When Jason saw Ariana stand next to his bed he could hardly contain his frustration of not being able to talk to her or touch her. His emotions wanted to bust out of him with full force but all he could do is lay there silently and look at Ariana. He had heard clearly what she had said and it was almost unbearable for him not being able to communicate with her. The only way he could think of to somehow express how he felt was to just grab Ariana’s hand and hold it on his heart. It was an impulse after she had told him that she loved him. He didn’t know how she had found out about him in the hospital but as shocked as he was seeing her there next to his bed he was just as relieved. He hated to be put to sleep again right then when he got a little excited. Ariana and her visit stayed on his mind even during the night. Even though he was slightly sedated he did wake up on a few occasions and was tortured by merciless spasms shooting through his body. He broke into a cold sweat and his blood pressure went up during the night.
He saw the night nurse Jill hover over him, checking the monitors and adjusting the IV’s, “Jason, what is going on?”She stood over him touching her hand on his forehead and saying softy, “Hey bud, it’s all good. Try to calm down.”
Jason could only follow Jill with his eyes as he felt anxiety trying to get the better of him.
He didn’t know what was going on and why his body was reacting the way it did. He hoped there was no further infection of any kind. He wanted to get off the ventilator so badly and especially now with Ariana back in his life he wanted to get well as fast as possible.
Just when he heard Jill mutter to herself about increasing the sedation, Jason grabbed her wrist and she was surprised, “Jason, what is it?”She looked at Jason and he shook his head.
Jill asked softly, “What is it Jason? You should try to sleep again.”
Jason shook his head a little harder now. He hated not being able to talk.
“You don’t want to sleep?”
Jason nodded and hoped she would understand. He wanted to be alert and awake.
Jill added lowly, “I am sorry Jason, but we need to help you sleep still, doctor’s orders. I promise to talk to him about it in the morning and maybe we can let off on the sedation during the day. How about that?”
She was hovering over Jason’s face, he knew the nurse had to do what the doctor ordered. He was defeated and not long after he fell asleep again.
Thursday Ariana took the city bus to the hospital around noon.
As she sat in the bus she brought up Britt’s number on her phone and texted her, “Hi Britt, I went to see Jason yesterday. I am so glad that I was able to see him with his father’s consent. Jason is doing o.k. but not great. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that you informed me of his situation. Things between me and Jason were complicated but now I know what I need to do. I am on my way to see him again today. I am really looking forward to meeting you on Saturday. Thanks again! Ariana.”She sent the message off hoping that Britt was o.k. with how things were with her and Jason.
A block from the hospital Ariana stepped out of the bus and walked the rest of the way. The hospital was not small but she knew where to go now and headed straight for the ICU, in passing nodding to the receptionist with a smile. At the ICU she rang the doorbell and a moment later she heard the voice from inside, “Yes, how can I help you?”“My name is Ariana Sands, I am here to see Jason Flanagan.”
“Just a moment.” It took a few seconds and the voice came back on, “I am buzzing you in.”
Ariana was relieved when the door buzzed, she pushed against it and walked into the ICU. When passing the nurses’ station she looked over and the charge nurse called to her, “You can go right on in. Just don’t forget hand sanitizer and mask.”
Ariana was nervous to see Jason again, her hands were sweaty and she felt her heart beat speed up. Outside the room, she sanitized her hands, slipped a mask over her nose and mouth and with a small knock she walked in. Jason shifted in his bed. The blood pressure and heart monitor and the ventilator helping Jason with every breath he took hummed softly. Ariana slowly walked up to the bed and to her surprise Jason’s eyes were wide open and he was alert. Ariana smiled, “Hey Jason!”
Jason’s dark eyes focused on Ariana and she heard the ventilator buzz more intense, apparently due to Jason breathing a bit faster.Ariana leaned over him, “I am so happy to see you awake, baby.”
Jason’s eyes flickered scanning Ariana’s face. He longed so much he could speak to her.
There were so many things he wanted to say and he was frustrated of not being able to talk.
He put his hand on the ventilator tubing and Ariana said quickly, “Jason, no…leave that alone!”
He put his hand on the ventilator tubing and Ariana said quickly, “Jason, no…leave that alone!”
He shook his head and Ariana could see his chest rising up and down quickly. His eyes moved around the room nervously. He looked up to the ceiling and couldn’t help feeling agitated at the situation. He wanted to talk to Ariana. He wanted to touch her and he wanted to feel her touch but instead he just had to lay there looking at her.
