CHAPTER FORTY ONE
Sammy slowly opened his eyes and then closed them quickly as he recognised the dreary hospital ward. He squeezed the blanket around him and tried to wriggle back into the dream he had been having. He’d been with Brian. He had been smiling at him and playing with him in the park again. Upon waking up, he had almost believed that it was true. For a few seconds he had thought that he was at home in his lovely beach room… he wanted to go back there.
“Sammy?” a voice asked. “You awake?”
Sammy reluctantly opened his eyes. The stinging brightness hit him and he rubbed his eyes before focusing on the person before him. Nick.
“Heyo,” Sammy said sleepily.
Nick smiled a little sad smile. “Kevin went round to Brian’s and brought some of your stuff here.” He held out a battered toy dog.
“Rocky!” Sammy exclaimed excitedly. He held out his hands and gladly received his friend. Now he just needed Brian back and everything would be fine…
“He brought some of your clothes, too,” Nick said. “How ya feeling?”
“Okay,” Sammy said brightly. He held Rocky close and rubbed his cheek against his furry body. “Is daddy better? Can I see him today?”
“A nurse said you could go and see him later today.”
“Yay!” Sammy said happily.
“You’ll be able to leave this place soon as well. The doctors did some tests on you and say you’ll be fine.”
Sammy grinned. He would be able to go home soon. He frowned slightly as a sudden thought hit him.
“When can daddy go home?”
Nick hesitated a second. “Soon,” he said.
Sammy made sure that he was extra polite to the doctor today when she came to check up on him. He even ate all of the dinner they gave him. He wanted to see Brian.
He constantly had someone sitting with him, one of the boys was always with him and he was glad that he was not alone. This place still scared him, especially the doctors in their long white coats.
It was in the afternoon that Kevin arrived with Nick. AJ had been sitting with him and telling him a story when they entered. Kevin had a bag with him. A doctor followed them into the room. Sammy felt himself tense. Why did they all look unhappy?
“Do you want to go and see Brian now?” Kevin asked.
Sammy was almost bouncing with anticipation. “Can I?”
“Yes, we just cleared it with all of the doctors,” Kevin said. He pulled a blue jersey and pair of jeans from his bag. “Put these on and I’ll take you to see him.”
Sammy nodded excitedly and quickly pulled his blue puppy jersey over his head. Kevin pulled Nick and AJ over to the door and spoke quietly to them. Sammy pulled the jeans on and then scampered over to them smiling.
“Ready!” he said.
Kevin smiled and took his hand. “You’ve got to be quiet when you see him. he’s still sick and needs sleep, okay?”
“I be quiet,” Sammy agreed.
Kevin led Sammy up some steps and down a long corridor. Sammy held the hand tightly as an old man was wheeled past in a wheel chair by a stern looking doctor. He could smell the disinfectant in the air that made his eyes sting.
Howie met them half way along the corridor. He smiled at Sammy but it was an odd smile. It seemed rather feigned.
“Is he still asleep?” Nick asked.
Howie nodded. “He hasn’t woken up at all yet but the doctor’s say he’s stable.”
Sammy looked up expectantly, trying to understand what was being said between the two men.
“Is Jackie still with him?” Nick said.
“Yep, but the doctor said it’s okay for Kevin to take Sammy through.”
Nick lent down and gave Sammy a hug. “I have to go with Howie and AJ. I’ll see you in a little while, okay?”
Sammy nodded. He was bouncing on his toes he was that eager to see Brian. He waved cheerfully as Nick and the others walked away down the corridor. Kevin led him through a door. Sammy recognised Jackie sitting in the chair beside the bed. She turned and smiled when she saw him. Sammy let go of Kevin’s hand and rushed forward to hug her.
“Hi Sammy,” she said, pulling him onto her lap. She stroked his hair. “Don’t wake him now.”
Sammy looked down onto the bed and felt a little flicker in his chest as his heart rate increased with fear. Brian was sleeping on the bed but he looked more troubled than peaceful. His face was slightly paler than usual and there were tubes pushed into his arms. He clutched Jackie’s hand.
“It’s okay,” she said gently. “He’s going to be fine. I know he looks bad but he’s okay.”
Sammy nodded, numbly. He reached out and touched Brian’s hand softly. He rubbed it slightly while Jackie held him close. Kevin stood beside them.
Sammy leaned into Jackie’s arms but continued to stroke Brian’s hand. He felt so lost without him. Since his mother had left him, Brian had been the one who had taken care of him. he needed him.
Slowly, he felt Brian’s fingers entwine around his until Sammy’s hand was clasped in his. Sammy smiled slightly and found that his eyes were beginning to water.
“He’s thinking of you,” Jackie said gently.
Sammy stared at Brian’s pale hand. It felt weaker then usual. “When will daddy wake up?” he asked. He would feel better when those crystal blue eyes were twinkling at him again.
Jackie patted him on the shoulder. “Soon I hope.”
“I miss him.”
“He misses you too. He’s pleased you’re here. That’s why he holds your hand.”
One of Brian’s fingers twitched and Sammy gave a little smile. He sat there for a few minutes in silence, willing for him to wake up. He did not like it how he slept so deeply.
“Sammy,” Kevin said. “We have to go now. The doctors need to take another look at Brian.”
Sammy nodded. The doctors would help him to get better.
Jackie still held him and stood up with him still in her arms. Rocky slipped from Sammy’s hand. She placed Sammy down and knelt down to pick the toy up.
“Who’s this?” she asked.
“Rocky. He looks after me.”
She smiled and handed him back to Sammy. Sammy stared at Rocky and then back up at Brian again. Carefully, he placed Rocky by Brian’s hand.
“He help daddy get better,” he said, giving Brian’s hand one last pat.
“Don’t you want to take him with you?” Kevin asked.
“No. Daddy keep him.,” Sammy said firmly. “I want him to stay and watch daddy.”
“You’re a sweetie,” Jackie said, giving him another hug. She took his hand and led him back out into the corridor, Kevin beside them.
Sammy felt a little better now he had seen Brian. He did not like seeing him so sick, but it was nice to see him again. He had been so worried about him… Just seeing him was some relief.
Hilary met him as he walked back down the corridor with Kevin and Jackie. He scowled at her. What was she doing here?
“Hello Sammy,” she said sweetly.
“Hello,” Sammy said warily. He distrusted that voice. It was the same voice that told him the cabbage he had eaten at the home was nice.
“How are you feeling?”
“Good,” she replied. “We need to have a little talk.”
Sammy looked up at Kevin. The sadness upon his face made his chest tighten in fear. “W – what’s going on?” he whispered. He stared up at Jackie and saw tears streaming down her face.
“Sammy,” Kevin said. “There’s something we need to talk about.”