I waited outside the hospital room as Nathan babbled to Jessie about how excited he was.
C'mon guys, I thought, internally groaning. I watched as the three football players walked down the hall. I waved.
"Hey Alex," Julian said, giving me a hug. I hugged the others, too.
"Hey guys. So his name is Nathan," I said. Danny laughed.
"We know," Tom said. "He has leukemia. We overheard you talking to Bill about letting us off practice and we also had a jersey made with his name on it, then we had the whole team sign it."
I stared, dumbfounded, at them.
"I know, impressive, right?" Danny asked with a smile. I wrapped the three of them in one huge embrace.
"Thank you guys so much. This is going to make his life. You have no idea," I whispered.
"Right. Now lets go meet Nathan!" Danny exclaimed. I laughed and we went inside the room.
"Hey buddy?" I asked. Nathan looked up. "These are my friends. This is Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola."
Nathan's eyes widened to the size of tires.
"You guys play for the Patriots!" he exclaimed, a big toothy grin on his face. "You're my favorites!"
Danny crouched down next to him.
"Well, Nathan. I'm Danny, and I'm guessing you know Tom and Julian."
Danny put up his hand for a high five and Nathan gave him one.
"We brought you a little something," Julian said, taking a bag out from behind his back. He gave it to Nathan. Nathan took out the tissue paper. There were a couple of books.
"Thank you so much!" he said, his eyes still wide.
"No problem buddy. There's more," Tom laughed. Nathan dug to the bottom of the bag and took out the jersey. It was an authentic away game jersey, so it was white. His number was seven, and all the guys had signed it.
"The whole team signed it," Julian said. "We thought number seven would be good because you're seven."
Jessie gasped from the corner. I went over to her.
"Alex, you didn't have to do this," she said, wrapping me in an embrace. I laughed.
"I didn't do it. It was all these wonderful guys," I smiled. "They're amazing people. And they don't even realize it."
I was lying awake in bed, Rob not next to me. This was basically all I knew:
•I had no idea where he was.
•I was super mad.
•I was going to slap him when he got home.
I heard a knock on the door, and I got up reluctantly. I grabbed something heavy, just in case it was you know, a murderer. I looked out the door and saw Rob. He's dead. I opened the door and he came hobbling in. I smacked him first and foremost. He was barely staggering along.
"What was that for?"
His breath smelled like alcohol and his speech was slurred. Great. A drunk Rob comes home at three in the morning. He's so screwed.
"What were you thinking?" I demanded.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"You leave while we're in the hospital, then you show up home piss drunk at three in the morning. So again I repeat, what were you thinking?"
"I was thinking I like beer," he replied, slurring more. Fuck him.
"Go to bed. You have practice in a few hours. Go!"
He staggered into our room, and I ran a hand through my hair. I went upstairs to the guest room and slept on that bed.
I was sitting at a press conference. Great. Exactly what I wanted to be doing.
"Ms. Stone, where do you think the Patriots will stand after this weekend's game against the Bears?" one reporter asked. I smiled.
"I think it all depends," I replied.
"Alright, what do you think of the Antonio Smith cheating allegations?"
"Well I don't think much of them," I replied dryly. A couple people laughed. "I think it's about as realistic as the theory that Bill's coaching staff is made up of double agents." I cracked a smile. "You never know. I'm crafty. I could be a double agent. But back to your question, I don't think much of it."
"Alright Alex. One more question. Are you and Rob thinking of getting married?" one asked. I froze and my heartbeat quickened.
"You know what I thought? I thought we all learned our lesson when it came to talking about my personal life," I stated.
"A-Alright. Thank you Ms. Stone," he said. I got off the stage.
"Good job Alex," Rob said, trying to peck my lips. I swerved away.
"Why are you mad at me?" he whined. I rolled my eyes.
"Because I am. You know why Rob. You know, I'm going home. Catch a ride with one of the others," I sighed.