Seven Months Previous: Today Nestor stopped at the constantly empty room and walked in. She had such a sweet face he wondered why nobody seemed to care about her. He figured her family couldn’t know she was in the hospital but at the same time she had been here at least a month so how could nobody have started looking for her by now. He stared at her a few moments, stopping to look at a nurse who entered the room. “Oh hey, aren’t you Mrs Haywards son?”
“yes mam, can I ask you somthing about this girl?”
“if I can answer I will”
“does the hospital know who her family is?”
“Her parents came in when they were called, identified her then set things up so they could pay for her care. Honestly, they seemed like pretty heartless people. This girl was a wreck when she first got in here and I didn’t see either of them shed a single tear, hug her or anything like that. They may aswell have been called in to see a stranger. It was really sad. I can’t imagine growing up with such icecubes for parents. She’s been in this coma for a little over a year now and her parents have only come if the hospital needs them to sign a consent form”
“yeah, nothing like your parents at all. I’m glad Mrs Hayward can go home in the next few days if things continue to look up”
“me too, it’s been hard on my dad especially.” the nurse started taking care of what she came in for and Nestor asked “I don’t know the rules but is it okay if I start visiting..um”
“Jaylyn, and yes, it’s fine. Maybe she wont be so alone when she wakes up. You should know though that the friends that were in the car with her when she crashed died and we dont know if she knows that or not or if she’ll even remember anything when she wakes. It’s always hard to say when someone goes into a coma. If she remembers things when she wakes up she’ll probably ask about them.”
Nestor sat next to Jaylyn, his hand clasping hers as he studied her face. She was a beautiful as always, her face so peaceful. He had tried to make her room as home like as possible, bringing her fresh flowers every time they began to wilt, playing music for her, talking and singing to her. He had even been allowed to burn candles for her as long as he kept them away from the equipment. “You know, it’s going to be really great when you wake up and you can actually tell me how your day has been. Sometimes I feel selfish only talking about the things I want.” He stroked her cheek. “I got the nurse to tell me how you’re doing. She said your brain looks good and that you’re making progress, but I’m sure you’ve heard them talking.” He checked his watch and sighed. “Well, I need to get going, I’ll come back tomorrow after work.” He stood and kissed her forehead then went over and used his fingers and thumb to put out the candle so as not to kick up any smoke. “Sweet dreams.”
Jaylyn was still stuck in the fog. She remembered being terrified, not understanding why she was here. She had ran around in a panic, only finding a single bench under a tree. In her despair she had sat down, feeling defeated. Her memories were fragmented and all she could remember were the sounds of shattering glass and screams. She had not known what to do until she heard his voice. It was far different than the voices she had heard echoing around her before. This one was warm and kind. It wasn’t long until that wonderful smells and the sound of music accompanied that voice. She could feel him touch her hand and kiss her forehead. He would talk about his childhood, about his favorite things, and about how his day had been. She had found herself looking forward to his visits and it helped her measure how many days she had been here. She wanted very much to wake up and meet him.
Nestor arrived home, not completely surprised when he unlocked his door only to find the privacy lock was on too “Paisley, open up!” he yelled and she hurried over to take it off. He smiled when he saw her in her pajamas with a bowl of cereal “right at home as usual. To what do I owe this visit?”
“Mom and dad were making out in the kitchen, it ran me right out.” Nestor chuckled “can’t blame him for not being able to keep his hands off of her after her accident.”
“speaking of which, how is sleeping beauty?”
“her brain is still improving”
“so I dont know if you caught the hint sleeping beauty but one of my friends posted that her kid was watching it on Facebook and I thought hey, maybe my brother should try kissing Jaylyn. Wouldn’t be hilarious if that woke her up?”
“Yes I’m going to kiss a woman on the lips thats in a coma and cant say no to me. I bet that would go over great with her doctors”
“just make sure they aren’t around”
“I love you but I hope you’re joking” she shrugged and walked back into his living room. He soon followed with a beer. When he sat down he asked “how does Hungry Howies sound? I really don’t feel like cooking”
“sounds great, I’ll call”
“One of these days your constant eating will catch up with your figure”
“and then there will be so much more of me for you and our parents to love” they both laughed and she dialed Hungry Howies.
Jaylyn sat down on the bench, feeling more alone than ever trapped in the fog. She could hear the rhythmic beeping of her heart monitor and it only seemed to echo in the silence. Every time she was alone, she tried to remember what had happened. She had heard someone utter the word accident, but their vices had soon faded away. The last thing she could remember was being in a car with her friends and then nothing but darkness, shattering, and screams. Had they crashed and if so who all had been hurt? She hated having unanswered questions, wanted to leave the fog of her mind behind and see the wonderful man who called himself Nestor. He had managed to help keep her sane, to make her smile when she wanted to cry. She wanted to thank him, to tell him how wonderful he was.
Tonight she struggled with everything she had to wake up for him, to return to the real world. she needed to wake up, she was tired of this place and having nobody to tell her why she had come to be here in the first place. It was painful and terrifying but she fought until around four am she woke up “Nestor” she said weakly. “Nestor” she said louder. Now that she was awake and felt everything she was hooked to she was even more terrified. A nurse came in, looking like she didn’t believe Jaylyn was awake “Nestor?” she asked and the nurse came all the way in “shh, calm down. You’ve been in a coma for almost two years sweetie so confusion and even fear is normal. You’ve been hearing Nestor talk to you?”
