The Spring Offensive
Dearest Munchkins, I know I have committed the unspeakable crime of not posting for MONTHS and I'm sorry. I'm getting ready for my exams (GCSEs -.-) and I'm just too exhausted most weekends. Please forgive me. Maybe this will make you feel better. Love you guys! ❤️
It was early in the morning. Maybe 7 AM. Too early, that was clear. The Sun squinted through the blinds to see me. She found me and lit up my face with warm orange and yellow hues of light. Next to me Sam was radiant with beauty and sunlight. But tortured with pain and guilt, the bitter aftertaste that left behind a scowl on her poor face. I caressed her cheek, hoping to wake her, but when she didn't I got up, wanting to make her something to eat.
She would be tired and unhappy when she woke. Breakfast in bed, just the ticket! In the kitchen the pots began to hiss their morning tunes, fueled by the oil they held. I looked out. It was a clear morning. It would be a beautiful day; sunny and clear and blue. What anyone would wish for. But it wouldn't be enough. So I went out to buy flowers. Pink tulips, Sam's favourite. But when I returned in her car, climbing the countless flights of stairs, I found her in the bathroom. She was throwing up, coughing into the toilet and retching uncontrollably.
"Babe?" I asked, sufficiently worried. What if it was something bad and irreversible? Something to do with her surgery.
"I'm goo-" another wave of nausea overcame her, making her cringe and apologise quickly before leaning over the toilet seat again.
"Sam? Sam. What's wrong? Do you have food poisoning?" She shrugged.
"Hospital. Now." I said, voice firm and iron-grip tight. She shook her head.
"It's the stress. It'll be over in a second."
"We're not going through this again, Sam. Hospital or Jeff and Dixie." She sighed reluctantly.
"The former." Her hair was a mess, scrunched up together as it was in her hands. The rings around her eyes were colossal. Like the eye of Sauron. And her clothes hung from her hungered form like a toga.
"Oh Sam." She looked up. "What's happened to you? You need to take care of yourself. Especially when I'm not there. I can't protect you 24/7, however much I want to, you know that."
I picked her up, steadying her and leading her cold hands into the bedroom to get her dressed. I picked out her wooliest jumper and sweatpants with elasticated ends. She needed to be warm. She needed to feel safe.
"I don't see why we need to go. We're both doctors. We could-"
"It's safer. It might be the surgery. You could be rejecting your liver, we don't want to take any chances on this."
She nodded reluctantly and I placed my arm around her waist, half carrying her down the stairs to the car. It purred as I turned the ignition and I pushed the gas pedal down flat. We needed to get there pronto, I wasn't going to lose Sam again. Not ever. I had promised myself that.
15 minutes later we arrived. We met Zoe in the entrance. She was having a fag, blowing the smoke into the air around her. "Tom?" She saw my expression. Sam.
"It's Sam, she was ill this morning and I was worried."
"To right." She agreed, dropping the cigarette and stepping on it once with her purple heels. She hurried over to help Sam out of the car.
"Sam, what happened?"
"I threw up. 5 or 6 times. I think. I feel wretched."
"I wasn't there for most of it. I was out." I added, suggesting that her account wasn't as credible as it seemed. Zoe looked up at me and nodded, concern painting her face.
"Ok Sam, let's get you out."
She lifted Sam with my help and we carried her into the ER. Unfortunately the triage system forbade us to go in directly. We waited for half an hour in which Sam stumbled to the bathroom 4 or 5 times and returned looking worse than before. She was pale as snow. Her hair was messy and unwashed and dull. Her eyes were dark and sunken in, as if she had been up for a week. Perhaps she had been. After all it had not been easy. She was merely a shadow of herself now. Alone and yet not alone.
One of the new arrivals came to call her names. I had not had much to do with him, had not even really caught his name but I was just grateful that she was being treated. Dr Ethan Hardy. He was young, like a child but responsible in a way I had never been. His eyebrows furrowed as he reviewed Sam's chart.
"So you were sick this morning?" She nodded. "
Have you been feeling any pain, abdominal or other?"
"No. Just nausea. But it's not rejection, is it? Wouldn't I have felt something earlier?"
"We can't rule it out. I'll check you over completely later. Have you had any weird tasting food these past few days?"
"I was at my mother's funeral. I ate there but nothing out of the ordinary." His face contorted.
"I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my mother only recently."
"It is...I think it might be stress acting out on your body as I see you only recently had a major operation and now the stress of the funeral. Now I'll have the nurse take a little blood and I'll be back after to present you with the results." He smiled a polite warm smile before closing the curtains behind him.
"You see? I'm not all that stupid."
"I never said you were. Your fiancé is a worrying idiot who can't stand to see his fiancée in pain."
"You should get used to it. When I'm with you I'm in nothing but pain!" I laughed and she smiled a bright smile, pinkening her complexion a little.
"You're amazing." I approached her, kissing her forehead.
"Stop it." She laughed and swatted my hand away that was resting on the back of her neck. I grinned and removed it.
"Only if you stop getting ill!"
"Oh alright." It took half an hour for a nurse to come and take blood and another hour before Dr Hardy returned, sheets in hand. He looked at me and Sam, taking in our expectant faces.
"I can safely say that your body is taking a little more time to adjust to the new liver. But there is only one reason for that. You put yourself through a lot of stress with the funeral. The recovery is exhausting. It's perfectly normal to feel a little queasy and experience nausea." He smiled.
"You can leave tomorrow, we're only keeping you in for observation." He turned to leave and Sam looked up at me smiling. The curtain opened.
"Oh one more thing." He turned back. He grinned and got a sheet from between the pile of paper. He held it out to me. I read the words. What?! No. The corners of my mouth were being pulled up by imaginary strings.
"What is it?" Sam looked up at both of us expectantly, anxiously and Ethan came a little closer, crossing his arms over his chest.