Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 80

He doesn’t.
He pulls me to the other side of her doorway, far enough that I can’t watch and can barely hear what’s happening with my little girl, and he presses my back up against the wall, caging me in with his warm torso.
One arm snakes around my waist, and the other grips the back of my neck. He presses my face into his chest and buries his in the side of neck. Sealing us both away from the outside world. He sways us, humming an unrecognizable tune in a deep, low voice that both hurts and soothes me.
The sound of the shock being delivered startles me, and his arms grow tighter.
“We got her back.” A voice announces, and my knees give out. Law cradles me as we sink to the floor together.
“She’s okay, she’s okay, she’s okay, she’s okay,” he chants. I’m not sure if it’s more for himself or me. I want to argue that she’s not. That if her heart’s stopping, there’s nothing okay about her. But I keep that to myself.
One by one, people file from the room, and I scramble to my feet. As I round the corner of her doorway, the doctor stands in my path.
“What happened?”
His mouth tightens, and he shakes his head. “It happens sometimes after a trauma. The body can only take so much. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. We’re going to run some more tests.”
Law’s hand wraps around my shoulder, and I reach up to hold it in mine. “Is she going to be okay?”
“Only time will tell. I know it’s difficult, but we’re in a period of wait and see. Until her body begins to heal, we won’t know for certain.”
“Thank you.”
He nods, and we step back to let him pass.
Law and I take turns at her bedside, waiting for her to heal enough to wake up. I visit her friend Maggie on the other side of the ward when it’s Law’s turn. She made it through surgery and is doing well. Her injuries are less extensive but still severe. She also has the mental challenge of processing and moving forward from her mother’s death. I know from experience that it’ll take a long time.
I’m home showering three days later when Law calls to tell me the doctor said they can try to wake her from the coma soon. We’ve been cordial with one another, but the distance that separates us grows more palpable as Evelyn’s condition improves. I don’t have a moment of doubt that once she wakes, the role he’ll continue to play in our new future will be revealed.
Four days later, Evelyn opens her baby blue eyes. How I keep it together is a mystery. They remove the intubation tube, and I clutch my baby, mindful of her healing body, and tell her how happy I am to see her.
With the help of the doctor, we piece together the accident and what’s coming. She takes the news hard, losing Lori even harder, and we end up sedating her for the rest of the evening. I send Law home to shower and sleep in an actual bed, while I take over the cot.
The next morning, Nathan and Kiersten rotate in and out on their way to work. Neither stays very long, but both promise to return as soon as they can. Kiersten promises to bring movies and card games later in the week to keep Evelyn company so I can go home and get a proper night’s sleep. I just smile, because I don’t have the heart to tell her I’ll never sleep soundly again.
Every time I close my eyes, the image of Evelyn all broken and bloody overcomes my mind like a nasty infection. Every time the silence stretches, I hear Nathan’s voice delivering me the news no mother wants to hear. Night after night, I wake up to the sounds of my own screams ringing in my ears. The torture I feel is a small price to pay compared to the road Evelyn has ahead of her.
Law relieves me after my friends leave, so I can get some breakfast and drop into work. My boss has called twice in as many days, looking for an update on what I need and how much time I’ll be gone.
I don’t want to be away from Evelyn for long, though, so I skip work, telling myself I’ll call them later, and grab a breakfast sandwich from the coffee shop next door.
When I return, Law and Evelyn’s hushed voices float into the hall. I can’t make out the words, but they sound sweet conversing alone with one another. The thought of things that’ll never be send a dagger piercing through my heart.
Three weeks to the day of the accident, Evelyn’s released from the hospital. After several surgeries to fix the abdominal damage and her broken pelvis, she’s free to come home. She can’t get around by herself for another week, pending clearance from her surgeon. Even though her pelvis is quickly healing, he’s more concerned about her internal repairs.
She isn’t too miserable, though, because Law and Kiersten keep her company.
Because I’ve gone through much of our emergency stash with my previous injury, I need to return to work as soon as possible. At the start of her second week post–accident, I pick up extra shifts. My boss also orders me to weekly therapy, on top of my normal hours, to help me from suffering from PTSD.
Law stays at the hospital until she can go home, where he resumes looking after her while I work.
I miss her so much that my stomach cramps constantly, and I call and text her nonstop. I’m certain the two gossip about my crazy behavior, but I can’t help it. I’m terrified.
I’d come so close to losing her that every time I have to leave, it feels like it’s happening all over again.
I worked two weeks straight of five-on-two-off shifts before taking my five days off. Doing so provides me with a paycheck that makes up for lost wages, and sets me back on my usual schedule of working with Nathan. After everything, I
wasn’t sure if he wanted to remain my partner. What we went through the day of Evelyn’s accident completely wiped away any wrongdoings in my mind. Since I haven’t received notice of a transfer request, it appears he feels the same.