Jenette impatiently flipped through the channels of the hospital TV using her remote control. Nothing but preschool programing and craft shows. Finally, she gave up and turned it off.
She glared at her leg, it was encased in a cast and suspended from a pulley device. "In traction" Dr.Zee had called it. The leg had required reconstructive surgery, becasue the knee had been shattered, the shin snapped in three places, and the muscle ripped. According to Dr.Zee, it had required several plates and screws to repair the bones, and countless stitches for the muscles. She also said if they had gotten her any later it could have swelled up so badly she would have lost it. But she had said something else, something much worse, and Jenette tried not to think about it.
She chose instead to think about what her parents had told her. They were switching back! She was going home! Just as soon as they got out of the hospital, she and Chloe would be switching back to the parents that raised them, and she would be rid of the Jones family. She never realized how much she loved her parents until the whole switching ordeal. She had also never realized how much she hated the hospital. It was there they'd been switched, there they'd found out about the switch, there that was keeping them from switching back, and there the doctor had told her...she quickly put that out of her mind.
She stared at her hand, two IV's stuck out of it. The first was a painkiller, mainly for her leg. The other one was penicillin, for the infection she had picked up at the island. It was practically all cleared up now, and soon she'd be rid of the IV. Needles gave her the creeps, and she couldn't wait to get rid of both IV's, but she knew there was no way she could go without the painkillers, so she settled for only losing one for awhile.
Because she had so many cuts and bruises, she had required stitches in more places than her leg. Though the doctor assured her there would be no scarring, she was worried. Looks were everything to her, she had enough trouble hiding her freckles and frizzy hair, she didn't wasnt to have to deal with scarrs too. She'd just have to wait for the stitches to come out to assess the damage. But she was even more worried about her leg. How could she be a cheerleader if she couldn't walk? Dr.Zee had said she wouldn't even limp after extensive physical therapy, but Jenette wasn't sure. Physical therapy would take months, and by then try-outs would be over, and all the squad picked out. She didn't know how she could go to school and not be a cheerleader, it just wasn't do-able for her.
She was so bored she would have literally twiddled her thumbs, except she didn't know how and if she did the IV's would get in the way anyhow. Her thoughts drifted back to what Dr.Zee had told her. She tried to think of something else but those terrible sentances kept drifting back into her head. Inwardly she caved, and the whole conversation painfully replayed itself.
While being admitted to the hospital her parents ahd been telling her how lucky she had been to be found and alive. The "Lucky stars" must have been with her, they said. Dr.Zee had heard them say that, and added, "It wasn't just the lucky stars that saved you. It was Chloe." Jenette had been pretty out of it, and so she didn't say anything, but after surgery, when Dr.Zee was escorting her to her room, she asked her what she meant by, "It was Chloe." Dr. Zee said that only because of the "miraculous" first-aid performed by Chloe were they able to save her leg, and her life too, because she managed to break Jenette's fever before they were rescued. Ever since then, Jenette had struggled to comprehend that Chloe, of all people, had helped her. Chloe, who she had unrelentingly teased, and who she had blamed all her problems on, had put Jenette's safety before hers. Dressing Jenette's injuries first, giving Jenette the most water, the most food, all the blankets, and staying up with her all night, refusing to leave their lean-to for anything untill Jenette's fever broke, in case she needed anything. Jenette knew that Chloe deserved some thanks for what she did, but thanking people, especially geeks, was never Jenette's strongpoint.
Just then, there was a knock at the door.
"Who is it?" she called, glad for the diversion from her unpleasent thoughts.
"Chloe" came the response.
She groaned silently, "Come in."
The door opened, and Chloe wheeled herself in, grinning. "I love this wheelchair!" she exclaimed happily, while performing a wheelie, and then a turn, "I don'te even need it, but its so fun to race down the hallways in, and it sure beats walking." Chloe had sustained nothing but cuts, bruises, and a minor concussion. Though she had recquired over 20 stitched for all her various cuts, the concussion was very small, and the real reason she was staying in the hospital was that she was dehydrated. She had given Jenette almost all the fresh water they had on the island, to her own personal suffering. So, for three days she had to remain in the hospital, hooked up to an IV and under observation in case she had caught Jenette's infection. She had managed to concince a nurse to hook her IV up to a wheelchair, and let her go exploring.
"Yeah, I guess it would be kind of fun," Jenette broke the silence, "I'll be in one of those as soon as I'm allowed out of bed."
"That leg looks painful! Does it hurt much?"
"Ummmmm...not too much," she held up her hand with the IV's in it, "They're giving me stuff for the pain."
"That's good. You were in surgery for an awful long time though, are you sure it's okay?"
"Yeah, it's fine. The doctor said that when you took care of it at the island you, ummm, you, you helped it."
Chloe blushed, she knew she had saved it. Dr.Zee had told her. "I only did what I learned to do in my Red Cross class. You know, you should take one of those courses sometime. They're really fun!"
Jenette shrugged. "Yeah, maybe I will, later."
Chloe sensed Jenette was not happy. "Okay, well, bye!" she wheeled herself towards the door.