The Ones Left Waiting

You know when someone gets sick? Isn't everyone's first thought automatically about them? Worrying about them, wondering if they're okay? Of course, this is how it should be. But sometimes we forget the people closest to the patient: their best friend, their boyfriend, their brother? How does it affect them?

Jackie Bianco has a brain tumor. She has mere months to live, unless a miracle occurs. But this is not her story. This is the story of Daniel, her twin brother, who needs his calm sister to keep him under control. This is the story of Mia, her best friend, who is like a lost soul without her partner in crime. And this is the story of Firth, the love of Jackie's life, who will surely die without her.

This is the story of the people sitting in the waiting room, the people with nothing left to do but worry. The ones left waiting for news, good or bad.

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5. Mia

We waited for hours. I could barely concentrate. Firth flew through Pride and Prejudice and was halfway through Great Expectations. Daniel was a complete fidget, surprise surprise. He was either bouncing on the balls of his feet or pacing back and forth. As for me, I simply sat there, eyes closed, praying to whatever God I believed in.
Dr. Hatt approached us, looking worn down. We all shot up in a mad scramble.
“How’d it go?” we asked simultaneously, searching the doctor’s face for answers.
“I’d rather speak to Daniel and his family first.”
“Oh, Doctor!” I groaned.
“I’m sorry, Mia. But you aren’t family.”
“She’s as good as!” Daniel said fiercely, throwing his arm around me.
I froze and then nestled into his side. We might as well present a united front. Firth came to my other side.
“Tell me.” He whispered, white as a sheet.
“Tell me now.”
The doctor sighed.
“Jackie survived the procedure. We managed to excise the tumor.”
I sighed in relief and hugged Daniel joyously. But Firth put his hand on my arm, gripping it hard. He wasn’t ready to celebrate.
“But?” He asked, clenching his jaw so hard that the veins on his neck stood out.
“But Jackie fell into a coma.” The doctor finished.

The walls were looming closer, threatening to crush me. I sank into the chair, holding my stomach. I heard a distant screaming sound. With a jolt, I realized it was coming from me. Mrs. Bianco fainted into her husband’s arms and Daniel ran to the bathroom, hand pressed to his mouth.
In the end, it was Firth who took control. He revived Mrs. Bianco, cleaned Daniel up, and quieted me down (which took a lot of screaming, let me tell you). I was hyperventilating, rocking back and forth on my chair. The world was ending. That was the only possible reason that Jackie could be in a coma. I bit my knuckles to keep from screaming again. Firth put his arm around me.
“It will be okay.” He murmured.
I rounded on him, eyes blazing.
“Jackie is in a coma. Nothing will ever be okay again!
“I know.” Firth said miserably.
It was my turn to comfort him. Firth bowed his head and started to cry silently. This was more frightening than if he had cursed or screamed because it showed a shattered man who had completely given up hope and accepted his situation.
Which was the exact opposite of what I planned on doing. I was Mia the wild child. She does not give up. Ever. I was going to get Jackie out of her coma. It might take a miracle, but, damn it, if a miracle is what it took, then call me Jesus.
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