This chapter has been edited/revised from the original version
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"Danny can you empty the dishwasher please?"
The request came from my mother, who was sitting at the table researching about premature births. We'd just gotten back from visiting Danielle at the hospital. So far things had stayed the same, and the baby was stable. It was hard for Leah to look through the little glass box at her baby and not be able to touch her, and I could tell every time we went it cut deeper and deeper. She'd been able to touch her hand just once, though it was through the small circle cut into the incubator and she had to wear protective gloves throughout the whole thing.
I set off to empty the dishwasher, watching Leah from the kitchen. She was sitting in the living room, her newly casted arm stretched out across a pillow. The tv was on but she hardly looked like she was paying attention. Her eyes looked glazed over as she stared at screen. She'd been a zombie since yesterday, when she first got home from the hospital.
When I finished with the dishes I joined Leah on the couch. She immediately laid down, her head resting on my lap. I brushed away a few stray pieces of her hair, combing through some of the neglected knots. "I haven't seen her eyes yet," Leah said.
Danielle had yet to open them. "Do you think they're blue like yours, or green like mine?"
"Maybe they're brown," I told her. "Or grey."
"What if I never get to see them?" he voice cracked as she said it, and my fingers paused halfway through a particularly nasty knot.
"Don't think that way, don't you ever," I said calmly. "She's going to make it through."
I thought back to her comment about the eyes, wondering what color the father's were. Someday, maybe, Leah would tell us who he was. When she was ready.
"You know Katy from school? We used hang out a lot?" she asked.
I nodded, barely able to conjure up the image of a short, red head girl that Leah used to spend time with before the pregnancy went public. "She stopped by the hospital yesterday when you were at school. Her brother was a preemie so she brought a bunch of his old clothes. They're mostly all blue but I think they'll fit Danielle once she grows a little."
I felt tears in my eyes. This was the first I'd heard about any of her old friends contacting her. "That was nice of her."
"She said she'd come by the house tomorrow and drop off some old toys too."
"The world wants this baby, Leah. Even Katy knows it. She's going to make it, okay?"
It's all going to be okay, I thought. It had to be.
Thursday morning calculus felt like hell. Kids were still whispering about Leah and the baby. It was the new hot gossip around school. I heard one kid saying Leah was pushed down the steps by her mom and Ty had to hold me back from punching him in the face. Porter had been a huge help not only around the house but at school. I felt as if I put the search for his father on the back burner, but he didn't seem to mind. He was only concerned with cheering up Leah and helping around the house as much as possible. Ty did his best to navigate around the subject. He loved Leah and I, but I was sure he didn't really know how to act about the whole situation. Emily on the other hand was always asking me questions. How was I, was Leah doing okay, were there any updates on Danielle?