Did I think about Mike once? I try to recall. Disgusted with myself, I grab my shower supplies and head to the communal bathroom at the end of the hall.
* * *
I hang my damp towel on my closet door and slip into a pair of old faded jeans before pulling a long-sleeved powder-blue tee shirt over my head. Pulling my still-damp hair over one shoulder, I braid the end of it and secure it with an elastic, then shove my feet into an old pair of Ugg boots, sans socks. I've had these things for years, a Christmas present from my grandparents back in high school.
Grabbing a textbook, I take a seat at my desk and crack it open. This is so dull. I'm tapping my pen against the desk when my phone chirps, like I've missed a call. I pick it up, seeing I've missed three calls, all from my grandmother's cell phone number.
My heart races a little. Why would she call me three times in a row? It looks like I missed all three calls while I was in the shower. I hit play. The first message is a hang up, followed by a message from my grandmother asking me to call her. The third is my grandmother again. "Sophie, it's Gram. Your grandfather slipped on a ladder cleaning the gutters. I'm sure everything will be fine, but we’re at Baldwin Memorial getting him checked out.” She sounds a little distressed. "I'm sure it's fine." The message ends.
Oh, no. I check the call log. She called forty minutes ago. I hit the call back button and pace to the window. Answer, answer, answer. Please answer.
"Grandma!" I'm so relieved to be speaking with her and not her voicemail.
"Oh, Sophie, good. You got my messages."
"What happened? Is Grandpa okay? What happened?" I'm firing off questions without giving her time to answer.
"He insisted on cleaning out those damn gutters himself and slipped off the ladder. He hit his head and blacked out for a minute. The hospital is going to scan to make sure his back and neck are okay."
“What did the doctor say?"
"Oh, honey, I don't know. We got here a couple of hours ago. We're still in the ER."
"I'm on my way," I say, grabbing my wristlet with my ID, keycard and some cash. Jacket. Where's my jacket? I grab a University of Pennsylvania hoodie.
"Are you sure, Sophie? You don't have a class?"
"No, I don't have any classes this afternoon, Gram. I'll be there soon."
I walk into the front entrance at Baldwin Memorial Hospital, grateful I found someone at my dorm with a car willing to drop me off. My grandmother called while I was en route and said they'd taken Grandpa to radiology and she'd be waiting in the ER. I check in at the visitor desk and am given directions to the ER and find my grandmother sitting in a little curtained-off room flipping through a magazine.
"Sophie, honey, thank you for coming." Gram hugs me.
"Of course. Are you okay?”
"I'm fine, I was on the ground where I belong. Your grandfather, on the other hand, may have a concussion."
"Grandma! A concussion is serious."
"Well, we're in the right place to have it checked out. How is school?" She pats the empty chair next to her and I obligingly sit and update her on all the happenings at school.
My grandfather is eventually wheeled back into the room with word that they'll be back with the results "soon." Then we wait. And wait some more. I give Grandpa all the same updates I gave Grandma between nurses bustling in and out and the never-ending waiting.