Alexa Chapter 23: Recovery

Alexa Chapter 23: Recovery

I woke up and my head was killing me. There was no light except for a faint one at the side of the bed. I could tell by the way I was propped up that this was not my bed. Then it came flooding back to me. The accident. I was just telling Jenny I loved her as the light turned green and I pulled out into traffic. Just as I was pulling into the intersection, a large truck hit the side of the car. I remember briefly being in an ambulance, but then nothing after that. I laid there and began taking inventory of my body. I attempted to take a deep breath and I could feel pain in the left side of my chest and a bit of difficulty as my lungs filled. I attempted to move my arms and fingers, and my left wrist was wrapped but I could move my fingers. I then moved on to the lower parts of my body. I was relieved when I could wiggle my toes. It was when I tried to move my legs I felt something heavy stopping my right one from moving and I got scarred. With a cracking voice, I said the first thing that came to my thoughts. “Jenny” The weight on legs lessened then I heard the most wonderful voice in the world almost scream in excitement.

“Lex! Oh my god!” The blonde tornado screeched as it moved its way from my legs and enveloped me in the greatest hug I have ever received. She was saying something to me, but I couldn’t understand her through the tears. All I know was that I just wanted to hold her in my arms. The memories came flooding back. I should have paid better attention. I mean how hard is it to miss a dump truck? But I was alive. That is all that mattered. That and the beautiful blonde who was going to squeeze me to death. I try and push her away but all it does is get her to begin kissing me all over. “Jenny, baby, please stop. For just a second.” Jenny slowly stops but as she gets part of the way she lays the most deep, loving kiss in the world on me. Finally, she backs away so I can take in her face. Her mascara may have run all over her face and she may have looked like she had not slept all night and her clothes and hair were disheveled but she was still the most beautiful person in the world.

I need to figure out what’s going on so I ask her to just answer a few questions. The basic question of where am I was the first. “You’re at Methodist.” My brain begins to slowly start to come online. Location has been determined. I next ask her what time is it that’s when the first shock came to me.

“It’s 6:40 in the morning. You have been out since the accident.” Before I can even react to that a nurse comes bursting into the room and checks the monitors and then begins checking me out. She looks at the monitors and adjusts the tube I now realize is sticking out of the left side of my chest. She swiped a thermometer across my forehead and reads it before beginning the questioning. “So how are we feeling today?” The nurse asks. I tell her I am fine with a bit of a headache but am shocked that I had been out as long as I have been. “Oh, that was expected after the blow to your head and other injuries. Your body needed rest.” The nurse told me. The nurse disappears for a moment and returns with a fresh pitcher of water for me and orders me to keep drinking. She told me the doctor would be around in about an hour and see if I can eat anything. Not less than a second after that she was out the door leaving me alone with Jenny. Jenny instantly wraps me in another hug. I tried to comfort her a bit, but when I went to wrap my left arm, I hit the tube sticking out of my chest and let out a scream from the pain. Jenny instantly let’s go of me and backs off.

“I’m so sorry babe I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m so sorry.” And the water works begin again, but this time It is my turn to give the hugs.

“Jenny, it’s alright. I just bumped my tube. You didn’t do anything. I’m so sorry if you thought you did something.” I told my soul mate as we once again held each other. After a few seconds of that I dive back into my questioning. “So, do you know what happened?”

Jenny gained her composure a bit and tried to sit back in the chair at the foot of the bed but she seemed a bit lost by doing it, like I was punishing her. I slid over a bit and motioned her to come up by me. You would have thought I told her that she had won the lottery. She crawled up next to me as I tried to rest my head on her. Jenny held me and began stroking my hair. “You and I were talking and you said you were going to Byerly’s to get something special for dinner. Then as you told me you loved me, I heard the accident. It was the worst thing I have ever heard in my life. Ever. Worse than when daddy told me about Abby. I thought I lost you. I raced out of the house and broke ever speeding record I could to come find you. The worst part is a I didn’t know where you were! I got lucky and found the accident site. Right by Ridgedale. I asked the policemen who were there where they sent you and I came racing here.”

I tried to comfort the weeping blonde once again but don’t know how to. So, I just squeezed her tighter. “What about my car?” I asked.

“Totaled. When I saw it, I thought you were dead! I guess they had to cut you out. If I could get by with hitting you I would. Don’t ever do that to me again!“ She screamed at me and then pulled me in tighter. The two of us just held each other and cried. I don’t know how long we were holding each other, but neither one of us wanted to let each other go. It wasn’t until the doctor came in the we finally lessened our embrace. As he entered the room he cleared his throat I could see Jenny instantly panicked and jump out of the bed. A smile came across the doctor’s face as he stood there. He was young and looked a bit tired. But the smile on his face seemed to comfort me.

“I can see you are feeling better Miss Quinn. “I’m Doctor Noah Curtis. I was the doctor on duty in the ER when you came in. I am glad to see you are awake. You gave us all a bit of a scare last night when you came in, but it seems like you have improved a bit.” He flashed a smart alek grin and came over and started to go over everything and checking me. I had so many questions, I didn’t even know where to begin. I decided that the direct approach was going to be the best route to finding out what happened, so I did and asked what my injuries were. “Well where do I begin? Starting from the top, you took a pretty nasty blow to the head, you have a concussion. This probably came from you hitting your head on the windshield. Moving down, you have two broken ribs on your left side, plus you had a collapsed lung. That is the reason for the tube sticking out of your side.” The smile from the doctor was very comforting and his upbeat attitude was infectious. The thought that I had scored again with doctor I had ‘lucked’ into. “That brings us to your wrist. You had some difficulty moving when you came in last night, but we are not sure if it is broken. So, for precautions, we splinted that. Other than that Ms. Quinn you are a very lucky young lady. It goes to show what wearing a seat belt and having good air bags can do.” Once again, the smile was back. I took in everything that he said and a feeling of relief came over me, but I think there was someone who took it even better. Jenny came over and attempted to hug me again as the doctor looked on, an amused look on his face,

I started to tear up and just grabbed on to Jenny again. I was going to be OK. Everything seemed like it was something I could deal with. I had a concussion when I was in ninth grade in football and I bruised my ribs once horsing around with my brothers. Knowing that my injuries will going to take time, but were easily manageable. I asked the question that was most important. ‘So, when am I going to get out of here doctor?” This is when I got the next shock of the day.

“The earliest will be tomorrow.”

“What?!” I screamed/asked. As I tried to protest, the doctor held up his hands and explained they wanted to keep me over one more night because they had trouble getting my lung to re-inflate and they were still concerned since I had been out so long. I was not happy with this, but someone else took it harder. “She has to be able to go home doctor. She can’t stay here I’ll take great care of her. I will do whatever it takes, but she needs to come home.”

“Miss, um Thompson, right?” The doctor stated “Your girlfriend has been through a terrible ordeal. That she is laying here talking to us is a testament to the safety changes in the new cars. If her car was ten-fifteen years old, we would have had a difficult conversation last night. We just want to make sure that there are no issues OK?” I could see Jenny was not OK with this, but she did nod her head and accepted the doctor’s prognosis. “I am going to be headed out shortly. I will be leaving some notes with the nurses. Do you feel up to eating something? He asked. I nodded my head. “Good we will start with a few softer things. No steak or pizza yet OK.” He said with a cheesy grin that Danny would have been proud of. “Now Doctor Rosen will be on later. He doesn’t have the charming personality I do, but listen to what he says. He will probably stop by after the MRI. Now before I go is there anything else I can do for you?”

That question was open ended and I knew there was one thing I needed to discuss with him, something I needed. “Um doctor, I don’t know if you noticed, but I am transitioning and I need to take my, um, I need to take my pill. How do I go about that?” I watched the doctor’s eyes go wide.

“You’re transgender? I would have never known. Wow” I smirked as the look of astonishment took over the doctor. He began stammering a bit. “Ah, yeah, um we should probably contact your doctor about that unless you have the pills with you?” I look over at Jenny. “I’ll have our roommate bring them by if that’s OK? They are kind of expensive and I don’t want to get in a fight with insurance over this.” Jenny tells the doctor who nods and asks for Debbie’s number. Jenny hands it over to the doctor as he leaves. On his way out, he tells me he will stop by this evening to check up on me. Finally, Jenny and I can relax, well as much as we can in the hospital. As Jenny attempted to crawl back up into the bed with me, something, suddenly came over her.

“Shit! I never called Debbie.” Jenny yelled out and grabbed her phone. After a few rings, Debbie answered and Jenny finally was able to talk to my counselor and her boss. “Debbie! It’s Jenny. Um I won’t be in today but the bigger thing is that you will be getting a phone call from a Doctor Curtis. Um, Lex was in an accident and is the hospital” I could hear Debs through the phone. I was a little shocked but warmed by Debbie’s concern. Jenny continued on “Yes she is fine now but she is going to be in here overnight again. And that’s why the doctor is calling you, about Lex’s prescription. Really? OK we are at Methodist, room 520. We’ll see you in a bit.” Jenny hung up and looked over at me. “Well Debs is on her way over right now. She will deal with the doctors.” As I look at Jenny, I realize something.

“If Debbie is coming I need to get cleaned up! I can’t see her looking like this!” My sudden panic causes Jenny to begin giggling and then tease me for being so girly. First, I blush but then get a bit of a wicked thought. “Well maybe you could give me a sponge bath babe?” I say Jenny leans forward and gives me another long kiss. Unlike the ones of fear and joy that I had received early in the morning, this is one I am more used to. A loving kiss that showed the deep feelings we have for one another. As we break Jenny slowly sits up and just flashed her million-watt smile at me “As much as I would love to do that, I may get into a bit of trouble.” Jenny tells me and she slowly gets up and moves off to one of the cabinets and finds a towel and wash cloth and disappears in to the bathroom for a moment only to return with a now damp cloth. She reaches for her purse and comes over and begins to clean up my face a bit. And is bad as I feel between the concussion and tube in my chest, I feel like I am in heaven as the love of my life slowly washes away yesterday’s make up. Jenny then reaches into her purse and begins lightly brushing my hair, now I am in heaven and the loving look Jenny flashes me lets me know all is going to be all right. Reaching back into her purse she produces her small makeup bag and applies some very light makeup to me and pronounces me beautiful just as my counselor walks in.

“I hope you two aren’t playing doctor in here” Debbie teases us as she the two of us sharing a smile. “Well Alexa, you look much better than I thought you would. I think I have said that before.” Debs says to me, before turning her attention to her summer intern, “But you look like hell Jenny. Go clean yourself up a bit so I can talk to the patient.” I recognized that as code to Jenny that this was to be a professional talk. As Jenny was headed to the bathroom, Debbie gave her one last direction. "And keep that faucet on so you are not eavesdropping!” The smirk Debbie gave Jenny caused my partner to stick her tongue out her boss and call her a spoilsport. As soon as we could hear the water running, Debbie grabbed the chair and moved up next to me. In a quiet voice, Debbie began the questioning. “So, Alexa, how are you feeling?” I try and begin going on about the various injuries and how I was recovering but Debbie just shook her head. “I saw your chart, one nice thing about being a MD I can do that. I am talking about you.” And with that I could feel the smile disappear and I broke down in tears.

“I am so scared. I could have died!” I say as I bury my head in the pillow a bit. Debbie seems to understand that but she can tell that there is more than that going on in my head and continues to try and prod me along to get me to open up. After expressing a few more concerns about my own health, Debbie finally begins to get frustrated with me. “You are holding back, what else is bothering you?” Debbie says to me firmly. I finally suck it up and express my deep feelings about this.

“I feel bad for what I am putting Jenny through” I say as the sobs become deeper and louder. Through the tears I can see a satisfied smirk come across Debbie’s face before she asks me one of the easiest questions I have ever had to answer. “Do you always do this, put Jenny feelings above your own?” I slowly nod. The smile is still there. It actually grows a bit bigger. She turns and calls for Jenny to come out of the bathroom. The love of my life returns somewhat refreshed but with a bit of a concern on her face. She walks over to my side and reaches down for my hand as the two of us just look at the smiling Debbie. Debbie looks at Jenny and then me and then says to Jenny, “You realize you have a lot of work ahead of you, young lady. I am putting you on leave effective immediately. Your new job is to take care of Ms. Quinn here. Do you understand that?” Jenny nodded her head and looked at me. Debbie went on, “And don’t give into her. You need to be strong and keep her in line. Do you understand that?” Jenny nodded again, but this time the expression on her face was much more serious. “I am going to leave you two alone, but I will be checking in on you two. Alexa, listen to Jenny, and one other thing. Here.” Debbie reached into her pocket and handed over a brown bottle to Jenny, who quickly dumps one pill into her hand and gave it to me. Before she left, in a completely uncharacteristic move, Debbie came over and lightly hugged me. “I’m glad you’re OK Alexa, if you need anything, you have my number, call. Both of you. I don’t know why I was so worried on the drive over. Once again the two of you proved you can handle anything.” We waved at Debbie as she walked out, leaving Jenny and I alone again.

“So, what were you two talking about?” Jenny said to me and I could feel the emotion come back to the surface and I broke down. Jenny instantly pulled me into her arms as I wailed away. I attempt to speak but, I was just babbling as Jenny tried to calm me through my tears. When I finally got to a point where my speech was coherent, I told her how scared I was looking back at it. How I could have died and what I must have put her through. Jenny eased me up and looked into my eyes and began crying. We held each other. Through her tears I could hear her say “When I saw that car I thought I lost you! Don’t ever do that me to again!” We continued to try and comfort each other but all we could do was cry. We were interrupted again, but this time by a nurse to take me down to X-Ray and then to CT, for a scan.

I could almost see fear in Jenny’s eyes as I was being helped into a wheel chair. She was acting like I was never going to see her again. I really didn’t want to leave her either, so I asked the nurse if she could at least walk along with us. As I was being wheeled from my room down to first floor, the only time Jenny let go of my hand was to get on the elevator. I knew I had to comfort her when we got alone. But then again, I was grateful for the attention from her as I always am. She was forced to let go of me as I went into to have the x-rays taken, but she was standing right there waiting for me. When I finally got out of CT she jumped out of her seat as I came out and I could see her expression change from the nervous/sad look to one of glee when I appeared.

The return to my room was welcome, but that feeling didn’t last long as we had visitors waiting for as when we returned. In one of the weirdest twists I have had to deal with yet, standing there were both my mother and Jenny’s father. While the two had met a few times, I wouldn’t have called the great friends. Now I felt like we were interrupting a huge conversation when I was being wheeled back towards my bed. My mother was instantly all over me, like only a mother can be. “Where were you? We were getting a bit nervous up here, wondering where you two went. Is everything okay?” As I attempted to make myself comfortable in the bed I notice the concerned looks not only on my mother’s face but Marty’s as well. I go onto explain to the two of them that I am fine, that I was just having some X-rays. That still doesn’t change the looks of concern but it does back them off a bit.

