Eric’s POV -
We had been here all night, and we still had not been able to see her. The doctor came out and told us that they had stabilized her, and that she was resting for the night. I wanted so badly to rush into her room, but the doctor suggested I had to wait until the next morning.
I was sitting on the long chair in the waiting room when her mom came walking out.
She looked exhausted.
“Hey kiddo, you should go home and get some rest. She’s fine, no need to stay up all night.” Her mom said patting my head. I really liked Renee. She was always comforting and knew what to say.
That’s also probably because she was a licensed and trained Nurse. She had to learn how to speak to people in order to do her job as well as she did.
“I think I’m going to just wait here. I want to see her first thing in the morning.” I said while running my fingers through my hair.
“Okay, well I’ll be right back.”
She got up and walked back into a different room. A few minutes later, she came back with a pillow and a blanket.
“Here, this should make it a little more comfortable.” She smiled at me and I smiled back, thanking her for the gesture.
“Thank you. Um, Renee?”
“I think I need to tell you something...” I began.
“I’m all ears.” She smiled reassuringly.
“We... We ran into someone while we were at the grocery store earlier today. It was an older man. We accidentally smashed carts, and when Cecilia saw him, she left the store crying. I tried to ask who he was, but he just said to tell Cecilia he was sorry and then he walked away.”
Renee looked at me with confused eyes, but then her face showed an expression I had never seen before. She almost looked mad, but a little happy at the same time.
“He knew her name too. It was really weird. I don’t know, I just thought you should know. I’m thinking that might be what initially triggered her panic attack.”
Renee gave my shoulder a squeeze and told me not to worry about anything. She gave me a few bucks to get a drink and something to eat, and then went back to work.
Who could that man be and why did Cecilia get so upset that she landed in the hospital?
I had to find out who he was.
I picked up my phone and texted Layla. She had went home after a while, since she had to be up early the next day.
Me: Layla, u awake?
Sis: Yea, everything ok??
Me: O Cecil is fine. I wanted 2 tlk 2 u about something. Can u come back & sit with me @ the hospital for a bit? I know its late, im srry.
Sis: No problem, I’ll be there soon.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Layla asked as she walked into the waiting room, and sat down next to me, out of breath.
“When Cecilia and I were at the grocery store, we bumped carts with some guy. As soon as she saw him, she left the store crying and I think that is what initially triggered her panic attack. I just cannot figure out who that guy was. He knew her name also. He kind of looked like her too in the face a little. It was really weird.”
“Oh my God...” Layla had a worried look on her face.
“Layla, who is he?”
“I think it was her father.” She looked over at the doorway leading to where Cecilia was sleeping as she frowned.
“Wait, her dad? The one who completely abandoned her for her entire life?” I was so angry all of a sudden. This guy came into her life in an instant and already hurt her. Not just mentally, but physically. It all started to make sense now. That was why Renee had gotten that look on her face.
She knew exactly who it was.
“Man... that’s so terrible. I hope she’s okay when she gets up tomorrow. Eric, do you really need to stay here all night? It’s almost midnight and you look exhausted. You can go home, shower and take a much needed rest and then come back tomorrow.”
Layla was right, I desperately needed to sleep. I was hungry too since we missed our mom’s dinner party. I decided to go home with Layla. Tomorrow I was going to try to talk to Cecilia.
When we got home and walked inside, our mom and dad came up to me with open arms. They gave me a hug and told me if I needed anything, to let them know.
I went into the kitchen and there was already a delicious plate of food heated up and on the counter waiting for me. I smiled and so did my stomach as I began stuffing my face.
It was eight o’clock in the morning now, and I was already in Cecilia’s hospital room. She looked so beautiful sleeping. I felt so bad that this had happened to her. Okay, so maybe there was nothing I could do to prevent running into her dad, but I should’ve noticed that she left her bag in my car. I could’ve prevented her massive panic attack. I felt like a true piece of shit boyfriend.
I was sitting next to her bed with my head in my hands, when I felt her fingers brush through my hair. It instantly sent shivers up my spine and I sighed a little into my hands.
I looked up to find her smiling face beaming down at me.
“Hey beautiful. How are you feeling? Do you need anything?” I asked.
“Just you.” She whispered as she moved over on the bed, and I immediately got up to lay down next to her.
She embraced me by wrapping her arms around my body. I couldn’t help but smile at her touch.
“I’m so sorry baby.” I managed to get out, “I should have noticed that you left your bag in my car. I feel terrible.”
“Hush. It’s not your fault.” She softly smiled, “I should’ve grabbed it. Besides, the doctor said that my panic attack was so big, even having the pills wouldn’t have been much help.” She said, now sitting up to take a drink of her water.
“Well still, I feel like I could’ve done something more.” I replied more so to myself than to her.
“You’re cute when you’re worried about me.” She teased, kissing my cheek.
The way this girl was starting to make me feel was something that I had never experienced before. I needed to be next to her, always. To feel her touch is the best drug in the world and I’m slowly becoming addicted. We’ve only been together for a few weeks, and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way than it was at that moment.
“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” She asked, pulling me away from my thoughts.
I had to try to talk to her about her father, as much as I didn’t want to bring it up.
“Babe, who was that guy?”
“I’m sure you already figured it out...” She began as she looked down at her lap. She had started to fidget with her fingers.
“I’m sorry babe, I don’t want to bring up anything negative, I just wanted to see if you wanted talk about it. It was your dad wasn’t it?” I finally asked.
She looked at me, and then her eyes started to shine.
“Please don’t cry, I don’t want to upset you.” I ran my fingers over her cheek as I kissed her forehead gently.
“It’s okay. Yes, it was my dad. I just didn’t plan on seeing him ever again. He made it pretty clear he wanted nothing to do with us. He never called, sent a letter, emailed, stopped by... nothing. It was as if we never even existed to him.”
A single tear fell from her eye, and I quickly used my thumb to wipe it away.
“At one point in time, he was everything to us. Now, I can’t even look at him.” She sighed as she laid her head against my chest.
“Promise me something?” She asked quietly.
“Promise me you won’t leave.”
“What do you mean?”
“Promise me that even if we don’t work out as a couple, you’ll still always be here for me, even as just a friend.”
“I can definitely promise you that I’m never going anywhere, babe. I’ll always be here.” And with that, I lifted her chin up with my index finger, and kissed her slowly.
I’ll always be here.