CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-NINE
“This is your eating disorder talking, Sissy,” Aden kneeled down in front of her. “You’re at that crazy place. You have to fight it.”
“She didn’t eat this morning,” Sandy said.
“I haven’t seen her eat in a couple days,” Noelle said.
Aden held Sissy’s head between his large hands. Sissy’s eyes flicked back and forth like a trapped animal.
“Look at me, Sissy,” Aden said. “This is your eating disorder talking. You’re a beautiful young woman who will be a gorgeous prima ballerina one day. You know that in your heart. Listen to your heart.”
“You know that Sissy,” Charlie said.
“You already are a ballerina,” Noelle said from the doorway. “You’re an amazing dancer.”
Sissy’s eyes blinked then blinked again. The screaming panic her head began to ease. She heard Charlie and Sandy counting breaths. She saw Aden’s face. His brow was furrowed with worry but his eyes were kind. She tried to look away but he held her head in place.
“I can’t do it,” Sissy whispered.
“Yes, you can and we’ll help,” Aden took up the breathing exercise. “Deep breath. Sissy, do it.”
Sissy took a deep breath.
“Count with me,” Charlie said. “One, two, three, four. Let it out – one, two, three, four.”
At the last out breath, Sissy began to sob.
“I love you, Sissy,” Sandy said. “Just as you are.”
“They’re here,” Nash said.
Aden kissed her forehead.
“We’re going to get out of the way,” Aden said. “But we’re right here with you every step of the way.”
The paramedic’s hand covered Teddy’s hand. He nodded and Teddy moved out of the room. Noelle hugged Teddy with one arm while still holding onto Nash with the other.
“Is she going to die?” Noelle whispered.
“Of course not,” Delphie said from the hallway. “Come on. Let’s make some cookies for everyone while this is settled.”
“But…?” Noelle looked back at the bathroom.
“Let them handle this,” Delphie said.
The paramedic bandaged the wound on Sandy’s forearm and went to work on Sissy.
“How is she?” Aden asked.
“She’ll be just fine,” the paramedic said. “When her emotion wears off, she’ll be in a lot of pain. Did she do this to herself?”
“She has an eating disorder,” Aden said. “We keep track of what she eats but it sounds like she slipped this week.”
The paramedic nodded and quickly set up an IV.
“Suicide?” the second Paramedic asked.
“No,” Sandy said. “She has an eating disorder.”
“She’s done this before?” the first paramedic asked.
“No, never,” Sandy said at the same time Charlie said, “Yes.”
Surprised, Sandy’s head jerked to look at Charlie.
“You can let go,” The paramedic put his hand over Sandy’s.
“She used to cut herself,” Charlie said. “About five years ago.”
“We can stop the bleeding,” the second paramedic said to Aden. “But if it was my daughter, I’d call a Plastic Surgeon and have him do the stitches. That way, you’ll minimize the scars.”
“You can let go,” the first paramedic said to Charlie. “She’s sedated.”
“Charlie?” Sissy slurred. “Don’t go. ‘K?”
“I won’t leave you,” Charlie said.
“Oh my God! Sandy look at your arm,” Sissy said. “I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t worry,” Sandy said. “We’ll go with you. Tomorrow morning all of this will just be a memory.”
“We have everything bandaged,” the second paramedic said to Sandy. “Why don’t you find her something to wear?”
Nodding, Sandy went into Sissy’s room to find some sweats.
“Sir, we can take her out on a stretcher,” the paramedic said. “But with the stairs…”
“I’ll carry her,” Aden said.
Sandy came in with underwear and sweats. They got Sissy dressed then Aden carried her down the stairs to the ground floor. Charlie and Sandy trailed behind him. The paramedics loaded Sissy into the ambulance, Charlie and Sandy got in.
“We’ll meet you there,” Aden said. “I’ll pick up Rachel.”
Sandy gave him a sad wave and the paramedic closed the ambulance door. Aden turned to go back in when he ran into Sam.
“How did you…?” Aden asked.
“Delphie found her cell phone. She called me,” Sam said. “You can go. Delphie says she’ll only be there a few hours. There’s an excellent plastic surgeon available.”
Sam gave Aden keys to the Lipson Construction extended cab truck he’d just stepped from.
“The plastic surgeon is dating an ER doc,” Sam said. “Very hush, hush. But Delphie says Sissy needs to meet her. The kids are making cookies with Delphie. She called Jill and Jill’s picking up Rachel when she gets Katy.”
Sam patted Aden’s shoulder.
“It’s hard to believe we’re all so interconnected,” Sam said. “But there’s no doubt that we are. Go ahead, son. We’ll be here when you get back.”
Sam walked Aden to the truck. He waved to Aden as the truck left. Humming a tune, Sam went into the Castle to help make cookies.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…