Two days had passed when the doctor walked into Tom’s room around 6:30 am. Tom looked up with a bit of anxiety on his face and offered up good morning Doc. The doctor picked up Tom’s chart and looked over the details that the nurses had left during the evening. He walked over to Tom and asked how he was feeling. Well to tell you the truth, I am feeling pretty good today. The doctor smiled as he said; you sound like you would you like to go home pretty soon? You have no idea Doc! Well if you keep this up the rest of the morning and promise to be good we just might let you go home this afternoon. Do you live alone or do you have someone that lives with you inquired the doctor? You shouldn’t try to stay home alone. Yes I do live by myself, replied Tom. Well you really need to stay with someone for at least the next week just in case you need some help. You should make sure you can handle things on your own before you try it. You might want to start thinking about it and I will stop back by before leaving the hospital and we will make a decision then. Oh that would be great replied Tom as the doctor walked towards the door stopping just long enough to say; see you around noon.
Tom picked up his phone and dialed Ann not thinking about it being 6:35am. It rang a few times then went to voicemail. Hi this is Ann. Sorry I can’t take your call right now. Leave a message and I will call you back as soon as possible. Hi Ann. Tom here. Guess what. I think I can get out of here today. Call me when you can. Love you, Tom. Tom quickly dialed Joe and he picked up after the first ring. Hi Tom is everything alright. Yes of course. Why? Well it’s 6:35am for one. Oh my, now I know why Ann didn’t answer. Sorry, but I think I’m getting out this afternoon. That is great news replied Joe. Are you going to go back to your place? Well that’s a problem. The doctor wants me to stay with someone for a week or until I am sure I can handle everything by myself. Well you can come to my place if you want Joe quickly added. All we need to do is get a second bed so you have something to sleep on. Would you really do that for me Joe? You know I would. So when do you want me to pick you up? I will need to call you once I know for sure which should be around noon. Just call me on my cell and I will let the boss know. He will be cool with me leaving a little early. He is always asking how you are. Better run though or I will be late. Call me when you know for sure were the last of Joe’s words as he ran out the door heading towards his car.
Tom hung up his phone and leaned back in his bed and looked at the ceiling and smiled. I guess maybe we will be saying goodbye pretty soon. You have been a great listener and you never have much to say but I will miss you just a little. Well maybe not too much. Tom closed his eyes and let himself drift back in his thoughts.
Tom’s eyes quickly opened when he heard his phone ring that special sound he had set just for Ann. Hi my lovely almost wife. How are you doing? Well I’m fine but… I’m getting out Ann, Tom blurted out not waiting for an answer from Ann. Where are you going to stay inquired Ann. You can’t stay by yourself at your place can you? No – the doctor told me I need to stay with someone for a week to see how I was able to handle being out of the hospital and Joe asked me to stay with him. I am feeling really good and can’t wait to get out of here. This is great news Tom. Joe is a special friend and I know he will crack the whip on you if you misbehave. They both chuckled a little before they settled into a more serious talk. We haven’t talked to our parents yet about us Tom. I know Ann. I wanted to tell them yesterday but it never worked out where everyone was here at the same time. Maybe we can tell them over at Joe’s later today, Tom continued. That might work, but leaving the hospital and settling in at Joe’s place could take a lot out of you Tom. I will be ok Ann. I am just so excited to let them know. My parents will need to leave pretty soon and go back to Michigan so we need to do it before they leave. You should take it easy this morning and come over to see me at Joe’s. If something changes I will let you know. You probably should tell both of our parents what is happening. I will Tom. Just take it easy and don’t overdo it. Be careful. I love you and want you out but I want you getting better. I will be fine replied Tom. I will call you as soon as I know everything for sure. I love you Ann. I love you too Tom. I’ll talk to you after a while added Ann as she closed her phone and laid it on her bed stand. Ann leaned back on her bed and closed her eyes trying to let everything sink in a little. A few minutes had passed when she heard her mom crack her door open and asked if she was going to come down and join them for breakfast. I will be right down mom.
The morning dragged along and Tom was sitting up in bed wishing Ann had come to the hospital when the door opened and the doctor walked in. After looking over his charts and checking Tom over a little he looked at him and said; well do you have a place to stay? Yes, yes. I am going to Joe’s apartment and will stay with him until I am strong enough to handle things on my own. Ok then. I will sign the release papers and you can leave by mid-afternoon. I will have the nurses get everything ready for you and I will have them set up a follow-up appointment the end of this week, probable Friday and I want to see you in my office. No driving and take it easy. They will give you a list of do’s and don’ts before you leave.
Tom quickly called Joe and let him know that he could leave around 3 o’clock. That will work out good Tom. Paul had a spare bed and we left work at lunch time and moved it into my spare room. So we are good to go. I get out around 2:30 today so I will swing by the hospital and pick you up. Thanks Joe. You are the greatest friend anyone could have. Oh, Ann may swing by after we get to your place and maybe both of our parents if that is ok. Well, the place is not too dirty, but I can spiff it up a little after we get you moved in. Maybe you better let Ann know so we have a little time to get you settled in. See you around 2:40.
The afternoon dragged on for what seemed like forever when the door opened and Joe walked in. Well you ready to go? Yup, I’m just waiting for you. I signed all the papers earlier and all they need to do is wheel me out. I stopped by the desk on my way in replied Joe and they said they would be right down.
I wasn’t long and Joe had Tom loaded in his car. They pulled out of the parking lot turning right and were heading towards Joe apartment.
“To be continued”