“Thank god it was just that.” My mother said. “You had us all worried last night, especially Jenny. I thought a couple of nurses were in fear for their lives by the way Jenny was acting” my mother said as she looked at my girlfriend with a big grin across her face. Jenny instantly got shy and Marty began laughing. I asked what she did, but the embarrassment was stopping her from talking, so her father answered for her.

“Alexa, let’s just say that my mother was proud of her.” Marty said with a big grin as he looked over at his daughter who told him to be quiet. My head was spinning a bit so I need to ask a few questions.

“You two were here last night?” I asked and the two just nodded their heads. I continued my questioning. “And Mary? Wait a second. How did you guys find out?” I asked.

Mom was the first to speak. “Well Katie called me to tell me. I raced up here as fast as I could and found everyone sitting in the waiting room. Well everyone but Jenny was sitting. Jenny looked like a football coach storming the sidelines.” Marty nodded his head in agreement, which earned him a slap on the arm from Jenny. For my part I was still trying to catch up with the roll call of visitors last night.

“Katie and Danny were here too? They are supposed to be up north. I don’t want them to be the reason for them missing their trip.” I said and began to instantly feel guilty about all this attention. “Where is Katie now? I ask.

Mom once again handle the speaking “They went back to the apartment as soon as you got moved up here and will be back later.” Confusion once again reigned supreme in my mind, I started to wonder if it was the concussion that was making me slow or just the craziness of the situation. “So, you didn’t bring them with this morning?” I asked. Marty handled the answer this time,

“Well since your mother and I were both here late, and I wouldn’t let her get a room I brought her back to the house. It was the least I could do Alexa. I put her in the spare room upstairs and had Marta there overnight in case your mom got hungry.” I was sitting there my mouth open trying to digest everything. My brain finally started to catch up and the tears began. “You didn’t have to stay all night Marty. You didn’t have to put mom up! But thanks.” The tears really began to flow and Jenny pulled me in. But it was the sight of Marty hovering over me that brought the rest of the room to tears,

“Alexa, why wouldn’t I be here for you? You have brought so much joy to Jenny and heck even myself. You are part of the family and I don’t let my family just sit. Remember that encounter with Trey at the party?” Marty asked me. I nodded my head and he went on “Well do you remember what I said to Rob? I said that Trey was messing with my girls. That means you too.” Marty hugged me lightly but I decided to make it a lot tighter. I thanked him over and over and I could hear the famous throat clearing by Marty which made me begin to giggle a bit. Jenny was a mess to my right and I could see my mother wiping away tears. As Marty let me go I reached for my mother and pulled her in “I’m sorry Mom” I said “I didn’t mean to put you through all of this. I let her go and she began admonishing me.

“Don’t tell me sorry over something you had no control of. And I worry about you crossing the street or going down stairs. It’s called being a mother. So, don’t apologize.” As she let go, Jenny instantly took her place in the hugs. I didn’t say anything to her. I think she knew how bad I felt, mostly because she whispered into my ears “You better not” which got me giggling. As we broke the hug, Jenny just smiled down at me and sat partially on the bed. I looked at my mother and noticed something in her hand. It took me a minute to realize what it was. It was the first time in my life I was happy to see a rosary. It gave me a chance to get out of this tear fest. I pointed at my mother and made a comment.

“I suppose you were wearing out the beads all night?” I said as I reached for a tissue to wipe my nose. The comment worked brilliantly because the look on my mother’s face changed from the mother who was worried about her child to being my mom.

“It wouldn’t hurt you to say a few Hail Mary’s young lady.” She said to me which got us all laughing. My mother sat down in the big chair in the corner and Marty moved to one corner. The four of us sat and chatted about everything then I remembered something. “Oh, jeez mom. We were supposed to take you shopping for a new car tomorrow.” My mother shot me a look as if I was nuts. “Alexa, don’t worry about me. My car can wait. You need to heal up.” But no matter what my mother said, I still felt bad that I had messed up her plans. I tried to look at Jenny and I was met with a smile and a shaking head. I knew exactly what she was thinking and it proved one other thing had survived the accident, our ability to communicate without speaking. Before she could kiss me, we were interrupted by a hospital worker bringing in my breakfast. The girl, who couldn’t have been no older than me was followed by a different nurse. “Good morning Miss Quinn, I am Angie and I will be your nurse for the day. I wanted to check on you and make sure you were doing OK. If you need anything, just push this button”, and she held up the buzzer tied around the arms of the bed and then she looked and the monitors. She moved over to the whiteboard on the wall and wrote her name. “Now no complaining about the breakfast. The doctor wants to see how you handle food. If it goes OK we will see what we can do for lunch.” With that she and the young girl were out the door.

I looked at the tray and saw a bowl of Cheerios and a banana. There was also a glass of orange juice sitting there, but it was the final item on the tray that turned up my nose. It looked like a pile of purple mushy blobs. It was stewed prunes, something I had always hated. My mother tells the story of when I was little, that I once spit the stewed prunes back out at my father as he fed them to me. I have often joked that was when he stopped liking me. As I made a face at the food, a voice from the past came to the forefront. “You will eat everything on your tray young lady and I don’t want to hear any complaining about the prunes. If the doctor approved it, it means he thinks you need them.” I tried to bring back my own past and tried to stare down my mother, but I was no match for the master. I reluctantly grabbed the dish and began to try and swallow them without tasting them. Jenny was laughing at me the whole time and Marty and Mom just stood there and watched me. When I was done a proud smile came to my mother’s face and I just shot her the evils. I couldn’t get my lover to stop laughing, despite my attempts to pinch her. Finally, I came up with a way to trump her.

“Marty, can you do me one favor?” I asked and he said anything. “Can you take Jenny home and at least get her to clean up if not take a nap? I know she wants to be here but she needs her rest too.” Marty agreed but Jenny did not. As she and I argued about it, I could hear my mom wishing Marty good luck with his daughter. After a bit, I was finally able to convince Jenny to go with her father. As Jenny broke the goodbye kiss I saw the expression on her face change from concern to mock indignation. “This is payback for laughing at you, isn’t it?” She asked and I just shrugged my shoulders and looked away. She leaned in and whispered. “You are lucky you are in a hospital or I would put you in one.” She told me with a laugh and then gave me another kiss. We just starred at each other as she left the room. I really didn’t want her to go, but I needed her to be strong and being here all day would drain her. It also gave me time to take a bit of a nap

I awoke about an hour later and found mom reading. I ty and adjust myself and I start to whine a bit about getting comfortable only to hear my mother begin to babble on about how lucky I am. That I had to listen to what the doctor said and other things that I tried to tune out. I knew she was just being a concerned mom, but I didn’t want to hear it right now. Just as I was about to tell her to be quiet, Katie and Danny came walking through the door “Thank god you guys are here.” I said out loud, earning me my second ‘look’ of the day from my mother. Danny started laughing as he could see my aggravation with my mother. Katie came over and gave me a hug and took the seat right next to the bed Jenny had been glued to. “Just relax Alexa, your mother is just concerned and scared. Getting all worked up over Char is not going to help you at all.” My big sister informed me before asking all the pertinent questions about my health. The whole time Danny was standing by her side and looking down on me. For the first time in my life I saw a look of concern come from my brother’s face. The tears started a bit again and this time I pulled Katie closer to me. Katie being the true big sister told me everything was alright and tried to calm me.