“yeah, where is he?”
“It’s four am, he’s probably sleeping. He’ll be here no later than six thirty tonight though. I’ve never seen him come later than six thirty. Do you know why you’re here sweetie?”
“yeah…um” the nurse didn’t think she should tell her when she would be by herself until Nestor came so she decided to excuse herself, call her doctor and wait until she had somebody to tell her about her friends. Jaylyn began to sob, she was finally awake to meet him and he wouldn’t be there for hours. It wasn’t long before another night nurse came in “hey sweetie, do you remember any channels you like? I can turn the TV on for you” Jaylyn glanced over, only now noticing the small flatscreen in her room . She had to think about it for awhile but the nurse waited patiently “Paula Zahn, what channel is she on?”
“yeah…ID..I used to watch that” The nurse looked at the channel guide and found it for her “there, is there anything I can do for you?”
“can you take any of this out of me?”
“I’m sorry but only your doctor can authorize that and your body is really weak or I’d atleast take your catheter out”
“whats in your personal area”
“Oh, catheter. God I hope that can come out when my doctor comes in”
“he’ll be here in about an hour. He was visiting family but decided to come right back when Judy called him”
“oh” Jaylyn felt a little bad but didn’t want to wait indefinitely for things to be removed from her. “I bet you’re thirsty. I am only allowed to give you water until the dr okay. Water?”
“please” when the nurse came back she set the water on a tray instead of handing it to Jaylyn “careful now, you havent lifted anything in almost two years”
“you think I cant?”
“Just be easy. I’ll get you a new gown if you have an accident”
“Okay, thank you.”
She managed to spill a little, but she didn’t think it was enough to warrant a new gown and sat her cup down as gently as she could. She was so exhausted and she had only had to hold a cup. Her doctor showed up awhile later and assessed her. “Your body is weak, but if you promise to call for help if you need to use the bathroom, then I’ll take your catheter out so you can be a little more free.”
“Good.” He had a nurse take it out while he asked her a few questions and told her she would probably need a little bit of physical therapy to get her muscles used to working again.
“When can I leave?”
“You’ll need someone to watch over you for awhile and until you decide who that is, you should just rest here. Would you like me to notify your parents that you’re awake?”
“Not yet, there is someone else I want to know first.”
“Very well, get some real rest then.” He and the nurse left her and she closed her eyes, wanting to be awake enough to converse with Nestor.
Nestor worked hard that day, his eyes constantly moving to the clock and wishing it would move faster. He really wanted to see Jaylyn again. He was planning on getting her new flowers today. By the time work was over, he practically ran from the building and out to his car. His mind kept drifting back to his sister’s words and her idea of kissing Jaylyn. He knew it probably wouldn’t wake her, that sort of thing only happened in fairy tales, but he really wanted to talk to her and tell her how much she had come to mean to him. He didn’t know if she could hear anything in her coma, but he hoped she had and knew he had come to see her every day.
When he arrived at the florist she smiled “Evening Nestor”
“Hey, what kind of bouquet do you think we should make this time?”
“I actually already have one all thought out. A man came in here and made one for his anniversary and I thought it was gorgeous. Can I show you?”
“sure” she made the arrangement again and he smiled approvingly “love it, thanks for keeping an eye out on a good arrangement”
“You are one of the sweetest men. I wish I was about twenty years younger but I guess even then I wouldn’t have a chance” Nestor laughed and paid for the flowers so he could hurry and see Jaylyn. He drove over to the hospital then went straight to her room. First he took care of switching out her flowers then he walked over to the side of her bed. She looked just as beautiful as she did every day he came and he was dieing to kiss her. Paisley had only made the want worse by bringing up that movie. Part of him feared not being allowed to see her anymore if a nurse caught him. He decided just a quick touching of lips and that would be it. He would feel better because he at least tried and he wouldn’t run too much risk of the staff kicking him out.
He moved in slowly, feeling nervous and still not sure if this was the best idea. When their lips touched he felt it in every fiber of his being. He felt amazing until he felt her jerk. Nestor quickly pulled back and for the first time in seven months, he was looking in those beautiful brown eyes. “Ja Jaylyn”
“Nestor?” His heart stammered at her use of his name. She did know him, had known he was visiting her. “I’m sorry I kissed you..it’s just my sister and I were talking last night and she brought up sleeping beauty and you’re so pretty but it was really just to try to wake you I swear I havent been weird while you’ve been in a coma” his words were all jumbling together and coming out way too fast in his obvious panic that his kiss had actually woken her up “Nestor, Nestor it’s okay. I know you aren’t a pervert.”
“I can’t believe that it worked.”
She let out a soft laugh. “I actually woke up really early this morning, but your kiss did wake me up just now.”
He stroked her cheek. “I hope you’re not disappointed.”
“How could I be when you spoke to me so sweetly and treated me so gently and made my room so comfortable.” She slowly and shakily lifted her arm, taking his hand. “I’ve wanted to touch you for so long, to feel how real you are and know that you weren’t just some figment of my imagination. Thank you so much for always being here for me.”
