Instinctively Kai turned to where Timothy lay on the pavement. Now all his training in first aid would be put into practice. He quickly pulled off his coat at the same time turning to Brian Hunter and said
"Have you got a phone with you?"
"Okay, call for an ambulance first, then the police. After that check on that piece of shit. He hit his head on the pavement when he went down. Don't touch the knife. Leave it where it is till the cops come." While talking to Hunter he'd made his coat into a pad, lifted Timothy's head and slid the coat under, then let his friend's head rest on the coat. He stood up and stripped of his T-shirt, made another pad bent down and pressed it against the wound to stem the flow of blood. He looked at the boy lying on the floor and could see the look of disbelief in his eyes mingled with a sense of fear.
"It's okay, Timmy," he said. "You'll be all right. The ambulance will be here shortly. Just hang in there." Timothy was silent, his thoughts racing.
"Oh God, it hurts. I hope I'm not going to die. I didn't even get a chance to buy the prezzies. Feeling really tired now. It's good of you to put something under my head. Can have a bit of a sleep." He closed his eyes and the next moment they flew open as his ears were assaulted by a deafening yell of his name.
"TIMMY!" He looked up at the face that was looking down at him and asked
"Why did you yell?"
"You were falling asleep."
"Yeah well, I feel tired," he said, his speech slurring, "so let me sleep."
"No! Stay awake till the ambulance arrives. Then you can sleep."
"Why? What's so bad with wanting to sleep?"
"Dunno, just gets me worried seeing you lying with your eyes closed." He didn't want to say that he was getting concerned that his T-shirt was now soaked with Timothy's blood. "I don't know what's happening to you if you're asleep."
"Don't worry, Kai. Nothing's going to happen, just going to sleep for a while," and he closed his eyes and started to sink down into a nice wall of darkness, when he felt a mouth pressing against his own. He felt something push between his lips, then touch his tongue. He opened his eyes again and the contact was broken and Kai was looking down at him and smiling.
"Thought that would make you open your eyes."
"What did you do?"
"Well, it was something like mouth to mouth resuscitation." Silently he thought 'God, I hope that fucking ambulance will get hear soon.'
"It was nice," the injured boy said.
"Yeah well, I enjoyed it as well, and if you keep your eyes open till the ambulance arrives, I'll do it again when you're better."
"You promise? You're not just saying that just to keep me awake?"
"Yes, I promise," he said looking down at the ashen faced boy lying on the pavement. Then cocking his head to one side he smiled saying "You hear that? That's the effing ambulance." Looking across at Brian Hunter Kai asked "How's that moron doing?"
"He's just sitting holding his head," Hunter responded. "Seems like he hit it pretty hard when he fell. I'm sorry about what happened. I didn't have a clue about Blake carrying a knife. If I'd known, I'd have taken it off him."
"It's okay, Hunter. We're not blaming you for that moron's actions and it seems that his bosom buddy Fletcher has legged it."
Seconds later the ambulance accompanied by a police car pulled up alongside them. Within seconds they had relieved Kai and assessed the injury to the stab victim. They attended to his wound and had him settled in the ambulance as quickly as possible. Then one of the paramedics went over to Peter Blake and examined him. He turned to one of the police officers saying the boy needed to be taken to hospital as well just to make sure. Accompanied by one of the officers Blake was also led into the ambulance with the officer sitting beside him. Shortly another police car arrived to assist the remaining policeman in the investigation.
Kai slipped on his jacket. His T-shirt had been requisitioned by the police as evidence in the stabbing. The enormity of the event that had taken place hit him. His shoulder slumped as he saw the ambulance with sirens blaring pull away from the kerb and tears started to trickle down his cheeks. Quickly the police officer put an arm around the boy's shoulders to comfort him, at the same time saying
"It's all right, son. He's in good hands. He should be okay." Gently he was led by the officer to one of the cars. Getting his emotions under control Kai asked
"Where are we going?"
"Firstly to the house of the boy that was stabbed, if you can supply an address, and inform his parents what happened and that their son has been taken to hospital." The police officer stopped by the car. "You do know where he lives, don't you?"
"Yes, umm… Timothy Clarkson, that's the boy you're talking about, lives at 26 Brentwood Avenue. It's not very far from where I live. About half a mile away. I live at 4 Yew Tree Close." Kai looked across at Brian Hunter who was being spoken to by the other police officers. "What about the other boy over there, what's happening to him?"
