Eight

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Ethan

"Ethan, what's your grandfather's name?" Sophie asked once we stepped inside the hospital and out of that non-stopping rain.

"James, James Anderson" I said.

"Give me a minute let me check at the desk." her voice drifted farther as the soft taps of here steps distanced.

Skye pulled me to the side and out of the way. I leaned on the cold wall behind me. My thoughts distracted by my surroundings. The strong smell of cleaning supplies filled the air making my nose itch. The sound of people talking. Footsteps coming and going in all directions. A few were coughing and sneezing. A baby was crying somewhere to my left. The screeching sound of what seemed like rusted wheel squeaked its way right in front of us. There was a ruffle of flickering light followed by a low buzz over my head. I hated crowded unfamiliar places. It made me restless in many different ways.

As if sensing my dilemma Skye touched her shoulder to mine and the back of her hand brushed against mine. My head whipped her direction and I smiled. She was telling me silently that she was there for me.

"Hey Sophie, I thought you had the early shift today!" someone said catching my attention.

"I did, I'm here to check on a friend" Sophie said.

I leaned close to Skye asking, "Your Aunt works at the hospital?"

She leaned in too, "Yes, she a nurse here."

I went back to listening. Medical terms that I didn't understand were thrown here and there. I could hear my grandfather's name being mention and then switched to 'the patient'. It felt weird. I didn't need to understand all those medical terms to know things didn't look up.

Sophie's soft taps had me pushing off the wall and in full attention. "He's in ICU right now on the 3rd floor," she said, "Doctor McCartney is with him right now. He is one of the best cardiac doctors here at the hospital so I believe he'll be in good hands."

"Thank you!" I said in gratitude.

She touched my arm in sympathy, "It was nothing," and then she was talking to Skye, "Sweetie, a word please."

Their steps didn't pace far. I could make out some of the low spoken words. I think I heard Sophie ask, "Are you sure you can do this?" I didn't mean to eavesdrop but I strained to hear Skye's answer. What are they talking about? Was there something happening with Skye? What was I missing?

"I'm sure he'll be alright." a small voice said from my side interrupting my thoughts. Matt. This kid was too quiet for his age that I almost forgot he was here.

I turned to Matt, "I hope he will."

A moment later Skye was back to my side and her hand was in mine. 

Sophie asked, "Do you need anything, would you want me to stay?"

I shook my head, "You did a lot already." Then I gave Skye's hand a little squeeze before starting to slip mine from hers so she could leave too, "Thank you for everything", I told her.

Skye laced her fingers back through mine and simply stated, "I'm not going anywhere."

I shook my head again, "I can't ask you to do that, Skye."

I could feel her body close to mine, "Not a chance, I'm staying."

I couldn't argue further. At this point I knew there will be no changing her mind. And to tell the truth, I didn't want her to. I sank my fingers deeper between hers in a tight appreciative grip.

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