Twenty-One

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[Evie]

"Mia I love you, but you can't just. . . ignore me now that you have Brandon." I pace.

"I'm sorry, really. I just, I really like him." Mia says from my bed.

"I realize you guys got closer while I was in the hospital, but I'm not losing anymore friends. I can't." I sigh.

Because that's what this is about. Losing my friends. All because I'm too nice. Lauren and Boston leave for college in a few months. Telling Ash about Camille and Sam about Ollie. Pushing Brandon towards Mia even. I've been playing matchmaker and look where it's got me.

Ready to start fresh and not let the past control me, I'm here letting the present dominate me.

Even Liam left me.

"Enough!" Mia stood and grabbed my wrists. "Calm down, Evie."

I took some deep breaths.

"No one is leaving." She soothes. "And I am the last person who could take your brother from your side."

I nod. She's right of course. Mia gives me a hug and holds me tight. This is what I've been missing.

[Liam]

I wake to Audrey Rose's cries. It physically pains me more than the stitches. I can't get up and grab her, I can barely move.

I weakly move my fingers to press the call button. Someone needs to find Sam or Ash.

"Shh, shh. It's okay." I smile at Audrey Rose who has pulled herself to stand in the crib. She has fat tears in her eyes, wondering why I won't hold her.

"Mr. Davis?" A pretty nurse walks in with a clipboard. "You called?"

"Yeah, uh, could you find Sam Milligan or Asher Klein for me?" I ask.

"Ones giving blood and the other is sleeping in the NICU if you mean the two teenagers." She walks over and I see her badge. Kara Gionini.

Audrey Rose has stopped crying, observing the imposter instead. Nurse Gionini pulls my blankets back and asks me to pull my arms out of the gown so she can check my chest.

"You're healing nicely, obviously we can't discharge you until this blizzard passes but you'll be up and walking in no time."

I thank her as she leaves and throw my head back in frustration.

Audrey Rose just looks at me, blinking.

We come to an agreement that we'll both be going back to bed.

[Evie]

"Slow down, Ollie." I shoot up from my bed and listen to my friend through the phone.

"Sam, he just left. Ran off into the blizzard, I'm worried he hasn't messaged." Ollie explains.

"Did you try Liam?"

"He's not answering either."

My heart stopped beating for a moment. For Sam, not Liam of course. Worry flooded my chest.

"I'll call Ash."  I rush.

Hanging up I do just that, listening to it ring.

"Hey, Asher Klein's phone." Camille answers.

"Camille!" I exclaim. "Where's Asher? Ollie is worried because Sam ran off and we haven't heard from Liam either."

"We're all. . ." She drops off at the end, hesitating. Then with a sigh, "we're all at the hospital."

My hands shake and I see my own frightened face in the mirror. "Why?"

She doesn't answer.

"Why, Camille?"

"Liam had to get surgery."

The phone drops from my hand and I fall to my knees. The episode comes over me before I realize it.

(SHORT I KNOW I JUST NEEDED TO GET SOMETHING OUT TO GER OVER MY BLOCK)

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