Chapter 33 - Rounds

316 41 7

The surgeon had a tired yet happy look on her face as she approached them. She motioned for him to sit as Joe started to stand. Instead, she sat down in the row of chairs facing theirs.

"He was a trooper. Thankfully I didn't find any other damage other than some bruising..."

"Did you remove his spleen?" Joe asked.

"I did do a laparoscopic splenectomy which was preferred over an open procedure. His recovery will be much quicker. There is still some concern about his head and he'll be sore, but he should fully recover. Once he comes around fully we'll transfer him to a room. Do you want to go sit with him?"

Joe nodded and Ella said, "I'll stay here."

The surgeon nodded and stood up. Joe followed her and found Caleb looking even smaller than before. He was sleeping peacefully and Joe sat in a chair next to him. There was only one nurse with no other patients. Joe assumed it was good that there weren't other surgeries in the middle of the night.

He wasn't certain how long he sat before Caleb started to stir. The nurse, who had nothing to do, but to wait like Joe, came right over to talk to him. She asked him a lot of questions about his pain especially his head. Caleb answered weakly and drifted back to sleep.

The nurse turned to Joe and said, "We'll take our time in transferring him." Looking around, she said, "There isn't a lot of demand for his bed."

"So we just wait?" She nodded. He asked, "Can my girlfriend come in?"

She nodded and said, "I think a resident from neurology will come to assess him once he is fully awake."

"Should I be worried about his head?" Joe asked.

"Only as a precaution... concussions are taken seriously these days."

Joe nodded. He knew that because of all his student-athletes who needed accommodations after suffering concussions.

The nurse asked, "What's her name? I'll go get her."

When Ella appeared she looked half asleep. She smiled and took Joe's hand. "I think I dozed off."

Joe looked at his phone it was four-thirty. He'd wait until Caleb was moved and then he'd have to call Leah. Suddenly remembering Thanksgiving, he decided he would call Tommy instead, so he could tell Leah when they picked her up at school. He might have dozed off a little with Ella's head on his shoulder. He woke to the sound of her voice.

"Do you have a lot of pain?" she asked.

Caleb groaned, "I feel like I got run over."

Joe asked, "Do you remember anything?"

"Yeah, we were hanging out with friends and going back... before eleven and then we were..." He shut his eyes and shook his head.

Joe didn't ask any more questions. As much as he wanted to know about the girl and his phone being elsewhere, it could all wait. By the time the neurologist came and evaluated him the sun was up. The nurse announced that Caleb was going to be moved to a surgical floor at the children's hospital. Caleb looked shocked and she assured him that he didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of seventy-year-old men.

Ella whispered, "I'm going to go get some clothes out of my car to change into and some coffee for us." He smiled and she kissed his cheek and leaned down and kissed Caleb's. "I'll see you in a few minutes. Be good," she said to Caleb.

He rolled his eyes and Joe felt relieved that he was well enough to be annoyed.

Ella was exhausted, but she refused to leave Joe for long. He needed her and she wanted to be there for Caleb too. It was unconventional but the three of them were a family. She was thinking about Caleb and the stress of the last night as she rode the elevator down. The emotion caught up to her and brought on tears. She knew she already looked like a raccoon, as she started across the lobby. In front of her, she saw her father. She stopped as he approached her and unable to hold it together she started sobbing.

Unexpected Second ChanceWhere stories live. Discover now