Too Much to Lose
Jordan’s peaceful slumber seemed to be at an end. As much as she wanted to remain in her quiet, unconscious haze there was an uncomfortable squirming pushing against her side and then hot breathing on her face. She cracked one eye to find herself nose to nose with her nephew.
“Hi!” Hendrix squeaked enthusiastically. “Are you feeling better?” She loved how his “r’s” sounded like “w’s”.
She swallowed hard; her throat was uncomfortably dry after all the emotional unrest. Raising a shaky hand, she stroked her nephew’s head lovingly. She had missed him lately, having been so wrapped up in everything else she had going on. He laid his head on her chest waiting patiently for her response.
“Mmmm…not quite yet…” She croaked. His little head popped up from her chest and deposited a quick peck on her cheek.
“Better now?” She couldn’t contain the small smile that crossed her face.
“Yes. Much.” Hendrix grinned broadly before reaching over her to his backpack and pulling out his small tablet.
“Ti-Ti lets watch a movie, ’kay? Doc McStuffins will make you feel even more better!” He wiggled around until he was nestled in the crook of her arm, his little head tucked under her chin as he turned on the cartoon. “Ti-Ti?”
“Yes, sweet pea?” God her voice sounded terrible.
“You smell smoky,” he stated. “Like s’mores! I like that.”
She allowed her eyes to rove around the room, as Hendrix was riveted to the tablet and paying little attention to her. From the window she could tell it was now dark outside, indicating she had been resting for quite awhile. It came rushing back to her that she had suffered an emotional breakdown and was currently on suicide watch. Her eyes came to rest on the open bedroom door and she could hear Nona and Kurt discussing just outside. She had no doubt they could see her and annoyance flashed through her. She would never do anything with Hendrix around! Yet she had to admit she hadn’t been thinking so clearly lately.
By the second video she could feel Hendrix begin to sag against her, the effect of skipping his nap at preschool earlier that day. She was relieved when she heard him snoring softly as this meant she could return to her slumber uninterrupted. Wrapping him more securely in her arms, her eyes slid closed as she enjoyed the warmth of his little body wrapped around hers. If only all her problems could be solved by such a simple gesture.
Nona watched her sister cuddle with her son from just outside the bedroom door. She felt angry and wrong that she couldn’t trust her sister alone with him but Jordan was experiencing some very unnerving thoughts. Nona had no fears that her sister would hurt her child but she feared what he might see if Jordan decided to hurt herself. She was watching them sleep soundly when Kurt approached. He had showered while she stood watch and appeared clean but no less worried.
“She said she wanted to die?” Nona asked him again, still bewildered that her big sister could ever feel that way. Kurt nodded solemnly, filling her in on what little the doctor had told him. By law, even if Jordan was a danger to herself, her family only had rights to so much information.
“We all thought she was doing so well, turns out she was just hiding everything… burying it deeper and deeper. This whole CLU business finally brought it all up. Anymore news on that?”
Nona shook her head slowly, still watching the sleeping duo protectively. Vasquez had encountered no more information about the tech crime or the “nano-incident” as her police files referred to it, which was fine because at the moment they were dealing with an incident of their own.
“I’ll be staying the night. I called my parents to come get Hendrix, I told them Jordan wasn’t well and you could use a little help. They didn’t push the issue.”
Kurt thanked her with a warm hug and headed to the kitchen as none of them had eaten a bite all day, he leaving work and Nona rushing to them as soon as he called. He was certain Jordan hadn’t eaten either as she had been running late that morning and had been far too spent to eat at anytime after. Rummaging through the fridge for something quick they would all enjoy, he found himself staring at a picture under a magnet. It was from barely two months ago of he, Jordan and Taylor.
Adoption day. Had Jordan been feeling unhinged then? She hadn’t shown it, hadn’t appeared to be anything other than genuinely happy she was finally becoming a mother. He was thankful Taylor wouldn’t be home for a few nights as she was gone on a basketball retreat. They would need the extra few days to figure out how best to help Jordan and how to break the news to their daughter. Speaking of Taylor, a sudden flash of panic shot through Kurt. If CLU was back, would he go after her to get to Jordan? He grabbed the phone off the dock and dialed her cellphone. He nearly fainted from relief when she answered on the second ring.
“Taylor, hey! How’s the retreat going?” He tried to sound casual not wanting to put her on alert. There was a noisy commotion in the background of the call and his breath hitched.
“Guys keep it down! My dad’s on the phone!” She yelled away from the receiver. Kurt wanted to leap through the phone and hug her. She had never called him her dad before, probably didn’t realize she had even said it. “You still there?”
“Yeah, kiddo I’m still here. Your mom just wanted me to check up on you, she worries.”
“I know. Where is she? Can I talk to her?” Kurt swallowed the lump that formed in his throat before answering.
“Sorry sweetheart, she’s already in bed. Rough day at therapy…” He hedged.
“I guess it was if she let you put her to bed so early! She didn’t fight back?” Kurt winced remembering the afternoon they had just endured.
“No more than usual.” He lied easily. “But, hey, get back to your fun and check in tomorrow okay?”
“Yeah, okay, I will. Love you guys!”
“Love you too.”
“K’, bye … dad.” Then the line went dead.
Kurt couldn’t believe she had called him dad twice in one conversation. They were growing into the family Jordan always wanted and Taylor so desperately needed. He knew then that he would do anything to protect it; even if it was from Jordan herself.