Home Can Be You

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Chapter 17

After we arrived at the hospital, Mom stayed with the little girl and called for her parents to come, she did lecture them on the phone about neglecting their little girl in the house and mom was not kind with her words, they were harsh and I didn’t blame her. The girl could have died either from burns or from inhaling smoke. Never leave a child alone in the house thinking: what could go wrong? Everything could go wrong, they were children and needed guidance.

The rest of us waited in the waiting room for Nolan. It took longer than it should take and I began to worry. “Relax, he’s fine. They are just taking some tests to make sure that he’s perfectly fine from any other injuries. The major one was in his leg. It just broke and it will heal with the time,” Zeno remarked with a smile that made me a bit relieved.

I nodded with a sigh. “You know what? You’re right. I should relax, he just broke one leg! Nothing too serious,” I verified, trying to convince myself, then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned my back and saw Andro, carrying Elara and dad standing next to him, holding Oriana’s hand. My dark emotions stopped when I realized that I was not the only one who had uncertain thoughts, however, they gave me support by their calm expressions. They told me that I was not alone. I wasn’t alone. “Thank you,” I said and hugged them.

After we sat on the chairs in the waiting room, a doctor came to us while holding a little broad. “Are you the Bamford family?” He asked us, he fixed his big glasses with his middle finger and cleaned his nose with a napkin. He looked sick yet he was still working. A doctor’s life was not easy.

Dad told Oriana to stand with Zeno, then he stepped closer to the doctor. “Yes, we are. I’m the father, how is Nolan?” He asked him with a firm expression on his face and I caught my breath and squeezed Andro’s hand.

The doctor cleared his throat and I had a jittery feeling roaming my mind. “We fixed his leg, it will take about a month and a half to fully recover and he had slight burns that will heal in a week or so,” He countered only he wasn’t finished yet. I just knew it. “However, there is something that we discovered while running some tests. I’m sorry to inform you that your son is enduring from a very malignant illness and it’s already in advanced stages.” He ejaculated. The boom that he threw at us, exploded in my stomach. I felt sick. I let go of Andro’s hand and dropped my head in the nearest garbage can and threw up. That couldn’t be happening to my dear brother.

Dad held my hair and rubbed my back. “Sugar pie, calm down!” he whispered in my ear and I stopped vomiting. I used to do that whenever I was terrified. I was anxious but I knew that I had to listen to the doctor’s words.

“I’m sorry, continue doctor. Please!” I requested then wiped my mouth with a piece of a toilet paper that Oriana gave me. I thanked her and focused back on the doctor.

He gave me sympathetic eyes nevertheless he had to deliver what he had to deliver from bad news. I embraced myself for the impact. “As I was saying, he has an illness that’s called Ischemic heart disease or in another name, coronary artery disease. CAD. This illness usually occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart become narrowed. I’m positive that he was suffering from chest pain for quite a while now, did you know?” He explained and then asked us.

As dad was about to answer, mom held his hand and shook her head, her eyes were filled with tears and the white in them became red from the pressure. “I heard everything and no, we didn’t. He was serving in the army not long ago but he did come home earlier than he should. Does he know that he has this disease?” Mom asked us all and I thought. He did know. ”I’d die either way..." Mom echoed his words in a quiet tone and dad’s eyes widened.

“He knew, he didn’t tell us! He knew mom, dad! Andro, he knew. But we freaking didn’t!” I exclaimed, feeling the numbness take over my legs and arms. I felt useless and a bad sister. I should have noticed yet I didn’t. I was too caught up in the idea of him being home and I didn’t question him. “Where is he?” I asked the doctor in an exasperated tone.

“In room number 5-second floor, I’m sure he has his reasons for not telling you. Ask him before any assumptions, dad, mom we will talk in private after you see him.” The doctor countered then walked away. I didn’t wait for anyone, I just ran to his room. I headed to the elevator but I saw that it was cramped so I took the stairs. I looked left and right until I spotted his room. I didn’t knock, I just burst it.

He looked startled at first but then his expression became smoother. “You know, huh?” He sighed while rubbing his face with his hand. I nodded with tears in my eyes, I felt chocked. I heard heavy footsteps behind me, after a second, the rest was standing behind me. “That idiot doctor!” He replied with a chuckle. I finally snapped.

“What are you laughing about? This is serious Nolan! Why didn’t you tell us?” I asked while grabbing his shirt and socking it with my tears. He wrapped his arms around me and cleared his throat.

“Evelina, look at me!” He demanded and I obliged, feeling fatigued. “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to see those tears,” he began and I wiped the tears from my face. “I didn’t want to worry you guys, I was planning to tell you when I have numbered days. When you notice something is off about me, for now, I have at least a year to live so it’s too early for you guys to know but you know. So, I’m sorry for hiding that from you,” he explained with a smile on his face. The smile that never faded. Never failed to make us smile in return except for now. “I accepted what I have when I knew, so please, don’t make it too hard on me and believe that it’s fate and we can’t do anything about it. Mom, stop those tears, dad, smile! Andro, don’t sulk and you, little munchkins, come here and give me a big hug!” He added and motioned for Elara and Oriana, who were silently crying, to come over and they did.

Nolan gazed at Zeno and sighed. “Zeno, buddy, why the serious face? Turn that frown upside down,” He joked and we all cracked a little smile. That was Nolan. He was the strongest minded person I’ve ever known and I didn’t want to lose him. A year was not enough, however, I will make it a year worth remembering, for everyone.

The next day, we all stayed home, trying to adjust to the new developments. There was no cure that could heal Nolan in his stage and he was fine with it. Therefore, I made the whole family dinner. I was not bad at cooking and I wanted to make them smile. “Guys, it’s ready. Come to the dining room, all of you and now!” I called in a demanding tone and after a minute or two, everyone was sitting on their chairs, including Zeno and Oriana. As we were about to start eating, the doorbell rang. I ran to see who was it and I was more than surprised to see my best friends from Virginia on these doorsteps. The twins were standing with their arms wide open for me and I didn’t hesitate to embrace them. “Alaska! Evan!” I said and the tears began streaming down my face the moment I remembered Nolan and how they loved hanging out with him.

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