Read chapter 24 with greenlydia
I skim through all my emails mostly keeping an eye out for anything from Iris, there are a few and each more frantic than the next. I hate that I made so many people worry and I hope that my email has reached her before she hit total breaking point. I’ve been weepy all morning and thought I hate it but Dr Johansen explained that they hadn’t been giving me my medication while I was out so tears and moods are expected until they kick in, such a joy going through the adjustment period again, so looking forward to the nausea and all that comes with it. Or not. Something catches my eye and I see Michael saunter in look all freshly shaved and showered and utterly delish. I still can’t believe this man wants me, crazy moods, scars and all.
It looks as if he’s brought my entire art room and closet with him and I look between him and the bag trying to figure it out. He sees my confusion and laughs. Why are people always laughing at me, I was once told that I don’t have to say anything because my face says it for me, guess my poker face isn’t as strong as I thought it was, but still. “I wasn’t really sure what you wanted, your note was a little vague so I brought everything I thought you would need” and not it’s my turn to laugh as he blushes because I just realized I made a man go through my underwear drawer and other lady things. He definitely gets brownie points. He sets everything down near the little table that is overflowing with flowers from Mama’s garden and comes to kiss me on the forehead. “How are you feeling?” my hand is still a little heavy so I pick up the pen and paper that’s still laying next to me.
Me: Sore, a whole lot sore actually. And smelly, a whole lot of smelly.
Michael: I can call the nurses to come give you a bath, or you know, I could help.
Me: Yeah, no. You’re not seeing me in my skivvies yet, nice try though but you’ll have to wait until at least the third date for that Mr.
Michael: Can’t blame a man for trying.
Me: You could help me up and get me to a bathroom though?
Michael: I’ll call a nurse.
Me: What, not manly enough to help a lady out of bed?
Michael: No, but they might need to hook your IV up to one of those wheely things.
Oh right, I hadn’t given that one much thought, I was having too much fun teasing Michael and picturing him give me a scrub down. Remind me why I turned that offer down again? Michael goes to find a nurse while I’m having my inner monologue and returns shortly with a pretty young little blonde thing, when did cover models become nurses? I stare pointedly at Michael and he just shrugs his shoulders and puts his hands up in defense, I suppose it’s not his fault she’s gorgeous and I look and smell like I’ve been hit by a bus, oh wait, that’s because I was.
All I’ve got now is a drip in my arm and strict instructions not to try walk or get my casts wet so Michael helps me out of bed and into a wheel chair under strict instruction not to look at my backside, I awkwardly maneuver it till I can reach my bag and grab a clean shirt, some underwear and my giant ‘stay at home on laundry day’ sweat pants, they’re ugly but at least they’ll fit over the cast. I pile everything on my lap including my soap and point out the door like a man on a sled telling his dogs where to go, I may as well have some fun. The bathroom is all the way down the hall and I’m glad Michael is pushing me towards it as trying to do it myself might have been hilarious to watch. We make it to the door and as much as the thought of him joining me in the bath turns me on I instruct him to wait outside for me. The bathroom is almost the size of my room and obviously made for people in wheel chairs as it’s got handles everywhere, it makes sense; it’s a hospital after all. I realize that neither a bath nor a shower is going to be quite possible for me until at least one of the casts come off so I pile everything neatly on the floor, shrug out of my horrible hospital gown, grab my face cloth and get to work on smelling clean again, well as clean as I can smell with the itchy casts on. I hate these things.
All squeaky clean and fresh faced I pull my panties and shirt on, my pants though are proving to be a bit of a tricky one and they have me balancing on my good leg with my cast arm braced on the sink while I stand flailing around trying not to fall, it doesn’t help and I go crashing down catching myself on the wheel chair which decides to be a bitch and goes hurtling into the wall instead leaving me behind on a painful heap on the floor. I must have screamed because the door flies open and there stands Michael looking all worried until he sees the mess I’m in and doubles over laughing while I’m sprawled on the floor in my underwear with my pants around my ankles. I hurumph and sit up slowly, perhaps I should have sat on the floor to do this in the first place, it would have saved me from feeling like my ribs are on fire, I pull my pants up as high as I can then wait for Michael to catch his breath and help me up, he puts my arms around his neck and stands up, pulling my pants up as he goes just like you would with a toddler, I feel stupid and embarrassed.
