his medications and I would have liked to actually hear what a social worker would have to say to him. I knew that Jordan wasn’t doing well and he was getting agitated.
Troy then refrained from further discussion with Jordan and turned to me, “Shay, how are you doing?”
I was slightly surprised at the change of conversation, “I’m okay. Just tired. Ready to get home as well.”“Is someone coming to pick you up?”
I was nervous telling him, “I was just going to get an Uber or a taxi and take Jordan to his place and then go to my apartment.”
Jordan was silent on the bed.
Troy wasn’t done yet, “Does your family know you’re here with Jordan?”
Troy wasn’t done yet, “Does your family know you’re here with Jordan?”
I looked at Troy because I could feel he knew the answer to this already but he was trying to figure out what was going on.
I didn’t answer and instead I said, “Can I talk to you for a moment?”He nodded, “Sure.”
I turned to Jordan and saw his eyes were dark and questioning.
“I’ll be right back.”
Kim pushed me and we made our way out of the room to a quiet corner.
I looked at the two nurses, “So I know what you guys are thinking and yes, it’s all strange and yes, I just basically connected with Jordan during the night here. I care about him though. I know he’s dealing with a lot and I’m aware why he wants to leave. I’m trying to figure out what to do. I have a place and I was thinking about taking him with me. My family does not know about Jordan and I’m not planning on telling them this weekend. It’s too much. I just know I want to be there for him and help him.”
Troy lowered his eyes and then looked at me again, “Shay, taking Jordan to your place is not a good idea. You are aware that you’re putting a whole lot on your plate here and even though your intentions are good, I’m very concerned about this. It’s none of my business, it’s no one’s business really but Jordan is not well. I don’t think you realize what you’re dealing with here. You said you know why he wants to leave?”
Kim stood by watching me and nodding in agreement with Troy.
I said softly, “Yes, I know he’s trying to find a hit, he told me.”“He told you?” Troy raised his eye brows.
“Yes, he did. As I said, we connected throughout the night.”
Troy took a deep breath, “Jordan is sick; he’s dealing with a lot of stuff. He’s a full-blown addict, Shay.”
Kim looked at me wearily and put her hand on my shoulder, then added, “Shay, we’re just concerned. Maybe you should reconsider your involvement with him.”
I now tilted my head and stated tensely while tears tried to push through, “So in your opinion what should I do? Should I let him go back out there to shoot up and not care about him? It’s too late already. I do care about him more than just a random person. And because I care about him is why we’re both here. And with that, it’s partly my fault that he’s in this dilemma. Because I busted my butt on the sidewalk when I ran after him trying to tell him how much I wanted to meet him. I wore my work clothes; my high heel boots and I slipped and fell. It was raining hard last night. He was about to make his getaway from me when that happened. So, he turned around and tried to help me and he got out of his wheelchair and down on the ground next to me. He crawled over to where my purse was to get my cell phone so we could call for help and then people came running up and thought he was attacking me and trying to steal my purse. They held him down and choked him, yelling and accusing him. Then he went into a seizure and the rest is history how we ended up here. I didn’t know about his seizures and I was very worried about him then. So basically, it all turned to shit last night for both of us if you will. But I can’t let him go anymore and I don’t think he wants me to leave either. And even if I take him to the place where his things are, I’m leaving with him. Everything else I just have to figure out. I don’t know how it’s going to be, how it’s going to work out, and what I’m going to do but I’m not letting him slip away from me. And yes, I have a very normal life and this is just a crazy situation but I care about him and that’s just the way it is. I know people are concerned and I can already hear all the advice and the voices of trying to talk me out of this and I know it’ll be so difficult but I’ll deal with it when it happens. I know he’s dealing with a lot but I can’t just not worry about him anymore. We met for a reason and I want to try to help him.”
Troy and Kim just stared at me and then Kim said softly, “You’re a good person Shay but you’re taking on a lot with Jordan’s situation.”I said softly, “I know that and I’m very scared but I can’t leave him hanging now.”
