Antonio sat there silently as Sylvia paced back and forth in front of him. “When are they going to get back? What if this is permanent? What are we going to do?”
Antonio reached up and took her hand. He pulled her into the chair next to him and put his arm around her shoulders. “Honey, it’s only been fifteen minutes. The doctor said it would be at least an hour. As for the rest, we will do what we need to do.”
Sylvia lay her head on his shoulder. “How?” she asked, feeling completely overwhelmed. The doctor had ordered another MRI, this time of Carlos’ lower spine.
“I don’t know, but we will,” Antonio promised.
There was a quiet knock at the door and Jen looked in. “Any news yet?”
Antonio shook his head. “It’s going to be awhile.”
“How are you holding up?” Jen asked as she went over and sat on the other side of Sylvia.
“My baby can’t feel his legs, Logan is going to blame himself, and I have no idea how to help either of them,” Sylvi said, choking back a sob.
“Sweetheart, Carlos will be fine, The doctor said that temporary paralysis is common after an injury like this,” Antonio said.
“What if it’s not temporary? Sylvia asked, tears pooling in her eyes.
“It WILL be,” Jen said hugging her friend.
John was still sitting in the cafeteria with Kendall and James. He was watching the two boys like a hawk, and wasn’t buying their sudden obedience. The two were talking quietly about their last hockey practice and how they could improve their passing skills. He yawned and was in desperate need of another cup of coffee.
“I can get you a refill,” James offered.
“Not a chance, you two are staying right there,” John said firmly.
“I was just trying to help,” James pouted, trying to cross his arms over his chest.
“Hey!” Kendall said, yanking his own arm back.
James pulled his arm back. “Knock it off!”
“YOU knock it off!” Kendall said, pulling back.
James immediately yanked his arm over again. “What are you going to do about it?”
Kendall glared and suddenly jumped on James and the two tumbled off the chair. “THIS!”
“Hey!” John yelled and jumped up. He grabbed each boy by an arm, hauled them up, and pushed them back into their respective chairs.
“He started it,” James said.
“I did not, YOU did!” Kendall said, yanking his arm back over.
“Do not start that again!” John ordered. He stood up and pushed a chair between the two boys. He kept a firm grip on Kendall’s arm as he unlocked the handcuff and pulled it through the opening on the back of the chair and then hooked it back on Kendall’s wrist.
“Hey!” Kendall protested.
John looked down at them, satisfied. He slipped his keys back into his pocket. “Good. Now I’m going to get another cup of coffee and you are both to behave. Is that understood?”
Kendall yanked on the cuff, moving the chair and bumping John’s leg, but it didn’t go any further.
“This isn’t fair,” James huffed.
John smirked and ruffled his hair. “Life isn’t fair, kiddo.”
“MY hair!” James shrieked, trying to smooth it back down with his one free hand.
John laughed. “Behave, I will be right back.”
James leaned towards Kendall as John walked towards the coffee stand. “Well?”
Kendall smirked and dangled John’s keys. He watched John carefully and as soon as the man looked away to pour his coffee, he quickly unlocked the cuffs and then palmed the keys again. He took the cuff from James’ wrist and hooked it to the metal brace under the table. “Hold your arm still and wait for my signal.”
James smiled and nodded.
John walked back over to the table. “Well, I see you’re both still here.”
“Very funny,” Kendall glared.
John smiled as he set his coffee on the table. “Maybe this will teach you little monsters to behave.”
“It’s not very comfortable,” Kendall said pulling on the cuff a little.
“Yeah, we have to hold our arms funny because of the chair,” James complained.
John looked at them. “Alright, if you promise no more fighting, I’ll remove the chair.”
“We promise,” they both said.
John went over to the chair, and the next thing he knew, his right arm had a handcuff on it. Both boys scooted out of reach and Kendall smiled at him, holding his keys up. “Missing something?”
“How did you do that?” John asked in shock.
“Trade secrets.” Kendall smirked.
“Give me the keys,” John ordered, yanking his arm and moving the table an inch or so.
Kendall snorted. “I don’t think so.”
“Give them to me now and we’ll forget this ever happened,” John promised.
Kendall shook his head, no.
“You’re going to be sorry,” John warned.
“Yeah, we hear that a lot,” Kendall said.
“I mean it!” John said, exasperated.
James reached over and ruffled John’s hair. “Life isn’t fair, old man.”
John grabbed for him with his left hand, but James was too quick for him.
“Well…bye!” Kendall smiled. He and James took off running through the cafeteria doors again.
“Great,” John said as he reached for his cell phone, only to realize it was missing as well. He shook his head as he sat down. “It’s going to be a long night.”
Joanna shook her head at Logan as the boy giggled and tried to touch the monitors. “Mama, my hands are on upside down.”
“Why do you think that?”
“They won’t go up!” Logan said trying to figure out how to move his immobilized arm.
“You have a shoulder brace and a splint your arm,” Jo told him.
Logan looked at her, shock on his face. “What did I didn’t do to do that?”
Jo laughed at him. “Sweetie, why don’t you try getting some sleep.”
“S’not funny. When do they bring the elephants back, they didn’t find them, did they?” Logan asked as he yawned.
Joanna pulled out her phone and set it to record. “What elephants, Logan?”
“Shhh, the ones in the attic. Papa G will make us take them back if he finds them.”
“Maybe they’re with the giraffes,” Jo suggested.
“Pshh, mom, you CAN’T hide giraffes with elephants,” Logan said.
“They’re too tall! Only zebras and elephants can hide together. Giraffes have to hide with the chimps,” Logan told her, yawning again.
“Why is that?”
“Because the chimps can swing from them so people think they’re trees,” Logan said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“That’s a new one, and I’ve heard a lot of interesting things here, in recovery.” Dr. Barnes laughed.
“Well, this is new to me so I’m recording it for posterity,” Jo said.
“They’ll be taking him to his room in a few minutes and he’ll probably sleep the rest of the night,” Dr. Barnes told her.
“Thank you doctor, I really appreciate everything.” Jo said.
“You’re very welcome, but I might want a copy of that recording, he definitely has an amazing imagination.”
“I’ll send you a copy,” Jo promised.
Half an hour later Logan was in his room, sleeping. Jo was quietly talk to Antonio and Sylvia, who were still waiting to hear about the MRI results.
“They don’t know anything?” Jo asked.
“They should be bringing him back any minute. The doctor said she should have results in the next half an hour or so,” Sylvia told her.
“She also said that temporary paralysis is fairly common with this type of injury,” Antonio said reassuringly.
“So he’ll be alright,” Jo said, hugging Sylvia.
“I hope so,” Sylvia said, trying not to cry again.
“M-Mom, C-Carlos is paralyzed?” Logan asked quietly. He had heard voices and had woken once he realized the tone was serious.
“It’s just temporary,” Jo said, going over and sitting next to him.
“N-No, this c-can’t be true! It’s all my fault, I did this!” Logan said.
“Logan, it’s alright. He’s going to be just fine,” Antonio said going over to stand next to him.
“It’s my fault! Why did I even consider it after last time! It’s all my fault!” Logan cried, completely inconsolable. He started to hyperventilate and the alarms on the monitors started beeping.
“Honey, calm down!” Jo said trying to hold him.
“I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry! Please, please make him be okay!” Logan sobbed, He lost consciousness, as the nurse came running in.