Finally we’re back in my room and I manage to get into bed without incident, I know that Michael is still trying to hold in a laugh and I’m sure he’s going to combust if he doesn’t get it out soon. Soon as I’m in and “comfortable” he sets all my art stuff as well as the laptop within so that it’s in arms reach.
Me: Thank you for the help.
Michael: My pleasure you stubborn woman!
Me: Don’t you have to be at work?
Michael: Sort of, I took last week off to be here.
Me: Which means you should be there now. Go go, get out. No point in us both getting fired.
Michael: What you mean?
Me: I’m worried that Iris has hired a different illustrator as I wasn’t able to send her the cover page last week.
Michael: Don’t worry love, I’ll talk to her.
He leans in for a kiss, grabs his stuff and waves as he heads out the door. I pull his laptop up and see if there is anything from Iris, I’m really worried that she did end up going to another illustrator but as heartbroken as I’d be I’d completely understand, that’s what you get for being awol for a week. Thankfully there’s a mail waiting for me when I log on.
RE: Hit by a bus.
What the hell Winter?! You better be joking about this. If this is a joke you are sick and twisted. But for that matter, if it’s not a joke, you are probably really sick and some parts must be twisted. Broken leg? Arm? Ribs? Please tell me it’s not your drawing hand. Wait, I don’t care about the stupid duck and stupid cat! All I care about is you being okay. Shit Winter, you have me in tears here!
Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do for you. I am moving the deadline up by a week. Done. No arguing.
I missed you,
I close the laptop and put it aside, it’s amazing how people come into your life and turn it upside down when you least expect it but at the same time you realize it’s because you were the wrong way around to start off with so upside down is actually the right way up. My world was hit by a car and shook around like a snow globe but between what’s happening between Michael and I, the Mateo’s and the friendship that Iris and I have cultivated everything feels okay even when it shouldn’t. I still feel bad for sending Iris into a spin so I pull the wheely table closer and set to work on finishing the cover page.
Michael had remembered to bring my flatbed scanner along so I was able to finish the cover page and get it sent off to Iris for approval and comments yesterday afternoon already. I’m being discharged tomorrow morning and can’t wait to get to my apartment, I haven’t quite figured out the logistics of walking with crutches while having a broken arm as well but I have nurses helping me up and down the passage trying to nail it and I’m sure I will with a little more flailing about and near death experiences; who knew hospital floors are so slippery. I head back to my room with only one near fall this time and call it a victory. Everyone has to work so I’d thought I’ll learn to maneuver about on my own and surprise everyone, plus I am stubbornly independent and don’t want to have to rely on anyone all the time even though I know they’d say I’m not a burden. Just as I get comfortable, well as comfortable as one can get on a hospital bed, Noah walks in carrying manna from heaven, or at least my favourite sandwhich anyway. I was given the go ahead to get solid food in my system and though I probably shouldn’t go straight for bread I am starving and hospital food tastes alright but it’s not Papa’s bread so I’ll deal with whatever the consequences are. Mama even sent some homemade lemonade, oh the Mateo’s are too good to me.
I sit happily munching on my sandwhich while I play around on Michael’s laptop, I’m pretty sure he needs it but it’s so shiny and pretty and fast that I might beat him with my cast and run away with it just so I don’t need to give it back. There’s another mail from Iris and I smile until I read the last line which has me blushing brighter than my hair is red. I’m going to kill Michael.
RE: Cover page.
Winter how on earth did you manage this one armed? You astound me. its utter perfection. But I told you the deadline can be moved! I really don’t want you rushing around. Work can wait.
PS…I know where Michael was the whole of last week…