Planchette- Part 92


Oscar sleepily rubbed his eyes, jumping as Ava loomed cautiously over him, resting her elbows upon the edge of the sofa.

“Ava you were supposed to be resting!”

“I was! 3 hours ago!”

“What? I wasn’t asleep for that long was I?”

“You were! Look, I’ll get you some painkillers, you’re very pale, are you in much pain? I think you were having a bad dream.”

“More aching than in pain, but paracetamol would be wonderful. Hang on though, I thought you didn’t have any?”

“I-I found some. Are you sure you’re alright Oscar?” She handed him a glass of water and a couple of paracetamol.

“Yeah, fine. Well I will be once these kick in.”

“I’m sorry that I didn’t come with you Oscar.”

“I’m not! I mean, I couldn’t see much, but I don’t think it would have been pleasant to watch.”

“Did you get sedation?”

“No!”

“Why ever not? I would have done Oscar!”

Oscar shook his head. “I wanted to get back, it would have meant saying in longer.”

“Hmm, I suppose.”

“Anyway, listen to me yapping about myself again. You haven’t had any more abdominal discomfort have you?”

Ava shook her head. “None.”

“Well that’s a relief at least, let’s keep it that way Ava.”

“I can’t promise anything. That very much depends on your health doesn’t it Oscar!”

“Meaning?”

“Well if you do have leukemia and I have to look after you, then that will probably cause stress,leading to my stomach tightening!”

“I wont let you look after me, no matter what happens. I’m serious. if anything happened to this baby or you because of me, I just couldn’t cope. Now then, this is a morbid topic I don’t think it will come to that!”

“I agree. At least we’re managing to talk rationally to each other. Something that we’re not so good at lately.”

“Perhaps. You need to tell me more about you.”

“Oh Oscar! You know I hate that subject.”

“No I didn’t mean your parents, you in general. I mean, I live with you, but I know so little about your childhood.”

“Ditto. But yeah, feel free to ask questions.”

“Really Ava?”

“Yeah.”

“Hmmm okay, what were some of your best memories as a child.”

“Well, Aunt Olive and I always used to go on a summer holiday each year for a week. Every time we’d go to a different place, but it would normally be a caravan holiday somewhere in England.”

“Sounds brilliant! I’ve never been away on a family holiday!”

“Never? Never ever?”

Oscar shook his head. “I mean we stayed with family for a few days, but I never went on holiday with just my Mum and Dad. Holidays are expensive and we didn’t have any spare cash so…”

“Fair enough. How’s your hip?”

“I’ll survive.”

“Do you have  a dressing on it?”

“Yeah, I have to leave it on for 24 hours but after that it’s fine oh and no water contact.”

“You can’t shower for 24 hours! That’s disgusting!”

Oscar shrugged. “It’s what I have to do, I wasn’t going to argue. They’re the professionals after all!”

“Well you’re not sharing a bed with me!”

Oscar face fell. “Oh Oscar, I was kidding! Relax will you.”

“Sorry.”

“Should we put a film or the TV on?”

“Film.”

“Alright, are you warm enough? Let me feel your hands. No you’re not are you, why didn’t you just say?”

“I don’t want you running around after me.”

“It’s only a blanket! I’m getting one for you and then I can steal a section.”

“Fair enough.” Oscar nodded.

Here, this fleece blanket will do the trick.”

“That’s lovely.”

“Do you want a drink or something?”

“No thanks.”

“You haven’t eaten since this morning!”

“I feel quite sickly.”

Ava nodded. “I have salted rice cakes in my cupboard, do you want one? They’re really good for settling your stomach. I lived on them at first during this pregnancy.”

“I noticed! Okay go on then”

“Here you are.”

“Thank you Ava.”

“Have I been a bitch to you? Answer me truthfully.”

Oscar thought of a safe answer. “ You’ve just been a little snappier than usual, but that’s understandable.” He stated in order to keep the peace.

“Well, if I’ve said anything that offended you then I’m sorry. My hormones have been all over the place.”

Oscar nodded politely, nibbling slowly upon the dry rice cake. “I understand.”

“Is that going down okay Oscar?”