Just at that moment a nurse came into the room, “Hi, I am Jason’s nurse today, my name is Cara. How are you?”Ariana looked over at the nurse, “Hi, I am good. I am Ariana.”
“Hi Ariana. I know Darryl, Jason’s father added you to the permitted visitor list and also for information concerning Jason.”
Ariana just nodded but was surprised that Darryl allowed her to be part of Jason’s recovery process. Cara smiled, “So Jason is doing well today. We have decreased the sedation during the day and as long as his body is o.k. we can keep it that way. At night we will see. Last night he had some strong spasms so we will see what tonight will bring. Other than that, we are weaning him off the ventilator and he is doing really well with that. Hopefully we can get him off the ventilator on Monday.”
“Oh good, I hope that will work out. I don’t think he likes the ventilator very much.”
Nurse Cara looked at Jason, “I know. His lungs are just now healed enough to where we can try to wean him off.”
“Other than that, he is getting better by the minute.”
Ariana smiled at Jason. His eyes were shiny as he looked at her. Cara added, “Well, I am outside if you need anything. I am sure Jason is very happy to have some company.”
Cara checked the monitors quickly, and then leaned over Jason, “Are you doing o.k. Jason?”
Jason nodded weakly and Cara said, “Good, I will be outside then.”
Ariana nodded, “O.k. thank you.”
Ariana turned toward Jason, his eyes were on her and even though she had been told not to touch him by Nurse Becky the day before, she took his hand in hers and he moved just a bit, turning his head toward her and looking at her with dark eyes. Ariana leaned over a bit, “I love you!”
All he could do is keep his eyes on her but hearing her say the words again made his heart beat faster and he wanted so much to hold her close and tell her how much he needed her. They kept their eyes on each other for a few quiet moments. Eventually Ariana looked over to the door, making sure no one was around and she then put her hand quickly on Jason’s cheek and stroked it softly up to the strands of hair in his forehead.
She leaned down to him, saying softly, “Jason, I can’t wait for us to be together again. I am so happy to have found you. I can’t even imagine if your friend Britt would have not called me and told me about you being here. I really owe her big time.”
Jason pushed his face toward Ariana’s hand. Hearing that it was Britt who had contacted Ariana and informed her about him being sick surprised him. For a moment he thought about how he had really begun to like Britt and he had actually thought that he would maybe hook up with her, thinking everything with Ariana was over and Britt seemed right for him.
Things had not been over with Ariana the whole time though, deep inside he knew he loved her and had thought of her every minute and second of the day. In his mind he had played over and over the time he had spent with Ariana and he wanted nothing more than for him and Ariana to work out. Now she was here with him in this dark time, him being in bad shape and not very healthy at all. He knew he would need some time to recover from all of this and hoped that his body would be o.k. At the same time he worried about how everything would work out with Ariana and Britt.
Jason knew he should have never let it come that far to get so sick. Successfully he had been ignoring the signs of something going on with his health for weeks. The cough he had had for weeks had been getting to him, sometimes worse at night when he was at work or at home in his bed when his dad was sleeping. Darryl had not realized that Jason had been getting quite sick. The meds to keep the fever in check had worked for a while, he had been using them a lot but eventually his body overwhelmed with the illness inside it had gotten the best of him. Jason had not wanted to get sick meeting Ariana and now there she was sitting by his bedside in the ICU. He couldn’t even tell her all the things he wanted to say and all he could do is look at her desperately trying to communicate with her on some level but not able to. Monday couldn’t come fast enough to get off the ventilator and he hoped very much that he would be able to breathe on his own and that his lungs were not going to let him down.
Ariana spent a few hours just sitting next to Jason. She held his hand partly hidden under the sheet so the nurse couldn’t get on to her for touching him. His hand was warm and he held her hand just as tight, she felt his thumb rub over the back of her hand as he looked at her. Ariana could sense how frustrated Jason was of not being able to talk and just having to lie there. He could nod or shake his head every once in a while when Ariana asked him a simple question but that was all.
On and off his eyes tried to close and eventually Ariana said softly, “Baby, if you want to sleep, go ahead. Don’t worry about me. I won’t go anywhere. I don’t have to work tonight. I will stay here with you.”Jason looked over at her and she met his eyes. They looked tired and shiny. She confirmed to him that he was o.k. to sleep and he squeezed her hand just a little bit harder with his as he seemed to take a deep breath and his eyes closed.
