I follow behind her, and when she points at a door, I walk in, only to stop suddenly. Katie is sitting on the bed with a little boy on her lap. He’s sucking on a sucker, smiling and in the middle of a story telling her how he fell from the treehouse. Another woman is standing behind them, and I’m assuming she’s Jamie.
Once the little boy spots me, his eyes get real big, and he stops mid-story. “Hi,” he says softly. “Are you a doctor?”
I chuckle and sit in a seat next to the bed. “No, I’m a friend of your mom’s.”
Katie and her friend are both staring at me wide-eyed, no doubt wondering what is happening. I don’t have an answer for them, but something is keeping me here. I can’t just leave until I know Lane and his mom are okay. “I hear you hurt your arm, but I’m glad to see you’re smiling.”
He lifts it up and winces. “Yeah, it’s broke. I’m getting a cast.” He looks a little worried as he says it.
“Wow! That’s awesome.”
He blinks. “Why?”
I lean forward. “Well, when the girls at school see your cast they’re going to want to help you carry your books and stuff.”
Lane starts shaking his head. “Ooooh gross, girls.”
I start to laugh. “Ha, ha, okay well, how about you could get some cool artwork on the cast? In a few days when your arm isn’t as sore, you could draw on it. That’s pretty cool, right?”
“Would you draw it for me? Maybe something like what’s on your arms?”
I look down at the skulls and flames on my arm and back up to him. Katie is just smiling at me. “Well, maybe not exactly like mine, but I can put some cool superheroes on there or something. If your mom will let me?”
He twists in his mom’s arms. “Can he, Mom? Please, can he?”
She shakes her head. “Trey has to work, honey.”
She’s giving me an out. I know she is. “Actually, I have a few days scheduled off anyway. I wouldn’t mind at all to tat his cast.” I nod my head at her. “I mean, if it’s okay with you.”
She gulps. “Uh, yeah, if you’re sure.”
I smile at her with a nod. “Yeah, I’m sure.”
I should look away, but I can’t. “Yay!” Lane hollers just as another nurse walks in with casting equipment.
I watch as Lane’s excited face transforms to one of trepidation. “Yay. I’m already imagining all the fun things we’re going to draw on it, but first you’ve got to be brave just a little longer while they put the cast on. You think you can handle it, buddy?”
I watch as Lane straightens his back and nods his head solemnly. “Yeah, I can do that.”
“Good boy,” I say.
I ignore the women’s stares. I can see the questions on their faces, but neither one of them says a thing. Katie sets Lane on the bed, and the nurse gets to work on the cast. We’re all watching, and I swear I’m holding my breath the whole time.
Jamie walks over toward Katie and me. “Well, I guess I’m not needed anymore. I’m sorry about this, Katie.”
But Katie shakes her head. “No way. This is not your fault.” They hug, and when Jamie pulls away, she stops next to me. “I’m Jamie.”
I nod, not taking my eyes off Lane. “I’m Trey.”
“Trey, the tattoo artist?”
I smirk. “That’s me.”
Katie stops Jamie from leaving and asks me, “Do you need to go? I can get Jamie to take us home.”
With my feet firmly planted and my arms over my chest, I shake my head. “No, I’m good.”
Jamie’s eyebrows lift in question at Katie, and Katie merely shrugs. Jamie waves, and I act like I don’t see her mouth to Katie, Call me, girl.
Katie blushes and then goes around to stand next to Lane. “You’re doing so well, Lane. I’m so proud of you.”
“I’m sorry for going in the treehouse, Mom. Are you mad at me?”
His lower lip is puckered out, and he’s looking at his mom with the saddest face, but I know her answer before she even says it. “No, I’m not mad at you. But you have to promise me that you won’t go up there until it gets fixed.”
He nods his head. “Okay. I promise.”
It feels as if I’m in an alternate universe or something. It’s all so surreal. Luckily, Lane is going to be okay. It was a small fracture, and the doctor put it in a cast more to keep it stabilized than anything. He’s been in a good mood, and most of that is due to Trey. He’s kept us both laughing, and he has been a huge help, even carrying Lane out of the hospital and now into the house.
We’re walking up the front steps when the lights of another car come down the street and pull into my driveaway. I can’t help it; my whole body tenses up, and Trey stops next to me. “What is it? What’s wrong?”