After Katie let me go, Danny came over to attempt a light hug. The water works began again, but I was able to pull myself out of it thanks to Danny. I could hear the ‘manly’ snort come from Danny, just like the one Marty had done earlier. I began to giggle and Danny asked me what was so funny. I began to tell him that he was and as he pulled away I began to laugh even harder at the look on his face. As he let go of me, I could see the concern for me on his face, but then he accidentally hit my tube and I screamed out. Panic took over my brother’s face. “Watch it meathead, that hurt.” I growled through gritted teeth. That is when he began laughing. “She’s fine” He announced, and I was.

A few minutes later, an older gentleman in a white lab coat came through the door. This must be Doctor Rosen that Doctor Curtis had told me about earlier. Katie and Danny quickly moved from the side of my bed to allow the physician to begin to look at me. “Good morning Miss Quinn, I am Doctor David Rosen and I am the doctor covering this floor today. OK, it says here it says you were in an auto accident and suffered a concussion and broken ribs along with a collapsed lung. All right let’s take a look here.” He stood up went over to the lighted panel on the wall and put up an x-ray of my chest. “Looks good, but I want to try a test.” He stated and brought over a device that looked like a breathalyzer with a little ball in it and he asked me to blow in it. “Very good” he said. “I think we can take that tube out. You’re taking good strong breaths.’ He started going over my chart some more and made note that I did not have a broken wrist and could remove the splint but were going to keep it wrapped up a bit longer. He then took a penlight to my eyes and checked my dilation. The light hurt a bit and I flinched, “Seems were still having a bit of an issue with the concussion. We are going to keep you here for another night and we would like to keep it a little dark in here.” With that he pointed at Angie to turn off the overhead lights.

Doctor Rosen began moving from my right side to my left side, I think to take out my tube, reading my chart the whole time. As he was rounding the foot of the bed he suddenly stopped. He looked at me and I could see an odd expression come over his face. It was a look of confusion and one that appeared to be anger or sadness. I couldn’t really figure it out. He then looks up at me and I could see a look of disgust come across his face. “Oh, you are one of them” he said to me. I was a little slow to comprehend what he was alluding to, but Katie was not. She instantly leapt form the side of the room towards the doctor. “One of what?” she asked, her anger brewing. It was then I figured out what he was implying. Before I could even open my mouth, Katie looked at me, “Quiet Alexa.” Turning back to the doctor she launched into him again. “One of what?” she repeated. I had seen this look before from her, but it usually was reserved for Adam.

“I see that ‘Ms. Quinn’ is one of those attention mongers saying they are really a woman. There is no such thing as transgender.” The doctor said with an arrogance I had only heard from the Lake Minnetonka crowd. I don’t think he was ready for the onslaught that was about to hit him.

‘So, people can’t think and feel a certain way? Is that what you are saying?” Katie asked the doctor. My mother was about to jump in but I could see Danny hold his hand up and turn to watch his girlfriend. He had a smile on him like a proud parent. I was in no mood to laugh.

“Young lady I am a doctor and scientist. I believe in the body, not the mind. I don’t quite understand why someone would need to change what they were born with the way some people do. I don’t believe in all of this plastic surgery and chemicals to make one look younger I suppose that ‘Ms. Quinn’ here has had augmentation.” I lost my cool at this point. “I have not had any sort of surgery. Why don’t you...” Before I could go on Katie told me to “shut up Alexa.” Before turning back towards the physician “I think you better leave and send another doctor in. I don’t want you touching my sister.” The doctor just sneered at Katie.

“I am a physician and have sworn an oath to treat the patient as presented to me. I might not agree with my patient’s decision, but I will treat them.” The condescending tone that the doctor uttered was making me angrier and I began to get very upset. That is when two new voices entered the discussion.

“You do not touch her!” Screamed Jenny who came rushing to my side and tried to calm me down. “Get him the fuck out of here!” She yelled. Once again, the doctor said he would not leave and that he was going to treat me. That was when the second new voice of the argument joined in.

The look of bewilderment crossed the man’s face. “What’s all the screaming about Katie?” Marty asked. Katie pointed at the doctor and begin to inform my girlfriend’s father of what was going on. “Stop, right there!” Marty yelled. “You will not touch one of my girls, doctor. As a matter of fact, I think you should leave this room immediately.” Marty stated in the authoritive voice that only I had only heard him use once. The doctor tried to stare him down, but unlike one of the nurses the doctor was used to dealing with, the doctor was in a losing battle. The anger in Marty’s voice shocked me. “I am not kidding doctor. I don’t use this kind of influence too often but do you recognize who I am?” The doctor shook his head and a wicked grin spread across Marty’s face. “Well my name is C. Martin Thompson and I happen to be on the Board of Trustees for this Hospital. I don’t think I have ever used my influence at this place, but I am not above it. As a matter of fact.” Marty stated and began moving to the phone that was sitting by my bed and she picked it up. I watched him the whole time even though Jenny was pulling me tight and I saw a wink come from my great protector. He acted like he was pressing a key, but he spoke into a dial tone. “I would like to speak with Doctor Lyle Miller please. This is Marty Thompson” I watched the doctor panic and move quickly out of the room, nearly bowling over Jenny’s grandmother in the process. As soon as he was gone, Mary, who had ridden over with her son, spoke.

“About time you stood up for the girls like that young man! I keep feeling I am the only one who does that” Mary said in classic Mary style, causing Marty to get a little redder in the face. Katie and Danny stood to the side trying to suppress their laughter. Finally, Katie spoke up.

“Way to go Mr. T. Thanks for coming in and dropping the hammer on that little turd.” Katie said as Danny began laughing at his girlfriend.

“Thank you for the vote of confidence Katie. I just don’t get how someone can be so narrow minded.” Marty said, causing Jenny to stop babying me for a second and giggle at her father. “You know what I meant Jenny. But I guess you are right. It took me awhile to open my mind up to all this, I admit I didn’t know any better. But still that son of a bitch had no right to say that to you Alexa.” Marty said as his face continued to get redder. The interesting thing was suddenly, he stopped. I could see something had come over him. Marty looked at me one more time and spun on his heals and shot out the door. I began to get a bit nervous that he might do something rash. That wasn’t Marty, was it? Mary tried to diffuse the situation.

“You two are very lucky to have someone like him who cares so much about you two.”

Mary’s words convinced me that I needed to do something. I saw my brother standing there. “Danny go see if you can track him down. Make sure nothing bad happens.” He smiled and nodded as he headed for the door. Just before I stopped him, he turned around and looked back. “And Danny. No physical stuff OK?” Danny just smiled at my request before uttering “I’ll try “and moved out into the hall to see if he could find Marty.

Through all this commotion, one person had stayed quiet. I looked over at my mother who had been sitting in that large chair the whole time and I noticed she began to weep. “Mom?” I asked and she got up and came over to me and wrapped me up. She kept uttering that she was so sorry. I looked over at Jenny who put her arm around my mother and attempted to make it a group hug. My mother kept repeating “I’m sorry that I couldn’t protect you like these people do. I feel terrible that I never did that for you.” I began weeping at my mother’s comments and pulled her tighter but I knew I had to be the one to comfort her.

