Gillian looked up and smiled tiredly to see Emily entering the room. "Is school done already?"
"It's 4:30." Emily frowned. "Have you been here since last night?"
"Yeah…I guess I have been." Gillian shifted uncomfortably in the small chair the hospital had provided in the room. It wasn't until now that she moved and felt the pain in her joints that she realized exactly how long she had been here. Cal was still lying lifeless on the bed despite the time that had elapsed.
"I'd suggest you go home but I remember Dad mentioning how headstrong you can be so, I have a feeling I should just save my breath." The girl laughed, quickly adding, "He meant it as a compliment, of course." She sighed, tapping Cal's limp hand with her fingers as if to let him know she was there. She sat down. "I get it now."
"I'm sorry?" Gillian tilted her head to one side, trying to get the kink out of her neck.
"I get it now." Emily repeated herself before elaborating, "Why he always seems so much happier with you." When Gillian said nothing, Emily continued, "I mean, it's been nearly a week since all of this happened and you've been here almost everyday. Mom, on the other hand, is glued to her desk at work. I don't need to be a facial expression expert to see how much you care about him."
Was she that obvious? Gillian could feel her face flush. "It's the least I could do…being here."
"I'm glad he's got you." Emily could see the redness in Gillian's cheeks and decided she'd let the woman off the hook this time. "I should go call my mom, let her know I'm here. I'll be right back."
Gillian nodded, thankful to be out from under Emily's observant eyes. As the girl left the room, Gillian scooted closer to Cal's bedside. "Cal, you gotta wake up. The office isn't the same without you." She paused, waiting hopefully for a sign that he had heard her but he stayed motionless. She closed her eyes, placing her hand over his, and whispered, "I'm not the same without you."
Surprised by Emily's voice, Gillian was a bit embarrassed to have not noticed the girl's return. Apparently, that wasn't the only thing she hadn't noticed. She quickly looked down to find her hand now enveloped in Cal's. "Cal…"
His eyes were wide open and his lips had curled up into a smile that spoke volumes. "Hi, love."
"Oh my God, I should go get the doctor…" Emily reached for the doorknob.
Gillian stopped her. "No, you stay with your father. I'll go get the doctor." As she hurried out into the hallway, she could feel her heart racing. Cal was awake. He was ok! But how much had he heard her say…?
The next while was a blur as various people came in and out of Cal's room. Gillian waited patiently outside the door as doctors, nurses, Emily, Zoe, and even people from the office stopped by to visit the newly awoken Cal. It was dark outside by the time the last of the visitors left. As Emily and Zoe came out of the room, Zoe glanced at Gillian but said nothing. She patted Emily on the back. "I'm gonna get the car."
"Ok, I'll be right behind you. I just…" Emily trailed off.
Zoe knew what she meant and nodded. "Ok, I'll see you in a bit."
Emily joined Gillian on the small bench outside her father's room. "You should go in to see him. He's been asking for you."
There were questions to be asked but Emily knew there were some things that should be left unsaid. She stood up. "I should get going."
"Goodnight, Emily." Gillian still hesitated as Emily left. She lifted her head to look at the closed door. What was she waiting for? He was awake. This was what she had been waiting for all week…
Her wavering was interrupted as the door opened. Caught off-guard, she simply stared speechless at the man who appeared through the crack. "What are you doing out here?"
"What are you doing out of bed?" She immediately ushered him back into the room and under his covers. "You just woke up from a coma. You shouldn't be getting out of bed, Cal."
"Oh, so you do realize I just woke up from a coma." The sarcasm and hurt in his voice were undeniable.
"I thought I'd let everyone see you first…"
"Admit it, you wouldn't have come in if I hadn't caught you sitting outside."
"You should get some rest."
"Hey!" He grabbed her hand as she turned to leave. "No, you don't get to just walk out of here like nothing happened. You're feeling guilty." He pointed at her face. "But…there's something else…"
She looked away even though she knew by doing so, she was just agreeing with his suggestion. "Of course I feel guilty, Cal. You were shot because of me."
"Well, I may have been out of commission all week but, last time I checked, you weren't the one who pulled the trigger on me. I don't see why you should feel guilty."
"Because he was aiming at me! Michael Cahey wanted to kill me! Not you."
"Right…but you didn't pull me in front of you. You didn't force me to take that bullet for you. I chose to." He frowned as if he couldn't understand why she was acting this way.
"Doesn't make me feel any better about what happened."
He narrowed his eyes at her. "No, there really is something else…"
"This is ridiculous. You need to get some rest."
He waited until she was at the door before saying, "I thought you said you missed me."
She turned abruptly to look at him. "Excuse me?"
He smiled. "I heard you loud and clear."
The heat returned to her cheeks. So he had heard her. "You pretended to be in a coma?"
"No, I just didn't wanna be rude and interrupt you so I thought I'd wait until you were done talking before…" He paused. "You're mad at me. You're mad because I'm awake."
"Of course I'm not!"
"Right, you're mad because I woke up when you thought I was still unconscious and couldn't hear what you were saying." When she gave no rebuttal, he continued. "I don't understand why you can't admit it. You said it, I assume, because you meant it. Whether I'm awake or not to hear it shouldn't make a difference."
"I can't believe this…" She shook her head, her hands on her hips.
He chuckled. "I'm flattered, love, I really am. It's good to know I'd be missed if I died."
She scrunched her face up in disapproval. "Cal! Not funny!"
"Right, right, no…ok, the man who just woke up from a coma shouldn't joke about death. Got it."
"And I didn't say I missed you."
"I heard you! You're not gonna stand there and lie to a deception detection expert, are you?"
"I didn't say I missed you!" She insisted before smiling. "I said I wasn't the same without you. There's a difference."
"That's a difference I'm willing to take." He laughed but quickly regretted it as a pang of pain shot through his torso. He winced. "Oh…not a good idea."
"What is it? Are you ok?" She rushed back to his side and instinctively placed a worried hand over where the bullet had entered his chest.
He held her hand down with his own. "I am now, love, I am now."