Planchette- Part 73


“Oscar!”

“Hmmm what?”

“You slept in. We need to be at the hospital for your blood tests in just under an hour!”

“Jeez is it that time already?”

“Yes! Come on sleepy head, you’re going to make us late!”

“Have you had breakfast Ava?”

“Of course.”

“Good.”

“Can I make you something Oscar?”

“It’s okay, I’ll get it.”

“Whatever you do don’t skip breakfast! It’s the worst thing you can do!”

“Ava, please stop fussing.”

“It’s because I care, I just want you to be well again.  I’m going home soon, so I wont be bothering you any longer!” Ava snapped.

“Oh come on don’t be like that.”

“Yes well, stop pushing me away.”

“I’m not. I just said…”

“I know what you said. Everything is about you Oscar, I have to fit my life around you. I want to go out and live my life to the full, but I feel that I can’t anymore.”

“Well the only person stopping you is yourself! You have university friends, you choose not to socialise with them! Going out isn’t just about drinking you know!”

“They’re a bit shallow and incredibly bitchy.” Ava sighed.

“Your decision.” Oscar shrugged.

“Whatever. What’s that on your neck?!”

“I’m sorry?”

“You heard.”

“I don’t know, I can’t feel anything. Hang on one moment.”

Oscar paced into the hall and gazed at his neck in the small mirror, running his fingers over the noticeable scratch underneath his chin. He returned with a puzzled expression upon his face.

“I don’t know. It’s a weird place to have a scratch, it must have been when I was shaving yesterday. I didn’t feel anything.”

“It doesn’t look like a shaving cut Oscar.”

“Maybe not, but that’s all I can think of.  Perhaps I did it in my sleep, it might have been your nails?”

“Oh yes Oscar, just blame me why don’t you!”

“I wasn’t. I was just thinking of possibilities, they’re pretty long! Anyway, it doesn’t hurt so let’s leave it at that shall we?”

“Whatever.”

“Going home is going to do you so much good.” Oscar mumbled.

“What was that?!”

“I said you’re going to benefit from going home and seeing your family.”

“Hmm yes, yes I am. I might actually get looked after for a change.”

“I really am sorry Ava.”

“Here, let me have a proper look at that scratch. Yeah it does look like it was caused by a long fingernail. It was more than likely me, but it was an accident.”

“I know it was, it’s absolutely fine, it’s just a little scratch no harm done!”

“It’s quite raised.”

“Ava just leave it okay, it’s really insignificant.”

“I just want to see.”

“Leave it!”

“Okay, chill out will you! Honestly! Stop being so crotchety Oscar, it’s like you’re hiding something.”

“I’m not.”

“I’ll take your word for it. You have to eat something and then we’d best be getting off to the hospital.”

“Fine.”

“You can cut out the short, snappy answers for a start! You’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Oh and I want the ultrasound picture back, you can’t just take ownership of it!”

“Ava, there was more than one picture. I was just looking at it, I must have fallen asleep. Now look who’s grumpy!”

“Well it’s your fault that I’m in this shit mood!”

“Ditto.” Oscar groaned. “I can go by myself to this appointment if you want to get off early.”

“Oh now you’re just being pathetic Oscar! Get a grip!”

“If you don’t want to come, don’t.”

“Christ’s sake! Just get ready, I can’t even be bothered arguing with you!”

Oscar groaned as Ava stormed out of the room, a cloud of thunder looming over her head. He showered and dressed, examining the scratch underneath his chin once more. ‘Really odd’ he thought as he combed his damp hair quickly, gazing at his gaunt face in the steam-covered mirror.

“Oscar are you nearly ready? You’re going to make us late!” Ava shouted from downstairs.

“Five minutes!” He applied deodorant, aftershave and dressed quickly, grabbing his coat from the banister. Today felt different, like he’d been blessed with a little more energy. Ava stood in the narrow hallway, shaking her head. She sighed, deeply and loudly narrowing her eyes at a pale Oscar.

“Ava, please don’t be angry with me, I know you’re probably hormonal, I understand that.”

“There you go again, labeling. ‘Ava is hormonal’, what the hell would you know?!”

“Stop this.”

“Oh just piss off you selfish individual. Just don’t even say anything, I can’t be bothered with you!”

Oscar swallowed, taken aback by Ava’s sharp remarks.  “Look Ava.”

“No, you look. No pregnant woman should have to go through the stress that I have over the past few months. Let’s go!”

Ava snatched the car keys from Oscar’s hands tutting loudly and marched out of the front door.

To be continued…..

 

Planchette-Part 72


“I actually made a little list.” Oscar blushed. “Erm, would you tell us if you could see any abnormalities?”

“Oscar what a thing to ask!”

“Ava, I’m just curious.”

“Yes we could tell you, but from what we can see on the scan, you have a healthy baby.”

“Okay, that’s great.”

“Do either of you want to know anything else?”

“I just wanted to know the sex.” Ava sighed. “I’d quite like a boy actually!”

“I’m afraid from the way that the baby is positioned, it’s impossible to tell.”

“I didn’t realise you wanted a boy Ava!”

“Yeah! Are we done now Lisa?”

“You’re free to go. Here are your pictures.” Lisa handed a small packet to Oscar.

“Thanks.” He beamed.

 “Oscar are you sure that you don’t want to sit down for a moment?”

“No, let’s just go home.”

“Alright. I’m gutted that we couldn’t see the baby’s face properly!”

“Don’t worry.” Oscar smiled. “It wouldn’t have been all that clear anyway.”

“No, you’re right. You should go back to bed when we get home okay.”

“It’s just a waste of the day though isn’t it!”

“It’s not like there’s anything exciting going on.”

“True. I’m so glad that I could be at the scan.”

You know what I think you should do Oscar?”

“What?”

“Call your Mum, tell her that I’ve just had the ultra sound.”

“You have got to be kidding me! I doubt she’ll even answer!”

“Have you spoken to her since we left?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, well have a try.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“Oscar she needs to know that you’re still ill.”

