Chapter Thirty:

ÖÖThey left the roof of One Buchanan Plaza togetherÖÖ.

As John and Evangeline came walking into the Emergency Room, once again, Jordan and Michael were on call. The two of them walked up to her with concern in their eyes. Evangeline, trying to put everyone at ease said, "Iím okay, really. My wrist is just sore. I think itís sprained."

Jordan looked at Evangeline and sarcastically said, "Oh really Dr. Williamson. Did you finish medical school while I wasnít looking? Michael, record her vitals and then take her to x-ray."

Evangeline laughed and said, "By the way Jordan, should I go ahead and call my Mom this time before you do it?"

With a twinkle in his eye, Jordan replied, "I would if I were you."

John stood by taking all of this in and he couldnít believe that Evangeline was joking around like this. Didnít she realize that he could have lost her today? It took everything in him not to just grab her and never let her go.

As Michael was recording Evangelineís vitals, he could tell that John was still a little freaked out. After he took Evangeline to x-ray, he made John go to the cafeteria with him for some coffee. "Are you okay John?" Michael asked.

"Yeah, sure," John replied half heartedly. "Itís Evangeline you should be worried about. Sheís the one that had the spray of bullets going over her head."

"Iím not talking physically, John," Michael replied. "I mean emotionally. You look awful and I can only imagine what type of memories this is bringing back to you about Caitlyn."

John stared at Michael in silence for a moment and then he said, "Youíre right. It does bring up the whole Caitlyn thing for me. However, it makes me realize even more how much I love Evangeline. I really could have lost her today. What would I have done if that happened? I donít think I can go through that type of pain again."

Sympathetically, Michael said, "John, I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better. I really donít like seeing you this way. Youíre not going to go back into your shell, are you?"

"Thanks Mike," John replied. "Iím trying not to, but sometimes I think that maybe everyone around me would be better off if I did."

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As Evangeline waited in her room for the results of her x-rays, she called her Mom. Her Mom was rightfully upset by what had happened and told Evangeline that she expected her home for Christmas. "Once again," Evangelineís Mom said. "I need to see with my own eyes that you are truly okay."

"Alright Mom," Evangeline acquiesced. "Iíll be home on December 23rd to spend Christmas with you. Iím really fine though."

"Howís John?" Evangelineís Mom asked. "Please tell him that I said thank you for saving you. I still say though, if you would leave men alone, you wouldnít get into these predicaments."

"Mom," Evangeline said in shock. "I think Johnís okay. We havenít really talked about everything. He was right that my first attack wasnít racially motivated. Iím still confused. I think we still may be better off apart. Iíll talk to you about it more when I get home. I love you Mom. Bye."

"I love you too," Evangelineís Mom replied before they hung up.

"When did this happen?" Evangeline thought to herself. "When did I become even more confused than I already was? John was right, I wasnít attacked for the color of my skin, but on the other hand, the look in his eyes while Tico was holding me at gunpoint was almost too much to bear. If something bad had happened to me, would John be able to go on? I love him so much, but can I put my feelings before his? What should I do?"

One of the orthopedic interns came in to put a soft cast on Evangelineís right wrist. She told her that the x-ray showed a hairline fracture. She had to wear the cast for the next 4 weeks, but she could take it off to shower or take a bath. She also gave her a prescription for pain medication just in case she needed it.

John and Michael walked in just as Evangeline was signing her release papers. John said heíd go get the car and meet her outside. He made sure that Michael would be with her the whole time.

When John left, Evangeline asked Michael, "How is he? He looks like heís barely holding it together."

Michael replied, "Heís holding on. Today has been a bad one for him. He could have lost you and that just brought back all his memories of Caitlynís death. I know Iíve been a little upset with you, but Marcie told me that one of the reasons you broke up with John was to keep him from maybe losing you the way he lost Caitlyn. I guess I understand your point of view now."

"Thanks Michael," Evangeline replied.

"What are you going to do?" Michael asked.

"I donít know Michael," Evangeline replied. "I really donít know."

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John and Evangeline rode to her house in silence. Johnís thoughts were going back and forth between how much he loved her and could he take losing her in some tragic way. Evangelineís thoughts were going back and forth between how much she loved him and could she put him through the pain of losing her in some tragic way if it came to that.