“I just thought that maybe you needed me and I just wanted to make you happy. Your room was always so empty and devoid of any love and I just thought you of all people deserved it.”
“I know my parents haven’t been here.”
“The nurse told me, when I first came in here, that they would only come in to sign consent forms.”
“That’s nor surprising.”
He brought her fingers to his lips, making goosebumps crawl up her arm. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t talk about stuff like that, especially since you just woke up. Tell me how you’re feeling.”
“Tired, weak, I want out of here, but I don’t want to go home to my parents. My doctor said I’ll need some physical therapy since I haven’t used my body in almost two years.”
“When can you leave?”
“He wants me to stay here until I’ve made plans for someone to watch over me. He doesn’t want me to be alone while I recover.”
“Well, I mean since your parents aren’t an option, why don’t you stay with me for awhile. I mean I work, but I’ll run home anytime you need me and I’m sure my sister would help you when I can’t, my mom and dad too.”
“Thank you Nestor, I’ll pay your sister for helping me if she’s willing when you aren’t home”
“Pay her how?”
“Oh..um, well, my parents are very well off and I have a credit card linked to their bank account. Plus, knowing my parents they couldn’t resist running another company so have probably kept my cologne and perfume line going so even if I dont use that money I have plenty of my own to pay your sister.”
“you don’t need their money. If you want to pay out of your account thats fine but my sister doesnt much care for parents like yours either. She’d rather go hungry than accept anything that came from them” You don’t need their money made Jaylyns head hurt as she tried to remember what she was talking about with her friends just before the accident. Maybe one of them said that. Thinking of them made her ask “so my friends didn’t even visit…are…are they in comas too?” All excitement drained out of Nestor and a frown formed. “are you sure you’re ready to talk about your friends?”
“I have to know, I was driving wasn’t I? Please Nestor. Do they hate me now or somthing?”
“No, nothing like that”
“then why aren’t they visiting me like you? I didn’t have many friends but the ones I had were..were the family I never got at home. I didn’t mean to crash. I still dont remember how it happened.”
‘shh, calm down. If they were like family I doubt they would have hated you for an accident”
“You might want me to hold you. Can I lay with you as I tell you?”
“Please do” He carefully got in the bed with Jaylyn and held her close “I’m so sorry Jaylyn but” he had to brace himself, she had just woken up and he wasn’t ready to hear her cry. “They died in the accident. It’s why they don’t come”
Every part of her being went still and there was a sudden ringing in her ears. Her chest constricted and she couldn’t breathe. “No.” She said and she was gasping for air, her eyes filling with tears. “No.” She wailed, the sound moving straight through Nestor and ripping at his heart.
“Breathe Jaylyn, breathe or you’ll pass out.” He coaxed her, his own eyes stinging with unshed tears. She inhaled deeply only for the silence of the room to be pierced by another heart wrenching wail of despair. “I’m so sorry, so, so sorry.”
Jaylyn gripped onto his shirt, her whole body shaking with the force of her sobs. A nurse came rushing in and paused when she saw Jaylyn crying, knowing full well the news that had just been disclosed to her. She stepped out, giving them their privacy. Nestor stroked his hand over her hair, pressed kisses against her forehead and tried his best to keep her from hyperventilating. “I killed…I killed…”
“No, it was an accident, just an accident.”
“My fault…hate me.”
“No Jaylyn, no one hates you, never you.” He wiped at her tears. “It’s okay, just get it all out, I’ll be here for you.”
He didn’t know how long he sat there holding her, barely even noticed the pain in his muscles as they cramped, but felt relief sweep through him when she finally exhausted herself enough to fall asleep. Her face was wet with her tears and he gently dashed them away and pressed a kiss onto her cheek. He heard the bedroom door open and glanced over his shoulder to see the nurse coming back in. “How is she?”
“She’s devastated and cried herself to sleep.”
“I’m really glad she had you. I couldn’t imagine her finding that out and honestly having nobody in the world to care about her. Now that you know, I need to tell her parents she’s awake. She asked us to wait so she could see you first” he sighed angrily “Oh now they’ll come I bet. I really don’t know if I can be friendly if I have to meet parents who in almost two years couldn’t take the time to even send their daughter some freaking flowers or some sort of stuffed animal”
“we dont think much of them either but they are still her parents, try to respect them for her sake” he sighed again “we should quit talking. I dont want to wake her”
“Okay” the nurse left and Nestor kissed her head again “you deserve better than them Jaylyn. I’m so sorry but you’re not alone and wont ever be as long as you keep me in your life” She woke a few hours later and Nestor asked “how’re you feeling”
“sad but happy you’re holding me”
“You nearly killed me with your tears, I already hate seeing them.” He stroked her cheek. “I never want to see them again, but I know that won’t happen until this is all over.”
“Never apologize, I’m just glad I was here for you.”
“Me too.” She rubbed her face against his chest and his heart did a little flip.
“So the nurse called your parents.”
“Oh great.” He rubbed her arm.
“I can always tell the nurse to call them back if you don’t want them coming.”
She sighed. “It’s fine, really.”
“As long as you’re sure.”
“I am.” She replied softly and he couldn’t help but smile. “Hey Nestor, can I ask you for something?”
She played nervously with his shirt. “Another kiss?”
