How long will this take? How much can I go through? My heart my soul aches. I don't know what to do. I bend but don't break. Somehow I get through cause I have you.
Aiden was sitting in the hard plastic chair beside Caroline's bed. Her dad was in the room to. Mr. Hawkins was sitting on the other side of the bed reading work emails. Aiden sighed and brushed the twelve year old girl's hair out of her eyes. Her father looked from his computer, "I need to go to the office. You'll tell her mother to call me if there's any change."
Aiden stood up and snapped, "Your daughter is dying! Work can take a back seat for once can't it?"
Caroline's dad walked out of the hospital room and slammed the door. Aiden paced the floor trying to calm down. Once he had his anger in check he took Caroline's hand again. A tear ran down his cheeks and landed on her blanket. Aiden whispered, "Caroline please open your eyes. I love you like a sister. If anything ever happened to you… I don't know what I would do…. Please come back to us."
Aiden then dissolved into sobs. The pain of Tyler's death and Caroline's accident was just too much for him to bear. Ally came into the room with Tyler Jr. she heard Aiden's quiet sobs and went over to him. Gently she put her arm around him, "Aiden its going to be ok. Everything is going to be ok. Caroline is going to wake up. She just has to."
Aiden sniffed and lifted his head from off the bed. Ally couldn't help but notice how beautiful her friend's brown eyes were. She gave Aiden a big hug and rested her head on his chest. Aiden sighed and leaned into the embrace. The two of them were silent for awhile then Aiden said, "I'm going to grab a cup of coffee. Did you want one?"
Ally nodded and kissed her friend's temple, "Aiden thank you. Could you take Tyler Jr. with you. He needs a little air."
Aiden simply nodded and took his nephew from Ally. Once Aiden was gone Ally settled into the hard plastic chair. She held Caroline's small bruised hand in her own and brushed her hair back from her face with the other once. Ally sighed softly, "Caroline you've got to wake up. Aiden isn't the same. He's really worried about you; we all are."
A nurse came in to check Caroline's vitals. She smiled hopefully at Ally, "I'm sorry miss but visiting hours are over except for family."
Ally nodded and kissed Caroline's bruised forehead, "Goodnight Caroline."
When Ally, Aiden, and Tyler Jr. got back to the apartment; Ally fed and bathed her son and then sat down in a rocking chair trying to get him to go to sleep. Aiden came into the bedroom, "Ally can I hold him?"
Ally nodded and handed her son to her friend, "I need to go change out of these clothes. I'll be right back. Thank you."
Aiden held his nephew close to him and rocked him back and forth. His mind wandered to how it felt when Ally hugged him. When her arms were around him it felt like she was holding him up. He felt safe when he was with her. He shook his head to rid his mind of those thoughts. There was no way in hell someone like Ally would ever fall for him.
Ally came back into the room and tapped Aiden on the shoulder, "Hey… are you ok? You seemed a little spaced out. I can't believe you got Tyler Jr. to go to sleep so fast. He has not fallen asleep that fast in three days."
Aiden handed Ally her son gave her a hug and then started to go to the guest bedroom to sleep. Ally pulled him back, "Stay with me."
Aiden nodded and lied down on the bed beside Ally.
If I have to crawl you crawl to. I stumble and I fall. Carry me through. The wonder of it all is you. See me through. Oh Lord where are you? Do not forget me here. I cry in silence. Can you not see my tears? When all have left me and hope has disappeared you find me here.
The next few days were really hard on everyone. The doctors were no longer sure Caroline was going to wake up. One afternoon Aiden was in the hospital room with her when she flat lined. He franticly pushed the call button for the nurse. Once they had brought her back Doctor Stone asked to speak to Caroline's parents again.
The doctor spoke in a quiet voice, "Caroline is very weak. We are lucky that we were able to bring her back as soon as we did. If she doesn't wake up in two days we might have to accept that she isn't going to. I'm very sorry."
When Ally and Aiden heard the news; Aiden punched the wall and screamed. Ally buried her face in her hands and sobbed uncontrollably. Aiden's anger melted completely when he saw the crying young woman in front of him. He took her hand softly, "Ally. Remember what you told me. Caroline has to wake up. Everything is… everything is going to be ok."
