Jonathan Butler received a horrible call one night and was informed that his daughter, Maria, was hurt in an accident in New York. He drove to the hospital quickly and discovered someone tending to her, making him regret many things he had done in the past.
"I'm on my way," Jonathan said before hanging up the phone and rushing to his keys on the bowl next to the front door. He was out of there as quickly as he could. His palms were moist with sweat, and his heart was pounding like a drum in his chest, but he had to keep calm. He still had to drive over two hours from Philadelphia to New York where his daughter, Maria, was studying law.
The drive was going to be long, nerve-wracking, and intense because he had just received a call from New York-Presbyterian Hospital that Maria had been in a car accident and was in surgery.
Jonathan drove as quickly as he could to reach New York and check on his daughter. | Source: Pexels
Jonathan couldn't believe it. He had pushed her to study in the city because she had so much talent, and he wanted her to become the best lawyer in the business. Of course, she didn't need to be because Jonathan was a self-made millionaire.
"What are you doing here? Where's Edward? Was he with her? Were you with her?"
He started with nothing, in a family that barely had food when he and his siblings were young. But he made something of himself, and the rest of his family was set for life. Once his business settled, he married Maria's mother, Anna, and their daughter was the light of their lives.
However, when Anna died seven years ago, Jonathan wanted his daughter to have a solid career and become her own person without his influence. Maria was entirely on board with that, except for one aspect, but Jonathan didn't want to think about it during his drive.
Eventually, he convinced her to go to New York after graduating with honors from a university in Philadelphia, where she majored in pre-law. But now, she was almost done with her law degree, and offers would probably rain down on her. He was the proudest father in the entire world.
Jonathan convinced Maria to get together with Edward and go to New York for her law degree. | Source: Pexels
Moreover, Maria was with someone he approved of. Years ago, he convinced her to date his business partner's son, Edward. He was a lovely young man who was also on his way to becoming a lawyer. Maria was initially reluctant to date him for many reasons, but Jonathan did everything he could to convince her, even a few things that Maria did not appreciate. But eventually, she saw reason and left with Edward for New York.
As far as Jonathan knew, they were still together and would probably get married soon. Being a grandfather was another one of his dreams, and he couldn't wait. However, his whole world turned dark with that phone call, and he needed to be with his baby to ensure she was alright.
He tried to use the car's Bluetooth to call Edward, but it went to voicemail every time. "Maybe he was hurt with her. Should I call his father?" he asked himself as he drove, trying to be quick but keeping a safe speed because the road was dark. All that mattered was getting to the hospital and seeing Maria out of surgery and getting better. His baby was all that mattered.
The sound of machines and the smell of solid disinfectant hit his nose as he ran through the hospital halls. He rushed through the emergency room, where the nurses were busy with charts, phones, and other tasks. But he still got someone's attention and asked for information about Maria Butler.
Jonathan reached the hospital, asked around for Maria, and was sent to the third floor waiting room. | Source: Unsplash
"Ok, sir. She's on the third floor and still in surgery. You can wait for her in the waiting room there," the kind nurse advised, and he nodded with all the gratitude he could muster.
He rushed to the third floor and confirmed with the receptionist in that area that Maria was still in surgery, so he went to the waiting room. He saw a man sitting there, leaning with his elbows on his knees, his face red and worried. He knew that man.
"Robert?" he asked as soon as he recognized who he was.
Robert looked up, stood, and his hand went to his mouth. "Mr. Butler, you're here. The doctors have not come out with any information," he started, but Jonathan cut him off.
"What are you doing here? Where's Edward? Was he with her? Were you with her?"
"I have no idea where Edward is, but I wasn’t with her either. The hospital called me, and luckily I was in the city applying for some jobs. I think she was alone during the accident," Robert continued, his voice breathless from worry.
Robert explained that they called him too because he was also Maria's emergency contact. | Source: Pexels
"Why would they call you too?"
"I think Maria added me as her emergency contact when we got engaged, but maybe she never changed it back when we broke up," the younger man explained, shaking his head and plopping back down.
"Ok, well. Hmm… I guess we can wait." Jonathan sat down, and the next few days made him realize how wrong he had been in the past.
When Maria got out of surgery, the doctors said she would be alright but needed tons of sleep to recover. Both men stayed with her for days, and Jonathan was especially surprised that Robert never left Maria's side.
Years ago, Robert and Maria dated. She was a sophomore, and he was finishing an art degree. Jonathan disapproved of Robert, and he was even more convinced when Maria revealed that Robert's father was a janitor at the university.
Jonathan didn't want his daughter with the son of a janitor, especially not one who planned to be an artist. That would never work, not for his baby girl. She needed someone brilliant and ambitious who would be able to support her no matter what. An artist wouldn't be able to do that. So when they got engaged, the millionaire knew he had to do something drastic.
Those days at the hospital changed everything for Jonathan. | Source: Unsplash
Jonathan drove them apart. He arranged for Robert to appear at a dinner, where it seemed like Edward and Maria were on a date. He had planned the entire thing with his business partner.
When Robert tried to get the truth from Maria, Jonathan had a serious talk with him, and after only a few minutes, the young artist was convinced that Edward was better for Maria.
Maria was initially distraught, but Jonathan convinced her that it was for the best because they were both going in different directions in life. Eventually, she started dating Edward, and they moved together to New York for their law degree.
However, at least for Jonathan, those days at the hospital changed everything. He saw the way Robert tended to Maria. He brought her flowers daily, and she was so happy to have him around. She was radiant, and the doctors were even impressed with her quick recovery.
Most importantly, Edward never showed up, and when Jonathan asked Maria about him, she just shrugged. Robert had left to get them food, but he would be back soon.
"I don't really care where he is. Robert is here, and that's all that matters," she responded calmly.
Jonathan admitted he was wrong about pushing Robert away. | Source: Unsplash
Realizing how wrong he was, Jonathan decided to tell his daughter the truth, that he was the only reason Robert broke up with her back then. But Maria surprised him again. "I know. I let it go because I thought you might be right. But can you see what I see now?" she asked her father with a defiant look in her eyes.
Jonathan smiled at his daughter. "I get it. I regret what I did now. Please forgive me. I'll apologize to Robert too."
"Good," she said and opened her arms, offering him a hug. He took her offer only too gladly.
Jonathan's attitude toward Robert changed utterly, and he never got involved in Maria's choices again.
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