Aunt Lea reveals everything.

23 03 2019

If you don’t mind, I’d like to skip ahead, just for a while.
Aunt Lea never lied to Mum, for she understood that she would have to reveal secrets to my Mother, which would be difficult to believe.

When she got a phonecall from my distressed Mother when I was fourteen, she made the trip down to our place and explained everything as gently as she could. 
At first my Mother had thought Aunt Lea had gone off her scone, yet upon reflection, all the hints that something was occuring, fell into place.
I had been at high school, and had had what I’d considered to be something of a normal day, when sometime after lunch, while sitting in class, I got what I thought was the worst cramp in my arm that I’d ever had, then I had another in the leg.
I fell to the floor writhing in pain.
Our English teacher came to my aid and tried to help.
The boys thought I’d thrown on an act, not that I ever had, but then someone gasped and said something about my leg. Apparently the muscle was going through some almost unnatural gymnastics. I heard that one of the girls fainted, but whether it was true, I don’t recall.
Just when I thought it was stopping, my right arm decided to join in.
Around this time I blacked out, and when I came to, I had a mask on and a couple of ambos were staring down at me.
By this time I was no longer in any pain as they’d given me something to calm it down.
The class was deathly silent, I was rolled onto a stretcher and taken on a ride to hospital. Somehow they’d managed to take me to the right hospital, the one where Mum worked as a Pediatric Nurse. She was beside me when I woke up in hospital. The Doctors gave me a once over, but nothing seemed out of place. 

Mum’s stoic expression was betrayed only by her shaking hand.
“Are you alright?” Her eyes searching for an answer in mine.
“I’m not sure” I said, mostly concerned with finding myself in hospital. “What happened?”
“The doctor thinks that you may have had a seizure” she whispered to me “but we don’t know yet”.
“What’s wrong?” Said my Dad who’d just walked in, out of breath, as though he’d run all the way here.
His face was covered in sweat, he hovered over me, examining me as Mum had “You alright mate?”.
“Yeah I’m fine, how are you?” 
Mum left the room and walked to a waiting room where she took a seat, and allowed herself to be a Mother, all the emotions she’d stifled floated gently to the surface. 
Dad kissed me on the forehead and left the room to find Mum.
The clock said 3:30pm, How long had I been out? 

I noticed that I still had my grey school shirt on, but someone had undone the buttons. As I did them up, I wondered why they didn’t just cut my shirt off entirely, I hated my school uniform.

In the corridor I saw doctors and nurses rushing past, cleaners with buckets and mops, and staff pushing trolleys and x-ray machines. Now and then there was an anxious visitor looking for a patient who’d pop their head in.

I was in a room all by myself, though another bed laid vacant near the window. The TV was off, and I couldn’t get it to work via the control next to my bed, but the radio worked, so that was something.

My fingers didn’t work properly, they felt stiff.

A short while later I got a visit from My Sister, who had been at Uni, when Mum phoned her to tell her the news, She had told Mum that she’d visit me in hospital once classes were over. Apparently Mum had taken today fairly hard, another nurse offered to take her shift but she’d refused thinking that if she kept working, the floodgates would remain closed.

Jan seemed satisfied that I was out of any danger, gave me a peck on the forehead and left.

Minutes later a food trolley appeared, steered effortlessly into my room by a charming and attractive French Woman. She offered chicken sandwiches and an orange juice, or rather bad, but hot, hospital tucker.

I had almost finished when the doctor came to see me, he told me that he’d like me to stay for observation though nothing had been found to cause the ordeal. He asked me if I’d come into contact with anything odd, possibly in science class?

But I had not.

I wanted to go home, and as Mum was a nurse, he felt it’d be ok.

So about twenty minutes later, Mum and Dad appeared.

Although the hospital was close, it had taken Dad more than ten minutes to find a parking spot, he was still grumbling about it.

I had to be helped out of bed, and into a wheelchair. I didn’t think I’d feel so bad to be honest, but my knees wouldn’t bend and I still had a sore muscle down the leg which had cramped, though my arm was just a bit stiff.

Mum wrapped a dressing gown around me and off we went down the corridor, out of the hospital doors and into the cold night.

I think we had the Commodore back then, it was a beige car.
Once home, I found my bedroom was spotless, whenever Mum is worried about something, she cleans, cooks or both. My bed was immaculate, sheets and blankets tucked in to perfection. My old Platypus reclined on the doona.

Laddie, my Shepherd cross, wanted to jump all over me, but sensed something was wrong, and restrained his enthusiasm. I received a rub around the legs and a lick.

When Dad called him for a walk, he bounded off happily.

I wondered what had gone on between Mum and Dad.

Dad tended to be the quiet one, he’d listen to Mum and whatever she decided was usually considered to be the final word. Dad needed decisions made for him, he tended to feel troubled and procrastinated if left to his own devices.

I hope I’m not painting Mum as some sort of dictator either, She often used Dad as a sounding board.

I had the feeling that my Dad needed some time to think on his own.

After a hot shower I felt much better, I had regained more movement, and getting into my pyjamas was relatively easy.

I sat at our round kitchen table and was presented with Mum’s home made soup, vegetable with a lamb shank in it, which Laddie would get, though My Dad would feel like crying over not getting it himself, not that he wasn’t fed well.

I poured some Worcestershire sauce into it, and found it hot and good.

Mum sat down to her own bowl of soup and said “I rang Aunt Lea earlier, She said she’s coming straight down.”

I thought of all the strange things I’d seen at her place, things I hadn’t mentioned to Mum. I’d been scared that if I did, then Mum may have dumped her, and I wouldn’t have seen her again. 

Maybe I’d finally get to know.