Chapter Twenty-One: What's Happening?!
19th February 2018
The past year had gone by in a flash. It has been filled mostly caring for Anthony, and working, as Kyle was away a lot of the time.
The film that Kyle was in had been a major hit and he was getting a lot or publicity, which meant that we didn't see each other as much, but he did always come home with a present for Anthony and I.
Kyle was away at the moment and had been for the past two months, which also meant that he had missed Anthony's first birthday last month, who had started to say his first few words, one of which was 'Dada', which he said every time I picked him up. Both Anthony and Ila had grown up so much in the past year. Over the past year, Sophie and Mitchell had also started to date, and three months ago my brother and his fiancée Karee had gotten married.
It had just gone nine o'clock in the morning and I getting Anthony ready for a trip to the zoo today with Miles and Ila. Miles should be here within the next ten minutes, so I quickly packed Anthony's baby bag and got dressed myself.
Miles arrived just after half nine, I picked up Anthony and his baby bag as I headed towards the door.
"Hey Miles," I said, as I opened the door.
"Hey, is the little guy ready?" He asked me.
"Here," Miles said, as he reached out for the baby bag.
Miles and I headed to the car. He placed the bag on the front passenger seat before turning back to me.
"Shall I hold him will you get his car seat?"
"Yes please" I smiled at Miles and handed Anthony over to him. I quickly ran over to our car and took the car seat back over to Miles' car, and strapping it in securely to the right side of the car.
I let Miles strap him in as I ran around to the other side of the car to see Ila, who had turned 3 yesterday.
"Hey sweetie," I smiled at her, and kissed her forehead.
"Hi, Auntie Rosie" She smiled back up at me.
"Are you going to have fun today, at the Zoo with Daddy and Anthony?"
"Yeah!" She squealed excitedly.
I laughed, "OK then, I'm going to go and say goodbye to Anthony and then you have fun at the Zoo with daddy, OK?"
I closed the car door and then ran back around to give Anthony a kiss. Miles was waiting next to the open backseat door, knowing that I wanted to give him a kiss before they left.
I smiled at Miles and then leaned into the car, "I'll see you later baby, you be good for uncle Miles, OK?" I kissed his forehead as he smiled back at me.
I closed the car door and then turned to Miles, who was already in the car and had the window rolled down, "Will you be ok by yourself, until Kyle gets back?" He asked me concerned. There had been a few close calls with reporters since Anthony had been born, because Kyle had taken fewer films, and they wanted to know why. "Kyle should be home within the hour," I told him, leaning towards the car slightly and placed my hands on the frame, "Try and make him go to sleep after his lunch, but if he doesn't then before three"
"No problem, we should be back around half two anyway"
"We'll see you later then"
Miles rolled back up the window and started to pull away from the curb, as I waved goodbye to the children, and they waved back with smiles on their faces.
I headed back into the house and made myself a cup of hot chocolate and sat in front of the T.V, flicking through the channels to find something to watch.
I settled onto the news, and watched that for the next forty-five minutes, before I heard the front door open. I quickly ran out to the hall way and launched myself at Kyle as I spotted him dropping his bags in the hallway.
"You're back!" I smiled, as I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist. "I missed you so much"
He chuckled and kissed me on the head, "I told you I would be back just after ten, and I missed you too, loads."
As I still hadn't detached myself from his body, he walked into the living room, where the news had just finished, and sat down with his back against the sofa and me straddling his lap, as I moved my legs from behind him to the side of him.
I wrapped my arms under his arms and then rested my head on his shoulder as I kissed his jaw.
"It's been a long two months." I murmured into his neck.
I heard him take in a deep breathe against my head before answering, "I know, how's Anthony?"
"He missed you, kept saying 'Dada' and looking around for you."
"Really? I missed him too."
"Yeah, it's cute."
