Unwelcomed Changes

By Mer

Part 23

Rosslyn Long-Term Care- Sam's Room

Sam had been stunned at what Josh had just said. How could Josh even begin to think that it could have been his fault? He was insulted by that very notion. He tried to tell Josh that but he had heard the phone fall to the ground and a groan of pain coming from Josh. He hung up the phone in disgust.

"What's got you so glum?" Mandy asked as she entered his room.

"Why the hell do you care?" Sam shot back.

"Remember Sam this new you is quite alright with me, go ahead and yell but I'm not going away." Mandy replied sweetly.

"I just got off the phone with Josh." Sam admitted.

"I take it the conversation didn't go well." Mandy replied.

"You could say that." Sam muttered.

"You're more worried about his operation tomorrow then you want to admit, aren't you?" Mandy asked.

"Operation tomorrow? He didn't say anything to me about it." Sam replied.

"Maybe if you had taken some time to not blame him for the death of his sister or the recent hotel fire then he would've told you." Mandy snapped.

"You were listening in on my conversation?" Sam asked.

"It wasn't hard to do believe me." Mandy replied with a roll of her eyes.

"What about the operation?" Sam demanded.

"Oh now you want to get all concerned on me, how touching." Mandy mocked.

"I knew that there was a reason that I never liked you." Sam muttered.

"Careful now, the old Sam seems to be creeping back in a little." Mandy replied.

"What if I like the new Sam?" Sam countered.

"Then hopefully you will like a mental hospital. I think a straight jacket would look very becoming on you." Mandy replied.

"Get serious." Sam replied.

"I am serious. You think that your shift from gentle Sam to Hitler Sam hasn't gone unnoticed? They think that you went off of the deep end. But you and I both know that you are faking." Mandy replied.

"I am not faking." Sam replied.

"Bullshit. You are goading all of your friends into being afraid of you. You hate the looks of self-pity so you have been lashing out at them. So often in fact that you have even fooled yourself into believing that you like it, you don't think that they take you seriously when you're mad because you are the most agreeable of the group. You like the power that Toby has when he's mad. You like how everyone is walking on eggshells around you. Hell, I think you even like pissing every doctor that tries to figure out what is wrong with you. They can't help you because there is nothing wrong with you." Mandy replied.

"Leave me alone Mandy. As long as you have my job your happy so why are you pestering me?" Sam barked back.

"Because I would rather keep your job temporarily then have it given to me permanently by default." Mandy remarked.

"What do you mean?" Sam asked.

"You think that if they place you in a mental hospital that you can just come to work once they let you get out? No, you would be a huge security risk and the secret service wouldn't even let you in the building to gather your things. Sam I can take everybody hating me, because I knew that when I agreed to come back. What I didn't know was that they were blaming me for what happened to you. If you go off the deep end the blame will only get worse, because I will be a permanent reminder of the friend that they lost." Mandy replied.

"Like you care if they hate you because of that." Sam countered.

"Sam, your friends need you right now." Mandy replied.

"Why did you say that so cryptically?" Sam asked.

"Josh's operation tomorrow is extremely dangerous. He could be permanently blinded, turned into a vegetable or even killed. They are going to need you as the real Sam." Mandy said softly.
"Why are you telling me this?" Sam asked.

"I know that you like to pretend that you don't give a damn about Josh anymore. You've taken out most of your anger on him but I think that is a way of deflecting blame from yourself. You think that blaming Josh is the most logical choice because he doesn't remember what happened. You can fill him in with a few lies and make yourself in complete control over him. You know firsthand how guilt eats at him, and if you have control over that guilt he'll do anything you ask him to." Mandy theorized.

"And you think me to be that horrible that I would try and gain control over my best friend?" Sam asked.

"That is exactly what you have been doing. Even after the fire he was the one they were the most worried about, they didn't become worried about you until you went into a coma, but you didn't realize that. So once you woke up you thought that being cruel was the only way you could gain some attention." Mandy theorized.

"Gee I wonder who I could have learned that from?" Sam shot back.

"Fine, Sam do as you wish. But last May you were scared to death that your best friend was going to die, last January you were screaming not to leave him behind, and now you are screaming at him. Pretend not to care about him if you wish, but if you are placed in a mental hospital because of your recent actions, don't you dare blame him. Josh may be an arrogant jerk most of the time, but he's always been a excellent friend to you." Mandy replied as she left with a smirk on her face.

Georgetown Hospital-Josh's Room

Four Hours Later

Josh had woken up and was told that his headaches were a sign that swelling was getting worse, and the surgery might even have to be moved up by a few hours. He nodded even though the pain made it hard for him to do so. A strange feeling came over him and he knew that Sam had lied to him. But he didn't really have time to dwell on that because his first round of visitors had appeared.

"Joshua." A soft voice whispered and Josh realized that his mother had come to visit him.

"Mom." Josh replied slowly.

"Honey I know that I haven't always been there for you but I need you to forgive me." Sarah pleaded.

Josh held out his arms and he allowed her to hug him like she used to. He could feel her warm tears on his hospital gown. He felt bad about being the source of them; she had cried so many tears in her lifetime.
"I visited you when you were in your coma and a couple of times after you were transferred. I'm sorry for everything." Sarah told him.

"I believe you Mom." Josh said softly.

The headache was causing him to not be able to focus on everything that she was saying. He didn't really that deep of a conversation right now. He just needed the chance to be her little boy again.

"I hope we aren't interrupting anything." Toby and C.J. stated from the doorway.

"No please come in." Sarah replied as Josh gave a small smile.

"Giving you trouble already huh?" C.J. joked.

"No actually he's being very good." Sarah replied.

"There's a shock." Donna called from the doorway.

"Hey." Josh protested.

"Give it up Josh you know that she's right. Why do you think she had to in act those famous rules?" Toby asked.

"How could I forget?" Josh murmured.

"Leo said that he was going to be by in a little bit. Said that the President roped him into attending part of a dinner with him." Sarah stated with a laugh.

"The Governor's Dinner, Josh." C.J. replied causing him to smile.

"Yeah the President had his hands full last year." Josh replied.

"So how's the guide dog plan panning out?" C.J. asked.

"I don't know. The secret service hasn't gotten back to me yet." Josh replied.

"Oh I'm sure they are strongly considering it." Toby replied with an eye roll.

"Toby, I might be blind but don't think for an instant that I can't tell when you are mocking me." Josh warned.

"Is that anyway to treat your guests?" Sarah asked.

"He does it call the time." Donna replied, which caused Josh to try and reach out and smack her.
"Are you scared about the surgery Josh?" C.J. asked sombering the mood.

"Yes, but I think I'd be more scared if I didn't have all of you pulling for me." Josh smiled before the pain in his head sharpened causing him to grimace noticeably.

"We'll get through this." Sarah stated as she patted his hand, causing everyone else to voice their agreement.

"I know." Josh replied.



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