Chapter 61: Recall and Relocation

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"Lex, can I ask you something?" Serena said, looking at her friend over her plate.

"Sure, go ahead," Lex replied, pausing from taking the next bite of her sandwich. She'd come over to spend lunch hour with Serena, and Art, who kept silent watch from his laptop on the table in the corner. They hadn't been able to explain about Art to Serena yet, though, so Lex just nodded a greeting to him.

Lex felt a surge of happiness in her chest as she answered, still glad from the time several days ago when she'd heard from the tone in her friend's voice that let her know that Serena had remembered her. It had happened almost a week after Chris had left, convinced after seeing where they'd been proposing for Serena to stay that it would be adequate for her.

"Just tell her to call me every couple of days" he'd warned them before boarding his plane back home. "She'll have whatever money she needs, I'll see to that, but I'm going to need to have a lot of contact with her for company business, and if any of you see any need for me to come back, or to send an assistant over for her, let me know right away."

They'd all agreed, waving as he'd left to board his flight, but the only thing Lex had called Chris about in the intervening days had been to warn him that Serena had been getting restless in the hospital. His response had been to have a laptop with a bunch of software on it delivered the following day, along with a new smart phone to replace the flip phone he'd gotten for Serena while he'd been in town. Lex smiled, remembering his response to her comment. "Well, one of the best cures for boredom is some work, and there are a lot of things I need her to do for me."

The week and a half since Chris had left town had been filled with the usual Special Forces work, as well as frequent trips to the hospital to see Serena, including some overnights. Lex had been glad to see her friend recovering her strength as well as some of her memory, but she had to admit to herself that the irregular time schedules had begun to wear on some of the group.

Realizing that Serena had paused, something quite unusual for her once she'd started talking, Lex caught up the threads of her thoughts and focused her attention back on her friend. "So, what is it?"

"Everyone here has been nothing but nice, though they've made me wish that I'd worked harder on my French in school," Serena began, playing with the food on her plate. "I don't have anything against anyone here, which is way more than I can say for any other hospital I've been in. I just want to know, though, when can I leave?"

Lex tried not to wince at the look Serena gave her then, intense and unhappy. "How are you doing with your physical therapy?" she asked, wondering if her progress might be a reason to continue holding her.

"They said that everything seems normal," Serena replied, still looking straight at Lex. "I had some problems with weakness at first, but I'm not having trouble with anything anymore, not walking or running or any other physical skills."

"That's good. What about your memory?" Lex paused before asking, not wanting to poke a sore spot, but continued since that might be one of the main reasons Serena might be asked to stay.

She sighed with frustration. "It's...some days are better than others. I remember a lot of my life past when I left my parent's home, but I still have some big empty spots. At least I remember all of you now."

Serena's head had drooped to the point where she ended up studying her lunch, and what Lex could see of her friend's expression seemed discouraged. She reached over to touch Serena's hand and smiled. "I don't mind asking Lily about it, if you haven't already. I take it you haven't?"

"I have, but she'll never talk with me about it. 'Let's see in a few more days,' she keeps saying. Like I said, the people here are very nice, I don't mind them, but I don't like hospitals."

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