We cwtched on the sofa for a few hours, basking in each other's presence, after being away from each other for a while, we always just had a few minutes, if Anthony is home, or hours, if he isn't, like now. When our stomachs started to complain in hunger, we finally pulled apart from each other, but I was still sat in his lap. Kyle stood, with me still in his arms, before turning around and lowering me back onto the sofa with a kiss, "Stay here, I'll make us some sandwiches and bring some fruit back."
"OK." I smiled at him, lying back against the sofa as he headed out of the room.
"What drink do you want, Rosie?" Kyle called, from the kitchen.
"Waters fine." I called back, looking towards the kitchen, as if that would help him hear me louder.
When I turned back around to look at the T.V, which was now playing Doctors, and gasped at the person who was now stood in front of me.
"Ila?" I gasped, shocked as to why she was here, it was only just after twelve, so she should still be at the Zoo, but what surprised me the most was that Ila was slightly translucent, "Why don't you sit down here, next to me and you can watch some Dora, while I go and help uncle Kyle with Lunch?"
"Okay." She moved closer to the sofa, and hoped up as I stood up and headed towards the kitchen.
"I'll be right back Ila, don't move."
"Okay." She said quietly, as she stared at the T.V.
"Kyle," I said in a shaky voice as I entered the kitchen, which caused him to turn from cutting the sandwiches and rush over to me.
"Rosie, what's wrong?" He asked, taking my small shoulders in his large hands.
"I need you to do something for me and not ask any questions, okay?" I stared up at him, wide eyed.
"Um, okay" He sounded uncertain, but I knew he would do anything for me.
"I need you to call Miles for me, and even if he doesn't answer, just keep calling him," I paused to take a deep breath, "And I'm going to call Katie"
"Okay, but what do I tell him when he asked why I called?"
"Just tell him that you wanted to check on Anthony because you haven't seen him in a while"
We both pulled out our phones and started dialling Katie's and Miles' mobile phone numbers.
"He's not picking up" He said.
"Just keep calling him, please, it's really important that you get through to him," He must have noticed from the look on my face that something was wrong, because he didn't answer me, he just pressed re-dial, just as Katie answered her phone.
"Hello," She said.
"Katie, it's Rose, I need to know if you've heard from Miles within the last hour?" I rushed out.
"Um, yeah," She sounded confused as to why I had just asked her that question. "He called just over an hour ago, to say that the children were exhausted, so they were heading home, but now that you mention it, he should have been back twenty minutes ago, at the latest, even if he had stopped at yours for a bit"
I took a deep breath before continuing, "Okay Katie, I need you to stay at the house until me and Kyle get there, we won't be more then fifteen minutes? And call me back if the phone rings, okay?"
"Okay, but Rose what's happened?"
"I...I don't know" I almost told her who was in the living room, but I couldn't bring myself to.
"Okay, I'll see you two in a bit then"
"Bye" She replied, before we both hang up.
When I looked up at Kyle, after putting my phone back in my pocket, I noticed that he was watching me.
"Something has happened hasn't it?" He guessed.
"I think so"
"How?" He questioned me.
I gently took his face in my hands and wiped over the bags under his eyes, from the long journey home, "Because there's a ghost in our living room" I'd finally said it.
"And it's someone we know, right?"
"Yes," I croaked out, as tears started to fall from my eyes.
"Who?" He asked, but I shook my head, not wanting to admit the whole truth out loud.
"Tell me," He said sternly, but I could see the tears at the brim of his eyes, he knew that he wasn't going to like my answer, but he still wanted me to tell him, "Please?"
I took a shuddering breath, "It's Ila." I told him, as the tears streamed down my face.
"No," He whispered, as tears started to fall down his face too, "That can't be true, she's just a baby."
"It is," I whispered back, resting my forehead against his, "I think they were in an accident on the way home."
"But what about Anthony? And Miles?"
"Babies don't need to come to me, because they are so young, they cross back over to be reborn again," I shook as I stared to sob, "And I haven't seen Miles."
Kyle took a deep breath, and held it for a few seconds before letting it go, "Okay, so what do we need to do?"
