I went in and out of consciousness for who knows how long. My body was on fire. Then it was frozen. It was agonizing. I was dreaming; I had to be. I remember people rushing me and a beeping but then it went dark right after. The next time a dream came around I felt frozen. I couldn’t move. My body hurt. My skin was tight and painful. But it took my away from the heat I was feeling. It was comfortable even. But they were dreams. A trick of the mind even. I couldn’t believe it was real. I couldn’t move a muscle. I don’t even remember breathing. All I remembered was the moments of pain then the darkness. I was starting to love the darkness. It brought on the love of darkness. Of the numbness. I love the numbness. But it was fading. The darkness was turning into grey.
I started to hear things. Someone’s breathing next to my head. A beeping, annoying beeping at that. I could hear voices. I couldn’t ever make out the words but the voices. I knew there were four or five different people around me. They calmed me. Made the pain cool for minutes. But they would leave. Then I was alone again. Alone in the darkness. But I could always feel the gentle pressing of a warm hand in mine. The touches were familiar and pleasant. But I couldn’t place it. The fogginess slowly got better and better till it was gone. I could move. I could feel my muscles again. I was getting stronger, I could feel it. I was hearing the voices again. I moved. The voices they got louder. But I couldn’t make them out. Not yet. My body wasn’t ready. It couldn’t. I wanted to get out of the darkness again. But I couldn’t. I slipped back into the darkness….
I could feel a touch on my forehead. A stroking. It was calming. I blinked. I opened my eyes to look up. “She’s up. She’s finally up.” I blinked at able to see clearly. Not strong enough to say a word. I blinked again. I could see. My vision clear. “Hey Baby.” My dad smiled stroking my cheek. The tears in his eyes falling. I blinked at him slowly not able to talk.
“Carson you have a tube in your throat alright? It’s why you can’t talk. Can you blink twice if you understand me?” I blinked at him twice. “Good. Can you take come breaths for me so I can try to take this out for you?” I took a big breath before taking another as the doctor untapped the tube from my mouth. “Alright one more breathe.” I squeezed my Dad’s hand before taking a deep breath as the doctor pulled at the tube. I coughed at him as it burned my throat.
“It’s alright baby.” He kissed my hand rubbing it. I took a shaky breath on my own before the doctor put the oxygen under my nose.
“Daddy.” I whimpered at him.
“Shhh baby I’m right here.” The doctor fixed my IV as well as a couple other bags attached to me. “I’m right here.” I clutched at him tightly.
“Daddy.” I whimpered my throat burning. I couldn’t even think of another word. He looked at the doctor.
“Can she have something to drink? She must be thirsty.” The doctor nodded talking to a nurse. Dad put his hand back on my forehead stroking my hair ever so gently. The nurse handed me a cup of ice water. Dad helped me up sit up as I guzzled all the water. “Careful Golden, you don’t want to get yourself sick.” I chewed on the ice in the cup.
“I’ll be back later to take some blood.” The doctor said nodding before walking out. Dad refilled my glass telling me to take small sips.
“How you feeling?” I rubbed my eyes.
“I feel like someone is sitting on my chest.” I sipped the water. “When did you get home?” I asked him lying back down on the bed.
“I’ve been home for a little bit.” He smiled at me. “You’ve been out of it for a while.” I cocked my head to the side.
“What happened?” I asked him. He sighed rocking the car seat by his feet. He looked up at me not sure how to say it. I knew that look. “Daddy?” He sighed.
“They didn’t think you were going to survive.” I looked down surprised before coughing weakly. It wasn’t as bad as before. Dad handed me the cup of water. “The medication you were on for the pneumonia it wasn’t working. You got worse. Your fever went too high. It caused you to have a seizure.” I watched as the tears welded up in his eyes. “It caused you to get sicker. You went septic. Your blood was poisoning yourself. You’ve been out for a couple of day’s baby.” I blinked at him not saying anything. “They didn’t think you were going to live. That’s why I’m home. I was going to surprise you in a couple days at school. But then I call from Sarah saying you were here. And sick. And that you slipped into a coma.” The tears fell down his face. “I was so scared baby. I thought I wasn’t going to see you again.” He closed his eyes.
