((Jasmine Stone and Aaron Chalmers continued from In Hindsight, This Was A Terrible Idea))
Jasmine had no idea how long they had been walking for but it had gotten harder and harder to keep Aaron moving, Jasmine had practically had to carry up the mountain path. They had managed to reach the cabin though and that was all that mattered. Jasmine opened the door and brought Aaron inside. The cabin itself was bare; the only thing of note was a smashed furby lying on the floor. She brought Aaron in and sat him down against one of the walls of the cabin before shutting the door. She didn't want anyone to know they were in the cabin, especially since she had to give first aid to Aaron and she had no way to defend herself normally, let alone when she was distracted.
Dumping her bag on the ground Jasmine knelt down and started pulling everything out of it until she found the first aid kit. Once she had she put in down next to her and turned to face Aaron, who was still sitting against the wall. Everything she had scattered throughout the room could wait. Opening the first aid kit Jasmine was overwhelmed by the amount of equipment was actually inside it.
It was at that point she realised that she had no idea what she was actually doing. She had never learned first aid and had never had to do anything close to first aid apart from putting plasters over cuts or grazes and Aaron's injury was far beyond that. Luckily everything in the kit was easy to recognise and if not it had a label. She rummaged around until she found bandages and a pair of scissors, there was also sterile dressings and antiseptic wipes so Jasmine took them out as well. The first thing she did was rip open the pack of antiseptic wipes, taking one in her hand she gently moved Aaron's hair out of the way so that she could get a proper look at his injury. What she saw made her eyes start to mist up; a part of Aaron's skull was broken.
Jasmine stopped moving and just looked at it. She was out of her depth. Her breathing started to speed up; she had no idea how she was supposed to help him. She was powerless again. She couldn't help Aaron when he needed it the most. She felt tears start to form and wiped them away. Taking a deep breath Jasmine then set to work. She dabbed at the wound with the antiseptic wipe, wiping away most of the blood that was around it and cleaning up the wound itself. After doing that she picked up the sterile dressing and gently wrapped it around Aaron's head like she had seen people do on TV, she made sure it was as secure as possible before going over it with the other bandages to keep it on tight.
As she sat back she realised she had wet cheeks. Using the back of her hand she rubbed her eyes.
"That's the best I can do Aaron." She said pulling her knees up to her chest. "I hope it’s enough."
Aaron reached up with an unsteady hand and gingerly touched the bandage wrapped around his head. He made sure to keep his hands away from where he knew his injury to be, making a show of running his hand all around the bandage and checking every part of it. When he was done he lowered his hand and flashed Jasmine a tired smile.
“Feels good. You did a great job.”
He knew he was dying. Anyone who looked at him could tell the same – Jasmine probably knew it too – he looked to be in a terrible state.
Soon after he had met back up with Jasmine the symptoms had started to show; dark patches shadowed the area under his eyes and behind his ears, deep bruises that ached rhythmically in time with his pulse. His head pounded with pain constantly. His neck was stiff, his speech was slurred. He was so unsteady on his feet that Jasmine had to practically haul him up the mountain, which was fine with him since he was so damn tired he could barely lift his feet.
He could discount most of that though; the tiredness and pain were things he was accustomed to, stuff that he could shrug off like he had done every time after a harsh practise or intense work out. If it was just that, he knew he would have been fine, just suck it up and stop worrying.
The bleeding was more concerning. Every few minutes he could feel a fresh trail of blood run down over his lips and down to his chin from his nose. When he felt a tear roll down his cheek, only to wipe it away and find red on his fingers he knew for certain. He had hastily wiped his check clean with the sleeve of his jacket and hid it from Jasmine. No need to worry her. There was nothing she could do anyway.
“I can hardly feel my headache anymore.”
So, yeah. He knew he was dying. The only question now was when. And how would Jasmine take it.
Aaron looked over to where she was sitting, knees pulled up to her chest and wet cheeks glistening. He wasn’t oblivious to her tears; surprised by them sure, but he felt kind of grateful to know she cared about him enough to cry over this, despite only knowing him in the game.
He felt another trickle run down from his nose and reached up to wipe it away, staining the back of his hand red in the process.
“Damn, I’m a mess.”
It surprised him how readily he accepted his imminent death. Maybe he couldn’t quite process the implications in his current state. Maybe he had been quietly accepting it since he woke up by the lake. Whatever the case, he wasn’t too worried about what would happen next to him. He was worried about his family; his brothers, his father, his mother. How would they take it? Were they watching him now? His dad was probably at work, as was David. He wasn’t sure about whether or not Andrew could watch the Program wherever he was currently stationed; maybe the government would set it up though. It was their pet project after all. His mother he knew would probably be glued to the TV. She never really watched it before, but how could she not in this case.
He was worried about Jasmine as well. Worried about what would happen to her after this. They still hadn’t found her friends, she had no weapon to defend herself with and after he was gone she would be alone. He hoped she would be ok.
Another trickle down his face, slower this time. When he reached up to wipe it this time his hand didn’t come back red, instead there was a clear liquid with streaks of red covering his hand. Great, now he had a runny nose as well.
“This just gets worse.”
He felt tired. He couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore. He wanted to stay awake a bit longer. Wanted to talk to Jasmine for a while; reassure her, reassure himself that she would be ok. The girl had dragged his half unconscious body up a mountain just to get him a place to rest, he owed her a little consideration now.
But he was so tired. His lids were dragging themselves closed of their own volition. It looked like he didn’t have much choice in the matter. He shifted against the wall, lowering himself down further, trying to get comfortable; a wasted effort.
“I’m just going to rest a while. We’ll figure out where to go next in the morning.”
He went to sleep then, slipping into unconsciousness also before he finished talking. He slept for a while.
Then he stopped breathing.
M10 - Aaron Chalmers: Deceased