Always Together

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Chapter 15

Sometimes even when everything around you is right, but still, you have this feeling of dread that something is about to happen... something bad. That is exactly how I am feeling.

Since I have woke up there is a bad feeling in my heart which is hard for me to ignore.

I have finished household chores in half time than usual. Even I have mowed the front and the backyard lawn. But nothing is helping me to alleviate this strange feeling which is burdening me from inside.

Pops had told me last night that he has some work in another town and he will leave early in the morning. So when I woke up, he has already left. I don’t like when he overworks himself, many times I have asked him to let me help him. But that old stubborn man just refuses.

I check my phone in the hope to hear something from Pops. He usually texts me whenever he is out for work.

Taking a shower, I change into jeans and a t-shirt then I start to sort out my closet, just for the sake of keeping my mind occupied. I leave arranging my closet and answer the door when I hear the doorbell.

“Avery?” A guy in maybe his early twenties asks, as soon as I open the door.

“Yes.” I nod my head.

“I am Mason.” He gives me a small nervous smile, “and I work for Mr. Anderson.”

“Okay, so what can I do for you?”

“Avery, Mr. Anderson has been into an accident, while he was returning back,” he hesitantly speaks, gauging my reaction, “A car from the opposite track t-boned his truck.”

Hearing this it seems like my whole world has stopped.

“He is at the hospital.” He sympathetically looks at me, “I am here to take you to the hospital.”

“Thanks for informing, Mason,” I manage to say in a steady voice, which is a miracle in itself as I shaking from inside, “I will just grab my keys.” I walk back inside the house and grab the keys.

Then running back to my room I keep some cash along with my card in my pocket, heading outside, where Mason is waiting for me.

Pops... My Pops... Accident.

These words are running in loops in my head. From outside I may be looking calm and composed, but in reality, I am shaking like a leaf from inside.

By the time we reach hospital my heart is in my throat.

Please let him be fine.

Parking the car in the nearest parking spot, Mason directly leads me to the waiting area.

With each step, the heaviness in my chest increases to the point that it becomes difficult for me to breathe.

The moment we reach there, a nurse comes out of the room where Pops must be going through examination.

“Who is with Mr. Anderson?” She asks as she looks around the barely occupied waiting area.

“I am,” I quickly say, “I am his granddaughter.”

“We need your signatures on some of these papers.” She hands me a clipboard and a pen, “We need to conduct some necessary tests, but before that these formalities need to be completed.”

All my movements are robotic, it is like I am working on an autopilot mode. After completing the formalities, I hand back the papers to her.

“He is going to be fine, right?” I bite inside of my cheeks as I ask her, “There is nothing to be worried about, eh?”

“We are going to run some tests, then we will let you know,” The nurse whose name tag reads ‘Julia’ says in a sympathetic tone.

“Thank you,” I reply not knowing what else to say.

The waiting area echoes with my footsteps as I pace around. Sometimes I just sit on these uncomfortable plastic chairs, then suddenly I start pacing around. Mason has gone back to the garage to take care of the things in Pops’ absence, so now I am alone in this waiting area with my anxiety.

The fear... the pain of something happening to Pops is too much for me to bear.

I just want my Pops. Please God, don’t let anything happen to him.

I rub my eyes constantly to keep them free from tears. Sitting on the far end of the waiting room, I clench my fists tightly while holding my breath, my knees bounce with restlessness.

The fear of the unknown tearing my heart apart.

At this moment I would welcome any physical pain to dull the internal ache which is eating me away.

The same nurse Julia comes and places a hand on my shoulder, immediately I stand up waiting to hear whatever the news is.

“All the tests are done, thankfully there is nothing serious,” she says. Hearing this I feel like I can breathe again.

“However, he has suffered from a head injury so we have to keep him in observation, for a few days, to monitor his recovery.” She gives me a small smile.

I nod and bite my trembling lower lip, my eyes floating with pools of tears which I refuse to let go.

“He is fine, sweetie,” she says gently and pats my shoulder.

“Can I meet him?” I swallow.

“Yes, but he is sleeping due to the heavy dose of medication.” She informs, “I will take you to him after we shift him into the ICU, then tomorrow he will be transferred into the room.”

After waiting for an agonizing fifteen minutes I am allowed to meet Pops.

“Pops.” I breathe as I hold his hand in mine.

“Pops,” I again say, then swallow as all other words seem to die in my throat.

I blink as I see his pale face. I can’t believe just a few hours ago he was healthy and fine... and now he seems so weak, so vulnerable.

Sometimes we forget what can happen in a matter of a few moments. We take things for granted when our whole life can turn upside down at any moment.

“Pops...” I exhale trying to gain some strength from him, “I love you... Please get well soon. You know, I can’t live without you.”

“I may have survived without mom and dad, but I will die without you.” I clench my eyes shut not allowing tears to escape from my eyes.

“You have promised me that you will not leave my side and I am counting on that... I am counting on you.” I lower my head and kiss his hand secured in mine.

“Always remember this, if you dare to die and leave me alone, I will be following just after you.” Biting inside of my cheeks, I look at his sleeping face.

His forehead wrapped in a bandage and there is light bruising on the left side of his face. Nasal cannula fixed on his nostrils helping him to breathe properly and IV cannula is inserted in his left hand through which drip of glucose is being administered.

I dab the corner of my eyes with my fingers while standing up. I lean forward and carefully kiss his cheek. Then I lightly caress his face, my eyes fixed on his face. Hoping that he will wake up now and embrace me in his comforting hug.

Not being able to see him like this, I hastily walk outside the room. My heart twisting painfully in my chest just thinking about anything happening to him. Even though everything is fine, but still, there is lingering fear in my heart.

I put my head in hands leaning forward on my knees as I sit in the waiting area.

Pops has taught me to stay strong, no matter what the situation is, and I can’t let him down by being weak.

I press heels of my palm against my eyes as my eyes waters. Holding my breath I wait for the aching sensation to hit my lungs due to the lack of oxygen. I need to stop this pain which wrenching my heart... I need to stay strong... I have to stay strong.

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