“Daddy?” He looked up. “I’m sorry.” He shook his head standing up to come sit on the side of the bed.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault Golden.” He pulled me into a hug. I missed his hugs. They engulfed me in his warm muscles. “I love you Baby Doll.” His southern accent spilled into his words.
“I love you too Daddy.” I sighed curling up on him. JJ started to cry in his car seat. Dad moved out of our hug and picked him up. He kissed his face before cradling him in his arms.
“My little boy.” He smiled kissing at JJ’s face making him smile happily.
“Where’s Tucker?” I asked him as JJ smiled at me. Dad put him in my arms.
“He went home to shower. I kicked his butt out.” I kissed JJ’s head as JJ smiled at me. Dad looked at me. “He really loves you.” I looked up from my little brother.
“And I love him.” He nodded.
“You’re growing up. You’re not my little girl anymore.” I shook my head.
“I’ll always be your little girl Daddy. Just older.” He smiled snapping a picture of JJ and me. I looked over as Mason came in carrying bags of food.
“Hey you’re up.” Mason smiled at me putting the food down on the table as Dad went to go dip into the bag.
“Yeah I just woke up.” I yawned as JJ gurgled at me. He smiled at me.
“You’re bed has been quiet comfortable.” I shook my head at him.
“When I go home I get it back it’s mine!” Mason smiled at me.
“Don’t worry Baby. Mason is in one of the quest rooms while he stays with us.” Dad smiled at him. Dad loves Mason. He first met him when he came for parent day, seeing as mom wasn’t going to come, and met him. Mason spent the day with us as his parents didn’t feel like coming. No excuse, just didn’t feel like it. His parents are assholes. Dad thought of him as a son anyway. Even if he didn’t, I would have made Mason stay with us. He is my best friend, my brother. My big gay brother.
“Nah, Pops I unloaded my stuff all over her room.” He laughed taking out his food. I rolled my eyes.
“Lies.” I giggled at him. “When I get home I’ll just unload your crap out the window.”
“Yeah right. I’ll bleach all your clothes again!” He argued back.
“I’ll burn all yours!” I retorted back. He narrowed his eyes at me.
“You wouldn’t.” I copied him.
“I would.” Dad shook his head. JJ started to whimper, hungry for a bottle.
“Stop fighting you two.” I looked at Mason. He looked down.
“Don’t follow out on me like that again Car.” We were joking before, but now he was serious.
“I’ll try not to. I didn’t mean to.” Mason looked up before back down.
“You scared me.” I opened my arms to him. Mason smiled wrapping me in a hug.
“I love you Mason.” I sighed.
“I love you too.” He smiled kissing my head. “Now I’m hungry so budge off.” He moved me over and shared half his burger, which turned into a forth since I wasn’t too hungry, and his French fries. Dad shared his food as we laughed, me guzzling three cups of ice water as it hurt my throat. Tucker walked in texting.
“Boy come eat your food.” Dad called out to him. He looked up as I took a sip of Mason’s soda. He blinked at me.
“When did you wake up?” I shrugged swallowing the cool soda.
“An hour maybe? I can’t remember.” He walked over leaning down. I kissed him. “I’m sorry.” I whispered.
“You scared me shitless Carson. I was terrified. One minute you’re talking to me. Next minute you’re seizing and I’m getting pulled out of the room.” He leaned his forehead against mine. “Please don’t ever do that to me again.” I held my breath trying not to cry.
“Tucker why don’t you sit down.” Dad said burping JJ. “We were just telling old stories.” Tucker nodded kissing me.
“I love you.” I whispered. A tear rolled down his face. I wiped it away. He took my hand in his.
“I love you too Car.” He sat on a chair picking up his food joining in, his hand never leaving mine as I slowly fell asleep again as they talked……
“You ready to go?” Dad asked a week later. I nodded buttoning the last of the button on my shirt.
“Carson can I talk to you?” I looked at Tucker. I nodded telling him to go ahead. “Alone?” I looked at Dad.
“I get the hint. I’ll go talk to the doctor. 10 minutes Boy.” He smiled patting Tucker on the back.
“What’s up?” I asked taking a sip from the water bottle I had.
“I wanted to give you this.” He took a grey box out of his pocket.
“Tucker….” I took the box into my hand. I opened the ring box and gasped looking back at him.
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