A pink dot on the strip. One small, yet very obvious pink dot was on the pregnancy test that sat on the sink in the master bathroom. Motherhood was in her immediate future.
Fighting the urge to swear, Nina sank down on to the toilet seat and sighed; she was pregnant with Andy Brown's child. After several years, she was going to be a mother again.
Dr. Abbott had taken her to a drugstore in Denver and had helped her to buy a pregnancy test. He had also advised her to come into the office for a check-up in the next few days since he didn't end up going into the clinic during the last few days, due to his worry over Bright. She had taken them over a casserole and tried to console them, but they were just inconsolable and wanted to visit with Bright.
Delia was a teenager and Sam was maturing very fast, Nina reflected as she got up and strode into the bedroom where Andy was still asleep in bed. He looked so relaxed and peaceful.
"Oh Andy, what am I going to do?" Nina whispered as she watched her husband sleep.
Bright sighed and tried not to wince as Nurse Mitchell combed his wet hair out of his face.
"I don't see why I couldn't take a normal shower and have some privacy," Bright grumbled as he smoothed down the scrub pants he was wearing undeneath his gown; he was grateful that Nurse Mitchell had gotten him something to cover his legs for the meeting today.
Fortunately, instead of having to lie down, Bright was now able to sit on his hospital bed with only two IV's in one arm. The bandages on his wrists had been changed and he was feeling better than he did when he was first admitted. Thankfully, he had suffered no organ damage.
Nurse Mitchell sighed and put the brush down on the portable table, "The water would wreck your stitches and you're still on suicide watch," she replied in a patient tone as she moved to stand in front of him. "Hopefully this meeting with your parents will go well today and there can be some discussion about some out-patient treatment options."
"Yeah right, like my dad will let me come home," Bright replied in a doubtful tone. "I took a bunch of pills, washed them down with vodka, and slashed my wrists. All of Everwood will either want to see the local freak show or want my father to lock me away for life."
Nurse Mitchell knelt beside him, "This is exactly why Doctor Mitchell wants to talk to you alone first before you both meet with your parents," she said as she gave him a gentle, yet concerned look. "He's worried that you'll feel completely alone during this meeting."
Bright sighed as Nurse Mitchell walked over to the wheelchair in the corner of the room and wheeled it over to the bed. "Ready for your chariot ride?" Nurse Mitchell asked gently.
"Can I try walking today?" Bright asked in a tired voice; he stood up and immediately, a small wave of dizziness forced him to sit back down. "Hang on a sec, I don't feel good."
Nurse Mitchell frowned and watched as Bright laid back on the bed, "You need to start drinking more water," she said in a concerned tone as she hurried over to the sink, grabbed a plastic cup, and filled it with water. "You also need to get into some sort of physiotherapy."
Bright nodded and took a deep breath as he closed his eyes. Nurse Mitchell came back over to the bed with the cup of water and tapped his shoulder. Bright slowly opened his eyes.
"I'll give you some water," Nurse Mitchell said, offering the cup "Open your mouth."
Bright opened his mouth and immediately felt better as the water was poured down his throat. When the cup was empty, Bright allowed himself to be helped up and over to the wheelchair. He carefully sat down in it and silently put his feet on to the footholds.
"Bright, that little episode is exactly why you aren't allowed to go walking all over the hospital," Nurse Mitchell stated as she released the brake. "Give yourself some time."
Bright nodded and was silent as Nurse Mitchell threw the cup away and wheeled him out of the room. She was of the opinion that things would be fine, but Bright wasn't so sure.
A. Abbott: Everwood's a nice place, Bethany. You should come and visit me here.
Blue_Eyes: I was actually thinking about coming to school in Colorado in the fall. The nursing program here is all right, but UCLA is too big to enjoy and I need to get away for a while.
A. Abbott: When your summer school's done, you should come out to Everwood for a visit and check out Everwood Community College. They have some pretty good programs here.
Blue_Eyes: Might be a good idea...Oh, I have to go. My dad's wanting to talk to me.
Blue_Eyes is offline.
Amy sighed and stowed her phone back in the pocket of her jeans. She looked up and saw that her grandmother had put Lily in the highchair and was getting ready to feed her breakfast. Lily smiled at Amy and extended her arms, gurgling anxiously.
