Zach LaVine stared at the ceiling of his room in the hospital, his boredom so acute that he almost wished that he could have another surgery just so the anesthesia would knock him out for a few hours. There was simply nothing to do here. The TV above his bed only served to remind him that there was a reason he never watched the one at home. His phone was on the table next to his bed, but he couldn’t bear to pick it up and see the ceaseless texts from well-wishing hangers-on. A nurse had told him that the only video games in the entire place were the educational ones in the pediatric ward. There might have been some interesting characters among the rest of the hospital’s residents, but he wasn’t going to consent to being rolled around in a wheelchair like an invalid to find out.
According to the doctor, Zach’s torn ACL had been repaired successfully, but Zach still wasn’t allowed to walk and they weren’t going to let him leave for at least a few days. To pass the time, he began re-reading the ingredient list on his pudding cup for the third time, but he soon stopped: he had just heard hushed voices in the hallway, and they certainly didn’t sound like the voices of any of the nurses he had seen in the area…
“I think this is his room,” said one of the voices, softly.
“Quiet, you moron!” berated a different whispering voice. “It’s like you’re trying to get us busted.”
“You’re the one who’s practically yelling,” replied the first voice in a hurt tone.
The voices were so quiet that Zach wasn’t sure if he was hearing them correctly. However, even in whispers, the voices sounded very familiar. He kept his eyes focused on the hallway outside his room, waiting to see if the secretive visitors would reveal themselves.
Finally, Ricky Rubio poked his head around the doorframe and stared at Zach. Then, his face broke into a large grin. “It’s Zach! It’s Zach!” he whispered happily, beckoning his companions forward. Fellow teammates Cole Aldrich and Karl-Anthony Towns appeared in the doorway and both of them also smiled when they saw their friend.
Zach’s initial happiness quickly gave way to confusion. “Why are you guys being so quiet? It’s not like I’m not allowed to have visitors.”
“‘Cause we’re not just visiting,” replied Karl-Anthony. “We’re gonna get you out of here!”
“Um, the doctor said I have to stay fo-” Zach began, but he was interrupted by Cole walking over to his bed and picking him up. “Okay. Okay. You’re rescuing me. Sounds like a plan. Just be careful with my knee.”
“We’re rescuing Zach,” Cole echoed dumbly, starting to move back towards the door with his new cargo. “Then he can play with us again!”
Ricky put a finger up to his lips. “That’s right, Cole. But we have to be quiet now or the bad hospital men will come take Zach away again.” Cole nodded in understanding, and the four Timberwolves players started their silent journey out of the hospital. Ricky went ahead slightly to act as a lookout, while Karl-Anthony hung back to make sure that Cole retained his focus. Zach, meanwhile, was acutely aware that his hospital gown was hanging open, exposing every part of his anatomy to anybody who happened to pass by.
“Cole’s arms tired,” Cole announced suddenly. Before Karl-Anthony could stop him, Cole unceremoniously dropped Zach onto the white-tiled floor.
“AAAAAHHHH!” Zach screamed, clutching his injured knee. “I THINK IT TORE AGAIN!” Cole looked down with faint interest at his teammate, but didn’t seem to realize that he had done anything wrong. Karl-Anthony’s head was swiveling side-to-side, concerned that the commotion would attract unwelcome attention.
Meanwhile, Ricky had hustled back and, after trying to get Zach to be quieter, was surveying the scene. “The plan’s still on,” he said after a pause. “But no more carrying. Karl-Anthony, you’ll have to drag him.” He turned and walked towards a stairwell.
“I’m good right here,” Zach said, his eyes watering from the pain. “I don’t need to be rescued anymore.”
“We’re rescuing Zach,” Cole said happily, following Ricky. Karl-Anthony reluctantly took hold of Zach’s arms and began to drag him down the hallway. At some point, Zach’s gown had fallen off his shoulders, and was now left behind on the floor as he was dragged naked towards the stairs.
Zach’s knee was in considerable pain, but when his leg went over the first stair, it exploded in agony. His neck went slack and his head bounced off the rest of the stairs as Karl-Anthony hurried to keep up with Ricky.
“What’s going on here?” asked a voice from the top of the stairs. Zach weakly lifted his head to see a white-coated doctor wearing a confused look on his face.
“RUN! RUN! ABORT PLAN!” Karl-Anthony shouted, letting go of Zach’s arms. Zach tumbled limply down the stairs until he landed in a crumpled pile on the landing. He could faintly hear Cole’s heavy sobs and Ricky’s panicked pleas for Cole to move faster.
“I think I’m gonna need another surgery,” Zach moaned before losing consciousness.