“Completely understandable,” Mel passed him a sympathetic look as she busied herself fussing to straighten his bedsheets out. “You just need to stay present and recognize whatever it is you’re feeling so you can put in some kind of context and not let it consume you.”
“I’m going to be okay, you know, Mum. I don’t know how at the moment, but you worrying yourself to death is not going to help anything.”
“I’m your mum, it’s my job to worry,” she ruffled her fingers through his hair as though he was five years old again.
The doctor breezed into the room a few minutes later with a clipboard in one hand and a pager in the other.
“Good morning, Emmet. I have back-to-back surgeries today, but wanted to try to catch you first to give you an answer to what we discussed.”
All eyes were pinned on Emmet. He hadn’t mentioned any discussions with a doctor and everyone wondered what he could be referring to.
“I’ll keep it brief. I’m willing to sign your discharge papers on the assurance that you’re going to attend our outpatient’s clinic daily for the first week and meet with the therapist I recommended within five days.”
“Deal.” Emmet smiled his true smile for the first time since the crash and Sophia felt herself relax at the sight. Her emotions were so in tune with his. They had always been close as brother and sister, but after their experiences of late, they shared something that surpassed the average sibling relationship.
A shared understanding that things would never be the same for either of them again tied them together and both of them were deeply invested in the happiness and wellbeing of the other. It was as if seeing each other push through made them believe they could stay strong and do the same.
“He can’t go home yet? This is crazy,” Mel spun around on her heels, glaring at the doctor.
Robbie cut in. “Can we talk outside for a second?”
“I’m sorry, but like I said, I am non-stop today. Emmet, the nurse will be along shortly with your discharge papers. Feel free to fire as many questions at them as you like and I’ll see you in the day clinic if I get a chance to pop in.”
“Thanks for making it happen, man. It means a lot.”
“Just doing my job. You take care,” the doctor gave a curt nod before striding out into the corridor and leaving them to make any final arrangements with the nurses.
“Looks like you’re getting out of here, Sophia beamed.
“I didn’t think he’d agree to it.” Emmet was still reeling from the information.
“It’s far too soon, son. I can’t believe he would even consider letting you go home already.”
“Mum,” Sophia groaned.
“No, I’m sorry, Sophia. You know I’ve always respected the doctors here, and their judgement but they’ve got it wrong this time. Let me go and talk it through with him. He needs to reconsider.”
“Stop it, Mum. I know you like to think of me as your little boy still, but I’m not. I’m a grown man and am quite capable of discussing what is best for my recovery with my doctor.”
“Your mum doesn’t mean to patronise you, Emmet. She’s just worried, that’s all.” Robbie flushed.
“You don’t need to be. This is what I want, and it’s the best thing for my recovery. I can’t stand it in here. You don’t understand what it’s like. People checking on me every time I get settled. Being stuck in this bed looking at the same four walls. This morning I tried to picture what the sun on my face feels like because it’s been days since I felt it.”
Mel gave a small nod of understanding and turned to Sophia. “Can you head home and supervise Robbie getting things ready for Emmet?”
“I’m going back to my place,” Emmet stated.
“Absolutely not.” Robbie told him. “You can’t look after yourself like this. You're in no fit state.”
Sophia silently agreed her mum had a point. It was exactly like her brother to be overly ambitious, and she had no idea how he planned on getting around and living independently when he still couldn’t bear any weight on his legs.
“Can you at least stay for the first week? I won’t be able to rest thinking of you fending for yourself.” Mel asked.
“I guess a week wouldn’t be so bad. Will you throw some apple crumble in to sweeten the deal?”
“Now that I can do.” Mel grinned.