She watched him rev his motorbike and speed off towards the curvature of the road in the distance. Within seconds, she was all alone. Athena began walking towards her family mansion.
The day’s events filled her mind as she recalled how Steve and his thugs chased her, how she was cornered, and how Curtis appeared so gallantly out of nowhere when she thought all hope was lost. As she thought of him, the conversation they had earlier replayed in her head.
“My name’s Curtis,” he corrected her.
“Oh… well, Curtis. I don’t need to go to the hospital. I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine. You’re barely able to stand – you were swaying in the wind.”
Athena started to protest, but Curtis grabbed her hand.
“Don’t be an idiot,” Curtis interjected. He dragged her to his bike, ignoring her weak resistance. “You might be bleeding in there, have a concussion or maybe a skull fracture.”
His words made sense but,
No, the media… the things it will print about me, and mom… oh my gosh, I can’t do that to mom again… How it affects her… Athena can see the headline for tomorrow’s CelebNews clear as day in her mind: ‘Attention-seeking behaviour’… ‘Playing the victim card’…
“NO!” Athena yanked her hand free. “I will not go to the hospital! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”
Aah! Athena covered her face with embarrassment. He must think I’m such a kid! As if I was throwing a tantrum, he just stood there and stared at me…!
She took a moment to compose herself.
But he was so kind… and thoughtful…
“Ok then, hop on anyway. I’ll take you home.”
“Wh- what?” Athena was taken back by his calm response to her outburst; her face turned a bright shade of red. “It’s fine! I can make my way back home myself.”
She attempted to walk hurriedly past him shielding her face, hoping the night would provide ample shade for how embarrassed she was. He blocked her path.
“It’s dark,” he said matter-of-factly, ignoring her embarrassment. “You’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood. You’ll get lost or worse, bump into some shady person. Also if what Steve said was true, it’s gonna take you an hour or more to get back to your neighborhood, especially in your condition.” He paused for a moment. “No hospitals. Promise. Maybe your family can talk some sense into you when you get home.”
It’s like, he’s thought of everything for me…
Athena began ascending the stairs to the front door of her family mansion. Perhaps it was the shift in pressure or balance but whatever it was, it morphed her head throb into a thousand nails scratching and rattling inside her head. Amidst the pain, she found herself having moments of blackouts. Every step felt like her feet were cemented to the ground.
She fell as Avery burst through the front doors looking as white as a sheet. “Mom?” Athena’s voice sounded faraway to her, like a fading breeze. Her mother hastily helped her up the remaining steps and into the house.
“Where are you hurt. Tell me now!” Avery asked in a panic stricken voice.
“How… do you know?”
“Your magical energy – its spilling everywhere! Athena, speak to me! No, don’t close your eyes! Where are you hurt! We have to treat you, now!
“… Here…” it was all Athena could manage before her eyes rolled to the back of her head, as she passed out cold.