Waiting was not something he loved doing. However today, there was no escape. Sydney’s mother was in the emergency room and she could not stop crying. He had to stay, as he could not leave her in that condition.
“What happened?” He still had not gotten an answer to that question.
“I don’t know.” Sydney snuffled while raising her head off his shoulder to gaze into his eyes. “We were outside when your mother came. She started acting weird and then…”
That was the moment Sydney recalled that Mary was with them. She had been around when Adeline fell to the ground. She forgot of her, as she had been worried about her mother.
“My mother was with you?” Anderson gasped.
“Yes. She might have walked away after my mother collapsed.” Sydney replied, while getting up from the chair. “What is taking them so long?”
Pacing around, she tried not to think that her mother might have passed on. No, she did not even want to think of the possibility. Although her mother had not been good to her, she still loved her. She was her mother after all. That woman gave birth to and raised her.
It was true that she has suffered in her hands, but she was never like that during her childhood. Her mother used to be very caring and loving. Sydney believes that the death of their father shattered and made her mother the wasted woman she was today.
A nurse suddenly called Sydney’s name and she run out of the waiting area. Anderson caught the smile on her face right before she left. She looked very happy and could not wait to see her mother. Her reaction made him wish he cared that much for his mother. He doubted Mary would care for him. Did she even love him? Maybe not, because her heart was too stone cold for such an emotion to develop from it.
Getting up from the chair, he moved through the corridor and went downstairs to handle the paper work.
Sydney was very happy to see her mother awake. It had been a long time since she saw her sober. Adeline’s eyes were not red, but showed their real natural woodsy brown color.
“Mother.” She sat at the edge of the bed and took her mother’s hand. “Don’t scare me like that again.” She said.
Adeline looked at her daughter. “Don’t be such a baby. As you can see, I am fine.”
“You collapsed! Does that not bother you? Mother you have to stop drinking.”
Adeline quickly removed her hand from under Sydney’s and snapped. “I will never stop drinking.” Her eyes drifted to the window and stared at the waving curtains. “I can never stop drinking.” She added, sadly.
Sighing, Sydney got off the bed and moved to the other side, so she was staring at her mother’s face. “Why, mother? Why can’t you stop drinking?” Adeline rolled over and turned her face away from her.
“I did something really horrible.” Her reply was so low that Sydney barely heard it.
“Something horrible?” She could not believe that her mother was capable of doing something horrible. The woman was troubled, yes, but not mentally unstable. What “horrible thing” had she done that made her into a drunk? Had she not started drinking because she lost her husband?
“What horrible thing did you do?”
Adeline heaved a sigh. Sydney stepped around the bed and her mother turned the other way, growling. “Let it be.”
There was a knock on the door, before it creaked open. Anderson walked in and moved over to the bed. “How are you doing Mrs. Whyte?” He asked, and she glanced at him with a questioning look. “Anderson Niles, your daughter’s fiancé.”
Adeline looked at Sydney, and then returned her gaze to him. Anderson waited for her to speak, but she did not. She only gazed deep into his eyes until tears started forming in her own. Puzzled, he asked.
“Mrs. Whyte, is something the matter?” He tried to touch her.
“No, this can’t be! No!” She screamed while pulling her knees to meet her chest. “It can’t be!” She pushed her face into her palms. “Aaaah! Get away from me!” She yelled, surprising both him and Sydney. Adeline broke down in tears, crying uncontrollably.
“Mother,” Sydney went to touch the wailing woman, but she pushed her away. Her ankle twisted and the heel bent on one side. She was about to fall to the floor, when Anderson caught her.
The door burst open and a doctor rushed in, together with two nurses. Adeline continued to scream on top of her voice, kicking and crying loudly. Sydney tried to reach for her, but Anderson held her close to him. He could not risk the out of control mother, hurting the daughter.
The nurses tackled with and tried to get their patient under control while Anderson tried to keep Sydney from getting close to the bed.
“Let me go!” She demanded, but he did not listen.
Sydney’s eyes watered as she watched the nurses pin her mother to the bed and then the doctor gave her an injection. Slowly, she stopped struggling and then shut her eyes.
“Please leave for the patient to rest.” The doctor told them.
As soon as Anderson helped Sydney out of the room, they clashed into a man. He looked ragged in an oversized T-shirt and baggy jeans with filthy shoes and unkempt hair. His eyes showed sadness and miserable, which made Anderson pity him.
He was about to move Sydney from blocking the man’s path, when she broke out of his arms and run into the ragged man’s arms.
He was stunned, but then quickly got over the shock when he saw Hansen. When they arrived at the hospital, Sydney had asked Hansen to go pick up her brother so that must be him.
“How is she?” Caleb asked his little sister when they separated.
“Not good.” She replied.
Glanced at the man standing beside Sydney, Caleb asked her. “Who is he?”
“Anderson Niles,” Anderson extended his hand to him, but Caleb did not shake it. He put his arms around his baby sister and walked her down the hallway.
“Looks like the brother doesn’t like you very much.” Hansen said and Anderson could not agree more.
She got home trembling all over. Her heart raced in her chest and Goosebumps rose on her skin. Throwing her bag to the floor, she leaned against the door for support as her knees had turned to jelly.
She rushed her hands through her hair, and slid all the way down to sit on the floor. She could not believe it. Was it really her? It could not be. She refused to believe it.
“No, it can’t be!” She said to herself. “No, it isn’t her!”
Mary wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, but her husband was sleeping in the next room. She could wake him. Scrambling to her feet, she rushed to the bathroom and started opening one drawer after another.
“It can’t be her. It can’t.” She repeated. Pulling out a drawer, she emptied its contents on the floor and rushed her hands through the pile of paper. Searching and cursing, she found what she was looking for: a picture.
With shaky hands, she took the image. On it, were two women. They looked happy with arms wrapped around each other. One was a younger version of Mary and the other, a youthful and loving Adeline, her childhood friend.
Mary’s knees buckled and she fell to the floor on her buttocks. This picture confirmed it, that miserable and wasted woman she saw was her childhood friend, Adeline.
“No, no, no!” She screamed this time. “Aaaaaaah!”
Adeline was supposed to disappear from her life. They agreed on it. She even gave her a lot of money, so she would not return. However, why was she back? What was she doing at the party? How was she able to find her? Had she been following her around? Whom has she met? Has she told anyone what they did twenty-seven years ago?
“No!” Mary yelled and tore the pictures into pieces.
Adeline was back in her life and that was not the worst part. Her daughter was engaged to her son!