He awoke to the smell of violets in the room.
"It's about time you woke up", came Fi's cheery voice from the edge of the bed.
He moved his head cautiously and opened his left eye. Fi was sitting in a chair near the hospital window. She set down the magazine she had been reading and moved closer.
"How are you doing", she asked in a concerned tone? "I've really been worried about you".
She reached out and gently touched his arm. He pulled it away. Fi was the last person he wanted to see right now.
"I don't know", he mumbled. "I just woke up".
He looked around the room for the first time. There were flowers and get well cards. The room felt hot and made his skin itch.
"Is my uncle here"? He asked in a more friendly tone and tried to smile but winced instead.
"Oh", her hand involuntarily leapt to her mouth. "Are you alright"? She rose out of the chair and came toward the bed with her arms out to enfold him in a hug.
He roughly pushed her away, feeling a pang in his chest and a burning in his eyes.
"I'm fine", he said bitterly. "I just want to be left alone, ok"?
There was a hurt and wounded look in her eyes and the beginning of tears.
"Can I come back later then", She pleaded? "I'm really sorry about what happened. I came yesterday but you were in surgery and then sleeping. Maybe I can come over to your Uncle's and we can talk". She smiled bravely.
"Uncle Harry doesn't like visitors", he lied weakly. "Maybe we can get together back at school after Christmas break. How does that sound"?
"Sure, back at school", she said softly and reached for her purse. Tobal didn't see the tears in her eyes or hear the break in her voice as she turned away. "Take care of yourself Tobal".
He watched as she left the room. All he knew was that he wanted to be left alone. It never occurred to him how rude he was being until much later and then it was too late. He never saw Fiona again. He never even said goodbye.