“Ava, she doesn’t care.”

“I think she does, but she’s a very tough one to crack.”

“I disagree.”

“Do I have to do it for you?”

“No, no. I’ll call her.”

Oscar dialed the number listening to the sharp, monotone sound. “I don’t think she’s going to answer.”

“Give her a bloody chance will you Oscar! She will answer!”

Sure enough, someone picked up the phone. “Hello?”

Oscar coughed nervously. “Hi Mum, it’s Oscar. I just wanted to_”

The line at the other end went dead. “Shit. She just hung up on me.”

“Try again.” Ava folded her arms, narrowing her eyes.

“Just one more time.” Oscar agreed nervously.

“What do you really want Oscar?!” Janet snapped.

“Mum, I was just calling to ask how you were and to apologise I guess. I wish we could have parted on better terms the other week. Anyway, that doesn’t matter. Erm, Ava had her ultra sound today.”

“Okay.”

“Anyway, the baby seems healthy and it’s the right size. I just thought you might like to know, seeing as though you are going to be the baby’s Grandma.”

“Okay.You sound weak Oscar.”

“What does that matter?”

“You have been to the doctors haven’t you?”

“Yeah I have.”

“And?”

“It didn’t really reveal much. I have blood tests soon, we’ll go from there.”

“Alright. I need to go now Oscar.”

“Okay Mum. I love you.”

Silence, Janet hung up abruptly.

“Oscar, we’re back now.”

“Yes I did notice.” Oscar stated sullenly.

“Oscar, I’m not going to lie you look absolutely ghastly.”

“Okay.”

“I really think you should go back to bed, you’re really off colour with dark circles around your eyes. Take time to relax, have a bath or something. Take it easy, you don’t look well at all.”

“Yes, you have mentioned it Ava.”

“Oh and Oscar?”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t lock the bathroom door.”

“What?”

“Just in case I have to come in there and rescue you.”

“Now you’re just being silly, but okay I’ll just close it.”

“Good. I’ll be up soon.”

“Thanks.”

An hour passed by. Ava sat alone in the living room, listening to the gentle ticking of the clock and the pitter-patter of the raindrops upon the window. ‘Life is strange’, she thought. ‘So much has changed in such a short amount of time.’ She pottered for a while in the kitchen, arranging the few dishes in the cupboards. Where are the scan pictures? They had been resting upon the small kitchen table. Ava’s stomach fluttered as she gazed along the work top. Maybe they were upstairs? She queried. After all she had placed her handbag in her room, perhaps she had placed it down by accident? She paced quickly but quietly upstairs into her bedroom. She hesitated, glancing at the sleeping Oscar. He lay there on his side, curled up ever so slightly. The packet of photos stood carefully propped on the bedside table. In the dimness of the room Ava could make out a small, shiny photograph. On the pillow beside him lay the image of their baby.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 71


“Well I’m very glad to hear it! Why didn’t you just tell me months ago?”

“It was awkward! Can we not talk about this anymore, lets focus on the ultra sound!”

“Yes, something which I’m actually excited about!”

“If I’m honest, you don’t look it Oscar.”

“Don’t burst my bubble. I am.”

“Well I was only being truthful.” Ava sighed.

“What’s this scan called again?”

“The anomaly scan. It’s to check that there are no abnormalities such as genetic conditions or heart problems. It’s basically an ultra sound.”

“Oh yeah.”

I did already explain that to you. You seem really distant today, like you’re not with me or something.”

“I’m fine,really.”

“Well you haven’t exactly been on top form. I mean just look at you, you look like you’re about to topple over Oscar!”

“Thanks a bunch!”

“Someone has to tell it as it is!”

“Yes well, once I’ve had my blood test then hopefully I’ll be able to do something about it.”

“It’s tomorrow isn’t it?”

“Yeah. Right you, get your coat otherwise we’re going to be late.”

“Fine Oscar, I’m driving though.”

The pair pulled up at the familiar hospital.

“Do you know where you’re going?”

“Of course Oscar! Unlike you, I’m actually organised! It’s in the Mother and Baby unit, come on!”

“Who’s doing it?”

“Probably a sonographer. Here we are, I think it’s this way. Keep looking out for the signs.”

Oscar nodded. “This way.”

“Ah yes.” Ava smiled. “Your eyesight is far better than mine.”

“Clearly.”

Ava wandered over to reception. “Hi I have an appointment for an ultra sound, here’s my appointment card.”

The receptionist glanced cautiously at the details. “Ah yes. Someone will be with you shortly.”

Oscar glanced at Ava. “That was a bit brief, shouldn’t she put you into the computer system or something?”

“I think she is Oscar. But yeah, she was a bit vacant. Let’s sit here. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yes!”

“Sorry for caring!”

“I honestly don’t feel too bad today. I’m just pissed off with you.”

Ava tutted, turning her body to face in the opposite direction. A small red-headed health care assistant poked her head around one of the previously closed doors, reading Ava’s name from a small list.

“Hey, yes that’s me.”

“Lovely, we’re ready for you now.”

“This is it!” Oscar whispered,  as they followed her into a small room.

“I’m Carol and this is our sonographer Lisa.”

“Oh hi!”

Lisa smiled and nodded. “Let me explain a bit about it first. The whole experience will be a bit like watching a personal computer. The probe will be placed in a certain way so that we can see your baby.  To help make good contact I’m going to apply some ultra sound gel. Your stomach is technically divided into 4 parts but I’ll explain all this as we go along.”

“Okay.”

“If we can just ask you to lie here. That’s it just relax  and if you can just unbutton your jeans as we’ll have to put the probe there.”

“Thanks.”

“Here I’ll just put one dollop of the gel upon your abdomen.”

“Ooh that’s freezing!”

“Sorry.”

“That’s okay.” Ava smiled.

“Keep taking deep breaths in and out. We’re going to take measurements and pictures of the baby from time to time. Of course you’ll get to keep the pictures. Are you ready? I’ll just pass this device backwards and forwards. Here we are!”