"You need to start you bike up, and I'll be down in a minute," I paused before finishing, "I need to talk to Ila"
"Okay, I'll meet you out the front in a minute"
We smiled slightly at each other, both of our eyes still red and puffy from crying, and as I watched him walk away, I saw him wipe away another tear, before I headed into the living room, where Ila was now watching Fireman Sam.
I crouched down in front of her and looked at her seriously, turning the T.V off in the process, "Okay Ila, I need you to tell me how you got here?"
"I not know, I just think of you, an I here." She looked like she would cry if she could.
"I know sweetie, but can you tell me where you were before you came here?"
"I at home, but Mummy not see or listen to me, she tidied" she took an unneeded breath, "But Mummy told me you spwecil, Auntie Rosie, and to think you if Mummy not"
I remember that, Katie had tried to explain my gift to her, because I always spoke to her imaginary friends like they were real and they were, kind of.
"Okay, I need you to do the same thing now Sweetie, but I need you to think of your Daddy, and stay with him until you see me again, can you do that for me?"
"Yeah," She smiled at me, before closing her eyes and whispering, 'Daddy,' a few times before disappearing.
I quickly headed outside, to where Kyle was waiting, sat on his motorbike, with his helmet already on, and he passed me mine as I jumped on behind him,
"All sorted?" He asked.
"Yes." I pulled the helmet over my head and strapped it on before wrapping my arms around Kyle as he revved the engine and pulled into the road and in the direction of Katie and Miles' house.
Once we got to their house, Kyle and I quickly jumped of the motorbike, taking our helmets off in the process before locking them under the seat.
Kyle took my hand as we headed up the drive way, "How are we going to tell her?" He asked me, just before I knocked on the door.
"We're not, we'll wait for the call from the hospital and hope that the three of them are ok"
He didn't have time to respond to me, because the door opened and Katie fell into my arms crying, "The hospital called, they've been in an accident"
"We know." I told her, which caused her to look up at our puffy red eyes, still sore from crying.
"How-? You saw a ghost didn't you?" she guessed.
"Yes." I whispered, as the tears started to fall again.
"Who?" She asked.
"Why don't we just head to the hospital, they'll tell you what's going on"
"Please?" She begged, tears streaming down her face.
"I ca-" I started, but Kyle interrupted me, "We need to check on Anthony too, we're worried about all of them, but Anthony is our son and I haven't seen him in over two months."
Katie looked between the two of us for a minute, before finally deciding that, even though we cared about Miles and Ila, Anthony was our son and he always came first.
"Okay, let's go, we'll take my car."
The three of us piled into Katie's red mini cooper and headed off to the hospital.
It was manic at the hospital, the accident had obviously been quite big, but we quickly made our way over to the receptionist to find out where our son was, while Katie went to the woman next to the one we were talking to, to ask about her husband, all the while Kyle kept his head down and his hand locked in mine as we both hoped that no one would notice him and that we could get to our son fast.
We finally headed off to the paediatric ward, after getting some curious looks and answering a load of questions. We were only two rooms down from Anthony's room when a nurse stopped us,
"Can I help you two with something?" He asked us.
Kyle quickly focused his gaze back on the floor and stepped slightly behind me, trying to hide himself from the curious look of the male nurse in front of us.
"Yeah, our son has been admitted, he was in a car accident."
"OK then, what's his name?"
"Anthony Blake, he came in with Miles and Ila King."
"Oh yes, we were about to try and call you again, he's right this way."
He led us down to the room that Anthony was in and stopped just before he opened the door for us, "He's been unconscious since he was brought in as he has a head injury, but we won't know the full damage that the injury caused until he wakes up."
"What type of damage?"
"Well there's a number of different possibilities, but the main ones may be long or short term brain damage."
"Oh no," The tears started again, and I didn't know if they would stop today, Kyle wrapped his arm around me and finished speaking for me, quickly looking up at the nurse before looking back down at the floor, "But he'll be Okay, right?"
"We'll just to wait until he wakes up and see, I'm afraid," He said sadly, and then opened the door for us, "I'll leave you to spend some time with your son, and press the red button if he wakes up, the doctor should be in soon."
