Joey wanted to tell his mom all the things she wanted to hear, but he could barely manage to let the words surface in his head. He felt so spacey.
"I mean..I really..really thought it was all REAL." Even now Chelsea's face was so vivid. "And..and they keep telling me...its not." He winced as if he was sick of himself and this place, too.
They were out in the courtyard of the hospital, but it might as well have been a jungle to him. Joey felt so weak. And he'd slept so much. He wanted to be better. But what if that never happened? He wasn't sure what was real anymore.
"I can't afford much more of this." She reminded him she had a job to get back, too. He had to get better. "You have to, think about your future. Think about Dakota." She looked at him as if this was his life. Not some dream where he was having to deal with a pregnant girl.
Joey glared at her. Suddenly, he felt a cold chill.
"I brought her." His mother informed him.
Joey felt a little shaky, as if he might faint.
"Don't tell me, you forgot her too?" His mother stare was so intense.
A part of him thought he might be walking on clouds. He sat back in the wooden Adirondack chair. He thought his head might be throbbing.
She was why he'd came all the way out to Nebraska. The economy was better here. Or so he thought. Yet, somehow, he'd lost touch.
"You're daughter needs you." His mother told him that she'd felt so bad about leaving her with the neighbor when she first came out here. "I wasn't sure what to expect. And then..well, I drove back..after I got that place of yours back in shape. And well, she's been asking about you. Your daughter even asked if you remembered her."
Joey pressed his lips tight. How could he have spaced her out?