“What did they say Miles? Rudy asked.
“She’s in a coma. Looks like there’s some problem with her kidney.”
“Is there something they can do about it?”
“The kidney, they said most likely, but they don’t know about the coma.”
The room was silent while they swallowed the gravity of it all, the impact of the potential outcome paralyzing. They gazed at Aria in her hospital bed, Rudy praying, Miles looking as if his heart was twisting, and H-C quietly pleading with Aria to wake.
“How is she? Any update?” Elias asked as he entered the room. He glanced at H-C who focused on Aria.
“No change since the last phone call,” Sasha said.
“Soggiorno colibri, soggiorno colibri, soggiorno colibri,” Kiev hummed over and over at her bedside. Each minute he became louder until finally his distress and the volume was too much to bear for the hospital inhabitants and his brothers to take. Rudy helped Kiev up and took him for a walk in the hospital corridors.
“Man what the hell was Kiev saying,” Elias asked Sasha.
“It’s Italian. He’s saying “stay hummingbird,” Sasha quietly replied, tears glazing over his stormy eyes.
“Kiev, let’s just walk for a bit here. This has got to be hard for you. It’s hard for me too. I love that girl, too. She’s brought a lot to our lives in a short period of time. I think we needed a kid around, well we needed Aria. She opened our eyes to a lot of things. Kiev man I want to apologize to you. I haven’t treated you very kindly or been seeing you very well for a long time. Yeah, I’ve treated you like you were not capable, like you didn’t understand a darn thing and that must feel humiliating. I am sorry brother. I am so sorry. I see you now man, I do. I hope you can forgive me. I can be better.”
Kiev stopped walking and turned to Rudy.
“We can commence now,” Kiev stated.
Rudy smiled at the words Kiev chose and for his forgiveness.
“Yes, Kiev, please let’s commence now.”
H-C had found Aria’s camera on the nightstand. She had given it to Miles before he headed out to the hospital.
Miles set up the laptop. Because the screen was somewhat small they had to gather in close. It was beside Aria’s bedside so that she could hear it too. Kiev loomed in the background, hovering over Aria.
Miles played a video titled “My Estranged Uncles.” As they watched, they realized it was a piece that Aria has been working on depicting her relationship with her uncles. Sasha played the cello for the piece, no doubt. Aria narrated the piece in German which necessitated Miles to interpret for his brothers and H-C.
The video started out with the reunion of the brothers, wrestling like cubs and genuinely happy to see each other. There were other frames where the brothers were talking casually, reminiscing and debating. In German:
“Das meine entfremdet Onkel, Bruder meines vaters. Ich wusste nie viel uber sie, bevor jetzt. Animal warren Framed, jetzt habe ich absorbiert sie in meinem blut.”
“These are my estranged uncles, my father’s brothers. I never knew much about them before now. Once they were strangers now I’ve absorbed them into my blood.”
Next, Rudy with a pink light behind him. Several depictions of Rudy smiling and laughing with his family, stoic yet proud expressions as he dropped Aria off at her camps.
“Dies ist Rudolf der Benevolent. Sien herz ist so grob wie sonne und passt sein Lacheln. Er hat einen beschuter zu mir und unserer familie. Er weib nicht aks viels. Ich hatte gehofft, er wurde mich lieben, kurz nachdem ich kam. Ich glaube, er tut.”
“This is Rudolf the Benevolent. His heart is as big as the sun and matches his smile. He has been a protector to me and our family. He doesn’t ask for much. I was hoping that he would love me soon after I came. I think he does.”
Sasha. Several frames focus on the arch of his nostalgic eyebrows and the slant of his mouth. The frames also highlight his gentle and calm way of moving, and of course his melancholy.
“Sasha die mutig. Ich werde immer dankbar sein fur Sasha des mutagen. Er ist ein held ein Krieger der in einer welt, die unfreundlich zu denen, die anders sind, konnen. Er bietet ruhiges wasser und warten darauf, nach hause zu finden. Ich hoffe ich bin teil dieses haus.”
“Sasha the Courageous. I will always be thankful for Sasha the Courageous. He is a hero, a warrior of those in a world that can be unkind to those who are different. He sacrificed part of himself. He lives halved, but he provides calm water, waiting to find a way home. I’m hoping I’m part of that home.”
Elias. Frames start with Elias’ home and then his smile, his acting during the studio event, he and H-C, and then ending with a frame in which Elias looks very sad and confused.
“Elias Lowenherz hat ein alligator schanz. Manchmal wird es ihm in den weg oder anderen menschen den weg und ausfluge uns alle. Er ist sehr nett und hat einen leichten herzens, und er kummert sich um mich. Er mochte sehen, mir eine thespian gewerden und erleben sie die gleiche freude, die er nicht in musical theater. Er ha brachte H-C in mein leben und so ist er auch ein held. Ich liebe sie und sie ohne zweifel lieb mich auch. Elias ist Heimlich manchmal traurig vor allem wahrend wartezeiten. Ich wunschte ich konnte die traurigkeit vou ihm lieben.”
“Elias the Lionhearted has an alligator tail. Sometimes it gets in his way or other people’s way and trips us all up. He is delightful and has a light heart and he cares about me. He would like to see me become a thespian and experience the same joy he does in musical theater. He has brought H-C into my life and so he is also a hero. I love her and she no doubt loves me too. Elias is secretly sad, sometimes especially during idle time. I wish I could love the sadness from him.”
Kiev. The frames pan onto flowers and plants, sculptures and soil.
“Kiev dem Prachtigen. Weil worte nicht beschreiben konnen mein geliebter, ich werde nicht versuchen, sie zu bilden, auber zu sagen, dass kiew die welt der ort, de rich sein wunsch ist. Er ist mein retter.”
“Kiev the Magnificent. Because words cannot describe my beloved uncle, I will not attempt to form them except to say that Kiev’s world is the place that I wish to be. He is my savior.”
A short unnarrated clip of Eloisa in the garden, followed. The video ended with footage Trish had taken of Aria and Kiev.
Rudy gasped, “She’s not there. There is no one but Kiev in that picture.”
Idelina, who had quietly entered in the middle of the video, moaned and ran out of the room.