Around 5 that afternoon Darryl came into the room and was happy to see Ariana next to Jason’s bed, “Hey Ariana, how are you? It is good to see you again.”“Hi Darryl. How are you?”
Darryl walked up, “I am doing o.k. How is he?”
He looked over at Jason and then back at Ariana, who answered, “He just fell asleep a little while ago but according to his nurse he is doing very well today and she told me that on Monday they may get him off the ventilator if everything works out.”
Darryl was relieved to hear the news, “Thank goodness. I know it is very hard for him to not be able to communicate with us.”
He pulled a chair up and sat down next to Ariana. She saw Darryl glance to her hand disappearing under the sheet and when Ariana looked up at him he just smiled.
Eventually Darryl said, “I have been tired with all my treatments and I can’t wait until Jay is doing better and will move to a regular room. I think I have to cut back on coming here so much.”Ariana looked over at Darryl and said softly, “Well, I am here for Jason if you are worried about that. I can come every day and if you can’t make it that is o.k. I am here for him.”
Just looking at Darryl even though he smiled, she saw his eyes looked tired with dark circles around them and his skin was pale. She wanted to ask him more about his health but refrained from it.Darryl asked Ariana about her family and they also talked a bit about Jason’s mother and brother.
Darryl looked over at Jason, “When Brandon got killed Jason almost broke under the grief. We pulled out of it together and everything went back to normal somewhat but then the accident happened. The boy didn’t really get a break for a long time. He has been hanging on as best as he could. I am not sure how things will be with me and I am worried about him.”
With that he looked back over at Ariana and she could sense what he was getting at and she also knew that things would be different now. She would have to be there for Jason and for a moment she felt almost overwhelmed but then looking at Jason she knew that was where she needed to be.
She said to Darryl, “Darryl, I want you to rest assured that I will be here for Jason, no matter what happens. I….” she took a breath and with a quick glance at Jason and then looking back at Darryl she said, “I love him and I want to spend my life with him.”
Darryl was relieved to hear her say the three words; he wanted his son to be taken care of, to have someone in his life when he wasn’t going to be there anymore.Darryl hoped very much that Ariana would be the right woman in Jason’s life.
He said lowly, “Ariana, it makes me feel very good to hear these words from you…are you planning on moving to Cali again?”“Yes, I want to as soon as possible but I know Jason has to stay here right now and I have to sort out my life and job before I can leave.”
“You seem like a good woman and I want to see you and Jay happy together. I know it is not exactly what some women would imagine their life to be like, living with a disabled partner because it has its ups and downs but you seem like you could be a woman for Jason and I can tell you he is a good guy and he tries to make the best out of his situation and with the right person by his side he will be o.k.”
Ariana looked at Darryl, “I want to be that person for him. I promise.”
Darryl kept his eyes on her and she saw them get shiny and moist and he shook his head and with a tremble in his voice he said, “It makes me very happy to hear that Ariana…I am not sure how things will be for me this time around with the cancer. I have been trying my best with Jason and everything that has happened to us over the last couple of years, I have been trying to stay strong for him but I am tired and I feel drained. It hurts me so much to see him like this but I feel a little better knowing you are here for him.”
Ariana saw how a tear escaped from Darryl’s eye and he looked away quickly.
Friday came around and even though Ariana had a job that night she was on her way to the hospital at noon. She was now known to the nurses and they buzzed her right on in.As she walked by the Nurses station, Nurse Cara smiled at her, “Hi Ariana, he is awake I think.” Ariana greeted Cara and nodded, “Thanks! Can I go in then?”
Cara nodded, “Yeah, I think he has been waiting already for his visitors.”
Ariana walked to the back of the hallway and came up to the room, the curtain was open and she saw Jason in his bed somewhat reclined upright in his bed. He spotted Ariana and his eyes became alert. When Ariana came in his eyes focused on her right away. Ariana came up to the bed, “Hey Jason, how are you?”Jason moved his head toward her. Ariana had been ignoring the “no touching” policy. She took his hand and leaned over him smiling, “Hey you!”
Ariana felt his hand tighten around hers and she smiled under her mask, “You look good.”
