Episode 1095: BreatheIt had been ages. Ava remained in the waiting room, elbows on her knees, fingers linked behind the nape of neck, head down, eyes studying the floor.
Her father occasionally patted her back or her arm, asked if she wanted anything. Ava heard murmured conversations around her, Sebastian’s sisters momentarily raising their voices only to drop again.
Ava couldn’t really make out what anyone said, her mind too busy reeling to do something as basic as comprehend what people were saying. She just kept flashing back to the accident scene. Sometimes so vividly that it sent a shudder through her. She couldn’t believe this was happening. She couldn’t believe she was sitting here waiting on word as to whether her husband was alive or de-
“I’m allowed to care about someone even if Bas doesn’t!” Justine shouted so loudly, so succinctly that it even managed to penetrate the thick fog of Ava’s grief and self-blame.
Ava lifted her head to see Justine suddenly on her feet, hands on her hips, glaring at her sister Adria, everyone else a captive audience.
“I will not let you make me feel guilty about this. Xavier has been there for my family, especially Tansy, whenever we’ve needed him,” Justine said. “It’s not like you’ve even remotely stepped up for your niece the way he has so don’t tell me I’m wrong to consider him a friend. He didn’t even have anything to do with what happened to Bassie. We can love Xavier and Bas, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, they’re both important to me. That doesn’t make us traitors or whatever it is you’re implying.”
With that Justine promptly turned her back to Adria, held out her hand to her husband and together they made their way to the other side of the room while Adria shook her head.
Ava, elbows on her knees again, buried her face in her palms. If Adria considered Justine a traitor for being friends with Xavier, what would she make of Ava’s involvement with him? What would she make of Ava’s actions being the reason Sebastian hadn’t sense enough to look both ways before crossing the street? She didn’t even need Adria to slap a label on it. Ava already knew. She felt like a traitor.
She should just come clean. She shouldn’t have let Cal protect her every time Phillip had pressed for information.
Sebastian’s family deserved to know that this was her fault. Ava scrubbed her face with her hands, took a deep breath, and stood. Her father stood with her.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Nope.” She twined her fingers together. “Um, everyone?” Her voice sounded shattered still she pushed forward. “I need to tell you-”
A doctor entered the waiting room with Dr. Marques hot on her heels. “You’re the wife?” The woman asked as she approached Ava. When Ava nodded, the doctor, continued, “would prefer to discuss your husband’s condition in the privacy of my office?”