He smiled, more than happy to oblige. Nestor rested a hand on her face and this time allowed himself just to savor and get lost in the contact. They were in a state of bliss until her parents arrived. “who is this young man in bed with you?” her father asked as Nestor got up to sit at Jaylyns side. Jaylyn was opening her mouth with Nestor said “well if you two ever came to visit her you’d know I’ve been coming and talking to her daily for seven months now. My name’s Nestor Hayward” Jaylyns mother Becky scoffed “if your appearance even begins to tell me anything about you you’d know nothing about having responsibilities and obligations that left you with almost no spare time. I mean what are you? A singer? Maybe an artist who just knows one day he’ll make it big? I’m sorry but you aren’t getting anywhere fast with that atrocious hair and teenage style clothing. I mean seriously, dressing like that is supposed to be a phase”
“Mom please, he’s probably the only reason I woke up and stayed sane in that coma. He means a lot to me so could you stop”
“fine Jaylyn we’ll change the subject. Your father and I tended your business for you while you were out and even started a new line of perfume. It’s selling very well. We’ve been taking out fees for our work and of course a percentage of the profit you make from our creation but you’ll be surprised just how much your bank account has grown while you’ve been out. We simply couldn’t let your business go under. I refused to have a failed anything on the Kinely name. Now that you’re awake we’ll let you manage it again. You father has also brought you new credit cards. We had all of yours destroyed since we didn’t know how long you’d be out. One is of course to your account and the other is ours”
“I only want one to mine. I’m going to have Nestor and his family take care of me until I’m better and then I plan to move out for good”
‘okay, I’ll cancel the extra staff I hired to tend to you then and get some movers to pack up your room. Simon, what’s your address?”
“His name is Nestor mom”
“Nestor then, where should I send my daughters things?” He was speechless at first. They charged their daughter for taking care of her business while she was in a coma and didn’t seem to have a care in the world their daughter was awake, not coming home or moving in with a man who they couldn’t even get his name right. He didn’t see an ounce of feeling in them and it pissed him off even more than when they just weren’t visiting her.
“You two are nothing but selfish bastards who don’t deserve to be parents. She almost died and all you care about is your stupid money and your stupid family name.”
“Excuse me?” Her mother said, glaring at him.
“You heard me.”
“Jaylyn bears our name too.”
He took Jaylyn’s hand. “Not forever, not while I’m around. I refuse to let your last name taint her in any way so I’m going to marry her and give her the life she deserves, I’m going to make her happier than you ever could.”
Jaylyn felt herself tear up at his words and squeezed his hand. “You little punk.” Her father took a step toward him and he shifted his stance, ready to fight.
“Leave him alone dad.” She said. “He’s right, you don’t care about me. All you and mom want is money, I’m sure even coming here today was a waste of time for you. It wouldn’t have surprised me if you just hadn’t shown up. Our name means nothing to me, it never has. I never cared about you having money or a successful business, all I wanted were parents who cared and I drew the short straw on that so please just leave him alone and quit pretending that I matter.”
“whatever, if you’d attach yourself to rubbish like him I hope you get married quickly so nobody associates you with us and dont think about coming to us for money if your perfume and cologne lines start to fail. You’re cut off until you aren’t with him anymore. We’ll see to taking you out of our will today”
“fine mom, at least there’s no act at all any longer’
“we do love you Jaylyn” her father interrupted. “Not as much as your business’s. You cant look me in the eye and say you ever cared about me more than work” he sighed “you were spoiled beyond reason growing up. We’ve always bought everything you ever wanted”
“I didnt want things, I wanted you guys”
“the world isn’t about what we want Jaylyn”
“don’t even try to talk to her. Lets go” her mother said then stormed out, her father following.” Nestor groaned angrily “those self centered assholes”
“don’t let them upset you. I let go a long time ago. No matter what I said or did it didnt matter. Don’t get angry.” Nestor kissed her “lets just get you out of this hospital.”
“we’ll go pick up your stuff when you’re walking fine on your own”
“They’ll probably find your address.”
“they dont have my full name”
“My parents can figure out most everything”
“well good for them” he sighed “sorry, I shouldn’t be rude to you because your parents upset me”
“I like the way you look Nestor” he smiled “really?”
“mhm” he kissed her again “let me find your doctor. I want to take you home” They got everything taken care of for Jaylyn to leave and Nestor wheeled her out to his car. “I bet you miss real food. Want to pick somthing up on the way to my apartment?”
“a burger and strawberry milkshake would be heaven”
“coming right up.” He called his sister on the way “you at my home?”
“i’m getting burgers if you’re hungry?”
“anything with bacon, double bacon”
“sure thing and guess what”
“sleeping beauty is awake. You’re going to get to spend time with her conscious today”
Her loud squeal nearly deafened him and he had to hold his phone away from his ear. He frowned and told her to calm down. “Can I talk to her, is she okay to do that right now?”
“Can’t you wait, she hasn’t been awake that long and she’s been through a lot.”
“Who is it?” Jaylyn asked.
“My sister, she wants to talk to you, but you look so tired.”
Jaylyn smiled and plucked the phone out of his hand. “I’m alright, just hungry.”