“Not bad actually, not bad at all.”

To be continued……

 

Planchette- Part 91


“How do you feel now?”

“Not too bad, it didn’t hurt much.”

“Alright, we’ll just quickly repeat the observations before you go.”

“Thanks.”

101/82. Your blood pressure has increased slightly and your heart rate is the same. You’re free to go now, but take your time and don’t go rushing off anywhere.”

“I might go and sit somewhere for a little while. I’ll go outside in the sunshine, there’s a couple of people that I need to ring.”

 “Do you have sufficient painkillers at home? Something stronger than paracetamol will be necessary.”

“Yes. I do” ‘Well, at least I think Ava will’ Oscar thought.

“The local anesthetic will wear off after 2 hours, just be wary of that. We’ll yet you know as soon as your next appointment has been arranged.”

“Alright. Thank you.”

Oscar rose to his feet, limping slowly out of the door. He glanced at his phone. 2 missed calls from Ava. He sighed and walked slowly towards the main entrance, seating himself outside on a bench. Oscar slowly dialed Ava’s number.

“Don’t ignore me Oscar!”

“Ava, I wasn’t supposed to have my phone on in the hospital, let alone answer it.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“How do you feel Ava? Did you manage to have  a couple of hours rest?”

“Yeah, I’ve just been reading on the sofa.”

“Okay good. Anyway, I’m on my way back now.”

“How are you getting home?”

“Bus. The same way I came.”

“Alright. I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Bye Ava.”

Oscar shivered, waiting patiently at the bus stop. He placed his hand on the thin, red plastic bus shelter seat, standing on his good leg in attempt to take the pressure off his other one. Oscar prayed that the pain wouldn’t kick in for another few hours. Much to his relief the bus came. In a daze he paid the driver and sat on the inner side of the seat with his cheek pressed against the cool window in attempt to relieve his burning skin. He exited the bus, stumbling across the cobbled streets and making his way towards the nearest bench. Oscar inhaled and exhaled deeply, pressing his hand against his aching hip. Dare he ring Ava again? He decided against it,sitting there with his chin pressed against his chest, waiting for the nausea to subside. Oscar opened his eyes, squinting in the bright daylight, rising to his feet and making the remainder of the journey towards the house. Never had he been so happy to see the terraced building. He let himself in, wandering in a daze into the darkened hallway.

“Ava?” He called weakly.

Yeah? Hang on I’ll come downstairs.”

Oscar caught sight of a fresh faced Ava making her way towards him. “Oscar, you look horrendous! Sit down before you fall down!” She guided him towards the sofa.

“Did you get a taxi here ? I’ll get you some water.”

“No, bus.”

“Well that was really stupid! It’s quite a trek from the bus station to our house. Did it hurt?”

A bit, it’s worse now that the pain is coming back. Ava do you have anything stronger than paracetamol because that’s all that I have.”

“No I don’t think I have anything stronger I’m afraid.”

“Okay. I hate asking for favours but I mean, would-would you mind nipping to Tesco for me?”

“I’m so tired today, my back and ankles are absolutely killing me. I could try but…”

Oscar nodded. “I know they are. Forget that I ever mentioned it. I’m fine now that I’m sat down, I’ll just lie on the sofa for a little while, I might even catch 40 winks if my hip allows me. Go and relax Ava, don’t worry.”

“If you’re sure.”

“I’m positive.”

Oscar gritted his teeth and closed his eyes. ‘Mind over matter’ he thought, ‘that’s all that pain is. Be in control.’ He inhaled and exhaled deeply to calm himself, concentrating on the sound of the gentle breeze rustling outside.

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 90


Oscar pulled on a jacket and scarf, fastening the buttons with shaky fingers. ‘Poor Ava.’ He thought. ‘What have I done to that girl?’  He glanced at his watch. One hour to go, plenty of time. Oscar cautiously walked down the cobbled streets through town. He sat on the long red plastic seat in the bus deppo, eyeing the bus times. 5 minutes to wait. Oscar pulled his coat tightly around himself, wishing that he had put on another layer. His phone vibrated in his pocket.

“Hi Ava.”

