Chapter 23: The Worry
I can’t believe this is happening. How could my dad have a heart attack? He’s not even that old. Forty-two is not an age to have a heart attack. Am I going to have one early because of this. Why him? I am so worried. This evening really took a drastic change.
The night was so great before that call. It was different, new, and exciting. It was also a little awkward, but I liked it. Seeing Samantha enjoy it was also a bonus. And the punishment she gave me, I didn’t know that being alone in silence would work so well. And the dull ache of those clips on my fingers were a new sensation. It didn’t really hurt, it was just kind of annoying. Her tactics are vast and I’m sure she’ll have many more things for me to experience when I misbehave.
“Are you okay?” Samantha asks and touches my shoulder as I stare out into the dark night from the plane window.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. It’s just a lot to process.” I watch the lights of the roads and cities below contrast with the navy blue night sky.
“I’m here if you want to talk or let something out.” Samantha says, reassuring me.
“Thanks. I don’t know how this happened. He was active and healthy.”
“Some things happen that don’t make sense. But we will be there for him, everything will work out alright, hun.”
“I hope so. I also hate that tonight was interrupted.”
“So, you liked it then?” Samantha smirks at me.
“Yes I did. It was new and interesting. It did feel a little awkward on stage. But when I saw you, it put me at ease. It was definitely an experience I won’t forget.” I explain.
“Would you go there again for the show?”
“With you, I would. I don’t know if I’d want to go by myself. Would you ever tip and get pulled up on stage?” I wonder how she would handle the attention of everyone else in the room seeing parts of her.
“I don’t think so. How did you like the punishment before the show?” She brushes off my questions and switches the direction of the conversation.
“I didn’t know that silence could really be a punishment. You showed me that it can be. Also, the annoying finger pain was punishment also. I don’t know how you think of these kinds of things. They will prevent me from acting out of place for the most part. But, I also want to see what other ways you can punish me.”
“I have many ways to chastise you, My Pet. I’m sure you won’t hate any of them. Punishment is not something that you should look forward to.”
“I bet you do, My Queen. And I will look forward to all of your punishments. At least until they happen.”
I start getting sad again, hoping my dad is okay in the hospital. Samantha notices, wraps a blanket around me and I lean against her shoulder as I zone into the void of stars and sky just beyond the window.
“I’m here to see my dad.” I say to the receptionist.
“What’s his name?” She replies kindly.
“William Greenwood. He was admitted for a heart attack a few hours ago.
“Ah, yes. He should still be in the emergency area. Right through those doors. Room five,” she says.
I hurry down the hall, not waiting for Samantha or even glancing to check if she’s behind me.
“Is dad okay?” I ask when I open the door and see my mom hunched over the hospital bed, holding my dad’s hand. His eyes are closed and he doesn’t seem to be in pain.
“He’s stable. He’s sleeping though and on a bunch of medications.
“That’s good to hear.” I respond automatically with a sigh of relief.
“How are you holding up, Marie?” Samantha asks.
“I’m okay. It’s definitely been a rough night. I’m happy you guys are here. I know William will be relieved to see you,” she explains.
“Of course I’d come here, mom. Samantha just allowed it to be a few hours sooner with her plane.” I walk and stand next to mom, placing my hand on hers and watching my dad breath smoothly.
“She has a plane?” Mom says with shock.
“Yeah. She’s very successful.”
“That’s very cool. I’m glad your American Dream worked out.”
“Me too. I worked my way up, made some investments and it paid off.” She explains simply.
“Uuuggh.” Dad groans as he slowly opens his eyes.
“How are you feeling, dear?” Mom stands and leans in close to him.
“Mmm mm.” He unsuccessfully speaks.
“It’s okay, just rest. I’m right here. Ileana is here also.”
Dad closes his eyes in response and his head relaxes.
Knock. Knock. The doctor creaks open the door slowly and steps in. “Good, He’s still resting. Can I speak with you privately Mrs. Greenwood?”
“It’s okay to talk with them here.”
“Okay, the heart attack weakened William’s heart significantly and damaged his aortic valve. He will stay here for a few days and when his heart heals from the trauma, we will need to perform open heart surgery to replace the valve,” he explains.
