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Chapter 59

“Brian!” Jackie gasped, tears brightening her blue eyes. “Oh, Brian!”

“Mom,” Brian croaked weakly, a smile spreading across his pallid face.

Blinded by tears, Jackie ran to her son, hugging him as best she could with him lying down, still hooked up to many of the monitors and IV’s. She felt Brian’s trembling hand come around her back.

Harold was by his son’s side in an instant as well, blinking back tears from his own eyes. “Oh, Brian,” he whispered, his heart swelling with emotion. “We love you so much.”

Kevin blinked back his own tears as he watched Brian’s parents hover over their son. Feeling as if he was intruding, he backed out of the room, blinded by tears of joy.

”We’re so glad you finally came back to us, baby,” Jackie said to Brian, her voice choked with happy tears.

Brian smiled, but his smile was a blank one. Dr. Adele had explained only part of what had gone on in the last few days, and he had no real understanding of what had actually gone on.

The last thing he remembered clearly was talking to Nick, who had just come back from wherever he had gone. Was it Los Angeles? Brian wasn’t sure; he couldn’t remember. But he did remember the pain. The sudden, sharp pain in his chest. Then the darkness. And then… Harry.

Brian looked up, struck by the memory of his brother being with him. Dr. Adele had told him he had been in a coma. He had heard of people who had been in comas saying that they remembered hearing people talking to them, but he had never heard of anyone actually seeing people while they were in a coma. And yet, he hadn’t been dreaming… had he? It had seemed so real.

“Harry,” he murmured, his voice still hoarse from the respirator.

Harold looked up sharply at his son and exchanged a quick glance with his wife. She looked stricken.

“Where’s Harry?” Brian asked, clearing his throat. He noticed the look that passed between his parents, as if they knew something he did not. “He… he was in here just a little while ago. Where’d he go?”

Another look passed between Jackie and Harold. “Sweetheart, you’ve been unconscious for days. He wasn’t just in here a little while ago. You’re just remembering… another time.”

Brian’s eyes narrowed. Something was going on here. Something wasn’t right. “Well where is he?” he asked, confused.

Jackie perched on the edge of her son’s bed, tenderly taking his hand in hers. “Brian, your brother passed away.”

A look of shock and horror crossed over Brian’s face, and he felt suddenly numb. “What?” he gasped, staring hard at them, as if they weren’t telling the truth. What did they mean ‘he passed away’?

“He died in a car accident… four days ago,” Jackie said, her voice shaking.

Tears filled Brian’s eyes, but he rapidly blinked them back. “No,” he said. “He… he can’t be dead. I just saw him!”

“Baby, that was days ago. That was before he… he…” She trailed off, too upset to continue.

“No,” Brian insisted. “I just saw him, today, before Dr. Adele came.”

“Brian, please, son, believe us. Harry died. You got his heart,” Harold said softly.

Brian’s eyes widened in shock. Stunned, the tears returned to his eyes, and he did nothing to fight them. He began to tremble, the tears rolling down his cheeks. “No,” he moaned repeatedly. “No…”

Harold gripped his son’s shoulder, his own tears falling atop Brian’s covers.

When his tears slowed, Brian looked up again, his clear blue eyes boring into the eyes of his parents. “Mom, Dad, I saw him. I really did. Maybe it was a few days ago. Maybe I was just dreaming. But I don’t think so. I swear, he was in my room earlier today. I… I couldn’t talk to him, couldn’t even let him know I was awake. But I could see him. He touched me. My head… my chest. He was there.”

Jackie and Harold slowly turned to look at each other, their eyes filled with shock and wonder.

My dream, Jackie thought in awe, tears rising in her eyes. Could it be…? No. Harry’s dead. Gone. He’s in Heaven now. Not here, in Brian’s room. Her mind told her the truth, but her heart disagreed. How could Brian describe exactly what had happened in her dream? He had been unconscious. But… maybe not. Maybe he had awoken… or at least sensed that someone was in the room with him. Could it have really been Harry? As an angel, sent from the Lord to heal his brother?

It sounded so wonderful. Just the thought of it made Jackie feel so peaceful. It took away some of the pain that his death had caused.

“Do you believe me, Mom?” Brian asked. “Please believe me.”

“Brian…” Jackie whispered. “I believe you.”

Chapter 60