"I REFUSE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS ANY MORE! I WANT HIM TO BE MOVED TO THE CHILDREN'S WARD!"
A large red-headed nurse was screaming at Dr. Staffner. Zack, in his wheelchair, flinched.
The lady was holding a bunch of soiled sheets in one arm. Cody had wet the bed. Again.
Zack looked over at his twin, who was sitting on the bed, looking slightly embarrassed.
"Sorry," Cody whispered. "I'm a bad boy."
"No you're not," Zack said, feeling pain that Cody had to apologize for something that truly wasn't his fault. He couldn't help it.
"I don't want to go to the children's ward," Cody whimpered softly.
"Why?" asked Zack stupidly.
"They'll think I'm just a BIG BABY!" Cody yelled. "I don't want them to think that, Zack. I don't want to."
"Oh Cody," Zack said, wheeling himself closer to his brother and putting an arm around him. "It's ok. I don't think that."
Dr. Staffner walked in. "Come on Cody, it's time for your exercise."
Zack watched as Cody's face paled in horror. "NO!" he suddenly screamed. "I DON'T WANT TO GO IN THAT ROOM!"
Dr. Staffner saw the puzzled expression on Zack's face. "It's the isolation room," he told him. "It's to prepare him for… for what happens in the real world."
Fifteen minutes later, Zack was watching in horrified fascination at his brother. Cody had been placed in a large white room with padded walls, and he had been locked in there. Zack could see into the windows and watch his brother, but Cody could not see out, because the windows were black from his side. In theory, he was completely alone. So this was isolation.
Cody had been screaming and slamming his hands against the walls the whole time now. Zack couldn't watch anymore. He buried his face in his hands. This was too hard.
Dr. Staffner looked at him worriedly. "Do you see Zack? How will Cody survive in the real world?"
"Let him out," was the muffled reply. Then there was a small moan.
Zack could feel his brother's pain and it wrenched away at his heart. Cody had just been reunited with his brother, and then Zack had been pulled away, once again. It broke his heart to see what Cody had to go through. It broke his heart.
He looked through a crack in his fingers.
Cody, his voice now hoarse, tears running down his face, had crumpled to a pile in the middle of the padded room. He was holding onto his legs, rocking back and forth in the fetal position. He reminded Zack of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.
It hurt him.
"Let him out," he said again, reiterating his statement. "Let him out."
Dr. Staffner looked as if he was about to argue, but Zack almost shouted at him. "Let him out!"
Dr. Staffner took a ring of keys and unlocked the door. Zack brought his head up from where it had been in his hands, hastily wiping away his tears. Cody didn't need to see this.
Cody looked over at the open door, and stood up on shaky legs to go over to where Zack was. He walked out of the room, ignoring Dr. Staffner. "Zack."
Not seeming to realize the fact that he was actually a whole lot bigger and taller than Zack, he crawled into Zack's lap and sat down. Zack really didn't mind. Cody couldn't fit himself on the wheelchair, but Zack didn't care because he didn't have any feeling in his legs anyway. It didn't matter.
"It's ok, Cody," he said, trying to soothe his brother who was shaking with sobs. "It's ok."
"I'm sorry," Cody said. "I'm sorry."
"You have nothing to be sorry about," Zack said, stroking his brother's back. "I love you. It's ok."
"I love you too Zack," said Cody, seeming delighted to hear that his brother loved him.
Dr. Staffner looked over Cody's head and winked at Zack. "Do you want to stay in for bath-time?
Zack shrugged—he guessed it didn't matter. "Come on," Zack said. "Let's go."
Cody got out of his lap and followed him down the hall as Zack wheeled after Dr. Staffner to a room that was labeled "Bathing Area." They entered, and in there was a bathtub.
Dr. Staffner turned on the faucet and filled a bathtub with warm water. "Come on Cody," he said kindly.
Cody pulled off his clothes—Zack helped him with his shirt, and Dr. Staffner put a bubble bath solution into the water. Pretty soon the tub was full of foamy, white bubbles. Dr. Staffner managed to get Cody in the bathtub. Luckily, Zack didn't have to see Cody naked. Dr. Staffner was used to that. Zack, however, was not.
Cody sat in the bathtub, blowing the foamy bubbles around. He giggled as he piled a bunch on his hair. "Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles," he sang in a high voice.
"Stop being silly," Zack teased, pushing his wheelchair closer to where Cody was. He grinned—Cody was so happy. Dr. Staffner smiled and left.
Cody pulled out a plastic boat and a rubber duck, letting them float in the water. "Vroom, vroom," he said happily, pushing the boat along. "Quack, quack," was the sound effect for the duck.
Zack handed him a plastic floating whale that lay on the side. Cody grinned and dunked the whale underwater. He then took a huge bunch of bubbles and threw them at Zack's face, completely covering his hair in a soapy mess.
"You silly boy!" Zack exclaimed. He tickled Cody, liking the way he laughed, yet missing a huge something. How could this be Cody? This couldn't be Cody!
Cody splashed the bubbles around for awhile, but then finally decided to let Zack wash his hair. He finished playing, and was ready to get out. The bubbles had almost dissolved, and Zack looked away.
Cody managed to get clean, and get dressed by himself. Zack was glad for this.
Zack went back to Cody's room with a clean Cody padding after him. In there, Zack played with Birdie and Blankie with Cody for half an hour, until Cody started to get tired. He pulled Birdie over to him, and tried to get under the covers. Zack managed to pull off his shoes before he put his feet under the blankets, but didn't manage to get Cody to change or anything.
He pulled the quilt on top of his brother, noticing how sweet he looked. Like an angel.
"Love you Cody," he said.
"Love you Zack," Cody whispered back. "You're nice to me, Zack. You don't make me think I'm stupid like Karl did."
"Who's Karl?" Zack wanted to know.
Cody didn't answer. He seemed not to hear.
"I love you Zack," Cody said. "You're nice to me and you play with me. Thank you God for sending me Zack," Cody said looking up somewhere. "Thank you God, thank you God. I love Zack. Amen," he sighed, closing his eyes.
Zack smiled. It could be hard, but he had his Cody back. Little did he know what would happen next week…
Sort of corny? What did you think? Review.