Jason just kept his eyes on her and Ariana started talking about her day and how the weather was outside. She also told him that she had a job that night and with that Jason looked away somewhat. She could tell he didn’t like hearing about her job and she didn’t say much more about it. Darryl wouldn’t be there that Friday because he had a treatment and he possibly wouldn’t be able to come over the weekend. Ariana stayed with Jason for about two hours.
As she was getting ready to leave she stood over him, “Tomorrow, I may come over a bit later, maybe around 2 or so. Tomorrow evening I am meeting your friend Britt.”
Hearing Ariana mention Britt Jason tuned in to her words. He did wonder about the meeting between the two women and what they would talk about or how it would work out. Britt had not come to see him and he didn’t know if she knew how he was doing. The last time he had talked to her was on his way to the hospital which was now almost three weeks ago. His dad had not mentioned anything about Britt or anyone else and then Ariana showed up at his bedside. He had so many questions but then again just having Ariana come into his life again was really all he cared about at the moment. He liked Britt but he felt so much more for Ariana.
Ariana said her Good Bye’s to him and after a quick glance toward the hallway and no one was there she leaned down over Jason’s face, pulled off her mask real fast and quickly kissed him on the cheek whispering an, “I love you.”
He looked at her with dark eyes and pulled her hand onto his chest once again, the only way he was able to communicate what he felt for her. He held on to her hand tightly and didn’t let her move away from him. Ariana still had her mask down and she smiled at him. Just looking at her made him want her so much, her piercing green eyes with her long red hair hanging down, lightly touching his bare chest. He thought about the intimate moments they had shared and how much she had wanted him then and he wondered if it would be like that again once all this was over. Would she still want him as much after seeing him in the state he was in now?
He kept his eyes on her and in a way as much as he hated being in the hospital with everything wrong with him at the moment he wondered how she really felt about him now.Holding her hand down on his heart he was keeping her real close to his face. His only communication were his flickering eyes penetrating hers, wanting to tell her that this is what she was getting with him, all of it, the good and the bad and that he was not only a paraplegic guy in a wheelchair but the whole package where everything could go wrong so quickly. He didn’t know if she was really ready for it all. As Ariana wanted to move away he held her still and just kept his eyes on her.
Ariana smiled and said softly, “Jason, I have to get going, I will see you again tomorrow.”She waited and looked at him, wondering what was going on. His eyes seemed like they were questioning her and she asked, “What is it baby?”
So much he wanted to talk to her at that moment but he couldn’t and eventually he let his grip loosen on her hand and Ariana pulled it away gently, stroking over his cheek again, “Sleep good tonight and I will be back tomorrow. I will miss you so much again.”
She slipped the mask up over her face and letting her hand glide out of Jason’s hand she said once more, “I love you baby, Be good until tomorrow.”
Ariana’s visit had left Jason somewhat down. He hated lying there and not being able to do anything but stare at the ceiling or the TV. He couldn’t wait to get out of the ICU and into a regular room, hopefully into his wheelchair soon. His dad wasn’t able to visit him that Friday so he spent the rest of the day pondering in his thoughts about Ariana, about his life, his dad, Britt and everything else. He thought about his job and even though his dad had not said anything he had a feeling that this time his boss was done with him. He had probably lost his job and he didn’t know how things would be once he got back out of the hospital and home. He was really worried about finances and about his dad’s health. Darryl hadn’t talked at all about his treatments and if there was any improvement or not. Jason couldn’t wait to get off the ventilator and ask him.
While he lay there he thought about how he should be happy now with Ariana confessing her love for him and he should be looking forward to a future with her, not far out but a near future where they would be together as a couple but he couldn’t help that even now he had doubts about Ariana’s feelings for him. Maybe she just felt sorry for him now and told him she loved him to make him feel better. She had been coming every day of the week and had stayed usually a few hours, just sitting with him, talking, reading from the paper for him, holding his hand, sometimes wiping a strand of hair out of his face, looking at him and watching TV with him while all he could do was to look at her and think about all the things he wanted to say. That night he was put on sedatives again and slept all night.
Ariana went to her job at the Bellagio and during the course of the night with her client, a middle age business man from Chicago she realized that the job was booked as an overnight stay. She had told Darren she didn’t want any more overnight jobs, she just didn’t want to do it anymore thinking of Jason and how things were between them. Everything had changed and lately she thought a lot about quitting the escort business and what she could do until she could finally move away from Vegas. Then again the money was good and now with Jason in her life and his situation she really needed the money.
