Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Babysitting

I was fine that Devon wasn't going to the hospital with us until I walked up to Reed's door and then I started to curse him for not being there with me. If I didn't have Alexis in my arms, if I didn't tell her that we were going to see her mommy and if we didn't stop at the gift shop to buy a 'get well' card I probably would've turned around and walked away again.

"Are you ready to see mommy?"

Alexis nodded, her mouth opened as she went to stuff the corner of the card in her mouth.

"No," I grabbed the card. "That's for your daddy, remember I told you he was not feeling good?"

She nodded but I don't think she really knew what I was saying.

"Ok." Taking a deep breath, I turned the corner and entered Reed's room. Although I tried to avoid it, the first place my eyes rested was on Reed's battered and bruised body laying under the white hospital sheets. My heart hurt for Amber and Alexis. I started to wonder if it was really a good idea for Alexis to be here. If he dies, then it would be worse if Alexis never got to 'say' bye.

I didn't want to think like that but the longer I looked at him, the more I wondered if he would ever pull out of this. I had to force myself to look away, it was the only way I would stop worrying that he would die.

In the chair on the right side of his bed, Amber sat with her head resting on the mattress at his elbow and her hand under his. She was still, I thought she was sleeping.

"Dada?" Alexis' soft voice broke the silence and caused Amber to jump in her chair. Spinning around, she took one look at Alexis and just started to bawl. I couldn't make out a word she said as she came towards us and reached for Alexis. Once her daughter was in her arms, she turned around and walked back to Reed's side, whispering to Alexis every step of the way.

I watched Amber place Alexis on the bed by Reed's hip and then lift his hand so that Alexis' leg was under it. Alexis tried to kick it off and crawl on Reed but Amber wouldn't let her. "Daddy's not feeling that well Alexis, he needs to sleep so that he'll feel better. Will you sit there like a good little girl while daddy sleeps?"

She didn't want too, you could tell by the way she was holding herself, and I can't say I blame her. Alexis was daddy's little girl. She would follow him everywhere, she was always calling out to him when he wasn't around and when he was, they were always playing. She missed him and she didn't understand why he wasn't playing with her now.

Amber grabbed her as she tried to crawl on Reed again. "Alexis please don't," she groaned as Alexis cried. "Mommy's sorry, I wish I could do something but I can't."

"Do you want me to take her again?"

"No," Amber shook her head. "It'll be ok, she needs to see him and he needs her to be here." She grabbed Alexis again and this time pulled her down on her lap. "Thank you for bringing her in and for taking good care of her while I sit here with him."

"No problem," I told her. "She's been really good for Devon and me," I laughed. "Well if Devon wasn't there, I don't know how good it would be but..." I shrugged.

Amber smiled. "He's always been great with her - hasn't he Alexis? Uncle Devon is fun, isn't he?" Alexis didn't reply, she was struggling against her mom's arms as she tried to get on Reed's bed again. "Just hold on," Amber told her before turning to look at me - she looked so tired and worn out - I wondered if she was eating right and getting any sleep.

"Did you eat yet?" I asked her. "I could go get something for you if you like."

"Thanks but mom and dad are going to be here in a little while, they've been bringing me food. Lucinda and Roger have been visiting with food too. I don't really feel hungry but..." she trailed off as a hand rubbed over her belly. "The baby needs food."

"Ok," I gave her a half smile. "What about books or something to do while you sit with him?"

"I don't have the energy to do anything," she told me. "I just sit here and talk to him. I tell him what's going on and how everyone is." She chuckled softly. "His dad comes in and reads the entire paper to him."

"That's nice."

"Yeah," she shrugged. "Roger doesn't know what else to do, he doesn't like seeing Reed like this and not be able to do anything for him."

"I'm sure everyone feels like that," I stated. "I know I wish I could do something more."

"You're doing a lot," she told me. "It's easier for me to be here when I know that you and Devon are taking care of Alexis - it's almost as if we were their with her."

"Are you kidding? Alexis is plotting her escape!" I joked. "She misses you guys."

Amber smiled and turned back to Alexis. "Hey," she said after a couple minutes. "Do you think you can do me a favor?"

