Of course, Derek was jealous. His cousin got to hang out with Elaine. His crush. Ryan was the same age as her. Derek wished he had a cell phone, so he could text her too.
Ryan was off at the skatepark with his friends. Just yesterday, it had been the first day they ever met, and now they were all close. Ryan was glad that he'd actually found some friends, ones that were not nerdy and creepy. He felt like he fit in when he hung around them. It was a good feeling.
The five boys showed off their skateboarding tricks, feeling like they owned the world. Elaine and Whitney sat on the sides, watching, and at times, recording with their iPods. They laughed whenever one of them messed up on a trick, and at one point, Ryan was close to running into a tree. They were having lots of fun. They knew they'd probably come back at least everyday or so.
Ryan headed back to the hospital after about an hour, because Theresa wanted him home early, so they could bring Shirley to the other hospital for a quick check-up on her casts. He stepped in the door of room 1204, and it was silent. Cody had just had a spinal tap, and was exhausted. Jodi was asleep as well, since she was also tired. Lately, she had been acting wierdly, and falling asleep earlier than usual. Shirley, on the other hand, could only lay there and suffer. They would have a hard time bringing her to the hospital.
She was lucky to even be alive. She had been crushed under that car. Any other child that age usually died. But Shirley seemed like she'd possibly be alright. Though she was still in critical condition, Theresa believed she could win the battle for her life. All she had to do was stay strong.
Shirley was brought to an ambulance on a stretcher, so they could transport her to the regular hospital. They needed to switch her casts. Now, her family would get to sign their names on her casts, using markers. She thought that would be cool, being decorated with people's names. She could hardly wait to see what colours they would give her.
After they entered the room in which her casts would be replaced, they needed to remove her oxygen mask. They were afraid at first, because they didn't know how well she could breathe. They removed it for only a few seconds, and they realized she could breathe well without it. But they needed to put her to sleep, so they could place pins on the shattered bones. When she saw the needle, she lost it.
"It'll be alright," Theresa assured her.
Shirley didn't seem to think so. She couldn't struggle to get away, since she was so broken. She cried and cried, but there was no escaping this time. They stuck the needle in her arm, and, just before she could scream, she drifted off to sleep. "This will be easier for us now," the doctor chuckled, speaking to Theresa.
"I know," Theresa agreed. "She can be quite difficult at times."
A week later, the doctors allowed Cody and Jodi to go to the playroom down the hall. Theresa couldn't come with them, so she decided to send Ryan with them. Shirley needed someone to stay with her. Plus, they had never been in the playroom, so Ryan was also curious to see what was in there. Not like he wanted to do much in there. He felt like he was too old to be in there.
The playroom was easy to locate. They entered the room, and Jodi instantly screamed, "Dolls!" She hadn't been able to play with her own dolls much, because she was too sick. At the moment, she was feeling just a bit better, and felt like she could do the things she couldn't do. She hobbled over to the dolls, which were all over the floor.
Cody gazed around the room, searching for something to do. There were other kids in there, and Cody thought it the perfect time to meet new friends. They approached him, and they went off to see what they could do together. Ryan was left all by himself, unsure of what to do by himself. He wished he could leave, but he had to stay with Cody and Jodi.
Suddenly, someone screamed, "Somebody get help!" Ryan gazed around the room, wondering what was going on. Then he saw it. Jodi was trembling violently, and looked fearful. People surrounded themselves around her, trying to help her. She was having a seizure.
Ryan bolted in her direction. Cody saw her, too, and followed Ryan. They tried to shove people out of the way. "Someone go get my mom!" Cody yelled above all the panic.
A tall, thin woman with blonde hair volunteered to locate Theresa. "Where is she?" the woman asked.
"She's in room 1204," Ryan told her. "It's just down the hall."
The woman nodded, and raced down the hall. Jodi lost consciousness, and collapsed. She was having convulsions. It was quite severe, and they needed help as fast as they could get it. The woman was already at room 1204, screaming at nurses to come as well. They were unable to predict what was going to happen to Jodi.
Theresa rounded the corner, entering the playroom at lightning speed. Her daughter was on the floor, out cold. The nurses lifted her up onto a stretcher, and raced toward the elevator. One of the examination rooms on the twelfth floor was already being used, so they had to make the descent down one floor to the eleventh floor. There would be an examination room across the hall from the elevator.