Oh my God there it is!” Oscar gasped.

“The baby looks tiny.” Ava sighed, staring more closely.

“Don’t worry, you still have at least 18 weeks to go! There’s time yet for the baby to grow. I’m going to take some measurements.” Carol smiled, carefully clicking away and recording them. “There we are. Your baby is about the size we’d expect. If we look down here we can see that all the bones in its face, neck and spine are aligning correctly. I’ll just go over here, yes, no abnormalities there.”

“Thank god!” Oscar smiled. “Oh look at it’s little fingers and toes. Our child is going to be a thumb sucker!”

“It’ll save money on dummies I suppose! It does look alien like at the moment! Sods law that it’s legs are crossed! I wanted to know the sex!” Ava sighed.

“Oh well, it can be a lovely surprise.” Oscar smiled weakly.

“No wonder I could feel it kick, it’s wriggling about all over the place.” Ava grinned.

Oscar laughed. ” A little acrobat in the making!”

“Now I’m just going to take some proper measurements.” Carol stated, clicking away at the ultrasound machine.

“Good. It’s about the right length for a 20 week baby,  all the organs are fine and from what we can see and the placenta is in a good position. Just listen to the heart beat, it’s strong.”

“That’s wonderful!”

“There’s no obvious problems. You have a healthy baby from what we can see.”

“Lovely, I just would have liked to have seen its face a bit more clearly. It hasn’t moved its hand away from it’s face for a single moment and of course we still don’t know whether it is a he or she. Everything seems so real now. Personally I don’t mind. Do you Oscar? Oscar, are you alright?”

“I’m fine. No, no I don’t mind. I just want our child to be healthy. Look, it looks like it’s waving! How cute!” Oscar beamed.

“Yeah, it’s hand is blocking half it’s face!” Ava groaned. “That’s the part I wanted to see!”

“The position of the placenta is also fine. From the scan all looks well, all the major organs are healthy and growing well.”

“Excellent! Is that us done now?”

“Yes. I’ll just get you your pictures. Here’s some paper towels to wipe your stomach Ava.”

“Thank you.” Ava did so, discarding the paper in the bin.

Here you go, these are yours to keep. Do you have any other questions or concerns.”

Ava shook her head. “No I can’t think of any, Oscar do you have some?”

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 70


“Oh and what’s that Ava?”

My confession?”

“Obviously!”

 “Okay, here goes. Remember right back in the Autumn?”

“Yes, go on.” Oscar willed.

“In the days before Sebastian lost it?”

“Yeah.”    

“There was one particular night out. You had gone to the toilet and well, it was a spur of the moment thing. We kissed. When I said that I didn’t realise that he had feelings for me well, that was a lie because I knew full well that he did!”

“Right, why are you telling me now Ava?!”

“Well you just said that we should always tell each other the truth!”

“So that night that he punched me after we’d gone out in town, he knew that you had feelings for him! No wonder he was so furious, I probably deserved that punch although, how was I to know how much it would upset him if my girlfriend keeps secrets from me?! Bloody hell Ava! Why did you wait months to tell me this?”

“I knew you’d overreact!”

“Overreact! Jesus! Did it go further than a kiss? Tell me truthfully!”

“No!” Ava gasped, “absolutely not!

“Did he kiss you first?”

“It was mutual.”

“Have you any idea how shit it makes me feel? No don’t even answer that. You’ve really shocked me, how could you just lie like that?! I really did trust you and now, I just don’t know! I’m going to bed in my own room, we’ll talk again in the morning.

“Oscar you shouldn’t go to bed angry!”

“Well I’m certainly not staying up to fight!”

“Shit Oscar, please don’t cry!”

“Piss off Ava!”

***

Oscar awoke early the next morning, his face stinging and tear stained. He groaned, raising his head from his damp pillow. He left his bed, routing helplessly in the bathroom cabinet in attempt to try to find some paracetamol. He jumped, sensing a hand upon his back.

Sorry, I scared you didn’t I? What are you looking for?”

“Paracetamol.”

“You have a headache?”

“Yes.”

“I thought so. It’s your pale face and squinting eyes that give it away. Also the fact that you’re stood in the dark.”

“Okay.”

“Are you still cross with me Oscar?”

“Extremely.” Oscar sniffed, wiping his nose.

“Wait one minute, I think I have some in my bedroom, come back to bed. I really don’t want to leave you, not if you’re feeling unwell!” Ava placed a hand upon Oscar’s arm. He moved swiftly away.

“I’ll be fine.”

Ava ignored him. “Here just as I thought, there are some in my top draw. Here you are have a couple. My back is killing me, I can barely walk today.”

“I can manage them without water.” Oscar stated weakly.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.” Oscar swallowed the tablets. “There! They’re gone.”

“Good. That saved me the journey. Now get back to bed it’s only 4.30 am, hopefully your pain relief will kick in soon.”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t forget, the ultrasound is today.”

“How could I forget?”

Ava nodded. “Come on you! Bed!”

Oscar crawled into bed, hiding his head under the duvet in attempt to hide his eyes from any traces of light which were seeping through Ava’s thin curtains. He drifted into a restless sleep.

“Oscar!” Ava’s face loomed over him, her long hair wrapped in a white towel.

“W-what. What time is it?”

“We have an hour before we have to get to the hospital. How’s your head?”

“The pain has gone, I’m so relieved.”

“Oh good!” Ava smiled. “I’m glad it was just a headache and not a migrane.”

“Yeah.”

“Now go and jump in the shower! Do you want me to make you something to eat?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Oscar!”

“I’ll see how I feel in 15 minutes or so.”

“Fine.”

“Stop being so pushy!”

“Oh Oscar I’m not! Think of me for a change. I really need your support here. I’m nervous about this scan, some words of reassurance might be good, I was beside myself this morning! You were asleep in bed when I needed you.”

“I had a headache! Think of you? It didn’t help that you dropped that little bombshell last night!”

“I’m the one carrying the baby!”

“ I’m going to be a parent too you know!”

