Chapter Twenty Five: Never Leave You
Dallas was pacing the hall while Derek sat in a chair. They were waiting for the doctor to finish talking to Natalia's parents.
Both parents were in the room with Natalia, who was fast asleep.
Dallas could remember the panic that had ensued when the school had called him. Apparently Derek had put his number on the list of emergency contacts for Natalia.
The school had told him they had been unable to reach either of her parents or Derek. Dallas had raced to the hospital, calling Derek on the way.
Both boys looked up when Derek's parents came out of the room with the doctor, who left on another errand.
“So what did he say?” Derek asked impatiently. “She's fine. They want her to stay for a few days. She needs rest.” Mr. Williams told his son. “They also said they will be giving her a different inhaler, I think her dosage will be changed.” Dallas heard Mrs. Williams say.
“So when can we go inside to see her?” Derek asked. Dallas had been waiting for him to ask that. “You can go now if you like, but she's sleeping.” Derek's mother replied.
“Nope, she's awake.” Derek said with a smile. The four of them headed into her room.
Dallas was shocked to see how small Natalia looked on the hospital bed. She had a drip that was in one arm. But other than that she looked fine.
Natalia smiled weakly as she looked at them. “I'm sorry...” She said to them. “For what?” Dallas heard Derek ask.
Dallas could feel himself becoming upset. It hurt to see Natalia this way. She looked so fragile.
“For getting sick...” Dallas looked up as he heard Natalia mumble this.
“You're being silly, dear. You can't control everything.” Mrs. Williams told her daughter. Natalia shrugged. “I wish I could.” She muttered.
Dallas smiled inspite of himself. It was just like Natalia to want to keep everything in her life in order.
Dallas watched as Natalia yawned.
“You need sleep, honey. We'll be back, okay?” Mr. Williams told his daughter. “Okay.” Natalia replied. She turned on to her side, careful of the drip leading in to her hand. Soon she was asleep.
The four walked out of her room.
“Dad, who's going to stay with her?” Derek asked his father. “That's a good question. I have to go to work...and so does your mother.” Mr. Williams thought out loud.
“I can't stay during the day, Dad, I work too.” Derek reminded his father. “We can take turns during the night.” Mrs. Williams told them.
“I can stay during the day.” Dallas told them quietly. “You have practice, Dallas. I wouldn't want you to suffer.” Derek's mother told him kindly.
“No it's fine. I can come right after practice. It's held early in the morning anyway, and the coach is leaving for Toronto in a few days, since the season is almost over.” He told Derek's parents.
“Are you sure?” Mr. Williams asked. “Yea, I'm sure. I can get some reading done, and you won't have to worry about Natalia being alone.” Dallas told them.
“Okay, then it's settled. Dallas will stay during the day, and we'll take turns during the night.” Mr. Williams said, he sounded happy at it working out.
“I'm going to go back to work, We'll see you both later.” Mr. Williams said, as he and his wife left, after checking in on Natalia once more.
Dallas and Derek sat outside Natalia's room, Dallas saw that she was still asleep.
“She scared me half to death.” Derek muttered. “Yea, I know.” Dallas said. They both were silent.
“Thank you for getting here so fast.” Derek said, looking at his best friend. “Don't worry about it. I know you would have done the same for me.” Dallas told him.
“And thanks for volunteering to take the morning watch.” Derek spoke quietly. “I wish I didn't have work, then I could stay with her.” Derek sounded guilty.
“It's fine, she'll see you when she's more awake anyway. She'll have more energy to talk to you. I'm going to have to sit there and watch her sleep...all the while hoping I don't fall asleep myself.” He told his friend, hoping to lighten the mood.
Derek chuckled. “Thank you.”
Dallas nodded. “Your welcome.”
Dallas and Derek sat outside Natalia's room. Both united by their worries for Natalia.
Natalia woke up. She hadn't gotten used to waking up in the hospital. It was her fourth day there. The weekend had brought her visits from her friends, her family hovering over her, and Dallas looking worried.
Dawn and Clara had been thrilled to see Dallas looking so protective of her. Natalia had almost gotten them kicked out of her room. They had brought her a teddy bear and a bouquet of flowers. The teddy wore a t-shirt with 'Get Well Soon' sewn on it.
Taylor on the other hand, looked relieved to see her. “Don't ever do that to me again!” He had told her. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack when your lips turned blue...and then you go and pass out on me!” He had said to her. “I'm sorry.” She had mumbled. “It's not your fault. I'm just glad your alright.” Taylor had given her a hug, he had even gotten her flowers and a get well soon card.
Natalia glanced around the room. Dallas was in a corner. He had his jacket slung over his front and shoulders, he was leaning in one chair and his feet were up in another.
“Dallas...” Natalia whispered. When no reply came, Natalia understood that he was asleep.
She looked around again, in search of a clock. She found one on a wall across from the window. It was already one in the afternoon.
Dallas must have come straight from practice. It further endeared him to her heart.
Natalia watched him sleep. He looked at peace.
Natalia didn't have to wait long for Dallas to wake up.
“How are you feeling?” She had been looking out of the window when she heard his voice.
“I'm fine. How about you?” She asked. He was stretching his arms, he had moved his feet off the chair.
“Good. I thought I would find you awake when I got here.” Dallas told her, with a smile.
“I didn't notice you coming in.” In fact, Natalia couldn't remember if she had woken up earlier. All she had done in the last few days was sleep.
Dallas got up from his chair and walked to where the window was. “Sleep well?” He asked leaning against the window.
“Yea. I think I've caught up on the sleep I missed all of last week.” She told him, dryly.
Dallas chuckled upon hearing this. “I'm glad to hear that.” He told her.
“So when can I go home?” She asked him. Natalia didn't like staying in the hospital, the sterile environment made her nervous.
“I think the doctor said that their keeping you for two more days. I think you'll be going home Wednesday. He said something about monitoring you on the new dosage and how the test results would be back by then.” Dallas told her.
“Oh...” Natalia mumbled. “I really wanted to go home.” She complained childishly. She was tired of staying in the hospital, having a drip attached into her arm, and eating hospital food.
“You'll be home soon.” Dallas tired to comfort her.
He moved to sit on the side of her bed. His hands rested on her blankets. She took hold of one.
“At least I have you here.” She told him. It was comforting knowing he was right there.
Dallas smiled. “You'll always have me.” He promised her. Natalia had tangled her fingers with his. He lifted her hand with his and kissed it.
Natalia scooted over to a side of her bed. “Come.” She told him.
Dallas moved to the space she had freed. Natalia turned to face him. She smiled.
“Now you can keep me company.” She told him, a little cheerily. “Wasn't that what I was doing before?” He asked her. “Nope, you were sleeping.” She replied.
Dallas laughed at that. “Okay, so what is it that you want to do?” He asked.
Natalia didn't really care, as long as he stayed. She leaned her head on his shoulder. He had and arm around her.
“Tell me about your trip to Toronto. What did you do?” She asked.
“You want to hear it again?” Dallas asked. “Yup.” She answered. She liked listening to his voice, it was soothing.
“Alright.” Dallas complied. Natalia listened, all the while drawing circles in his palm with her fingers.
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