Chapter 20

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Luke's POV

After a sleepless night, it is finally morning. Now I'm so used to Maine that my body has to readjust to the timezone change again. I forgot just how awful jet lag is. It seems even worse than it was when I moved to Maine.

I didn't fall asleep until midnight, and I woke up every hour. Right now it's eight o'clock in the morning. I feel like I didn't get any sleep at all.

It's weird being in my room again. I've grown accustomed to the house in Maine, so it's almost like here is an unfamiliar yet familiar place. My room hasn't changed in the past few months that I've been gone, it's exactly the same. But it feels different.

This is the room I stayed in every day when I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed. This is the room I locked myself in when I didn't want to face the world. This room holds a lot of really bad memories. It holds the old me, which is a person I don't want to think about right now.

I sleepily head to the kitchen to see if there's anything for breakfast. There's some cereal in the cabinet, so I pour myself a bowl. I sit down at the table alone to eat.

I sit in the seat I've sat in since I was a kid. My mom would always sit to the right of me. My dad always sat to the left. Calum would always sit across whenever he was over. I feel a weird sitting here all alone, like something is missing. My mom is missing.

I hear my dad walk slowly down the hall.

"Good morning, Luke," he says. He sits down at the table. He sits to the right of me. Not his spot.

"You used to always sit over here," I tell him, pointing to the chair.

"I did, didn't I? You remember that?" my dad says.

I nod and chew a spoonful of cereal.

"How did you sleep?" he asks.

"Really bad."

"Me too."

We sit in silence, with only the sound of me eating.

I clear my throat. "Can I visit Mom today?"

"Of course! We can leave in a few hours since it's still kind of early."

"Okay. Do you think we could get some flowers or something first? Her room was kinda boring and dull."

"I think she'd love that!"

"Do you wanna come too? Or just me?

"If you want to come, you can."

"I'll only go if you want me to."

I smile. Clearly neither of us can make a definite decision about this. "I'll go alone this time. Next time we can both go. I still wanna have some alone time with her, is that okay?"

"That's perfectly fine."

A few hours later, my dad and I are driving down the all-too-familiar route to the hospital. I could get there with my eyes closed if I really wanted to. At one point it was like a second home to me. But not the home that you're comfortable in. 

My dad drops me off at the front entrance of the hospital. I hesitantly stand outside the large glass doors, gripping onto the small bouquet of flowers. My dad gives me a thumbs up from the car and smiles. I wave and walk inside. He drives away.

A woman at the front desk greets me with a kind smile. It's almost like she knows why I'm here. Or maybe she gives the same expression to everyone that walks in here. I wonder if she really feels as sympathetic as she looks, or if it's an expression she's mastered while working here.

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