“Obviously. Right I’m going to go to the toilet for the millionth time today. I need to dry my hair, when I return I expect you to have eaten something.”

“I’ll try.”

“No Oscar, not you’ll try, you will.”

Ava strutted from the room leaving Oscar alone in the kitchen. What to eat? His stomach tightened in knots as he eyed the combined bread and cereal cupboard. Gingerly, he pulled out a small, single slice of brown bread placing it in the toaster. Oscar poured himself a large glass of water and seated himself down at the small table in attempt to stop his weary legs from trembling. He collected the toast and buttered it. A radiant Ava returned.

Is that all you can manage again?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. Just remember, little and often.”

“I know.”

“How do you feel?”

“Like I’ve been kicked in the stomach! Are you sure that the little fling between you and Sebastian didn’t go further than a kiss?”

“Oscar! What do you take me for? You were my first, I can promise you that.”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 69


“Well this is a random conversation to be having while making love.”

“It is a bit Ava.”

“Did you realise at the time that it was strange behaviour? I mean, how long did this go on for?”

“Who are you? My counselor?!”

“I’m intrigued and slightly concerned.”

“Well don’t be, it’s all in the past now.”

“Now you just don’t eat in general! Thank goodness that the majority of the food that you bought the other week could go into the freezer, otherwise that would have been a huge waste. You’re more messed up than I thought!”

“Oh well thank you so, so much!” Oscar rolled onto his back, gazing up at the high ceiling.

“I’m saying it as it is! I’m still not happy about it. I realise now that it probably isn’t your fault at the moment. I have to be honest, your past scares me more. What other deep, dark secrets are you hiding Oscar?”

“Nothing about my life is deep or dark as you put it.You know what worries me more Ava? The fact that you wont even talk about yours!”

“You know why!”

“No I don’t ,that’s the issue. So before you go around pointing a finger of blame and criticizing me, just think. Can you be one to judge? I don’t think so, but I really couldn’t say because you are so God-damned secretive!” Oscar flung the covers back, pulling on his dressing gown.

“Oh piss off Oscar. I’m the pregnant one here. You know what, I’m so sick of everything at the moment! If I wasn’t pregnant I would walk out that door. I hate this, I feel so stressed all of the time. Do you really think that this is doing me any good? What scares me the most is what it’s doing to our baby! They say stress in Mothers can harm the fetus, it can even lower it’s IQ and yes I have been doing my research!”

“Ava look I— ”

“No you look Oscar. I don’t think I can do this anymore!”

“You’re not–”

“No, but I need a break. I want to go home for a bit. I miss my Auntie Olive more than anything. I was going to go home for the long weekend. I’m tired of this, so I’m going to get away for a few days before I explode.”

“Okay.”

“You’re agreeing to it Oscar?”

“Yes. It will be good for the both of us.”

“And what about you?”

“I’ll be alright. Any major problems and I’ll ring you.”

“Okay Oscar. I’m just going to ring home to give my Aunt a bit of notice. Oh God! How will I hide the fact that I’m pregnant. I can’t go home! Shit!”

“Just calm down! She’s going to find out soon or later? You still haven’t told her?”

“No!”

“That’s an absolute joke Ava!”

“Don’t you lecture me!”

“Well she’s going to get a huge shock isn’t she? No you need to go home. I need space.”

“What happens if you’re unwell again and I’m not here?”

“Ava! I’ll be careful, I promise! Just go.”

“Wow! You’re really keen to get rid of me! Thanks a bunch.” Ava huffed.

“No, I just think that you deserve some time to yourself before the baby is born. You’ll feel much better for it!”

Ava sighed. “Okay.”

Oscar smiled. “Good. Now please go and tell your Auntie Olive our news. You can’t just walk in pregnant! She’d die of shock!”

Ava laughed. “It would be the end of her.”

“Go!”

“Yes, yes okay bossy!”

“Hi Auntie Olive it’s Ava! Hey! I was just wondering, are you free this weekend? You are? I’d love to see you it’s been such a long time. I’ll probably get the train, yes. It will be so great to see you too I can’t wait. I just need to look at train times but I’ll let you know. Okay bye!”

Ava re entered the room looking a little flushed, Oscar raised an eye brow “You didn’t tell her!”

“I just couldn’t. Crap, what was I thinking?”

“Her reaction can’t be any worse than my Mum’s surely. Don’t fret. I don’t want you standing about waiting for trains in the freezing cold so please use my car.”

“Are you sure?”

Oscar nodded. “Absolutely, it’ll be quicker too.”

“Okay, thanks. I’m sorry, we seem to bicker so much more than we used to.”

“I think we’re just bolder than we used to be.” Oscar laughed. “I’d rather we just told each other the truth, instead of holding a grudge.”

“Hmm yes, I agree Oscar which is why I have something that I need to confess.”

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 68


“I still can’t believe you didn’t let me come to your first scan.”

“Oscar are you ever going to just let that go?”

“No.”

“You know what, I’m not even going to bring that up, you need to move on!”

“Whatever Ava.”

“This is the ultrasound scan for 18-21 week pregnancies, it’ll be far more interesting. The first wasn’t even clear and I’ve already showed you the picture.”

“Ah yeah, I guess so.”

“How are you feeling Oscar?”

“You’re changing the subject! I feel alright.”

“You look really drained.”

“I feel okay, honestly.”

“Oh my God! There!”

“What?”

“Give me your hand Oscar!”

“Erm okay.”

Ava took Oscar’s slim hand in hers and placed it onto her stomach. Their eyes met, Oscars widening and a large smile spread across his face.

“I felt it! Oh my God our baby kicked! Is that the first time?”

“It’s never been that clear before. Just keep your hand there.”

“Yes it was stronger that time. This is amazing! Are you sure that you haven’t felt the baby kick before?”

No Oscar, in the past it was more of a sensation like butterflies.I think it’s gone now. We were going to go upstairs until that little interruption. My room, let’s go.”

Oscar nodded, following behind Ava.

