Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I woke up to find myself in hospital—not again. I had an oxygen mask on and something on my finger—by which they measure oxygen content of the blood, clever these doctors.
“Ah, you’re awake?” said a semi-familiar voice.
“How are the girls?” I asked.
“Typical Cathy, eh? In muck up to your eyeballs and you ask how the others are. Well, Lady C, they are fine. Simon took them home hours ago.”
“What time is it, Ken?”
“Two in the morning.”
“She’s not so well.”
“What d’you mean?”
“Well she had a bigger dose than the rest of you.”
“She’s recovering but it’s going to be slow.”
“Is she going to be alright?”
“Um—that kind of depends.”
“On if brain damage occurred through the monoxide poisoning.”
“That poor woman, she’s had so much to put up with, from terrorists to post natal depression to my cooking.”
“Your cooking? I’d heard it was quite good.”
“Ah, that would be telling.”
“Yes, I want you to be telling, telling me who’s casting nasturtiums about me.”
“You’re quite something, aren’t you? Half poisoned and you’re cracking jokes.”
“Yeah, but the ones I tell when I’m fully poisoned are dead boring.”
“I see. Just rest, I’m off to check your sister.”
“Thanks, Ken, oh and she’s my sister in law—no one family could have two loonies like us in it.”
He chuckled and walked off shaking his head.
After I collared a young nurse for a cuppa, I did eventually fall asleep, waking up to discover the mask had gone and I was breathing by myself. I needed a pee and got off the bed to look for the loo. On the way back I got pounced on by a nurse who played hell with me. I threatened to discharge myself there and then except it was six o’clock on a Sunday morning, mind you I could walk home by seven and get the others up for breakfast—except, Simon had my keys.
I sat about waiting for it to be late enough to go home without waking all the others to get in. I asked if I could visit Stella, and the nurse said no, then rang the ward and asked if I could. They said yes—she was in ICU again. Perhaps we should endow a bed here, we use one quite regularly.
I wandered over to ICU and found Stella linked up to all these machines. I went and sat by her and held her hand and talked to her for a while. However, I must have fallen asleep because I was sitting there and Billie was standing in front of me.
“Hello, darling,” I wanted to hug her but she didn’t actually come close enough for me to do so.
“Hi, Mummy, I came to say I love you, and that we’ll take good care of Gareth for you.”
“I love you too, darling.”
“Auntie Stella will get better, but it will take some time. Gotta go, bye,” she waved and disappeared.
“Billie? Billie where are you?” I woke myself up calling after her.
“What’s the matter, Lady Cameron?”
“Did a nine year old girl come past you?”
“No, children aren’t allowed in here and at this time of the morning—be sensible.”
“But I saw her as large as life.”
“Billie, my daughter.”
“You must have dreamt it.”
“But I saw her.”
“How old is she?”
“She was ten when she died.”
“Died? How could you see her then? I think you must have dreamt it—probably the after effects of the gas.”
“Yes, I must have,” I wanted to burst into tears. I’d have loved to see her, and what was that about Gareth? She’d look after him? I must have dreamt it, unless she was going to watch over him until Stella was better.
Stella came to and smiled at me then went off again. I went back to my own ward to have a bite of breakfast and the sister told me Simon would be in at nine to collect me.
At eight a junior doctor came to assess me prior to discharge. “How are you, Lady Cameron?”
“Okay, how are you—you look awfully tired.”
“Me? I’ve just got up,” he said in total astonishment. “I’ve just got to ask you a few questions to make sure you’re okay, if that’s alright?”
“Yes of course.”
“What’s your full name?”
“Lady Catherine Cameron of Pitlochry.”
“Wow, a genuine aristocrat.”
“No, I’m fake, my name’s Aubretia Rose Pettigrew.”
He gave me a funny look then continued. “What’s your date of birth?”
“Well, that would depend upon which of me you ask—I’m really only four and half years old.”
“Very funny—who’s the reigning monarch?”
“We’ve just had her diamond jubilee, haven’t we?”
“You do want to get home today not end up in a psychiatric ward?”
“Don’t send me to bedlam, please, I’ll do anything.” I touched his leg and he fled the ward. I couldn’t do anything for laughing. I just lay on the bed and convulsed, tears running down my face.
“What have you done to Alexander?” demanded the nurse, which brought on another fit of giggles. When I calmed down, I told her and she shook her head.
“That was rotten of you—mind you it couldn’t happen to a nicer person,” she chuckled and left.
I dressed myself ready and went off to see Stella again, asking the nurse to send Si up to me when he came to collect me.
She was awake and drinking a cup of tea with difficulty. The nurse held me back, “She’s got to learn to do things like this again.”
“I thought you said she’d be okay?”
“No, I didn’t because she’s got a long way to go yet—the poisoning may have damaged her brain—we’ve got a scan organised for later. This could take some time for her to recover.”
“That’s what Billie said.”
“Your dead daughter?”
The nurse shook her head and walked off. I went to see Stella who’d now finished her cuppa. We chatted and a few minutes later she was fast asleep again—obviously my conversation isn’t what it was.
Then Simon arrived and kissed me then Stella, she woke with a start, “Oh, I thought it was Des,” she said and went back to sleep.
We said goodbye to her and left. “What was that about?” I asked.
“Well, when I said Gareth will be in later, you tried to shut me up.”
“He won’t be in later.”
“How d’you know?”
“Dead lucky, the gas didn’t affect him, is that what you were going to say?”
“No, he’s dead.”
“Stop pissing about, Si. It’s been a long night and I just want to get home.”
“I’m not, babes, he was killed trying to fix the gas boiler—there was an explosion...”
“You’re joking? You’re not joking are you?”
“No, babes, even I wouldn’t joke about that.”
“What’s Stella going to say?”
“I don’t know, we don’t even know when we can tell her.”
“Billie was right.”
“Billie? What our Billie?” he looked puzzled.
“I had a dream sitting with Stella, Billie came to me and said she was looking after Gareth. I assumed it meant she was keeping an eye on them, or it was just my imagination working overtime.”
“Billie told you?”
“Yes, it was her alright, she told me she loved us.”
“But she’s dead, babes—she’s dead.”
“And so is poor Gareth.” I stopped walking and fainted, Simon just caught me in time.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.