She tried to forget about it all during the night and her client was successful in being very charming and respectful to her, making her feel appreciated and she stayed with him that night. As much as she was battling her emotions about the overnight stay and the sex she tried to focus on the money she was making from this night. Her night went well despite everything going on in her head and she was on her way home the next day around noon, leaving behind a very pleased client who had told her on his next trip to Vegas he would request her again. She smiled, nodded, and played along as expected but on her mind was only Jason. With the overnight stay she had been treated to a luscious breakfast and all ended with her client waving a taxi over for her at the Bellagio entrance and finally a friendly Farewell.
At home Ariana checked her bank account online and was happy to see her savings adding up. She had been working as an escort for two years now and had been able to save a lot of money on the side. Even when she met Jason at first and he told her how much he would like to be able to drive again she had thought about helping him out with getting a car and now she had visions of Jason driving a car and her as the passenger. She pondered the idea of surprising Jason once he was well and out of the hospital. Her internet browsing brought up a couple of car sales sites and she also found a place which modifies cars for disabled people. It seemed not too complicated but still was a process that needed some serious planning.
Jason had been awake in his bed all day on Saturday and the minutes seemed to go by in slow motion. He kept looking at the clock on the wall and what seemed like hours was only a 30 minute time lapse. He felt somewhat depressed that day and even though he wanted to be awake, he thought about how it was probably almost better to be sedated still so he wouldn’t have to watch time go by so slowly. He heard the nurses in the ICU; he heard the beeping and buzzing sounds of machines around him and in the neighboring rooms. He also realized that a Code Blue for a Cardiac Arrest had been called and it caused lots of commotion in the ICU and he knew something was going on with another patient. He lay there and listened to the noises around him and was anticipating Ariana’s visit. She came in around 2 that afternoon and he was relieved to see her. He had been feeling anxious and alone all day. She came up to the bed and leaned over, greeting him and telling him she loved him, words that made his heart race inside his chest.
Ariana sat down next to the bed and looked at Jason, thinking about her night before with another man. At that moment she decided that she would never tell Jason about her jobs anymore. Jason seemed off, his eyes kept closing on and off an in between he looked at Ariana with sad, dark eyes.She sensed his emotions and leaned over saying softly, “You seem a little off today?”
Jason didn’t budge, he didn’t nod and he didn’t shake his head, he just looked away. She took his hand in hers and squeezed it in assurance, “Monday you will get off the ventilator. I can’t wait to hear your voice again.”
Jason thought about how he probably wouldn’t sound too great with a sore and scratchy throat but he couldn’t wait either. Ariana stroked over his cheek, “Hey, what is going on with you today?”
He wanted to say so many things but was cursed to lay there without being able to communicate. Even though he tried to feel happy about Ariana being there with him he couldn’t somehow. He knew she had had a job the night before and he wondered if she had stayed the night with the client. Time was just not moving fast enough for him, he wanted to be well, he wanted to be out of the hospital and back in life in some way or another. His dad was on his mind and how things were with him.
Ariana stayed focused on him, she could sense he wasn’t all right, “Jason, what is going on with you? You seem sad, baby? I am here with you. If you want I can cancel the drink with Britt and stay until they kick me out. What’s wrong?”Jason looked at her and shrugged his shoulders slightly. To make things difficult slights spasms started shooting through his legs and his legs jumped under the sheet. Ariana glanced down to his legs and then looked back at Jason, “What is with your legs? Do you want me to call the nurse?”
He shook his head. Ariana was worried, “Are you sure?” Jason shook his head again.
Ariana stayed by his bedside and ended up texting Britt that she was thinking about moving the drink to a later time. The response from Britt came soon after and she replied she was o.k. with it. They rescheduled to 8:30 that night. Ariana stayed next to Jason’s bed and watched him drift off to sleep, just to be awakened by another spasm shooting through his body. He looked at her desperately and then glanced up at the IV’s, checking on the drip with his muscle relaxant. He knew the medications he was on and definitely kept his eyes on the muscle relaxant not running out. It was still dripping slowly into the IV line and down into his arm. There was nothing else to do but ride out the spasms and hope they wouldn’t get worse.
Ariana wanted to help him but there was nothing she could do but hold his hand and stroke his arm and face. It was around 8 when she got ready to leave and Jason didn’t like it one bit. Ariana said her Good Bye’s and kissed him on his cheek, not caring about any policies anymore but not getting caught. She told him she loved him, he held her hand down on his heart for a moment and their eyes were locked on each other. His dark eyes looked shiny and moist and Ariana hoped he would be o.k. and that they would put him to sleep during the night.