“You’re a bit breathless Oscar.”

“I’m probably just unfit.”

“I hope so. Make yourself comfortable.”

“Oh I fully intend to Ava. I’m so envious of your room, it’s really homely.”

“I know I love it. I bought these fairy lights the other day. What do you think?”

“Lovely.” Oscar smiled weakly.

“Not long until the blood test Oscar.” Ava reassured. “Then you’ll be as right as rain.”

“Yeah, course I will. I have to be.”

“Have you heard anything from your Mum?”

“Don’t bring that up again.”

“Oscar, I’m sorry I wasn’t thinking. Don’t give me the cold shoulder.”

“I’m not. It really hurts that’s all.”

“Your shoulder?”

Oscar laughed. “It was an expression of speech Ava!”

“Oh God! I’m so blonde sometimes! You meant your Mum didn’t you?”

“Yeah. Let’s not bring her up now.Right, what do you want to do now?”

“Have sex!” Ava blurted.

“Jesus! Hold your horses!” Oscar laughed. “I would, but I don’t think I have the energy.”

“We could take it slow and steady?”

“Alright.”

“Really?!”

“Yeah. The passion in our relationship seems to have dwindled recently.”

“Well that’s hardly my fault!”

“Ava that’s not what I was implying, I’ll hold my hands up and fully take the blame for that.”

“We should have a good chat and have sex.”

“Fine. Close the curtains.”

“Oh yeah.”

Oscar removed his t-shirt, as he did so Ava’s eyes widened as he revealed his thin body.

“What?”

“I swear you’ve lost weight again!”

“I have been eating!”

“Yes I know. Shit I had no idea you looked that bad!”

“Oh thank you so much.”

“Sorry, that wasn’t a dig at you Oscar. I realise now that you probably can’t help it!”

“Thank God! At long last! I know I shouldn’t be this thin. This is the skinniest I’ve ever been even when…” Oscar froze.

“Go on.” Ava willed, tilting her head to one side.

“No matter.”

“No you have to tell me now.”

“No I don’t! Why should I when I know so little about you Ava. I basically know nothing about you because you’re so secretive! Why should I have to tell you my life story when I don’t know yours?”

“ I’ve told you it in a nutshell.”

“Not really, but I’ll tell you anyhow.I’ll admit that I probably did have weird eating habits when I was slightly younger. I still blame my Mum’s cooking.”

“Go on.”

“Well obviously after the huge arguments caused by food, I tried to eat everything. My Mum’s cooking was the worst thing. I couldn’t even swallow it. I think I managed to hide about a quarter of my dinner most nights in my napkin.”

“That’s strange behaviour.”

“I know. I wasn’t exactly starving myself on purpose.”

“But you didn’t eat again afterwards?”

“Ava there was nothing spare in the cupboards!”

“Nothing at all? Honestly?”

“No! Unless you like eating dried pasta. There was sometimes bread, so I’d just have a slice of bread and butter instead.”

“ Why should it affect you now Oscar? You’re free to eat as much as you want!”

“That’s not my point. I used to eat properly here, it’s only recently.”

“You don’t hide food here do you? I’ve certainly never noticed!”

“No. Erm well, only once.”

“When?”

“Remember the curry that Sebastian made?”

Ava laughed. “What was in that? It tasted like washing up liquid! I don’t think he rinsed the pan properly. There was so much disgusting grease! How could I forget?  It was awful; his cooking was the most shocking thing!”

“Not as shocking as he behaviour. He was an awful cook! I didn’t eat mine.”

“So that’s what you were doing! What did you do with it?”

“ I wrapped most of it in kitchen roll and hid it in the back bin.”

 “I hope you never do that with my cooking. You better not!”

“No I promise I don’t.”

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 67


“I hope so.” She whispered. “I’m just glad you agreed to the appointment.”

“So am I, or at least I will be when they get to the bottom of the problem.”

“How do you feel now Oscar?”

“Really tired if I’m honest.”

“So am I and my back is absolutely killing me.”

Oscar rubbed the bottom of Ava’s back. “I feel a duvet day coming on.”

“Sounds perfect to me!” Ava smiled. “Duvet, girly films and hot chocolate.”

“Not chick flicks!” Oscar groaned.

“Just pulling your leg! I’m sure that we can settle for something that we both like. I wont inflict that upon you.”

“I don’t mind, I secretly enjoy them really.”

Hand in hand the walked to the car park.

“Oscar how do you feel?”

“I actually feel alright today. You must be exhausted. I’m sorry, I really will make it up to you Ava.”

“You’re fine. You’re no trouble. You have to be well and rested for this ultrasound. I need you to be there!”

“I want to be with you more than anything.”

“I know you do. Let’s get home. ”

Ava pulled into the side street, helping Oscar out of the passenger side of the car. Ava offered Oscar her arm and they walked arm in arm towards the house.

“Some light might be good!” Ava smiled “I might actually be able to see the lock. I hate these dark nights. In fact, I dislike winter in general Come on in. Sit on the sofa Oscar. Jesus it’s freezing! I’ll go and get my duvet.”

Ava left the room, returning with her duvet trailing behind her. “I’m really tired myself, I’ll put the film on and then make the drinks.” She carefully tucked the duvet around Oscar who rested his head against the cushion. Ava clicked on the film and returned with the hot chocolate and a hot water bottle tucked under one arm.

This is wonderful, thank you Ava.

“Good, I’m glad. I know it’s only morning but I’m so drained.”

 “I know what you mean.” Oscar sighed. “What film are we watching?”

“Stardust! We’ve just had this discussion. It’s not like you to forget. You must be tired.”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure that you don’t want to go to bed?”

“No chance! It’s not even midday. If I did, I wouldn’t sleep tonight!”

“I could wake you in a couple of hours?”

“No, I’ll stay where I am.”

“Okay.”

Ava wrapped her arms around Oscar’s neck, resting her cheek upon his chest. Oscar gently kissed her forehead, stroking her flowing hair. “Your hair is so long!”

“I’m long overdue a hair cut!”

