Luc had briefly calmed down, but I had to constantly remind him to not get stressed out. Dad couldn't come to see Luc because he was busy with Mom.
Nick was on his way up with Alexandria. Dad said she could see Luc (probably because she could cheer him up and distract him. Which is the main goal for right now.)
"Be careful Alexandria." Nick's voice said as she walked. Alexandria climbed up into my lap and looked at Luc. He laid in the bed, his head tilted up at the ceiling and his eye closed.
"Hey you two." I said.
Luc opened his eye. Nick took one step and the heart monitor spiked and started beeping like crazy. Luc was just laying there, I thought he was having a seizure.
"Nick step back." I said.
"What? Why?" Nick whined.
"Just do it." I ordered him.
Nick stepped back. The monitor and beeping began to calm down.
"Wow. Luc hates Nick so much it gives him palpitations." I thought. Guess he can't hide it now. I snickered.
I hugged Alexandria. She held on to my arms. I hope she didn't see it.
I didn't even know Luc was hit -- I thought he dodged it.
Mom wasn't so lucky.
Alexandria reached for Luc.
"Sorry Alexandria. He can't hold you right now."
She whined wordlessly.
"She can lay down beside me. Just on my right side." Luc said.
"Okay." I sighed. I stood up with Alexandria in my arms and walked around the bed to Luc's right side.
"Be gentle. Just stay at his side." I told Alexandria as I put her down beside him. She hugged Luc's arm and squeezed her eyes shut.
"How come you guys get to be in there?" Nick asked.
The monitor went crazy again. I laughed. Nick hung his head and hushed.
"You need to chill out." I whispered to Luc as I returned to my seat.
Luc didn't say anything.
"You okay?" I asked.
"Relative to what?" He asked. I shook my head.
He closed his eye and wrapped his free arm around Alexandria. It's probably best that he rests.
"I want to see Jeanette." Luc demanded suddenly.
"I don't think they'll allow you to leave the bed." I said.
"Don't care." He said.
"Listen to reason Luc. You'll burst your stitches if you get up. It's too early." I explained.
"Don't care." Luc repeated. "She was worse off."
"You aren't getting out of that bed. Think of something else." I said.
"Then give me my phone." He ordered.
"You could say please." I went over to the cabinet and dug through the plastic bag with his things in it. I grabbed his phone and handed it to him.
He started typing on it. I sat down.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Calling Indra. Duh." He answered.
He put the phone to his ear. He put it down when he got his voicemail and threw it on the nightstand.
"He didn't abandon you, Luc. He probably just got spooked and left. Hospitals are scary." I tried to reassure him.
Luc shut his eye tightly. He was very upset.
Where's Dad? Where's Mom?
A few hours later I was pacing like a madman. Alexandria was fussing, screaming for Mom. Luc just laid there covering his face and trying his hardest to tune us out.
"What is going on in here?" Dad questioned as he came in closing the door behind him.
"Daddy!" Alexandria cried. He picked her up from Luc's bed and hugged her.
"She wants Mom. I don't know what to tell her!" I told him.
He bounced Alexandria a little as she rested her head on his shoulder.
"How is she?" I asked.
"She's out of surgery." Dad said. "She just needs rest right now."
"Can you take over here?" I asked him. "They are driving me insane!"
"How do you mean?" Dad asked.
I gestured to Luc, "Luc wants to leave!" I gestured to the door. "Nick can't enter!" I pointed at Alexandria, "and she wouldn't stop screaming!"
"I'm out!" I fussed. I threw my hands up and walked out.
Brian sat down and put Alexandria on his thigh.
"Why do you want to leave, Luc?" He asked.
"To see Jeanette." I answered.
"You can't see her. She needs to rest. Just as you do." He said.
"I've been resting for hours." I argued.
"So rest for a few more." Brian countered. I pressed my head into the pillow.
I was mad, upset, and tired of laying in this bed. My stomach felt weird; empty and tightened.
I huffed. "I don't feel good."
Brian stood up. "Go sit with Nick." He told Alexandria quietly. He put her down and she ran out of the room.
"I'm going to check your stitches." Brian announced. "Just to make sure everything is looking okay."
"Okay." I hunched my shoulders.
