Episode 1109: CelebrationCal, his arms loaded down with takeout bags pushed through the doorway into Sebastian’s hospital room. Avalon sat in the same chair she’d occupied for months now, talking to Sebastian about the holiday season though he of course didn’t respond, he couldn’t.
It was beyond worrying at this point that he hadn’t yet woken up. It had been expected within the first the first few days. That he’d still be in this state on Thanksgiving would have been unthinkable and for his daughter he feared it becoming unbearable.
She was so slender these days, only eating when cajoled and given the shadows under her eyes, Cal suspected she rarely slept. She refused to go back to her regular life, to even spend so much as one afternoon a week at the book store just to give herself a break from the hospital. Cal kept meaning to go check on the store since it was in the hands of the Marques family whom he didn’t particularly trust, but he never seemed to find the time to get there, his daughter mattered more than some store.
Taking care of her when she refused to take care of herself had practically become a full-time preoccupation for Cal. A big part of Cal did revel in looking after her since he’d completely missed out on doing so when she was a child. But he’d rather she didn’t have to live this way, he’d rather see her happy.
“Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart,” he said.
“Mmm hmm,” Ava replied which didn’t sound particularly promising.
“So I bought us a holiday meal,” he said taking out the containers and arranging them on the table that he’d brought into the hospital room some time ago, hoping it would improve his daughter’s eating habits during her vigil. “It won’t hold a candle to your homemade feasts but it’s from one of my favorite restaurants, it’ll be good. We have all the fixings, including two kinds of pie.”
“Thanks, that was really thoughtful of you but I’m not hungry. You go ahead though.”
“Just try a little,” Cal suggested. “Sebastian wouldn’t want you wasting away. I brought enough for his family as well. Did they just step out for a moment? They’re here today of all days, aren’t they?”
“His sisters visits have become pretty sporadic, they’re probably with their own families today. I don’t blame them, it’s hard to be here and I doubt he’d put his life entirely on hold for them either, that’s just not the kind of family they ever were they love each other but it doesn’t always translate to actions. Dr. and Mr. Marques usually stop in every day or every other day at least but they’ve both very much gone back to work so the visits don’t last long. I doubt they even realize it’s Thanksgiving which is normal for them. Anyway it’s just as well that they’re not here as much as I am, having them around, it just, it brings up a lot of guilt… Not that it isn’t always there.”
“One of these days I’m going to convince you to forgive yourself, in the meantime I just want to convince you to eat something with me,” Cal said. “Sharing this day with their children may mean nothing to Phillip and Katherine but it does mean a lot me. So would you please join me? Afterwards we can distribute the leftovers to the hospital staff.”
“I like that,” Ava said, “the last few months have shown me firsthand just how much this staff goes through, including putting up with Dr. Marques. I’d like to do something nice for them.”
“We eat first then the joy of giving, okay? One doesn’t happen without the other. Those are my terms.”
“Yeah, okay.” Ava nodded. She stood and reached out giving Sebastian’s hand a squeeze as she did anytime she stepped away from him. But this time was different, this time Sebastian squeezed her hand back.