I couldn’t believe that I was actually standing in Cat’s kitchen enjoying coffee and conversation with her Dad. We got all into talking about the latest PGA Tour and who may make it to the Olympics since next year was an election year. Out of the corner of my eye, I’d seen Cat sneak her way back upstairs with relief.
Several minutes later Dillion walked into the kitchen. He reached for the coffee and poured himself a cup.
“You’re up early. And your dressed,” Mr. Fischer said with a note of surprise to his voice. “What brought this on?”
Dillion took a long, slow, sip of his coffee before answering, “No reason.”
“You certain it doesn’t have anything to do with what happened on the beach last night?” Mr. Fischer gave Dillion a piercing gaze, almost as if he was daring Dillion to lie to him.
Dillion surprised me, as he showed no emotion. “Not sure what you mean?” he countered.
Mr. Fischer’s nostrils flared. “You know damn right well what I mean, Dillion. And I hope you plan to stay away from that situation, FAR away.”
Dillion leaned against the kitchen counter. He looked exhausted. I felt horrible, as I knew I was partially to blame. “It’s my life, Dad. How I choose to live it isn’t up to you anymore.”
Mr. Fischer slammed his cup down on the counter, the coffee splashing out of it onto his hand. I know it was hot but he didn’t even flinch. “Damn it, Dillion! Do you think your Mother and I want to see you go down that road again? Haven’t you put us through enough? You’re here with us now. You’ve got a stable job. You’ve made a life for yourself and what about Brittany?”
“What about her?” Dillion asked, still somehow the picture of cool. The more detached he seemed the more it infuriated his Father. If I didn’t know better I would say his actions were intentional.
“You really going to throw that girl aside for that… that…”
Suddenly Dillion’s nonchalance disappeared. He put his cup down, stood up straight and his look became so dangerous it would cause any grown man to cower. Any grown man that is but his father. “Don’t... finish... that sentence,” Dillion warned.
“Fine!” his father conceded. “But I’m warning you, Son. You go down this path again with her and we are through with you. You understand me? There will be no taking you back this time. I won’t have you breaking your mother’s heart like that again, never again.”
Dillion picked up his coffee and took another long sip. I think honestly he needed to keep his hands busy because he looked like he wanted to throttle his dad. “Noted,” is all that he said in response.
“I’m going to see if your mother is awake,” Mr. Fischer announced, obviously wanting an excuse to leave the room, without just storming out.
The moment Mr. Fischer went up the stairs. Dillion turned on me. “Why did you tell him?”
Slowing his speech down like he was talking to a child, he reiterated, “Why would you tell him about Olivia, Alex?”
I didn’t like being under scrutiny. “I didn’t mean to tell him. It just came out when we were talking this morning. He came to my room to ask me to go to the club with him and well… Cat was there, hiding behind the bar, I was nervous and I screwed up, okay?”
Dillion drained his cup and put it in the sink. “Next time, stick to screwing up your own life and stay out of mine.”
Dillion turned to see Cat coming into the kitchen. She didn’t appear to have overheard what he said to me. Dillion walked over and kissed her cheek. “Ready whenever you are, sis.”
“Wow! Up, dressed and ready to go this early in the morning. I’m impressed.”
“Anything for you, Tiger.”
“Just let me grab a quick bite to eat and we can get on the road.”
“Sounds good. I’ll be up in my room if you need me.”
“Okay.” Cat waved him off as he went up the stairs, turned and her smile faltered and her brows crease.
“What’s the matter? You look upset.”
I try to shake off what Dillion said. I made my best meh face and said, “I’m good. Just thinking. You want me to make you an omelet before we go?”
Her smile returned. “That would be lovely.” And I get to work.
The trip to the hospital was awkwardly silent. All of us in our own minds - Cat, obviously worried about Olivia, Dillion too. I’m still wondering how to fix things with Dillion even though I’m still pissed off by what he said. He wasn’t exactly wrong for saying it. I should have been more careful. I know the whole situation, so I can’t claim ignorance of it.
Cat stops briefly at the nurse's station to find out what room Olivia is in. She has the flowers and a balloon in hand that she picked up at the hospital gift shop. Dillion picked out a stuffed cat.
We show up at her door and Cat knocks. “Olivia? Can I come in?”
“Sure!” was the eager reply. Olivia was sitting up in bed and looked worlds better than the way we left her. Doug wasn’t around so she was on her own. Dillion, I noticed hung back a little, probably knowing his presence there wasn’t really welcome.
“Oh, they’re beautiful!” Olivia gushed when she’d seen the flowers. Cat put them on her bedside bureau. “Thank you!”
Cat took one look at her best friend and burst into tears. “Oh, Cat.” Olivia filled up too and reached her arms out for a hug. Cat didn’t hesitate, “I’m sorry to be such a big baby,” Cat said as she hugged her. “But the thought of losing you…” Cat cried a little harder and Olivia gently consoled her but that’s when her eyes met Dillion’s.
“We are all glad to know you’re doing okay,” he said. “You are okay? Right?”
Olivia just nodded her head yes. Her eyes drifted to the cat in his hands and he placed it on the bed by her feet.
Cat finally pulled away and stood up. “I’m so, sorry,” she said grabbing some tissues and dabbing at her eyes. “This pregnancy makes me more emotional and it’s harder to stop crying once I get started. I swore I would hold it together but I was just so happy to see you sitting up and looking so well.” She choked back a sob and I put my arm around her. She looked up at me with a grateful smile.