“Mom it’s OK. You are here now. It’s all in the past. You’ve have been nothing but supportive since the funeral. I love you mom.” That seemed to get her feeling a bit better. I looked around and could see that Mary and even Katie were tearing up over this exchange. I didn’t even bother to look at Jenny because I knew she was a mess. I reached over for her and soon had the two most important women in my life in my arms. Just as we began to get ourselves under control, Danny comes bursting in the room.

‘I couldn’t find Marty… What the hell is going on in here? I leave for a few minutes and everyone starts crying like babies.” Danny says causing Jenny and I to begin giggling. My mother and Mary start to admonish ‘Daniel’ and causes his girlfriend to lightly punch him in the stomach before giving him a big kiss and a hug. As mom moves off and Katie is still hugging him, Danny and I lock eyes. We share a smile that in the past would have never have happened but now has become as common as the sunrise. I pull Jenny in closer as I mouth a thanks to the meathead.

Marty came in a minute later, with a doctor trailing behind. The doctor looked familiar and Marty had a grin across his face. Mary was the first to acknowledge his presence. ‘Peter” Mary said with a look of surprise on her face. Jenny let go of me long enough to look up. “Doctor Fisher, what are you doing here?” Jenny asked sounding just as astonished as her grandmother. The middle-aged doctor began laughing a bit. “Hello Mary, Jennifer. I was getting ready to head out for the weekend when this lout comes strolling in my office and demanding that I come up here. Hello Alexa, we met at the party back on Memorial weekend. Let’s take a look at that tube. At first, I was a bit nervous but the large grins on the three Thompson’s faces let me know I was going to be alright. My mother began asking Marty who this doctor was. I couldn’t hear Marty’s explanation but I did see my mother’s eyes go wide. She must have been impressed. Not only her but so was my nurse, Angie, who had come back in to check on me after the commotion. When she saw the doctor examining my chest I thought she was going to snap to attention like a soldier as she recognized the doctor. ‘Peter’ gave her orders and she practically sprinted out of the room to get the instruments he asked for.

Marty stood by and looked over at the doctor. ‘So, can you handle it Pete?” Marty asked. Peter began laughing again. “Let’s see I’ve done two quadruple bypasses and an angioplasty this week, I think I can handle pulling out a chest tube.” Doctor Fisher informed his friend before turning to me. “Now Alexa, this might hurt a bit, but I am going to numb it up a bit and then we will pull it out.” I felt comforted by his bedside manner. I don’t know if it was his normal disposition or if it was because he was a friend of the family but I had calmed. Danny and Katie came over and began talking to me and Jen while I watched my mother and Mary get into a bit of a discussion over who should have the chair and Marty and Peter having a discussion that included lots of laughs. I felt more at ease than I had since I woke up a few hours ago. My ‘family’ had really come through for me. Soon I was numbed enough to where Doctor Fisher slowly eased the tube out of my chest right there at my bed and with the help of Angie closed the wound. “Not bad for a thoracic surgeon if I do say so myself. Now Alexa, don’t be stubborn and listen to the nurses and doctors. I know Doctor Curtis a bit and I will be talking to him later when he comes back on. If it hurts, ask for something but don’t go crazy. Pain is good because it lets you know things are working right, but ignoring it can slow recovery. If you need me, have Angie here page me.” Doctor Fisher told me before pointing over his shoulder at Marty “Or have the goon over there call me. He has every number I have.” Jenny and I giggled at that before Doctor Fisher moved off. After giving Angie orders, he talked with my mother, Mary and Marty who thanked Peter for everything. A little more good-natured ribbing went on between Marty and Peter but I could see a look of relief on Marty’s face.

The rest of the morning went about the same. Danny and Katie took off for the cabin they were heading up to for the weekend. Mostly because I told them to but the other three wouldn’t leave. Following my lunch at about 11:30 I announced I was exhausted and I needed a nap. I watched my mother, Mary and Marty begin to leave. Jenny didn’t move, not that I expected her to. She just asked the three of them to bring something back for her and as soon as they were out the door, Jenny crawled onto bed with me. I tried to tell her that the doctors and nurses would think much of that. “I don’t care what they say. I have to make sure you heal in my own way. “Jenny told me is she cuddled up next to me. And as much as the injuries hurt, If I had to be in a hospital there was nowhere else I would rather be than curled up with the most important person in my life. Soon we drifted off to sleep holding each other.

I awoke to the smell of French fries. Jenny was still in bed with me, but munching away on some fries and what looked like a sandwich. She hadn’t noticed I was a wake yet, but I let my presence be known as she was about to bring another of the tasty morsels to her mouth, I leaned forward and intercepted it with my mouth. God did that taste good. “Hey young lady! I don’t think the doctor approved that” she said giggling at me. I reached up and grabbed another fry, but this time I did not eat it, rather I let half of if it stick out of my mouth as an invitation to my soulmate, one which we she readily accepted soon our little sharing of food turned into something a bit more loving. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get much further.

‘Enough of that you two” Marty said. “You are in a hospital.” A smile was on his face but we understood what he was saying. We shared one more kiss before settling back into one another. Even though I was laying in pain because of my trying to play bumper cars with a dump truck, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to be. I looked over and saw Marty studying some files that had somehow wound up here. I saw my mother and the woman who has become closer than any of my grandparents playing some card game. Then there was the most special thing in the world to me, laying there stuffing French Fries in her face. I couldn’t feel more love than I did right at that moment. I just nuzzled back into my lover and tried to beg for French Fries. “No. You had your limit until the doctor approves it.” Jenny said as she pulled the container to the side, out of my reach. And as much as I tried to pout there was no way she was going to give in.

As we lay there, the calm of the moment was interrupted my Mary yelling out “Gin” and my mother groaning. “I hope you’re not playing for money Charlotte, mom is a pretty good player.” Marty observed as he looked over his glasses at the two. I couldn’t hold back and began laughing. “Watch her mom, she cheats.” I call out.

“You be quiet young lady. I do not cheat.” Mary told me, shooting me her usual look when I get on her case. Marty begins laughing at his mother while Jenny becomes indignant. “You cheat grandma? No wonder I never win.” My mother knows I am just stirring the pot and just shakes her head at me. Mary began in on me again. “See what you started. Mouthy little Mick.” The laughter in the room grew even louder and the warmth amongst us felt even better. I couldn’t stop laughing, but the laughing caused a new set of problems.

“You be quiet Alexa. I do not cheat. I am just very good.” Mary said. My mother looked at me mockingly while the other two members of the Thompson family began laughing. Marty was mostly laughing at the way Mary and I egg each other on while my mother was laughing at the situation. It was during this little laugh fest that the reason I was here became apparent. “Oww! I whimpered as I reached for my side. The food container Jenny was holding instantly hit the floor as she leaned over to see what I was complaining about. The other three suddenly stopped what they were doing and came rushing to my side. I didn’t see it, but as I was crying, Jenny pushed the button and soon Angie was parting my older visitors and seeing what I needed. My soulmate instantly spoke up.

