We went back to my mom's room, where she was still unconscious. Blood stained rags lay on the counter next to her. As I stared down at her, I thought about everything that had happened months ago, and everything that was to come.
"I'm not going to be like my dad." I sighed.
"What do you mean?" Skylar asked.
"I'm not going to be a selfish douchebag. I'm not going to treat my son or daughter like they're important only when I need them. I'm not going to make them feel useless. I'm not going to treat them like my dad treated me."
A few moments of silence passed.
"And I'm going to treat you like the queen you are." I said and turned to Skylar.
Ian, Sean, Leo, Ella, and Bailey walked in with my grandma.
Ian ran right over to me and hugged me.
"Please say this is all a nightmare." He cried.
"It'll be okay." I said and held him tight.
"Why did dad do this to her?" He sobbed.
"I don't know."
My step dad walked in with flowers.
For the first time ever, he showed emotion.
He stood over mom and looked at her pale face. A tear fell from his eye and landed on mom's cheek.
"I need you, Rena." He sobbed.
We all looked at him like an animal on one of those rescue commercials. He never showed emotion, and for our entire family, this was a moment to remember.
Ian ran out of the door and I chased after him.
"Ian, what are you doing?" I asked and followed him.
He ran out of the front doors and I finally caught him.
His face was red, and he was sobbing.
"I HATE YOU DAD!" He screamed.
"Ian, Ian, calm down."
"That fucking bastard has no clue what that woman went through to keep us safe! He tried killing mom to get to us, but you know what I'm gonna do? I'm going to kill him."
"Ian! Don't talk like that! Take deep breaths. It'll all be okay."
He broke free from my arms and dashed across the street.
"Dammit!" I yelled and ran after him.
Luckily the street wasn't busy.
I looked around to see Ian sitting in an abandoned parking lot. He had a razor in his hand and he was looking at his wrist.
I ran over to him and took the razor.
I threw the razor in a dumpster and sat next to him.
He was bawling his eyes out now.
"Why is everything so horrible?" He asked and collapsed into my arms.
I held him.
"Ian, I've been down that road. Cutting yourself doesn't help. Trust me."
He looked at me with puffy eyes.
"I just want everything to be okay."
"Look, mom still has a chance at surviving. And the police will find dad."
"I don't want to go back into that house."
"Look, everybody is going to be in a fragile state at home. Even Larry cried over mom. Leo, Sean, Ella and Bailey are going to be fragile, too. You're the smartest little boy I have ever met, Ian. You're the most mature little boy I met, even though you're the youngest in our family. Please, stay strong for us. And if not us, mom. You just have to have hope that she'll make it through this."
He stayed silent. He stared at the ground and as I looked at him, I saw myself.
"It'll get better. I promise."
"I don't care if life gets better or not. All I care is that mom gets better."
"Let's head back."
When we got back to the room, our stepdad rushed over to me.
"The police found him."
"Great! Let's go."
"Oh no, not so fast. I need you to stay here with your brothers and sisters. I have a few choice words for that bastard." He said and left.
We all stayed silent. I could see Ian staring at mom, no emotion crossed his face. It was like he was in a trance.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Yes. Just... thinking."
A doctor walked in and since I was the oldest, he told all of the younger ones to sit in the waiting room.
"Okay, so, we have some bad news."
"There's a very slight chance she will get through this. The odds aren't good."
Skylar stood beside me and she slowly rubbed my neck.
"We will wait one day. If her condition doesn't get better, we'll have to pull the plug."
I nodded slowly and the doctor left the room.
"What are we going to do?" Skylar asked.
"What can we do?"
Ian, Sean, Leo, Ella, and Bailey walked back in.
"What did the doctor say?" They asked.
"She might make it. We just have to hope." I said.
They all sat down and Ian sat next to me and Skylar. We were sitting on the opposite wall from the others.
About half an hour passed by and I hadn't heard a single word from Ian.
I looked over at him and he had that same blank expression on his face.
"Are you okay?"
He turned and looked at me, all of the happiness was gone from his eyes.
"She's not going to make it, is she?" He asked.
I sighed and shook my head slowly.
An hour passed and Skylar and I took my brothers and sisters for a bathroom break. Ian insisted on staying in the room.
After about five minutes, I realized I forgot my phone. I went back to the room and as I opened the door, I saw Ian on his knees next to Mom's hospital bed.
"I can't lose you, mom. I need you. Try to run away from the light, okay? Just... keep trying." He said, tears streaming down his face.
"Don't go." he cried.
He laid his head on the bed and sobbed into the blankets.
A tear or two fell from my eyes but then I wiped my tears and stood up straight. It was like my lungs filled with fire, like anger took over every inch of my body. I walked back to where everyone was and Skylar could see the anger in my eyes.
"What's going on?"
"I have some shit to take care of."
"No, Titus. It's not a good idea."
"Nobody fucks with my family." I said.
I looked into Skylar's eyes to see tears building up.
I held her head in my hands and looked into her eyes.
"I'll be back soon."
"You promise?" She asked.
"Yes, I promise. Don't cry, beautiful." I said and wiped her eyes.
I kissed her lips and held her tight.
"I love you." She said.
"I love you too." I said and kissed her again.