"Sure," I said without hesitating - I wanted to get out of that room. "What do you need?"

Amber pointed across the room to a corner that wasn't visible from where I stood. "Could you get him out of here for a while? He's been here every single moment since Reed's been admitted and while it's nice, I need to spend some time with Reed - just us."

As she spoke, I took a couple steps to see who she was talking about - even though I knew without a doubt that it was Sean. "He's sleeping," I stated. I didn't really want to spend any time with him.

"Janie please? It's just for a few minutes. He needs to get out of here, he hasn't been any where but home longer enough to shower and change. I don't even think he's sleeping that much." When I screwed up my face at the thought of spending time with him, Amber sighed. "I'm worried about him Janie."

"What do you expect me to do with him?"

"Take him out? Go to a restaurant, make sure he eats and thinks about something besides Reed in this bed for a few minutes."

After a couple minutes of listening to Amber's pleads, I gave in. "Ok, I'll take him." I told her and then jokingly added, "But babysitting Sean isn't the same as babysitting Alexis; you'll owe me big time!"

Amber thanked me and I made my way over to Sean. I called out his name but his only response was a couple soft snores. With a sigh, I leaned over him and gently shook his arm.

"Amber what is it?" He asked groggily as he shifted in his chair. "Is Reed - you aren't Amber." He rubbed his face, "I must be dreaming."

"No you aren't," I pulled away from him and turned to go. "Come on, I'm hungry and you are taking me out to dinner."

I was almost to the door when I heard him chuckle, "Now I know I'm dreaming."

Saturday, March 22, 2008


"Janie?" Devon poked his head into my room again, looking a little worried. "Is there something wrong?" He took a step in as if he was ready to spring to action if there was.

"No," I shook my head. "Just watching Alexis play with my hair clips. She finds happiness in the smallest things I - I..." I started to well up with tears as I thought about the fact she didn't even know her life could change for the worst.

"Don't cry," Devon came to sit by my side, his strong arms wrapping around me as he pulled me close so my head could rest on his broad shoulder.

Wiping my cheeks, I told him I didn't want to cry. "I feel like I have to be strong for her but I'm not, I've never been."

"That's not true," he rubbed his hand up and down my back, trying to soothe me. "You've always been strong Janie and I've admired that about you."

"No," I chuckled sadly. "I haven't been strong at all."

"Sure you have," he insisted. With a smile, he added, "You've put up with me this long, that takes a lot of strenght."

"Whatever," I playfully shoved him away. "You just don't get lost." The moment those words left my mouth, I had a second of panic in which I wondered if he would take that seriously or realize I was joking.

Never in my life was I so happy to hear his deep laugh. "Come see what I've been doing," he held out his hand to me. Nodding, I scooped Alexis off my bed, held her to me and then slipped my hand in his.

I had some idea what to expect when I walked down the hall - I knew it had to do with breakfast - but I can tell you that it wasn't the 'picnic' breakfast that he had set up in the living room. I was shocked - Alexis was excited. "Devon," I glanced at him. "You didn't have to do this, you know."

"I know," he grinned as he took Alexis from my arms. He whispered something to her before he set her on the floor - she hesitated for a moment but soon she was making her way over to the blanket Devon had spread out. "Wait for us!" He called after her but she just giggled and continued towards the plate of bacon. "We better get over there," he threw over his shoulder as he went to join her.

"What are you doing?" He asked in a low growling voice as he grabbed her around the waist and started to tickle her. "Didn't I ask you to wait for Janie and me? Huh?"

As I watched them together, I couldn't stop myself from thinking that it never ceased to amaze me to see him with kids - it was as if he was a completely different person - like he stopped hiding who he is and just enjoyed himself. It was times like that told me I was doing the right thing by being with him - that giving him another chance was a good thing.

I went over to them. "I want in on this action," I laughed as I joined them on the floor.

Without missing a beat, Devon grabbed me around the waist and had me on the floor on my back before I could even tell him I meant tickling Alexis.

Breakfast with Devon and Alexis was the best meal I had ever had in a long time. Even if Alexis did get bits of food everywhere! It was worth it to see the fun side of Devon. When we were done, when we were cleaning up before I went to give Alexis a bath, I told him we had to have more meals like that.