"He's going to show them where the other boy lives so they can speak to his parents as well. Then they'll take him home so that he can come into the police station later today with his parents to make a statement as he was a witness to a crime, the same as you."
A couple of minutes later they pulled up outside Timothy's house. The officer opened the car windows slightly before getting out, then turning to Kai asked
"Will you be all right on your own while I talk to Timothy's parents?" Kai didn't speak, just nodded his head in response to the officer's question. The policeman exited the car, locked it behind him and made his way to the house ringing the bell when reaching the front door. The boy watched from the car as he saw Mr Clarkson open the door and the police officer informing him what had happened, although from where he was he couldn't hear what was being said. Then he saw the officer point towards the car and say something which prompted a very worried looking Mr Clarkson to walk over towards the car bend his head and say
"Kai, are you all right?"
"Yes, Mr Clarkson, I'm all right,"
"I'll see you later, Kai. Got to make my way over to the hospital," and Mr Clarkson was gone before the boy could say a word. The police officer came back to the car and within the space of five minutes he was pulling up outside Kai's house. Accompanied by the officer Kai rang the bell and at the same time opening the door with his key. His mother was the first to appear and at once a concerned look came upon her face on seeing the police officer.
Kai went over to his mother putting his arms around her saying
"It's all right, Mum. This is DC Poulter. He's brought me back home. Timothy and I ran into some trouble with another boy from school. Timothy got stabbed and is on his way to hospital."
"Oh heavens," Mrs Webster exclaimed. "How serious is he?"
"I don't know, Mum. You'd better talk to the policeman." Turning to the officer she asked about Timothy.
"The stab wound was quite serious. That's all I'm able tell you at the moment, Mrs Webster, but I'm sure they'll do their best for the boy." The police officer hesitated for a moment and was about to speak when Mr Webster arrived on the scene.
"What's the problem?" he asked noting the serious looks on everyone's face."
"Frank," Mrs Webster said "Timothy has been stabbed in the street and is on his way to hospital. This police officer brought Kai home."
"Please come into the sitting room, Officer. Then you can make yourself comfortable and give us the details of the incident." At the same time Frank Webster went over to his son and put an arm around his shoulder asking "How you feeling son?"
"Worried for Timothy, Dad." Frank Webster with his arm around his son led them into them into the sitting room. DC Poulter followed the family into the room and taking a seat. He then told Mr Webster the same as he'd told Mrs Webster about Timothy's stabbing. He asked if it was possible if one or both parents could bring Kai down to the police station later today to make a statement as he was a witness to the stabbing.
"We also have his T-shirt as evidence, which Kai used to stem the flow of blood from the wound."
"All right, Officer, we'll bring Kai down later today if he's up to it. Otherwise it will have to be tomorrow."
"That will be all right, sir. I hope your son gets over the incident."
"Thank you, Officer, for your concern. It's much appreciated," and DC Poulter was escorted to the door by Mr Webster.
When he returned to the sitting room he saw mother and son standing in the centre of the room in an embrace. Going to them and putting a hand on his son's shoulder, Mr Webster said
"Kai, are you up to telling us exactly what happened?"
The boy broke away from his mother's embrace and sat down on the settee. He looked up at his father, then said
"Can I tell you later, Dad? I just can't bring myself to talk about what happened at the moment."
"All right, son, and you don't have to go into the police station today to give your statement. If you want, we'll leave it till tomorrow."
"Thanks, Dad. I'd prefer to do that." Then turning to his mother he asked "That nurse you know that works in A&E, would she be able to tell us anything about Timothy's condition?"
"I only have her home contact number, Kai, and in any case I couldn't phone her at work. They're not supposed to have their mobiles on while they're on duty." Pausing for a moment and placing her finger on her lip, Mrs Webster thought for a few seconds before saying "Kai, have you got Timothy's home number? I don't think all of them would have gone to the hospital. So if one of the parents has stayed at home, they might have heard something by now." Kai dashed over to the landline and dialled the Clarkson number which was very quickly answered by Mrs Clarkson.