He drove to A & W, pulling up to the drive in and ordering for them as Jaylyn talked to Paisley. She was smiling the whole time, looking amused and he knew his sister must be asking her a myriad of questions. When their food finally came, he sat the bags in the back seat then handed Jaylyn her milkshake and took the phone. “We’ll be there in a few minutes, just be patient until then or I’ll eat your burger.”
“I would and I’d send you pictures.”
She hungup on him and he laughed “meanie” Jaylyn said with that same amused smile “you’re tired and she’s been so anxious to meet you she’d do it twenty four seven if I didn’t stop her. I promise you she’s going to be fine with taking care of you when I can’t. She came with me a few times to see you. My whole family is really nice and have all been wanting to meet you. My parents have had their church praying for you”
“I already like Paisley. You told me she started putting blue in her hair?”
“yeah, it looks good on her”
“I bet, I’ve never done anything fun with my hair. My parents would have freaked out’
“If you think of anything you can do whatever the hell you want now. My place is yours, I was serious about wanting to marry you so we may as well call everything both of ours now. Those so called parents have no control over you any longer”
“stop talking like that or youll make me cry and I dont have the energy”
“I’m sorry baby, I just love you so much and I’ve been waiting for this day for so long.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles. “You’re so beautiful and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make you smile.”
She swallowed the lump forming in her throat and rested her head on his shoulder. Her whole body was warm with happiness and she savored the feeling. When they got to his place, Paisley came running out excitedly and he asked her to get the food and drinks while he helped Jaylyn. He pulled the passenger door open while she unbuckled herself, then he lifted her in his arms. “I can walk.” She said with a blush.
“We’ll work on strengthening your legs later, but right now I just want you close.”
“You two are so cute.” Paisley said. “I’m his sister by the way.”
“It’s nice to finally meet you in person.”
“I’m so excited I get to hang out with you.”
“Easy Paisley, you’ll tire her out with all your craziness.” Nestor chimed in and his sister laughed.
“I never knew you could be this adorable Nestor. I mean he’s super nice, but just look at his face.”
“Paisley” he said as Jaylyn looked up at him with a smile. Paisley laughed “well lets get in and eat. I’m starving” Nestor followed his sister in and sat Jaylyn at the table. “so, how weak are you Jaylyn?” Paisley asked after her first bite. “when I first woke up I got tired just lifting a cup to drink somthing”
“aw” Nestor swallowed his bite and said “I was actually hoping since you practically live here anyway if you’d mind actually living here and helping Jaylyn while I work”
“Crazy here is saying she’ll pay you” Paisley gave Jaylyn an odd look after her brother said that “girl you aren’t paying me to help you. Your family might be cold but we’re not. Besides, if you want to feel you’re paying me just think of it as me paying back my brother. Ever since he bought this apartment I’ve come over at least three times a week. I eat like a pig and don’t make any money of my own so if my brother wasn’t so awesome I’d be in quite a bit of debt”
“Your brother always spoke fondly of you though. He likes you coming over. Even if he messes with you:” Paisley laughed “Picking on people in the family is most times how my brother shows affection, I know he likes me here. I’m looking forward to getting to know you. God I’ve had so many questions.”
“You can keep asking”
“No, she can keep asking after you eat. You’re tired” Paisley gave a half smile “he’s right, you do look exhausted. Eat, relax and I’ll ask my fifty million questions tomorrow” Jaylyn already felt extreme happiness. They made her feel so welcomed and cared about and it helped her deal with the fact all her friends were dead. She wished she was strong enough to go to their graves right now and tell them how sorry she was. The second she was able to normally function without getting exhausted she was going to have Nestor take her to where ever they were buried. She hoped their families didn’t hate her but she already accepted it if they did. She had been the one driving and she wasn’t sure how long it would take her to forgive herself.
Jaylyn ate slowly and Nestor kept her pace, wanting to finish when she did so he could take her to bed. Paisley just smiled, trying to finish as quickly as possible so she could go back to their parents house and give them privacy. When she was finished eating, she hugged them both and promised to be back tomorrow. Jaylyn said she was full a little over halfway through her burger and Nestor quickly cleaned up everything then lifted her and carried her into his room. “I hope sleeping in my bed is okay. If you don’t want me in here, I can take the couch.”
“No, I want you to stay, please.” He smiled happily as he laid her down then pulled off her shoes.
“I’m going to undress you okay, you can borrow one of my shirts and a pair of shorts so you’ll be comfortable.”
“Okay.” She felt herself blush and saw his cheeks turn red as well as he pulled her clothes off. She could see he was trying to be polite and not stare at her and it had butterflies brushing her insides. He went to his chest of drawers, pulling clothes out for both of them and helping her get dressed. He then went into the bathroom and quickly changed. His heart was beating so fast he was sure he’s have a heart attack. He went back to her, her warm smile hitting him right in the gut. She was far too beautiful and he told himself he had to be good for her.
“Is it okay if I hold you?” He asked.
“Of course, it felt so good back at the hospital, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep if you don’t.”
He took Jaylyn in his arms and sighed with such contentment it made her heart flutter again. she wanted to enjoy this but her exhaustion almost instantly took over and she passed out. Nestor kissed her cheek “sweet dreams Jaylyn” He pulled her little closer than allowed himself to sleep. In the morning Nestor woke first, Jaylyn still in a deep sleep. He carefully got up so she could rest all she needed then began getting ready for work. When he came into the living room he laughed “You’re capable of being up this early? How long have you been here?”