“That sounds serious. Are there a lot of risks,” mom asks.
“There are risks of any surgery, especially on the heart. But if it’s not repaired, his heart will need to pump harder to circulate blood which can cause the heart to give out sooner.”
“I see. I guess that’s what we will do then.” She takes a deep breath and sits back down.
“I’ll just need you to sign a few forms then.” He brings a clipboard to her that she signs without hesitating.
“He’s going to be okay right?”
“He should be. The risk is pretty low. We do this surgery often and rarely have complications.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Thank you so much.” She grasps the doctors hand and bows her head before he exits the room.
“That’s scary. Did they ever give a reason for his heart attack?” I ask mom.
“Well, the males in his family have all had heart issues. They also said that he had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. So we will need to adjust his diet and drastically reduce his sugar and salt intake.”
“That sucks. I don’t think he’s going to like that much.”
“I don’t care. He will have to deal with it, since I do all of the cooking.” Mom takes a stand for what she thinks is right.
“I’m going to step out for a little bit.” Samantha looks pale and uneasy as she walks into the hallway.
I excuse myself and follow her out. “What’s up?” I say when I catch up to her.
“I just really hate this hospital. I can’t get the picture of you outta my mind when you were in here. And now your father is here after a heart attack, needing surgery.”
“I’d say you’re justified in not liking it here. Hopefully this is the last time we’re in here. I don’t think many people like hospitals though.”
She starts pacing in the hall. “I just want everything to be okay.”
“He will be. He needs surgery though. I don’t know how long the recovery will be. Shit, who’s going to take care of the farm? Who’s taking care of it now?” I start freaking out, looking at the floor, and pacing with Sam.
How will this work? Someone needs to care for the animals and fields. I have to go back there, at least while they’re in the hospital right now. I hope Sam won’t have a problem staying for a few days until something is figured out for the farm. How will I do everything? At least I know what to do, the most important thing is caring for the animals. The fields and market can be set aside every other day.
“Hey, what’s up?” Samantha says and holds my shoulders while looking into my eyes.
“I don’t know. I’m worried about the farm. Someone has to take care of it while they are here. And I know it has to be me. I’ll have to stay here and care for it until something is figured out. I’m sure dad’s recovery will take weeks. So I’ll be stuck here.”
“Calm yourself, doll. Take a deep breath with me. We will stay here and figure something out. I’m sure there are many solutions.”
“Thank you, Sam. You are amazing.”
She hugs me and I stay in her comforting embrace for minutes.
“Want to go back to the room?” She suggests.
“Yeah, we should, I have to let her know I’ll take care of the farm for the next few days.”
“After you,” she holds her hand outward for me to take the lead.
I take a deep breath as we enter the room again.
“It’s getting late. Have you thought of where you’re staying tonight? Or are you heading back to Las Vegas?” mom asks.
“I think we will stay at the farm and take care of it for a while until we work something out for it. Dad won’t be able to care for it like he used to for a while.”
“That would be amazing, honey. I’m sure your father will be thrilled also. Thank you so much.”
“No problem, mom. I’m happy that I’m able to help out.”
“Oh, and it may be a little uncomfortable up in your small bed. You can use our room. Just don’t tell me about anything,” she says uncomfortably.
“Thanks. That may be a little awkward for us. If we end up using your room, I won’t let you know. Keep me updated on dad’s condition. I will keep my phone on loud.”
“You two take care and let me know if you need anything.”
“We will. I’ll come visit after completing all of the chores. I love you mom.”
“I love you too, sweetie.” I walk to give her a hug and kiss dad’s forehead before we leave.
The drive to my parent’s was silent and it felt okay. Neither of us knew what to say, but words were not needed. When we arrive, I notice a suitcase on the front porch.
“I had some clothes delivered. I assumed we were going to stay in town, so I had someone pick us up clothes. When you confirmed we were going to be here, they dropped it off.”
“I don’t know how you get everything in a timely manner.” I shake my head in disbelief.
“It helps to pay well.” She laughs.
“I suppose it does. I wonder what kind of fancy clothes you ordered.”
“Nothing too fancy, just comfortable. There isn’t anything to dress up for here. And the paparazzi shouldn’t find us,” she explains logically.
