Today’s theme is Ain’t no sunshine. The snippets shared will talk about separation, sadness, or maybe even death. I love books that make me laugh, but just as importantly, I love books that make me feel. Today I’m sharing an excerpt from Waiting for Wednesday.
“What is it?” Tris asked, repeating Riley’s questions. “What’s wrong with him?”
Lane glanced at him, distress written on her face. “I’m not a doctor, Tris. I can’t—”
“You suspect something. What is it?” he demanded. When she hesitated, his temper flared. “Dammit, Lane. I’m not going to sue you for malpractice. Just tell me what you think is wrong with Pop.”
“I think he’s had a stroke.” Her answer was punctuated by the sound of sirens wailing in the distance.
“A stroke?” Keira asked, tears forming in her eyes. “No.”
“I need to call Teagan,” Ewan said. “She and Sky will be back at the hotel by now.” He reached into his pocked for his cell.
“Keira.” Riley handed her cell phone to her distraught older sister. “Call Will. Tell him to meet us at the hospital.”
“Who’s downstairs?” Tris was surprised he could ask the question so calmly with his insides churning like an angry ocean.
“The crowd is all but gone,” Riley replied. “Joyce started shooing the rest out when Pop nearly fell.” Tris was grateful for Joyce’s help. A family friend, she’d been waitressing at the restaurant since before his mom died.
The sound of sirens outside the building alerted them to the arrival of the rescue squad. “Sean,” Tris said. “Go down and show them the way up. Might be a tight fit for the gurney.”
Sean left the room and Tris turned to see Lane sitting beside his pop. She was holding his hand and murmuring something to him. Her calm manner appeared to be comforting his confused father.
“Will you ride with me to the hospital?” he asked. She looked up and for a moment, he feared she would refuse. Knowing her, she’d be worried about being in the way.
Something in his face must have betrayed his need and she nodded. “Of course I will.”
When the EMTs entered the room, Tris and his siblings stepped back as Lane calmly described Pop’s symptoms and her suspicions. He could see the rescue workers agreed with her assessment. They loaded Pop into the ambulance as Lane led Tris to her car.
“I’ll drive,” she said. He was too numb, too worried to deny her. He merely nodded as she followed the rescue squad. They didn’t speak during the trip and Tris was grateful for the silence. He needed time to get himself together. As the oldest son, his siblings would look to him for reassurance. Keira and Riley had ridden in the ambulance and, given their worried tears, he knew they were on the verge of falling apart. His younger brothers were in the car behind them and remembering the terrified look on Sean’s face when they loaded Pop on the gurney was almost more than Tris could bear. Memories of the day his mother died assaulted him. He couldn’t lose Pop. He just couldn’t.
When they drove into the hospital parking lot, Lane grabbed a spot close to the emergency room entrance. She stopped him when he turned to open the door, her hand reaching to grasp his.
“Tris.” She halted his retreat. “Your pop will be fine. He’s a strong man and he’ll make it through this. You just need to hold on to that thought and forget about everything else. Okay?”
He closed his eyes, nodding slowly, praying her words were the truth. Somehow she’d found just the right words to calm him down. Pop wouldn’t die. Pop would recover.
“He’ll be fine,” he repeated aloud before leaving the car.
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