Seven years ago at the age of nineteen, twenty-six-year-old Joshua Murphy left his hometown of Clearwater, a small town outside of Boston to find a better life for himself. He left behind his younger brother, Brandon. When their parents were killed in a car accident years ago their aunt was left to raise them. Growing up they were dirt poor and he vowed to someday make it big. So as a teenager he took whatever jobs he could get and saved up until he had enough to leave the town he hated. His brother was fourteen at the time and resented him for leaving. Though he had never been back home he kept in touch with Brandon. After making his fortune when he developed a software program he bought a small mansion in Paris and opened his own company. Over the years he had sent money to his brother, large sums whenever he called crying that he was having a hard time since their aunt died a few years earlier. His brother had always been difficult to handle as a child, getting into trouble, lying, stealing and had a bad temper and getting into fights. Joshua was always cleaning up his mess for him. Even with the distance between them, he had to bail Brandon out on several occasions.
Since he was Brandon’s next of kin the hospital contacted him, letting him know that his brother was involved in a serious accident. He was told that Brandon had some minor injuries but was asking for him and that he was deeply depressed and they were worried he might try to hurt himself. It was either he came to look after him or they would have no choice but to have him placed in the psychiatric ward. Well after abandoning him years ago he felt guilted into going back home.
“Just how long will you be gone for?” Mira, his girlfriend of two years asked. She sat up in bed, covering herself up with the sheet.
He looked over at her, placing his suitcase down. Even after just waking up she looked beautiful with her red hair a tangled mess. She had a great body, large breasts, legs long and slender and she had a nice ass. Mira was the daughter of one of his biggest clients, Frank Vangsness. She had everything going for her, beauty, wealth and was CEO of her father’s company. But she also had another side, she could be crude, bossy and totally spoiled. Mira also had a mean streak, if one pissed her off she found a way to destroy them.
“I’m not sure, a week, maybe two. It depends on how quickly my brother recovers.”
“Why do you have to take care of him? It’s not like you are close to him and you haven’t seen him in years.”
“Mira we’ve been through this, there is no one else. I’m all he has and it’s my duty to make sure he’s OK. I owe it to him for not being there the last few years.”
Pouting she whipped the covers away and headed to the bathroom. “Just don’t be gone too long or I’ll have to find someone else to keep me warm at night.”
Shaking his head he grabbed his bag and left the bedroom without saying goodbye. They had been seeing one another off and on for two years now and he was starting to get tired of her bossiness. One thing he was glad about was that they didn’t live together, she would spend time at his place or he would go to hers. Even the sex wasn’t that good anymore, it was like she was only doing it because he wanted it. She didn’t seem to enjoy it much.
He took a cab to the airport and got settled into first class. He opened his laptop and kept busy answering emails and sending instructions to his many employees. He ended up falling asleep with his laptop open on his knees. His dreams were full of thoughts of his brother, wondering how bad his injuries were and if he would be OK. He had no idea Brandon was depressed. Having talked to him over the phone he knew his brother was having a rough time, and he was usually drunk when he called begging for money. Maybe he should have sent for him, let him live with him and he could have given him a job. But from what he had heard Brandon couldn’t keep a job and was always getting into fights. With no education, he had no skills in software or anything for that matter.
By the time the plane landed he was tired and in a foul mood. It didn’t help matters that it was raining and he felt a chill go through him from the dampness. Having his luggage sent to his hotel he took a cab to the hospital. It was late and he hoped that he would be allowed in to see Brandon.
He walks up to the nurse’s station and waited patiently for the woman behind the desk to notice him. When she finally looked up he didn’t give her time to speak before he did. “I’m looking for my brother, Brandon Murphy. He was in a car accident yesterday.”
She looked at her computer and brought up his file. “Yes, he’s in room 101. The doctor is in with him now but you can wait over there.” She points to the row of chairs across from them.
“Tell the doctor I want to speak to him when he’s done.” He turned and sat down on one of the most uncomfortable chairs he’d ever sat on. He looks at his watch, thirty minutes he had been waiting and was about to get up and complain when a man in a white coat came over to him.
“Are you Mr. Murphy?”
“Joshua stood up. “Yes. How is my brother and when can I see him?”
“I’ll walk you to his room and we can talk.”
“Tell me, doctor, how bad is he?”
“Your brother suffered a concussion, a couple of broken ribs and some cuts and bruises. We will keep him overnight for observation. The girl was not so lucky.”
