Abby walked into the Oval Office to find Jed stretched out on of the couches. She groaned inwardly. If he slept on the couch all night, he was going to have problems with his back. Back trouble only meant two things: Jed was going to be a grouch and not want his meds; Abby would be forced to make him take his meds and he complain how they made him feel goofy.
Her concern for her husband was outweighed by the sight of her daughter. Watching as Zoey stared out of the office windows, Abby could swear the girl had lost five pounds over the last three days. She was going to waste away in front of her motherís eyes. Abby had never felt so helpless in her life.
Zoey sensed another presence in the room and turned to find her mother staring at her.
"How long have you been awake?" Abby asked.
"A few hours," Zoey answered. "I didnít want to disturb Dad, so I stayed here."
Abby crossed the room and wrapped her arms around Zoey; the girl leaned on her motherís shoulder. "How are you doing, sweetie?"
"I donít know. Numb. The longer we wait for news, the harder it becomes for me to hold out hope. I want to believe heís okay. But I guess, deep down, I know Iíve lost him forever."
The lifelessness in Zoeyís voice was frightening. "Zoey, you canít let this destroy you. No matter how this turns out, you have to go on with your life."
"Your mother is right, Zoey," Jed said quietly. As they turned to see him standing before them, Jed gently pried his daughter from Abbyís arms. He took her by the shoulders and looked her square in the eye. "Iíve already lost one person that I care about. Iím not about to lose my daughter, too. Thereís no way Iíd survive losing you."
Zoey could see the ears forming in his eyes and her heart broke. She hugged her father and held on to him tightly. He returned the embrace and felt her slender body trembling. "I donít know how to let him go," she said through her muffled sobs.