“How is this possible?” Cat finally asked as she looked around the lovely room, and then, back at her brother.
“I’ve come to see you three times before, but you wouldn’t come out of your room. Mattie, the guard, brought me to you this time. She wants me to encourage you to join in the hospital’s daily routines,” Alec truthfully replied and then chuckled. “It seems she’s worried about the ‘littlest chicken wing.’”
“Is that what they call me?” she asked with surprise.
“Why does this Mattie person care?” Cat continued. “So many people hate us now…I mean, what does she get out of it?”
“That’s a very cynical attitude, Cat. I suppose that if she helps you, it helps her too. You know that the staff charts everything you do, right?” Alec replied. Cat nodded so he continued, “Well, if you ever want to get a day-pass to visit the family at home, then you have to do the things required of you. They’re keeping score. Just like it was in school, they’re grading you.”
“I do stuff,” she’d reflexively argued.
“I know. Mattie told me that you go to the weekly sessions and that you have lunch with the other patients on occasion, but you need to push yourself to do more. Can you do that, Cat?”
“Why should I? What’s the point?”
“You know I’ve enlisted. I leave in only a few days. One day, I’ll be back. When I get home, I want to know that you have the option to come live with the family. Wouldn’t you like that too?” Alec asked. “It’s important to me. You might want to get out of here one day.”
Cat quietly pressed her lips together before speaking, “Not while you’re away, Alec. Not while you’re away.”
“I won’t be away forever, Cat,” he reassured. “When I do come back for good, I want to return to my real family—you, Mom, and Sabrina. So, please, do whatever it takes to win those points. All right? Can you do that?”
“I’ll try to be good, Alec. That’s what I want too. Besides, just so you know, no one told me you were the visitor. I would have come out had I known it was really you.”
True to her word, Cat did behave. She followed the prescribed routine so that Alec would be proud of her when he returned. She adhered to all the requirements, but she also spent a lot of time in her room drawing the latest pictures of Alec, her angel-redeemer, and those he saved. No matter where he was, she connected with him. She witnessed everything her angel did. She saw each person he saved and sketched the images to chronicle Alec’s life while he was away.