Troy now took another deep breath, “We’ll get him a supply of his meds and some other supplies pertaining to his disability. He’ll go back out there and he’ll use again Shay. It’ll be the first thing he will seek out once we let him go. You’ll see the worst of him, this is just the beginning. And as long as we can’t get him into a drug rehab program, he’ll just keep doing what he’s doing because that’s the only way he can deal with whatever he faces out there. If he doesn’t want to get clean, you’re looking at a very painful relationship. We are worried about you, that’s all.”
I lowered my eyes, “I really appreciate you guys but I have to try to help him. I don’t know exactly how to yet, but I would actually like to hear what the social worker has to say.”
Troy sighed, “If we can even keep Jordan here that long. The only way is keeping the meds dangling in front of him because he knows he needs his seizure and spasm meds and he is hoping to get some pain meds out of us too.”Kim now said softly, “Shay, you seem to be an awesome person with your life together. I can understand you to a certain extent but just don’t let him take you down with him please. If he doesn’t want help it will be so difficult.”
I nodded and my eyes were blurry, “I know and I’ll be careful not to go down. I do have family and a support net and I’ll let them know soon. My brother is actually a counselor and I’ve kind of mentioned Jordan to him but he doesn’t know everything yet. I’ll talk to my brother as soon as I can and when I feel it’s a good time.”
Troy now said wearily, “Please do that.”
Both, Kim and Troy hugged me.
We went back into the room. Jordan was lying back in the bed again and had his eyes closed but opened them when we came back in. He looked at us suspiciously.
I had Kim push me over to the bed again. I saw Jordan’s body trembling still, probably more than before.
I asked Kim, “Would it be okay to just stay here with Jordan? I just need to get my purse and my things from the other room.”
Kim said she would check into it but for now I could stay with him.
Troy then said, “So Jordan, you make it until about nine o’clock until the social worker has talked to you and you’ll be free to go. I’ll talk to the doc to get your prescriptions written.”
Troy and Kim walked out and I turned to Jordan again.He looked tired and his body was shaking a lot. He seemed restless, his eyes were darting through the room and to me, then to the ceiling, and sometimes just staring into space.
I moved my wheelchair closer to the bed.
His eyes focused on me for a moment, “What did they tell you?”I thought about what to tell him but he added before I could reply, “How fucked up I am and that you’re making a huge mistake?”
I looked up at him and nodded, “Yes, pretty much.”
He nodded and turned his eyes away.
“Shay, this is exactly the reason why I left and hoped I’d never see you again.” I lowered my eyes and nodded.He continued softly, taking quick breaths in between, “That’s how it’s going to be. Everyone is going…to try to change your mind and they’ll spite me, blame me, judge me, and no one…no one is going to be happy or supportive…And I don’t blame them.”
He paused, then added, “Shay, I don’t think you realize just yet…what you’re getting yourself into and that you’ll meet nothing but doubt, skepticism and negativity. People will do everything to talk you out of this...You should really leave me alone, because people are right…you have no business hanging out with me nor do I with you.”
His words were sad and weak but he probably wasn’t wrong.
I didn’t say anything for a moment, then replied, “I don’t care what people say. I also don’t want to hear any more of this talk about what I should or should not do. I can decide for myself and whatever I decide to do is what I’m going to deal with.”
He moved his eyes over to me and laid his head back on the pillow. I saw his hands were trembling as he ran them through his hair.
He swallowed and took a deep breath, “I…Why? Why are you doing this, Shay?”“Because I like you.”
Jordan gasped, “You don’t know me or anything about me.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I hope to change that.”
Jordan bit his lips and his eyes shot back up to the ceiling.
I then asked, “Jordan, I ask you one more time, do you want me to leave?”
He didn’t say anything and kept his eyes on the ceiling, then only shook his head.