Everyone in the playroom had their eyes locked onto Jodi. Her face was pale as a ghost, and she was seeking immediate attention. They all watched, eyes widened, as they wheeled her out of the room, and bounded down the hall to locate the elevator. The elevator door rolled open, and the nurses and family all stepped inside.
There was hardly any room inside the elevator. The stretcher took up most of the space. Theresa felt terrible for leaving Shirley with the other doctors back in room 1204. She'd probably be terrified. But she wasn't able to come with them, since it would require the difficulty of bringing the stretcher down the hall and inside the tiny elevator. Then, they would all struggle to find the right room that the family was in, and then they would have to find a spot to put the other stretcher. It didn't sound too difficult, but they knew that it would be.
Inside the room, dotors worked on Jodi, but they weren't sure if she would cooperate too well. They put an oxygen mask on her face, so they could get her to breathe again. She was alive, thank God. They would have to transport her back to room 1204 once they were finished with her. But first, they had to figure out the reason why she'd had that seizure. They didn't know if they ever would find the problem. Maybe it was just the tumor, which triggered some seizures.
The entire episode had finally ended, and they had to transport Jodi back to room 1204. Now she definitely couldn't go to the playroom. Especially not by herself. Not anymore.
Jodi had a scheduled surgery that night. They were still trying to clear out that tumor. She didn't like that they had to keep shaving off parts of her hair to do the surgery. She adored her long, brunette locks. She was only five, and nobody liked that she had to go through this at such a young age.
Ryan ended up pulling an all-nighter, and he had school the next morning. Theresa had no choice but to send him to school, despite staying up all night. Tomorrow would be Tuesday. Almost right smack in the middle of the week. At least it wasn't Wednesday. Then he would feel even worse.
Ryan refused to go to school the next morning, but he needed to go. He got ready so slowly, Theresa thought he'd be late. By the time he was out the door, and stumbling down the street, it was amost ten minutes later than the time he normally set out at. Theresa promised to text him if something went wrong with Jodi. She would gladly come to pick him up.
He was ten minutes late for class. He entered the classroom with droopy eyes, and handed Ms.Sherwood his late slip. He sat at his desk, which had been moved to the very front the previous day because he apparently caused trouble where he sat before. There were no desks next to him anymore. There were people behind him, but they weren't his friends.
Ryan lay his head on his desk, exhausted. He craved sleep. His friends would most definitely question him about why he was so tired. Ms.Sherwood talked and talked about the lesson she was teaching them, but Ryan paid no attention. Now was the time he could concentrate only on sleep. The teacher didn't even notice that Ryan was acting strangely. She just continued with her lesson.
Shortly after explaining, Ms.Sherwood assigned the class a few pages of work to complete. Ryan was given his sheet, but he didn't even do it. He ended up falling asleep on his desk. There was no way he could prevent it. After about fifteen minutes, Ms.Sherwood noticed that he was asleep. She lightly tapped his shoulder, attempting to wake him up.
Slowly, Ryan lifted his head up. His eyes were barely open as he gazed up at Ms.Sherwood. "Come with me," she said quietly. She motioned for him to go with her. She announced to the class that she would be out in the hall for only a few minutes, and made sure to tell them to do their work while she was gone.
Ryan leaned against the wall, rubbing his tired eyes with his long sleeve. "What's going on?" Ms.Sherwood asked. "You said you've never fallen asleep in class. I hope you weren't bored."
Ryan shook his head. "No. I was just up all night because my sister had a seizure and she was getting a bunch of tests done. I couldn't sleep, and they were afraid something was gonna happen to her."
Ms.Sherwood already knew about his siblings, and so did the whole class. "Well, do you want me to call your mom so she can come and get you?" she asked him.
Ryan nodded. He was glad that he could leave. Just as the bell rang for a small fifteen minute break, Ms.Sherwood called the office from her classroom. "Why are you going home?" Elaine asked.
He explained to her about what had happened the previous night. His friends were all coming to the hospital with him that night, and they were going to see his siblings for the first time, but Ryan needed some sleep first. He knew that Jodi might be okay, so he figured that, after a few hours of sleep, he would meet up with his six friends so they could come and meet his family. His friends weren't sure what to expect, and they were kind of nervous.
About ten minutes later, Theresa was standing in the office doors, waiting for Ryan. He had trouble finding his red DC hat in his locker, though the locker was clean. He felt like he was stalling, until he finally found it. He headed off down the stairs, toward Theresa, ready to go back to the hospital.
It was now three o'clock. Ryan's friends were all at the hospital, visiting with his siblings. Elaine felt the worst about the whole thing, and it looked like she was about to cry. Ryan explained a bit about his siblings to his friends, and, as it turned out, some of them had a lot in common.