"Sorry to bother you, Mrs Clarkson. It's Kai speaking. Have you had any news about Timothy yet? [Pause] Oh okay, Mrs Clarkson. Would it be all right if I phoned back in an hour's time? [Pause] Okay, thank you and I'll wait for you to call. Bye for now." Replacing the phone and turning to his parents he said "He's still in the operating theatre. Mrs Clarkson said she'll give me a call as soon as she hears anything more."
He went and sat down again, his mother leaving to go to the kitchen and like all women in times of stress she put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. All morning and early afternoon his parents kept an eye on him, which was a bit disconcerting. He knew they were concerned for him, but to have them constantly asking him if he wanted to talk about it or if he needed another cup of tea was slowly getting on his nerves. He'd been to his room and had showered and changed and was on the point of leaving the house to go out for a walk when the phone rang. He hesitated and waited for his father to answer it. He heard his father say
"Hello, Mr Webster speaking. [Pause] Mrs Clarkson, how is Timothy? Oh, I'm glad to hear that he's all right. I'll pass the message on to Kai. Bye, Mrs Clarkson." Replacing the phone he turned to his wife and son saying "Timothy is out of the operating theatre and is in ICU. His condition is very serious, but stable and they will keep him in there until they think he's recovered enough to be moved to a ward."
Kai slumped into a chair relieved to hear that Timothy was still alive. He looked at his parents saying
"I think I'm ready to tell you what happened."
"You don't have to, son," Mr Webster said. "We're in no hurry to hear about the incident."
"It's okay, Dad. I can talk about it now that I know Timothy is still alive," and Kai began his narrative. "We were going to catch a bus to take us to the mall when we met up with three boys from school. One of the boys Peter Blake was throwing insults, so I returned the insults, then challenged him to fight me, one on one. Suddenly he pulled a knife from behind his back and swung his arm intending to stab me. Timothy saw him and jumped in trying to stop him and took the blade in his side. I hit Blake and knocked him down before he could do anymore damage with the knife. While I was attending to Timothy, I got one of the other boys, Hunter, to call for an ambulance and the police. When they arrived, they took over and I was brought home."
"What happened to the knife wielder?" his mother asked.
"He also had to go to the hospital with a police officer sitting with him in the ambulance. He hit his head on the pavement when I knocked him down. I don't think it was anything serious. He was up and walking to the ambulance just holding his head. I think he was trying to look like he was injured more than he really was and looking for some kind of sympathy."
"Do you know anything about the boy, Kai?"
"No, Mum, never had much to do with him at school." Kai paused for a moment, then looking at his father said "I think I'd like to go and make that statement now and get it over and done with."
"You don't have to go today, son. It can wait till tomorrow."
"No, Dad. I want to do it now, so if Timothy is conscious tomorrow I can go and see him."
"If he's still in ICU, Kai, I don't think they'll let you in to see him. Only his immediate family would be allowed to visit."
"Okay, Dad, but I still want to go and make that statement."
"Frank, just take Kai to the station. I'll stay here in case there are any more calls from the Clarksons."
The room was not quite dark as light from the streets filtered in through the heavy lace curtains. Timothy thought about how his way of life had changed so dramatically since the confrontation between his parents and Mr Webster. Now he looked at the face that lay on the pillow a few inches from his own. The eyes sparkled in the dim light. Although he could not see their colour, he knew they were hazel, well green with flecks of brown and grey. The mouth was smiling as the eyes looked back at him and he slowly stretched his neck to brush the lips of the face in front of him. Then he whispered
"I love you, Kai." An arm reached out and wrapped itself around him and drew him closer into the body that lay beside him. He lifted his head and laid it on the shoulder of the boy who now shared his bed. Relishing the emotions coursing through his body he let his mind drift as a hand gently stroked his head and lips and whispered in his ear
"Love you too Timmy." Now he lifted his head off the shoulder in search of those lips that had been whispering in his ear. He opened his eyes to see a figure that was blurred standing beside him and then he felt a hand brushing the hair from his forehead. As his vision cleared, so he recognised his father smiling and looking down at him. He tried to speak and at first just a grunt came out. He cleared his throat and asked
"Where's Mum?" His father stroking his head replied
"At home with Linda. She'll be here later in the day."
"He's all right. At home with his parents."
"That's good. I was just dreaming about him." He closed his eyes and slept again.
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