Home > Falling Fast(16)

Falling Fast(16)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

“It will happen,” she says quietly after giving Colton, Rose, and Kirk a hug. “I brought you some stuff. I’ll sit with Genevria while you go change.”

“Did you see the house? Did they put out the fire?” I ask, and her eyes turn sad.

“They were able to save the back bedrooms, but the rest of the house is gone. The fire chief told me it will be a few days before you’re allowed in to get your stuff,” she explains, and even though the information is delivered gently, I still feel every word like a stab to my gut. “It will be okay. We’ll figure something out,” she assures me, wrapping her warm hand around my cheek. “Go change, darlin’.”

“Sure.” I nod, taking the bag from her as I stand. “I’ll be right back.”

“Do want me to help?” Rose asks, stopping me with her hand wrapped around my bicep.

“No, I’m okay. I’ll be right back.” I give her what I hope looks like a reassuring smile and leave. Going to the nurses’ station in the middle of the emergency room, I ask where the bathrooms are, ignoring the fact that Colton is at my side. Hurrying to the bathroom they pointed out, I go inside and close the door then move to the sink, turning it on full blast to cover the sound of my sobs.

It takes me a few minutes to pull myself together enough to wash my face and get dressed in the sweats, T-shirt, and flip-flops Nina brought me. After dumping my clothes into the trash, I open the door to find Colton standing there waiting for me, just like I somehow knew he would be.

“Hey.” His concerned eyes meet mine, and it takes all the strength I have left not to throw myself against his chest and cry. “Come on.” He takes my hand and leads me back to Grandma’s side. I take a seat next to her bed, and he pulls up a seat next to me, taking my hand once more, locking our fingers together in his lap. I know I should pull away, but I don’t, because it feels good being connected to him, having his support and his strength when I’m all out of those things.

“Gia Caro?” a man wearing a doctor’s jacket asks, coming into the room and looking around at everyone.

“That’s me.” I stand, and Colton does the same, tightening his hold on my hand when I attempt to pull away.

“Miss Caro, do you have a minute to talk with me in my office?” he questions, and I look at the bed, feeling completely torn.

“We’ll stay here with her, honey,” Nina says, and my eyes go to her.

Giving her a nod, I look at the doctor once more. “Sure.”

“Good, follow me,” he instructs, so I do, in a complete daze, not even realizing that Colton is still with me until we reach the office and step inside. “Have a seat.” He motions for the two chairs across from him. Taking a seat, my heart starts to pound so hard that I feel lightheaded. “I just got off the phone with your grandmother’s doctor. She told me that she was going to be calling you this afternoon to explain the results of the CT scan she ordered.”

“Okay,” I whisper, and Colton’s fingers squeeze mine.

“As you know, your grandmother was diagnosed with vascular dementia,” he begins, and I nod, even though I had no idea she had vascular dementia. I thought she just had dementia. “That diagnosis still stands, but the illness is now at a stage six, which is why she has had such a sharp decline in memory loss.”

“What do we do?”

“I wish I could tell you there was a cure for her illness, but unfortunately that isn’t the case, and even more unfortunately, I’m going to have to suggest she be placed in a nursing home and go on hospice care.”

“No,” I deny, shaking my head. “No way.”

“Miss Caro.” He drops his voice as he sits forward in his chair. “I understand this situation is a difficult one, but we have to do what’s right for your grandmother and you. She is only going to get worse, and after what happened tonight, you know what worse could mean for the two of you.”

“She should be with me,” I whisper.

“I have a nursing home I work closely with. They are one of the best in the state. Family is always welcome all hours of the day and night. You can spend as much time with her as you like. The nursing staff at that location is great, and your grandmother would have round-the-clock care, someone checking on her every hour, making sure she’s safe,” he explains, and my eyes close. I failed her, completely failed her. “I know it’s never an easy decision, but it’s the best one you can make for her and you right now.”

“Can we check it out before we agree?” Colton asks, and my eyes open to look at him.

“Of course,” the doctor agrees. “I would suggest you do that anyway. I know nursing homes have a bad stigma, but I promise that after you meet some of the staff and see the location, you’ll feel differently about it.”

“We’ll go today,” Colton states, squeezing my hand.

“Good. Now do you have any more questions?” he asks, handing me over a brochure before standing.

“Not right now,” I tell him, and his face softens.

“It will be okay, and Gia, I can tell that you think you failed her, but you didn’t. You saved her life. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to pull her from that house, but you did it,” he says, and tears fill my eyes. “Check out the location then get back to me. I plan on moving your grandmother to a new room and keeping her here for a few days so we can keep an eye on her to make sure she’s okay after the fall she took.”

“Okay,” I murmur, because there is nothing else I can do.

“We’ll talk soon. My card is attached to the back of that pamphlet. Call me if you have any questions.”

“I will,” I reply as he walks over to the door, opening it for us to leave.

Going back to everyone, Rose tells us that Kirk left to open the bar so I tell Nina and Rose what the doctor said then listen to them tell me that they have to agree with him about his suggestion. Even though I hate it, I still understand why it needs to be done. It’s no longer safe for her to be home, even with someone there with her. I can’t watch her every second of the day, and just like a little kid, she needs round-the-clock supervision from people who understand her disease.

“I’m going to take Gia over there to check the place out,” Colton tells them. “That way she can see for herself whether or not she thinks it’s a fit.”

“That’s a good idea,” Rose agrees.

“After Grandma wakes up, we’ll go,” I say, taking a seat in the chair I vacated earlier. “I won’t feel okay about leaving her until I see her open her eyes.”

“That’s understandable, honey,” Rose agrees softly then she looks at her son and I feel my spine stiffen when she asks Colton, “Did you ever get around to cleaning out your spare room?”

“Yeah,” he answers, taking a seat next to me.

“Can Gia stay there while she gets things sorted out?”

“Absolutely.”

Uh… what?

“That’s not necessary. I’m sure I can find a hotel or something.”

“You’re not staying in a hotel.” Nina waves that comment away like it’s a fool’s idea. “I would offer you our spare room, but we don’t have one since Ned and I sleep in separate rooms.”

That’s interesting to know.

“And I would offer you one of ours, but the boys and the grandkids come up all the time, so there isn’t really space. Colton’s place is nice, and his spare room has it’s own bathroom, so you’ll have some privacy,” Rose says, and I wonder if her and Nina talked about this while we were gone.

“I don—”

“Genevria,” Nina whispers, cutting me off before I can give them a list of reasons why this is the worst idea in the history of the world.

Spinning my head around, I see Grandma’s eyes opening up and I stand. Leaning over her, I rest my hand against her cheek. “Grandma,” I say, and she blinks up at me with confusion in her eyes then tries to sit up. Resting my hand against her stomach, I keep her in place. “It’s okay. You’re safe. Don’t move.”

   
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