…Chapter 4...

Melissa walked into the emergency room and spotted Jeremy sitting on a chair. "Hey." she walked up to him. "What happened?"

"Well." he stood to his feet. "From what I've been hearing... Grandma had a severe stroke and she's slipped into a coma."

"Oh, my God."

Jeremy looked around. "Where's the munchkin?"

"A friend of mine is watching her."

"Oh." he nodded. "Do you want to go in to see Grandma?"

"Yeah." then Jeremy opened the door and both of them walked in.

"Melissa."

"Hey, Rachel." she nodded, getting closer to the hospital bed. "How is she?"

Rachel looked back at their grandma. "Right now, she's not feeling any pain. They pumped her full of morphine."

Melissa just nodded. "I'll get a hold of my mom in a few." she sat down in the other chair. "Has anyone called Aunt Lucy?"

"I've been getting her voice mail." Jeremy shrugged. "And our mom." he pointed at Rachel and himself. "Will be here, by morning."


"Mommy?" Vince heard, then jumped up from the couch, and went into Alana's room. "Hey." she raised her little eyebrow. "You're not my mommy."

"No." he chuckled. "I'm not."

"Where is she?"

"She had to go somewhere for a while, but she'll be back soon."

"Oh." Alana nodded. "I had so much fun today."

"Me too." he smiled. "Go back to sleep, and soon, your mommy will be home."

"Okay." she laid her head on the pillow. "Good night, Vince."

"Good night, Lana." he said, before shutting the door. As he walked back to the couch, his phone rang. He took it out of his pocket and saw 'Holly' flashing on the screen. Vince stared at it for a few seconds, then pressed the end button, to let it go to his voice mail. Taking a deep breath, he sat down on the couch to watch TV.


By the time Melissa walked into her apartment, it was after 2:45am, and she was extremely exhausted, all she wanted to do was sleep. After Melissa put her purse on the counter, she walked into the living room, and smiled. Alana was sleeping peacefully in Vince's arms and both of them looked adorable. A few minutes later, Melissa carefully picked up Alana and took her back into her room, covered her up, then went back into the living room.

Melissa wasn't sure if she should wake Vince up or not, but as she covered him with a blanket, he grabbed her arm, and pulled her on the couch with him. "Vince?" she whispered.

"Is your grandma okay?" he mumbled.

"No." she got more comfortable and laid her head on his chest. "She had a severe stroke and she's in a coma."

Vince wrapped both arms around her, then kissed her head. "I'm sorry, Babe... we'll go visit tomorrow."

"Uh, okay."

"Good night."

Melissa chuckled a little. "Um, good night, Vince." then she closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling - being in his arms.

...

That morning, both Vince and Melissa got woken up to someone pounding on the door. "Ugh!" she groaned.

"Who is that?" Vince asked, as he yawned.

"I don't know, but maybe they'll go away."

"Yeah." Vince chuckled, digging his face into her hair. "Good morning, Holly."

Melissa's eyes shot open and she backed up a little. "Who's Holly?"

"What?" Vince was confused.

"You said 'good morning, Holly'... who's Holly?"

"Uh." Vince started, then sighed. "Shit."

Melissa got up from the couch, still hearing the pounding on the door getting louder. "Maybe you should go."

Vince sat up. "I'm sorry."

Melissa stared at him for a couple of seconds, then went over to open the door, and raised her eyebrow. "Mom... Dad, hey."

Vince got up from the couch and walked over to them, extending his hand. "Hello, I'm Vince... a friend of Melissa's."

"Alan." her dad shook his hand. "And my wife Becky."

Vince let go, then shook her hand. "Nice to meet you."

"You too." Becky nodded, then let go.

"Um... Vince was just leaving."

"Sweetheart." Alan started. "I don't think that's a good idea. He should stay, because I think you're gonna need a friend right now."

"What do you mean, Dad?"

"Let's sit down." Becky suggested, then the four of them went into the living room.

"What's going on?" Melissa asked, as Vince sat down next to her.

"Honey." Becky started. "Grandma passed away."

Melissa's eyes widened. "What? When?"

"This morning at seven - thirty am." Alan said. "There was no brain activity, and we, as in your mother, Aunt Lucy, Aunt Gina, and I made the decision to take her off the machines."

