Trigger Warning: This chapter has frank conversations about suicide and war death. While not graphic or descriptive, some of the material discussed may be triggering.
Everyone slept in the next day. Phillip drove Brody and Anna to Sweetwater and without fanfare, helped get a sleeping Brody inside the motorhome. She had watched him drive away from a window before snuggling up to Brody and get what sleep she could.
With the morning, Anna rubbed her face as she got up yet again. She anxiously followed the ER doctor's orders to wake Brody every other hour to make sure he didn't slip into a coma. He had woken without trouble every time. By the early afternoon, he was still sluggish but in a good mood. It was such a good sign to the family that they decided to bring him outside, cuddled up in a light blanket and camping chair so he could watch all the things that were going on for the day.
Zoe was in her element. Hank placed a large tub in the middle of the lawn and filled it to the brim with water balloons. He threw in some water squirters for good measure before topping the whole thing off with water. The kids that were at the resort spent most of the afternoon running around throwing water balloons and getting wet in general. Once the water got low for the squirters, they were over at the barbecue begging Hank to re-fill the tub.
Ophelia got into the action by helping Zoe ambush a bunch of older boys that had been plaguing her. They held several water balloons a piece, sneaking up to the boys for hits at point-blank range. Ophelia ran over to Brody and handed him a couple of water balloons so that he had the chance to throw some before they were all gone. When the water balloons were gone, the kids resorted to filling up the tub and splashing the water around or just running over to the pool to jump in. Everyone looked to be having a good time.
Anna stayed by her son's side, her anxiety not allowing her to leave. She wanted to be there in case of a relapse in his symptoms, but also to keep him from trying to join in on the fun. It was a testament to how rotten he still felt that he didn't fight her much about his boredom.
Anna found herself scanning the lawn and the lodge house every so often. Phillip hadn't been seen at the resort since he dropped them off in the wee hours of the morning. She told herself that he was catching up on his sleep after the drama of the day before. She couldn't help feeling just a little disappointed that he was still absent when Hank and Marg went around announcing the start of the barbecue in the late afternoon. He will come when he comes, she tried telling herself. The Princess Bride had gone mostly unread and so she opened it to try and review it before she put her lesson plan together. She made a deal with herself - after she read five paragraphs then she could look up from the book to look for Phillip. She was in the middle of paragraph three when she heard the familiar voice above her.
"Hey, buddy," Phillip said, as Anna popped her head up in surprise. "How are you feeling today?"
"I still have a headache," Brody said.
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[ Complete ] Anna, a paraplegic woman with two kids, is living life as best she can after the death of her husband. But a chance encounter while on vacation with her family shows her she may have a second chance at love. But Phillip, as sweet and ki...