“Did you make it to the bus shelter?”

“Yeah I did, I was fine.”

“Okay, just checking.”

“How do you feel Ava?”

“Fine. The tightening have ceased thank God!”

“That’s a relief. What are you doing now?”

“Watching a film.”

“Okay. I’ll see you later, I love you Ava and beautiful bump of course!”

“Good luck Oscar. Bye!”

“See you.”

Oscar climbed onto the bus, paying the fare, lost in a deep chain of thought. He swallowed, trying to recall when Ava had last said…. he shook his head. ‘Stop being foolish Oscar, of course she does. Just because she rarely says it anymore.’  He departed the bus, making his way into the hospital reception. ‘Where was hematology?’  He stared at the large signs upon the wall, making his way along the long corridor. He handed in his appointment card, seating himself in the small waiting area.

He looked to his left, startling slightly. ‘What? The same woman?’ She glanced at him and nodded.

“H-Hello again.”

“Ah the boy from London! Oscar isn’t it?”

Oscar froze, not recalling telling her his name.

“You and your Mother are going to love this baby, I can see it.”

“My-my Mum?! What?”

“She’s going to be a little treasure, a little doll. You’ll adore her and she you. Look after yourself my dear, don’t let anything get the better of you in life. Inside you’re strong.”

“A girl?” Oscar beamed. “Are you sure?”

“I’m rarely wrong. Either way, you and the child will mean a lot to one another. Good luck for today my dear, don’t be frightened. I can see the fear in your eyes but you needn’t be scared. ”

A lump rose in Oscar’s throat, the hot salty tears flooding his eyes. He inhaled deeply, biting his bottom lip.

“Thank you.” He whispered. “You see things?”

“From time to time.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“This might be a silly question but do- do you ever do readings for people?”

“Once in a blue moon.”

“How much do you charge?”

“I don’t take money.” 

“Would  you do one for me? Thing is, I just don’t even know what to do anymore. I shouldn’t just go around telling people my private life, but I need some kind of hope.”

“I understand. If you would like a reading then it can be arranged.”

“Ava would go mad.” Oscar sighed.

“You shouldn’t always listen to others. You haven’t been so well have you Oscar? I need to get home soon.”

“W-wait don’t go. Please, why are you here if you don’t mind me asking? Sorry, no don’t answer that, it’s none of my business.”

“You get quite anxious don’t you Oscar? Don’t worry about an old bird like me, I’m not so well myself, but you’re young and  a fighter. Meet me tomorrow by Chester cathedral.”

“What time?”

“You need your rest these days, we wont be long. Let’s say 9pm.”

“Alright, thank you.”

“I-I didn’t ask your name.”

“It’s May. I need to go now.”

“That’s pretty.” Oscar smiled. “May?”

“Yes?”

“Good luck and see you tomorrow.”

“The same to you my dear.”

“Oscar Setterfield?” Oscar looked up. “Y-yes.”

“You can go through now to Doctor Cassidy, surgery 5 on your left. Is someone here with you?”

“No. I came alone.”

“That’s fine.”

Oscar nervously entered the surgery.

“Hello Oscar. Don’t look so scared. You’ll be absolutely fine.” Doctor Cassidy reassured.

“Okay thanks.”

“Is there anything you’re unsure of before I carry out the procedure, anything you’d like to ask?”

“My mind has gone blank.”

“I’ve done this many a time and I can assure you that every single time it has gone smoothly. It may cause some discomfort and slight bruising, but nothing serious.”

“Okay, well let’s just get it over and done with.”

“I’m afraid I can’t offer a sedative as no-one is with you.”

“That’s fine,  I don’t want to make myself feel more spaced out than I already am.”

“I understand. We’re just going to check your blood pressure. We’ll take it before and after the procedure.”

“Okay.”

“The cuff will just squeeze your arm a bit.”

“That’s fine.”

“Hmmm 97/80. It’s a little bit on the low side, was it low last time?”

“Yeah, it was.”

“Alright.  You’re heart rate is 60 beats per minute  That’s fine. If I can just ask you to remove your jeans as I have to take the sample from your hip bone. Here’s a hospital gown. If you can just lie on here on your side with your knees tucked into your chest. I’ll leave you alone for a minute.”

