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Dad gets home and Mom’s rushed to the hospital.
“We’ll be back. Grandpa said he said he’s going to try to bring you later. Do your homework and eat your dinner,” those were the last words Dad said to me that afternoon.
I haven’t heard from any of them since.
Time goes on and I’m still alone. Jess calls, but I’m too depressed to answer. This night couldn’t have gotten any worse than it had already become. Grandpa Joe comes, and we leave without a word.
The road seems to get smaller and smaller with every mile we cover in Grandpa’s old, red tow-truck. The sky seems to grow darker, and the world quieter. I usually could care less about driving around in the car because I enjoyed listening to the silence of the world falling to sleep and watching everyone turn off for the night. But tonight was very different.
Grandpa clears his throat, as he usually does before he has something to ask me. “Do you know why your mother is in the hospital?”
What a dumb question to ask. As if I didn’t know. It was clearly obvious why we were on our way to the hospital. Anybody on the face of this earth who saw her would know why she was in the hospital. “Yes,” I replied.
“Are you excited?”
“Oh yes. Very much so.” The eighteenth lie I’ve told this month. Silence invades the truck yet again. Grandpa was losing his battle with keeping a conversation going. I gaze out my window to get my mind off the current topic. What’s there to be excited about? My eyes slowly being to close and darkness consumes the moon lit highway.
“Wake up, kiddo! We’re here!” Grandpa said enthusiastically.
“Grandpa, don’t call me kiddo,” I replied. He looks at me disappointedly.
We went into the hospital. It was full and lively, as it always was. But ever since the accident, ever since they told me what happened to him, ever since my last trip to the hospital, I haven’t been able to stand it. I haven’t been able to walk into this place without getting a cold, nauseating feeling down in the pit of my stomach.
“Oh good, you made it!” Dad comes rushing down the hall with open arms. “Your mom is in room 54C. It all went well. I can’t wait to see your face!” he looked at me and I gave him this sarcastic smile, but he obviously didn’t get what was going on and continued to smile and laugh like a madman. He began to walk me down the hall after noticing I had no intention of moving form the spot in which I stood.
The drag down to room 54C was one of the longest “walks” I’d ever taken, next to the one to room 76, which was his room.
The hallways here are endless…
We finally made it. As I open the door, I slowly saw the image of Mom come into my sight. But she wasn’t alone.
“Her name is Madeline!” Dad said excitedly as I peered at the little girl in Mom’s arms. My sarcastic smile had suddenly been wiped off my face, and I now showed no emotion whatsoever. Mom thought I had gone into shock because of the overwhelming joy. I nodded my head and left the room.
I knew at that point things would be different.
Dad came out into the waiting room where I was no located, “Don’t you want to spend time with your new baby sister?”
“Yeah, but I mean, but I’m kind of tired. Is it okay if I just ask Grandpa to bring me home?”
“Yes, I guess that’s fine. We wouldn’t want you to be tired for school tomorrow.” And with that emotionless look on my face, I left the hospital without any eye contact at all with Dad.
“Ah, spring break’s over and you have to get back to school. You do so well in school, you have no idea how proud you make your parents,” Grandpa smiled. I felt a heart-to-heart kind of lecture coming my way.
“If you don’t mind me asking, they’ve been a little worried about you, though.”
This caught my attention. Worried? “What do you mean?”
“Well, ever since the…” I gave him a look that stopped him in his tracks.
“I’m fine, honestly. You don’tâ€”they don’tâ€”have to worry about anything. I don’t even know why they’d be worried in the first place. I’m fine,” I said and gave him one of those smiles I gave Dad back at the hospital.
He stopped talking about it with a simple “okay.”
Knowing I was okay, he smiled and even giggled a bit. Fooled him.