Wednesday September 22nd, 2010. Late-Night.
The Hospital Room 204B
Randy heard the door handle click as it unlatched and pushed it open slowly. The room was mostly dark, with the exception of the bedside lamp. Diana had been lying in bed, with her head drooping off to the side. She was already hooked up to an I.V and a heart monitor as well. “Shh, try to be quiet.” He whispered to Kolleen. “I will.” She replied. They both crept up towards the bed, when the door clicked behind them. Randy’s heart was racing while his mind started to process the scenery in front of him. His mom was in a hospital room, and he didn’t know why. He first grabbed a cushioned chair from nearby the window and set it up on his mom’s left side. He helped Kolleen into the chair then got his own sitting opposite of Kolleen.
The room itself was a basic hospital room. A hanging curtain was bolted to the ceiling, and was partially drawn. The floors were marble as well and a window had been mounted into the wall which lead out towards more buildings. Curtains had been drawn already. Randy finally slid into his chair and leaned against the bars. Diana’s breathing was hoarse, and it was beginning to scare him.
The heart monitor beeped with a rhythm so he knew her heart was fine. “What’s wrong with her breathing?” Randy asked. Kolleen shook her head and shrugged. She heard it too; Diana’s lungs sounded as if she had pneumonia. “She looked just fine yesterday; what happened?” The guilt was beginning to eat Kolleen from the inside out. She started to pick at her fingers and bounce her foot up and down rapidly. “Kol, why are you acting like that?” he asked her. Kolleen looked up at him with shock. “Acting like what?” she replied. She had been biting onto her bottom lip now, and there was a wavering to her eyes. “I’ve known you long enough to know when you’re lying to me. You’re feeling guilty about something and I need to know what it is.”
She forced a smile onto her face and giggled. It wasn’t her normal giggle though; it was a guilt ridden one; a fake one. Randy crossed his arms again, looking at her with a strong and serious face. “What’s the matter?” She asked him. “You’re lying to me Kol.” Randy told her. “I’m not lying Randy, I really don’t…” She broke off mid-sentence when she noticed his smug expression. Dropping her head and sighing, Kolleen shrugged once more. “Fine, you got me Randy. I know why your mom was taken here and it’s best that I tell you now.” Randy leaned in towards her, watching with apprehension. She couldn’t bring herself to look into his eyes so she continued to watch her feet.
“Randy, your mother called the hospital because she was coughing up blood.” Randy’s eyes went blank for a while. It was as if all his emotions were shut off at once. “B-Blood?” He replied. This time, he was playing with his fingers; biting on his nails. “Yes. She was having a coughing fit when she noticed the blood in her hand. Randy, the reason I know about this is because she told me before she drove to the hospital. Doctor Farber was scared so he asked her to come in for a check-up. Obviously, one thing led to another and here we are. We’re in your mom’s hospital room, waiting to hear the verdict. I’m so sorry Randy, I wanted to tell you earlier; I figured it was best that you found out on your own.” Kolleen stopped there, allowing him time to recollect his thoughts.
He looked up at the clock which was placed directly next to the T.V. It read: 10:30 P.M. “I can’t believe it’s that late.” Randy said, leaning back. He ran his hands through his hair a few times and then stretched. “We have a night shift coming up again tomorrow… UGH, twelve more hours of bitter annoyance!” Kolleen replied. “Yeah, but at least it’s only one night of that. I have my wrestling show tomorrow night, so how is that gonna work?” Randy replied. Just then, Diana began stirring around in her bed. “Mom, are you alright?” She turned towards him, reaching up to touch his face.
“I am doing alright, how are you? I didn’t mean to leave you alarmed like this.” Diana replied. She looked so awful to Randy. Her face looked like someone zapped all the joy out of her life and shredded it into pieces. He held her hand and stroked some of the matted hair from his mother’s face. “Why didn’t you just wake me up Mom? I would have taken you to the hospital.” Diana shook her head, “I didn’t want to scare you Randy. I think there’s something wrong with me.” Not moments after this statement, the door opened and Dr. Farber walked in. “Ah, it’s nice to see you two got situated. I’m here to talk about Diana’s test results… They don’t look good.” He said.
