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On the drive home, Abby comforted herself with the thought that Jake hadn't awakened since he fell asleep during their conversation that late afternoon. Abby was hopeful this meant he could pass the night undisturbed from physical, or emotional pain.

After the jeep pulled up to the Johanneses' home, John stopped the engine and took the keys from the ignition.

"Tonight, I think you should sleep in your old room," he said thoughtfully, handing the keys to his daughter.

Abby climbed out of the jeep and looked across the way to the little yellow house. The small building with the sad dark windows stared back at her, as if waiting for her to return to where she belonged.

"I'll be all right, Dad," she assured him. "I can manage on my own."

With a tired sigh, John followed Abby and Terry inside where they found Izumi and Mrs. Hopkins talking in the master bedroom, while Mr. Hopkins lay on the living room couch, sound asleep.

"How's my baby holding up?" asked Izumi, reaching out to give the young woman a great big hug. "Your father called every hour to keep me up to date on all the news," she sighed, "but, I wish I could have been there, just the same."

"My little sisters needed you to stay home," smiled Abby, tenderly touching Izumi's large belly.

"Abby, do you think Jake would be up to any visitors, tomorrow?" inquired Mrs. Hopkins, as her husband stirred from his nap in the living room and began to talk with John.

"I don't know how much good it'd do right now," hesitated Abby. "Jake's asleep most of the time. Before we left the hospital tonight, I learned that he's on a powerful sedative. The nurse said it was to keep Jake calm, but I think they just don't want to deal with his flashbacks. I can't say that I blame them. God only knows what Jake's going to be like when he comes home... without the powerful sedative that's keeping him so calm right now."

At this, Mrs. Hopkins was silent. She simply didn't know how to respond. Abby hadn't intended to unload the truth on her in such a blunt way, but the young woman was so tired, that her company manners were a little impaired.

"Tomorrow is just fine," Abby conceded, after seeing Mrs. Hopkins' disappointed face. This good friend of her mother's had stayed the entire day at the house so the men could be at the hospital. "Everyone's prayers have meant so much to Jake," said Abby gratefully. "If you really want to come, then I'm sure he'd like to thank you as best as he can. I just can't promise how awake he'll be, though."

Mrs. Hopkins gave Abby an understanding hug and dried the tears that were coming to her eyes.

After saying a parting farewell to Izumi, Mrs. Hopkins went to the living room where Mr. Hopkins and John were still talking.

Terry sat on the couch, only half listening to what the other two men were saying. He silently wondered how soon they were going to leave, so he could go to bed.

"Do you really think it's all right to visit Jake in the hospital, tomorrow?" whispered Mrs. Hopkins to John, before stepping out the door. "I know of others who would like to come as well, and show their support."

"I think Jake would appreciate that," smiled John. Then he thanked the couple once again for staying with Izumi that day.

When the front door finally closed, Terry wearily went to his room and shut the door behind him. Along with everyone else, he had had a very long day.

After shuffling through the mail on the kitchen counter, John went back to the master bedroom. To his surprise, he discovered that the same young lady who had declared to him just minutes earlier, that she could manage on her own, had crawled onto the large mattress and snuggled into his wife's arms. Tenderly cradling her daughter's sleeping form, Izumi looked up at her husband and smiled contentedly. Realizing that Abby needed her mother tonight, John ruffled his blonde hair, and smiled sleepily at the two women in his life.
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