“She began laughing and then reached for her side.” Jenny explained to my nurse who simply nodded and moved off for a second before returning with a needle and a small vial. She pulled back the plunger and injected it into the catheter that was part of the IV in my arm. It took a minute but soon the pain I was experiencing was gone. Jenny began to wrap her arms around me again. Angie smiled at Jenny and told her that Jenny’s ‘visiting’ method wasn’t exactly an approved method. Jenny just smiled at her and said. “I will take care of my girlfriend in the best way I know how to and that is by holding her and loving her.” Angie chuckled at Jenny and said not to worry about it but to be careful of some of the overnight nurses. Angie made her way out and Jenny wrapped her arms tighter around me while my mother and Mary decided they were going to go down and get some coffee. I tried to tell them they didn’t need to stick around all day and they both turned around and stated at my opinion didn’t matter. They grabbed their purses and moved off giggling away. It was great seeing the two of them connecting so well.

Marty went back over to where he was going over his things and gathered them up. Coming back over to my bed, he kissed Jenny on the forehead and then, shockingly, me before saying he was heading over to his office for a little bit but that he would be back. I spoke up “Marty you don’t need to come back, you have done too much already, hanging here all day, being here all night. Go home. Take your mother and my mother and go back to the lake. I don’t deserve all this. I have Jenny and I’ll be fine.” Marty leaned over and kissed me on the head again. “Be quiet will you. We all care a lot about you Alexa, I care a lot about you. Listen to Jenny. I’ll see you two later. Call if you need anything.” With that Marty was out the door. I saw a smile come across Jenny’s face.

“See I told you he would come around.” Jenny said with a giggle and a kiss.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of Jenny curled up next to me reading a book while I mindlessly flipped channels on the television. Mary and my mom tried to get me interested in joining them in cards but my head wasn’t really functioning well enough to play. It was a quiet afternoon. And like I tried to do with Marty, I told them they didn’t have to hang out all day with me. I knew there was no way my mother was leaving, but the comment from Mary was pure Mary. “You know for someone laying there in a hospital bed, you sure are ungrateful.” Mary said before a smile came across her face. “Alexa, I would be here for any one of my grandchildren just like I am for you. So, you just stop this martyr syndrome and shut up.” I almost hung my head, almost. I looked up at Mary. “You came close that time.” I told her which only earned me a light slap on my feet from my girlfriend’s grandmother “Smart alek” She said with a smirk. My mom had a funny smile on her face over this exchange, one that brought a smile to my face.

It was nearing dinner time the next time I saw Angie. “Well Alexa. I have talked with both Dr. Curtis and Dr. Fisher and they both think you can eat normal food. They seem happy with everything.” I kind of groaned at the prospect of what dinner would be like. After I ate lunch, I had it in the back of my head to send Jenny out to get me some real food. But before I got too far in my complaining, Angie handed over a menu. ‘One of the new things that hospitals have done is try and make the food better. We don’t make you suffer through some of that tasteless stuff. And I pulled a few strings, well Dr. Fisher did, and you two are both getting dinner, mostly because Dr. Fisher said that there was no way Jenny was leaving this room.” I laughed out loud at that only to be lightly elbowed in my non-broken ribs. It was funny to see the smile of acknowledgement from Angie over me and Jenny. Angie had been witness throughout the day to how the two of us operate and the love we shared. She got to see Jenny be beyond concerned at some points. And she wasn’t frightened off by it. “I’ll give you guys a few minutes to look it over as I check all your vitals.” And Angie began making her notations on her tablet and took my temperature. After deciding on a stir fry meal, Angie leaves us.

It was just as Jenny and I began settling back in that through the door Marty came, carrying a large Nordstrom bag. Jenny started to get a bit excited but Marty recognized the look on Jenny’s face. “Don’t get all crazy you two, I did not go shopping I just have a few of your things.” He told us as he handed the bag to Jenny. “I had Julie go over to your apartment and she said there a million of these bags around so she figured one less wouldn’t hurt” Marty said with a frown, obviously trying to get a rise out of us. For once I got a bit embarrassed by a Thompson teasing us. “Ha Ha, very funny daddy” Jenny said as she reached in and pulled out her laptop and a tooth brush. Also, inside were some clothes for the both of us. But also in the bag was my purse. “I stopped by the Minnetonka police station to pick up the things you had in your car. Your laptop was totally smashed Alexa.” A look of panic came over my face as I thought about everything important that was stored on there. Marty saw the fear I had and tried to calm me. “Don’t worry Alexa. I took it to our IT department and I am having them transfer everything over onto a new Surface. They say it will be done today and I can pick it up sometime this weekend.” A Surface? My laptop was this cheap piece of junk that I scrapped together the money for and bought through the school with a discount. “I can’t afford a Surface Marty!” I whined but the smile that was flashed at me and the wave told me I didn’t have to worry about it. My mother had come over to the bed and was somewhat stunned by the exchange. It was then she piped up.

“Aren’t you going to thank Marty for that?” She said. Mom was back to being herself and I felt like a little kid who had just gotten a cookie from one of their neighbors. “Thanks Marty. You did not have to do that. I am going to pay for that computer.” Once again, he tried to deflect it. “We’ll figure out something just like the car.” He told me before going on. “Speaking of which. the car is totaled. I have already called your insurance agent and they sent an inspector out to look at it. I also have done two other things. I have put Stan on the hunt to find you a replacement and I called Bart Hamilton to get rolling on the trucking company that hit you.” I was in shock over all the Marty had accomplished. I couldn’t believe he would go this far for me and I began crying. Jenny tried to comfort me, but Marty came over and pulled me in. I was babbling on, thanking him for all he had done and that he didn’t need to do all that. Marty tried to comfort me in a fatherly way. “Alexa, this is what I do for my family. Like I told you, you are part of this family and I will protect you with everything I have.” Marty let go of me and tried to look me in the eye. He raised my chin with his forefinger and I could see tears forming in his eyes. “Alexa like I keep trying to tell you, you have brought so much to this family. You have not only brought joy and love to Jenny but you have helped me see there is more to life than the Company. Buying you some trinkets and helping you with the legal stuff is nothing.” And he kissed me on the forehead once again. I couldn’t help myself and hugged him again.

It was at about this time Doctor Curtis came walking into the room. He stood back and watched the exchange between Marty and me. As Marty stood up he caught the doctor out of the corner of his eye. “Who are you? Marty asked the young physician. Doctor Curtis introduced himself and as Marty if he was Mr. Quinn. Marty got uncharacteristically bashful at that point. He looked at me with a smile on his face and then up at Jenny. The two of us cuddled in closer together as Marty turned back towards the doctor. “No, I am Marty Thompson, Jennifer’s father. Kind of Alexa’s surrogate father.” Jenny and I both stared at Marty, our mouths agape before looking at each other and sharing a quick hug. I whispered in her ear not to say it which earned me a giggle. After Marty quizzed Doctor Curtis for a moment, the doctor made his way to my left side.

“OK Alexa, I want to take a look at those ribs. Can you move your gown over a bit?” Marty took that as a cue to step out into the hallway and my mother and Jenny’s grandmother followed him out. Jenny reluctantly got out of the bed and pulled up the chair that had been the recent perch of my mother. I rolled a bit and lifted my gown to the side so the doctor could examine my side. This was the first time I had looked at it. Mostly because I didn’t want to see it. The size of the bruise on my side scared me. I looked over at Jenny and the compassion that was always there was even stronger. I winced as the doctor poked around a bit and I could see Jenny wince too. That she was feeling that much empathy for me was the most wonderful feeling in the world. As the doctor continued to poke around I could see Jenny’s expression change a bit. She seemed almost upset that the young doctor was even touching me. I tried to get her attention but she was focused on the doctor. Soon he was finished with his examination and he told me I could cover back up. He then took out the penlight and checked my pupils. I seemed to be doing much better as last time because it did not hurt as much. “Well things look great Alexa. I do want to see you spend another night here but I see no reason you won’t be going home tomorrow.”