Ally threw her arms around her friend and cried until her eyes were dry. Once Ally had calmed down she and Aiden made their way back to Caroline's hospital room. Ally took one of Caroline's hands and Aiden brushed her blonde hair away from the young girl's face. Aiden held a bible in his hands. He began to read in a soft voice, "Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not brag. Love is not arrogant. Love does not act unbecomingly. Love does not seek its own. Love is not provoked. Love does not take into account wrong suffered. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Love rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things. Love never fails. Now faith, hope, and love abide these three. The greatest of these is love."
Ally smiled sadly at her friend. She then noticed her son was crying. She stood up out of her chair while Aiden was reading Caroline another verse. When she came back she noticed how tired Aiden was, "Aiden go home and get some sleep. I'll stay with her. Its all going to be ok."
Aiden didn't argue. He took Tyler Jr. in his arms and left the room after giving Caroline a kiss on the cheek and Ally a hug. Once Aiden was gone Ally sat down in his chair. She smiled at the young girl, "Caroline. I remember when I first met you. You were in your room drawing. I asked if I could come to your art show. You told me I wasn't a stranger I was your brother's girlfriend. I still am a stranger. I know you don't want a stranger to say this but… Caroline you are my sister. Please wake up. I l…"
Ally stopped talking when she heard a cough from the bed. She opened her eyes and stared at Caroline. The young girl coughed out, "You aren't a stranger. You are my sister…."
Ally blinked back tears and sprinted over to the bed. Caroline tried to sit up, "What happened to me? Where's Tyler?"
Ally gently pushed Caroline back down, "Lie still. I'll go get a doctor. I'm glad to see you awake."
Ally went into the hallway and hugged Caroline's mother, "She's awake! Caroline is awake!"
Caroline's mom hugged her, "Thank the Lord! Listen I need to go call her dad. I'll get her doctor on my way. Would you mind sitting with her just a little bit longer. What ever you do don't mention Tyler. Distract her if you have to."Ally nodded and went into Caroline's hospital room. The twelve year old girl was propped up with pillows. Her tired eyes were wide and a smile was on her face, "Hey Ally."
Ally went over to the young girl's bed, "Oh you had me scared. Don't you ever do something like that again."
Caroline blinked her eyes refocusing on Ally "What happened to me?"
Ally hugged the girl she though of as a sister, "Just a little accident. Now your mom and dad will be here in a bit…"
Caroline closed her eyes, "Where's Tyler and Aiden?"
Ally sighed, "I convinced them to head to school. I'll give them a call in a minute. Right now I just want you to rest. I'll just be right outside. Your mom and dad will be in to see you in a minute. Do you want me to be here when they are sweetie?"
Caroline had a strange feeling something was wrong. She gripped the young woman's hand, "Don't go. Please… I don't…."
Ally kissed Caroline's forehead, "Sshh…."
Caroline's parents entered the room a couple minutes later. Mrs. Hawkins flew to her daughters beside. Tears rolled down her face, "Baby girl. I'm so glad you are ok."
Mr. Hawkins didn't even look at his daughter. Caroline rested her cheek on her mother's chest, "I'm ok mom. Mom please don't cry."
Mrs. Hawkins pulled her daughter into an even closer hug, "You had the strength to come back to us. I love you. Tyler loves you to baby. Don't ever loose that love. Don't ever forget how much he loves you."
Caroline asked in a small voice, "Mom what are you talking about? You are scaring me. Where is Tyler?"
Mrs. Hawkins started to answer but Mr. Hawkins snapped, 'His dead! Do you have any idea how stupid of a stunt you pulled? Isn't it bad enough your mother and I have to bury Tyler? Did you even think about how it would make your mother and I feel if we lost you to? Caroline you stole money, you lied, you cut school; what am I supposed to think about all this? Well what do you have to say for yourself?"
Caroline didn't say anything. She tried to say her brother's name but all that came out was a mangled sob. Mrs. Hawkins stroked her daughter's hair and cradled her softly, "Its ok to cry sweetie. Sshh…"
Ally started to get out of her chair. She didn't want to interfere with this mother and daughter moment. Caroline opened her arms for Ally. The young woman climbed up onto the hospital bed and wrapped her arms around the two women. Mrs. Hawkins had become a mother figure in her life. She gently brushed Caroline's hair away from her face, "Caroline he loved you very much. He would be proud of what you did three days ago. He would be so proud of you."