He exited the small room. Oscar placed his jeans neatly over the small chair in the corner.

That’s it. I’m just going to clean the area and then inject some local anesthetic into the area. If that alright.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, you may feel a light pressure or pushing sensation about now as I just take the bone marrow sample.”

Oscar closed his eyes, grasping the edge of the surgery couch.

“Sorry, I know that hurts, the worst part is over now. There might just be a little bit of discomfort in this part, almost done now. You’re coping very well.”

Oscar sensed the bizarre screwing sensation in his hip, he closed his eyes and counted to ten, inhaling through his nose and out through his mouth. ‘Please let this be over soon‘ he prayed, diverting his mind by reading the large, colourful poster upon the wall.

“There we are, all done. I just need to place a dressing over the area. You need to leave this intact for 24 hours after the procedure, until the scab forms. Now how are you getting home,you didn’t drive here did you?”

“I came by bus, that wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined.”

“I would have preferred if someone had come with you.” Doctor Cassidy sighed.

“It couldn’t be helped. I’ll be fine.”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 89


“Are you sure that they’ve stopped Ava?”

“Yeah.”

“Sit here.”

“I’m getting really horrible stomach discomfort now.”

“Are you bloated or is it cramps?”

“I’m not sure, cramps I think, but then I’m not sure if they’re caused by excessive wind or stress.”

Oscar stroked Ava’s hair, nodding gently. “Ava, I want you to have complete rest. I feel a little bit better today, I’ll go to his hematology appointment alone, it won’t take long.”

“You’re really determined that you don’t want me there aren’t you! How will you get there? I can’t have you driving it wouldn’t be safe and you certainly can’t walk there!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get the bus.”

“It’s really cold today! Take a taxi instead.”

“I’ll wrap up warm. Ava, please don’t leave the house today, I’ll only be gone for an hour, two at the most.”

Ava nodded. “I’ll stay. You’ll be later than that! Buses are never on time!”

Oscar smiled weakly. “Okay, good. I’ll get you a hot water bottle.”

“Oscar, you can barely stand!”

“Of course I can! I just feel a bit shaky that’s all. I’ll sit on the shelter seat. Anyhow,  it’s my own stupid fault for not eating enough. I’ll have something before I go.”

“Okay. Why are you still limping?”

“I’m fine, just fine. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Oscar struggled into the kitchen, grasping onto the work top for support. Painkillers, where were they? Anything. He scrabbled around in the kitchen cupboard and grasped the small packet of paracetamol, wishing for something a little stronger. They’d have to do. Oscar took them quickly. Boiling the kettle, he placed half the water in the hot water bottle and the remaining quantity into a mug, carrying them through to Ava.

“Here you are. The hot water bottle should relieve the cramps and the hot water should help any wind.”

“Thanks.”

“How do you feel now?”

“Oscar I thought I was going into labour! I’m so stressed!”

“I know. It’s my fault, I shouldn’t be inflicting any level of stress on you, which is why I’ve decided, any appointments I go to from now on I’ll go alone. I can’t drag you around a hospital when you’re this far on. You could go into labour, the chances are that the baby wouldn’t survive. If anything happened to this baby because of me, I’m not sure if I would live with myself.”

“You can’t go by yourself!”

“I can and I will.”

“But tomorrow, I have to go with you then! It’s a hematology appointment, your proper diagnosis. I need to be there.”

“I want you there, but I’d rather you stayed at home and rested.”

“Oscar I want to be there. You can’t stop me from coming!”

“No I can’t Ava, and you’re clearly just as stubborn as I am, but please think about what I’ve said. Maybe you should go to bed and have a little sleep, do you want me to run you a bath?”

“You look like you need to go to bed yourself!”

“Well, perhaps  I will have a little lie down on the sofa.”

Ava shook her head. “I don’t want a bath.”

“Well will you please lie on your bed for a bit? Read, or listen to music. Completely relax for a few hours.”

“Okay, and what will you do?”

“Erm I don’t know really. Now, please come upstairs and take the hot water bottle with you.”

