Jordan: I’m in the waiting room. They’re in the back working on him.
Me: Do you need me to get anything for you on the way?
Jordan: No. I just need you. Hurry.
Me: I’m almost there.
I toss an extra twenty at the cab driver to speed it up, but he’s still not going as fast as I need him to. Although he is breaking the speed limit and most traffic laws.
We pull up in the parking lot, and I jump out while the cab is still moving. I run inside and see Jordan pacing. He stops when he sees me and runs to me, wrapping me up in his arms.
“Is he okay? What’s happening?”
“The doctor came out and said he has a severe concussion. They’re going to put him into an induced coma until some of the swelling goes down.”
“Oh God, Jordan, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
“I just want to see him. They said I can go back, but I was waiting for you.”
“Go ahead. Don’t wait for me. I’ll be right here when you come out.”
He shakes his head. “I need you.”
His voice and his eyes are filled with a desperate plea.
“I’m right here. Anything you need. I’m not going anywhere.” I squeeze his hands in mine, and he nods.
We walk down a quiet hallway, and the nurses at the end speak to us before we go in. They tell us to be quiet and that we can only stay for a few minutes. He’s in ICU, but he’s stable, and they’ll monitor him overnight and see how the swelling progresses. We can touch his hand and talk to him, but don’t touch anything else. We agree, and they show us to a private area, with the curtains pulled around to block out the surrounding bustle.
Jordan’s hand squeezes mine as we walk closer.
His father looks small and frail in the bed, hooked up to so many machines. Jordan must be having the same thoughts, because I see his face turn white.
I decide to help calm him and step up to his dad, taking his hand in mine. “Hey, Mr. Chen. It’s not so great meeting like this. But I’m glad you’re still with us and that I finally get a chance to say hello. Jordan made me pick out your scratch-off this week, so if it’s not a winner, that’s my fault. And he says you’ll never let me forget it.”
I look up to Jordan and see his eyes are red, but his tears are unshed.
“I made pecan pie because he said it was your favorite. I don’t know how good it is. Don’t worry. I’ll save you a slice. You know how Jordan can be when it comes to food.” I wink at him, and he smiles at me. “Anyway, we’ll let you get some rest. We’ll be back as soon as the nurses say it’s okay, and then we’ll check that ticket. I think I’m pretty lucky, since I managed to get this guy to ask me out.”
I squeeze his hand one last time and step aside for Jordan to hold it now. He does, and I stand right behind him with my hand on his back.
“Pop,” he says, and then stops. He takes a deep breath and lets it out. “Don’t you dare do this to me. You get some sleep and then come back to me.”
He takes my hand and places it on top of their joined ones. The three of us are in one hold.
“I love you,” he whispers, and in that moment it feels like he’s saying it to both of us.
A few days have passed, and I hate the little cloud that’s hovered around Jordan. The doctor has given his father a good prognosis, but Jordan is still worried. They said the swelling is going down, but not as fast as they’d like. But for a man his age, it’s to be expected. They hope to be able to wake him up from the induced coma this weekend and see the full extent of the damage.
I think that’s Jordan’s biggest fear, that his dad will wake up and he won’t be the same. We’ve spent every chance we can at the hospital, staying for only a few moments at a time. I came back to work yesterday after Jordan insisted. I told him that I could take off as much time as I needed in order to be with him, but I think he wanted one of us to be productive. Sitting around worrying all the time wasn’t doing either of us any good. Only now I’m sitting at work and worrying.
My afternoon consists of taking notes in a meeting with Miles and Mr. Spencer. I didn’t tell Miles about what happened the last time he was here, and I don’t plan to, unless another situation occurs.