Caroline sniffled, "You really think so?"
Ally nodded, "I don't think I know. I need to go call Aiden. I think a certain boy has missed his Aunt. Tyler Jr. hasn't stopped crying since you were in a coma sweetie."
When everything I was is lost. I have forgot. You have not. When I am lost you have not lost me. You have not lost me. If I have to crawl. You crawl to. I stumble and I fall carry me through. The wonder of it all is you. See me through.
An hour later Aiden came to the hospital. He entered Caroline's hospital room carrying a teddy bear, a cute nightgown and a huge bouquet of yellow roses. He went to sit in a chair but Caroline grabbed his hand. He saw the tear streaks on her face and wiped away one that she missed.
Caroline spoke up in a soft voice, "Life isn't fair. I tried so hard to save him."
Aiden nodded, "I know. If you need anything I'm here. If you need a shoulder to cry on, or just want to talk. I promised Tyler I'd take care of you. I fully intend to keep that promise. Its all going to be ok Caroline."
Three weeks after Caroline had been released from the hospital she spent the night at the apartment. She woke up in a cold sweat. Aiden was holding her hand, "Caroline… Sshh. It was only a nightmare. Come here. I've got you."
Caroline climbed into Aiden's lap, "I miss him. I miss him so much."
Aiden sighed and place a hand on her heart, "He's always with you. He's always right here. Do you think you can go back to sleep?"
Caroline sniffled, "No. I'm too afraid."
Aiden nodded and rubbed soothing circles on her back. Then he softly began to sing, "He lives in you. He lives in me. He watches over everything we see. Into the water. Into the truth. In your refection. He lives in you."
Caroline rested her head on Aiden's bare chest and asked sadly, "Do you really think Tyler is out there watching over us?"
Aiden rested his chin on top of Caroline's head, "I do. I'll stay until you fall asleep. I want you to relax. You need your strength. Now do you want your mom or dad to take you to therapy in the morning?"
Caroline shook her head and held Aiden's hand tighter; ever since Tyler's death she had become very attached to him, "Why can't you take me?"
Aiden ran a hand through his hair, "Caroline I have class in the morning. I'll come and pick you up from school though. Then we can go anywhere you want to go."
Caroline sighed, "Fine. I want mom to take me. Then can we go to the statue?"
Aiden smiled, "Course we can. Now get some sleep. I don't want you to be too tired to do your stretches in the morning."
Once Caroline was asleep Aiden went to Ally's room, "He first checked on Tyler Jr. after his nephew had been changed he turned and sat down on the edge of Ally's bed. He stared at her beautiful face. Even though her cheeks were tear stained she was still beautiful. He got a cool washcloth and dabbed at her cheeks. After awhile Aiden whispered, "Ally listen I know you probably won't believe this. I'm in love with you. I'm powerfully, painfully in love with you. I love the way you speak. I love the way you move. I love the way you think. I get excited every time I see you. You make me feel like I've never felt before in my life. You make me feel like a man."
Aiden heard Ally stir in her sleep and she moaned, "I love you to A…"
Before Ally could finish her sentence Caroline knocked on the door, "Aiden can I sleep in here with you? I had a bad dream."
Aiden nodded but frowned when he saw she wasn't using her crutches. He got up and carried her over to the bed, "Caroline what did the doctor tell you?"
Caroline answered sheepishly, "I'm supposed to keep weight off my legs. I know but…"
Aiden shook his head, "No buts. Get into bed and go to sleep."
Caroline snuggled underneath the covers and murmured, "You love her…"
Aiden spoke quietly so he wouldn't wake Ally, "Of course I love you Caroline."
Caroline shook her head, "No you love Ally. I see the way you look at her. It would help if you told her when she was awake though."
Aiden tucked the covers more comfortably around Caroline, "No I don't love her. She's just a friend. Now get some sleep. I'll be right outside on the couch if you need me. Goodnight Caroline."
Caroline answered sleepily, "Goodnight Aiden. Thank you."