This chapter is rated PG
Wheelchair and poses by Spladoum HERE
Toddler poses HERE
I let out my breath out in a startled gasp as Isabella’s foot twitched under the blanket. I stared down at her foot, wondering if I was going crazy, as if my desperate sense of hope was making me see things that weren’t truly happening, only because I wished them to be so.
I stared intently at her foot, until my eyes began to water, chanting a desperate plea that I wasn’t going insane. “Move your foot again Bella, you can do it.” I begged, clasping my hands together to keep them from shaking.
Her foot moved again. Just a slight little twitch, but even that small movement filled me with hope, that bloomed in my chest and spread through my body in warm waves. I stood up so quickly that I almost knocked the IV stand over in my haste.
“Victoria!” I yelled “Ms. Knight, Come quick! Isabella moved!” I didn’t care if I waked the kids, hell, I didn’t care if I waked the neighbors as long as Isabella was waking up!
Ms. Knight padded into the room wearing a nightgown and slippers, yawning and stretching “What were you yelling about Cole?” She yawned rubbing her tired brown eyes.
“Isabella’s foot twitched. Twice. At first, I thought I was cracking up, you know, losing it big time, seeing what I wanted to be true, but it really happened. Her foot moved. Twice!” I know I was babbling like an excited idiot, but I didn’t care. I know what I saw. Was Isabella waking up?
Ms. Knight suddenly went into nurse mode, her brown eyes wide. “Get my blood pressure cuff, and stethoscope please.”
I did as she asked wordlessly, sitting them on the bed within her reach.
Victoria took Isabella’s blood pressure, and seemed satisfied with the results, and then listened to her heart and lungs.
When she was finished with her exam, she stood straighter and faced me.
“Lets go into the other room a minute.”
Wordlessly I followed her out…
I could tell desperate hope was showing in my eyes, and I was very near tears, I wrung my hands anxiously.
“So?” I asked “I’m right, yeah? She’s waking up.”
She sighed. “The thing is with coma patients, they sometimes do twitch every now and again, a bodily reflex. However, that does tend to make me believe that there is brain activity. I don’t want you to get your hopes up Cole. It very well could have been just an automatic reflex, or a sign that she is waking up. I’ll call Dr. Gallagher.”
As Victoria called my uncle I pondered her words. Just a reflex. I felt my chest sag in defeat. No, I couldn’t think this way. I felt it in my bones that Isabella was waking up. I knew it.
I sat down on the couch to wait, leaning forward my elbows on my knees to watch TV, however my mind was a million miles away…
I could hear my heart pounding with hope…
“Cole?” Aaron Gallagher stood in the entry way, I had never been so happy to see him before in my life. “How you holding up?”
I ran my fingers through my hair. “Not so good really.” I said honestly, my mind and heart still racing. “I’m worried to death that her movement ment nothing.” I felt tears prick behind my eyelids.
“Never lose hope.” Aaron said smiling, and started walking in the direction of Isabella’s bedroom.
I watched wordlessly from the chair in the corner as he looked Isabella over, and checked the monitors that beeped steadily.
“Well I think I have good news for you Cole.” Uncle Aaron smiled as he stood before me. “Her brain activity looks good, her pulse has increased, which could also signal that she is waking up. Now don’t get too excited. It can take weeks for her to fully awaken. You need to be patient, and don’t rush her.
I let the tears fall at his words, all the emotion I had tried to keep buried came rushing to the top, threatening to spill over. I launched myself into Aaron’s arms “Thank you, thank you so much.” I mumbled into his shoulder, almost eating his probably very expensive sweater.
I sat back down in the chair at her bedside and leaned forward, waiting patiently for her eyes to open. Finally her long black lashes fluttered against her cheeks so softly one might have imagined it.
I held my breath. Her eyes fluttered again, this time I saw her beautiful violet eyes only a second before her lids closed again.
I let out my breath in a whoosh, feeling almost giddy with joy.
Twenty long minutes later her eyes opened again. She made a sound, that sounded more like a gurgle, her vocal cords rough from disuse.
“Bella, can you hear me?” I leaned forward staring intently at her beautiful face.
“Cole?” She murmured.
“Its me baby.” I began to cry in earnest.
The next couple hours were very exciting. Isabella was awake, and she was alert. Mostly. Uncle Aaron explained to me that waking up after a coma was very stressful on the body, and even though it would seem like she should be well rested, she needed her rest more than ever. I was terrified of letting her sleep, afraid that If I did, she would sleep forever.
I called everyone I knew. I first called Max and Cordelia, then my mother, and each of my sisters. I also received the news that Drusilla had just given birth to twin boys named Sam, after my late Grandfather, and Dillon, after Garrett’s brother who had passed away when he was very young.
It seemed there was a lot to celebrate in the Gallagher family, and I finally let myself relax….
Only days later Isabella was out of bed for the first time since she was brought home. She had a lot of physical therapy in front of her, and couldn’t yet stand again on her own, but I had faith that if she could recover from a coma, she would walk again.
“Finn!” Isabella cried reaching out her arms to her son. It was then Finn took his first steps. He stood up using the coffee table to pull himself upright. He then toddled across the floor reaching out his little chubby toddler arms.
“Mama awake.” He said clapping his hands together, a look of pure joy on his face. Isabella cuddled him close, sobbing with joy as she held her first-born in her arms.
“Mommy loves you Finn.” She murmured tears running down her face even as she smiled, gazing down at Finn with pure unadulterated love.
“Someone else wants to say hi.” I said cradling Giselle, and placing her carefully in her mothers arms. Little Giselle stared up at her mothers face in wonder, her blue eyes steady and calm. She was more alert and aware then any baby I had ever seen before.
Isabella stared down at Giselle in Awe. “I love you baby girl.” She whispered, tenderly touching her head and held her close to her heart.
“Whats her name?” Isabella asked finally looking up. She laughed sadly. “I can’t believe I have to ask what my own daughters name is. I know you told me a couple of days ago, but my memory is still so fuzzy yet…”
“Her name is Giselle, after your grandmother.” I smiled.
“Giselle.” Isabella murmured looking down at her daughter again. “Beautiful.” She whispered.
I kissed Isabella gently on the forehead, brushing way a strand of blond hair that fell across her cheek.
“Want me to take her?” I asked, worried that Giselle was getting heavy in her arms.
“Just a little while longer.” Isabella whispered smiling as Giselle closed her blue eyes. “I never want to let her go…”
The years went by quickly, and the kids grew like weeds. Isabella breezed through Physical therapy, amazing Cole with her strength and determination, they were still very much in love, and closer than ever. Although they didn’t have the large family Isabella had always dreamed of, she had one amazing, ambitious son, and a shy, sweet, yet brilliant daughter. They were the perfect family, and even though they had been through hell and back, the future looked bright, and full of promise.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *