It all started, when I agreed to hang out with my buddy, Baylee, for the day. Brian was my best friend, and when he asked me to watch Bay, so he and his wife, Leighanne, could spend the afternoon and evening together, I couldn’t say no. Leighanne had already been out, to get pampered, or whatever, and Brian was supposed to pick her up, for lunch and an afternoon out.
We, all, decided to take a group vacation, in Florida, together. Everyone was, off, doing different activities, today, and had planned to meet, later, for dinner. I was at the arcade, with Baylee, when my cell started to ring. Being wrapped up, in the game, I ignored it, but it kept going off until I answered. AJ’s frantic voice floated into my ears. After picking up Leighanne, on time, might I add, they were in some kind of car accident. I was told to grab Baylee, and get to the hospital immediately.
I can’t, even, begin to tell you the thoughts that were floating through my head. Panic, and fear, ran through my veins, like never before. AJ didn’t give me any specifics, about the accident, so my imagination was running wild. The worst thoughts crossed my mind and, frankly, it was scaring the shit, out of me!
I strapped eight year old Baylee, into the backseat, making sure his booster seat was securely in place and the seat belt was snug. He could see the worry, on my face, and asked me what was wrong. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I ruffled his curls, and told him I would explain everything, later. Maybe I should have, just, told him, but I didn’t know all the facts and I didn’t want to worry my little buddy.
How I made it, to the hospital, without a ticket, is beyond me. I tried to pace myself, thinking that it would do no good, for us to be in an accident, too, but I couldn’t help it. In my mind, every moment counted because I might be losing my best friend. Every, worst case, scenario took over my brain, as I turned into the parking lot. Bringing the car, to a halt, I spotted camera crews, near the entrance. I wasn’t prepared to answer questions, and I was amazed that they were there, already.
Swiftly, getting Baylee out, I took a firm hold, of his hand. Baylee was, pretty much, running, to keep up with my long, fast, strides. I told him to keep his head low, as we approached the doors. I bowed my head, as well, holding my hand up, in front of my face. We began to weave, through people, as they started shouting, at us.
“NICK! NICK! WHAT HAPPENED TO BRIAN? IS HE OKAY?” I didn’t look up, to see which person was shouting. Damnit, these people are quick, on the draw. I barely even knew about the accident and they were already pounding down the doors. Couldn’t they give us a little bit, of time, to handle the situation? Hell…I still needed to find out what was going on!
“I DON’T KNOW YET!” My voice hit a top notch, because there were a good 20 people yelling, at me. A moment later, we busted through the doors, and into the lobby. Rushing to the information desk, I demanded that the woman tell me where I could find Brian Littrell. She looked at me, stunned. I must have come off harsh, even though I didn’t mean to.
“Nick…Baylee…” AJ’s voice grabbed my attention. I turned to see him rushing toward me, his face red, eyes puffy, and tears streaking his face. My stomach dropped and my knees went weak, knowing I didn’t want to hear, what he had to say. “This way…hurry.”
“J…tell me what’s going on! What happened? Where is he?” I held, tight, to Baylee’s hand, as we followed him down a hallway. The E.R. sign came into view, as he led us through a set, of double doors. A few moments later, we came to a waiting room. It felt like someone punched me, in the gut, when I saw everyone’s faces. My Ashley stood and hurried, to me, her face almost matching AJ’s. Suddenly, I was engulfed by several pairs, of arms, as was Baylee.
My mind raced, but yet, I couldn’t think straight. All I wanted to know was where Brian was, and how he was doing. By the looks, of things, it couldn’t be good. Every fiber, of my being didn’t want, to believe, what my gut was telling me. Someone better say something…and quickly!