She got up from the chair, “Bye Jason, I will be back tomorrow. Try to get some sleep and rest. Tomorrow is already Sunday, Monday you may get off the ventilator, baby. Try to focus on that.”
Jason kept his eyes on her and nodded slightly; trying to assure her that he was o.k. Ariana leaned down to his ear and said lowly once again, “I love you…this is all over soon baby. Hang in there for me.” Jason just looked at her as she said her Good Bye and walked out of the room. Her heart was heavy since she could feel that Jason wasn’t o.k. but she had to leave and visiting hours were over at 9 o’clock anyways. Only immediate family members were allowed to stay the night if they so desired. She walked to the bus stop and soon got on the bus to the closest bus stop where she would meet Britt for a drink.
Jason had watched Ariana walk out and even though he had felt bad all day he tried to focus on what Ariana had said about the next day already being Sunday and with Monday right around the corner the outlook that he may be able to get off the ventilator soon. He couldn’t wait to be able to talk and hopefully breathing wouldn’t be an issue.
Shortly after Ariana had left, the night nurse Jill came into the room, “Hey Jason, how are you?”She walked up to the bed and was babbling happily about checking his IV’s. Jason stared at the ceiling and while she was busily checking everything another nurse peeked in, “Jill, I have Jason’s dad on the phone. Do you have a moment?”
Jason shifted and moved his eyes toward the door in alert. He could only watch as Jill answered with a nod, “Yes, I will be right out!”
Then she leaned over Jason, “Your dad is on the phone, I will talk to him real fast and come right back, o.k.”
She touched his arm gently and walked out. Jason felt anxiety creeping up inside him and hoped everything was o.k. with his dad. He felt like he had waited for an hour instead of 10 minutes when Jill came back in, “O.k. Jason that was your dad. I talked to him for a moment. He wanted to know how you are doing. I told him you were doing really well today and he asked if Ariana was here, I told him about her visit today. He was happy you had a visitor and he feels bad he couldn’t make it yesterday and today and unfortunately he won’t be able to come until Monday. He had a Chemo treatment yesterday and couldn’t come by and he also feels a bit weak so he told me to tell you he loves you and can’t wait to see you on Monday without the ventilator hopefully.”
Jason had his eyes on Jill and she could see the worry in his eyes. She put her gloved hand on his arm again and said softly, “You are ready to get out of here, aren’t you?”Jason nodded and Jill added, “I think you are doing really well with everything and I think there is a very good chance we can get you extubated on Monday, get you off the ventilator. Everything has been good, your vitals are stable and your lungs are working good again. The sepsis has also cleared from your body. You are doing really well, Jason. Just hang in there a few more days!”
Jason just looked at Jill, she smiled at him under the mask; he could see wrinkles around her eyes, “Are you ready to sleep now?”
Jason didn’t nod and didn’t shake his head, he was really indifferent to her question, because he knew no matter what he wanted they would still turn up the sedation during the night and he would fall asleep. It didn’t matter how he felt about sleeping or not. He saw Jill check his sedation IV line and just as expected she opened the line and adjusted the dripping rate and slowly the liquid sleeping pill was dripping into his veins. He watched her and she looked over, “Good Night Jason. I will be here all night for you and I will keep checking in. Try to get some good rest!”
He didn’t make a move or sound and watched Jill walk out of his room. His eyelids were getting heavy soon thereafter and fell shut, letting him fall into a deep sleep with no dreams.
Ariana waited outside the cafe for Britt and after a little while she spotted a young woman come down the sidewalk looking at her curiously. Ariana smiled and asked, “Britt?”The young woman smiled back, “Yes, Hi Ariana.”
They shook hands in a mutual greeting, smiling at each other. Together they walked into the café and got in line at the counter to place their orders.
Ariana turned to Britt while they waited, “Did you find it all right?”
“Oh yes, no problem, my school is close to here.”
Ariana asked, “What school are you going to?”
Britt told Ariana about her school and classes and Ariana nodded, “That is really great.” Ariana couldn’t help feeling envy for Britt, who apparently had an actual plan for her life and career.