“like a half hour. I didn’t want Jaylyn to be alone at all or make you late because you didn’t want to leave her”
“you could have just stayed in the guest room last night”
“I wanted to give you guys some time alone. She hasn’t been awake that long and you’ve been waiting on this seven months”
“No problem, is she awake?”
“No, thankfully I got up without bothering her.”
“I brought some of my clothes for her to wear”
“Thank you. I’m sure she’s not enjoying my clothes” Paisley winked “Oh I bet she is” he chuckled then went to the kitchen to heat up some pop tarts. He checked on her again before he walked out the door. He came out of his room slightly disappointed and told his sister “will you text me when she’s up?”
“course you love sick freak now get out. I’ll be right here if she needs anything. I’m not even going to listen to my Ipod. I cant promise her protection from our parents though. I told them and they are probably coming over today to meet her. Think she can handle them?”
“Just make sure you have a large stick to push them away if she cant handle the” he paused trying to think of a good way to drescribe their parents “eccentricness?”
“sure, we’ll go with that one”
She shooed him out the door and he left with a laugh, already impatient to be back with the woman he adored. Jaylyn woke half an hour after he had left, feeling disappointed she had not been able to see him off. She sat slowly up and moved her legs off the bed. She could hear talking coming from the living room and it took her a moment to realize it was the TV. “Paisley?” She said loudly. She heard footsteps moving quickly toward the room and Paisley pushed the door open.
“Yeah, I need help getting to the bathroom.”
Paisley smiled and helped her to her feet and then to the bathroom. Jaylyn had not realized just how exhausted her muscles were until she had to actually walk. “Don’t worry, you’ll get stronger.” Paisley said, reading her expression.
“I’ll have to start exercising, I don’t want you and Nestor having to baby me all the time.”
“Nesot would call it spoiling you and he seems to like do it and I’m his sister, what he cares about I care about. So we don’t mind helping you.”
“I think I can do it from here.” Jaylyn said once Paisley had her standing in front of the toilet.
“Alright, just call me if you need me.”
A little after lunch they heard a knock at the door and Paisley shook her head “I asked them to wait until Nestor got home”
“who is it?”
“Our parents, they’ve been going crazy since I told them you were awake” They knocked again, it sounded impatient and it caused Jaylyn to laugh “go get them” Paisley got up and they rushed past her “hey to you too guys”
“Jaylyn, sweetie” Their mother said as she hugged her “hey” it was their fathers turn next “hey, your eyes are just as beautiful as the rest of you. Is that our daughters clothes you have on?”
“Yeah, I still need to get my own from my parents house”
“well they look nice on you” Jaylyn smiled “I’m sure your son told me but what’re your names?”
“Oh, I’m Nora and this is Carlin” Jaylyn smiled and Nora asked “so how’re you feeling?”
“have your parents seen you yet?”
“Yeah, things didn’t go well. They were rude and full of themselves as always. I’ve been cut off but I dont care, honestly. I know a lot of people say that and still care but unlike most people there was never a single lovey moment between me and them. From the moment I was born staff have raised me. Maids, butlers and nannys attended plays, tucked me in when I was scared, read to me, did homework. In the years before my coma they only did anything with me if I attended a fundraiser or similar function. There was never a real bond made and I learned to accept that a long time ago” Nora hugged Jaylyn “well then I appoint myself your mom and my husband is your dad, thats that.”
Jaylyn smiled brightly “I’m glad your accident didn’t end as badly as mine.”
“Oh he told you about me. Yeah, honestly it did this family a world of good. made my relationship with Carlin better and gave my son you.”
Jaylyn smiled as she thought of Nestor. “He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Without him I don’t think I would have made it through my coma without going crazy.”
“I bet my son’s been spoiling you rotten.”
“Yeah, he just wants to carry me everywhere and make sure I’m comfortable. I’m sure he’s worrying right now.”
“Oh crap, I forgot.” Paisley said as she pulled out her phone and called Nestor. He answered immediately.
“Is everything okay with Jaylyn?” He asked.
“Of course, I just forgot I was supposed to call you. She’s up, do you want to talk to her?”
“Yes please.” Paisley smiled as she handed Jaylyn her phone.
“Hey Nestor.” She said softly.
“Hey baby, how are you feeling?”
“Good, visiting with your parents. I really like them.”
“They’re not overwhelming you are they?”
She gave a small laugh. “Not at all, I’m really enjoying the company.”
“Well just make sure you eat and drink plenty of water and if you need a break, don’t be afraid to speak up.”
“I love you, I need to get back to work.”
“I love you too.” She said with a blush.
Everybody else in the room was smiling as she hungup which only made her blushing worse. “so how’re you in general? Any concerns with the doctors?” Nora asked “I’m just weak. It’ll take awhile to rebuild them but I can. Currently I need help getting much of anywhere and just taking a drink makes me tired.”
“Two years is a long time not to do anything.”
“Can you stand? I’ve always wondered how tall you are. You can’t tell when someone is sitting or laying” Jaylyn got up, making it look as effortless as she could. ‘careful Jaylyn” Paisley said nervously and stood just incase she needed to catch her. “Oh cute, about the size of our daughter” Jaylyn smiled “How tall re you guys?”
