Chapter: 26

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ELENA

I couldn’t wrap my head around how this night was spiraling. Just some time back me and Rylan were fighting, we had that awkward kiss and now I was sitting outside the emergency unit waiting for some positive news about Dad's health. This was his second attack and I was dreading that this time something irreversible would happen.
    
I shook my head to force out every negative thought clouding my mind. He would be fine. I knew that. He was strong and he would fight back. I swung back and forth in my seat to calm my nerves when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
   
"He'll be fine." I saw Liv sitting beside me. She gave me a small smile.
    
"Yeah." I gulped and looked down.
………………..

"Doctor, how is he?" I sprinted towards the doctor as soon as he was out of those doors. He stopped in front of us and took a second before speaking.
    
"This is Mr. Smith's second attack. Combined with his heart condition it was pretty complicated. He is alive but he is in a coma." I didn't feel anything because what the doctor said had hardly registered in my mind.
    
"How long?" Mom's weak voice rang out after a long painful second.
    
"We can't state how long a coma lasts. Maybe a few days, weeks or maybe years." He said in a professional voice, like none of it really mattered but it did to me. That's when the realization hit me like a truck. I may never see him again. I suddenly felt numb.
    
"Elena." Dean approached me, carefully observing my face. I looked up at him and it was all it took to break the dam. He pulled me to his chest as I broke down into uncontrollable sobs. I clutched his shirt in my hand tightly afraid that my legs would give away any moment.
    
"Sshh, calm down. Everything will be fine." He kept on rubbing my back and whispering comforting words until I quieted down. Once my sobbings had reduced to sniffling, he pulled away.
    
"Go home." I shook my head at him.
    
"No." I wasn't going to leave Dad here without knowing that he was fine.
    
"Elena-" I cut him off.
    
"No, I'm not leaving Dad. No." I took a step back, refusing to agree to him. I felt another pair of hands grabbing my hands and turning me around.
    
"Elena, listen to me." Rylan pushed the hair out of my face and looked at me.
    
"Rylan, please. I want to see him." I bit down on my lip together to stop them from wobbling.
    
"You'll see him but not now. The doctors won't allow you to." I sighed in defeat.
    
"Come home with me. Take some rest and I promise I'll bring you back here in the evening." There was a certain assurance in his words that really calmed me down. I didn't know why I trusted him so much but I did.
    
"Go with him.". I heard Dean behind me. I couldn’t have cared less as to why these two men were on the same page about this.
    
"Mom?" My eyes found her dejected figure sitting on the chair and staring off into space.
    
"I'll send her home with Liv. Don't worry." Tyler said while Liv nodded.
    
"If there's any emergency or anything is needed, give me a call." I heard Rylan behind me.
    
Dean gave a stiff nod.
    
"Give me a second." I said walking towards my mother.
    
"Mom." I grabbed her arm.
    
"Elena." Her lips trembled and tear drops escaped her eyes. I quickly wrapped my hands around her and pulled her closer.
    
"Dad will be fine, Mom. He will be out of coma in no time. He is my strong Dad." I mumbled into her hair, trying to gather confidence from my own words.
    
"I know." She whispered.

RYLAN

As I came downstairs, I saw Ava sitting on the kitchen counter while Stacey was making something.
    
"What are you doing in the kitchen, sweetheart?" I asked Ava, pouring myself a glass of water. Her eyes snapped towards me.
    
"I'm making chocolate milk for Mommy." She said with a proud smile.
    
"And not for me?" I pouted, feigning hurt. The smile on her face morphed into a guilty look.
    
"Mommy is sad. So I thought…" She trailed off, thinking that she might have hurt my feelings. My daughter was absolutely adorable!
    
"That's really sweet darling. Do you want some help?" She shook her head at once.
    
"No, I made it alone." She stated confidently before stealing a quick glance at Stacey.
    
"Stacey helped me a little. Only a little bit." She used her fingers to show how little help she had taken from Stacey.
    
"I know, sweetheart. You took only a little help." I mirrored her actions causing a proud smile to fall upon her lips. Smiling to herself, Stacey poured the milk into a glass and handed it to Ava.
    
"Let's go." I offered to carry it for her till she was done climbing the stairs. Taking the glass carefully in her hands, she made her way inside.
    
"Mommy?" Elena turned around at her voice. She was already dressed up for the hospital.
    
"Yes, sweetheart?" She came towards Ava while strapping the watch to her wrist.
    
"I made chocolate milk for you." Elena, though confused, took the glass from her hand.
    
"For me?" She glanced at me once before looking back at Ava.
    
"Yes, you were sad, that's why I made this." There was a hint of pride in Ava's voice for what she had done. She believed chocolate milk made everything better.
    
"Aww, baby. Thank you so much." After long days this was the first time I was seeing a proper smile spread on Elena's face. It wasn't forced or tight-lipped but a genuine smile. "It's delicious." She said with an appreciative smile after taking a sip of the drink. Her compliment made Ava grin, showing all her teeth.
    
"Now go and ask Stacey to get you ready for school." I ruffled her hair.
    
"Okay, Daddy." She hopped out of the room, humming some music that I often hear while she watches cartoons.
    
I looked back at Elena, the smile had vanished from her lips by then. I thrusted my hands inside my pockets. "I think you should take some rest and go later." She shook her head after she put the glass down on the side table.
    
"No, I need to see Dad." She ran a hand through her freshly combed her.
    
"Elena, it's been a week already.  You haven't slept properly. You need to rest." I had tried but that bossy tone of my voice wasn't gone. By my curt words, it felt like I was giving out orders.
    
"I can't. All I can think about is him." There was this frustration in her voice. I sighed, looking down.
    
"I understand but-" I was cut off when she suddenly snapped.
    
"No, you don't, you can't! My father’s sickness helped your case didn’t it?" I stared, unfazed. She sighed and closed her eyes once before looking back at me.
    
"Rylan- I'm sorry. I know you meant well. I just…" She trailed off, her hard glare had now softened. She pinched the bridge of her nose and exhaled.
    
"Meet me downstairs. I'll take you to the hospital." She nodded before I left her in her room.

" She nodded before I left her in her room

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