"He can't die...right Sheridan?" Theresa's words seemed to hang in the air. Sheridan's heart felt as
though someone were squeezing the life out of it. As angry as she was at Luis she still loved him and the thought
of him dying was killing her. "We have to think positive thoughts Theresa. Luis is tough... the strongest
man I know. If anyone can pull through this it's Luis!" "Yeah, I know," Theresa said uncertainly.
"Theresa?" Whitney appeared by their side. "I just heard... oh Theresa, I'm so sorry." Theresa
left Sheridan and hugged her best friend. The two girls moved to sit on a couch together, leaving Sheridan standing
alone by the window. Alone... as usual, she couldn't help thinking. She stared out the window... it was beginning
to rain again. Appropriate weather for the circumstances.
Lately Sheridan seemed to be losing complete control of her thoughts... and it was happening again. She saw Luis,
with his cocky grin, challenging her to a basketball game. She saw him fooling around with the kids at the youth
center... she hadn't been sure who was having more, him or the kids. She saw him working in Pilar's garden... he
always worked so hard at everything he did. He touched so many lives... so many people would be devastated if he
died.. herself included. Even if they weren't together and never would be, she needed to know that he was out there.
She needed him to be safe and alive, living his life with Beth if he chose to. He had to live... he just had to.
She turned to look at Theresa. The girl was so pale and frightened looking. Where were the doctors? There should
be news by now... something... anything. Just then Sheridan saw Eve Russell appear in the doorway. Whitney saw
her mother too and nudged Theresa. The three of them gathered around Eve anxiously. "Dr. Russell... he's okay,
right?" Theresa pleaded rather than asked.
Eve gave a small reassuring smile. "He came through the surgery just fine. We removed the bullet without
any difficulties. Luckily it missed all the vital organs." Everyone sighed with relief. "Thank God,"
Sheridan murmured while the two girls embraced. Then Eve spoke again, "However... there is a head trauma that
is causing some concern." "Head trauma?" Sheridan was confused. "I thought he was shot in
the chest?" "We believe it occurred when he hit the pavement," Eve explained. "We're concerned
because he should've come out of the anesthesia by now. So far he hasn't stirred."
"You mean... he's in a coma?" Sheridan asked weakly. Eve nodded. "Yes, but you have to understand...it's
early yet. It doesn't necessarily mean there is anything seriously wrong. We'll have to give it some time."
"Can we see him?" Theresa asked. "Yes, talking to him may help. One at a time though." Eve
led them down the hall to the room Luis occupied. Sheridan stood by the glass wall and watched as Theresa went
into the room. She slowly approached the bed and gently picked up her brothers hand. Sheridan could see Theresa's
lips moving as she talked and tears streamed down the girls face. Sheridan focussed on the man lying in the bed.
Luis looked terrible. His head was wrapped in a pristine white bandage and his chest had a similar treatment. he
was hooked up to various machines... Sheridan wasn't sure what they all were. Sheridan turned away from the window...
it was too painful to watch. Her gaze wandered down the hall and she saw a woman running towards her. Pilar. "Sheridan!
How is he?" Sheridan embraced the woman she loved as a mother. "He came through the surgery Pilar...
but he's still unconscious." They turned back to the window and Theresa was still clutching Luis' hand and
chattering to him. Pilar murmured a few words in Spanish and pressed her forehead wearily against the glass. "Why?
Why Luis?" Sheridan would've liked an answer to that question too. She shrugged helplessly. "I don't
know Pilar, but he's going to be okay... he's too tough and stubborn to give up."
Pilar smiled a little. "Thank you Sheridan. Thank you for being here with us." "Pilar... I couldn't
be anywhere else." "You are going to be a wonderful daughter-in-law one day Sheridan." Pilar hugged
Sheridan again. Sheridan returned the hug, hanging tightly to Pilar and letting the tears flow down her face. It
was never to be... obviously Luis hadn't told Pilar about Beth and the baby yet. She would never be Pilar's daughter-in-law...
hell, she would probably never be anyone's daughter-in-law.
Theresa gazed at the window and saw her mother. She came from the room and spoke to Pilar a moment. They embraced
and Pilar went into the room with Luis. "He's so still Sheridan... and pale." Theresa whispered. "I
know... but he'll wake up. We just have to have faith in that." Theresa nodded. "Yes. I know that, but
it's so hard. It was so hard to be in there and telling him he was going to be fine... when inside I'm so terrified
Sheridan held the girl again, letting Theresa borrow what little strength she had left. Pilar came out of the
room a few minutes later and approached Sheridan. "You need to go to him now Sheridan. He needs you."
Sheridan shook her head... she couldn't go in there. She just couldn't. "Pilar... I think it's better if the
family sits with him..."
Pilar smiled a little. "You are family... and Luis cares for you so much. It could only help him to hear
your voice." Sheridan couldn't look into Pilar's pleading eyes and tell her the truth, so she simply nodded
and turned to face the door.
She pushed it opened and moved inside. The door swung closed behind her and she leaned back against it. The machines
in the room were making beeping and humming noises. Other than that the room was silent. She looked at him... the
man she loved more than anything in the world and couldn't bring herself to move closer. How could she go over
there and hold his hand and talk to him like they were a couple? How could she continue this charade? She turned
and saw Pilar and Theresa smiling at her through the glass. Okay... how could she not? She had to... for them.
Slowly she forced her legs to move and she approached the bed. She sat in the chair beside him and reached for
his hand. Just the feel of his skin against hers made her ache. A loud sob escaped her lips and she whispered,
"Oh God help me, I love you so much Luis...