A nurse was in the room adjusting something I couldn't see because her back was facing me. As she moved around I got to see short glimpses of Ronnie. She weakly laid on the hospital bed as the nurse kept doing whatever she was doing. Ronnie had a bandage on her head and left leg, a cast on her left hand and bruises that spread all over her body and face. She looked thinner despite me not getting a good view of her yet. As if she knew what I was thinking, the nurse quickly finished what she was doing and turned to leave. She gave me a quick and gentle smile before she left the room and closed the door. Then I turned to look at the bed were tired and curious eyes looking right back at me. Her curly black hair was tied in a messy bun with loose hairs scattered in all directions. She looked so frail and I was lost for words for a while.
"How are you?" I finally croaked and then proceeded to regret opening my big mouth. What kind of question is that? How do you think she’s doing dummy? I mentally face palmed. Ronnie just looked at me curiously. She probably realised how dumb I actually am. I felt like she was studying my every move. Silently judging me which made me even more nervous than I initially was. “why are you looking at me like that?"
"I’m just trying to imagine how terrified you looked after the accident" She said stroking her imaginary beard with a cheeky smile. “I heard that you cried so much you turned pink. So sad I didn’t get to see it.” she smiled as she tried to imagine what ugly faces I made. I don’t know what came over me but I couldn’t help it. A tear slid down my cheek as I laughed at her stupidity. How could she joke like that? She almost died. “Slow your roll Andy! I don’t actually want to see you weep.” She butted. I laughed some more as I wiped the loose tears.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized, “I don’t know what came over me. I guess I’m just overwhelmed? I was so worried and scared. I actually thought you-” I broke down again. The tears just couldn’t stop pouring out and it was getting really frustrating. “I’m sorry again. I don’t want to cry but I can’t help it.” I tried to smile at Ronnie as tears continued to fall.
Ronnie looked at me sympathetically. “Come here.” She called with her arms stretched out. “Come give mama a hug!” She smiled as I walked over to her and gave her a hug. “You don’t have to worry anymore. I’m fine and healthy and I’ll be by your side in no time.” She reassured.
“I am glad and I am relieved. Please don’t ever scare me like that again.”
“I can’t promise that I won’t ran into anymore drunk drivers but I will promise you that I will be more careful.” Ronnie reassured as she rubbed my back ever so gently. I sighed in content as I felt at ease in her arms. The moment was cut short when Mr Miller walked in.
“Oh, am I disturbing something?” he asked and Ronnie replied almost immediately.
“You asking whether you’re disturbing us is the actual disturbance. That’s why people in movies usually just walk back out quietly.” I just laughed as I pulled away from Ronnie’s arms.
“You’re not disturbing anything. In fact, you came just in time.”
“Yes, he did.” I laughed at the two’s shock. “I need to call my mom, Hazel and everyone that we know so they can come and see you too. I think we have kept you to ourselves for too long.” Mr Miller agreed with me and I excused myself. I found a bench to sit on outside the hospital. As much as I wanted to call the squad, I knew that father and daughter needed at little more time together. I couldn’t stop smiling to myself as the reality of Ro being fine kept bouncing around.
Two weeks later Ronnie was discharge from the hospital and she was home at last. She was happy to finally be out of the hospital but sad that she would no longer have slaves. Well at least she wasn’t eating hospital food anymore. Despite leaving the hospital the doctor still had a lot of warnings and instructions. The most important one being that Ro had to take everything slow and steady which will probably be the hardest for her. Luckily, she has all of us by her side, so it won’t be too hard.
Since her accident was during the holiday we didn’t have to worry about school for now. I spent all my free time at the Miller’s house. Ronnie and I spent most of the day together. I’d even sneak Hazel out of the house with me sometimes so that she would play with Ronnie too. We hit it off like the accident never happened which was both good and a little worrying. Despite all of the scars and bandages she was still the same old Ronnie. Fun in the weirdest and funkiest ways.
Today was one of those Ronnie-filled days. I had brought hazel along with me today so the two of them spent majority of the time braiding each other’s hair. Of course, they tried to do my hair but there’s no way I’ll have braids on my head. I retreated to the living room and turned on the tv. Before I could actually start to watch something, Mr Miller joined me.
“Can I bother you for a few minutes?” he asked
“For starters, call me George. My dad is Mr Miller and I am not my dad. Anyway, let me get to the point. I just want to thank you for always being there for my baby. Ever since she was little, you, Daniel and Katlego have always been there for her. I just really want to appreciate you the most because you have been with her the longest and you’ve seen her worst. For some reason you’ve still stuck around and even helped with all the stress and problems. Especially after her mom. Thank you so much Andy.” George ended with a smile and disappeared further into the house. Just then I received a text from mom saying that she was outside.
Hazel and I said bye to everyone and headed to the car. “Come back tomorrow okay!” Ronnie shouted from the porch as we walked to the car. She was against the idea of us leaving. She even offered to take care of us if we spent the night there. Sadly, we couldn’t stay because mom needed us home. We all just waved at her as we drove off.
That night mom made dinner as my pink Flamingo sat on one of the stools being “creative” as mom called it. I think she was just finishing all the paper in the house. Busy colouring things that no one could figure out no matter how hard they looked. They were both concentrating on what they were doing so much that they didn’t even notice me walk in. Not liking the lack of attention, I decided to sneak up on them. As quietly as I could I tiptoed further into the kitchen and grabbed my flamingo from behind. She screamed so loud she startled my mom and I couldn't help but laugh.
"Panny!! You scawred me" she tried to say. It was so cute how she couldn't manage to say some words. She was only five after all.
"How's my adorable flamingo?" I asked with the biggest smile. She always managed to melt my heart. I gave her a kiss on her cheek and walked over to my mom and gave her a kiss too.
"You seem to be in a good mood." mom said still focused on her cooking. "Does it have to do with Ronnie?"
"Yes mom. This accident really scared and worried me. I thought I lost her you know? I’m so glad she’s fine and healthy because I missed my best friend so much." Mom smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
"I'm glad you feel that way. Now help me with setting up the table". I did as I was told.
After dinner I washed the dishes whilst my mom dried them. After we finished we sat down to watch a movie. This was a family tradition. We would work then when all is done and dusted we would end with a movie. Mom would make us do this every day till we couldn’t not do it. By the end of the movie the girls would be tired and go straight to bed. I, on the other hand would use this time to study. Yes, I am a night owl. Yes, I wear glasses. Yes, I am a proud nerd.
My mom is a single mother. She has been working so hard to raise us ever since my father left. She was so depressed and alone, so I’ve always had the urge to make it all better. I had been the man of the house from a very young age. My father was never really there even when my parents were together. He was always busy with work and that drove my mom crazy. I had always wanted a functional family and mine wasn’t exactly holding up. When Hazel, my little flamingo, was born I promised to give both her and my mom so much love that they wouldn't need my dad or anyone other than me. I promise to make our family work and give them both anything and everything they needed. So, I dedicate as much as I can to my school. That way I can get a good paying job and provide for my family. I don’t care how much I’ll have to give up or lose but my family comes first.