Smiles spread across both Jenny’s face and mine. We only had to suffer one more night of this. “Thank you doctor for everything. For saving my life last night, for keeping an eye on me. I don’t know how to repay you for everything.” I started to blubber a bit, but the doctor waved me off.

“No need to thank me, this is what I went to 7 years of school for. To see you walk out of here in one piece is all the thanks I need. By the way, how do you know Dr. Fisher?” I pointed over at Jenny who explained he was a friend of the family’s. “Well that’s pretty impressive to get him to come up. And I am sorry for Dr. Rosen. I heard a bit about that run in from the nurses. He is a closed minded old doctor and this wasn’t the first time he had some, issues shall we say with patients. I think what happened today might have been the last straw for him. But to replace him with Dr. Fisher is like replacing my old Civic with a Ferrari.” He paused for effect before going on with my schedule for tomorrow. “We’ll wheel you down for another CT and set of chest pictures. That is mostly just to confirm that you are ready. We’ll probably do that about 9 o’clock and after the piles of paperwork, we will get you on your way. So just relax and remember if you need anything, hit the buzzer. I will be around all night so if there is anything major I will be right up here. But hopefully I won’t see you until the morning.” And with that he was out the door but not before being stopped by Marty once again. I saw Marty reach into his coat and hand the doctor a business card. They shook hands and Marty joined Mary and my mother at the foot of the bed.

“I am going to be fine, why don’t you three go home and come back in the morning” I said to them and this time they agreed with me. “We are going to go get something to eat and then head back to the house. If you two need anything, call.” Marty informed us before he came over and hugged each of us good bye to be followed by Mary in the hugs. My mother was the last to repeat this task. After hugging Jenny a little longer than she had in the past, mom turned her attention to me. She kissed me on the cheek as she tried to hug the life out of me. “I am so glad you are going to be alright. Rest up and listen to Jenny.” She told me before turning to Jenny. “Take care of our girl, Jenny. We will see you two in the morning.” And with that the three of them were out the door. I laid back into my pillow are breathed a sigh of relief. I had felt like I had been on stage all day but now it was just Jenny and me. After we ate the meal that was surprisingly pretty good, Jenny and I kicked back and watched a movie on Netflix. I drifted away with Jenny holding me. Her love was the best medicine I could ever receive.

The next morning, I was up with the sun, but Jenny was still sleeping. Holding onto me like a teddy bear. I really am not sure who this whole stay has been harder on, me or Jenny. Sure, I was the one with the broken ribs and concussion, but Jenny seemed to feel everything I was. Like last night, when Dr. Curtis was checking my side, I saw her wince as I did. The few times I got worried over my headaches she was right there rubbing my temples trying to make it go away. I have caught her several times just leaning over me, watching when I had woken up from dozing off. While I know she is concerned, it is a little unnerving to have someone hovering over you when you wake up. I tried to slowly slip out from under Jenny’s grip and make my way over to the bathroom, but the arm clamped down on me, “Where are you going?” my beautiful lover said to me groggily. I tried to explain I was going to the bathroom. Instantly she jumped out of bed “Let me help you up” she said almost in a panic.

“Jenny, I am fine. I can make the short walk to the bathroom on my own.” That did not stop her though. She took me by the waist and slowly helped me to the bathroom while I drug my IV along. When we got to the door I looked at her “I think I can handle it from here” I told her but she was still reluctant to let me go in by myself. After taking care of my morning needs and brushing me teeth. I looked into the mirror. I looked like hell. I had not showered since Thursday morning; my hair was all over the place and my face look drawn. I cleaned myself up a bit, but this did little to put me in a good mood and when I went back out Jenny noticed my expression and instantly began panicking. “Are you alright Lex? Did something happen? Did something not happen?” She was all over the place. I tried to be a smart ass and say something like it was still working so your safe but that got her wound up. “We are not going through that discussion again” Jenny said through gritted teeth. I tried to tell her I was just joking around, trying to get her to lighten up. “Well it’s not funny! I have been sick about the talk of it and now you are acting this way! UGH!” As I got back in the bed with Jenny’s assistance, I tried to pull her back in with me. At first, she pouted and tried to fight me, but soon she relented and I tried to make it up to her by showering her with kisses and begging for forgiveness. “You are forgiven” she told me “but you need to listen to me. I will be in charge for the next few weeks so don’t get any wild thoughts in that pretty little head of yours.” The lecture was half stern and half joking. The salute I gave Jenny was all joking and earned a round of slaps and kisses. This was how my nurse for the morning found us.

”Well, good morning. I didn’t expect to see a brawl to start my shift.” The middle-aged woman said with a smile. “My name is Wendy and I will be your nurse for this part of the day. So Alexa, I was going to ask how your feeling today but it seems you are doing OK.” I had to get back at Jenny so I said something about having more bruises than when I got up this morning and tuned and looked at Jenny who stuck her tongue out at me and I returned the gesture. Wendy took my vitals and told me it was going to be awhile for my x-rays and that breakfast would be up shortly. I tried to talk Jenny into going down and getting us some coffee. “I’m not going down there looking like this! You can wait for your breakfast.: She told me. Grabbing her purse, she marched into the bathroom to try and freshen up a bit. She soon returned and a smile came to my face once again as the beautiful visage came walking through the door. I begged for a kiss which after an eye roll I finally got Jenny to. It wasn’t long before our breakfast arrived and I was eating like crazy. I had fought my appetite last night but this morning I was famished. Jenny and I even got into a minor tiff as she tried to give me hers. “You have to eat too!” I told her and she told me to be quiet, that my strength was more important. I finally got her to eat the toast they sent up and some of the sausage. She was not too keen on the eggs but I ate them more than willingly.

The bad part of the breakfast was that now we were in a holding pattern. My tests were not until nine o’clock and being trapped in this room for the last few days was getting on my nerves. If I didn’t have Jenny practically sitting on me I would have been pacing like a caged animal. She tried to get me to relax and read something but that still proved too difficult to concentrate on. There was nothing on TV except for the news, cartoons and old TV shows, none of which interested me. I kind of told Jenny to leave me alone at one point but then spent the next ten minutes apologizing to her. A little before nine, Wendy finally came in with an orderly. The two helped me into the wheelchair while my nervous partner looked on, fretting over everything. Getting out of the room proved to be better than I thought. To see strangers was wonderful, to hear babies crying was exhilarating. Just to be moving was invigorating. The bad part was we once again went into a bit of a holding pattern when we made it to radiology but after about an hour or so we were back in my room waiting for the results. While we were gone our two respective parents showed up and had a tray with four cups of coffee on them. You would have thought I was some addict the way I grabbed for my coffee. To have something not produced in the hospital was wonderful.

My mother came over to me and began to ask a million questions, only I was not able to answer half of them. Jenny always seemed to jump in with the answer. At one point, I grumbled a bit and told her that I could answer for myself. I think this may have been the first time I had ever really talked crossly at Jenny, and it did not go over the best. She was not mad at me, but it did take some coaxing to get her to curl up to me. “I’m sorry babe, it’s just I am getting a bit anxious in this place.” I tried to explain, only to have her rebuff me. Soon I began kissing her cheeks and worked my way down, where I began nuzzling her neck. If it weren’t for Marty and Char, I probably would have gone farther. A moan from Jenny signaled the beginning of the forgiveness and after a few moments that forgiveness was confirmed as Jenny and I shared a long, deep kiss. “I can never stay mad at you for too long. You are forgiven, but don’t let it happen again.” As Jenny and I moved in for one more kiss I noticed Marty and my mother looking at each other and sharing a smile, like some sort of deal had been made.

