I awoke knowing something wasn't right. My eyes flashed open as my memories flooded through me. Looking up I saw Willow sitting beside me. She had her hand in mine and she was crying. Mom was on the couch behind her asleep. What had happened? I knew I was in the hospital but I didn't remember being brought here.
Willow let out an unsteady breath as she turned looking up at me. Our eyes locked on the others and she let out a breath. "Maddox." I tried to sit up but she quickly stood up shaking her head grabbing my hands as I tried to pull the breathing tube from my nose.
Seeing Willow turn to look at my mom I held on to her, "no don't wake her."
Willow turned looking down at me sighing sitting on the edge of the bed beside me. My head was throbbing as I looked up at her, "so how much trouble am I in?"
She frowned, "your mom is pissed Maddox. Like even your sisters said they haven't seen her this mad before." I closed my eyes only to open them back up when she said, "she won't even hardly talk to your dad."
"What?" I said looking past her at my mom. "He must have told her."
Willow shook her head intertwining her fingers in mine, "she was there when your dad and Ash pulled you from the car. Maddox it was bad. I thought..."
As Willow started to cry again I reached up touching her face, "you were there?"
Nodding Willow looked up, "I'm so sorry Maddox. I should have answered your text. I should have let you know I was there. I missed you so much. It's hard to see you and not be with you. I was scared, I'm scared to love you."
I looked up at her, "did you just tell me you loved me?"
Willow looked up at me horrified and I couldn't help but laugh. My laugh however was cut off short by the pain that radiated from my chest. Willow stood up adjusting my pillows, "Maddox you are really banged up. We need to get the doctors in here. You've been unconscious since last night."
Shaking my head I closed my eyes, "no doctors. Tell me again how you love me."
Willow's eyes fell to the ground. "Maddox I..." she looked up. "Damn it I do love you. I know I don't have anything to offer you and I know that you..."
It took every bit of strength I had to sit up some, my body screamed at me and Willow instantly came closer trying to push me down but it was all I needed. Pulling her face to mine I kissed her lips feeling her soften to my touch. "I love you too you stubborn ass girl."
Willow pulled away from me, "Maddox you hit your head pretty good."
I laughed, "You think I'd only say I love you if I had a concussion." Willow looked down at my shaking her head, I pulled her so that she was sitting on the edge of my bed again. "I've been miserable without you Willow."
She reached out touching my face, "I don't know. I..."
We both turned to look at my mom who jumped up quicker than I had ever seen her move in my life. "How do you feel? Are you ok?"
Willow moved to let my mom slide in beside me. My eyes were still on Willow as I answered my mom. "Mom I'm ok. Just sore, my head hurts like a motherfuck..."
I jumped as my mom hit my arm, "Mom!"
"If I knew you didn't have a fucking concussion I would hit you in your hard ass head. What were you thinking Maddox? You of all people should know better."
My attention was fully on my mother now who was glaring at me. I had no doubt if she thought it wouldn't hurt me she would knock the shit out of me. "I know mom. I'm sorry." I looked around the room remembering Willow had said something about mom being mad at dad. "Where is dad?"
Mom's expression went from mad to pissed. "I really don't know where he is."
I glanced at Willow who looked over at me with wide eyes shaking her head no. I knew she wanted me to stop but I had to speak my peace with her. "Mom don't be mad at him. This was my choice, my fault."
Mom stood up, "you started racing when you were 16 Maddox. I should have known the two of you were up to something. He point blank lied to me when I asked him whose cars they were. Damn it Maddox I only know now because someone ran you off the road. What if no one came to look for you? What if your car would have caught fire?"
"Mom," I said trying to sit up again only making it halfway before I had to give up, "that's on me. I'm the one who wanted to race. Yes, dad helped me but I would have done it with our without him."
Mom just shook her head, "I'll go let the doctors know you are awake."
I watched Mom walk out of the room and when the door shut Willow spoke, "it's bad Maddox. Like your mom won't even let your dad touch her."
I frowned, "why? What happened?"
Willow made a face at me, "because of you Maddox. She is mad about the whole racing thing and she blames your dad. I don't know why she is so mad but she is. Like your sisters think she is tripping but she blames him for your wreck."
I closed my eyes, my parents never fought. Not really. Most of their fights would stem from dad aggravating mom till she had enough and those fights were just play fights. My parents had argued over stupid shit, never anything serious. I'd never had to worry about them splitting up, I've never had to worry about one being unfaithful to the other.
Reaching out for Willow I sighed when she took my hand. "They will be ok. They are always ok. Mom's just mad, she was just scared." My words were more for me than her but it felt better saying them out loud. If I spoke them then they had to be true.
Willow looked down at me, "I hope so."
"Come here," I said looking up at her.
Willow shook her head, "no, your mom and the doctors are about to be in here and you're wanting to play."
I rolled my eyes, "get your ass over here."
She laughed, "really you're in a hospital bed and you're trying to give me orders."
Nodding I tilted my head, "I don't see a problem with it."
The doors opened and Mom came back in with a nurse. I watched Willow take a step back, ignoring the nurse I caught her eye, "don't go."
When she nodded at me I looked up caught off guard at the nurse who was shining a light in my eye. I felt bombarded with questions and the more the nurse talked the harder it was for me to focus. Lifting my hand to my head I felt the room spin.
"Maddox can you hear me..."
I looked up, "yeah, yeah...I just...my head."
The nurse said something to my mom before leaving. Mom came over to me, "it's ok Maddox. Your nurse is going to go get the doctor on call tonight. They will probably want to run some test and..."
She paused, "what?"
I looked over at her, "you need dad here."
She shook her head as I once again closed my eyes, "and don't let Willow leave. She can't leave."
"Baby Willow isn't going anywhere and your dad went home to rest. He and your sisters will be back in the morning." Mom said running her hands through my hair.
Opening my eyes again I looked up at the ceiling. My headache was getting worse by the minute. "Mom." I looked over at her seeing her watching me. "I love her mom."
Mom shook her head kissing my forehead, "I know you do hardhead. Now stop talking."
The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes and everyone was in the room. Mom and my sisters sat on the long couch, Aunt Maggie and Teresa were in the corner talking to dad, and Willow she was by my side.
"Did I miss the party?"
Everyone looked up at me as if I had grown two heads. "How are you feeling?"
I turned to look at Aunt Maggie, "like I've been in a car wreck."
"Well the boy hasn't lost his sense of humor," Aunt Teresa said shaking her head.
Dad walked over to the side of my bed, "I hope you don't think this means you can call off work tomorrow."
I laughed wincing at the pain in my chest, "man, when I leave here I'm coming to ya'lls house so momma can baby me."
Mom snorted, "your dad can take care of you. Ya'll both don't listen worth a damn."
Presley hit mom's arm but she didn't flinch. My eyes looked up at dad but if there were problems he wasn't letting me know. "How's your head?"
I shrugged, "I still have a headache, kinda feel fuzzy."
Aunt Maggie came to stop by dad, "you might want to stay in here as long as you can. I think your mom is going to kill you the minute you get discharged."
I smiled winking at her, "I bet dad can handle her."
The look that passed between dad and Aunt Maggie worried me. Willow had told me mom was mad at dad but if Aunt Maggie knew then there was more to it. I wanted to talk to mom but now wasn't the time.
"So who's going to get me something to eat?"
I tried to make light of things but as everyone started to talk I focused on mom. The way she moved anytime dad came near her. The way she managed to not directly answer any question he would ask her. I wanted to tell her she was being stubborn. She had always claimed I got my hardheadedness from dad but I was beginning to think it was all her.