Brian came over to me and pulled the blanket down. He rolled up mt shirt and pulled up the gauze pad. I looked away.
The gauze pad was pressed back down on my incision and my shirt was pulled down and the blankets were put back on my chest.
"Everything looks good." Brian said.
"Oh, so I can-"
"You still have to stay here though." He said. I pouted. Great. I'm stuck in this hellhole.
Brian put his hand on his hip and looked at me.
"Is something wrong?" I asked.
"I don't care that you have baggage. Neither does Jeanette. We love you as you are and we're happy you're here with us." He said. He then pat my shoulder and left.
Something in me softened. Ugh. Men.
The next day Evie burst into the hospital room. She panted heavily, "are you okay?!"
I smiled and reached out for her. She ran over to me and we hugged. I was beyond happy to see her. It made me feel a little more comfortable.
"I'm so glad you're here." I said as we let go. Evie pulled up a chair.
"Of course I'm here! I'm not just gonna leave you here all by yourself." She sat down and flipped her hair behind her shoulder.
"Are you doing okay? Do you need another surgery?" She asked.
I waved my hand. "No. No surgery. I'm doing fine. Pain meds have kicked in, so I don't really feel anything."
"That's good." Evie sighed with relief.
"Have you..." I started quietly. "Have you heard from Indra?"
Evie crossed her legs and shook her head. "Not since last night. He just told me he was excited to go to dinner with you."
I lowered my head.
"What is it?" Evie asked.
"He left." I answered.
"What do you mean?" Evie asked.
"He abandoned me. Jason saw him go."
Evie stood up. "Psh. Relax. He probably just went home to feed the cats."
Something tells me that he really didn't.
"I'll go check. So sit tight." She walked out before I could say anything.
Now I'm bored again. Maybe I should go to sleep; everybody keeps saying I need rest. But it's so uncomfortable sleeping on my back.
I picked up my phone, even though knowing it was in vain, I called Indra again. I left a voicemail.
"Indra. I don't know what happened to you or what's going on, but I need you right now. I won't die from the knife wound, but I will certainly die from looking at these bleak walls for hours on end. So come back so I can stare at your beautiful face." I hung up and immediately felt like an idiot for saying that.
I put my hands to my sides and sighed heavily. I really might die here.
Evie finally came back after thirty minutes. She sat down.
"Sorry Luc. I think he's really gone." She said sadly.
"How do you figure?"
"His stuff is gone. So are the cats. His condo is just empty." She answered.
I put my hands to my face.
"Sorry Luc. You're going to be here for a while." Brian told me after a few hours.
A while (days) passed and I was in a wheelchair being rolled through the halls by Evie. I was finally able to get up and see Jeanette. Only problem is; I can't walk. I wore a sweater over my shoulders, it was cold in the hospital.
Jeanette was awake now, just confined to her bed like I was.
Evie rolled me up to her bedside. Jeanette opened her eyes.
"I'll give you guys a moment." Evie said before walking out.
"Thank you, Evie." I said.
"Hey baby." Jeanette breathed. "You doing okay?" She reached down and held my hand.
"Yes. I feel much better now that I got out of that room." I answered.
"That's good." Jeanette sounded tired. I'm not surprised. Being shot in the stomach must take a lot out of someone.
"Are you doing okay?" I asked.
Here I am not making good on the promise I made her in the ambulance. Of course she didn't hear it...but I think it's time. She's more than just "Jeanette" to me now.
"When do they want to start getting you walking again?" She asked suddenly.
"I don't know. I'm scared to; they make it seem like it's going to be tough. I don't know. Why can't I just start walking like normal?" I asked.
"You have an open abdomen wound that was just stitched up." Jeanette answered.
"I don't know what that means."
"Your body is adjusting. Just think of it that way." She said.
The next day the doctors were trying to get me walking. I grunted loudly as pain tore through me.
"Come on Luc, just to the chair and you can rest." Dr. Pastor said as she held my right arm. Brian held my left arm.
I was able to step out one foot. I couldn't get myself to stop shaking long enough to take the next step. It felt like my stitches were going to burst and my guts would be all over the floor. That was scary enough.
I panted heavily and looked up at Brian. I shook my head silently begging he'd make us stop.
He looked to Dr. Pastor, "that's enough, let's let him rest."
