I tightened my grip around the steering wheel as I stared at the hospital door, opening and closing for the visitors and patients going in and out. None of them looked like I did.
None of them knew what was coming.
When I lifted my hands from the steering wheel, they were trembling so bad I could hardly remove the key from the ignition. My vision blurred again, and I bit the inside of my cheek before yanking the door open. The warmth of the air smacked me in the face, causing a thin layer of sweat to form on my skin from the previous coolness of the AC. It evaporated almost instantly, only to form again as I entered the cool of the hospital. My stomach spun, and I stopped as nausea washed over me.
“Miss?” the receptionist said, and I looked up, wishing it was Morgan's warm face. Instead I was greeted by an older woman I didn't know with knit brows. I glanced at the sign to the side of her.
“No,” I replied, the words tumbling out of my mouth. “I haven't been out of the country.”
“Are you okay?”
I blinked at her.
It's a fucking hospital, what good happens here? Who is actually okay when they come here?
I nodded, swallowing before asking, “My dad is here, Paul Abela. I'm not sure where.”
She typed on the keyboard before telling me what wing, floor and room to go to. I pressed my shaking hand to my forehead, letting the cold of it sink into my overheating body as I walked to the elevator. Everything was in slow motion again, and I felt my muscles spasm as I watched the red numbers tick away.
Come on. Come on.
When the door finally opened I fought the urge to run down the hall to the room where I knew Dad was.
The tears pooled in the corner of my eyes, and I quickly wiped them away as I walked at what felt like a crawl to the room. I looked at Dad sitting on the bed, nodding to the doctor. It was the same doctor who suggested I take anxiety pills. I looked down at my shaky hands and for the first time, I thought he might be right. My heart was so small now, shrunk inside the tightness of my chest. I could barely breathe as I watched them speaking. Dad's eyes lifted and met mine, his mouth stopped moving and the doctor glanced over his shoulder, giving me a sad smile.
I fought the urge to slam the door open and start yelling for no reason. Instead, I opened it slowly and stepped in, closing it behind me. I stayed near it as I stared between them, my vision tunneling on Dad.
He didn't look sick.
“Take a seat,” Dr. Williams suggested.
I did so without saying anything.
“El, I'm sorry if I scared you. I just wanted you to be here for this discussion.”
This discussion. My fingers dug into my sides as I nodded.
“Sometimes these things happen—” Dad began.
“Sometimes?” I asked, cutting him off. “Sometimes?”
“El, calm down, you don't know what I'm going to say.”
“I don't?” I snapped. “Like hell I don't.”
Dad swallowed, looking down at his hands as his jaw shook. The tears pummeled down my face. I didn't want to be like this.
I didn't want to be so angry.
But God, I was.
I was so angry at everyone in this room.
In the world.
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