Laughing, he told me that he wasn't sure that Amber or Reed would let us kidnap Alexis too much after he got out of the hospital. "Would you be fine if it's just me and you?"

I didn't give him an answer but I did make a point of noticeably checking him out before I walked away with a big smile on my face.

That night, when I was getting Alexis ready for bed, Amber called like she had been doing since the first night I had Alexis. Like every other night, she would speak with me for a minute and then ask me to put Alexis on so she could talk to her. I would spend the next five minutes or so, trying to hold Alexis still so I could hold the phone to her ear; although most nights it was actually Devon who was holding Alexis so she could talk to her mom. After Alexis starts to fuss really badly, I'd talk to Amber for a couple more minutes and then she would say she had to go.

Last night, she didn't seem to want to hang up. I had asked her a few times if everything was alright and she swore that everything was until she finally broke down and started to bawl. "Amber, tell me what's wrong."

Devon shot me a worried look but I didn't have anything to tell him.

"Is it Reed? Have the doctors said something?"

"Nooo," she wailed.

I shook my head at Devon so he knew what she said, although I think he could hear her. "Is it the baby? Have you been eating?"

"No," she sniffled. "The baby's ok."

"Are you?" I asked her.

"Yeah," she sighed sadly as she sounded like she was trying to stop.

"Then what's wrong? I can't help you if you don't tell me."

"I just..." she sniffled. "I mean..." she sighed and sobbed. "Everything is wrong," she sobbed again. "I miss Reed so much..."

"Amber he's still there, he wouldn't go anywhere without you, you know that."

"I know...." she sighed. "I just want to take him be with him...and..." she sobbed loudly - Devon gave me a worried look. "I miss my baby..."

"I know you do Amber but he's doing the best he can to come through this. He wouldn't leave you, he loves you too much for that."

"I know...I love him too...with all my heart but -"

"No buts Amber, Reed will come through this."

She chuckled sadly, "I was...I mean...I miss Alexis."

"Oh." I looked down at Alexis as she curled up in Devon's arms. "She really misses you too Amber, she asks for you and Reed every single day."

"Does she?"

"Of course," I laughed. "How could she not miss you and Reed? With me watching her? She probably wants to run away!"

Amber laughed. "She sounds happy when I hear her, you must be doing alright."

"No," I admitted. "Devon is doing alright - me? I'm just trying not to scar her for life!"

"I'm glad he's there with you," she told me. "He's great with Alexis, you see that, right?"

"Yeah," I grinned. "I see it."

Even with Reed in the hospital, Amber was able to get there and try to sell me on why she thought Devon was perfect for me. "Think about it, ok?" She said at the end of her 'sales' pitch. "If I learnt one thing, it's that the man you love may not always be around."

"Amber," I said in a warning tone as she started to sound depressed again. "Reed will pull through this."

"He's strong," she sighed. "They moved him today."

"What?" She didn't say that before. "Why?"

"Well they say he is stable and his mom had been freaking about him not being in a private room, so they moved him."

"Well that's a great sign!"

She didn't say anything.

"What is it Amber?"

Taking a deep breath, she asked me if I had plans tomorrow after work. When I told her no, she asked me if it would be too much trouble for me to bring Alexis to the hospital for a few minutes. "The doctors say that he might be able to hear us and I think that he would probably be wondering where Alexis is." She paused and then added that she really needed to see Alexis, even if Reed couldn't hear her.

"I'll bring her down," I promised her.

The next evening after I got off work, I went by the day care to pick up Alexis like I've been doing for the last week. Normally Devon was there waiting for me with Alexis all ready to go but when I walked into the day care, he was standing just inside the door with a frown on his face. My first thought was that he heard something about Reed and it wasn't good.

"Devon?" I approached him hesitantly.

"Janie," he sighed.

"What's wrong?" My heart literally was beating in my throat. "Did you hear something about Reed?"

"No," he shook his head. "I just can't go with you to the hospital, I have a dinner meeting that I just can't get out off - I tried really hard."

