Allison and Nathaniel have been together for a while now. She's told me a lot of funny stories about them getting caught making out in public--only one charge with indecent exposure, but you know when you're drinking, those are pretty good stats. All in good fun, all in good fun.
But Nathaniel drank so much last week, that when he tried to stand up, he stumbled onto some rocks and fell straight into the Grand River. Yes, kind of funny, would have been funny, but he had to go to the Emergency Room, and they ended up putting a plate in his ankle. They told him that if he tries to stand or walk on his ankle with this plate in it, he will sever vital nerves and muscle tissue, and his leg will have to be amputated. But when you have straight Medicaid and that's it, they don't give you much choice but to walk--they also sometimes forget to serve your meals or ask you if you're in pain. They pretend like you're not going through alcohol withdrawls, and when the DT's get really bad, they don't come around very much.
Allison goes to be with him everyday, and though it bothers her to see him going through the withdrawls, but she understands, because she's 2 1/3 days sober, too. Allison found out she was pregnant two and 1/3 days ago at the pregnancy resource center. She'd 45, but she's going to make sure this baby is okay, even if she doesn't know where it will live when it's born. Nathaniel says he'll marry her, that he'd do anything for her, but there's a lot that he can't do. She has the list--where you start calling when you're homeless expecting a child. It's a thick and tangled system, but after a good cry in the office, she feels more ready for it (If she drinks in the company of her old friends, she know they'll just offer her a drink, and she'll take it. She doesn't want to drink.)
And then, everything was okay, even though Nathaniel was still in the hospital and Allison was coming to terms with her pregnancy, but then someone stole her backpack (translation: someone stole her ID, all the clothing she owned, her shoes, the few letters and scripture passages she had collected).
That was too much.
But that was something I could change.
This morning, Allison took a shower, and armed with a new backpack, pair of shoes, pair of socks, t-shirts and personal hygiene products, walked back to Nathaniel's room to tell him that she was okay.