Josh's room was filling with flowers, ballons, and tons of stuffed animals. I helped his grandpa carry the items to the trunk of their car and read the tags as we were walking.
"To Josh with Love, From Grandma and Grandpa, To Josh: Get Better Soon, Man! From: Malcolm, Get Well Soon! From: April and Luke."
Harold listened to me drone on and on with the tags and finally said, "Did you get him something, Nicole?"
I had been waiting for someone to ask me that and replied, "It's a surprise. He doesn't have it yet!" I glanced over at Josh's grandpa and saw him smiling widely at me.
"You have made my grandson so happy, Nicole. I am so glad that he found you!"
Harold's comment made my eyes watery and I happily hugged and said, "Thank you. That means so much!"
He continued walking to his car while I went back into the hospital. Inside, Josh was signing papers to leave and his grandma was helping Jenny get a drink from the vending machine.
"Alright. Thanks Doc," I heard Josh say, "I'll be careful."
There was a nurse behind Josh escorting him to a wheelchair and, what looked like, flirting with him. Jealousy started boiling up inside me and I walked over to them and said, "I can take it from here, thanks."
The nurse glared at me and looked down at Josh. He nodded in agreement that I could wheel him to the car, but she didn't take no. She batted her eyelashes and asked, "Are you sure, Josh? I don't mind a bit."
I rolled my eyes and grabbed the wheelchair before Josh could answer. "Thank you so much for taking care of my boyfriend," I responded, "you really saved his life."
Not even giving her time to reply, I pushed Josh out the automatic doors and into the sunlight. When we were out of sight of that nurse, Josh busted out laughing.
I playfully nudged his shoulder and said, "It wasn't that funny...she was getting on my nerves."
He stopped laughing and winced. I noticed him clinching his side and asked, "Are you ok?"
"Yeah I'm fine. Anyway, try spending two weeks with that woman! I almost tried sneaking out of that room, it was so bad!" Even though Josh didn't show anymore pain, I was still concerned about his side.
"I'm glad you didn't try to sneak out! You would've been in alot more pain."
He lifted up his arm and took my hand in his. "I'm so glad you're here with me."
I smiled. "Where else would I be?"
His face got serious. "No. I mean...I'm glad I dumped Chloee for you. She wouldn't have helped me every step of the way...she probably would've left me in that cave."
I was shocked hearing Josh say those things about Chloee, but yet, I loved hearing him bad-mouth her. I patted his shoulder and replied, "Don't you ever think I would do that to you, Josh. You are my life now, and I couldn't keep my life in a cave!"
He laughed and continued holding my hand.
Harold was 62, but that day, I realized that he was one stong 62-year old. He lifted Josh in his arms and put him in their car. Jenny was sitting on the other side and Shadow was in the middle. Jenny heard my voice and squealed in excitement.
"Nicole! Come over on my side!"
At that time, I was saying goodbye to Josh. Our goodbyes consisted of kissing on the mouth, hugging, telling how we didn't want to leave each other, and kissing again.
Jenny finally said, "Gross! Hurry up, Nicole and Joshy!"
In between our kiss, I started laughing and looked into Josh's ivory eyes. "I'll call you later."
"Not if I call you first!" He hugged me one more time and then let me shut the car door. I made my way around the car and opened Jenny's door.
She hugged me as soon as I bent down and then pulled away. "Guess what?"
She was beaming and I could tell what she was going to tell me was huge to her. "You're coming over to our house for our annual family cookout!!!"
I looked over at Josh from the other side and he simply said, "Surprise." I noticed he seemed disappointed he couldn't tell me, but I blew him a kiss and he cheered up.
"Well, that sounds exciting, Jenny. When is it?"
Josh answered for her. "It's Friday. Can you come?"
Talking mainly to Jenny, I replied, "I wouldn't miss it."
While walking to my car, I noticed a man leaning against the black SUV parked next to mine. He wasn't making any haste to get into the hospital. In fact, it looked like he was waiting on someone...waiting on me.
I tried ignoring him, but I could feel his eyes on me. Out of myperipheral vision, I took a good look at him. He looked to be in his mid-40s, had thinning brown hair, tall, stout, and had carmel eyes. Other than the different eye color...I looked just like him.
I turned around and looked at him. "Yes. That's me."
He breathed out a sigh of relief and replied, "I'm Joseph. I'm your..."
"I know. You're my father."