A nurse lead Chris and I down the long, white hospital hallway.
The last time I had gone to this hospital, it was after Chris had gotten hit by a truck.
This was better because this time, we were here for a good reason, it was daytime, and my brother was walking next to me.
I took a deep breath and Chris stopped walking.
"Hey, are you okay?" He asked me.
"I'm fine," I said, looking at him and smiling, "Really, don't worry."
Chris smiled back and he continued walking.
The nurse knocked on the door of one room and opened the door.
"You've got visitors." She said, closing the door behind us.
Chris smiled sweetly at Alice and her mother.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Coleman." He said politely.
Alice's mother smiled tightly and said through clenched teeth, "Why, hello, Christopher."
"How are you feeling today?" Chris asked.
"Fine." Alice's mother said curtly, smiling that forced smile again.
Alice's mother has never liked Chris; She has a problem with the fact that he's gay and tried annoyingly hard to keep Alice away from him when they were little kids, but they were inseparable.
I must say, I had to use all my strength to keep from scowling at her.
Chris smiled sweetly and said, "Good. Well, we brought these cookies for you as a sort of congratulations gift."
"Thanks," Alice's mother said, trying to sound like she meant it.
Alice smiled awkwardly and Chris gave her the coated plate of cookies.
"We'll let you get some sleep now," Chris said politely, "I know you're probably tired-"
"Very." Alice's mother said a bit too shortly for overlooking.
Chris nodded politely and I tried not to look too hasty when I smiled at Alice's mother.
As we were leaving the hospital, Chris sighed wistfully, but didn't say a word.
"Alice's mom still doesn't like me." Chris said, taking a cookie from a plate Mom had made for us.
"Well, you are kind of a loser." Mouse said, her mouth full of cookie.
Chris scowled at her and Jessica came in.
"Hey, kids. Did you have fun visiting Alice and her mom?" She asked, grinning.
"It was just me and Ange." Chris said, "I'm not sure if 'fun' would be the word to describe it."
"Oh, what happened?" Jessica said with concern, putting her hands on her hips.
"Bye," Mouse said, getting up and taking a few cookies, "I'm gonna go put bugs in Chris' underwear."
Chris scowled at Mouse as she left and he turned back to Jessica.
"Well, I always try to be as polite as I can to Alice's mother," Chris said, "But she still doesn't like me."
"Oh." Jessica said, asking gently, "Any idea why?"
Chris, Leo, and I glanced at each other and Chris said quietly, "Because of, um... Because of my... Sexuality."
"Ah, I see." Jessica said understandingly.
I sighed and said, "She's kind of a homophobic, rude, selfish little-"
"Angela! Hush!" Mom snapped at me.
"She is, Mom!" I said, "She hates Chris just because he's gay!"
"Can I go?" Chris and Leo said at the same time.
"Well, that's too bad." Jessica said, patting Chris' back, "Don't work yourself up about it."
"Jessica, her daughter is my best friend." Chris said, sighing wistfully, "I can't just shrug it off."
Jessica shrugged and followed Mom into the kitchen.
Alice and her mother sat in the hospital room wordlessly.
Alice was reading a book and her mother was watching T.V.
"Hey, Mom?" Alice said, "Do you want to try one of the cookies Chris and Angie brought over?"
Alice mother sighed and studied her daughter for a minute.
"Sure," She said finally.
Alice got up and brought the plate over cookies over to her mother, who took one and took a bite.
She chewed slowly and said, smiling, "Mmm! These are delicious!"
Alice smiled, taking a cookie, "Yeah. Chris is an amazing cook, isn't he?"
Alice's mother stopped chewing for a second and added, "Well, they are a little rich."
Alice's face fell and she silently took a bite of her cookie.
So, Alice's mom got out of the hospital a day later and they were able to take Alice's new baby brother home.
Congrats on the new baby, Mrs. Coleman. Try to pay attention to him as you do your cell phone and hopefully more.