Two weeks and a day later we headed to the hospital and checked Davy in. Isa and I went to get coffee for the guys while Peter and Micky helped Davy get settled and Mike filled out all the paperwork.
"You think this will work?" she asked.
"I hope so. Itís really been hard playing the Cassandra without him. For one thing, we can actually hear ourselves since Daveís groupies arenít there screaming their heads off for him."
"Oh and is that such a bad thing?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nope but then more of them go after Peter. I know he asked me to be his steady but . . . well I worry."
"I know what you mean. I feel the same way about Mike." She grabbed two trays and poured 2 coffees while I grabbed two bottles of root beer. Then I filled two cups with hot water and chose two different tea bags -- one for Davy and one for Peter.
"What kind of tea is that?" Isa asked, placing one root beer bottle on her tray so mine wasnít too heavy.
"Oh itís some new herbal one Peterís said he wanted to try. Havenít seen it before now." We paid and headed back towards Davyís room.
"Youíre worried about him."
"I care about Davy. I care about all of them. Itís hard for me to shake my paranoia of the hospital, and I always worry when someone close to me is in the hospital. Iíve seen enough shows about the ER to know that not everyone makes it, even with a routine surgery."
"You watched too many of those, I think."
"Yeah yeah. Gory fascination is the only way I can describe it." We saw Mike finishing off the paperwork. Isa handed him a coffee.
"Hey, I thought you were right-handed," Isa said, sitting beside Mike.
"Mostía the time. I was switched in school and it didnít take too well. Sometimes I revert, usually out of nerves." He stood and headed to the nurseís desk. I winked at Isa and grabbed the root beer from her tray, heading into Davyís room.
"Ooh root beer!" Micky cried, grabbing one from the tray as soon as I walked in.
"Are those teas for us?" Peter asked.
"Yup. That new herbal one for you, Earl Gray for Davy." I handed one cup to Peter and the other to Davy, then plopped the tea bags in them.
"Thanks Len," Davy said. I grinned and sat down beside Peter with my root beer.
The next morning we went to the hospital at 6:30 AM, since Davyís surgery was scheduled for 7. We found chairs in the waiting room and settled down to wait. Iíd brought a tote bag filled with a fat folder containing what Iíd typed of my novel and plenty of blank paper, and a couple clipboards. Mike and Isa curled up together in adjoining seats and were quickly asleep.
Six hours passed with agonizing slowness. I proofed my copy, then filled a clipboard and started on a new chapter. Iíd decided to take the novel one chapter at a time, one historical event at a time, and I was making good progress that way. Micky and Peter had borrowed the other clipboard and some paper from me earlier and were working hard at a tic tac toe tournament.
Just then Ericka turned the corner. I poked Mike and Isa gently with my fields to prod them awake and then gave Micky a mental heads-up.
"Heís in the recovery room. You can go see him, but donít be alarmed, he is in a coma. We induced it so that he wouldnít be overwhelmed by a sudden influx of sound."
We stayed in the room with him for an hour. Micky occupied himself by watching the ambulances pulling up to the ER door below Davyís window and making up stories about each ambulanceís passenger. Mike and Isa sat together in the hard chairs, wide awake but not saying anything. Peter sat beside Davyís bed, nodding off after a little while. I sat on the other side of the bed with my clipboard, trying to write more on my chapter about Bannockburn but failing and ending up just doodling sketches of everyone else.
"Hi, Davy." I looked up at the sound of Peterís voice to see that Davy was wide awake.
"Hi Davy?" Micky, Mike and Isa echoed. They all ran to the bed.
" 'Eya mates." Davy grinned. "Call Ericka, wouldja? Tell 'er I can 'ear." He drifted back off to sleep.
Micky started jumping up and down and seemed about ready to scream for joy when Mike clamped a hand over his mouth and dragged him out to the hall. The rest of us followed and Ericka joined us a moment later to celebrate.
A few days later, on Saturday the 19th, he finally came home. He was a lot more observant, and his lip reading ability did not fade. Our first war games after he got home took a decidedly different twist when Davy was able to read the strategy Mike and Isa were discussing all the way at the other end of the playing field. After that we decided maybe we should all learn to lip read, Davy suggesting that in a real battle it could work out to be a great advantage.
Last updated 22 JAN 99
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