Hearts Asunder Chapter 3 by MourningStarre

"I'm so glad you're awake," Keesha smiled as she gently tightened her grip on AJ's hand.

AJ said not a word as he glanced down at her tiny hand that held on to his so fiercely before staring back up to look at her beautiful face.

Taking great care she placed his hand back on the bed. "I'm going to get Dr. Jones," she said standing and walking away from the bed. Reading the hesitation in his face, "I'll be back," she assured him before disappearing behind the door.

A few minutes later Tony entered the room.

Straining his neck, AJ looked beyond the doctor and in the direction of the door.

"Where?" he asked still looking past Tony as he shifted uneasily on the bed.

"It's okay," Tony said patting AJ's shoulder reassuringly. "Keesha went to tell your family you're awake," he explained seeing that AJ was becoming a little agitated.

"Keesha," he repeated allowing the wonderful sound of her name to roll off his tongue. "Is she my…uh…uh," closing his eyes as he struggled to find the word he was searching for. "Wife," AJ said excitedly as the word finally sprang to mind. "Is she my wife?"

A puzzled look comes over Tony's face. "Why don't I take a look at you first and ask you a few questions and then I'll answer yours okay?"

Pulling out his penlight, "So, do you know who I am?" Tony asked as he flashed the light in AJ's eyes.

"You're Dr. Jones," AJ answered succinctly glancing at the nametag pinned to the doctor's white coat.

"That's correct. Tell me, did you know the answer to that question because you knew or because you saw it on my coat?"

"I think both," he answered. "Keesha said she was getting Dr. Jones before she left and your coat says Dr. Jones so I guess that's who you are." Gazing back up to the door, "Is Keesha coming back soon?" AJ asked. "I want to see her again," his heart swelling in anticipation of seeing the beautiful woman.

"Soon," Tony said. "For now let's finish taking a look at you."

"Okay," AJ answered.

After completing his exam Tony went outside to share his findings with the Quartermaines and Keesha who were patiently awaiting word. AJ's concerned parents quickly approached Tony after he left the room.

"Well Tony how is he?" Monica asked as Alan stood beside her waiting for his answer.
"You were in there for a while."

"AJ is awake and he's doing pretty well, however as expected there has been some complications," Tony shared.

"What kind of complications?" Alan asked dread creeping into his voice.

"He has suffered some memory loss, the extent of it I'm not sure, neither am I sure at this time if it's permanent. There is an obvious change in his demeanor; he's more docile and after a few initial test it appears his ability to comprehend and rationalize have been compromised."

"What does all of that mean?" Jason questioned as he held on to Keesha's hand.

"It means he's changed. Right now AJ is not the person you remember him to be."

Confusion clouds Keesha's face. "How is that? AJ looked right at me. He smiled and said hi. You said he has suffered memory loss, what kind of memory loss?"

"As I said I don't know the extent of it but it appears to be profound. He has no recollection of the accident. He didn't know who I was. When I asked if he could tell me his and his parents' names he couldn't do it, although he did know what the term parents meant. I should also tell you he is also having a little trouble expressing himself."

Covering her mouth with her trembling hands, "Oh no," Monica murmured. "He has aphasia?"

"Yes," Tony nodded. "AJ's brain is damaged, we knew he would have some. The fact that he was inebriated at the time of the accident may have compounded the situation. As is appears the aphasia he is suffering from is most likely transient, at the very worst it is anomic. The more test we run the better understanding we can get of how severe the damage is. With injuries to the frontal lobe the damage can be extremely severe, but because AJ is speaking and he has controlled motor skills we have reason to be optimistic. He can live a perfectly normal life and he could get all or most of his memory back."

"Can and could, which means he may never remember us or have a normal life?" Alan concluded.

"There's always that chance. Look it's still early. I'm going to arrange for more comprehensive tests tomorrow to get a better grasp of what we're facing. You can go in to see him but don't stay too long and don't push him to remember. If you see him getting agitated pull back or change the subject. He needs to stay away from stress."

"Alright," Monica said as Alan nodded his understanding.

Holding up his index finger, Tony spoke once again. "Oh and there's something else I need to tell you and this you have to handle in the most delicate way that you can under the circumstances. I can't begin to tell you what is right when it comes to this particular problem."

"What is it Tony?" Alan asked placing his arm around Monica.

"Although AJ can't remember anyone he does have very definite ideas of what his relationship is with Keesha," Tony said looking over at the young woman.

Holding tighter to Keesha's hand Jason took a few steps forward. "What do you mean by that?" he asked as Keesha stood quietly beside him waiting for the doctor to elaborate on his last statement.

Tony withdrew a deep breath. "He thinks he has a very close relationship with her."

"Well he does," Keesha acknowledged. "We're good friends."

"Yes, but that's not what I meant."

"Then say what you mean," Jason remarked coolly, having a strong sense of what the neurologist was about to say.

"I didn't answer this question, but he asked me point blank if Keesha was his wife."

Jason and Keesha locked eyes for a long moment before they returned their attention to Tony.

"He never stopped asking for you from the moment I got into the room," Tony explained to Keesha. "It appears right now the only thing that makes sense in his world is you."