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Author’s Note - This is it. the end of the series. It’s an elongated segment, and may seem a bit rushed. I’m sorry, but I’ve got seven stories on the go, and it’s time to finish one. The medical information here is probably totally inaccurate. I am very sorry if I have it completely wrong. This is only fiction, and I’m trying to find a way to get to the end I want. If you find yourself in the same situation, please ignore my story. It is completely made up, and the end may not happen ever. Feedback, as always, is appreciated, but please do not abuse me because of Dawson’s choice.
Bessie came bursting through the door of the emergency ward. As soon as she’d got the phone call from Dawson, she’d driven over. She saw Dawson sat in a chair with Pacey sat beside him.
“Dawson!” she cried. “How is she?” She looked at Dawson, who looked up to meet her eyes. He then looked down at the floor.
“She’s unconscious, Bess,” Pacey informed Bessie. She gasped, and brought her hand to cover her mouth.
“What exactly happened?” she asked when she’d recovered slightly.
“We don’t know,” Pacey yet again spoke. “She was involved in a collision with another car, but the other driver hasn’t been found. Jo had to be cut out of the car.” Dawson suddenly got up out of the seat, and went walking off.
“what’s wrong with him?” Bessie asked, concerned.
“His way of coping, I guess. He hasn’t even cried. They’re letting him see her soon, so we’ll know more about her condition then.”
The doctor looked at the clipboard one final time. He looked up at Dawson. They were stood outside the room that held Joey and the machines that kept her alive.
“She’s in a bad way, but we don’t know the full extent of her injuries. There is the chance that she won’t make it, Mr. Leery, but the baby should be OK. There doesn’t seem to be any damage to it, we’ve done a scan…” Dawson’s head snapped up.
“What? Baby? She’s not pregnant!” he exclaimed.
“She is,” the doctor confirmed. “She had an appointment the other day and it was confirmed. I’d assumed that she’d told you, I’m sorry. You can go in if you wish,” he added.
“Yes,” Dawson replied. The door was opened for him, and he stepped in. He was unprepared for the sight that greeted him. Joey’s fragile body was covered in wires and tubes, leading to machines. Her face was a deathly shade of gray. Dawson swallowed hard. He made his way over to the chair by her bedside, and sat down.
“Why, Jo? Why you? We’ve only just got married. This can’t be happening to us. I love you.”
About an hour later, Dawson was asked to leave the room whilst they ran some more tests. When he got to the waiting area, he barely noticed that his parents had arrived, and they were sat with Bessie and Pacey. When they saw him, Bessie and Gail stood up. Gail hugged her son, her eyes wet with fresh tears.
“How is she, Dawson?” Bessie asked, afraid. Dawson, whose mother had just let go, shrugged.
“Doesn’t look good,” he said monotonously. “She’s attached to about a million machines, and she’s still unconscious. You should see her, Bess. She looks so frail. The doctors say the baby’s fine though…”
“What?” Gail asked, shocked.
“Oh yeah, she’s pregnant. She didn’t get to tell me. The doctors knew before I did.” He smiled ironically and sat down.
“How long is she gonna be in the coma?” Mitch asked.
“Could wake up now, or in a few days, or weeks, or years, or she might not wake up at all,” Dawson explained, deflated. “They don’t know how bad the injuries are. She might have brain damage, or memory loss, or she could be OK. They don’t know.” Bessie started to cry again. Pacey hugged her close, letting her tears flow onto his shoulder.
“Don’t cry, Bessie. She’ll pull through. You know how tough Josephine is,” Dawson said, trying to comfort his sister-in-law.
“But what if she doesn’t?” Bessie sobbed.
“I don’t know,” Dawson admitted, yet still the tears failed to run down his cheeks. He ran his hands though his hair, and rested his head in his hands.
6 months later
Bessie rushed through the doors of the hospital. She was now familiar with the layout of the hospital, and almost immediately found Pacey and Dawson. The past six months had been a living hell for all those concerned. Joey had still not woken from her coma. Her pregnancy had progressed, and she was now almost at full term. It killed Dawson inside that she wasn’t enjoying what should be the happiest months of her life. He’d barely left the hospital the whole time. He had spent most days sat beside her bed, totally numb still with shock. He hadn’t spoken about his feelings to anyone, and had never cried. His parents had tried to speak to him, but he refused. Pacey had let him know he was there, but Dawson still kept himself bottled up. Bessie had cried many times, and found comfort in sharing her grief with her friends. Pacey himself had shed tears in secret, and had talked at great length to Bessie, but no one could break through to Dawson.
Pacey smiled weakly as he saw Bessie approach. He nodded his head to Dawson, signaling her arrival. Dawson turned around. Bessie hugged him as soon as she reached them. She planted a kiss on his cheek, and then hugged Pacey.
“What’s the news then?” she asked.
“She’s 35 weeks,” Dawson said. “They’re gonna perform a cesarean section on her. They don’t think her body will be able to carry the baby to full term, so they’re gonna get it out. In a few hours, she’ll be a mother,” he added, sadly.
“And you’ll be a dad,” reminded Pacey.
“Yeah…I guess,” Dawson replied unenthusiastically. He turned his back once more.
“Are Mitch and Gail coming?” Bessie asked. They had given a lot of support to Bessie and Bodie, baby-sitting Alex at any time, and providing a sympathetic ear.
“Yeah, I called them about 10 minutes after I called you,” Pacey informed her. “Did you leave Alex with Bodie?”
“Yeah, they’re gonna go fishing or something…Alex doesn’t really understand what’s going on.”
“No one does,” Dawson said simply. He walked off without saying a word. Bessie looked at Pacey questioningly. Pacey shrugged.
