Mr. Ken quickly went to his 'little brother' and tried to comfort him as the teen kept saying that Rodney was dead and that it could be true. The teen was acting as if he had just lost his best friend, and was totally distraught and openly crying.
While Mr. Ken held the teen, as close and tight as he could, Mary picked up the cell phone, which had dropped out of Collin's hand, as he slumped to the floor, to see if Mrs. Costa was still there. As she picked up the phone, she heard some crying going on in the background.
"Mrs. Costa, are you still there? Mrs. Costa? … Mrs. Costa, this is Mary Taylor, Ryan's mom. I'm here with Mr. Ken and Collin and Ryan. Can you please tell me what's going on, or what happened? … Yes, that is Collin you hear crying. … Mrs. Costa, whatever you said to him made him yell a blood curdling NO then he collapsed to the floor. … Would you please tell me what you said to him?"
Mr. Ken and Collin were still together and, now, Ryan joined them on the floor. Collin continued to cry and his mentor, and best friend, tried to console him. Even Chief came up to his master, and licked his face, showing her support to the teen. In the background, they could hear Mary talking over the cell phone.
"He's dead! I know he's dead," cried Collin. "Mrs. Costa was crying as she was talking. She said that something happened to Rodney, right after we left. She said something about that, whatever it was, she was too upset to call us earlier and only now she had the strength to call."
Mary Taylor continued to talk on the cell phone, but by now, it seemed she was talking to someone else, and was getting a full explanation of what happened. She then answered with a "Yes, doctor" and Mr. Ken and Ryan, at least, knew that they would soon have the reason for Collin's crying and collapse.
"Thank you, doctor for that full information. You don't know how much it means to us to now know what happened to Rodney. … Yes, I think Collin will be okay after I tell him what really happened. … Yes, I will tell him that. Thank you again, doctor, and we'll be seeing you soon, I am sure." That said, Mary closed the cell phone to end the call.
Mr. Ken and Ryan both looked up to Mary, with wide expectant eyes, asking her to tell them what they needed to know. Instead of her speaking right away, she knelt down to Collin and took his hand and tried to get his attention.
"Collin, honey, please listen to me," said the woman with a happy smile.
"Please Collin, open your eyes and look at 'mom'," she implored.
Collin slowly opened his blood shot and fully reddened eyes and looked up at his surrogate mother. His tears had not stopped yet so what he saw was a blurred outline of the lady he came to call 'mom'.
"Collin, honey, please listen to me, okay! Mrs. Costa was crying not because something happened to Rodney…"
"But it did," cried out Collin,
"Yes, honey, something did happen to Rodney but … it wasn't bad news it was good news, honey" said Mary.
"But, she was crying so much. I … I couldn't really understand what she said other than … that something happen and then she cried even harder," said the confused teen.
"Yes, Collin, she was crying because her son came out of his coma, right after you guys left. She was crying happy tears, so hard, that even she couldn't believe the miracle had happened," replied Mary, telling the main part of her lengthy conversation with the doctor.
"You mean he's … he's awake?" the disbelieving teen asked, as he wiped his tears away from his eyes.
"Yes, son," said Mary, "he is awake and there is even more and much better news. The doctor told me that … as you were leaving Rodney started asking where his piece of birthday cake was." Mary let that sink in some and then added, "The doctor said Rodney insisted his friends wished him a Happy Birthday and left him some cake."
Collin's eyes were now wide open and so were his best friend Ryan's, and his Big Bro, Mr. Ken's. The three turned, and looked at one another, and then they all burst into high-5s and shouts of elation that the terribly injured teen was awake and talking.
"Mom, honest injin … Rodney was asking about some birthday cake?" asked Collin.
Then Ryan asked, "Mom are you sure the doctor said he mentioned the cake?"
"Yes, boy's, that is exactly what Dr. Selwyn said. That Rodney wanted to know where his piece of birthday cake was," repeated Mary. "Why are you two so focused on birthday cake?"
"Don't you see mom that was what Ryan and I were talking to Rodney about, when we left. We said he missed out on an awesome birthday party and some cake and, that when he gets better, we're gonna have another birthday cake, just for him. He must have thought it was his birthday, and he was wondering where his cake was. This is so awesome!" exclaimed Collin, while smiling a 'mile wide' smile and quickly swiping his tears away, using the back of his hand.
"When can we go see him?" asked both teens simultaneously, as they looked back and forth to the two adults in front of them, while waiting for an answer.
"Well," asked Mr. Ken.
"Doctor Selwyn asked if you two could come over right now. He said Rodney was asking for you, not by name mind you, but as the two boys who brought him his cake. The doctor said Rodney was insistent he find those two boys, so he could have some cake and ice cream. The doctor said it would be good for Rodney to see you two and … he wants to personally thank you for everything you've done to help the boy get better," clarified Mary.