“Oscar you look terrible!”

“Cheers.”

“I’m being serious, you look like you haven’t slept in weeks and your clothes are practically hanging off you! You need a new wardrobe you’re that skinny! I know it’s probably not your fault, but I’m seriously worried!”

“I just get tired that’s all and I have been trying to eat, I promise.”

“I know you have.”

“Focus on yourself today, alright? Here come upstairs again and get into bed.”

“I’ll just stay fully clothed, my sheets are clean.”

“That’s fine. Has the baby been moving quite a bit today?”

“Yeah! I’m sure I felt a little hand earlier.”

Oscar’s face lit up. “Amazing!”

“It’s pretty still now, maybe it’s sleeping.”

“Perhaps. You need to rest now.” Oscar helped Ava into bed, adjusted her pillows and placed the mug of water by her bedside table. He kissed her forehead gently and handed her the hot water bottle.

“I’m sorry, so sorry for everything. I’ll be back in a couple of hours. I love you Ava.” Ava did not reply, but nodded as Oscar exited the room with a heavy heart.

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 88


Oscar solemnly crept up the staircase. His bones ground together on every single footstep, his body aching from head to toe. He grasped the banister for support and sat upon his bed. Oscar placed his head in his hands, a small tear running down his cheek. He felt the shape of his phone in his pocket and carefully pulled it out, he composed himself dialing his home phone number.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mum it’s Oscar.”

“Oscar have you been crying?”

“No, no.”

“Okay, I’ll take your word for it. What’s the news?”

“On what?”

“The doctors, you know your diagnosis?”

“Oh erm, well nothing is set in stone, not yet anyway.”

“Right. Can you be a little more specific Oscar?”

“Okay” Oscar exhaled loudly. “Errm.”

“What have they said so far, just calm down and take your time.”

“Mum?”

“Yes?”

“Why are you interested in me now when you weren’t before?”

“I did a lot of thinking after you left. In a lot of ways you were right.”

“Really?”

“As much as I hate to admit it, yes Oscar. Don’t rush, but you need to tell me or at least give me an idea.”

“Okay. Basically, I’ve had no energy, zero appetite and I’ve lost more weight recently. I had my blood tests and they show an abnormally high level of white blood cells. I have an appointment with a haematologist later on.”

“What?” Janet gasped. “What for?!”

“They think there is a chance that it could be early stage Leukemia  It is treatable and I’ll be able to do a course of chemotherapy if that is the case.”

“Oh shit. But that’s cancer!”

“Don’t think about it too much, I-I think I’m over the initial shock now.”

“You seem incredibly calm Oscar.”

“Hmm, I don’t know. I think Ava would tell you differently.”

“How has she been?”

“Argumentative to say the very least.”

“Well, that doesn’t surprise me.”

“Anyway enough about me Mum. How are you?”

“I’m okay. I started a college course last week”

“Really? That’s brilliant, what is it?”

“It’s Health and Social care at one of the local colleges.”

“Amazing! Is it a long one?”

“No more of a refresher.”

“I’m really happy for you Mum. Let me know how it goes.”

“I will Oscar.”

“How did you get on it?”

“It’s funded through job seekers.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“Yeah. Anyway I need to go.”

“Do you have to?”

“Yeah I have a few things to do. I-I guess it will take a while for this news to sink in properly.”

“Okay, bye Mum, I love you.”

“Take care Oscar.”

Oscar cancelled the call, lying upon the top of his duvet. He rested his hands gently upon his stomach, sensing the outline of his ribs beneath his fingertips. He sighed. ‘Oscar you have to eat’ he thought to himself.  ‘Something small, but nutritious.’   He wandered downstairs. Oscar opened the fridge eyeing the pot of humus upon Ava’s shelf and spooned some into a small egg cup He took a couple of carrots out of the vegetable draw. He chewed slowly, managing to eat everything. ‘Where was Ava?’  “Ava?” No reply. Was she ignoring him?

“Ava?” He repeated, before wandering slowly upstairs in search for her. He knocked cautiously upon her bedroom door. “Ava? Are you in there?”

“Yes.” Came a small reply, in a choked, teary voice.

