Chapter 9. The Rush
When Margie Simms called, I ran upstairs to the bathroom in Alex’s suite, flung open his medicine cabinet, and read off the list of pills he took every day. My eyes ran across the vials in the medicine cabinet, realizing that they weren’t all there, and I remembered that I kept his blood pressure pills in the kitchen, so I could get it instead of arguing with him to go upstairs to take his dose. As fast as I could, I ran down the back staircase that ended in the kitchen and gave the paramedic the name and the dosage. He told me what hospital they were taking Alex to, and I gave them Dr. Jamison’s phone number, which I had memorized when Alex’s cholesterol level came back so high that he had it checked monthly.
I rushed around the office shutting everything down while calling the airline to book the next flight to Los Angeles. Alex’s driver, Dave, arrived while I filled Anna in and called Brandon, who quickly rattled off Alex’s mother’s phone number so I didn’t have to go down and look it up in Alex’s Rolodex while I packed a bag. It felt as if I talked to the whole world before Dave pulled into the driveway to get me, meeting me at the door to carry my small suitcase and briefcase while Anna chased after me to put my black beaded rosary into my hand.
“To calm you. Call us when you arrive, and let us know how Mr. Corwynn is. I’m calling Father Kelly.”
I promised I would, and we were off to the airport. By the time I got on the flight, I was wired. My mind kept revolving around the thought, “What if Alex died on me? What if he died before he knew that I loved him? If he died, who would care for Angie?”
Angie and I had become so close through this last week with her abortion. Hating the ascension from the ground to clouds, I sat nervously on the plane thinking about how she conned the nurses to let me back there by telling them that I was her stepmother, Megan Corwynn. I was shocked when a nurse called that name in the reception area. With one other woman there beside me, I knew whom she meant, so I had collected my things and followed the nurse back to the examination room where a nervous Angie sat, afraid she was making a bad decision. Thank God Alex was reachable that afternoon. He had just walked into the office when I called him for reinforcement. With Connor making legal waves over the punch Alex threw, there was no way Alex could come home to be with her, so I did it. We made it through her recovery with a pizza, a bag of chips and two half gallons of chocolate ice cream on her dad’s plastic.
I should have brought Angie with me, but I don’t think Alex needed her to see him that way. Angie was mad enough at me for leaving her at home in Brandon’s care. No matter, I was in charge, and her Dad didn’t need to worry about his teenage daughter while convalescing.
I said the Lord’s Prayer over and again and pressed my back into the seat, taking it all out on the piece of chewing gum I had popped into my mouth only a minute before. Once it leveled out, I’d be all right, but there’s something about the plane going up that reminds me of a roller coaster. The fear that all of a sudden it’s going to dip and swoop downward, reminded me of the rosary in my pocket. I pulled it out and stared at the rosary I rarely used.
Trying to remember the last time I prayed with it, I realized that I hadn’t used it since the day of Billy’s funeral. Had it been that long ago? My fingers rubbed the beads and I knew that it had been. Everyone that I cared for, died eventually. As I leaned back in my seat, I shut my eyes and fondled the little silver crucifix, my thumb slipping into the grooves of Christ’s body as the Apostle’s Creed came to mind. I prayed an entire rosary that afternoon, then stared out the window, wondering how much longer we had before we touched down, how much longer before I could be by Alex’s side and if he’d be all right when I arrived.
While praying the rosary again, I shut my eyes and fell asleep before I had completed it, letting my body rest because I knew the moment I stepped off the plane, adrenaline would take over again, and I wouldn’t sleep until sometime tomorrow. At the baggage claim, I dialed Brandon’s Manhattan brownstone and got no answer, so I called Alex’s estate in White Plains. He didn’t know any more than me and said Alex’s sister, Lilly, was on her way. Brandon had appointed himself babysitter and sent Anna home, asking me if I knew that Angie was an artist. I couldn’t help but giggle as he told me that the two of them had a sketch tablet between them, and he was working with her on depth with a pencil.
After flying across the country that afternoon, only one thing kept going through my head? What if Alex died? I begged God not to let anything happen to him, and I fought back tears as I stared out the window, hoping that angels would get me to him and that he would be all right.