Collin stood up and again wiped his eyes and immediately went for his coat. Ryan followed suit and they both were waiting at the front door when Mr. Ken and Mary arrived.
"Come on you two, we want to get there," called out Collin.
"Settle down son," said the older man. "I think you need to wash your face and hands before we go. Go look in the mirror and then wash them. Both of you! Now!" ordered their Big Bro.
Thirty minutes later, the four visitors walked into the ICU waiting room, to find Mrs. Costa patiently waiting for them. She got up as soon as she saw them and went first to Collin and gave him a big hug, and then turned to Ryan and gave him a big hug as well.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you so very, very much for what you did for my Rodney. I can't thank you enough for what you have done for me and my son. Not only did you make it so that our hospital bills will be paid, but now you helped him to come awake," declared Mrs. Costa who then broke down and cried some more Happy Tears.
The nurses heard someone else in the waiting room and, when they saw who it was, they went to find Dr. Selwyn. A few minutes later, the doctor entered the room and went immediately to the two teens.
"Which one is Collin?" asked the doctor.
Collin raised his hand and the doctor went directly to the teen.
"Collin, you are a remarkable young man, and, tonight, I want to also call you a 'miracle worker'. You and your friend, there, never gave up hope for Rodney. Two weeks ago you insisted that Rodney needed the stimulation of his friend's voices. Many of us doubted it would work, but Mrs. Costa there insisted we let you try. When you brought the throng of students, the next day, we were ready to throw you all out, but again Mrs. Costa persisted, so we let you do that for her son. Then you organized that fund raiser for the boy and now tonight … tonight you did what we only can say is a miracle. You both talked to Rodney, for almost two hours, like he was aware of everything you were saying. Then, the nurses told me you both gave him a hug before you left.
"It was then the nurses heard something coming from his room. They thought you both went back for some reason, but they saw the room was empty of visitors. They told me that, as they walked out, they heard a voice and when they turned around they saw that Rodney had his eyes open. It was then, he asked for his piece of cake. Boys, I still can't believe it, but after talking to Rodney, for just a few minutes, I know it is true. He is hungry, for some cake. I sure hope you brought him some," laughed Dr. Selwyn, as he chronicled more of what occurred, earlier, that evening.
The doctor shook both boys' hands and then Mr. Ken's and then Mary's and then asked the teens if they were ready to go see their friend.
"Hello, Rodney," softly said Collin, as he walked up to the bed ridden teen.
Rodney opened his eyes, at the sound of the, voice but didn't say a word. He stared at the boy closest to his bed first and, then, after a few moments he turned to the other teen, and looked directly at him. The two teens didn't know what to do or say, so they just waited as Rodney checked them over.
"Do you still have my cake?" asked the resting teenager.
"No, Rodney we don't," replied Collin. "Do you know who we are? Do you remember us, Rodney?" then asked Collin.
"Your face is very familiar to me but … I'm not too sure what your name is. As for you, I don't really remember you but … there is something inside of me that is telling me that … I know you, too. Can you guys tell me who you are?" said the older teenager.
Collin looked over at Ryan to see if he should go first. Getting a nod, Collin said, "Rodney, my name is Collin. We went to school together. Do you remember me now?"
Then, before letting the teen speak, Ryan said, "And I'm Ryan and we went to school together, too, but you are a senior and we are only sophomores."
Rodney laid there for what felt like ten minutes but was actually only two when he, with a tear in his eyes, spoke up and said, "Collin … I'm so sorry for what I did to you. You didn't deserve what I did. I hope you will accept my apology and know that I am very sorry for hitting you like that."
Collin then saw the tears begin to stream down Rodney's face, so he went to the bed stand and got a tissue and went to the boy and wiped the tears away. The two then smiled at one another and, before you knew it, Collin gave the teen a big hug.
"Thank you for saying that to me, Rodney. Your mom told me that you had wanted to tell me that, but … you knew the court said you were to stay away from me and couldn't tell me that before today," answered Collin.
The two teens just looked at one another, not saying a word. Then, a few seconds later, Ryan cleared his voice and laughter was heard coming from the room.
By then, the adults had come into the area, and had seen what had happened. They all smiled at the mature way the two teens conducted themselves. Before long, the doctor began checking Rodney out some more while he talked to him. Then giving him a 'high sign' told him he could have the visitors stay for ten more minutes but that he needed to conserve his strength so he could continue to get better.
It was almost midnight when the four weary hospital visitors said their good nights and headed off to their respective homes.
Once back at Three Finger Cove, Collin gave Mr. Ken a great big hug and thanked him for everything he had done for him and for being such a wonderful big brother and mentor. The two shared the warm hug for quite some time before Chief came and muzzled her way in between them. Laughing they knelt down and together they scratched behind Chief's ears and then her coat before standing and saying their 'good nights' and heading off to their respective bedrooms. Chief followed Collin, of course.
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