The next morning, I rushed to get ready. Josh was awake! I had to see him, immediately. I hopped into the shower for what seemed like 2 minutes, then hopped back out. Quickly, I ran gel through my hair and made it wavy. When I had finished brushing my teeth, I grabbed my purse and ran downstairs.
"Are you leaving already?" My mom was leaning against the kitchen counter sipping on some coffee.
I looked at her blankly. "Of course I am! Josh is awake!"
"Still...shouldn't you eat something first?" She glanced over to the table and I realized she had made my favorite meal: blueberry pancakes with scrambled eggs on the side.
I couldn't believe it! My mom never made my favorite breakfeast unless it was either my birthday or something happened. "What happened?"
She laughed. "Calm down, Nicole. I just thought this was a day to celebrate."
Smiling, I sat down and took a bite out of a pancake. "Thanks mom!"
"You're welcome, sweetie. Now...I want to talk to you."
Here it comes.
Still eating, I realized why she fixed me breakfeast...she was going to talk to me about Josh.
"Mom, before you say anything...I know what to do. Be careful...don't say anything about the accident, or it being his/my fault...got it."
My mom kinda frowned at me, but then a fake smile returned. "Ok...drive safely."
I had to wait in the lobby of the hospital for 30 minutes, because his family was with him right now. I paced the floor up and down, continuing to look down at my watch.
Finally, I heard the familiar pitter-patter of Shadow's paws and saw Jenny, in tow. "Hey Jenny!"
She turned her head towards my voice and smiled, "Hi Nicole! Josh is awake!"
Shadow led Jenny over to me, and let me hug her gently. "I know," I said, "your grandma told me."
"She always ruins the fun..." Jenny crossed her arms and made a pouty face.
I laughed softly and replied, "She didn't mean to, Jenny. She just beat you to it!"
Jenny smiled and was going to say something else, but Shadow urged her to go out the doors. She said, "Shadow, wait. Grandma and grandpa are waiting outside, so I better go."
She hugged me quickly and then walked with Shadow out the doors.
I signed in at the front and they opened the automatic doors. The nurse that unlocked the keypad, smiled at me. "He's been asking for you."
The reaction on my face must have been funny, because the nurse laughed. "You look surprised. You are his girlfriend, aren't you?"
"Yes...I am his girlfriend."
I knocked on his door and heard a muffled "come in". When I walked through the door, Josh was sitting up drinking ice water. He saw me and put the water down. "Hey," was all he said.
Something wasn't right. He should've been happier or...something. "How are you doing today?"
He didn't answer my question. Instead, he looked at me and replied, "I remember what you said."
"...When, Josh? I don't know what..."
He didn't let me finish. "When Chloee was here. I heard her arguing with you and I heard your responses. I remember the door slamming and you coming over to me...you kissed me on the forehead and said something to me. Do you remember?"
Of course, I remembered! Was he upset that I stood up for myself? Was he mad that I yelled at Chloee?
"Yes...I remember, Josh. What does that have to do with anything?"
He was getting frustrated. "It means everything! When Chloee left, you came over to me and said 'Maybe she's right.' How could you say that, Button?!"
I didn't think Josh would remember me saying that, let alone hear it at all! "Josh...I was just overwhelmed."
He ran his hand through his hair and replied, "That doesn't matter, Button! You should have known this wasn't your fault...I'm the one that got off the boat...you just followed."
"Still...I had a part in it, Josh! I should've stayed close to you."
He looked at me like I was stupid. "Then you would've been hit!"
Josh was starting to freak me out. I had never seen him so mad and frustrated. I mumbled, "...maybe you would be happier."
He heard me, however, and my statement seemed to calm him down. "Come here."
With tears rolling down my face, I walked towards the hospital bed and stood over him. He took my hand and, lightly, kissed it.
"I wouldn't be happier, baby. I would be devastated...there would probably be holes all in the walls at my house and I would hate myself!"
He raised my head up with his finger and continued, "I'm sorry I made you cry, Button, but when I heard you say that...I thought you were breaking up with me.."
"Why would I ever do that, Josh?! You know that I love you."
He smiled, "Since 5th grade." He scooted over in the bed and let me climb in. He winced as he wrapped his arms around, but then relaxed.
I rested my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. It was a whole lot louder and more profound since the last time I listened for it. "When will you be discharged?" I asked.
"The doctor said if my vitals are like this tomorrow, I can leave then." He kissed my temple and interlaced out hands.
I watched him for the longest until, finally, I stated "I'm so glad you're ok...and I love you."
He looked right into my eyes and replied, "I love you too, Button."I held his hand tightly...not wanting to let him go. He smirked and said, "Don't worry, baby, I'm not going anywhere."
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