I sighed quietly with relief as they sat me back down on the bed. Dr. Pastor walked out.
Brian pat me on the back as he laid me down. "You did great." He smiled.
"I don't feel like I did. Feel like a quitter." I panted.
"You're not a quitter. It's just too early. We'll try again in a couple days." He said. I only nodded.
A week into summer vacation and it's already spent in the hospital.
The police have been nagging us for a statement, but Brian nor the other doctors wanted them going near us while we were still healing. I hate talking to police anyway -- but I doubt I'll be able to get out of it.
I called Indra again. Left a voicemail, it always goes to voicemail.
"They tried to get me to walk today. It hurt more than anything. I was finally able to see Jeanette. She says she's okay, but I think she's tired more than anything. She had a big surgery. I still wish you would come back. I could use your support." I hung up.
I put my hand to my eyes.
What was I thinking? I knew this would happen. Everybody leaves eventually, but I actually thought he was someone who'd stay.
"Shit...don't cry." I told myself quietly. Tears were in my hand.
This only brought me back to the times I'd cry to Indra and he'd comfort me. Was it all for no reason? Do I really mean so little to him?
"Did you call Indra again?"
I looked up and at the door. It was Jason. He and Nick were tasked with staying home with Alexandria and taking care of her while the rest of us stayed at the hospital. I haven't seen the two since the first night.
"Yeah..." I wiped my eyes.
I kept my eye out during my time here. I didn't cover it in front of Jason.
He pulled up a chair and sat down. "You should stop calling him. You don't need to be sad or stressed out now."
"I just want him to be here for me." I said.
"Sorry Luc." Jason said sincerely.
I hung my head.
"Did you see Mom?" I asked.
Jason looked up at me with subtle surprise.
"No. I haven't yet." He threw away his surprise.
"She seems to be getting better, but she's just tired. I guess." I said.
"But she is alive, right?" I looked at him like he was dumb.
"I mean, for a while we didn't know..." He mended.
"Yes." I said. "She's alive."
The door slid open and Nick stepped in with Alexandria dangling from his arms.
My heart monitor went off. I put my hand to my face in annoyance.
"What are you guys doing here?" I heard Jason ask over the monitor's beeping alarm.
"She was crying. She misses her parents."
I uncovered my face. Nick put Alexandria down. She sloppily ran over to Jason and hugged his leg.
"Hey." He said to her as he touched her head.
The heart monitor stopped beeping.
"Hey, let's go see Mom. She'll be happy to see her children." I said to Jason.
"Okay." He stood up. "Do you still need a wheelchair?"
"Yeah." I said dejectedly.
He nodded and pat Alexandria's shoulder, "stay with Luc."
She let go of his leg and he walked out. I paid Nick no mind at all.
Alexandria came over to the bed and grabbed on to the edge.
"Luc pick me up." She whined.
"Move your hands." Once she did I pushed the railing down.
"I can't pick you up. You have to do it yourself." I told her.
Alexandria grabbed onto the bed again and tried to pull herself onto the bed. She couldn't and got frustrated.
"Come on. You can do it." I encouraged her.
"No I can't!" She whimpered.
She pulled and brought her foot up. She grunted and pulled her torso on to the bed. Her head hit my chest as she heaved the rest of her onto the bed.
"You did it." I praised.
Alexandria laid her head on my chest.
"Mommy?" She asked.
"Yeah Alexandria. We're going to see Mommy." I answered.
Jason walked in with the wheelchair. He took Alexandria while I climbed down into the chair.
"Is it safe if she sits on your lap?" Jason asked.
"Yeah." He put her on my lap. I held on to her waist.
"Alright. Let's go." I said.
He rolled us out and through the halls.
When we got into the room, she was sitting up in her bed.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Alexandria called loudly.
"Lexie!" Mom cried.
When Jason rolled us up to her bedside he picked up Alexandria and put her at Mom's side. The two hugged.
"How are you baby girl?" She asked.
"Good. I missed you." Alexandria answered.
Mom outstretched her arm to Jason. He went over and hugged her.
"It's great to see you all." She said.
I silently agreed.
"When are you coming home, Mommy?" Alexandria asked. Jason stepped back and sat down in a chair beside me.
"Soon." Mom answered.