“I’m worried,” he said. “She’s not got a good chance, Bessie. We know that. It’s been too long for her to wake up unscathed…but he doesn’t acknowledge that. It’s gonna hit him hard, but there’s nothing I can do.”
“Just be there when it does,” Bessie advised.
Pacey and Bessie stood up as soon as they saw Dawson approach, followed swiftly by Mitch and Gail. Dawson pulled off the mask that he was wearing as part of the clothes he had been made to wear.
“So?” Bessie asked, full of hope. Dawson grinned.
“A beautiful baby girl,” he said cheerfully. “6 pounds 9 ounces. Perfectly healthy!” Gail hugged him, and the others all had identical expressions of glee and joy.
“How’s Joey?” Mitch asked.
“Fine. Still not with us, but she’s perfectly fine,” Dawson said, his smile fading slightly. “They’re cleaning the baby up, and then you can see her. She’s so tiny!”
“Congratulations, D-Man,” Pacey said.
“Thanks.” Dawson walked back out of the room, and leaned against the wall.
He was exhausted. It hurt him so much to see his Joey like that. Their first child had just been born, but he felt little joy. There had been no one to share the emotions with. He and Joey should have been choosing names, and seeing scans together. They should be arguing over what colour to paint the nursery. Joey should have been crying in joy when they let her have the first hold. Instead, he’d been the first. Then the doctors had taken the baby away for tests. She should be there, excited and happy. Instead, she was being kept alive by machines. But he had to keep strong. He couldn’t let Bessie see how scared he was. And if her was left alone, he’d have to cope alone. He couldn’t go running back to his parents. He was an adult now. And that meant coping.
Dawson smiled despite himself at the sight of his newborn daughter. She resembled her mother strongly. It was both painful and amazing. “she’s absolutely beautiful,” Bessie praised. Dawson nodded.
“Congratulations, Dawson, sweetie,” his mother said proudly.
“Thanks,” he replied.
“What are you going to call her?” Pacey asked tentatively. Dawson paused for a moment.
“Hannah Katie,” he responded, smiling. Bessie hugged him. Mitch looked puzzled. Dawson saw his expression, and explained. “Hannah was Joey’s mother’s name, and Jo has always wanted to be called Katie. She hated Josephine.” Pacey looked up sharply at the use of the past tense. Dawson, however, hadn’t noticed.
A few days later, one of the doctors approached Dawson. He looked serious, and Dawson’s heart sank. Before the doctor spoke, Dawson knew what was coming.
“Mr. Leery, we’ve just run some more tests on your wife.”
“And?” Dawson asked.
“And they aren’t good,” the doctor informed him. “there has been no improvement in the past six months, and it is our policy to advise letting her go. As next of kin, it’s your decision.”
“So, after six months, you’re saying we should let her die?” Dawson said angrily.
“The chances of Joey ever regaining consciousness are almost non existent. However, if we were to take away the life support machine, there is a chance that she will begin to breathe for herself. She may even wake up. It is much more common for the patient to die, though.”
“If she ever did wake up,” Dawson asked, “would there be permanent brain damage?”
“That’s almost certain, yes.”
“Can you give me some time to talk to her family?”
“Of course. We don’t expect you to make this decision alone. And we will fully respect your wishes. Ultimately, it is you that will decide. I’m very sorry, Mr. Leery.”
Dawson looked up at Bessie when he had finished relaying the doctor’s information to her and the others, They were in the Leery’s dining room, sat around the table. Gail, Mitch, Bodie, Bessie and Pacey were with him. Bessie had tears in her eyes, and her mouth was covered by her hand.
“She’s my little sister…how can she die?” she cried. Dawson looked down once again.
“Bess, she’s probably already gone,” Bodie pointed out.
“But what if she hasn’t?”
“The doctor said she’d have brain damage if she woke up,” Dawson muttered.
“I know my opinion hardly matters here,” Pacey began, “but Jo’s always been a fighter. Maybe this was just too much for her. Maybe this is the one thing she can’t win.” Dawson looked at Pacey.
“What about Hannah?” Gail asked. “How will she cope with her mother being on a machine as she grows up?”
“About as well as Jo did after her mom died,” Pacey pointed out.
“What’s your opinion, Dawson?” Mitch asked. All eyes focused on him, as he raised his head.
“I don’t know. How am I meant to make this decision? She’s my wife, the mother of my child. I love her more than I do myself. But I know she’s not there anymore. Her mind’s already gone.” Bessie leaned across the table, and reached for his hand. She covered it in hers. He looked up at her.
“Then let her body go,” Bessie said calmly.
Dawson stood in the corridor, the image he had seen a few moments earlier haunting him. He began to cry for the first time in months. Emotions flew out of him, and he sank down the wall, sobs echoing off the walls. Joey was gone.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crepe bows around the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone’ by W.H. Auden
Dawson Leery stayed in Capeside whilst raising his daughter. He became a grief counselor for a national helpline. He never remarried, and took joy in seeing his daughter, and then his grandchildren, grow up.
Hannah Katie Leery became a doctor after graduating Harvard with honors. She led a successful research team in the field of head injuries, and they made many breakthroughs. She always wondered about the mother she never knew, and went on to get married and have four children of her own. She lives with her husband in Providence, and regularly visited her father.
Bessie and Bodie moved from Capeside soon after Joey’s death. Bodie opened a restaurant in Chicago. It became successful, and they have very little money problems. They went on to have two daughters, named Josephine and Katie.
I get very little feedback compared to the time I spend writing this stuff, so please e-mail me with your comments if you have read this series or any of my others. It only takes a few seconds, but makes me feel very happy. Please e-mail me!!!!
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