Say I'm Yours (Page 35)
I think about the calls that I didn’t answer or when he asked me to go fishing and I blew him off. I’m so fucking mad at myself. I should’ve been there checking on him. He’s my dad and I can’t help but think about the wasted time I can’t get back.
We sit on the bench outside the entrance. I feel helpless, and that isn’t something I’m used to. “If we lose him . . .”
“You can’t think that way, honey. You have to be strong for him because he’s going to look to you.” Grace’s blue eyes fill with emotion. “You’re the oldest, Trent. You have to hold this family together.”
She’s right, but I don’t know what to do. If I push him, am I doing it for selfish reasons? No. It’s not selfish for me to want my father to live. There are things he has left to do. Like seeing Wyatt’s child, watching me finally stop being a pussy and marry Grace, go hunting again and bag the deer, beating up on the three of us when we fight at our annual fish off, and so much more. He’s the glue in this family.
He may not be the vocal one, but he’s the backbone.
“I can’t let him die.” My head drops into my hands.
Grace’s arms wrap around me and she holds me together. I’m not an emotional person by nature. I think my job has forced me to always keep some barrier between me and my feelings. It isn’t as if I work in a big city riddled with violence, but I somehow think that makes it worse. Having to respond to a traffic accident or incident involving someone I know is far worse than one involving a nameless stranger. To do my job, I have to shut it all out. This, though, this is unlike anything I’ve ever felt.
He’s my father.
And I’m going to lose him.
Grace and I head back to the waiting room, and the doctor is there waiting. “Trent, good. I have the lab results.” He holds the papers in the air.
“Are any of us a match?” I question.
“Wyatt is the closest match, so we’d like to get him started first. Zach is the next best option.” The doctor extends his arm as Wyatt steps forward. “Go ahead with the nurse and she’ll get you ready.”
Zach goes back to his seat, and I move toward the doctor. “Doc? Was I not a match?” I ask.
“Your blood type isn’t a match, so unfortunately you won’t be able to donate.”
“I see.” I hate that I can’t contribute in any way. “So, Wyatt will donate and if need be Zach will also? Is that the next step?”
“Yes.” He nods. “Your mother is also a possibility, but she doesn’t carry the same antibodies as your brothers.”
“Well, I’m glad some of us can help.”
“Trent?” He pauses and then shakes his head. “Never mind. I’m going to check on your dad, and I’ll be back with some answers once we start the transfusion.”
“What did you want to say?”
“Nothing, son. I need to get back there.” He drops what’s supposed to be a reassuring pat on my shoulder and walks away.
I had hoped I could do something. The sitting around and waiting is driving me crazy. I want to help, go get a new doctor, find a treatment plan, donate blood, or anything at this point.
“You okay?” Grace asks as I watch the doctor walk down the hall.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m glad you’re here.” We sit so her head rests on my shoulder and I start to calm a little.
“There’s nowhere else I’d be.”
“I should go check on my father,” I say, trying to keep my shit together.
We walk through the doors, and Grace heads to the waiting room to check if anyone needs anything. Wyatt is still getting his blood drawn, Zach is still in the same fucking chair, and my mother is with Dad.
I’m not sure how it’ll go, but I know that time is of the essence, and I’m not wasting anymore.
I walk closer and hear my mother’s voice animated and frustrated.
Please don’t let this be bad news.
“No, you can’t tell him anything.”
“I didn’t say anything to him because I wanted to talk to you first, Macie, but he has a right to know what the tests came back as,” Dr. Halpern’s voice is agitated but remains quiet. “If he sees this, he’ll know.”
“He can’t know. Do you understand, John? He can’t know, it would destroy him.”
I hang back and listen. My mother has kept quite a few secrets lately, and she’s not going to do that to my father. If there’s something going on, he and my brothers have a right to hear it.
But then I hear my father’s voice. “He doesn’t need to know. Not now.”
“I’m not tryin’ to get involved in your family business, but that boy isn’t dumb, and he’ll figure it out. It should come from you both. Before it’s too late. The test results are his to see. I can’t hide them from him.”
“Only if he asks to see them.”
“If he asks, I won’t keep them from him.”
My mother lets out a heavy sigh, and I shuffle forward a bit more, needing to know what the hell is going on. “I know. I know what you’re sayin’,” her voice shakes.
“I’m just bein’ a friend and tellin’ you that if he’s not his son, he should know.”
Every muscle in my body locks as I hang on every word. Then it hits me. Someone in our family isn’t my father’s son. Someone who wasn’t a match. There’s only one someone here who was clearly not a candidate.
This can’t be real. There’s a mistake.
“Trent is his son in every way that matters,” Mama says before falling silent for a beat. “We’d planned to tell him, but—”
“No one tells him I’m not his father.”
And the floor drops out from under me.
I’m not my father’s son.
I’m not a Hennington.
“Is Trent doin’ okay back there?” I ask Mrs. Hennington as she returns from where Mr. Hennington is now receiving the transfusion.
I figured he was talking to his parents and getting things in order, but it’s been over two hours. He wasn’t in the greatest shape when he left the waiting room, and I’ve been sitting here worried sick about him.
“I haven’t seen him, sugar.”
“What? He went back there a few hours ago . . .”
Mrs. Hennington looks around. “I’ve been in the room the entire time, and I never saw him.”
I’m confused. I watched him go. “Has anyone seen Trent?” I ask, and everyone says no or shakes their head.
I grab my phone and text him.
Me: Hey. Where are you?
“I’m sure he’s in the cafeteria. Maybe go check there?” Zach suggests.
“I’ll be back.” I walk down the hall with a niggling feeling in my gut. Something’s off. Trent wouldn’t be in the cafeteria for two hours. Not when he said he was going to check on his dad.
I search the cafeteria, but he isn’t here. I check the lab and then the chapel, all with no Trent. There’s still no reply from him, and my heart starts to race.
Me: I’ve been looking for you, are you here?
“Hey.” Presley bumps into me on my way back to the waiting area. “Did you find him?
“No. He’s not anywhere.”
She grabs her phone and raises it to her ear. “Trent, I don’t know where you are, but please call me back.” Presley disconnects the phone. “I’m sure he’s fine. Maybe he went to clear his head.”
“For two hours?”
“I don’t know . . .”
“Yeah.” I sigh. “I don’t either.”
“I’m sure he’ll turn up. He could’ve gotten called for work?”
That’s possible. A call could’ve come in, and because he’s the sheriff, he would have to go. Although, I’m not totally sure that’s it. He would’ve said goodbye. I can’t put my finger on it, but my gut is telling me something is off.
We head back to the waiting room where everyone is sitting around. Everyone except him. “Did he come back?”
“No.” Wyatt shakes his head and looks around. “Anyone else see him?”
No one has, which makes the knots in my stomach twist tighter. “I’m going to head to the house and check the station.” I grab my purse and turn to the door, but Zach stops me.
“Let us know when you find him.”
I nod and shoot off another text.
Me: I’m getting worried. Please tell me you’re okay.
He doesn’t respond, and now I’m running to the car trying to figure out where Trent would have gone on foot since he didn’t drive here in his own car.
I call him three times, and all of them go straight to voice mail. No text messages back, nothing. This isn’t like him. Even when he would pull away, it was never radio silence. And if it were a work thing, he’d have texted me back.
I pass the station, and his squad car sits in the lot, but he is not there. The deputy on duty hasn’t seen him but promised to let me know if he hears from him, which isn’t very helpful.
This is crazy.