Episode 1092: Cruel SummerXavier stood behind the cash counter at the book store, his head in his hands. He was desperate to hear from the hospital but a the same time he dreaded knowing. Plenty of times he’d wished Sebastian out of Ava’s life but it’s not like he’d wanted it to go this way.
He heard the bell over the door but he was so overwhelmed that he sort of forgot for a moment where he was and what he was there for until a familiar voice said, “Xavier.”
Head lifted, he nodded.
“Do you work here now?” Tansy asked with a cringe. “Is that a good idea?”
“No it would not be. I’m just filling in. Temporarily.” It was his fervent wish that Ava would walk in any second now telling him it had all been a false alarm, the bumper had just grazed Sebastian, that’s all.
Tansy had her grandfather’s dog Walter with her and gestured for him to sit which he did on command. “Ava’s been okay with me bringing Walter in here before. I’m not breaking any rules in case you’re concerned. It’s pretty warm outside still and I thought Walt could use a break in the air conditioning before we continued.”
“Sounds like a good idea, get some water for him, too. Take as much time as you need to cool off.” There was still some time left before closing and given the circumstances everyone was better off not spending their time alone dwelling on things that couldn’t be changed now. Although Tansy seemed in far better spirits than he felt, maybe there was a reason for that. “So, um, you’re taking care of the dog while your grandparents are at the hospital? Did they give you any sense of how things were there?”
“I don’t know what you mean. I took Walter for this walk and for a bath at the animal shelter since well obviously it’s easier to do it there than at my grandpa’s office or house. After that we went to the pet store for treats and now I’m supposed to bring Walter back to the office since my grandpa’s still working. Why would you think he’s at the hospital? My grandma, yeah sure but him? And what did you mean a sense of how things are there? What am I missing here?”
Xavier briefly closed his eyes. Tansy had never been particularly close with her uncle, still, it was terrible news to relay and he did so as carefully and vaguely as possible.
When finished, Xavier added, “I’m sorry. When you came in here with Walter I thought you knew. I thought you’d been looking after Walter for that reason. I thought maybe the reason you didn’t seem upset was because you’d heard good news about his condition.”
Tansy shook her head. “I can’t believe my grandpa hasn’t called my mom. I just texted with her, she would have said something if she knew. I can’t believe them.”
“I’ll call your dad, have him bring Hero here so he can go to the hospital with your mom.”
“Thanks, at least someone’s a decent human, every time I think my grandparents have turned a corner… I don’t care what issues there are between my mom and her parents, you call over stuff like this, don’t you? They better not have left my mom out on purpose. How can my mom’s family be that clueless about actually being a family? What if he dies and she doesn’t even know it was happening thanks to them?”