Stephanie walked into her bathroom and stopped dead in her tracks. The enormity of the situation was evident by the reflection in the mirror. Her clothes were a mess. There was even a streak of dried blood on the side of her face. She closed the door behind her and sank down to the floor crying.
This was one of those situations that you saw happen on TV but never to anyone you knew and certainly not to you. She’d grown up at a Catholic University raised by parents who were anti gun liberals. Brett had used guns growing up on the farm but there had never been one in their house. In fact she’d never seen a gun up close. Until yesterday. Now she and her daughter had been shot. It was almost unimaginable.
Kim knocked. “Steph, are you doing OK?” She’d been listening for the water to start wondering if she was going to need help.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“OK just checking on you.”
Stephanie wiped her eyes and started the water. The bath was relaxing, even with her leg hanging over the edge, and she had to admit that it felt good to have all of her and Emmy’s blood off of her.
After the bath she hopped to the vanity and combed her hair pulling it into a ponytail. In her room she hopped to the drawers and found a pair of Bruin’s warm-ups. There was no way she was wearing pants over her leg. The warm-ups were thin and wouldn’t put any pressure. As she pulled a Lincoln t-shirt over her head Kim appeared in the hall.
“Your phone has been ringing. The boys said it was Mr. Woodson and then Brett.” Stephanie took the phone and quickly dialed Brett back.
“Brett, is she OK?”
“Yeah sweetie. Emmy is fine. Listen Mrs. Hall just stopped by and she’s been talking with Mr. Woodson. They are going to have to let the police make a statement. All the information is out there already and they are afraid if they hold back it’s going to look like they’re hiding something. We talked about Mr. Jackson’s findings about Emmy’s Mom and she said they could push the adoption through as soon as the DNA confirmed the victim of the hit and run was her mom.”
“Listen, I talked with the police chief and he needs to get your and Emmy’s statement as soon as he can. They arraigned Rita today but need to get everything wrapped up so the school can reopen on Monday. That and he needs to do a press conference to get this media off our backs. He said he’d come to you at home and then stop by here to talk to Emmy later when she’s awake.”
“No, I need to be back there. I’ll get Kim to run me back in a few minutes. Call him and tell him noon would be good.”
“Stephanie are you sure your up to it? You haven’t really talked about what happened.”
“Brett I’m fine really. If we want to put this behind us we’ve got to make sure Rita goes away for a long time. How’s Emmy?”
“No change here she’s been out since you left. Michelle came and adjusted her in the bed again to keep pressure off her back, but other than that she hasn’t moved.” Brett had really wanted Stephanie to stay home and sleep a little today but he knew she wouldn’t now.
Back in the bathroom she decided that she would need some makeup now. She also folded the t-shirt and warm-up pants placing them in a bag for later. She pulled a pair of khakis and a Bruins polo from her closet. Slowly pulling them over her leg they didn’t hurt as bad as she was afraid.
“Well good news Emmy is sleeping the day away. Bad news is the police need to get my statement and Emmy’s as soon as she’s awake. Kim can you take me back to the hospital and then stay here with the boys?”
“Sure you just tell me where you need me.”
“Guys I need you to just hang out and rest. We have an exhausting week ahead. Jake I’m going to need your other crutch.”
He handed it over and she adjusted it down to match the one she’d been using. She practiced using them around the family room. “Two are much easier than one.”
She kissed both the boys on the head and they both hugged her tightly. As she turned to go Tyler spoke and nearly broke her heart. “Mom, I love you.” He had tears in his eyes.
“Oh baby, I love you too.” She dropped the crutches and pulled him into a real hug and he began to cry. This was the first time in a long time that she could remember him crying. Even after their accident he’d been tough and refused to let on how much his shoulder hurt.
Through the tears she heard him say, “I was afraid we’d lost you.”
“Hey look up here at me. You didn’t. I’m right here. It’s not even that bad. Look.” She put her foot on the ground and took a step. “The crutches are just to keep the stitches from tearing. I only have to use them for today and then I’ll be fine.”
She pulled him close and hugged him again. Pulling Jake in this time too. “You know I love both of you so much.” They both nodded against her chest.