“Are- are you okay? What happened?”

“I’m- I’m fine.”

“Please open the door! What’s the matter? Do you feel ill?”

“The stomach pain has gone now.”

“Stomach pain? Oh God! Open the door now Ava!”

“It’s open.”

Oscar pushed open her door, crouching beside a teary Ava who sat on the floor with her back to her bed. “Ava? What happened to you. What was it like? Was it stomach cramps?”

She rubbed her stomach. “Tightening across the bottom half of my abdomen.”

“Shit!”

“I was so scared.”

“Have they stopped?”

“Yes for now.”

Oscar placed his arms around her. “Ava I’m so, so sorry for inflicting all this stress upon you. You need complete rest. Come on, come and lie down for a bit or sit on the sofa?”

Ava nodded. “I’ll go on the sofa. It was terrifying at-at first I thought they were contractions!”

“Shhh it’s okay.” Oscar coaxed wrapping his arms around her, helping Ava to her feet. “Let’s go downstairs. Can you make it?”

“Yes I-I think so, can you?”

“We should both go slowly. I’m to blame for this! I’m such a conceited idiot! Ava you’re stressed because of me.”

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 87


 

Oscar lay stunned, his cheek pressing against the pillow as he breathed heavily. He rubbed his aching ribs as he swung his legs out of Ava’s bed, vacating Ava’s room. Where on earth had she gone? Cautiously he crept into his own bedroom, grabbing a towel for the shower. Oscar peeped out of his bedroom door, his heart pounding like a bass drum. No sign of Ava. He entered the bathroom, closing the door behind him. He splashing his tear-stained face with water in attempt to stop it from stinging. The warm shower water soothed his aching body. Oscar  gazed at his ribs and was taken aback to see the red hand marks upon his skin. ‘ Surely no-one should mark that easily? Hopefully they’ll fade soon, no one will believe me anyway.’ He sighed. Oscar dressed, tiptoeing downstairs, seating himself in the armchair with his back to the door, praying that Ava might stay away for a while longer. He sniffed, wiping his nose with a tissue and turned on the television for some comforting background noise. He rested his head against the pillow which was carefully propped against the chair arm, shaken by the incident.

 

“When’s your hematology appointment?” Oscar jumped, when did Ava come in?

 

“T-tomorrow at 9am.”

 

“Where?”

 

“ Hematology.”

 

“I’m not stupid! Where in the hospital?”

 

“I’m not sure Ava, I’ll look it up later.”

 

“Fine. Do you want me to come with you?”

 

“It’s up to you.” Oscar prayed with all his might that she would say no.

 

“You-you don’t want me there Oscar?”

 

“No, I didn’t say that.”

 

“Well that’s what you implied.”

 

“Don’t put words into my mouth! I just don’t think it’s necessary,not when you’re 25 weeks pregnant! Do you see where I’m coming from?  It will probably be a bit tedious anyway, but you should be resting seeing as though you’ve been experiencing stomach tightening!”

 

“Hmm. I think I’ll come.”

 

“Did you not hear a word I said?”

“Yes, but I’m ignoring you. You’re such a fusspot! You really need to tell your Mum you know.”

‘How was Ava bypassing what had happened earlier and sweeping the incident under the carpet?’ Oscar thought. He decided to play the safe card, by staying civil.

 

“I can’t, not yet.”

 

“Why ever not?”

 

“Because Ava, I don’t have a proper diagnosis yet. Nothing is set in stone, once I get one then I’ll tell her.”

 

“You should prepare her.”

 

“Do you think it’s Leukemia Ava?”

 

Ava shrugged. “What do I know? Just don’t drop it on her like a tonne of bricks!”

 

“Why worry someone when there is no need, not yet anyway.”

 

“Are you in denial?”

 

“Ava get off my case!  I have not been properly diagnosed with Leukemia by my doctor, therefore I am not going to tell my Mother that I have cancer, because I have absolutely no clue how she’s even going to react! I am not in denial!”

 

“I think you are.”

 

“What are you? A blood specialist? You know what, this hardly involves you. This is my diagnosis and my medical condition!”

