Smoke

Twenty - One

She shuffled slowly through the halls down to her physio therapy, Kevin stood behind her, hands on her hips, he gently encouraged her,

“You’re doing so well love! I’m so proud of you!” they laughed together “Cor come on love, get a move on some of us have got appointments to get to!”

“Oh sod off Kev!”

She laughed stopping to rest for a second, she turned to lean on Kevin, her legs throbbing and itching as she took each step,

“Come on Dolly! You’re so close!”

He gently encouraged, His stomach dropped as he looked at her teary face,

“It’s hurting” She whispered, “the skin is all tight”

“Right” he sighed scooping her in to his arms “Let’s get this done!”

She smiled at him as his kissed her temple.

“Few more appointments like that Mrs Medhurst and you’ll be well on your way to discharge!”

She gasped throwing her arms around Kevin,

“I can’t bloody wait to get home!”

“I bet” the nurse grinned “We’ll get those bandages off this afternoon, so you can have a proper shower now you’re steadier on your legs, I’ll even turn a blind eye to your Kevin helping you”

She winked making them both laugh.

She winced as the nurse, removed the bandages, winding them around her gloved hand as she went, the fresh air made her skin tingle, Kevin watched, one hand in hers the other covering his mouth, he watched his stomach turning as the bandages slipped away revealing, angry red wounds, the staples holding he surgical wounds together just barely in the skin, he chewed his lip glancing at Scarlett’s face trying to gage a reaction.

She stared emotionless and gripped Kevin’s thumb like a child,

“We will need to take you to x-ray at some point today just to check everything is settling properly, we think your pelvis has virtually healed and now the stitches are gone your head looks a million times better! I am just a little bit concerned about” she paused
Kevin’s ears pricked up

“About what?”

The nurse looked at him reassuringly

“I’m sure it’s nothing but I’m just going to speak to the doctor”

Scarlett smiled uncertainly, she lay back down slowly, pulling the blankets up to her chin, she throbbed,

“You alright love?”

Kev asked stroking her hand, she nodded closing her eyes, ignoring the nausea and dizziness that crashed through her.

“Mummy”

The little voice woke her, she glanced to the seat next to her,

“Hello Boo” She smiled weakly, her head pounding with pain, she held her hand out taking her daughters “Have you been good?” The child nodded “Mummy be home soon; do you want to go for a walk?”

Kevin smiled moving Bayleigh from his lap and passing Scarlett her dressing gown. They moved slowly through the hospital grounds, her head spinning,

“Are you sure you’re up for this Scar? You don’t look well”

She stopped and looked at Kevin, her eyes glazed pain smashing through her insides, she made a desperate grab for her husband as her legs buckled beneath her, she crashed to the floor, her daughters cries fading a she slipped in to a haze.

He wrapped his arm around his mother in laws shoulder as she sobbed, they watched from the other side of the glass, his wife’s body a labyrinth of yet more tubes and wires, guilt racked him as he thought about Ruby’s terrified cries, he swept her in to his arms as quickly as he could, shouting for a doctors attention as his wife lay crumpled at his feet.

The ventilator hissed loudly pulling him back to reality, a doctor approached them,

“Mrs Drummond? And Mr Medhurst I believe?”

“Yeah what’s wrong with her?”

Kevin demanded,

“We believe it’s septicaemia, thankfully it’s been caught in the early stages so shouldn’t be too difficult to treat, we’ve managed to stabilise her for now but she’s not totally out of the woods yet, she’ll need a lot of antibiotics which of course means a longer admission”

He took his station once more at her bedside, he hadn’t felt so guilty leaving her there when she was better, when she was walking and laughing, but now, he couldn’t face her doing it alone, he went cold at the thought of her laying alone and untouched in a silent hospital side room, he tried to spend a night at home, only to wake in cold sweats plagued by nightmares, that moment replaying in his brain, the noise rattling him all over again, like a horror film stuck on repeat.

He tried to stay strong for Bayleigh, having the little mite with him as often as possible, he had lost count of how many pizza picnics they had on their living room floor with her teddies, he lost count of the amount of nights he sat on the sofa cradling the trembling toddler, still shaken from seeing her mum so ill.