As Jenny and I cuddled together following our little tiff, a surprise visitor came in. “Dr. Fisher? What are you doing here? Jenny asked her father’s friend.

“Well since my normal Saturday golf partner took the day off, I thought I would come check on you Alexa.” Peter said as he turned and looked at Marty who just smiled at the physician, I looked over at Marty as well and frowned at him. I didn’t feel right taking away from his golf game. He just looked at me and said, “Quiet Alexa” with a grin on his face. Dr. Fisher turned with a smile on his face and looked at me again, “So let’s look at those x-rays.” And grabbed the films from their protective envelope and threw them up on the lighted panel. Just as he was doing this, Dr. Curtis entered the room, followed by my nurse Wendy. The younger doctor was more than surprised to see the well-known and highly regarded surgeon there. After greeting one another, the both began looking at my latest round of x-rays. They exchanged some opinions on what they were seeing, using words I had no shot at understanding even though I knew some Latin. After a minute, the two turned and looked at me, Dr. Curtis being the first to speak. “Well Alexa everything looks much better than it did on Thursday. I am just going to have you do that breathing test again and without any major setbacks you should be on your way.” The young doctor had a huge smile on his face as he turned to look at the nurse who grabbed the test device and asked me to blow into it. A smile was on the both doctor’s faces as it seemed I passed with flying colors. Dr. Curtis started in again. “You are all set, just give us some time to get the paperwork rolling and you will be out of here.”

I thanked the doctor, but then paused for a second to ask him something. “Shouldn’t you have been off a while ago?” Dr. Curtis smiled. “Yes, I was off a while back but I wanted to make sure everything was OK and you were ready to go home.” The smile he gave me was not a fake doctor smile, but more of one who was a friend. I thanked him once again. Dr. Fisher broke in “That’s the kind of staff we have around here, ones that care for their patients and go above and beyond the call of duty even if some of the Trustees don’t always see that.” Dr. Fisher looked over his shoulder to make sure it was heard before going on. “Now I will stop by Monday or Tuesday and check on you. I haven’t made a house call since I was a resident but it will be easier as I live just down the road. Rest up and listen to Nurse Jenny over there. If something comes up, either of you two, call me. That was a nasty little incident Alexa and you were lucky but head injuries are not the kind of things to mess with.” After thanking both doctors again they began to leave. Dr. Fisher stopped and chatted with Marty about maybe getting in a quick nine later today and Marty said sure and to give him a call, but that he wanted to get me settled before he ran off.

Jenny and I got up and began go through the bag for something for me to change into. The parents took this as sign to head out of the room and give us some privacy. As soon as the door was closed I striped down to nothing and slowly slipped on the clean thong and bra that Julie had thoughtfully put in. Jenny stood with me and helped me get situated, and as much as I wanted to yell at her to leave me alone, I bit my lip to keep the peace we had made just a few minutes ago. It was as I was pulling the light weight dress over my head I began to giggle away. “What’s so funny?” Jenny asked. I got my dress straightened out and pulled my lover in.

“Did you hear what Dr. Fisher said, ‘Listen to Nurse Jenny.’ Do you think she may show up while I am recovering?” The smile I had was huge and had to look lecherous. Jenny began to giggle at my comment and then replied, “Only if you’re a good girl, Miss Quinn” The two of us shared a long deep kiss. As we parted I looked deep into Jenny’s eyes. For once I didn’t feel like I need to say anything and neither did she. Our feelings for each other were so deep that at times words were not needed. We could communicate our love for each other just by looking at one another. We shared one more kiss before Jenny walked over to the door to let our parents in and I took a seat on top of the bed and began the wait to leave. And wait, and wait, and wait. It was taking forever and I began to get a bit cranky. Mom was even getting restless and said she needed to take a bit of a walk and decided to go downstairs and get some coffee. She asked if anyone wanted anything. Jenny said he did and volunteered to tag along. Marty politely declined while I asked for an Iced Mocha. As soon as the two of them were gone I slid into the chair and looked over at Marty. He had a warm smile on his face, one that made me feel cared for. I began to try and thank him, but he only told me to be quiet.

“Alexa, as I keep telling you, you are part of this family. And with that come things like me taking care of some of these odds and ends for you, do not get all worked up about it. I see how much in love you and Jenny are and I am not too old to recognize it is more than just some college fling. If I have to shell out a few bucks here and there its no big deal.” Marty told me and paused. “As long as it’s not always at Nordstrom” he said with a cheesy grin. I promptly told him to be nice. Marty then went on and began to tell me how Stan had found the exact car but a year newer and was having it prepped and sent over to the house. I once again tried to admonish him. “All I am doing is helping replace the one that got wrecked. If the insurance money and pending lawsuit don’t cover it all we will work something out. You need a car, right?” He asked and I nodded. “I’m just helping out. You should have the car Monday or Tuesday. I will say I am impressed with the safety features of that little thing. After seeing the car, I realized you should have been dead, except for those features. Heck I may even get Jenny one!” Marty’s pronouncement made me remember something.

“Can you help me out with something else? We told mom that we would take her car shopping. Could you call Stan and see if can set up some for her to look at? I think she should get Edge or Escape, an all-wheel drive.” I asked and Marty told me it would not be a problem and that he will set it up for next weekend if not sooner. I sat back feeling better about myself that I had remembered to set that up for my mother. Soon Jenny and Mom were back. I attempted to get up but my mother told me to sit down. I will admit it felt good to sit in a chair rather than laying in that bed. I let mom in on what was going on with the car and she became a bit excited, as did the blonde-haired girl who had sidled up to me. But that short conversation only took up a bit of time as we continued to wait. Wendy came in a few times to tell us she didn’t know what the hang up was. I don’t know how long it had been when Marty’s phone rang. It was Dr. Fisher calling to see it Marty was ready to play. When Marty told him that we were still waiting to be discharged, I thought I heard some loud curse words come from Marty’s phone. The phone call didn’t last very long and either did our wait. It was only a few minutes after Marty’s phone conversation when a woman about my mother’s age came into the room and introduced herself as Carol Swanson and she began going over all the forms. At the same time Marty’s phone rang and everyone in the room knew who it was. Marty thanked Peter and was soon out the door, telling us he would pull up the car.

Nearly three hours after I was told I could go home, I was finally put into a wheelchair and pushed by an orderly to the elevator and then out to the main entrance, where Marty was waiting with his Lincoln Continental. Jenny and Mom helped me get out of the chair and slide into the backseat. Jenny came around to the other side and cuddled up to me while mom got in the front seat. As Marty pulled away I looked out the window at the hospital and hoped I would never return. Not so much because of what I had gone through, but what I had seen Jenny go through. This beautiful girl next to me had dropped everything and didn’t let me out of her sight for almost two days. And the love she showed me was unparalleled. The minor test we had just gone through not only strengthened our love of one another but also showed the feelings of those I now truly call my family. I kissed Jenny as we pulled on to Excelsior Boulevard. “Thanks” I whispered to her. “

“For what?” She replied and my answer was simple, “For loving me”

“Alexa, I don’t ever plan on stopping”

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