“It looks beautiful.”

“Thanks. You stay there. I’m just going to get my laptop. I really want to find out what the phrases from the Ouija board meant otherwise it’s really going to bug me.  I wont be able to sleep tonight.”

“How do you know what language the messages were in?”

“I don’t. At a guess I’d say something old. Maybe Latin. I’ll go on a converter website, I imagine it will be fairly accurate. I still have the piece of paper in my pocket.”

Ava nervously searched Google, glancing over the top of her laptop at a sleepy Oscar. Now was not the time or place.

“Ah just as I thought. A load of old rubbish, they’re just random words.” She lied.

“Hmm good, that’s reassuring.”

“Yeah. we’ll just leave it for now and just forget everything, focus on the film.”

“Okay Ava. Well, if I can stay awake. How’s our baby doing?”

“Absolutely fine.” Ava smiled. “It needs to be fed though.” She grinned. “I’m so glad that the morning sickness has stopped. I’m starving! Do you want me to make you something too? You’ve had nothing since breakfast.”

“I’m not hungry, but I’ll try and force myself to eat something. What are you having?”

“I was thinking a jacket potato. Want one?”

“No thanks.”

“Not even a small one?”

Oscar shook his head. “Fruit and yogurt?”

“Oscar you need to get some carbs into your system for energy.”

“Okay. Add some cereal to that combination then. There, happy?”

Ava nodded. “Yes. I’ll bring it through.”

“I hope you get a phone call about your blood tests.”

“I’m sure I will. I can’t stop thinking about your ultra sound scan. It’s so exciting.”

“Hmm, yeah.”

“Ava you don’t sound convinced.”

“No, no I’m excited, just a bit nervous and worried.”

“Don’t be! It’s all staring to feel real now. It’s wonderful! I feel so positive about the whole thing.”

“I’m just worried for you Oscar.”

“I’ll be alright.”

They ate in silence under the duvet enraptured in the remainder of the film, much to Ava’s relief Oscar had eaten everything.

“Are you getting your appetite back?”

“I’m full now, but that really filled a space, thanks.”

“Little and often.”

“I’m sorry?”

“It would do you good to eat little and often.”

“Alright.”

“There’s no point facing yourself with lots of food when you’re struggling to eat.”

“Yeah that’s true. I might go and lie down on my bed for a bit. Is that okay? I don’t want to be antisocial.”

“Don’t worry. Listen to your body and conserve your energy. Can I come and join you?”

“Yeah, sure come on.”

“Okay, we’ll go in my room then.”

“Alright.”

“You look a bit shaky on your feet, are you sure that you can make it?”

“I’ll make it.”

“You sound certain!”

“I’m determined! I need to get better to attend this ultrasound with you. I’d be devastated if I couldn’t go.”

Ava nodded, a lump coming to her throat and fresh, salty tears pooling in her eyes. “I know Oscar, I know.”

To be continued……

Planchette- Part 66


A small middle aged man with a noticeably receding hair line greeted them.

“Hello I’m Doctor Cassidy, you must be Oscar. What seems to be the problem?”

“I’m just a little concerned about my health, it hasn’t been so great over the past few months.”

“I see. Could you tell me about your past medical history Oscar?”

“I’m normally healthy, or at least I was until a few months ago. I’ve barely been ill in the past expect for the odd cough and cold during the winter.  I’ve lost weight quickly. I have no appetite any more, I just don’t physically feel hungry. It’s possibly just stress. We’ve had a difficult time over the past few months.”

“He has no energy. Then there’s the headaches.”

Oscar cleared his throat. “They’re pretty bad. I get no warning, they come on all of a sudden. I’m struggling to control my emotions at the moment.”

“Oscar sleeps far longer than he used to. He’s passed out a couple of times.” Ava cleared her throat.

“I got diagnosed with concussion a few months ago. Could it be linked to that?”

Doctor Cassidy studied Oscar’s notes in more detail. “Possibly. The symptoms can linger for weeks. We’ll do some routine checks. I’ll take your blood pressure and listen to your heart rate.We’ll go from there. We might need to get you booked in for an ECG.”

“Thanks.”

“Do you have any cases of heart conditions or any other significant health problems in your family?”

Oscar shook his head. “No not really. I can’t think of anything.”

“Okay. I’ll do your blood pressure manually, it gives a more accurate reading. Are you able to roll back your sleeve?”

“Sure.” Doctor Cassidy placed a pillow under Oscar’s arm,  he pumped up the cuff gently releasing the small red valve so that the cuff might deflate slightly, allowing the small red arrow on the reader to fall.

“Hmm 95/68 it’s a little low. Ideally I’d like you to have a blood pressure reading of at least 100/70 but it’s nothing to be hugely concerned about, I’ve seen far worse. I might try the other arm if that’s alright.”

“No problem.”

“It’s almost exactly the same. Can I have a listen to your chest, have you been experiencing any palpitations or unusual heart rhythms?”

“No, not really.”

“Alright. Hmm your heart rate is normal. Sometimes faintness can be caused by the heart fluttering or a heart murmur, although yours seems to be fine at present, I’m still going to do an ECG.”

Ava sighed. “That’s a huge relief. That’s what I was most worried about. So do you think it’s the low blood pressure and stress that has caused this?”

“Possibly. I’m also going to book you in for some blood tests.”

“Will we have to come back for them?”

“Yes. I’ll make sure you have a full blood count taken, it should reveal any underlying problems.”

“Thanks.”

“You’ll receive a letter and a phone call within the next couple of days with the details. Take things easy if you feel unwell, make sure that you get plenty of rest. Are you still attending lectures?”

“Yeah. luckily they’re only normally 3 hours long. I’ll cope.”

“Hmm, it’s your decision. I can write you a sick note.”

Oscar shook his head. “I’ll be fine.”

Ava grasped Oscar’s arm “I really think that would be a good idea Oscar.” Oscar shook his head.