“I’m 5’8 and my husband is 6’3”
“No wonder Nestor is super tall, but then again I’m probably just super short.” She replied with a happy smile. She sat back down a lot quicker than she meant to so it was more like falling and she gave a little laugh.
“You’re incredibly resilient.” Carlin said. “Just like Nora. She always seems to bounce back from everything.”
“I have to be, living with parents like mine makes you that way.”
Nora patted her shoulder. “You really are a sweet girl and we’re happy to have you in our family.”
“So, what does Nestor do for work anyway?”
“Web design, he’s quite good at it.” Nora answered.
Nestor decided to go home and eat dinner with Jaylyn early. He knew his parents would still be there and he was prepared for the embarrassment that would come with their teasing, but he didn’t care. Being with Jaylyn and making her happy was all that mattered and he would take all the teasing in the world as long as he could be there for her.
They teased just as much as he expected over dinner and he was honestly surprised by how well Jaylyn kept up with everything being she was barely two days out of her coma. That night as they were cuddled together again Jaylyn asked “when I can walk easily will you take me to my friends graves?’
“I also want you to take me to apologize to their parents”
“Jaylyn, it wasn’t your fault.”
“I was still driving and I wont feel right until I’ve apologized to them and their parents. They really were my family”
“what if they are asses about it?”
“they’ve lost their children. I think they have the right to yell at the person who caused it, intentional or not”
“I wont be able to stand it”
“I want them to yell at me if they need to Nestor. None of them came to visit and I’m sure they all have their own reasons. Please, I really want to but I cant do it if you aren’t at my side. I’m brave enough to go, just not alone”
“Okay, okay, if you insist”
“I really do” Nestor kissed her cheek and laid down, still feeling reluctant. Months passed and Jaylyn was walking well and confidently. Her parents had long since sent her stuff and they were well into plans for their wedding day. Jaylyn planned on mailing an invitation to her parents but she wasn’t holding her breath that they would come. She just felt inviting them was the mature thing to do. They were self absorbed but she didn’t have to be. Yesterday had been the day she went to each grave and cried out her apologies to each friend she lost the same day she went into a come. She told each one how she would have done a million things different that day if she could. It had reduced Nestor to tears which he felt bad for since he was supposed to be strong for her.
Today was now the day she wanted to go to each of their parents and tell them how sorry she was. At the first house she learned they moved about a year ago but she hoped she would find them one day so they could get the apology she felt they deserved. The next house just the mother was home and it made her feel even more intense guilt to hear the loss of their daughter broke up the marriage. Jaylyn didn’t feel deserving of how forgiving and understanding she was and felt almost disgusting when she received a hug from her friends mom. “Best of luck to you Jaylyn..Natasha loved you so much. She would be happy to know you woke up..I’m..I tried to visit but I just wasn’t strong enough”
“Thank you” with that Nestor and Jaylyn went out to the car where he hugged her while she sobbed. When she could stop they went to the next house only to recieve a door slammed in her face. She tried knocking a while longer but they seemed uninterested in letting her talk. Jaylyn sighed “Lets go Nestor…this is for them…they don’t want my apology”
“come on Nestor” he mumbled about how rude they were on the way to the final house as Jaylyn starred out the window. Bitterness seemed easier to handle than forgiveness. At their last stop Jaylyn had trouble knocking. She was already so taxed and had no idea what to expect from Jason’s parents. He was their only child, she had robbed them of the only child they had been able to have together. Out of anybody, she expected the door to be slammed in her face the most by hem.
“Jaylyn?” Hope said when she opened the door. “Oh my God, Trevor, it’s Jaylyn.” Hope hugged her and she felt her heart tighten in her chest. “Come in.” She pulled Jaylyn in and Nestor followed. Trevor came from upstairs and hugged her too and she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to talk as Trevor let her go.
“I…I…” she choked up and Nestor took her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “I’m so sorry.” She finally got out and tears slipped down her cheeks.
“Sorry?” Hope asked.
“I killed Jason.”
They both frowned, looking at her sadly. “Oh Jaylyn, no sweetie, no you didn’t.” She wailed louder and buried her face in her hands. Hope and Trevor wrapped their arms around her again, both of them crying with her.
“All my fault.”
“Hush now sweetie, it was an accident and it’s not like you were drunk.” Trevor replied softly.
“But I should have been driving better.”
“Shh.” Hope pulled back and wiped the tears off Jaylyn’s face. “Jason wouldn’t blame you, he cared so much for you, would have done anything for you. He left you something.”
“Trevor will you go up and get his gift?” Trevor let her go and hurried upstairs then came back down with a DVD and a photo album.
“He made these for you. We watched the DVD because we didn’t know what it was. I think you should watch it, he and the others had a lot to say. The photo album has pictures he took of all the times you and him and the others were together.”
“thank you so much”
“Has this been your first stop?’
“No, I’ve been to everyone elses parents”
“Well Austins parents moved”
“Yeah, they weren’t there”
“They moved to Europe because there was just too many memories bombarding them all the time. I want you to know though that they didn’t hold a grudge against you either. I’m sorry we didn’t visit in the hospital”
“No, really. I understood. I would understand if you hated me even”
“we could never hate you. Jason would kick our asses when we got to heaven if we made you feel bad for what happened. It was the other drivers fault, not yours”
“How do you know?”
