Domino Effect

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Chapter Twenty Four

Sam and Dane had wanted to come by the next day. When they called, Bailey didn’t know what to tell them at first. She was happy with her mum for once; she could tell that her friends seemed to want to save Bailey from her. So Bailey told them the truth: she didn’t want them over. She wanted some more alone time with her mum. She told them to tell Charlie and James the same thing.

The only contact Bailey had with the hospital that week was with Doctor Arrington. Bailey had called him an hour after Sam called to ask how Ace was doing.

“He’s asking about you,” Arrington said dryly. “He wants to know when you’ll be back.”

“What have you told him?” Bailey could hear Arrington’s bored breathing on the other end. She was so nervous to hear his answer that she almost hadn’t asked.

“Bailey… I’m going to have to let you go if you start a relationship with a patient.”

It never failed to strike Bailey with just how forward Arrington could be. “I know,” she said, a catch in her voice.

Was this what she wanted? She didn’t truly intend to stay at the hospital. With everything that had gone on recently, Bailey wasn’t sure if she only wanted to switch hospitals. She thought—when she was little—that she’d wanted to be a nurse. Bailey wanted to be like her grandfather. Now, she didn’t know what she wanted to be.

“I told him that you’d be back when you were ready.”

Arrington’s voice returned Bailey to their conversation. “I think I’ll be back Monday,” she said. “I’ll talk to him then.”

“You’re not on his case.”

“I know that.”

“Sam’s been taking good care of him, Bailey,” Arrington told her. “He should be discharged by midweek.”

Bailey almost dropped the phone. “Oh.” She knew this was coming. Ace wasn’t a permanent fixture at the hospital, just like she wasn’t. He was bound to go home sooner or later. If the hospital had done its job, sooner was the better bet.

It looked like sooner was the correct one.

She stayed home with her mother for another two days. They ate Chinese, played board games that her mum had brought from her house, they watched chick flicks on the tube… Bailey honestly hadn’t had so much fun in a long time.

She didn’t talk to Ace. At least, not right away. Bailey wanted to but she couldn’t seem to make her hand pick up the phone and dial his room number extension. It was an exhausting battle, one she wasn’t sure of the outcome.


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