Twenty minutes went by before his phone rang again.
“We’re out the front of the hospital. Where are you?” It was Jason.
“There’s a cafeteria near the front. On the ground floor. Or maybe the mezzanine floor, I can’t work it out. I’m sitting having a coffee.”
“We’ll see you in a minute.”
They came into the café. It felt good to see them. They gave him a group hug, and then, to his embarrassment and pleasure, all three kissed him.
“How long will they be with Cody?”
“I don’t know. They didn’t tell me very much. They’ve got to remove the bullet and maybe there are broken bones. Maybe they have to put a pin in or something.”
“Didn’ ya ask?” Keith wanted to know.
“No,” said Luigi. He looked at Keith for several heartbeats, then added, “I was afraid. What if it had gone into his heart or something.” Again he was silent. They all were, staring at him solemnly.
“Well, not his heart, I don’t think,” said Esmé. “Or his lungs. Or his spine. But his ribs, yes. Having a broken bone is very painful. A huge shock to the system. It’s not surprising he fainted.”
Keith flicked his eyes towards her, wondering when she had broken a bone, and realising that it had probably been broken by her father. He said to Luigi, “Hey’ll bey OK, mite. They got ta him on toime. Hey’s young and strong.”
“But what if he doesn’t want to live?” asked Luigi quietly.
Keith took Luigi’s hand. “From what ya said earlier, hey saved ya loife. Both ya loifes. That’s not the action of someone in despair. That someone who seys the point in livin’.”
“But afterwards … it’ll all come back. Philippa and his kids and his job and …. us.”
“Yeah. But you must worry about that tomorrow, and the day after. Right now we’ll worry about the op, and how Cody will feel afterwards.” Jason was firm.
“What if he dies?”
“He won’t. He’ll be OK.” Jason was so sure that Luigi felt his own confidence rise.