Vince noticed that Melissa had tears rolling down her cheeks, so he scooted closer and held her hand, but she stared at it for a second before she laid her head on his chest, then he wrapped his arms around her. "So." Melissa sniffled. "When's the funeral?"

"In three days... Friday morning at ten am." Becky got up from the couch. "Where's Lana?"

"She's asleep in her room... Mom, I haven't told her anything about Grandma yet."

"Okay." Alan stood up. "We'll break the news to her gently."

"Thanks." Melissa nodded, the her parents went down the hallway into Alana's room. After she heard the door shut, she sat up. "Maybe." she looked away. "You should go."

"Let me explain." he moved her chin to make her look at him. "I didn't mean to call you Holly."

"Well, then who is she?"

"A girl that I had a thing for, but when we'd get together, something always got in the way or something would go wrong. Two months ago, I told her I wanted to have a commitment with her, but she went off to Paris for her internship instead." Vince grabbed Melissa's hand and laced his fingers with hers. "Look... being around you and Alana, it's the happiest I've been in a long time, so forgive me when I say that I'm extremely sorry, and I'll never do that again."

"Promise?"

"I promise."

"Okay." Melissa laid her head back on his chest. "You're forgiven."

"Thank you." he hugged her with both arms and gave her a kiss on the top of her head. "Do you want me to stay with you?"

"I'd like that." Melissa nodded.

"How 'bout I go get changed, grab some clothes, and I'll be right back?"

"Okay." she got up first, then Vince. "Thanks for keeping an eye on Lana last night." she said, opening the door.

"You're welcome." Vince leaned in and softly kissed Melissa on her lips, then rested his forehead on her. "I'll be right back."

"Okay." she smiled, then Vince walked out, and Melissa shut the door behind him. "Please don't break my heart." she whispered. "Especially Lana's."

"Mel?"

"Yeah, Dad?" she walked into Alana's room. "What's up?"

"Is Vince still here?"

"No, but he'll be back. He's going over to his place to change his clothes."

"Well, Lana." Becky started. "Was telling us all about him. How he found her at the park and brought her home safely, plus having fun at Coney Island."

"Yeah." Melissa smiled. "He's a good guy."

"Yes, he is, Mommy." Alana nodded.

"Did Grandma and Grandpa tell you about Nana?"

Alana nodded, then looked down. "Is Vince really coming back?"

"Yes, Baby Girl." Melissa nodded. "He'll be back here in no time."


Vince walked into his apartment, grabbed some clothes and took a five minute shower. When he was finished and dressed, he packed some stuff in a duffle bag, and walked out of his room.

"Where have you been?"

"Henry, it doesn't matter."

"Gary told me that you've been seeing some girl... so does that mean you'll leave Holly alone?"

Vince chuckled, shaking his head, then got into Henry's face. "That's exactly what it means... now, if you will excuse me, I have somewhere to be." and with that, Vince left the apartment, leaving Henry stunned.


Melissa was in the kitchen, looking in the fridge for something to eat. After a few minutes, she found bacon, eggs, and hash browns, then started cooking.

"Something smells good in here."

"You hungry, Dad?"

"As a matter of fact, I am."

"What's Mom doing?"

"Helping Lana get dressed."

"Oh." Melissa nodded, then turned her attention back to the bacon. "So, how long are you and Mom staying in town?"

"Until after the funeral, then we gotta get back to Rome. Your mother has an important meeting on Monday."

"Well, where were you, when you got the news about Grandma?"

"In Boston."

"Oh." Melissa nodded again. "Well then, it's good thing, you two were close."

"What are you cooking?" Becky asked, walking into the kitchen with Alana.

"Hash browns, eggs, and bacon."

"My favorite." Alana smiled, then all of a sudden, there was a knock on the door. "I got it." she ran over to it and opened the door. "Vince!" she hugged his leg. "You came back."

"I just had to change my clothes and grab some extra's."

As Vince shut the door, Alana looked up at him with a huge smile. "You're staying with us?"

"For a little bit... is that okay with you?"

"Uh-huh." she grabbed Vince's hand. "Come on, Mommy's making breakfast."

"Hello." Vince waved with his free hand as him and Alana sat at the table.

"Hello, again." Becky nodded.

Melissa looked over with a smile. "Breakfast is almost done and I'm glad you came back."

"Me too." he nodded and watched Melissa cook. He just couldn't keep his eyes off of her, thinking that she might be the one for him, and he was definitely going to make it up to Melissa, somehow.