Chapter 6
The Boxcar


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The Next Day
   Monica came to our room early the next morning and told us that she was ready to take the babies to the OR for surgery. Luke and Laura had already been in the nursery to see them as had Nikolas, Lucky, and Zander. Now it was our turn. "At least we get to say goodbye in case something happens," I said sadly.
   "Autumn you can't think like that, everything will be okay, it has to," Elizabeth said, trying to not cry, and failing as two tears streamed down her cheeks.
   We were wheeled into the NICU and sat staring at our babies. They were still so tiny and frail. You could see through the skin on their hands and their fingernails hadn't started growing yet. Their bodies were even still covered in a light layer of baby hair, which was normal for premature babies. "Are you sure you can't wait until they are bigger?" Emily asked her mom.
   "Honey I wish that I could, but if we don't operate now I am afraid that they won't live to go home. I want to give them every chance possible to grow up normal and healthy," Monica said, giving Emily a hug.
   Sonny and Carly knocked on the door to the nursery and Monica let them in. Sonny may not be her favorite person, but he was the babies godfather and he had a right to see them. He came over to us and automatically gave us each a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Carly also hugged us and handed each of us yet another gift. "Carly you don't have to keep buying them things every time you come to visit. The nursery is going to be so full there won't be any room for the babies," I said smiling.
   "I know, but then I saw the cutest display at Wyndem's and I just had to buy these," Carly said smiling. We opened the presents and inside were beautiful dresses for the girls, with matching diaper covers, hats, and even little cloth shoes and matching hand covers (so the babies couldn't scratch themselves with their fingernails). And for Lorenzo she had bought a cute little one piece outfit that looked like a little suit and tie, with matching shoes, hand covers, and a hat.
   "Carly they are adorable thank you, but it will be quite awhile before they can wear them, they aren't anywhere close to being ready to come home from the hospital." Elizabeth said.
   "That's why I bought them a little bigger size, that way they will be that size by the time they can wear them home," Carly said.
   "Okay I hate to say this, but its time to get them ready to go to the OR and for you girls and all your visitors to go back to your floor until I am done," Monica said, the smile slowly disappearing from her face.
   "But we want to wait in the waiting room to hear how its going," I protested.
   "That wouldn't be good for you, the surgery will take at least 4 hours, if not more, you need to rest and take your medication, I will send someone down to you every hour with news," Monica said.
   "Every half-hour, otherwise we won't be able to stop worrying, not that we will be able to relax anyway, but that's the only way we will go back downstairs," I said firmly, surprising everyone in the room.
   "I think Autumn has a point Monica, Carly and I will run down every half-hour to let them know what's going on with the babies, and I will make sure they eat, rest and take care of themselves," Sonny said.
   "Thank you Sonny, I can't wait to be able to start doing things for myself again, whenever Nikolas lets me that is, which probably won't be until Leilani is 25, considering how things keep happening to me," I said, sadness creeping into my voice. I put my head down and started to silently cry, tears streaming down my face. Just then Nikolas, Lucky, and Zander walked back into the nursery looking for us. Nikolas took one look at me and knelt down in front of my wheelchair holding my hands in his.
   "Autumn sweetie, don't cry please, I would give anything not to have this happening, if only I would have kept you safer..." Nikolas said, his voice trailing off as he too started to cry. Everyone just watched the scene without saying a word. We were too wrapped up in our emotions to remember that there was a room full of other people. Nikolas recovered first and grabbed the handles of my wheelchair. He opened the door to the NICU and told Lucky that we were going back to the room, then he brought me down to the 7th floor and gently put me back in bed. He slid into bed next to me, brushed the hair out of my face, and quietly sang me to sleep. Not noticing the shadowy figure standing outside the door listening to every word. It was Helena.

Chapter 7