I heard Kyle tell him Okay, before he followed me into the room. Anthony was laid in a cot with so many tubes attached to him that I could barely see him. I stood next to his cot, wanting to pick him up but knew that I wasn't allowed; he also looked so fragile that I couldn't even bring myself to reach out for his tiny hand.
"Oh Kyle, look at our baby" I sobbed as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against his chest as I wrapped my arms around his torso.
"He'll be Okay Rosie," He tried to sooth me and kissed my head, "We just have to keep hoping." He whispered so quietly that I didn't know if that was what he had actually said or not.
After a few minutes of just standing there in each other's arms, before Kyle slowly started moving us towards the large, light blue chair that was right beside the cot. Kyle lowered himself onto the chair and then pulled me down into his lap, so that I was curled up in a ball and resting against his chest and he had his arms wrapped around my whole body.
Kyle was the one who broke silence, "Do you think Katie knows yet?"
"I'm not sure, do you want to go and get her? She might want to see Anthony?" I suggested.
"Yeah Okay," He stood up, with me still in his arms and then turned around the place me in the chair, "I'll be back in a minute." He kissed me on the lips, then kissed Anthony on the forehead and whispering something to him, before headed towards the door.
"Kyle?" I called out to him.
"Yeah?" He looked back at me.
"You have a hood." I told him, cracking a tiny smile. I knew that he was going to keep his head down and try not to be noticed, but that might not work if he is on his own.
"Right," He nodded, "I forgot about that." He smiled slightly back at me, before pulling the hood of his grey jacket over his head and headed out of the room, in search of Katie.
I had been sat, with my head next to Anthony's, and my left hand was gently holding his, for about fifteen minutes before Ila appeared in front of me, slightly translucent and still wearing her dark blue jeans, pink shoes and Peppa pig coat.
"Ila, what are you doing here, Sweetie?" I asked her kindly, as I had told her to wait with Miles until she saw me again.
"Mama and Uncwle Kwy coming here, I want see you and Ant'ny." She looked up at the cot and was suddenly sat next to Anthony on the right side of the cot and was trying to lightly touch Anthony's face, which caused a frustrated look to cross her face when her hand just went straight through his cheek.
I was just about to try and explain that she couldn't touch people anymore, when the room door was opened and Kyle walked in, with Katie following close behind him.
Ila looked up when the door opened and her frustrated look turned into a happy one as she smiled widely at Katie and called out, "Mama!" as she disappeared and then reappeared in front of her.
I stood and went to hug her, but she stopped me,
"Wait," she started, taking a deep breath as a few tears escaped from her eyes and then stumbled over her words as she continued, "The ghost you saw earlier, I know that it wasn't Miles and you once told me that you couldn't see children under a certain age, and Anthony is here, so that must mean..."
I nodded, and then we wrapped our arms around each other as we both cried some more, onto each other's shoulders. I glance up at Kyle and smiled at him slightly, for just being here to support us if we needed it, I knew that he was upset too, but he was trying to be strong for us.
I pulled away from Katie as Ila started to speak, and turned to look at her.
"Auntie Wosie, why Mama cwying?"
Katie looked to where I was looking and when she saw that no one was there she spoke to me, keeping her gaze on the spot next to her.
"She's here, isn't she?" She continued to cry.
"Yes, she wants to know why you're crying." I told her, and then looked back down at Ila.
"She just got some bad news, Sweetie" I gave her a small smile.
"Oh," She then walked over to her mother, and Katie jumped slightly and focused more in one spot on her left, when Ila reached for her hand, "Don't cwy Mama, evwy fwing will be Otay."
Katie looked at me as Ila touched her hand, and I nodded and gave her a small smile, so that she knew that the slight pressure she was feeling on her hand was her daughter.
"I can feel her holding my hand." Katie smiled slightly, looking back down at the area in which Ila was stood.
"She wants you to not cry and to know that everything will be okay."
