John was rushed into the emergency room and was checked out thoroughly by the resident doctor in charge. Michael waited with Evangeline and the family for word on John’s condition. Even though he was a doctor, protocol and ethics kept him away from the one place he longed to be, in that room making sure his brother was receiving the best care. Michael knew first hand how quickly a routine diagnosis could turn wrong.
Years before his father had suffered an injury, which by it self would not have been fatal but for a doctor who stupidly came on duty and while drunk, severed his father’s artery, which led to him bleeding to death. No the gunshot was bad, but the doctors incompetence sealed his father’s fate. The only thing that kept him sane was he knew Evangeline needed him, and the Dr. Jones, was one of the best residents at Llanview Hospital.
“Evangeline, sit,” Michael said, taking her by the arm and leading her to the chair.
“I’m too wired. I need that doctor to come out and tell me everything is okay, that John will be okay.”
“He will, I promise. John is resilient, he is hardheaded, too,” Michael said trying to bring levity to a tough situation.
“I know, but I keep seeing him at the bottom of the stairs, looking so quiet and still. Michael, he didn’t move,” she said, the fear radiating from her in waves.
“Look, he fell and hit his head, hopefully the trauma was not that severe, even if he is in capable hands.”
“Then why hasn’t Dr. Jones come out to tell us something?”
“Because he is checking John’s vitals and making sure when he does come out, he has something positive to tell us.”
The waiting continued. John was taken for tests; a cat scan was ordered to check for brain injury and a few other tests to check for any unknown injuries sustained during his fall. After his vitals checked out, John was placed in a hospital room to monitor his brain activity and medical condition. Dr. Jones told Evangeline and Michael that the scan indicated that John suffered a minor bruising, but that they still couldn’t account for why he was still unconscious. They wanted to wait to see if he woke up on his own. So, the waiting game began.
Evangeline, with Michael pulling considerable strings, was allowed to sit with John, for that she was extremely grateful. She needed to be with him. Evangeline needed him to feel her close.
When she entered his room and saw all the equipment and the tubes she almost lost it, not from fear, but from the possibilities of the unknown. She pulled up a stool and sat near his bed, and took his hand and placed it against her cheek needing to feel him. She spoke softly as if he were awake. Evangeline remembered vaguely reading that when some people were unconscious they were aware of their surroundings, so she talked, to help him and to help her self…
“John, I don’t know if you can hear me our not, but I will take the chance. I need you to know Annie is talking, it must have been seeing you hurt that triggered it. Her Uncle John. Did I tell you how jealous I sometimes felt, watching you two? You and she have your own little world. Now, I know what it will be like when we have children of our own. Yes, I have been thinking about that. You make me think of things I had never thought of before too.
“Football games, recitals, and pillow fights, and so much more. The way you just accepted Annie, means more than I could say or should have said. How do you do it, manage to become so much a part of who I am? We don’t even like the same things. Don’t think I haven’t noticed how you duck out of ballet night, whenever the opportunity presents itself, but when you do attend, you are so good at acting like you are enjoying it for me. Yes, I know you bought the book ‘Ballet for Dummies’, the fact that you cared enough about something I enjoyed and found out more about it well, I’m impressed.
“You think I don’t know how hard you listen. I know I never shut up, I overanalyze everything and you just accept. I always admired that about you. Your ability to enjoy the moment…I learned how to do that with you. Well, I need you to enjoy more; I need you to wake up and smell the coffee. As much as I like monopolizing your ear, right about now I need you to tell me to shut up. John,” she said, tears streaming down her face, “please, wake up and tell me to shut up.”
Her head bowed; her spirit weak, Evangeline prayed for guidance and strength, but mostly for her love; that he would wake up. She wanted to see his smile and hear a stupid joke. Then have him stroke her cheek and just say “hey”; no one said it as a hello and a caress, like John. Evangeline laid her head on his chest and breathed for him and for her.
Annie and Amelia were home, and Amelia loved hearing Annie call her Gigi; it made all the uncertainty seem like a dream.
“Gigi, is Uncle John okay?”
“He will be honey. John just needs to sleep until he feels better.”
“Auntie coming home soon?”
“Yes, she just wants to spend time with Uncle John.”
“I do, too.”
“Baby you will, but first we want him to get some rest.”
“Uncle John is good.”
“Yes, he is. Are you hungry?”
“Good, I’m going to fix you my famous pancakes; that will fill you up with warmth and honey.”
Amelia smiled, and moved toward the stove to get the griddle. She got the milk and eggs out and found the flour. She started to prepare the batter and then she noticed that Annie was quiet.
“Honey, are you okay?” Amelia asked.
“Yes. I just like how you look so much like mommy. It is like having her here.”
“Annie, I feel the same way when I look at you too.”
“Yeah?” she asked smiling, with such bright clear eyes, which expressed the love she was beginning to feel for someone besides her momma – her Gigi.
“Yeah,” Amelia said and continued to prepare the pancakes for her little one.
They didn’t know that below in the basement a desperate man waited, for the house to sleep so he could recapture what he had lost. Yes, he wanted his daughter back; she was the best part of his life, the better part. He knew that he was partly responsible for her not speaking. Samantha was the cause, too. She could never let the bad stuff go. She pushed and pushed him. Okay, so he took chances; what man wouldn’t if he had to feed his family? Every time he tried to do the right thing, something or someone just got in his way.
He needed that key. It took years to save up that stash. He had promised Carlos that he could buy into this deal; all he needed was the key. How Samantha had figured out that it was important, he would never know. The minute she ran off and he found the key was gone, he knew he had to find her. Damn, that woman. He should have left her long ago, but Annie. Annie was the best thing, they ever did. The only thing he did right in his whole miserable life.
If this deal went down the way he planned he could give Annie a good life. She never had to know what he did to her momma; no he and Annie alone would work. He knew he could do this. He just hoped he could make all his dreams for her come true. Heck, he might even find her a new momma; after all he was a pretty good-looking guy. Yeah, maybe once this deal made good, he and Annie could start again. Samantha would fade, maybe he would stop hearing her scream and seeing her eyes pleading for him to stop. Yeah, maybe . . . so he waited, for the house to sleep and he could move about and search for the key. Then he would move back to his dark place until he could search again.