Speaking of, when can I go home? I hate hospitals; been in them too much for one lifetime.
"Mom...best guess, when could I go home?" I asked.
"Have you started walking?" She asked.
"No...we tried but it hurt a lot." I said lowly.
"Once you can walk enough without it hurting so much and when the doctors know your stitches won't burst." She then said.
"Aw." I lowered my head.
"Don't worry. The day will come." Mom said.
We sat around talking to each other. Alexandria was telling us about a drawing she drew. She then told us that Nick tried to cook but he ended up burning the food and setting the counter on fire. She laughed at that while we silently groaned.
After two hours Mom told Jason to take Alexandria home because she damn sure didn't need to be in a hospital.
I was sitting by Alexandria as Nick called an Uber for them.
"So what else has been going on at home?" I asked her.
"Nick makes me laugh." She answered with a grin. "He's really funny so you should be nice to him!"
I scoffed. Alexandria hit my knee.
"Does he do anything...else?" I asked.
"Hmm..." Alexandria pondered.
"Oh! He drinks out of a can and then he gets really funny!" I cringed. Where is Jason in all this?
So he's been getting drunk around Alexandria.
"Go find Jason." I ordered. She got up and ran into Mom's room.
Nick. That fucking bastard.
I stormed the hallway and found Nick leaning against the wall by the elevator.
"Hey Luc." He greeted me.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing getting drunk around a baby? Are you out of your fucking mind?!" I snapped loudly.
"Believe me I have enough reason to drink. And I have enough control; I'd never hurt her." Nick defended himself.
"You keep that ideology and one night you're going to drink so much you black out. I don't want my little sister around you when that happens!" The people around us were looking at us and whispering to their companions.
"It's not going to happen so get the fuck out of my face!" He snapped.
"I have a better idea: you get the fuck out of our house and go back to Montanna! We only have room for one basket case!" I shot back.
"Fuck you Luc. You don't know anything about me."
"I know plenty! You're just a drunk who ran away from home because he was a little sad."
Nick drew his fist back and punched. I collapsed to the floor, unconscious.
"Ugh. What happened?" I groaned quietly as my eye opened.
I was back in my room. Brian's face appeared above me.
"You pushed yourself past your limit. Way past." He said.
I began to sit up. Brian put his hands on my shoulders.
"You stay laying down. You've done enough for today." He ordered. "You're lucky that fall didn't rupture your stitches."
"Hey, I walked." I said triumphantly while grinning. I touched my briefly stinging cheek.
"Adrenaline allowed to you to stay up for so long. But I don't want you doing that again." Brian said.
He sat down and stared intently as his expression became serious.
"So I'll assume you heard about the whole Nick thing." I said.
"Shouldn't you be talking to him instead of me?"
"Believe me. I already gave him an earful. So you put it out of your mind." Brian said.
I scoffed. "Where was Jason when all that was going on?" I asked.
"I took Alexandria to sleep with me in my room and locked all the doors." Jason's voice said sternly.
"Oh. That just makes everything better don't it?" I said.
"There's nothing else I can do." Jason shook his head.
"You could throw out the beer cans." Just a suggestion.
"Yeah but I don't want him getting mad at me." Jason said.
"Jason. Throw out the beer. Alexandria will stay here with me tonight." Brian said. God. I can never tell what Brian's thinking or what he's going to do next. He always is so indifferent in the face and unpredictable.
Jason turned and left.
"She'll stay with you in the on-call room?" I asked.
"Yes." Brian answered. "In the morning she can see Jeanette and I'll take her to breakfast."
"What are you going to do about Nick?" I asked. I looked at him pleadingly.
He sighed and hung his head for a second.
"I know you're uncomfortable with him here with us. But I can't just throw my nephew onto the streets." Brian said.
"I know that." I muttered.
"I'll try to get him to stop drinking and get him someone to talk to." He then said. Someone to talk to?
"Is there something you guys aren't telling me?" I asked.
"No." Brian said.
"You get some rest." He said as he stood up.
"Does this mean I can go home?" I asked.
"I'll just say you're closer to going home than you were before." He answered. Hallelujah! Brian walked out and disappeared.
If I had it my way Nick would be on a plane back to Montanna and that'd be it. I mean, it's not like we're going to Montanna now, right?