"Oh," I probably didn't look that disappointed by the news because his frown deepened. "No," I groaned as I reached for him. "I didn't mean it like that, I just thought that you had bad news about Reed and you didn't, so I was relieved."

He nodded. "I should go. Tell Amber that I wanted to be there and I am thinking of her and Reed."

"Devon?" I went after him as he walked away from me. When he turned, I threw my arms around him. "I really wish you were coming with us."

"So do I," he kissed my forehead. "I'll see you at home, ok?"

I was still nodding like a moron when he walked out through the doors.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trying To Make Her Life Normal

The night of the accident Amber asked me to pick Alexis up from her parents house and to look after her. I didn't know at the time that Amber was really asking me to become a surrogate mommy.

"I need to be here," Amber told me when I called her at the hospital that night after I picked up Alexis and had her playing in my living room. "Can you please take care of Alexis for me? Please Janie? I need to know that Alexis is safe."

Being the great friend I am, I promised her that I would take care of her daughter so she could concentrate on making sure that Reed knew that we loved and needed him here.

Problem was, I didn't have anything for Alexis, just the day bag that Lenore gave me when I picked her up. I didn't have enough diapers, clothes out anything else that one would need to take care of a baby. I thought about going to Amber and Reed's but it just felt wrong to be there or think about staying there when they weren't around.

It was getting later and later by the minute, Alexis was whining and rubbing her eyes as she called out to her mom and dad. It broke my heart to hear her crying for them. I wanted to do anything to make it stop. I wished that I was able to turn back time and stop the driver that hit Reed's car so that my friend and her family wouldn't know the heartache they were feeling at this moment.

Of course, I was incapable of turning back time - hell I wasn't really qualified to be alone in her company - I didn't know the first thing about babies. My experience went as far as being around her when Amber was around.

So I did the only thing I could think of - I called in backup.

"Thank you for coming," I said as my backup crossed my doorstep and took a squirmy, crying Alexis out of my arms and attempted to soothe her. "I don't know what to do," I admitted helplessly. "She's been crying for a while and she's so tired. I don't have pjs for her and I don't have her blanket. I don't know if I'm supposed to wash her before bed or even if I can put her in a real bed for that matter! I'm freaking out here! Why did Amber think I could -"

The pressure of his lips on mine stopped me dead in my rambling. "Don't worry Janie," he said with a smile as he pulled away from me. "Just calm down and I promise that everything will be alright."

It had been a long week, like I said in the last post, Alexis still cries at night for her dad, but during the day she's almost as happy as she was over a week ago.

I would love to say that it was because of my care giving but I know that's not true. I'm convinced with my entire being that the only reason Alexis feels 'normal' at all is the man who came to our rescue. The man who told me that I wasn't doing this alone as he brought his suitcases in along with the stuff he managed to gather from Amber's place for Alexis.

Just now, he poked his head into my room and asked me to join him in the living room. I don't know what he's been doing for the last hour or so - he banished Alexis and me to my room so he could do something without us 'ruining' the surprise.

Friday, March 14, 2008


The last couple of days have been the worst I've had in months. The call we received at the restaurant the other night wasn't from the same person that was texting me. My text messages were from a girl friend of mine wanting to tell me about a party next weekend. The call, well...

"It's about time you two got here," Sean snapped at us as we ran up the sidewalk towards the hospital. "What did you do? Stop to make out or something?"

"Fuck you," Devon grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him up against the wall. "What the hell is going on here? Why were we 'summoned' here?"

"Devon," I tried to get between the two of them. "This isn't the time," I turned to Sean. "Please tell me everything is ok."

"I -" He shook his head, at a lost for what to say.

"Who?" I asked, my heart in my throat, fearing the answer.

"Reed," he barely choked out as his eyes filling with tears. "Amber called me....he..."

"NO!" Devon snapped as he slammed Sean against the wall against. "Stop lying!"

"You think I'm lying?" Sean glared at him. "That's my brother in that operating room! It's my brother who may not get to see his little girl grow up or see his new baby! Do you think I would lie about that?" Sean gripped Devon's hand and ripped them away from him. "Fuck you, you bastard!"

