“I’m so sorry,” I said as I held on to Cat for the lifeline she was. “I’m so glad you came. I shouldn’t have been short with you before I left. I should have called but I’ve been out of my mind with worry.”
Cat pulled away and wore a thin smile that didn’t quite meet her eyes. She was still mad at me. I don’t blame her. She doesn’t deserve me to talk to her the way that I had.
“What’s wrong? What's happened?” she asked.
I let a long slow sigh. “Tina has fluid on the brain. They had done an immediate procedure. They drilled hole to allow the fluid to escape and hopefully be absorbed.”
Cat looked stunned as I explained all of this. “Is she okay? Is she going to recover?”
“They believe so, but she was unconscious when we left the house and has remained so. All her vital signs are good. They are hoping as the pressure is relieved that she’ll regain consciousness but there is no way for them to assess if the procedure was successful until they can talk to her.”
“Successful? You mean there can be further problems?”
“Possible but it’s a waiting game right now.”
“She’s come to mean a great deal to you, hasn’t she?” Cat asked, and I couldn’t help but wonder why.
“Yes, but there’s a reason for it,” I informed her.
Cat’s eyes filled up with tears and I didn’t understand her reaction. “Whoa, what’s going on? Why are you so upset?”
“I know we broke up. It was my fault for not staying to hear you out, I just didn’t expect you to too… Do you love her?”
Like a flickering bulb part of what she was saying connected and the rest left me in the dark. “Do I love her? I barely know her.”
“But you said she’s come to mean a great deal to you.”
“Yes, but that’s because…”
I heard Tina’s voice she sounded horse from not talking for so long. “Tina?” I rushed to her side and hugged her. I’m so relieved to see her eyes open. “Hey!,” I said softly taking her hand in mine. “You really delight in torturing me, don’t you?”
Tina laughed then coughed. “I’m guessing I never made it back out of the bathroom?”
I pressed my lips together and shook my head no.
“Did I at least pull my pants up before I passed out?”
I laughed and nodded yes. “You even managed to wash your hands,” I teased.
“Well thank heavens for that,” Tina said, “Did I hit my head again because it feels like I took a sledgehammer to it?”
I glance up at Cat who still looked unsettled and frowned.
“You fell in the bathroom and wouldn’t wake back up. An ambulance brought you here and they had to operate. You have fluid on the brain.”
“What? I…” Tina looked panicked but I put my hand on her shoulder to calm her.
“They’ve already taken care of it. You’ll need to recover but they did a procedure and it obviously helped. You’re awake. How do feel?”
“Besides feeling like I was hit by a semi? Okay, I guess.” Tina seemed to be doing an assessment of herself and her eyes looked at me worried.
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I can’t move my other hand, my arm feels numb.”
“That’s a possible side effect but the good news is, it normally goes away.”
“Normally? When?” Tina didn’t look like she thought this was good news at all.
“I don’t know. You want me to see if I can track down a doctor?”
Tina just nodded and I didn’t like the frightened look in her eye. As I passed Cat, I still couldn’t figure out what was going on or going wrong between us. Cat stood apart from me and Tina like she didn’t wish to intrude which I thought was ridiculous. “Can you do me a favor and keep her company until I get back? This has got to be a lot for her to take in." Cat only nodded and I left to walk down the hall to the nurse's station in the hopes of getting to a doctor who could let us know what happens next.
“Thank you,” Tina said as Cat came closer. “I’m sorry I’ve been so much trouble.” Tina's eyes filled with tears.
Despite all the questions Cat had roaming around in her head, it was obvious to her that Tina was scared right now and needed a friend. “You’re going to be okay,” Cat assured her as she sat on the edge of her bed.
“I can’t feel anything on this side of my body,” Tina said tears escaped her lashes and streaked down her face. “What if it’s permanent? What if I can’t…can’t walk?”
“Shh!” Cat soothed taking Tina’s hand in her own. “Don’t do that. If I’ve learned anything during this pregnancy it’s that you can’t play around with ‘what if’s’. You’ll make yourself insane. Alex will be back, hopefully with the doctor or someone who will be able to answer your questions. Until then, just focus on being grateful that you’re here and alive.”
Tina took a few deep breathes and tried her best to pull herself together, but she felt so overwhelmed. She squeezed Cat’s hand. “You’re what I’m most grateful for. I don’t know what I would have done without you and Alex. I’m so thankful you’ve come into my life.”
“I’m not sure what help I was. I wasn’t even in the house when Alex called for me.”
“Then how did he…?” Tina was about to say ‘get dressed’ but knew that wouldn’t come out right no matter how innocent the scenario was.
“How did he what?” Cat asked as Tina stalled out and didn’t finish her sentence.
“How did he get help so quickly?” Tina finished lamely.
Cat could tell this was not originally what Tina meant to say and she could help but wonder.
“Alex is very resourceful,” Cat informed her.
“I’ve noticed that,” Tina agreed. “Did he get everything done he wanted to today? I feel bad that I’m not around to help him. I really should be helping him.”
“He got a lot done. Things are settled with the funeral home, the church, the bank, he even got his mother’s doctors to agree to allow her to attend the viewing so long as it was kept private.”