"You get bored with your friend from California already?" Edna asked as she opened a cupboard and took out a jar of peach baby food. "You were only texting for five minutes."
Amy shrugged, "My mind's not really on California right now," she replied in an offbeat tone as she stood up and moved over to the fridge to find something to eat. "I had a lot of fun visiting there and touring the UCLA campus, but I'm more worried about Bright right now."
"Don't focus on that," Edna replied in a blunt tone. "You should focus on enjoying the summer and preparing for school in the fall. Your parents will take care of your brother."
Before Amy could reply, there were footsteps and Amy saw her parents walk into the kitchen looking very concerned; her father was dressed in nice pants, a dress shirt, and a nice jacket while her mother was wearing loose pants and a nice long-sleeved shirt.
"Amy, your father and I are about ready to leave for Denver," Rose said as she walked over to Amy and gave her eldest daughter a hug. "Can you take care of Lily today since your grandmother is helping Doctor Brown at the clinic? We should be back by dinner time."
Amy nodded, "I wish we could all go," she replied. "I actually miss Bright a lot."
"Doctor Mitchell had to talk to Bright for hours for the past few days just to convince him to see your mother and I this morning," Harold stated in a semi-irritated tone as he walked over to the wall where the key rack was and removed the car keys from its peg. "He's very stubborn."
Rose sighed, "Bright's going through a very rough time right now, dear," she replied in a soothing tone as she gave her husband a look. "We should do as Doctor Mitchell suggested and not be judgmental, but be supportive and help Bright learn to like himself again."
"Maybe you're right, Rose," Harold replied in a resigned voice. "Are you ready to go?"
Rose nodded, "It's been too long since I've seen my son, Harold," she replied. "Let's go."
"We'll call when we're ready to leave Denver," Harold stated as he walked over to Rose.
As Harold left the kitchen, Rose moved over to Lily and gave her a small kiss, "Your father's going to need some time to figure out how to deal with this," she said in a worried voice as she moved towards the doorway. "I'm just glad that this didn't kill Bright, personally."
Amy was silent as her mother hurried from the room. "Grandma, I don't know how I'm going to be able to face Bright when he comes home," she said in a worried voice as Edna opened the jar of food. "I got up early this morning and on my way downstairs, I stopped by Bright's room to close his door. There was a journal on his bed and I couldn't help myself."
Her cheeks burning with shame, Amy reached into the pocket of her hoodie and pulled out a worn journal, "I kinda read it and he hasn't really been happy for a while," she stated.
"Amy, it wasn't a good idea to snoop through Bright's personal property," Edna stated in a gentle, yet firm tone as Amy pocketed the journal. "I've noticed his mood changes, though, and I was worried that he might try something like this sooner or later."
Amy nodded, "Now, while I'm feeding your sister, it would be a good idea to return that journal to where you found it," Edna stated firmly. "When you're done that, come back to the kitchen and we'll talk about how you can be a help to Bright when he comes home until I have to leave to help at the clinic. You and Lily should maybe go for a walk later today."
Not wanting to disobey her grandmother, Amy nodded and left the room in silence while Edna turned her attention to Lily and began to feed her food from the jar with a small spoon.
"Are you sure you're okay, Nina?" Andy asked as he watched Nina gather up his, Delia's and Sam's breakfast dishes and take them to the sink. "You look a little pale this morning."
Nina nodded, relieved that Sam and Delia were in their rooms getting ready for school and not at the table to ask questions about her health. "I'm all right, Andy," she replied in a nervous voice as she set the dishes in the sink. "Is Edna going to be helping you today?"
"I'm also hoping that Ephram will want to come and help out," Andy replied in a cheerful tone as he watched Nina fill the sink. "Maybe you should come by the clinic and get looked at."
Nina sighed and put some dish soap into the sink. "It's nothing that nine months won't cure," she replied in an uncertain voice as she looked at the counter. "You should get to work."
"Nine months?" Andy asked, his eyes widening as he suddenly rose from the table.
Nina nodded and gazed at Andy, "Can we talk about this later, please?" she asked in a distressed voice. "Maybe you should wake Ephram and have him come help you today."
