A Deal To Be Made

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VI

March 13th, 1918 Birmingham Hospital



Sterile. That was the only way to describe the smell of a hospital. The acrid sterile scent poisoned Blythe's nostrils. It had been the only smell that had assaulted her nose for three days since her fathers accident. After finding him on the floor she couldn't remember much. The last thing she vividly remembers was ringing the coppers, desperate for help. The next thing she recalled was waking up in a hospital bed with a nurse in a quaint little white hat checking her blood pressure.



"You're awake! Oh good!" The nurse exclaimed excitedly, wrapping her stethoscope back around her thin neck.

Blythe nodded, blinking a few times to clear the confusion from her mind. She felt a thick constricting feeling wrapping around her head. Reaching a hand up gingerly to touch her forehead. Her fingers came in contact with a hefty gauze bandage spanning across the front of her head and wrapping entirely around her skull. Through her foggy haze Blythe began to slowly remember the incidents leading up to her unfortunate stay at the city hospital.

"Where's my father?" She rushed out, leaning forward to clutch the nurses arm nervously.

The nurse took on a sad smile as she patted Blythe's hand resting on her forearm. "He's going to be alright. He just got out of surgery upstairs and we have moved him into the intensive care unit." She soothed Blythe softly. "He had a brain aneurism.." The nurse left off quietly, looking around the room to avoid eye contact with Blythe. "He is expected to make a full recovery, though. He was lucky. You had called the coppers just in the nick of time. They managed to get him here and in surgery before any major noticeable damage had occurred."

It felt like all of the air had been squeezed out of Blythe's lungs for the second time that day.



"How is he?" Blythe whispered hoarsely, glancing up at the nurse.

The nurse nodded down at her, giving her a gentle smile. "His vitals are looking great and he is awake. Give us a little while to monitor him for just a little longer, yourself as well. You had a very nasty concussion as well as a few broken ribs and a torn shoulder when you came in." She looked down to the battered woman in the hospital bed before pulling her stethoscope back out and placing it gently against Blythe's chest. "Sit forward if you can, please." She chimed serenely.

The upright angle of the hospital bed allowed Blythe to lean forward with much difficulty due to the torrent pain ripping across her upper body to allow the nurse to listen to her heart back via her back. The cold of the metal had Blythe jolting which caused her to blurt out a small murmur of pain.

"I'll get you something for the pain." The nurse said as she put her doctoring tools away, reaching towards a glass of water. "Meanwhile, try to get down as much liquid as you can." Blythe nodded and captured the cup between both hands and brought the cool liquid to her mouth.

Shortly after the nurse came waltzing back in carrying a tiny clear plastic cup containing a few pills. She set them on the bedside table to Blythe's right and then gave her a nod, signaling to holler if she needed any other assistance. Without another word the nurse left the room.

Blythe couldn't even find it in her to care about her own injuries. The only thoughts flying through her mind were worries about her father. A brain aneurism was nothing to fool around with, although there were plenty of people that recovered fully from such a horrific experience. But how could this happen to her father? Sure, he was a bit emotionally closed off but he was one of the most hard working, kind men she knew. He never deserved this. She stared at the ceiling, calling in any higher power, wondering why.



***



Some hours later the nurse returned to check on Blythe. Sitting up, she looked to the nurse finally clear of the warbles plaguing her vision. "Would I be able to visit my father yet?" She asked kindly, hoping for the answer she wanted.

The nurse shook her head softly. "I'm afraid not. He's resting right now. But why don't we take a walk and we can stroll past his room so you can feel comfortable where he is at." She smiled softly, reaching out a hand for Blythe.

Blythe nodded in agreement, not needing to say anything further to the nurse. She slid her hand into the cool palm of the nurse as she let her pull her cautiously to her feet. It took Blythe a solid minute to regain her balance and feel secure on her feet again. Once she gave the nod the nurse pulled Blythe's hand through her arm beginning a very slow pace towards the door leading out into the ward. As they exited the room the noise of the hospital became loud and apparent. People were bustling down every hallway, rushing every which way. The nurse took it slow, not rushing Blythe any faster than she was ready for. Incredibly grateful for that, Blythe slid a small smile towards the helpful nurse.

The ICU was located on the same floor as Blythe. Her father had surgery on the upper floor and had immediately been transferred to a lower level to be monitored carefully after reducing the pressure in his skull. As the aneurism struck her father had fallen and struck his head against a nearby table. The hit was hard enough to cause his brain to knock into the sidewall of his skull resulting in inflammation and expanding of the brain tissue. Luckily, after the doctors had removed a small piece of his skull the swelling was relieved.

It took the pair quiet some time to make their way across the first level of the hospital. By the time they had reached her father's room, Blythe was exhausted. Her nurse walked her close to the door leading to Arthur. She placed a hand on the outside of the door, pushing it slightly ajar. A small gap just big enough to see through gave Blythe enough room to spot her father laying in his hospital bed. The sight was heartbreaking. He had IV's stuck in him, the bags hanging dully from the carrier placed beside his bed. His eyes were closed but there was no mistaking the sunken in, nearly dead look his features provided the naked eye. Blythe couldn't take looking at the scene before her any longer. She pulled away from the door only to catch the sorrowful eyes of the nurse watching her.

"Could I sit down, please?" She asked, gesturing towards a set of chairs set in the hallway almost directly across from her fathers door. The nurse nodded slightly and guided Blythe towards the set of chairs before murmuring that she would be back in a bit to fetch Blythe and return her to her room. Blythe watched as her nurse vanished down the long white hallway before slowly dragging her eyes back to her fathers door.
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