“….Y-Yeah…..But if I’m not….Zoe, you need to know: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything Candy Man has ever made you do; all the stupid things you’ve had to do because of him, it makes me sick. So many times you’ve had been put in danger, hurt….But….I wouldn’t trade our life for anything, ever. That day at the Carnival….that was the day my life began,” He winced in pain, struggling to lift his arm and place it on her leg.
“I love you, Zoe Jensen….” He began to close his eyes.
She shushed him, squeezing his hand. “Shh, don’t talk like that, Edward. You make it sound like you’re dying.” She did her best to insert a playful tone into her voice, but her terror was overriding everything else. He couldn’t see her panic. It would only make him worse.
The car sped into the hospital parking lot after what seemed like hours. It took her a few extra moments to lift him out of the seat, supporting almost all his body weight with her arm.
As they limped through the door to the emergency room, a nurse spotted them and rushed over, taking in Edward’s pale face and bleeding abdomen.
“What happened?” she asked, scarily calm.
At the question, Zoe’s tears finally spilled over. “A letter opener— he— he fell, and— and—” she stammered, allowing the nurse to take Edward from her.
By that point about three other personnel had hurried over, lifting Edward quickly onto a gurney and wheeling him away. Zoe clung to his hand until they made her let go and she stood, motionless, in the middle of the waiting room.
“Please, Edward,” she whispered, “don’t leave me.”
Edward groggily opened his eyes, as if waking from a dream…..or a nightmare. It took him a moment to grasp his bearings; he was in a bed. A hospital bed. Hooked to machines. The pain….the pain was gone. He examined his self inflicted wounds…..they were stitched and bandaged.
What had happened?
Told you it wouldn’t work.
“Son of a bitch…” he closed his eyes, whispering in defeat.
Edward, Edward, Edward…..when are you going to learn? You can’t just—
A blonde nurse knocked on the door, carrying a tray of food.
“….Yes,” He hesiitantly answered, waiting for her to cuff him to the bed. Instead, she sat the tray on his bed, then handed him a small cup filled with pills.
“We ran tests while you were unconcious, to fully asses the damage. So here’s some hydrocodine, Vitamins A, K, and D, and two does of Seroqel,” She explained, while he took the cup.
“…..I’m sorry, what was that last one?” He asked, inspecting the purple pill.
“Seroqel, for your….skitzophrenia? I’m assuming you missed a day or two, it explains the manic episode you suffered, causing you to self injure yourself like this…..correct?” She asked, giving him a knowing look.
Edward blinked at her in shock, then a bright smile crawled across his pinkening lips.
“YES! Yes, that’s exactly what happened!” He exclaimed, downing the pills in an instant.
Pffft. Stupid broad doesn’t know what she’s….what the hell? What the hell is this? I feel……distant. Farther.
“Real my ass,” he smiled in triumph.
“….I’m gonna take that as a confirmation they’re doing their job,” She said with a dry laugh, sauntering out of the room.
No, this can’t be…..it’s impossible. NO, NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
And with that, Candy Man was gone. GONE.
“Oh my god…OHMYGOD. This is wonderful! I can think, I can love, I can….Zoe?” His free mind now instantly focused on the one thing missing from this amazing moment.
Where was Zoe?
She sat in the deserted waiting room, her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands. How long had it been? Two hours? Three? She was losing count. Late afternoon sun doused the room in yellow light and she stared at the patches it made on the floor, sighing.
When were they going to let her see him?
As if answering her thought, a blond nurse emerged from the emergency room doors, walking daintily toward her.
“Miss Jensen?” she asked, looking up from her clipboard.
Zoe stood up instantly, almost making herself dizzy. “Yes? That’s me. Where’s Edward? Can I see him?”
The nurse smiled amusedly. “Mr. Candey is doing just fine. We were able to take care of the wound before it got any worse. You’re lucky you got here when you did, Miss Jensen. He might not have made it much longer.” She smiled, placing a hand on Zoe’s shoulder. “Would you like me to take you back to see him?”
“Yes,” Zoe breathed, relief evident in her voice. “Yes please.”
The nurse led her through the big double doors and through a long white hallway before stopping in front of an open door. “Here you are, Miss,” she said, motioning inside. “I’ll leave you two alone.”
Zoe thanked the nurse and peeked in the room, sighing in relief when she saw Edward sitting up, playing with his oatmeal with a plastic spoon. She smiled to herself— typical.
“Edward?” she asked quietly, taking a few steps into the room.
“Zoe!” Edward dropped the spoon, clapping his hands together like a little boy.
“Zoe, Zoe….the nurse. She gave me this magic purple pill….He’s….He’s GONE, Zoe,” He beamed, happy tears brimming in his eyes.
“Candy Man is gone,”
She lost all control when she saw him and ran across the room, throwing her arms around his neck.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” she cried, burying her face in his neck. She wasn’t about to let him go. Especially when she thought she had lost him.
Suddenly his words registered in her mind and she pulled away a few inches, looking into his eyes in confusion.
“Wait, did you just say Candy Man is gone? But— but how?” It wasn’t possible… was it? “You’ve been trying to get rid of him for years!”
"The pill…..she said it was for…..’skitzophrenia’……Zoe, this whole time, Candy Man has been a sickness. He’s not….he’s not real! I’m….I’m cured, sweetie!" He began to weep, pulling her into a happy kiss.