After Hank left, the nurse entered again, and gave
me a nice sleeping pill that put me to sleep. I awoke the next morning around eight o’clock, and the doctor was
already there making his rounds.
"How are we feeling?" He asks me.
"A little sore. Tired. Other then that, I’m fine." I answer, yawning afterwards.
"The soreness is expected. You vitals seem fine, and you should be leaving with in a few days."
"Really? That’s great!" I excitedly say, wincing when the pain stabs through my stomach.
"Yes, that’s another thing. While you’re recovering, I don’t want you getting too excited. Later an orderly
is going to come by and get you walking again."
"I’ll try to keep the excitement down." I smile wickedly. If my family gets on my nerves, I can tell
them to leave, doctor’s orders.
"Good. Well, I’ve got to finish my rounds. I’ll check in on you later."
"Thanks again Doctor..."
"Ullom. And it was no problem." He smiles back at me and exits my room. I close my eyes and rub my face.
It had been a long two days. First we’re stranded here for at least three days, then I run into my brother’s best
friend and my brother. And to top it all off, I get shot. Can this week get any worse? No, I shouldn’t think that.
It can always get worse.
"Maria?" Jess asks, poking her head through the open door.
"Hi Jess. How are you this morning?" I ask, happy to see my friend.
"We’re fine." Julie says, entering behind Jess. They each go to the side of my bed, Julie on my left,
and Jess on my right.
"So?" I ask, waiting for them to start talking.
"We contacted your father." Jess remarks, her face emotionless.
"He and Antonio are catching the next flight out." Julie says.
"But what about the hurricane?" I ask.
"The storm’s blowing over. The pilot called, we could’ve left this morning." Jess replies, her face grim.
"And you stayed for me? You guys should’ve left." I shake my head.
"We’re not going anywhere. You think we’d leave you with that so-called family? Hell no!" Jess adamantly
"No, but I’ll be okay. My father’s coming, and my brother. And Hank’s here."
"So what if Hank’s here? What aren’t you telling us Maria?" Julie skeptically asks.
"Nothing. Hank came to visit me last night, and I, I consider him a friend." I admit.
"Okay. Still though, you’re are our friend. We wouldn’t leave you. Not until we can all go together. The musical
can wait." Jess states with a sigh.
"Unfortunately, it will have to. The doctor was just in here before you guys, and he said no excitement. So
that means no dancing around. Looks like I may have to sit the rest of this play out."
"Really? That’s awful!" Julie replies, knowing how much being in ‘West Side Story’ has meant to me.
"Yeah, really. And I don’t want you guys to miss your parts. As soon as my father comes, you guys are flying
to Chicago! I’m not taking no for an answer. You know how much a play can mean." I sternly say.
"No Jess, I won’t hear of it." I say, cutting her off.
Julie sighs heavily, "you will keep in touch, won’t you? We want a call every day!"
"If not a call, I’ll e-mail you. I promise." I state.
They both move in and envelope me into a group hug.
"You’d better call. Who else are we going to complain about when Megan messes up?" Julie giggles.
"Oh yeah, I definitely want to here about her messing up. It’ll be great leverage for when I come back."
I smile weakly.
"We’re still not leaving until your father gets here." Jess states.
"Alright, you win. If he left first thing this morning, then he’ll be here this afternoon, and you guys can
get to Chicago by this evening." I reply as they release me from the hug.
"Won’t it be a little strange? I didn’t even think your father and brother could come here." Julie remarks.
"I guess they figured out a way around the precautions. I’m sure they’ll be fine. They’ve been under witness
protection for almost ten years now." I shrug.
"Won’t your family be surprised to see them?" Jess inquires.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if Luis drops dead. Hmm, maybe getting shot does have it’s perks."
"Maria! That’s awful!" Julie reprimands me.
"Sorry. But seriously, Hank told me Luis still holds the Cranes responsible for father’s disappearance. What
a moron." I roll my eyes.
"I’m guessing they weren’t involved." Jess ventured.
"No, they were, but not in a bad way as everyone assumes. One day, I’ll explain the story to you, but not
now. They are even risking it a bit coming here. But they’re careful." I sigh. Silence settles for a moment,
before a tall, slim nurse enters, and shoos my friends out.
"So, here to give me my meds, or get me walking." I ask.
"A little of both. Let’s get you outta that bed." The nurse replies, flashing a friendly smile. She moves
over to the right side of the bed, as I use my hands to push myself up. Inching over, I finally make it to the
floor, and the nurse helps me walk around and towards the door.