I woke up because the sun was shining through the window and warming my face. Even before opening my eyes, everything that had happened yesterday came rushing back to me. Finding mom on the couch, the medical staff carrying her away to the ambulance and then…
Allie. If I opened my eyes right now, would she still be right next to me? Did she run off in the middle of the night, regretting what had happened? Or did she mean what she said last night? Did she really love me?
Finally, I opened my eyes and my heart made a happy little jump. There she was. Perfection on a pillow. Her blonde hair was messy, because of the bed and my hands that had been running through it for hours yesterday. But she looked gorgeous, a slight smile on her lips as she was sleeping.
I lifted myself up, grunting. My muscles felt sore. I heard Allie slowly waking up behind me.
“Phil?” she asked sleepily. “Morning,” I said. “Did you sleep okay?”
Allie sat up and scooted over next to me on the bed. She looked curiously at me, probably trying to see if I would cry again. I couldn’t quite figure out what to say. Nice make out sesh yesterday?
Luckily, Allie was the one who started talking. “Did you call Angela to tell her what happened?”
Shit, Angela. I honestly hadn’t thought about her since our lunch yesterday. And I’d cheated on her… Okay, so she wasn’t exactly my soul mate, but she didn’t deserve to be cheated on.
I shook my head. Allie seemed almost relieved. “You probably should call her.”
“I don’t want to call Angela.”
Allie looked surprised. “But shouldn’t you tell her what happened to your mom? And, well…” She shrugged. “With… us?”
I grabbed her hand and squeezed it, getting closer to her. “I’ll tell her,” I said earnestly. “She doesn’t deserve being lied to. But I am breaking up with her. If she doesn’t beat me to it, at least.”
I took a deep breath. Now or never, Phil. Don’t let her get away from you again.
“I don’t know about you, but I meant what I said last night, Allie. I love you for as long as I can remember. I don’t want to be with Angela. I don’t want to be with anyone but you.”
I looked at her face, nervous. But relief washed over me as she smiled broadly.
“I feel the same way.”
A few hours later, I was walking into mom’s hospital room. Allie had asked me about a hundred times if she had to go with me, but I was sure of it. I wanted to do this alone.
The door to the hospital room was ajar, so I walked in after a short knock. The room was blindingly white. Mom was wearing a scratchy-looking robe and having a salad on her hospital bed. I was relieved to see her sitting up and with a fresh face and her regular, rosy cheeks.
She looked up, excited, and put her bowl down to hug me.
“Phil, sweetheart, I’m so glad you’re here.”
We hugged for a long time. I felt my nerves fall away as she held me. It would be okay.
“How are you feeling?”
She smiled at me. “Much better. They said I don’t need surgery, but I do need to take things easy for a while. I’m gonna start working more normal hours, no more night shifts. I promise.”
She stroked my cheek like she used to do when I was a little boy. It made me smile. “I’m sorry, honey. You must have been so scared.”
“Well, I’ll take better care of myself from now on. We’ll make things work. You might have to find a summer job…” She was starting to look worried, so I quickly cut her off. “I have some things to tell you mom.”
I sat down and told her everything that had happened yesterday – well, I left out some of the details about me and Allie. But mom was beaming by the end of my story.
“Oh, that’s wonderful, Phil! I’m so happy for you. Allie is such a sweet girl.”
“So you’re not mad that I cheated on Angela?” That was the part I’d been most worried about telling my mom, but she simply sighed and shrugged. “Well, I do wish you’d broken up with her before acting on your feelings for Allie. But you’re still young. We’ll just blame it on your hormones.”
She winked and I laughed.
“You really seem happy,” mom said, smiling.
“Yeah.” I couldn’t wipe the grin from my face. “I am happy.”