Once they both had their coffee’s they found a small table for two by the window and sat down. Britt looked at Ariana, “How is Jason doing?”Ariana was surprised how quickly Britt brought up Jason and she looked down on her coffee then back up, answering lowly, “He is doing a lot better I guess. He may come off the ventilator on Monday; I think he is so ready for that.”
Britt nodded, “I bet, it is not fun and he has been in the ICU for almost three weeks now I think.”
Ariana was curious, “Would you like to visit him?”
Britt looked up seriously, “I don’t think it is a good idea for me to visit him. Not now. Not anymore.”
Ariana leaned her head sideways some, “He is awake now during the day.”
Britt nodded, “I am happy to hear that.”
Ariana could feel the awkwardness between her and Britt and she really wanted to get down to the point about things. It made no sense to talk around the bush pertaining to how they felt about Jason and with that Ariana started lowly, “Britt, I really appreciate that you found it in your heart to contact me about Jason. I had no idea and Jason and I kind of split on a not so good note the last time we saw each other. So I am really thankful you did this.”Britt nodded with her eyes on her cup, “I am glad I could help.”
She stopped but Ariana had a feeling there was more to come and so it did when Britt continued, “You really need to know that Jason is a good guy and I don’t want him to get hurt. We just met not too long ago and we connected really quick and….” She paused, sighed and then kept on, “…I started to like him a lot but I knew about you and him. He told me stuff and I had hoped you would never come back into his life because I didn’t like what he had told me about you. I could sense though that he had fallen for you for some odd reason even though you caused him pain. I thought it was the right thing to do to let you know about him being sick but I don’t want you to hurt him again. He deserves to be more than what you wanted him for.”
Britt’s voice was trembling slightly but still sounded stern and Ariana felt her vision get blurry at Britt’s words. She felt exposed and vulnerable and as she tried to talk her words came out in an insecure stutter, “I totally…understand what you… you are saying and I am so sorry about the way things were…and believe me the last couple of weeks were not easy for me either. I tried….” now Ariana felt her voice tremble and she swallowed her oncoming tears, “…I tried to not fall in love with him and I thought I could just have fun but I was lying to myself. I know now that I feel a whole lot more for him than I initially thought. I do love him.”
Britt nodded and took a sip from her cup, then sat it down and looked up at Ariana with serious eyes, “It is probably better if I don’t see him anymore, not with you there in his life. I really started to have feelings for him and I felt we connected really well but I know I don’t stand a chance against you and I know you had him first so I need to retreat.”
Ariana saw a tear roll down Britt’s cheek as well and she could barely control her own emotions. She tried to think of something to say but she couldn’t find the right words.
Britt then wiped over her face quickly and grabbed her cup and was about to get up, “I wish you and Jason all the best. You are a very pretty woman, Ariana and I hope you know what you have in Jason and I also hope you know how to adapt to his situation and everything that comes with it. It is not all fun and game. It is so much more.”
As Britt got up Ariana jumped up and put her hand on Britt’s arm. Britt looked at her hand and Ariana said lowly, “Britt, I know he likes you a lot too. Maybe we can still be friends?”Britt shook her head and smiled, “It is not possible Ariana. Don’t worry about me.”
Ariana felt a tear escape from her own eye, “Britt, I….I….thank you so much for what you did, it takes a very strong and good person to do what you did and forget about your own desires. I will keep you updated on Jason if you want.”
Britt shook her head, “Don’t! I know he will pull through and he has you now to help him and be there for him.”
With that she pulled her arm from Ariana’s hand and turned to walk away. Ariana was speechless and had no idea what else she could say but she felt bad for Britt and the whole situation. She looked after her walking out of the café, sat back down and let her head hang in defeat staring down on the cup in front of her. Another tear dripped from her eye onto the table. Everything about this conversation had made her feel bad and even though she was relieved that Britt let Jason go she also felt selfish and doubtful if she was actually the right woman for Jason. Maybe Britt for some reason chosen by a higher power to come into Jason’s life as well was more capable of being the women by his side.
She took a sip from her coffee and after recalling the conversation with Britt she felt an onset of motivation to now especially be the right woman for Jason. She wanted him and she had him first and she wanted to make it up to him. She would be everything for him and everything he had ever wanted in a woman. She took her cup and left the café. She couldn’t help feeling bad about Britt though and kept thinking about any chance they had to maybe still be friends. Britt was probably right though, there was no chance they could be friends anymore because it would be too painful for both of them and also put Jason in an awkward situation.