Once they got to her house, John came in and made sure everything was secure. He had a patrol car stationed outside her house just in case one of El Tiburonís men that hadnít been picked up yet was out there. He didnít really want to leave, but he knew that they both needed some space.

Evangeline told John that she was going to Pittsburgh for Christmas to see her Mom and that her Mom had said to thank him.

John said, "Tell your Mom Iíd do it all over again as long as youíre safe."

"Thanks from me too," Evangeline replied.

"Merry Christmas Evangeline," John said as he turned to leave. "Have a safe trip."

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Evangelineís time in Pittsburgh did little to settle her confusion. She enjoyed spending the time with her Mom, but she missed John more than ever. "What should I do?" she thought.

John and Michaelís Mom came over to Llanview for Christmas since Michael was on call. Marcie put together a family dinner for Eve, Michael, Shannon and John. John tried to keep up a semi-happy face, but all he could do was think about Evangeline. He truly missed her more and more each day. "What am I going to do?" he thought.

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Evangeline came back into town a couple of days before New Years Eve. She had talked to Nora a couple of times while she was in Pittsburgh and Nora had invited her over for a girlís night out of popcorn eating and girly movie watching. Bo was taking Matthew to a Philadelphia 76ers game, so the girls would have the house to themselves.

Nora had sent Evangeline into the kitchen to make the microwave popcorn when the doorbell rang. When Nora answered it, she was surprised to see John standing there. "Uh, hey John," Nora said. "What are you doing here?"

When John had pulled into the driveway, he saw Evangelineís car. He hadnít seen her since the day he dropped her off at home after the whole Tico Santi incident. His heart had skipped a beat. He really missed her. "Um, um," John stuttered as he looked around the room for his Diva E. "Bo got caught at the station and he sent me to pick up Matthew so we can go to the 76erís game. Is that okay?"

"Sure," Nora said. "I just didnít realize that you were going to the game with them. Thatís all."

"Oh," John replied.

Nora said, "Iíll go upstairs and get Matthew for you. You know heís really excited about going to this game."

As Nora headed to go up the stairs, Evangeline came walking out of the kitchen with the bowl of popcorn in her hand. She was saying, "I donítí understand why I had to make the popcorn. After all, I have the broken wrist you know." As she looked up, her eyes locked with Johnís. She had no idea he was there.

Nora said, "Hey you guys. Iíll be right back with Matthew." Nora hurried up the stairs.

For a moment, John and Evangeline just stared at each other. They couldnít take their eyes off of each other. Finally, John broke the silence by saying, "Hey Evangeline. How are you doing? Howís your wrist?"

Evangeline replied, "Iím okay. My wrist is doing a lot better. How are you?"

John hesitantly said, "Iím doing okay. I guess." He wanted to say so much more, but he stopped himself.

Just as John was about to ask Evangeline about her Christmas, Matthew came running down the stairs all excited. "Letís go John!" Matthew said urgently. "Letís pick up Dad and hit the road."

As John kept his sight on Evangeline the whole time, he said to Matthew, "Sure buddy. Letís go."

Matthew kissed his Mom and Evangeline goodbye and ran out the door. John said goodbye to Nora and kept his gaze on Evangeline before he turned to walk out. He said as he left, "See ya."

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Once John shut the door behind him, he took a deep breath and thought, "My God. She looks fantastic. Who am I fooling? There is no way I can stay away from her. I love her too much. I will figure out a way to get her back in my life for good. Spending even a little amount of time with her would more than make up for any pain I might go through if I were to lose her."

Once John shut the door behind him, Evangeline took a deep breath and thought, "My God. How can I stay away from him? I love him so much. I have to figure out a way to get over my fears about hurting him if something were to happen to me."

Nora was staring at Evangeline and said, "Are you okay? Iím sorry. I had no idea that John would show up here."

"Donít worry about it Nora," Evangeline said, "Iím okay."

Nora gave Evangeline an inquisitive look and said, "Why donít you just go after him? You two are so transparent. If you were any more in love with each other, Iíd throw up. Itís really sickening, you know. Just get back together already and stop putting all of us through this torture."

Evangeline laughed as she said, "Thanks for that pretty picture Nora. You sound just like Cynthia. Itís more complicated than that."

"Well uncomplicate it already," Nora said. "Be with the man you love. You deserve to be happy."

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