Joshua stopped the doctor just before he was about to open the door to Brandon’s room. “Girl, what girl?” This was news to him, there was no mention of a girl being in the accident.
“Yes, Miss Celina Cullen was a passenger in the car.”
“The girl, is she alive?” His face went pale. He had so many questions, like who was driving and how did the accident happen?
“Right now she is in a coma. She suffered head trauma and serious damage to her legs.”
“But she’s going to be alright isn’t she?”
“We’ll know more when she wakes up but I’m afraid she may never walk again. You can go in and see him but only for a few minutes.”
Joshua walked into the dimly lit room and saw his brother laying on the bed, his eyes were closed. He walked slowly and quietly over to the bed so as not to wake him. He stared down at Brandon. His face was black and blue, he had a bandage on his head and his ribs were wrapped up. Memories of Brandon as a young boy flooded his mind. He had been scrawny, his hair was a dark brown but now he had muscles and had turned into a handsome man.
Brandon’s eyes opened and seeing Joshua he tried to smile. “Hey brother, you came.”
He leaned over. “Of course I came. How are you feeling?”
“The doctor said you only have a couple of broken ribs and a mild concussion. You’re going to be up in no time. I hear you’ll be released tomorrow. Now, what’s this I hear about you wanting to die?”
“Oh that, it was nothing. I was just feeling sorry for myself.”
“Can you tell me about the accident?” Joshua asked, curious as to why Brandon hadn’t asked how the girl that was with him was doing.
“It’s all a blur right now, I don’t remember how it happened.”
“OK, what about the girl that was with you? Who is she?”
“My girlfriend, we’ve been living together for almost a year now.”
“Do you know how she’s doing?” Joshua asked him.
Brandon was quiet for a few minutes. “No one’s told me.” He looks at Joshua. “Have you heard how she’s doing?”
“She’s in really bad shape. Right now she’s in a coma and I was told she may never walk again.”
“Are you serious? that sucks.”
Joshua was shocked by his remark, it sounded cold and without feeling. Most men would be asking how their girlfriend was doing and demanding to see them. But Brandon acted as if he didn’t care. He chalked it up to his brother being in shock and once it hit him he’d be overcome with grief. “I have to leave now but I’ll be back tomorrow to take you to your place. Get some rest and take it easy.”
“Thanks,” Brandon answered and his eyes closed.
Leaving his brother he decided to take a peek into Celina’s room, he had to admit he was curious about the woman. He had no idea Brandon had a girlfriend, much less lived with her. It was never mentioned in any of their conversations. There were only a few minutes left before visiting hours ended so he had to hurry.
Finding the room she was in he entered. He could see a body hooked up to machines laying still in the bed. He moved closer to the bed and looked down at the woman. She had brown hair with blond highlights. Even in her condition, he thought she was very beautiful. He stared down at her face which was so pale and he felt a pang of sadness for the girl. He moved a strand of hair from her face that was covered in bruises and her lips were puffed and swollen.
He turned his head sharply towards the door when it opened and a nurse stuck her head in and told him he had to leave as visiting hours were over. Nodding his head he took one more look at the woman and left the room. Tired and hungry he took a cab to his hotel and there he ordered room service. After a quick shower and having eaten he got into bed. He couldn’t get the girl out of his head. What puzzled him the most was Brandon’s reaction to hearing that his girlfriend might never walk again.
He woke early and had breakfast in the hotel dining room. He then took a cab back to the hospital to pick Brandon up and make sure he gets home alright. Depending on how Brandon could manage on his own he would decide on whether to go back home or stay a few days. If he ended up staying he would rent a car instead of taking cabs.
Arriving at the hospital he was shocked and angry to find out that Brandon had checked out and had already left. His brother knew he was coming to take him home. “How is the girl doing?” he asked the doctor.
“Miss Cullen’s vital signs are improving, we expect that she will be waking up soon. It would be nice if there was someone by her side when she does.”
“Does she have anyone besides my brother? Her parents or a sibling.”
“Our records show she has no living relatives.”
Joshua ran his hand through his hair. He was furious with Brandon, the least he could have done was stick around until she woke from the coma. “I’m going to bring him back. Here is my cell number, if she wakes up call me.” He hands the doctor a card with his name and number on it. He then walked out into the cold, damp morning, thankful that it had stopped raining. Hailing down a cab got in and sat back. He was curious as to why Brandon left the hospital, and from what he was told his brother never even asked about her cond