“Do you want anything to eat or drink? I’m sure there’s plenty. Mom always has the fridge stocked.”
“A snack and some water may be nice.”
I walk over to the fridge, open it, and browse the contents. “It looks like they don’t have much. There is apple pie, cheese and meat slices, and a few types of fruit.”
“I’ll take a piece of apple pie.”
“Want to eat upstairs? I’m exhausted.” I yawn and breathe out slowly.
“Yeah, that will work. I’m not a fan of eating in rooms though.” She makes her point.
“I bet you’re not. You’re so proper, I’ll have to teach you to loosen up a little,” I tease.
“Is that so?” She winks and starts going upstairs. I follow behind with the pie and water.
We sit on the bed and it creaks under our weight.
“I don’t remember it being this loud.” I say.
“It has sat a while. I’m sure it’s pretty old also. How long have you had it?” She starts eating the slice of pie.
“I don’t know, maybe seven years.”
“It’s definitely time for an upgrade then.”
“I’m not going to be using it much anymore, I don’t think a new one will be worth it at this point.”
“We’ll see about that.” She puts her plate on the nightstand. All that remained of the pie was a few crumbs.
“Let’s change and go to bed. I’m sure the day will be busy tomorrow.”
“It will be, and we’re already at a disadvantage on sleep. We should have been in bed hours ago. Maybe we’ll get a late start so we get a few more hours.”
We change into the pajamas Sam had delivered and climb into the squeaky bed together. All through the night, I was stirred from sleep by the creaking every movement made. I don’t know if I can sleep in this for multiple days. Tomorrow we should stay downstairs.
Morning comes sooner than I want it to and I’m not nearly as rested as I’d like. I could just sleep a little longer. No, I can’t. There’s so much work to do. I get up and climb out of bed so I don’t stir Samantha. I quickly dress in a T-shirt and jeans.
I begin my rounds on the farm taking care of all of the animals, trying to be as efficient as I can. By eleven o’clock I’m starving and return to the house to make lunch.
Samantha greets me with fried chicken and potato salad. “No way, did you make this?”
“No, I had it delivered. I also had the fridge stocked and your bed is replaced.”
“How did you do all of that in a few hours?”
“I have my ways.” She winks, “Would you like to give the new bed a test run?”
I smile cheesily, “Not right now. I don’t have much time.”
I eat quickly and return to the fields to finish the days’ duties while being distracted by the thoughts of breaking in the new bed.
“Marie, I have an idea for how we can keep your farm cared for, and you living there.” Samantha says.
“What’s that?” She turns her attention towards us.
“Have you thought of hiring help?”
“We have, but that requires training and paying someone. We really didn’t want to do all of that work.”
“What would you think if I had a small ranch house built between the fields and animals where you can have a worker stay. The housing would be a part of the agreement and I’d be more than happy to fund this.”
“There’s no way we can accept that. I mean, it does sound like the perfect solution, but it is way too much. Thank you for the offer though.” She politely declines.
“Mom, I really think you should do this. Dad won’t be able to do anything for at least a month, and when he can, he won’t have the same strength or stamina as before. This way, it will also put my mind at ease, so I can continue to pursue my dreams without worrying. Please reconsider it.” I plead.
“I’ll talk with your father about it when he is doing better.”
“Is he any better today?”
“Yes, he is. He was awake for a few hours earlier. The doctor thinks he can do the surgery tomorrow late afternoon as long as his condition doesn’t get worse.”
“That’s good to hear. How long will it be until he comes home?”
“They said a minimum of a week in the hospital, and around six more after that before he can start strenuous activities again.”
“That is quite a long time.” I start to ponder.
“It is, I don’t expect you to care for the farm that long though. Maybe you could stay until he returns home?”
“Of course I can, mom. I’m not sure about Samantha. But I’ll still be able to help out.”
“Thank you, that relieves a lot of stress. After that, I will ask around and see if there are some volunteers who can help us. I’m sure we will be able to get everything done. I just can’t try and get help while being here.”
“I understand. I’ll stay as long as I’m needed. It’s close to bedtime for me. I’ll check in each day.” I say as we exit the hospital once more. This is going to be a long week.