I watched Sean walk away from us and I saw Devon fall forward against the wall he just held Sean against. I didn't know what to do first, to run after Sean and see how Amber was - find out more information about what was going on with Reed. Or go to Devon and make sure that he was ok after having just found out that the man that was like a brother to him is possibly going to die.

I choose Devon. He needed me more.

I went to him and wrapped my arms around his waist. "Devon?"

"It has to be a lie Janie," he said after a while. "Reed has to be ok, he can't...." I hugged him tighter as his body shook in my arms.

We stood like that for the longest time before he turned towards me and asked me to take him to see Reed. "I need to see him."

Hand in hand, we walked into the hospital together and made our way towards the waiting room that the nurses directed us when I asked for Amber.

The waiting room was silent - deadly silent. For a moment I was afraid that they got some bad news about Reed's condition but one look around told me that they were all just in their own little world of prayer.

"Amber," Devon pulled on my hand as he hurried across the room to where Amber sat with Sean. "What happened?" He asked as he sunk to the floor at her feet, letting go of my hand as he went down.

Through her tears, she told us that it was her fault, she wanted ice cream but they didn't have the kind she wanted at home. "I asked him to go to the store - he didn't want to go - he just got home from work and wanted to relax with Alexis and me." She told us they argued and he reluctantly agreed to go. At that point she was crying too hard to understand anything else that she tried to say. With a huge sob, she turned to Sean and he wrapped his arms around her, comforting her as she buried her face against his chest.

"His car was hit on the passenger's side before he turned down the road to come home," Sean told us as he stroked Amber's back.

"I didn't need the ice cream that badly," Amber's muffled voice cut in as she lifted her head from Sean's chest. Wiping her cheek, she stared up at him, "I can't lose him Sean, I can't."

"You won't," he promised her. "I won't let anything happen to him."

Beside me I heard Devon scoff, "Don't," I hissed. "She needs that right now."

"No," he leaned towards me. "She doesn't need to be lied to!"

I happened to agree with him on that point but I also didn't think that she needed to hear that he wouldn't make it.

It was a long night - we didn't leave the hospital until long after the sun came up. I would've stayed as long as it took but Amber asked me to relieve her parents from babysitting so they could come down and be with her. "I need to be here," she told me. "But I don't want Alexis to have to see me or her daddy like this."

"Of course we'll take care of her," Devon promised and then told her he would be back to check on her and Reed. "When you get to see him, tell him he made a promise to me that he can't back out off." After glancing at me for a brief second, he told Amber that he really needed Reed to be there like he promised.

It's almost been a week since the accident and sadly, there hasn't been much of a change in Reed's condition. He remains in a coma in critical condition and everyday his little girl cries for him when I put her to bed at night. I'm afraid that she'll spend her lifetime crying for him.

And I'm afraid that if he dies, Amber will never be the same again.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Getting Close To Something?

I received a text message last night while I was out to dinner with Devon. I tried to ignore it but Devon heard the beeping and he wanted to know what it was. "It's nothing," I told him without looking at my phone. "If it was important, it would've been a call not a text."

He seemed satisfied with that reply and we pretty much forgot about the text until we were going to leave and my phone started beeping again. "Someone really wants to get to you," Devon joked as he paid for dinner. "Let me guess, it's your other boyfriend."

"That's not funny Devon," I glared at him.

"Come on baby," he reached for me. "I was just kidding."

"It wasn't funny," I informed him before turning to walk out of the restaurant and into the cool March night.

"It was a joke Janie," Devon insisted when he caught up with me. "I know you aren't seeing anyone else."

"What if I was?" I snapped.

"What?" He raised a brow. "What if you were what?"

Frowning, I thought about what we were talking about. I didn't really know what it was that I was talking about. There were times that I was so certain that I wanted no one else but him but then other times?

"Janie?" Devon stepped in front of me. "Is there anyone else?"

I was unimpressed the he actually felt that he needed to ask that - I had spent most of my time with him. "When would there be time for some one else?"

"Are you saying that I'm hogging all your time?" He demanded.

"No, I-"

Shifting from one foot to the other, he stared down at me, "Because all you have to do is tell me and I'll make myself scarce!"