Just a few months before Cody had gotten sick, Theresa had signed Jodi and Shirley up for gymnastics, since they showed quite an interest in it. Elaine was in competitive gymnastics, and she had been in it since she was one-and-a-half. She could perform the tricks they did on the olympics, and everyone predicted that she would be joining them one day. She favoured the balance beam, since she could do back flips on them, and do a lot of other tumbles. Jodi and Shirley weren't so much experienced with that, but they hoped they could one day.
Cody, just like most of Ryan's friends, was a sports addict. He especially loved soccer, and had been on a team since he was about three or four. Ryan had been on baseball and soccer teams since that age as well, and had played hockey for two years. All four of Theresa's children were very athletic, and it turned out that Ryan's friends were, too. They had a lot in common.
After a quick visit at the hospital, they headed for the skatepark. Elaine and Whitney practiced gymnastics skills while the boys practiced skateboard tricks. Whitney was not in gymnastics, but Elaine had been in it since she was a year-and-a-half old, and was a level 10 gymnast. She did back handsprings across the field next to the skatepark, while Whitney just followed with cartwheels. Elaine loved to do the splits, but Whitney could come nowhere close to doing it. She wasn't flexible enough.
Also, Elaine had another talent that was somewhat better than her gymnastics skills. She could sing really well. She could sing like a celebrity singer, and she was involved in a talent contest. The show was aired on TV, and it was an elimination show. She was already in the top five, and she hoped desperately that she could win. She was the youngest contestant. She could hit really high notes, and could go higher than everyone else in the show. Everyone agreed that she was very talented. They sais she could sing like an angel, and everyone was amazed at her voice. It was undeniably beautiful.
Some of the other group members had some pretty cool talents. Grayson could rap, and Domonic could break-dance. Whitney could dance, too. As for the rest of the group members, they were just great at making people laugh. Well, the whole group was good at doing that. Other kids in the class listened to their jokes, and agreed with whatever they said, even if they didn't know what it meant. Everyone could agree that this group was, above all, the coolest one.
They stayed at the skatepark for about two hours before they all had to go home. Just before they left, Whitney spoke about a sleepover at her house on the weekend, and they were all invited. Everyone agreed to come, and they decided to play Truth or Dare. They said their good-byes, and then left to go home.
When Ryan entered room 1204, he was almost attacked by his cousins. "Have you seen Jodi anywhere?" they all asked.
Ryan was stumped. "No," he said with a puzzled expression.
Rebekah gasped. "Where did she go, then?" she asked, panicked.
Theresa looked nervous. "One minute, she was in bed, and when I turned my head to look back at her, she was gone."
The family did not hesitate to scatter themselves around the hallway. They hollered out her name several times, but there was no reply. Where could she have gone? The door had been left open, so it was quite possible that she had wandered out. But where would she go throughout the hospital? There was no particular place in the building that she had enjoyed.
"Jodi has hardly been anywhere in this hospital," Theresa blurted. "She wouldn't have a favourite place to visit, so she's most likely lost."
Ryan suddenly spoke up. "The playroom!" he nearly shouted. "She liked the dolls they had in there! Maybe that's where she is!"
The family rushed off to the playroom, just down the hall. Rebekah and Maggie rounded the corner into the playroom, and instantly began searching around the room. Jodi couldn't go much places, and was supposed to really stay in room 1204. She couldn't catch anyone's germs, or else she could get very sick, just like Cody. The family was growing anxious, and needed to find her quickly.
Rebekah and Maggie looked panic-stricken. "She's not in there!" they screeched.
"Wait a minute." Ryan stepped into the playroom. He knew that Rebekah and Maggie probably didn't search very well, and he decided that he would do it for them.
But after much time wasted searching for his little sister, she was nowhere to be found. He decided to ask people if they had seen her anywhere. He approached a tall, dark-haired woman, who was playing with her young daughter. He described Jodi to her, and asked if she'd seen her anywhere in the playroom.
The woman took a few moments to refresh her memory. "Yeah," she finally said. "I'm quite sure I did."
"What was she doing in here?" Ryan asked her.
"She was playing with dolls with my daughter," the woman answered. "They had a great time together. How old is she?"
"She's five. But where did she go?"
"Well, she kind of wandered off for a bit," the woman said. "Then a man said that she wasn't allowed to be here by herself, and he would bring her back to her room. She left with him."