Carefully, Sam picked up Lily's pale, white hand.

"I miss you," he said.

Ella woke with a start, staring at the voice. The lights were dimmed, but she could only make out the outline of a strongly built male. "Damien?"

"Who, me?" asked Sam. "No, he's sleeping next to you. I'm Sam. Remember, I said I'd come later tonight?"

"Oh, Sam. How'd the night-shift go at the cemetery?" asked Ella, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"Oh, boring as ever. I had to shovel the past three hours."


"Yeah, it started snowing."

"In the middle of October? How cold is it outside?"

"Oh, boss said mid teens, not too bad."

"What about marching band?" asked Ella, frantic.

"What about Lily?" he asked bluntly.

"Oh, yes, Lily," she said, and lay back down, pulling the blankets around her chin. "I though it was all a dream."

He smiled grimly, saying, "Oh, so do I, so do I."

"Voices?" murmured Damien. "Who's there?"

"It's me, buddy," said Sam, "And Ella."

"What about Lily?" he asked.

Sam grimaced, "Do you want the good news or bad news first?"

This woke Damien up in an instant. "There's news?"

"Oh, the bad news first!" said Ella, tears in her eyes. "Save the best for last, as Lily always said."

"Lily," he started. "Lily," he tried again. "Lily might not be able to walk again!"

Ella sniffed, "And the good news?"

Sam smiled weakly. "There's no bleeding in the brain."

"It took them this long to figure that out?" asked Damien.

Sam bowed his head. "I always hated to be the bearer of bad news."

"Oh, Lily's going to be devastated! No more dance, let alone no more marching!"

"Are you sure you're not the one who's devastated at those facts?"

"Oh, sure, I am! But… but Lily… Oh, Lily's going to be worse than I! She's the one that loved to dance and marching, oh, never get her started on the topic! She'll go on for hours!"

"I thought she wanted to be drum major?" Damien stated.

"Oh, she changed her mind when she thought about it. The drum major's never really get to march, she'd say, I don't want to do it anymore." Ella paused. "Will she be able to move her legs?"

"Most of them."

"What do you mean, most of them?" asked Damien.

"What's wrong with this picture?" asked Sam, framing Lily's lower body with his fingers.

"One- one leg's shorter than the other!" Ella all but screamed a few minutes later. She pulled back the covers and nearly gagged. Lily's right leg was amputated just below the knee. "What about her left one? Why's it not in a cast?"

"It," said a voice at the door, "is not in a cast because it was one of the only things not broken. Pleased to meet you all, I'm Dr. Jenkins. And you are obviously Gabriella."

"Damien," he said, and stuck out his hand. Sam followed in a similar fashion.

"A blood vessel was torn in two, that's why there's bruising. Her left leg should come out of this, if we did everything correctly."

"Everything correctly?"

"Reattaching a blood vessel is not as easy as tying it back together, Lord no. We were lucky we managed."

"But, why won't she be able to walk?"

Dr. Jenkins smiled sadly. "Learning to walk again is a feat in itself, let alone learning to walk without half of ones leg!"

Ella sighed. "She'll overcome it. She's multi-legged."


"She can tap with both feet at the same time, or one 'on' the beat and one on the 'and' beats."

"Is that all you think about, band?" asked Damien. He was the only one of the four not in a band.

Ella batted Damien's hand off her shoulder and Sam replied, "That's mostly what Lily does best, band and dance, that is. She'll be devastated, to use Ella's exact words. Extremely devastated that she might not be able to walk, let alone dance and tap in band."

"I mean, how important can keeping time be?"

Ella and Sam wore gob smacked expressions. "It's one of the most important things. Only being able to play the music, read the music, being able to breath and knowing other's parts even come close!" they said together.