Chapter 3- Mother Knows Best
I would of enjoyed spending my weekend in a different way. Maybe taking a nap after doing homework, or meet up with Susan at a pizza place. But instead, I was being rushed on a red ambulance. It was a stupid mistake really- all I did was tell Mom I accidentally swallowed ink. She jumped up and down, dialing the police.
“Are you alright?” A paramedic said to me, making me snap out of my thoughts.
“I’m fine.” I told her, my throat hurting.
I look out of the back window. Cars were lined up behind each other, going at a slow place. Typical California rush hour. Mom should’ve called the ambulance on a Sunday, so the traffic could of been worse and miss a day of school.
Paramedics leaned over me, taking my heart rate, checking my temperature. I shriveled at their touch.
"Calm down sweetie, no one is hurting ya here.” One of the Paramedics said calmly.
The tension in my chest lessened. I felt good- I was under warm blanket sheets, and a warm pillow was snuggled against my head. I thought about how ironic it was-- I was only comfortable in an ambulance.
The ambulance stopped abruptly, and I knew we reached the hospital. They began unstrapping me. Then, they turned a bar that was under the bed, and the head of the bed started tilting forward, then the back, and the legs. I was put in a wheelchair.
They rushed me through the hospital. It was surprised there wasn't many people. Only around seven people were waiting, reading magazines or books. I got a room fairly quickly, with nurses and doctors already there, scrubbing their hands down.
“Patient Florence Walker here?” The head doctor asked.
The paramedics nodded, laying me on the on the bed, and left the the room. The doctors asked for my age, insurance company and medication information. I stared at my nails the whole time.
“Well it seems as if it’s an accident.” The doctor said, his eyes flickering to me.
“Ink is very fatal to the lungs; but since the ink in a pen is very minimal, it will not cause much harm.” The doctor said.
I gave a sigh of relief.
“Ink will be very fatal for her, it’s a bad omen!” Mom said, a mulish look on her face.
The doctor blinked once, a laugh threatening to fall from his lips.
“Since you insist, we’ll take a few X-rays to-”
“I don’t want you’re wicked technology in my daughters throat!” Mom interrupted.
“It’s not going in the body, it’s directly above her throat an-”
“The ink is a jumbi, in fluid form.” Mom said confidently.
I covered my face in embarrassment. The doctor was getting agitated- his face was flushed red and he glared at Mom.
“Well then what do you think needs to be done?” He asked mom harshly.
Mom put one hand on her large stomach, her eyes shooting to the ceiling, in deep thought. My eyes swiveled back and forth between the doctor and Mom.
“All she needs is half a leg of a goat, chopped up with fresh garlic powder.” Mom said.
The doctor’s looked like he might explode. He took short breaths in and out before talking.
“Alright then, all I need you to do is to sign a form saying you know all the risks by leaving.” The doctor said.
Mom nodded. The doctor pulled out pink papers from his clipboard. Mom signed the allotted places.
"Alright, if any pain persists, call us at the number highlighted on the paper.” The Doctor said.
Mom nodded, and asked him how we would go home. He said he could call a taxi. Mom and I went outside, my head hurting numbly.
“Mom you just had to say that in front of him?” I yelled.
She rubbed her stomach, staring at me.
“Exactly! Why did I say it? You were supposed to!” She yelled at me.
I shook my head, tears threatening to slip out of my eyes. Gentle rain started plucking my head.
“Mom, why the hell do I live like this?” I screeched.
And I walked away.
About two hours later, I came home, my clothes sopping wet. I made a beeline for the stairs, when Mom's voice stopped me.
“Florence, I need to tell you something important.” Mom said, sitting on the couch.
I knew something was up. Mom’s voice wasn’t in a hippie trance, but spoke in a smooth tone.
I sat down across from her.
“Your dad. Alec.” She said in a monotone voice.
I nodded slowly. Honestly, Mom’s face looked scary. It was blank--her usual stupid smile no where to be seen.
“He got want he wanted from me. Then he moved on to my sister Olivia, but Olivia didn’t give in.” She said all in one breath.
“Uhm, okay. Is there a reason why you're telling me this now? How come Susan never told me?” I asked.
“Susan never knew. Olivia has so much money, she can cover anything up.” Mom said.
Mom sounded so bitter-- I suspect this was the reason why Mom never liked aunt Olivia.
“I meant, why are you talking about Dad?” I asked.
She had a grim smile on her face, as she absently rubbed her bulging stomach.
“For two reasons.” She said.
“One, your dad Alec... we still are in touch.” She said.
I felt a pang of betrayal. I thought she confided everything with me, because she wouldn’t have anyone else to tell drunk-breath secrets to.
"He sends us money every month.” She said.
It finally dawned me- the reason why we still had a roof over our heads was not because of the 3 dollar tips mom made every day, but through an unknown father’s pocket.
"What’s number two?” I asked her worriedly.
“Right.” She said.
"I saw the look on you’re face yesterday. You were with a slinthead-- or should I say, shit head?” Mom said.
I froze. How would she know? My throat went dry.
“Wha- I don't?” I chocked out in a poor attempt to lie.
Mom's eyebrows traveled further and further up her face, until I finally gave in.
"Yeah okay-- I wasn't chasing anyone per se-- but how do you know?"
Mom threw her head back laughing.
“Because honey, I was chasing too ass-holes too.” She said.
My jaw dropped.