“we were on the poilice force’s ass until everything was figured out”
“did the other people live?”
“Yeah, with much less damage than all you kids…it” Hope sighed “just watch the video..I’m sure it will make you feel a lot better and help you remember just how much they all loved you” They stayed for a short time longer then headed out. It was near dinner time so Nestor asked “want to pick up somthing to eat before we go through all that?”
“sure, anywhere you want. I dont much feel like eating but I will” Nestor kissed her hand “okay baby”
The stopped for Thai food and then headed home, Jaylyn staring at the DVD and photo album the whole time. She was a little afraid to watch it, knowing this would be the last thing her friends ever said to her. She sighed when they made it back to Nestor’s and had to admit she was relieved his sister wasn’t waiting for them there. Nestor took the food in then came back out and helped Jaylyn. She insisted on walking so he just held her around the waist and supported her. They ate first, her eating because she knew if she didn’t Nestor would worry and she didn’t want that. When she was full, he put their leftovers away and she picked up the DVD. “Do you want to watch it?” He asked softly.
“Not really, but I think I need too.” She handed it off to him and he switched everything on then popped it into his Playstation and hit play.
After a couple of seconds a camera came on and showed Jason’s smiling face. “Hey Jaylyn, it’s us.” He turned the camera and showed the others sitting in his room then moved it back to his face. “So, we know you’ve been feeling a little down lately, probably has to do with your parents and their idiocy, but hey you win some, you lose some. Anyway, we just wanted to take the time to say a few things. Come on guys.” Everyone moved into frame.
“Hey goof ball.” Austin said with a big smile plastered on his freckled face. “I want you to know that you are the silliest, funniest, and cutest girl in our group.” Natasha smacked him and he laughed. “You make us all very happy and we want only for you to be as happy as you make us. I hope that makes sense because this is awkward talking to a camera. Anyway, love you.”
Natasha shoved him out of the way. “Hey sweetie, I hope everything’s going okay and if it’s not then just let us know and we’ll all come over and put the smack down on your parents. You are so much more than they deserve and they best sister a girl could ever ask for. You make me feel truly treasured as your friend and I wouldn’t trade you for the world. Love you Jay.”
Next was Bobby, his hair pulled back and away from his face. “Austin is right though, you’re definitely the cutest in our group.” A pillow flew at him from off screen and he started laughing. “And Natasha was right in saying that you are the best friend and sister a person could ask for. We really respect you and hope that someday your parents will see what they missed out on and if they don’t then just remember that you’ll always have us and we’ll always be your family no matter what life throws at us. We love you so stay safe and try not to get into too much trouble.”
“Alright, now it’s my turn.” Jason said as he turned the camera to his face and sat down. “Jaylyn, you are really and truly the heart and soul of this group. I know what you’re thinking, me the girl with the crappy parents, yes Jaylyn you. You’re wonderful, beautiful, honest and you love unconditionally. You inspire all of us, you make us all want to be the best of ourselves. Without you, life would be incredibly boring. You are just, well you’re you and we…I will always love you for that. So no matter what happens just remember that we will always be there as a shoulder to cry on or as an ear to rant to. Anyway, now cue the sappy friend music and snapshots of us all being crazy. Oh and if you look in the very back of the photo album that came with this, you will find a letter from each of us. Alright love you, music time.”
Nestor held her a little tighter as he watched tears fall down her face, her eyes glued to the television. He was glad they had made this for her for whatever reason it was intended. It was killing her right now but in the future she would be happy to have this and maybe even smile or laugh as she saw the different pictures. “they look like such a fun group”
“they were, they were the absolute best Nestor”
“me too” she said in a newly broken voice. When the DVD ended Nestor held Jaylyn, comforting her as best he could until she was ready for her letters. “you sure you want to read them tonight beautiful?”
“want me to read them to you since your eyes probably hurt?”
“If you wouldn’t mind” Unsurprisingly the letters made her cry worse than the DVD did. Each one was so touching even Nestor felt the tugs on his heart. These people truly had loved Jaylyn and been her family. Nestor wished there was anything he could do to undo their deaths and give them back to her but he knew that was impossible. Over the months it took to plan and put together their wedding Jaylyn watched the DVD and or read the letters almost daily, and daily they would spring new tears to her eyes but she never cried as much as she did the first time through.
During the ceremony, when it was Nestors turn to say his vows towards the end he said “Jaylyn, I know that same coma that brought us together was also the aftermath of what took away the group of friends you considered your family. Nobody in the world could ever replace them, from what little I’ve seen from that DVD you have and the stories you tell me I know that for a fact but I promise from this day on you will never be without a family. I love you and I know I can speak for my family in how much they love and adore you. I can’t pinpoint precisely when you stole my heart but during the days I came to visit you I lost myself to you Jaylyn. You are the love of my life and I plan to give you a family that will give you all the love you deserve.”
Jaylyn grabbed his face and kissed him, causing Nestor to smile happily as he kissed back. They both knew they had an amazing life ahead and Jaylyn knew in time Nestors love would heal every pain she had in her heart from their loss. She hoped he wanted to go ahead and start trying for children, she planned to honor each one of her friends by naming a child after them. She just hoped he was up to having at least four kids.
~ The End