“I’ll do your ECG. Are you able to lie on the small couch. Just pull the curtain and remove your top.” Oscar nodded with Ava following behind, who quickly  seated herself in the plastic chair. Doctor Cassidy entered the small cubicle a few moments later.

Okay I’m just going to place these tabs onto your chest and then one on each leg and arm. Once that’s done I’ll connect you to the monitor. Don’t worry it will only take a few minutes.”

He did so, Oscar and Ava did not utter a word, waiting for the result to appear on the small screen.

“Hmm.” Doctor Cassidy squinted his eyes, taking a closer view at the reading. “I’m just going to print a copy and then I’ll do a repeat reading if that’s alright with you.”

“Yeah fine.” Oscar nodded. “There’s nothing too abnormal on there is there?”

“No, it looks very normal indeed. I just want to make sure that it’s completely correct.”

He adjusted three of the leads ever so slightly and re-took the reading. “Again it looks fine, I’m happy with that.”

“Oh thank god!” Ava exclaimed. “That’s what worried me the most. I’m so glad we’ve cleared that up. ”

Doctor Cassidy nodded. “I’ll just take your blood sugar. It shouldn’t hurt. Have you eaten today?”

“Yeah.”

He took a small device from the grey box on the side and pricked Oscar’s finger, catching the tiny drop of blood on the strip. The small device beeped. “Five. Yes that’s a normal reading.”

“Good.”

“Of course, you still have your appointment for your blood tests.”

“Yes that’s right. Thank you.”

“You’re more than welcome. I’ll give you a few moments to organise yourself but you’re free to go.” Oscar nodded.

 “Look after yourself. Good luck with your blood tests.”

Oscar smiled and shook Doctor Cassidy’s hand. “Thanks.”

Ava stood at Oscar’s side, her eyes full to the brim with tears. Oscar held her to him. “Don’t you worry” Oscar coaxed. “It will all be fine, you’ll see.”

To be continued…

Planchette-Part 65


Ava glanced at Oscar. “Second question. How did you die?”

‘W-A-T-E-R’

“You drowned?!”

‘Y-E-S’

“Oh God.  Are you who we think you are?”

‘Y-E-S’

“Do you have any messages. Anything you’d like to say to either of us ?”

‘O-S-C-A-R’

Oscar grasped Ava’s hand. “Shh it’s alright, hear him out. Don’t be scared, he’s dead. He can’t hurt you now.”

Oscar nodded. “Go on Sebastian.”

‘A M-E-M-E-N-T-O  M-O-R-I’ (Latin- remember that you will die)

“What that doesn’t make sense.”

“It’s foreign I think. Oscar write it down, we’ll have to look it up.”

“Is that all you have to say Sebastian?”

‘A-V-A’

Y-yes Sebastian?”

‘A-M-O-R  C-A-E-C-U-S  E-S-T’ (love is blind)

“Why is it in a different language?”

“Shut up Oscar! Let him finish. Sebastian what else do you want to say?”

‘O-S-C-A-R  V-O-M-I-C-A V-O-S’ (Oscar I curse you)

“Oscar it’s all noted down. Should we stop now?”

“Yes,  goodbye Sebastian.”

“N-O”

“Shit, Oscar he’s not going!”

“Ava you try!”

“Sebastian we wont hold any grudges. Go in peace, say goodbye.”

The glass remained stationary, the pair sat in anticipation waiting for an answer but it did not come.

Please Sebastian we need this final reply!

“Alright, I’m saying goodbye Sebastian. Ava let’s look up these terms and go from there. They didn’t sound too positive.”

“How would you know!” Ava snapped. “Since when did you ever speak or understand Latin?!”

“Don’t bite my head off Ava!”

“I wasn’t!”

“I think you’ll find that you were, but anyway it doesn’t matter. I’ll phone the doctors.”

“You haven’t done it yet!”

It’s 8.55am, I have 5 minutes. You said I had until 9am so I’ll do it now.”

“Good.”

“Please don’t ear wig into the conversation, put the Ouija board away or something.”

“I’m staying right here.”

Oscar groaned. “Hello my name is Oscar Setterfield. I was just ringing to inquire whether you have any free appointments this week. Oh there’s one today? Yes that time would be great. I haven’t been feeling too well recently, just really drained, dizzy and I’ve fainted a few times. It’s probably nothing but I just wanted to make sure. Yes it is a bit worrying.  Hmmm yes, thank you for your help. Goodbye.”

“There was one for today?” Ava smiled.  “Well that was easy! You have no idea how relieved I am. Sorry for snapping.”

“You’re always so much happier after you’ve got your own way.”

“I know, sorry. What time is the appointment?”

“10am.”

“That early? That’s brilliant. I’ll go and dry my hair. Please eat something because it could affect your blood pressure.”

Oscar nodded. “Yeah, very good point. I’ll make you something too! What would you like?”

“Oh just some toast would be great with peanut butter and banana! I love that at the moment.”

“Yeah I noticed!” Oscar laughed. “Do you want tea?”

“Please. Thanks.”

Oscar poured a minuscule bowl of cornflakes for himself with a large glass of water to accompany. Ava was quick to return with her long hair flowing over one shoulder. She eyed Oscar’s meager breakfast, comparing it with her own.

“Is that all you can manage?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. Are you sure that you don’t want the rest of the banana?”

“All right, it needs using up.”

Good.” Ava smiled satisfied. “I just don’t want your blood sugar to be unnecessarily low just because you haven’t eaten. They’re sure to check it.”

“Thanks Ava. Your morning sickness seems to have calmed down.”

“Yeah, hopefully. I felt guilty throwing up when the poor baby needs the nutrients.”

“It’s not your fault. I’m looking forward to the scan.” Oscar smiled.

“I know you are, I bet you’re counting down the days!”

“I am!” Oscar laughed. “I can’t wait! Is that daft?”

“No, it’s sweet and I love you.” Ava grinned, throwing her arms around Oscar’s neck and kissing him tenderly, which he reciprocated.

“Where did that come from?” Oscar laughed.

“Oh I don’t know, just out of the blue I guess!”