"Yeah, she's really smart for a three year old." I looked from Katie to Kyle and we smiled slightly at each other as I noticed that he had closed the door behind him and taken his hood down, so I can now see his messy dark blonde hair.
"Yeah," She sighed, and I didn't think she was going to say anymore, so I started to take a step towards Kyle, but she spoke, "I haven't told Miles yet, he was just waking up when Kyle came to get me," She took a deep breath,
"But I don't know how I'm going to tell him, she means...meant the world to him, and I know we were young when we had her, and not really ready for a baby, but that doesn't change how we feel about her."
By the end of her little speech we were both crying, and I even saw Kyle shred a few tears, and I didn't know how I was going to stop any of them, the pain of losing her daughter would be with all of us forever, and neither her or Miles would ever get over that fully.
Two hours later, and I was back to sitting on Kyle's lap, in a chair on the left side of Anthony's cot, Katie was now back and sat on the right side.
Katie had been to see Miles and had told him the news, but we don't know what was said as the only thing she had said when she got back was that she had told him and that was it, she was now sat with a blank look on her face, as she gazed at the room door, almost as if she was hoping for someone to come through the door and tell her that today was a dream, and Ila was sat back on the cot, on Anthony's right side as well, close to her mum.
My left hand was lightly holding Anthony's as I curled up against Kyle's chest. He had his left arm wrapped around me and his right hand was lightly smoothing the little patch of dark blonde hair that could be seen around the bandage that was wrapped around most of Anthony's head.
We had all been sat in silence, the only sounds being our breathing and Anthony's heart monitor, the only time we spoke was when the doctor came to check Anthony's progress every hour, who was due again any minute now.
The door was suddenly opened and Anthony's doctor, Dr. Jenkins walked in, and just as he was about to speak Anthony made a gurgling sound and began to wriggle around in his cot. The doctor hurried to his side and began to examine him.
Kyle and I also jumped up and moved closer to the cot, and Katie just jumped slightly and moved her gaze from the door to Anthony.
"Is this the first time he's moved since I was here last time?"
"Yes, we would have called you straight away otherwise." Kyle told him.
The doctor continued to examine Anthony as he became more aware of his surroundings, and then the doctor looked back at us.
"We're going to have to run some test now, but I should warn you both now, that it seems highly likely that he has brain damage, but if we find what it is fast, there may be medications that he would have to take."
"Fine, just please do whatever you can to help our baby." I told him.
"We'll do our best." The doctor told us before leaving to arrange the test that needed to be done.
"Thanks." Kyle pulled me closer to him and kissed the top of my head.
Not even ten minutes later Anthony was being wheeled away for testing to be done.
"They'll help him." Kyle whispered to me, but it sounded like he was trying to reassure himself more than me.
It was 9pm when Anthony was brought back to the room, and he was sleeping, so the Dr. Jenkins gestured for us to follow him out of the room. Katie had left at around seven, saying that she was going to see Miles, but I think that was just her excuse.
"What did you find?" Kyle asked him, his left arm was wrapped around me and he was rubbing my arm in a reassuring gesture.
"There seems to be some damage to the temporal lobe."
"What does that mean?" I asked him.
"Anthony has damage to the sound part of it, we can try a fix it with surgery, but you may want to prepare yourselves for the fact that he may never hear again"
"He's deaf?" Kyle asked him in shock, as I turned and cried into his shoulder.
"Yes, but we are staying positive that if he doesn't regain all of his hearing then he will gain at least some of it."
"Could you give us a few minutes to process this please?" Kyle asked him, as I was still crying softly into his shoulder.
"Of course, I'll be back in the morning, you are both welcome to stay."
"Thank you" Kyle said softly, before pulling me back into the room and over to the chair on the left side of Anthony's cot.
I sat in Kyle's lap, curled up against his chest again. We were both silent, just holding onto each other as we both processed the news that our baby was deaf and may never be able to hear again, and that's how we fell asleep, wrapped in each other's arms, thinking of how different our life will be from now on.