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As she took one last look about his bedroom, Abby smiled to herself. It was an odd room for someone like her husband. While the barren walls and stacks of spent drawing pads bound with twine reminded Abby of Jake, the high chair, stroller, and car seat from the baby shower that had been stacked into one corner of his room, showed that there was more to this man than just his past. There was the future. Abby hoped that those objects would remind him of that fact in the days ahead.

When the time drew near to drive to the hospital, Abby found herself more nervous than before.

"I'm all done here," announced John, straightening a throw pillow on the living room couch as he walked by.

"Same here," said Dennis, picking up his coat and preparing to leave.

"Thanks for helping out, Dennis," said Abby, gratefully. "Thank you, everyone," she added, after Terry had put away the mop and joined them in the living room.

"Are you coming with us to the hospital, Dennis?" asked Terry. "You're welcome to."

"I'm not sure if Jake would want that," hesitated Dennis. "I don't think he likes me very much."

"That's nonsense!" exclaimed Abby, picking up her car keys from the coffee table. "Jake likes you, Dennis. It's only that he sometimes has a hard time showing it."

"A very hard time," grinned the fly casting instructor. "It's all right, Abby. I'll stop by sometime later and say 'hello' then."

"Thanks again," said Abby as her friend stepped out the front door.

"Well," sighed John, smiling excitedly at his daughter, "I'd say we were ready."

The three got into Abby's jeep and started into Watertown. The jeep's hard top was on, so Jake would be sheltered from the cold on the drive home. Abby was so anxious, that she barely recognized her own thoughts. As the vehicle made its way down the road, she asked God to hide her nervousness from Jake, for he had enough to overcome without having to deal with her excited jitters.

When the young wife and her family reached Jake's hospital room, they found him lying on his back in bed, staring somewhat groggily up at the ceiling. Abby smiled happily when she saw that he was wearing his old clothes. While Jake was heavily sedated earlier that morning, an orderly had changed the patient out of his hospital gown, and into the long sleeve shirt and jeans that Abby had brought on a previous visit. That one change of clothes made him look more like the old Jake she knew.

"How are you feeling?" asked Abby, immediately going to his bedside.

"Fine, I guess," he replied, a little uncertainly. When John and Terry went into the hall to talk to the doctor for a moment, Jake made a confession to her. "I don't know why," he sighed, "but I'm nervous."

"So am I," she admitted. "Silly, isn't it? We're just going home. There's nothing at all to be nervous about."

Just then, a nurse brought in the wheelchair. With some help from the nurse, Jake very carefully sat up in bed. John and Terry watched, while Abby hovered nearby, ready to help if called upon.

"Do you want to take a moment before getting out of bed?" asked the nurse, seeing the sweat on Jake's face caused from the pain in his chest.

Determined not to let the pain get the best of him, the young man shook his head and slowly moved his legs to the edge of the bed. Jake bravely prepared to stand up. Knowing he would need help, the nurse assisted him to his feet. Abby brought the wheelchair as close to the bed as she could, so he wouldn't have to walk further than he needed. Jake looked at Abby for a moment and resolutely smiled. After he tested his legs for a few moments, Jake slowly made his way toward the wheelchair and sat down.

"Piece of cake," he panted under his breath.
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