AJ went straight to the hospital after getting off the phone with his mother. He had agreed that Alissa moving into Denise’s home was the best idea and he wanted to check on her. After picking up some roses, he drove over to the hospital and took the elevator to the third floor. It hit him after he stepped out that he had been there before when Adam had beaten her. His heart sank knowing that this time could have turned out worse and he hung his head as he walked down to her room.
His mother was coming out of her room and AJ rushed over.
“Is she ok?”
“She’s ok, resting for now.”
“Are they going to release her?”
“Not today. She has to have a good solid day or two without any blood pressure spikes in order to go home.” She paused for a minute. “Are you sure you’re ok with Alissa staying at the house with us? I know this has been incredibly hard for both of you.”
“It’s been harder on her. I made it harder on her. I should have taken care of her from the minute she told me. There is no other place that I want her to be. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make this ok.”
Denise looked into her son’s eyes and knew he meant exactly what he said. He had changed so much in the last few months and what he saw last night scared him to death. He was willing to do whatever it took to make this better for Alissa and his son.
“Can I go sit with her?”
“If you can promise not to startle her. She panicked when she woke up earlier and her blood pressure went up. If that continues, they won’t let her go home and they’ll deliver the baby now.”
“I promise I won’t disturb her.” AJ pleaded with his mother. He just wanted to get into the room with her and see for himself that she was ok.
“Alright. I’m going to get some coffee. Be quiet.” Denise kissed him on the cheek and headed down to the cafeteria.
AJ slipped through the door noiselessly and put the vase of flowers on the table by the bed. He sat down in the chair that his mother had pulled over to the bed, closed his eyes and said a silent prayer that Alissa would be ok. He heard a noise and when he opened his eyes, Alissa’s eyelids were fluttering. She started to cry out in her sleep and AJ reached out for her hand. The touch of something on her skin jerked Alissa out of her sleep and she freaked out when she saw AJ sitting by the bed. The monitors started beeping and the nurse came running in again.
“You need to wait outside while we calm her down!” the nurse ordered.
AJ left the room and slid down to the floor outside the door. It took a few minutes but the nurse finally came out and told AJ in no uncertain terms that if he upset Alissa again that he would have to leave. He promised not to and went back in to find Alissa curled into a ball on the bed.
“Hey.” was all he could say. He wanted to hold her and tell her how sorry he was but he knew that he couldn’t upset her and decided instead to sit in the chair farthest away from the bed.
“Hi.” Alissa said weakly.
“How are you feeling?”
AJ’s felt like he had been kicked in the gut.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Alissa shook her head. “It wasn’t you. It’s everything.” Tears started to slide down her cheeks.
“Please don’t cry.”
He had just gotten up to move closer to her when Denise walked in. She saw her son’s face and Alissa’s tears.
“What happened?” she said rushing over to the bed.
“I woke up and you were gone. I looked over and saw AJ and I freaked out. I’m sorry.” Alissa said quietly.
She started crying again and AJ was devastated.
Denise held her and told her that she had asked AJ to come over.
“I spoke to the doctors and they won’t let you leave unless you have somewhere to stay and have constant supervision. I was hoping that you might agree to come stay at my house.”
“I can’t do that Denise. You work and I wouldn’t want you to worry.”
AJ cleared his throat. “Actually, I’ve been staying at my mom’s and I could stay with you.”
Alissa eyes got huge. “I don’t need you to do that. I can call Brooke and ask her to come back.”
“Brooke has a lot on her plate and we love you. We want you to come stay with us.” Denise pleaded her case.
“I can’t. I’m sorry. I’ll find some other way.”
“Why do you have to be so damn stubborn?” AJ said a little louder than he meant to.
“AJ, stop or I’m going to make you leave.” Denise hissed.
“I’m stubborn because I don’t want to stay in a house where someone hates me!” Alissa yelled at him. “I can’t get up every morning and face a person who doesn’t want me there.”
AJ was floored. It killed him that she felt this way but he could understand that everything he had done made it look like that. He turned to leave because he knew it wasn’t going to accomplish anything if he stayed. Looking at her quickly, he whispered “I don’t hate you.” and left.
Alissa was stunned. She was positive that he was still angry and didn’t understand the change in him. She looked at Denise with questions in her eyes.
Denise sighed. “He doesn’t hate you honey. He loves you.” She waited a few seconds for that to sink in. “Do you remember how you got here last night?”
Alissa shook her head no.
“You called my house and AJ answered the phone. He heard you screaming and he flew out of the house. He called the ambulance on his way and he found you on the floor in the living room. You were in so much pain.”
Alissa was shocked. She didn’t even remember making the call.
“He rode with you in the ambulance and waited in the lobby for hours. I have to tell you that I have never seen my son that scared. He was petrified that something was going to happen to you or the baby.”
“But he said he didn’t want this baby. That he didn’t want me.”
“He was wrong. Knowing him the way I do, he acted like a jackass but he has never stopped loving you. The situation scared him and he reacted poorly.”
“Why didn’t he say anything to me?”
“He doesn’t know what to say. He knows how badly he screwed up and he doesn’t know how to make something out of it.”
“I’m so sorry Denise. I thought he was being quiet because he was angry with me for this happening.”
“Never! He would never be angry with you for what happened. It wasn’t your fault.”
Alissa was exhausted. She didn’t know how to feel and she couldn’t process much more.
“Can I ask you a favor?”
“Can you check on AJ and make sure he’s ok?”
Denise teared up. “Of course. Do you want me to stay here for a while?”
“No, I’m tired and I just want to rest.” She paused. “You will come back though right?”
Denise smiled and nodded. “I’ll be here when you wake up.” She left to go find AJ and Alissa closed her eyes and tried to rest.