Stay Strong

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Chapter 22

Landon’s P.O.V.


A week, three days and ten hours. That’s how long it has been since I saw Aspen’s beautiful green eyes and I have yet to leave the hospital for more than a few hours a day or to go to school.

I rolled over in the other bed they had in the room and faced Aspen. My parents had paid for the room and promised to pay for any other inconveniences it may cause to let Aspen have the room to herself. Although I felt like they did it simply so I would have a place to sleep since I haven’t been home except to get clothes.

I slowly sat up and watched Aspen’s chest rise and fall before looking at the heart monitor, listening to the steady beeps that confirmed she was alive. I walk over to her and smooth her hair away from her face, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead just below the bandages that wrapped around her head.

“Wake up soon. Candice misses you. Vanessa, Bryson, and Sonia miss you. I miss you,” I whisper in her ear. The doctors don’t know if she could hear us talk to her. But we talked to her anyway.

“Anything change?” a voice calls from the door. I look up and see Sonia, Vanessa and Bryson come into the room, followed by Candice and Gavin.

I shake my head at Sonia as I sit down in one of the chairs I had brought over beside her bed. Candice climbs up in my lap and begins talking to her sister.

“When will you wake up sissy?” she asked, tears running down her face. “I miss having you pick me up from Aunt Sonia’s. I miss your food. Please wake up sissy.”

I grip Aspen’s hand and hug Candice closer to me. “When will sissy wake up?” she looked up at me with tear filled eyes.

“Soon, Candice. Soon,” I whisper.


Two more weeks have passed and Aspen has still shown no sign of waking up. My mother and father come to visit and I tell them about Aspen. What I didn’t tell them, Vanessa, Bryson or Sonia did. My mother loved Aspen and my father respected her.

They told me that they saw all of the videos Theodore sent. I shuttered at the thought of those videos but they were nothing compared to witnessing it first hand.

I have nightmares about Aspen screaming and all I can see is the blood coating her as her face paled when she lost consciousness in the ambulance.

Once we got to the hospital they rushed her to the OR, telling me that I couldn’t come with her before a doctor and a nurse took me into another room to look me over for any injuries.

That night I was barely able to eat anything. I picked over the cafeteria food and Gavin, Aspen’s father didn’t even bother with any, only coffee.

We waited what felt like hours before the doctor found us, telling us that Aspen was in a coma but other than that she was fine, she would just have a few more nasty scars.

It didn’t matter what the doctors said though. No matter how many times they said that soon she would wake up, waiting for her to do so was torture.

I was currently holding her hand while watching a cheesy show on the television. I was about to fall asleep when I felt it. A slight twitching in the hand that was holding mine.

I jumped up and instantly hit the button to call in the doctors and nurses. Several came rushing into the room, followed by Gavin.

“What’s wrong?” Doctor Lewis asked, looking over Aspen.

“Her hand moved. I felt it,” I squeeze her hand again as several of the nurses filed out of the room, pity on their faces. They probably thought I was crazy.

Doctor Lewis was about to leave when her grip tightened even more and the beeping on the heart monitor increased.

Doctor Lewis leaned out of the room and called for some of the nurses to come back before rushing over to Aspen.

Once he reached her side, Gavin gently gripped my shoulder and pulled me away from the bed. We watched from the corner of the room as Doctor Lewis looked over Aspen.

Then, her eyes slowly open and she looks around groggily before those beautiful, lovely green eyes that I missed so much landed on me.

Despite the doctor and nurses still crowding around her I rushed over to her side and clutched her hand.

“Aspen?” I call. Tears start to pour down her face as she grips my hand tightly.

“Hey, hey, why are you crying?” I asked, smoothing her hair back.

“I’m...I’m sorry,” she croaked. Doctor Lewis ordered one of the nurses to go get some water. He pushed the button on the bed to move it into a sitting position.

After she was able to down the water the nurses gave her, I moved back and let the doctor and nurses do their thing.

I walked back over to Gavin and saw that he had tears in his eyes. I smiled gently before returning my gaze back to Aspen.

Later that evening everyone was in the room, everyone was hugging Aspen, telling her how much they missed her. When Candice had entered the room she had ran to her sister with tears running down her face and jumped on the bed, before settling beside her and she hasn’t moved since. Right now she was tucked into Aspen’s side, asleep.

“When did they say you could leave?” Sonia asked.

“Another week... Right, Gavin?” Aspen looked over at her father who stood beside her bed with a hand on her shoulder.

“Yep. Although you will be out of school for a while longer. And they want you to visit a therapist to deal with any trauma,” the dark-haired man stated. Aspen nodded her head before looking over at me, a small smile on her face.

I smiled back and gripped her hand. She was alive. She was awake. And she was here with me.

Later that night everyone left the room while I stayed beside Aspen. We were watching that same cheesy show when there was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” Aspen called, turning the volume on the television down. The door opened and in came an old woman. Aspen stiffened beside me and I watched as the old woman slowly walked closer to the bed.

“Hello, Aspen,” the woman mumbled, looking down at her shoes.

“Lorelai,” Aspen inclined her head as I jumped out of my seat. This was her grandmother?

“I suggest you leave. The doctor said no unnecessary stress and you are certainly unnecessary,” I growled, almost tempted to shove the woman out of the room. But she was old, so I didn’t.

“Who are you?” she snapped at me.

“Landon. Aspen’s friend,” I stated proudly.

“I would like to talk to my granddaughter if you don’t mind.” She looked down her nose at me. I turned my head to look at Aspen. She nodded her head, telling me it was alright.

I walked out of the room and waited in the hall for the old hag to leave. I paced back and forth for several minutes before she left the room, not even sparing a glance at me. I barely stopped myself from flipping her the bird.

I stormed back into the room and shut the door behind me. I plopped down in one of the seats beside Aspen’s bed and cross my arms over my chest.

“Are you pouting?” Aspen laughed. I looked down at my feet, shaking my head.

“Don’t worry. Nothing bad happened.” She reached over and patted my shoulder. I look up and see a small smile on her lips before she lays back in the bed and mumbles something about sleeping.

After she falls asleep, I watch her for a few minutes, scared that all of this is just a dream. That I will wake up and Aspen will still be in a coma.

After a few more minutes, I stand and kiss her forehead before climbing into the other bed, trying to fall asleep myself.

“Goodnight, Aspen,” I whisper as I close my eyes and hope that the nightmares would finally stop now that she was awake.


A/N:

Hey guys! I’m posting two chapters today. I am, again, sorry for not being able to post any chapters lately. I hope you guys can understand.

I hope that everyone who has been affected by the fires in California is staying as safe as possible and I am so sorry you have to go through this. Please be safe!

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