"Paloma youíve got a lot of explaining to do."
Was the first thing I hear as I come to.
"Huh?" I reply, still unable to focus on the person in front of me. Finally the blurriness disappears,
and I look straight into my brotherís eyes. "Luis." I inhale saying his name.
"Yes itís me." He sneers. "How are you sister dear?"
"Get out! No, I donít want to see you, get out!" I try to scream, but the words come out as a hoarse
whisper. Quickly I clear my throat.
"This wasnít right. I shouldíve stopped you. Go on, leave." Jess says, pushing him and the rest of my
family who stood silently behind him out the door.
"Sheís my sister! I have the right to see her! You let me stay now!" I hear Luis yell back at Jess.
"Youíll upset her. That could be bad for her health. Trust me, my motherís a nurse. Just get out! Canít you
see the last people she wants to see is the family that deserted her!" After they leave, she returns to my
bedside and sits down in the chair.
"Why were they here? Whyíd you let them in?" I beg Jess.
"Jess couldnít really stop them. They just entered. The tall man leading." Julie, who was standing on
the other side, states.
"Oh. What happened? Am I okay?" I groggily ask.
"You were shot in the stomach, but they were able to repair the damage. You had to have a blood transfusion
because you lost so much blood." Jess explained.
"Did the hospital have enough blood? AB- is rare." I remark.
"No, youíre family had to be tested and gave blood." Julie replies.
"Were any of them a match?" I ask, fear creeping into my voice.
"Yes one was." Jess remarks, looking into my eyes. I already know the answer, and I lift my arm slowly
to my mouth.
"No. Not Luis. NO!" I scream.
"Maria, donít stress yourself." Jess warns, putting her hand on my arm as I break into hysterics. "Iím
"I donít want to see them still. Just because this happened doesnít change anything." I remark, my determination
to stay away from them coming back.
"Understood. Weíll do all we can, but we canít promise anything." Julie comments.
"I need you to call my father. His number is in my bag at the hotel room. Tell him what happened, and let
him decide what to do." I instruct.
"Okay." Jess nods her head.
"What did I do to deserve great friends as you?" I lift my other arm, which an I.V. runs from, to touch
"Just lucky I guess." Jess smugly remarks.
"Iím sorry girls, but Ms. Fitzgerald needs her rest. You can come back and see her later." A fat nurse,
dressed in scrubs, says from the door.
"Hon, weíll see you later." Julie says as she walks to the door.
"And weíll call your dad. Donít worry. You get some sleep!" Jess remarks, walking out the door. The nurse
smiles at me and walks to the machines.
"Just leave her the hell alone! She has no respect for you, and neither do we!" I hear Jessí muffled
"But-" My motherís voice replies.
"The last thing she needs is stress, and thatís just what you bring her!" Julieís voice defended.
"Those are some friends youíve got." The nurse comments to me.
"Donít I know it." I say, a frown falling onto my face as I realize that sometime I will have to stop
relying on my friends, and face my family.
Waking up four hours later, I lay in bed, pondering. What will I say to them? What can I say to make them realize
the pain Iíve felt? And now I had Luisí blood running through my veins. If it wasnít bad enough that I was his
I sigh heavily, and stare at the wall. It was still light out, but night fall was quickly coming. The doors sudden
movement grabs my attention, and I wait for the other person to enter.
"You awake?" He whispers.
"Yes." I answer, unsure who it is. Slowly the man steps in, and I breathe a sigh of relief. It was only
"Are you okay?" He asks, concern apparent in his voice.
"Physically Iíll live, but mentally I think Iím freaking out. I never liked to stay in one place for too long."
"I know the feeling. But I think your mental state has something to do with your family." Hank replies,
sitting down in the seat to the left of me.
"Perceptive as usual." I sarcastically remark.
"I guess I havenít changed much." He states back to me. I gaze into his eyes, and take in for the first
time what a kind soul he was. His face showed worry and care. His gentle eyes were the same as they had always
"No, you havenít changed much." I comment. "And neither has Luis. Can you believe he pushed his
way past my friends to come in here and visit me? And then, instead of being loving and kind, he cockily remarks,
Ďyeah, itís me.í when I realize who was standing over me. The nerve!"
"Some things never change. You and Luis never got along when you were younger." Hank shakes his head
as he says this.
"Well, donít expect us to be best friends because he has the same blood type! I still canít see how you two
could be friends, youíre complete opposites." I admit to him.
"Donít I know it! I guess thatís part of the appeal. He helps get me outta jams, plus, he can be really nice."
Hank states, and I can see heís trying to get me to give Luis a second chance.
"The day heíll be nice to me is the day hell freezes over. Thatís the way itís always been, and thatís the
way itíll stay." I sigh and look into his eyes. "I know you want our broken family to try and get along,
but it just isnít going to happen. Not when they let Luis push them around like he does. As soon as Iím well, Iím
leaving this hell hole." I state.
"I still think youíre making a wrong choice. If you give them another chance, maybe theyíll prove you wrong."
Hank says convincingly.
I sigh and look at the ceiling. "Weíll see."