You can't decide whether money changes things or not; it does. You can decide, however, whether it changes things for better or worse.


60. Sixty

"Dad." I whisper, smiling. I rush over to him and pause when I go to hug him. Somehow I feel like I should step back in case he's fragile or something like that. He looks at me for a moment, his eyes barely open. He looks tired and like he's concentrating really hard. I just stand there. My dad doesn't remember me. He doesn't know who I am. My face crumples and I look to Jennifer. She nods to the chair beside his bed and smiles warmly. I take a seat. Dad keeps looking at me for a few more minutes and then his face relaxes a little. 

"Kaya." he says, his voice hoarse. "You're my daughter."

I smile, beginning to cry. "That's right, Dad."

I look to Jennifer for more help and she mouths 'names'. I get her straight away. 

"Who else do you remember, Dad?" I ask. 

"Alex." he says, screwing his face up as he concentrates. "Johanna. Carrie. Jem. Alice. Your friends."

"That's right Dad, they're my friends." I smile, taking his hand and squeezing it gently.

He smiles at me and then more nurses come in to check on him. I stay there all day, trying to encourage him to remember things. Jennifer says that all of his memory will come back to him, give or take a few small things that he may have to learn again. She also says that it will take him a little while to be able to walk again and it will take him a little while to get full control over his fine motor skills but she says we're lucky he can talk pretty well.

"What happens now then?" I ask her. 

"He'll have to stay in the hospital for a while." she explains. "And then afterwards, I suggest you go and stay with you grandma."

I frown. "My grandma? Does she even know this is happening?"

"Yes, we have spoken to her." she nods. "I know you have school but just for the few weeks you have off for spring break, it's worth going to stay with her. Out of the way of the city and everything."

I nod. "Okay."

She smiles warmly. "We will organise it all, don't you worry about anything."

I nod and more nurses come in again to check up on Dad. I step back from his bed and he makes eye contact with me. Even though he looks different, I can still see the normal, caring dad he's always been but it's like he's struggling to get through properly which makes my heart ache a little. 

"Go home. Rest." he says to me. 

I nod, not wanting to argue and stress him even though I want to stay. "Okay Dad. Love you."

He nods as if to say he loves me too. I walk out of the room fast before I can change my mind and walk right into Alex on my way to try and find him in the waiting room. He automatically wraps his arms around me and I hug him back. 

"Everything's looking promising." I tell him. 

"Good." he whispers.

"I have to go and live with my grandma for a few weeks." I decide to just tell him.

He pauses but says "Okay."

He drives us home and everybody is asleep. Johanna is on one couch, Jem's on the other and Carrie and Alice are curled up on an air mattress on the floor. My heart pangs seeing them all in there and Alex squeezes my hand obviously feeling the same. We go upstairs to my room and get changed and then go straight to bed. It's the first time in ages that we've laid in this bed close together. It feels so good to act like this with him again. With Jem, it felt natural to be with him but it also felt natural to be friends with him. This is the only way to be with Alex for me. 

"What are you thinking?" he asks. 

"I'm trying to figure out why I feel so sad when everything's going so well."

"You're exhausted." 

"I know."

"So sleep."

"I can't because I'm trying to figure out why I feel so sad when everything's going so well."

"It's because you're exhausted."

"I know that."

"Sleep then."

We both pause and then laugh a little. 

"Night." I whisper.

"Night." he whispers back.

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