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Chapter 56

Nick smiled to himself happily as Howie pushed him down the hall towards Brian’s ICU room. Now that the doctor had told him and his friends that Brian was now awake, Nick felt like a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders; he felt alive again for the first time in awhile. He felt his wheelchair coming to a stop just a few feet from the entrance to Brian’s room and he looked up at Howie to see if anything was wrong. When he looked up at Howie, he seen fear and sadness apparent in his dark brown eyes. “What’s wrong, D?” Nick asked his friend in a voice that was soft and emotionless from fatigue and worry. He watched as Howie shook his head and looked into the eyes of his two friends and then at the door of Brian’s hospital room.

“How do we tell him about what happened? And what do we say if he asks later on?” Howie asked. The only thing Nick and AJ could do is shrug; they didn’t know the answer to the question that Howie asked that had been on the minds of everyone at least once since the tragedy began.

“I don’t know, Howie. I just don’t know.” AJ suddenly spoke up after a few seconds. Howie nodded, that would have to be the best answer for now, they would cross that bridge when they came to it as the old saying goes. Howie forced a smile on his face and again began to push Nick towards the room, this time the hope that things would get better slowly returned but it would never prepare him for what he was about to see.

***

“How much longer? Are we there yet?” Kevin heard his brother Tim whine from where he was sitting by his side in the large rental family car. Kevin couldn’t help but smile at his brother’s childish words and as he looked around at his family, he realized they couldn’t help but smile either. It was then that Kevin realized that this was the first time in several days the members of his family had all smiled genuine not fake smiles. He gave his brother a warm smile when everyone had turned away and received a small smile back. Kevin turned away to look out the window and felt the feeling of nervousness eating at his stomach as he realized they was near the hospital. He loosened his tie from around his neck, almost wishing that they had stopped at the hotel to change clothes on their way to the hospital. But Kevin knew that they couldn’t. He, along with the other members of his family felt extremely guilty about leaving Brian behind at the hospital and wanted to hurry back to his side in case something horrible happened, but they had all wanted to say one final goodbye and pay respect to Harry. Kevin sighed as he thought about how just a few days ago, his cousin was alive and healthy, but now because of a accidently car crash, he was longer with them. ”How are we going to explain this to Brian when he wakes up?” Kevin thought to himself. ”If he wakes up” he corrected himself as he slightly shook his head sadly.

He suddenly jumped when he felt someone tap him on the shoulder. He quickly turned around and looked into his older brother’s face in confusion. “We are here” was all he said as he exited the car. Kevin nodded and quickly fixed his tie and got out of the car, following his family back to the inside of the hospital. A place that held many emotions for people; sadness, happiness, relief, sorrow, pain. Kevin shook his head to clear his thoughts as he got on the parking garage elevator to the main floor; he had to think positively to keep his sanity. If he didn’t, he knew he wouldn’t have enough strength to make it through this ordeal. But he knew he had to continue being strong, he had made it this far and nothing was going to stop him.

Chapter 57