"Ephram stayed the night at his and Bright's apartment," Andy replied in a worried voice, putting his arms around his terrified wife. "He's thinking of moving back home because Bright will more than likely stay with his parents whenever he's released from the hospital and the rent is a little tough for one person to cover. He's still thinking about it, though. It was nice of him to stay over for a little while, though."
Nina remained silent and placed her hands over Andy's, "I am so happy about your news and I will be there for you every step of the way," he said in a reassuring voice. "Okay?"
"I love you Andy Brown," Nina whispered, turning and hugging Andy with all her might.
With a sigh, Bright gazed up at the clock above Dr. Mitchell's bookshelf and then down at the immaculate floor of the office. Dr. Mitchell smiled at him from the other side of the desk.
"I can't do this," Bright said in a near-panicked tone. "I can't face my parents."
Dr. Mitchell sighed, "Bright, just take a deep breath and relax," he said in a gently concerned tone as he watched Bright tremble while seated in the wheelchair and looking at the floor.
"My dad's gonna explode when he sees me, I just know it," Bright replied in a heavily distressed tone as he gazed up at Dr. Mitchell. "I look like crap and I feel even worse. He's gonna tear a strip off of me."
Dr. Mitchell rested his hands under his chin and looked very thoughtful, but he remained silent, "I've always been ignored by my parents because they expected more from my sister," Bright continued on in a semi-despondent voice as he lifted his bandaged wrists and winced. "I was tired of being seen as the impenetrable doormat by everyone and I just wanted it to be over. I stole my dad's prescription pad right before the summer and forged his signature to get some anti-depressants. The recommended dose didn't help, so I took twice the amount every single day to try and make myself feel better."
Footsteps and a door opening suddenly caused Bright to fall silent, "You did what, Bright?" the shocked, unusually sharp voice of his father asked. "You forged my signature to get some anti-depressants?"
Bright turned his wheelchair to see his parents standing in the doorway with Nurse Mitchell. His mother looked shocked, Nurse Mitchell looked concerned, and his father looked exceptionally angry.
"Doctor Abbott, we weren't quite ready for you and your wife yet," Dr. Mitchell said, immediately rising from his desk to shake their hands and try to diffuse this tense situation. "Now, if you'll-"
Harold glared at Dr. Mitchell, "Don't you tell me what to do with my son!" Harold snapped, his voice rising along with his anger. "Bright Abbott, how could you do such an insanely stupid thing?"
"Harold!" Rose said in a shocked, horrified voice as she placed a hand on his shoulder. "We agreed—"
Dr. Mitchell gestured to the couch, "Doctor and Mrs. Abbott, why don't you sit down and-"
"Forget it!" Bright shouted, bolting to his feet and ignoring the sudden dizziness that hit him; he turned to Dr. Mitchell with an apologetic look on his face. "I'm sorry, Doctor Mitchell, I can't do this."
Swallowing hard, Bright slowly moved towards the door, grabbing on to every piece of furniture he could to keep himself from falling over. Harold grabbed his arm, but Bright pulled away unsteadily.
"Don't touch me!" Bright yelled anxiously, suddenly feeling as if he were going to throw up.
Recognizing the look of distress on Bright's face as one of panic, Rose pulled Harold away, "I am so SICK of EVERYONE treating me as a doormat and ignoring me otherwise," Bright yelled in an angry, but very weak voice. "Life's been hard enough and I just wanted to stop hurting for once! Ever since Colin died, my life has been a MESS and nobody cared about me; you were all just worried about Amy. I tried so hard to get your attention by getting better grades and being nice to people, but it didn't work. I was happy for a little while with Hannah, but she discarded me like trash. When Doctor Brown got married, I didn't even go to the reception because it made me sick to see everyone so happy when I wasn't."
With a sigh, Bright slowly moved out of the office, "Bright!" Rose said in alarmed voice as she followed after her son. "Harold, we need to go after him. Doctor Mitchell, we could use your help too."
Unaware that his parents, Nurse Mitchell, and Doctor Mitchell were following after him, Bright stormed down the hallway towards the elevator. All he wanted to do was go back to his room and sleep.
Unfortunately, Bright failed to notice the sign indicating a freshly mopped floor between him and the elevator. He suddenly found himself slipping and falling backwards towards the wet hospital floor.
The last thing Bright heard was a crack and a pop as he slipped into the realm of unconsciousness.