Episode 1097: On My OwnThe moment Ava walked in the door, her cat, her dear old cat Shelby greeted her, circling through Ava’s legs in slow figure-eights while Ava removed her shoes.
Rather than do any of the things she probably should be doing, Avalon slumped to the floor and cuddled Shelby. She didn’t have the energy for anything else.
After some time, she had no idea how much time, her dad stood over her. He held a dish of cat food in one hand while his other hand balanced two plates, each with a sandwich on it.
“It’s peanut butter, honey, and banana,” Cal announced. “I know it sounds like a juvenile combination but if ever there was a time for a taste of childhood comforts it’s right now. And it’s not without nutritional value. It’s important to consider your own health, too, don’t forget that, don’t neglect yourself.”
“That’s what everyone’s telling me,” Ava said watching Shelby eat and harboring no desire to do the same. “It’s pretty hard to care about my well-being when I’ve never hated myself more.”
“You have no reason to hate yourself, no reason to punish yourself.” Cal lowered his big frame to the floor even though Ava knew it wasn’t easy for him, past sports injuries had left him less than flexible.
“You shouldn’t be sitting on the floor with me, it’s too uncomfortable for you.” Ava shook her head, tears welling. “If life is this awkward for you, imagine how it’s going to be for Sebastian when he wakes up, his injuries are even more severe than your hockey injuries were.”
“I’m fine. I get around fine. Sebastian will too with time.” Cal picked up half his sandwich. “Let’s eat, okay? Just one bite is all I ask. You don’t have to eat the whole thing just one bite to start. You may think you aren’t so lovable right now but I adore you, always will, and it will make me feel better if you get at least a little something in your stomach. Just one bite.”
She took a bite. It did taste good. It did feel good to hear how much her father still cared even though he knew the full story. He knew the lead up to the accident and it seemingly changed nothing for him. At least to Shelby and her dad she wasn’t a villain even if in her own mind she was.
For her dad, as a thank you for standing in support of her when she wasn’t sure anyone should, she ate the entire sandwich.
Her dad looked relieved. “Thank you for that.”
“Thank you for being with me all these hours.” Ava gave his hand a squeeze. “But I think I should do this next bit on my own. I need to get back to the hospital, and not just to sit with Sebastian. I need to have that conversation with his family, tell them what actually happened. I don’t want Phillip Marques persecuting that driver or anyone else for something my actions put into motion.”
“Ava you’re not-”
“And as much as I treasure you having my back,” Avalon continued as if she hadn’t heard him, “I think it’s better if I talk to them alone. You and Mr. Marques coming to blows will only make things worse and they’re just about as bad as could be already.”