I woke up the next morning feeling like I was on top of the world. For the first time since my accident, it didn’t matter to me that my career was up in the air because I knew that no matter what happened, Pam would be by my side.
It was the furthest thing from my mind when we finally made our way to the kitchen, when I successfully distracted her from making coffee, or as we drank some an hour later while we looked out the windows at the busy noonday city.
It was rare that we had a quiet moment alone which was why I didn’t look at my phone when a message came through. Who knows how long I would’ve gone without checking it if Pam hadn’t brought it up and I lazily picked it up, figuring it was Ryan or maybe Stan.
“What is it?” Pam asked after she saw my double take at seeing my agent’s name on the screen.
“It’s David. He wants me to call him: ‘ASAP’.” I looked down at her and without saying a word, she kissed my cheek, grabbed her coffee and walked back up stairs to the bedroom. Giving me the privacy she thought I needed.
She might’ve been half way up the stairs before I selected his number and started pacing around the kitchen as I waited to hear it ring in my ear.
“Hey, Trev. Sorry to bother you on the weekend.” He greeted me after only one ring and I stopped pacing.
“No big deal.” It was since he never contacted me unless it was important, which was why I felt jumpy. Like I’d drunk a whole pot of coffee instead of my one cup. “What’s up?”
He chuckled and I heard his squeaky chair move in the background. “A lot, actually. I was contacted this morning about presenting you with a possible job offer and considering who it’s from, I didn’t want to sit on it for very long.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a quarterback coaching position and ASU.”
“You’re shitting me.” I said more out of shock than anything and glanced up at the living room ceiling, wondering how much Pam knew about it.
“I’m not. Apparently the previous quarterback’s coach has moved on to be offensive coordinator at another school. If you’re interested, they’d like to meet with you as soon as possible.”
It’s not every day that you get a chance at your dream job, so when it comes out of the blue it’s hard to wrap your head around it. Especially when you’re wondering how much a certain person walking around on the floor above you knew about it.
“Let me call you back in a minute.” He started to protest but I hung up on him and made my way over to the stairs to get some answers.
“The car will be here in about five minutes.” I yelled up the stairs in my apartment and smiled at the sound of her rushed footsteps on the floor above.
“I’m almost ready. Just getting my shoes.” She yelled back down and I kept pacing between the stairs and the doorway. I didn’t know why though; it didn’t help get rid of any of the anxiousness I felt about the night ahead.
It was our big moment, the night when we were going public with our relationship and we’d picked a doozy to do it with. It was the Bucks’ annual postseason banquet that was hosted by the organization to celebrate its accomplishments and thank those who made them possible.
It was extra special that year since we’d won the Super Bowl and the organization had planned an over the top celebration that was getting a lot of attention from local and some national press. Which meant that a lot of media would be there when we finally let the secret out of the bag.
Not that it was the best kept secret. Our families, closest friends, Bucks’ management, and Pam’s boss all knew. The later I’d learned about while we were still at the cabin when it dawned on me that she should’ve been working instead of taking care of me. That’s when she let me know about her conversation with Roger and how she was taking time off.
Her hiatus lasted until a couple days before the Bucks’ event. She’d gone back to work and explained why her reporting on the Bucks wouldn’t be an issue anymore. It wasn’t a secret that I didn’t like most journalists, at least the pushy sports ones, but I came to respect Roger after he had gone out of his way help Pam and kept the news of my retirement quiet until I announced it.
My retirement press conference was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It wasn’t pretty; I choked up and cried, but what made it doable was the support that I had there: my Mom, Will, Ryan, the rest of my teammates, Pam’s dad and Pam.
She’d done exactly what she’d said she would do. She‘d stayed by my side through the weeks since my injury and I owed a lot of why I was able to do the press conference and start down the road to recovery and acceptance, to her. And it was one reason why I was anxious to finally go out with her; because it meant I could reveal how I’d made it through everything.
The sound of an alert from my phone told me that the car had arrived and I turned to call up the stairs again but stopped when I caught sight of her coming down them. She had on a short, tight, black dress, stiletto heels and her hair was styled like it was the night she’d gone out with Paisley, all those months ago at her parents’ house.
I couldn’t remember ever being in that much pain. My chest and the back of my head ached from the hit but that wasn’t anything compared to my neck. The insane pain was enough to tell me that there wasn’t going to be an easy fix for whatever was wrong, but as I laid there the next morning with Pam I told myself that the worst I was probably looking at was having surgery.
All I wanted was for someone to give me answers and tell me how I could fix it. I thought that might happen when the whoosh of the door hinted that someone was coming in the room, but the small footsteps on the linoleum floor told me I was in for another round with my nurse.
“Good morning.” She chipperly smiled down at me and I grunted, waking Pam up. “Glad to see you’re in a better mood.” She grinned, completely ignoring my scowl and checked my IV. I’d run out of pain medicine about an hour before but hadn’t pushed the button for more and after noticing it, she looked back down at me.
“Do you want any more?” She dropped the happy nurse act and seemed genuinely concerned.
“No.” I firmly stated, but they looked at me like I was crazy.
“Are you sure?” Pam asked as she sat up and placed a hand on my arm.
“No.” I repeated and scowled at her. “I don’t like how it makes me feel.” I didn’t feel in control of myself with them and decided that normal pain medicine would have to do; no matter how much it hurt. Pam nodded and after the nurse brought me something else, she stood up and walked over to my side of the bed.
“Do you remember what happened?” She whispered as her fingers brushed a strand of my hair off my forehead.
“I remember getting hit, nothing after that until seeing you walk through that door,” I pointed to the one that everyone kept going out of, “and then it’s blank again until I woke up earlier in pain.” I knew that there was a lot more in between and it looked like she was about to fill me in when there was a knock on the door.
My stomach dropped as my eyes followed a doctor, Randy (one of the Buck’s trainers), Coach, and Jimmy. Seeing the last two removed any doubt about it being bad but even more telling was the fact that they wouldn’t look at me as they walked to other side of the room.
“Mr. Davila, I’m Dr. Fraser.” The doctor started after Pam helped me adjust the bed and pillows so I could sit up. It took a ton out of me to move and his forehead wrinkled with worry. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like something else for the pain.”
I gave him a look that left little doubt about my determination to not change my mind and he nodded. “We’ve taken a look at the x-rays that we took last night. . .”
“Perhaps we should discuss this in private.” Jimmy interrupted and motioned to Pam. Her weight shifted to the foot closer to the door, like she was getting ready to take Jimmy’s hint about leaving and I grabbed her hand.
“She stays. Anything you want to say to me, you say it in front of her.” My eyes darted sideways at her, worried for a moment that she’d be upset that in one fell swoop I’d outed our relationship to everyone in the room. She gave me a small smile and placed her other hand over mine. Knowing we were on the same page, I turned my attention back to them.