Oscar spied the cheap kitchen wall clock. “Is that the time? We need to go! Are you alright walking Ava?”

“Of course! Are you? Or would you like me to drive?”

“No, no I’ll walk. I need fresh air. Leave the dishes, there’s hardly any. Let’s get going. ”

“Fair enough.”

***

On arrival at the surgery, Oscar wandered over to the small reception, gazing at the randomly placed line of artwork covering an otherwise plain wall.

“Hi I have an appointment for 10am.”

The tall, raven-black haired receptionist smiled, clicking the computer mouse. “Oscar Setterfield?”

“Sorry, yes.”

“Please have a seat in the waiting area, you shouldn’t have to wait long. You’ll be seeing Doctor Cassidy, he’s upstairs but we’ll tell you when he’s ready.”

Great thanks.” She nodded, pointing to the small clutch of seats .

“Don’t be nervous Oscar, it will be fine I’m sure.”

“Yeah, thanks. I can’t stop thinking about the Ouija board.”

“Hey don’t worry anymore. It was probably just us subconsciously moving it.”

“I’m not so sure.”

“Don’t let it bother you. It probably wasn’t even Sebastian.”

“Perhaps.”

“Concentrate on yourself and getting better alright. Hopefully today will give us some answers.”

“Oscar Setterfield?” The pair rose to their feet. The receptionist smiled. “Doctor Cassidy is ready for you now in surgery room 12, it’s just up the staircase and on your left.”

“Thanks.” Ava smiled.

After clambering the steep staircase, a breathless Oscar knocked upon the door and entered the small room.

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 64


You have to get into bed!”

“You’re really quite controlling aren’t you?”

“That’s because I have to be. Please get into bed Oscar.”

“Fine. My head is still spinning though.”

“Here, lie down, close your eyes and take deep breaths. That’s it. Any better?”

“Yeah, thanks Ava.”

***

Oscar was first to awaken, aware that Ava was fast asleep beside him. Oscar stretched, relieved that his headache had vanished.  He covered Ava with the duvet, grabbed a towel and wandered into the bathroom for a shower. Upon exiting, Ava stood in the hallway, leaning against the wall wrapped in her dressing gown.

“Have you phoned the doctor’s surgery yet.”

“No. Can’t you see that I’ve just come out of the bathroom!”

“When are you ever going to waken up and smell the coffee?!”

“Meaning?”

“Exactly my point!  If I were you, I would have been on the phone at 8am this morning, not fast asleep in bed!”

“I was tired.I will phone shortly.”

“Oscar you have until 9.30 am, otherwise I’m doing it for you!”

“Ava stop treating me like a child! I’m an adult! What on earth am I supposed to say?”

“Say that you need an emergency appointment. I’m going to jump in the shower. Actually no, on second thoughts I’m going to listen into this conversation.”

“Oh no you’re not. You seriously need to back off a bit and give me some breathing space.”

“Oh is that what you think?!” Ava snapped.

“Yes I do. Go and have your shower.”

“No chance Oscar!”

“You know what! I’m getting sick of your nagging!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Oscar.”

“I think you do. Do this, don’t do that. Just back off okay!”

“I’m trying to help you!”

“Please just give me some breathing space Ava!”

“Well you need to stop thinking about yourself all of the time! Just remember who’s pregnant!”

“I know, I’ve already apologised, let’s not fight. I don’t have the energy.”

“There you go again Oscar! I, me, myself! Stop it !”

“It was the truth, I can’t exactly help how I feel.”

“I suppose.” Ava shrugged. “Think about other people, Sebastian for example.”

Oscar grabbed the radiator. “You’re kidding me!”

“Have you been following the police inquiry Oscar?”

Oscar swallowed “Yes.” 

“And?”

“They’ve found nothing, no evidence or anything. The police have virtually no clue of his whereabouts.”

“I know Ava! He may even be dead for all we know.”

“Very possibly. Oscar my point was, I think that you need to let this go and move on.”

“I really can’t. I want to know what his motives were, I mean were they even remotely linked to the Ouija board? Do you still have it?”

“Yes, it’s under my bed.”

I never thought I’d say this, but I think it’s time to get it out again.”

“What about me!” Ava protested. “I’m pregnant!”

“Ava, Sebastian would never hurt you. Even if he is dead, he loved you!”

“Don’t you dare say that!”

“Why? You know it’s true!”

“Piss off Oscar!”

“No I wont piss off as you put it! He hated me because you fell in love with me over him. Just go and get the Ouija board!”

“No chance! Things have been more positive since abandoned it !”

“That’s utter crap!”

“Perhaps Oscar. Considering how scared you were at first , you’re very keen now!”

“Please get it.” Oscar begged.

“I can’t! What happens if something bad happens again?!”

“That had nothing to do with the Ouija board! Sebastian had a little game plan.”

Things are shit as they are! Oscar can’t you understand that I don’t want to do this!”

“Well you were keen in the very beginning Ava! Let’s remember who the Ouija board belongs to!”

“I found it at home! It’s not mine!  Have it your way. Let’s get this over and done with! Do you have questions?”

“Yeah.”

“Alright. Go and sit in the kitchen, put the kettle on. ”

Oscar nodded, wandering downstairs, boiling the kettle. Ava entered the kitchen with the familiar board under one arm and fetching a small tumbler glass from the kitchen cupboard.

“Oscar, are you sure that you want to go through with this, how is your opinion so changed? I’m slightly scared here.”

Oscar placed the cups of tea upon the table. “As much as I hate anything like this, I feel I have no choice.” He shuddered.

“Hmmm. Put your index finger upon the glass.” Oscar obeyed, swallowing . “Ava do you want to ask the first question?”

“Fine. Okay, here goes. Is there anyone who would like to communicate with us?”

Ever so slowly the glass slid across the shiny board to ‘yes’

“Do you know us?”

Once more the glass moved to ‘yes.’

“Shit!” Oscar exclaimed, his complexion matching the shade of the white washed walls .

To be continued….