That Thing Between Eli and Gwen(6)

By: J. J. McAvoy

“You and I both know he is doing this out of some twisted sense of guilt. I can’t cut him out of my life, but you being around only makes it twice as bad. I understand you might feel lonely, but please don't abuse my brother's kindness—”

“Excuse me!” She held up her hands to stop me.

“I’m just saying—”

“You're just saying, ‘Go away, you bring up painful memories I have yet to deal with, but instead of growing a pair of balls and handling them myself, I’ve chosen to ignore them altogether and push all of things reminding me I was dumped at my wedding to the corner.’”

“Excuse me!” She was out of her damn mind.

She crossed her arms. “What? Isn’t that what you’re saying? Your brother isn’t a little kid. If he feels guilty and wants to work it out his way, then it is his right to do so. Do you know how many crappy people we meet a day in this city? Of course you do, you are one of them. No way in hell am I ignoring a good person just so you can feel better.”

“You don’t even know him!” What hell is this chick's problem?

“No, I don’t know you. There’s a difference,” she hollered, stepping away from me and toward her arriving cab. “Also, if I feel lonely, I wonder how in the hell you must feel, asshole.”

The door slammed, and I stared as she was driven away.

“So, you’ve met Guinevere.” Logan chuckled, coming up beside me with his newly bandaged hand.

“Guinevere? I thought her name was Gwen?” Or at least that was what he'd called her on that ugly day.

He nodded. “Her name is Guinevere Poe, she's a pretty famous artist here in the city. You know, that oil painting Mom just bought was done by her.”

“What? That thing cost almost two million dollars.”

“And you tried to give her a fifty for the cab.” He snickered.

Pausing, I looked at him. “You saw that?”

“The moment you followed her, I knew it wouldn’t be good.” He nodded and forced a smile I knew wasn’t sincere. “I know after Dad died you basically raised me alongside Mom, but you need to stop. I’m not a kid. Sometimes I feel like you focus on me just to ignore the shit going on in your own life. Maybe you had to do that before, but not now. You were the one this happened to, and yet here you are trying to look after me again. I’m fine. Honestly, I’m fine.”

He waved me off as he headed back toward where he was parked. I watched him go for a moment, realizing once again I was treating him like a child, before heading back into the hospital. I didn’t bother making eye contact or conversation. Instead, I headed to the on-call room and rested up on the top bunk of the bed.

Logan and I were nine years apart, making him only two when our father died of a heart attack. It was still ranked first on the list of the worst days of my life, my mother screaming for me to call the ambulance, Logan crying in the living room as the nanny frantically tried to help my mother.

“Urgh, I don’t want to think about this,” I muttered to myself, pulling out my phone. The screensaver was still of Hannah and me embracing. I’d tried to change it at least a hundred times in the last month, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it yet.

If I feel lonely, I wonder how in the hell you must feel, asshole. Her voice replayed in my mind. Who the hell did she think she was? She didn’t know me; I was fine.

“What kind of name is Guinevere, anyway?” I whispered to myself.

“God, I’ve missed you,” an intern said as she kissed down a male nurse’s jaw.

He began to lift her scrubs.

I sat up. “Does this look like the set of Grey’s Anatomy to you?” I yelled.

They jumped and ran so quickly, I was sure one of them fell on their way out.

Picking up my phone, I went to settings, then screensaver, trying once again to change the damn photo, but once again I couldn’t do it.

Damn it!

Just then my phone rang. “Dr. Davenport speaking,” I answered.

“So, I figured out how you can make it up to Gwen for being an ass,” Logan said. “She’s moving into a new place. I was going to help, but—”

“Not interested. Goodbye.”