• Jacob slowly eased down on the bed beside his mother. Taking her hand in his, he leaned down to rest his head on her shoulder and he wept quietly. Even after all these years of seeing her like this, he still couldn't hold back the tears. He didn't mind letting Mary see him cry. She was the only person that could see him like this. He didn't even dare cry in front of his father because he feared his father would blame himself all over again. Jacob took comfort in Mary's gentle embrace. He could hear her sobbing against his back. It seemed like forever, though it was only a few minutes, when they cried this painful feeling away.
    "Do you feel better now?" Mary asked softly, still holding Jacob in her arms. Jacob wiped his arm over his eyes and nodded.
    "Yeah a little." he choked. He looked back down at his mother, and patted her hand lightly. "I'm sorry that I keep crying. And I know that you wouldn't want me to cry for your sake. But I miss you to much, Mom. Please wake up and come home. We need you. Please Mom." Jacob had a hard time fighting back the tears, but he held them back. "I'll be back tomorrow. I love you." He bent over the hospital bed and kissed his mother lightly on her smooth, pale forehead. He walked over to Mary, who was waiting in the doorway, and to get one last look at his mother before he left. Turning back around, he walked past Mary and headed out the hospital. They walked in silence for awhile, before Mary spoke up.
    "Do you want to come over? My parents would love to have you over again." Jacob looked at Mary for awhile before he nodded slowly. " When Mary she realized he wasn't going to say anything, she added, "Okay. You can take a shower there and borrow my brother's clothes. "
    "Thanks." Jacob replied. He put an arm around her and gave a little squeeze before letting his hand drop again. Mary sighed and gave him a small smile, which he returned with a smile of his own. "So what's for dinner?" he asked, returning to his old self. Mary gave a little giggle that any guy would go crazy over before catching herself. Jacob couldn't help but smile at her again.
    Walking up to her house door, Jacob held open the door for Mary. Closing the door behind him, he was greeted with a warm smile from Mary's mother when he turned around. Mrs. Williams was the older version of Mary when it came to beauty. Mrs. Williams held up her arms and beckoned him to come and hug her, which he accepted without hesitation.
    "It's been awhile, Jacob. How's everything going?" She asked in a muffled voice.
    "I'm guessing everything is good. I haven't gotten any news that my mother is getting worse. Yet." He added the last word as an afterthought. Mrs. Williams pushed Jacob back at arms lenght to look him in the eyes.
    "Don't you say THAT!" She warned. "It's going to be okay." she continued ain a comforting voice.
    "I'm sorry. I'm Just tired, hot, and sweaty. I know its going to be okay." He apologized. He gave a start when Mary grabbed his arm and hauled him up the stairs.
    "What are you doing, Mary?" Mrs. Williams called out, though she didn't make an attempt to follow after them.
    "He needs to take a shower." She called back over her shoulder. "Um, I'll get some of my Daren's clothes so you'll have something to wear, okay?" She let hand drop from his arm to knock on Daren's bedroom door. Without waiting for an answer, she opened the door and walked in.
    A minute later she came with a bundle of clothes for Jacob. He took the clothes from Mary and went into the bathroom.

    About 15 minutes later Jacob walked into the kitchen with the towel over his head and he dropped down into one of the seats at the table. He rubbed the towel briskly over his hair one last before he gave up on completely drying it.
    "Those close suit you." Mary said waving a hand vaguely at him. She turned back around and began cutting the bread dough into squares. "Dinner's almost ready." She said.
    "Would you mind steeing up the talbe for me sweetie?" Mrs. Williams asked over her shoulder. Mary nodded and went about the taske. She tapped the spoon she had been using to stir the pot and layed on the counter beside the stove. "Are you all refreshed now?" She asked with her sweet smile. Jacob nodded. Mary walked in the eating area that was connected to the kitchen with an armful of silverware, bowls, and plates. Jacob stood up and relieve her of some of the burden.
    "Here let me help." Mary began to protest, but he just spoke over her. "It's the least I can do. Besides I need something to do to take my mind off my mother problems." Mary stopped her protests at the last sentence and nodded before completely letting go of some of the dishes. Jacob smiled at her in reasurance and began setting the table.
    It was long before the table was set and holding food. The whole family and Jacob sat at the table and dug in. Jacob hungrily devoured Mrs. Williams' famous first place chicken and dumplings. He ignored the burning sensation in his mouth every time he put a spoonful of food in his mouth.
    "So you ready for the try-outs tomorrow?" Daren asked, nudging Jacob in the arm with his elbow. Daren was Mary's older twin. They looked exactly like eachother and yet different at the same time. No could ever understand that. Jacob nodded and swallowed.
    "Yeah. I'm ready."
    "You better be. Your gonna need all the luck you can get if u want any hope of beating me." Daren replied, smiling around the spoon. Jacob chuckled and elbowed him in the ribs.
    "Don't you wish! I'm going to so cream you." Jacob laughed.
    "Ah. I wouldn't miss this match for the world. I'm going to watch you two play if you don't." Mr. Williams put in. Mr. Williams was like a second father to Jacob. This family was Jacob's family. Mr. Williams was a well-known phychiatrist and he also helped with his father. In fact this whole family went out of their way to help his family.

    Not once did Jacob think about his promblems durring dinner, but now that he was walking home with Daren and Mary, his mind was brought back into focus. He hoped his father was asleep. His father needed some rest. Tomorrow, I'll take him to see her, he thought as he walked through the front door. Turning around to face the twins he said, "Thanks for everything. I'll let ya'll go. Bye." Mary threw her arms around him suddenly. Jacob blinked in surprise before hugged her back.
    "Sleep well tonight." Mary muttered. "And don't think to much, okay?" She didn't let go pf him until he agreed. Nodding against his chest, she gave him one last sqeeze and stepped back. Her eyes were moist with unshed tears when she and Daren left his house.
    Starring blankly at nothing for awhile, Jacob shook his head and went to his parent's room. To his relief, his father was asleep. Walking over to the bed, he pulled the blankets over his father, before going to his room. He left both his and his father's bvedroom door open so he could be warned whenever his dad woke up. As wornout as he was, it didn't take long before he fell alseep.