visiting hours at a hospital are made up for television. at least, that's what beckett thinks. maybe there's visiting hours at every other hospital in the country, but right now, in this wing, no one gives beckett a second look. he was able to charm his way past the nurses, having a lie roll too easily off his tongue that him and colton were brothers. family always had easy access; at the end of the day, he was the closest thing he had to a family.
he absently sat in the chair that was too small for his body, flipping through the channels, seeing yet another episode of law & order playing on a different channel. beckett could feel the weight of his eye lids pulling down the rest of his face. colton hadn't waken up yet - he was immediately rushed in to surgery after being carted into the hospital, the doctors telling the blonde it would most likely be a few days. it took some convincing, but the blonde was able to convince willa to go home and get some rest, there was no need for both of them to sit here and be uncomfortable. but he had made a promise, that he would be there the minute colton woke up and call willa immediately if she wasn't there. he wasn't going to break that promise.
the skin of his thigh stuck to the fabric of the hospital chair as he peeled himself away. he stretched his limbs, cracks of his immobile bones working in tandem along with the hum of the machinery keeping colton alive. his feet shuffled down the sterile hallway of the hospital, fingers rubbing against his eyes in an attempt to push the tiredness away. he found the vending machine at the opposite end of the hallway, squinting down into his wallet. his last three dollars - he wasn't even sure how much he had left in his bank account, this could be the last few dollars he had to his name, but that didn't matter. what mattered at this moment was the safety of the red bull that was in the confides of this vending machine.
the sound of a bed pan hitting the tile floor rings out through the entire floor. for the first time since the shooting, beckett's brain had reset, hearing this sound triggering something in his brain. the crash was too similar to the bang of the gunshot ringing into his ears. his body seized up, falling backwards towards the wall. there was no air in his lungs, the feeling of a weighted blanket was pushing down against his chest. face buried in his hands, he tried to catch his breathe. he wanted to be anywhere but here in this moment. anywhere else....
let me photograph you in this light,
in case it is the last time, we might be exactly like we were.
he remembers it like it was yesterday. the near-perfect day that you dream about. the sun was shining, the humidity was low. everyone was getting along for once. they had decided to take a trip to the beach. seagulls cawed above them. cornhole was played near the pool. it was one of those days that no one wanted to end. they wanted to be locked there forever, on a constant groundhog day loop, reliving the same perfect moment together.
"everyone huddle up!" he called out, positioning the camera in front of him. he snapped a few shots, cycling through them later to pick out his favorite.
before we realized,
we were scared of getting old.
if you were to ask beckett what his favorite photo was, this would be in the top five. although he isn't in the photo, he has the memory of taking the photo locked inside his head.
for beckett, it was the closest thing he had to family.
it was just like a movie,
it was just like a song.
the weight on his chest subsidies, his breathing evening out. the ringing in his ears seemingly faded away and he finally feels brave enough to open his eyes. the shadows around him leave, his hands shaking as he reaches for the phone in his pocket. he ignores the various text messages from willa asking for updates and goes for his photo album. he scrolls through the endless saved screenshots of recipies he'll never make, mirror selfies and saved photos of girls on instagram that he needed to show other people. he found his destination. the picture from that near perfect day.
he had to wake up, beckett told himself over and over again as he sat on the cold tile floor of whatever hospital he had somehow ended up in. he had to. because they needed to have more days like this.
colton wasn't the only one affected by the shooting. beckett, willa, asher, everyone. they all had to carry that weight with them. but the weight of the world crashing down around you is easier to hold up when you have family involved. he knew they'd be fine. this was just a speed bump in the way.