Brandon stepped back. He caught his breath. “Now, Tom, I need you to leave. Go see your niece and then leave. Please.”
Tom looked crushed. “Brandon... I’m sorry.”
Brandon shook his head. “This has nothing to do with what happened. Caitlyn came here to be by your side. It’s where she wanted to be. It’s where she needed to be. Trust me, even if I had been home, I never would have tried to stop her from coming to you. I couldn’t have anyway. We don’t blame you for anything.”
“Then why can’t I stay?” He was choked up.
Brandon clenched his jaw and finally broke down. “Her chances are much better but... they still can’t be sure.” He held on to Tom. He spoke between his tears. “If you stay, it will be like we’re waiting for something to go wrong. It’ll be like we’re waiting to say goodbye.” He had to compose himself. “If you go, then I can believe everything will be okay.” He had to take a moment before he could continue. “And if something were to go wrong... We can’t make it easy for her to let go.”
Tom looked lost. He couldn’t argue with Brandon. He understood. Alli took a business card from her purse and handed it to Brandon. She put her hand on Tom’s arm. “We’ll be just a few minutes away. Here’s my phone number.”
Brandon pocketed the card and nodded. “Thank you.”
“Can I come back in the morning? Please?” Tom felt like a child asking for permission.
Brandon nodded. “Yes. She’ll be asking for you.” They hugged again. “Please come back tomorrow.”
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