Randy stood up and looked him directly in the eye. “What do you mean, ‘they don’t look good’?” Anthony retrieved Diana’s clipboard and added a few extra pages of paper to it, then read aloud. “The results here are questionable. We took multiple x-rays of Diana’s lungs and we’re quite afraid of what’s inside them.” Anthony took the x-ray out and placed it on the wall, where a light board was. “Do you mind if Miss Sparks is present?” he asked. Diana shook her head, “If she’s a friend of my son then she is more than welcome here.” “Thanks Mom.” Randy whispered to her. She smiled and nodded towards him. Doctor Farber turned back around and flipped the light board switch on.
“Alright, as you can see here in both the left and right lung, there is a mass forming on the bottom. The left lung is slightly fuller than the right.” Anthony turned back towards them to address them more personally. He walked over to Diana’s bed and placed his hands on the end board. “Diana, we are going to ship you off to the UC San Diego Medical Center about ten miles from here. We want to have more examinations done, while we wait for the blood results to come back. We have already notified the hospital and they dispatched an ambulance about thirty minutes ago. Please, talk to your son and his friend, if he deems it necessary. I will be outside the room, when you are finished.”
With that being said, Anthony shut off the light board, put the x-ray back on the clipboard, and exited the room. Randy looked back over at Kolleen who nodded at him then looked at Diana. “Randy, if what they said is true, then I may be in a whole world of trouble…” Diana started, before a coughing fit emerged. It sounded horrendous, like she were hacking from smoking too much. Randy held more firmly onto her hand and continued to watch with awe. When the coughing subsided, Diana continued her conversation. “They’re shipping me off to a more advanced hospital, which is exactly what I need. I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you about this before.” “It’s alright Mom, really; I’m not mad at you.” He kissed the back of her hand. She smiled at him, then coughed even more.
“I didn’t realize that my lungs were that bad. I mean yeah, I would cough every now and then when my throat was scratchy or if I was sick. But never in my life, have I ever had this hard of a time breathing. Believe me Randy, I’ve never smoked a day in my life…” She started coughing again. “L-listen, I need you to do me a favor.” “Anything Mom, just name it.” She waved her free hand for him to come in closer. He leaned his ear in so she could talk in a softer tone. “I know that you hate that job at the gas station; it’s a crappy job. And I know that you’ve been doing it so I wouldn’t worry about finances anymore, which I appreciate. But for God sakes, keep it only until you land a spot in the DWL. Once you’re there, you’ll be set for life.”
“Is there anything else before the medics arrive?” Randy asked her. She grabbed the sides of his face and pulled him in to kiss his forehead. When she was done kissing it, Diana smiled with both her mouth and eyes. “If you’re anything like your grandfather or your father for that matter; you’ll land that job easily.” When she let go of Randy, Anthony walked back into the room. This time he was accompanied with three other doctors. The two on either side of him had brown hair and brown eyes. The one who stood behind Anthony was a very tall, red-headed man with a bushy red beard. He helped unhook the machinery and held the door open for Diana’s bed. Before they all left the man nodded towards Randy and then Kolleen. “I’m sorry for all of this.” He said in a low voice.
“Thank you sir, please take care of her.” “We will do the best we can sir.” The man replied. Then he left, leaving Kolleen and Randy in the now empty room. Kolleen got up and walked over to him so she could put her hands around his waist once more. He grasped her hands in return. “You’ll be fine Randy! She’s going to be taken care of.” “I hope so Kol. I can’t even imagine life without my mom.” Kolleen never told him this but she knew how he was feeling, just by holding onto him. His sorrow was passing through his skin and seeping into hers. Randy had the slightest idea about what was going to happen the following night. They stood in the darkened room for a long while, both not understanding exactly what their fate would become.