"Devon, I didn't say -"

"Maybe we do need to spend more time apart."

"What?" I shook my head. "Devon, I didn't say that! I didn't say anything! God! Why are you being like this?"

"Me?" He pointed at himself. "I'm not being like anything! I was just joking! I don't think you have another boyfriend!" He cursed and turned away from me.

Without saying anything, I moved behind him. I was shaking pretty badly as I reached my hand out towards his back - I was worried that he was serious about taking a break. At the last minute, I dropped my hand and took a deep breath. "Devon?"

He didn't reply.

"Devon please, I know you can hear me, you are standing right in front of me."

A moment passed and then another. Finally he dropped his chin to his chest and sighed. "What is it you want from me Janie?" He asked softly. "We spend time together, we talk and laugh. I've been patient and understanding, not because I expect something from you for it, but because I want you to know that I'm here for you."

"I know you are," I wrapped my arms around his waist and pressed my body against his back. Sighing, I closed my eyes and bury my face in his shirt as his scent engulfed my senses.

"What do you want Janie? What will make you happy?" His hand covered mine as they rested together at his waist.

It was a very good question and the only thing that popped into my head was. "You."

"Me?" He removed my hands and turned around. "We argue and you walk away -"

"Yes," I nodded. "We do."

"Then I'm not really making you happy."

"Devon," I pulled my hands from his and returned them to his waist. Resting my forehead against his chest, I told him that it was true that we argued and I walk away. "Even the happiest couples I know argue and need to get away from each other from time to time. That doesn't mean that I'm not happy Devon."

He hesitated for a moment, I could feel it.

"Reed and Amber argue," he stated.

"Yes," I smiled. "They do but they are -" My words were drowned out by his shirt as he pulled me to his chest.

He held me and stroked my back. He was quiet for a long time, I had to check to see if I could tell what was going on. When I lifted my head from his chest, he frowned. "I've been wanting to ask you something for a long time Janie but it never seems to be the right moment."

I opened my mouth to ask him what he wanted to ask me but I never got the chance, we were interrupted by one of the restaurant staff as they ran towards us calling our names.

"There's been an accident," the guy told us between gasps for air. "You need to go to the hospital right away."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


"Sean..." Amber looked embarrassed as she stared up at Sean standing just outside the kitchen. As she rose from her chair, she gave me a look, like she wanted me to apologize or something.

I didn't apologize though. What did I have to apologize for? Not feeling anything for him? Yeah, right!

"Hey Amber," Sean smiled as he strolled towards her, giving her a hug before taking the seat she vacated. "Can we...?"

I couldn't believe it! He was shooing her away.

"You know," I closed the magazine I was flipping though and started to stand. "I have stuff to -" Sean grabbed my arm, his fingers circling around my wrist.

"Yeah..." Amber pointed towards the living room where Reed and Alexis were laughing up a storm. Without another word, she grinned and disappeared.

"Please," Sean motioned towards my chair. "I hear sitting is more comfortable than hovering."

For the longest time I 'hovered' over my chair, wondering what he could possibly have to say to me after hearing that I wasn't the least bit interested in him. "I have to go Sean."

Raising a brow, he asked me if I was really like that. "Like what?"

"Ignore me because I overheard you say something that you obviously weren't planning on telling me to my face."

"What?" I almost laughed. "Sean how many times - how many ways - do I have to tell you that I'm not interested?"

Finally releasing my wrist, Sean leaned back in his chair. "Janie are you saying that you never felt anything?"

"Felt anything? When Sean?"

With a smile, he reminded me of the day I twisted my ankle. "We both know that if I would've joined you on your bed and gave you the kiss you were begging for with your eyes, you wouldn't have stopped me."

I tried to deny it but there was a part of me that knew he was right; I wouldn't have shoved him away that night at all. "But that doesn't mean that I like you or anything."

He laughed, a soft sort of chuckle almost. "You often go around gazing up at men, begging to be kissed?"

"I don't go around begging to be kissed," I hissed. "And I didn't do it that day either."

It has been a while since that day and yet Sean hasn't gotten the idea. I really don't know what to do about him. I like him, I do but just not that way. How do I tell him to back off and try being my friend?