I stood still, watching Nadia embrace Dakota as he sat like a frozen statue, stoic and quiet. He wore a mask, blocking out any emotions he must be feeling on the inside as he stared right ahead at the wall in front of him, refusing to acknowledge what had happened.
I, on the other hand, I just didn't know what to do now. Dakota's back, he's alive. That thought was one enough to have me jump in the air and shout in happiness. I had my son back - in a physical sense. But emotionally...I wasn't quite sure. And I dreaded finding out the answer.
"Do you want to rest?" Nadia asked, sounding reluctant as she looked down at her little brother. I knew the feeling; she wanted to have her in his arms, alive, breathing. But he said yes, giving her a stiff nod.
Sniffing, she got up and headed towards the door, shooting him a relieved glance before making her way out. I had an urge to follow her, to just leave Dakota and the words I wanted to say suppressed inside of me but now wasn't the time for my cowardice to be a pathetic excuse of my not being a good father.
I took a few steps forward, heart thudding unevenly against my chest as I got closer to him. Sitting down on the chair by his bedside table, I took a deep and shuddering breath. Dakota didn't even turn to look at me or acknowledge my presence. Instead, he fell back against the bed, turning his back to my side.
It discouraged me a little, knowing his reply would be worse than just ignorance. But I had to know.
"Dakota...I...I know I haven't been a good father as of late, but I really want to change things this time around. I..."
The words clogged up in my throat, coming out sounding artificial and forced. This wasn't going well, at all...
"I love you. And I want you in my life."
It was as simple as that; a blunt and straightforward statement. But Dakota didn't answer. I could hear him breathing in and out and I knew he was awake but he didn't say anything. I waited though...I would wait the rest of my life to know. A few minutes of my time wouldn't matter at all.