 

“It does involve me because I am carrying your child! Oscar stop being such an idiot and think about someone else for a change!”

 

“I do all the time! I want to be a Father more than anything!”

 

“Well, grow the hell up and show it then!”

 

“How? How can I do that!”

 

“Show some interest in me. I’m pretty heavily pregnant, I could give birth at any time. What do you think that this awful stress is doing to me and the baby? I wish that I’d just stayed at home. I’d rather move back to Surrey!”

 

“You can’t do that. Stop being childish!”

 

“Oh I can and I will if you continue to push me over the edge!”

 

“That’s black mail! Who are you Ava?!”

 

“Oh now you’re being ridiculous!”

 

“I’d say that’s a pretty logical question. You’re not the optimistic, caring, bubbly girl that I fell for back in the Autumn.”

 

“Yes and you’re a prick!”

 

“Oh well that’s so lovely, such an intelligent retaliation!”

 

“You can certainly find enough strength to fight back can’t you? It fully proves my point when I said that you just pick and choose your energy levels.”

 

“Do you want to see what you did to me?”

 

“What I did? What a load of bullshit.”

 

“Ava! I refused to be walked over like a door mat and yes! My sides are bruised from were you grabbed me! My Mum was right.”

 

“Right about what?”

 

“Oh shit.”

 

“Well come on you have to tell me now.”

 

“No!”

 

“Out with it! You can’t lie!”

 

“When have I ever lied to you? She just told me not to let you walk over me that’s all.”

 

“Since when did you ever speak properly to your Mother?”

 

“The other day, briefly.”

 

“Oh well this is news!”

 

“She rang and asked how you were actually.”

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

“It’s true.”

 

“Oh so it’s two against one?”

 

“No! Of course not. Just sometimes in this life you need to talk to other people. She rang me to ask about the doctor’s appointment. I can’t stand here fighting with you anymore. It’s just awful, you started the argument so I’m finishing it!”

 

“Piss off then!”

 

“Have it your way.”

 

To be continued……

 

Planchette- Part 86


“I- I will.” Oscar ran his hand through his hair.

“Oscar what on earth are you doing, what’s wrong? Come here and let me feel your forehead.” She placed her hot hand against his brow.

“Yeah, you do have  a temperature. Do you want some paracetamol?”

“Please.”

“Why didn’t you just say?”

“Be-because it’s not fair. You’re right, I have been selfish. We need to focus on you and the baby now. If I do have leukemia, then I’ll just have to be careful and take all the medication religiously won’t I?”

Ava shrugged. “I guess.”

“How do you feel today Ava?”

“Oh me? I’m fine. The baby kept me awake half of the night wriggling away, but apart from that, I feel good. You have no idea how relieved I am that the morning sickness didn’t last long. I swear it’s the worst thing ever!”

“Hmmm very possibly.” Oscar said diplomatically.

Right, I’m going to go downstairs and make myself some breakfast. How I’m hungry at 7am I’ll never know! I have the biggest craving ever for a full English. I really don’t think I can resist the temptation. Want one?”

Oscar shook his head. “No thanks.”

What do you want then?”

“I don’t know. I’ll come downstairs with you and help.”

“You need to try to eat Oscar.”

“Yes, yes I know.”

“I know you’re worried. It was a lot to take in at the doctor’s, but you really need to keep your strength up. Remember what we said about little and often.”

“Yeah.”

“What’s wrong now?”

“I-I…..” Oscar didn’t finish, placed a hand to his mouth and ran into the bathroom, vomiting violently into the toilet. Ava walked slowly towards him, peering into the room.

“Oscar? Is-is this normal.”

Oscar wiped his mouth, sitting on the cold floor with his back against the wall. He closed his eyes, inhaling and exhaling deeply.

“Oscar! Will you answer me!”

“I don’t know.” He muttered in little more than a whisper. “I just don’t know anything anymore.”

“Do you want a hand up, I’ll struggle but I mean…..”

“Ava, just leave me be for a while.”

“Okay.” Ava backed off towards the door, glancing over her shoulder at the deathly pale Oscar  who sat slumped against the wall. She walked down the staircase and entered the living room. She shut the door and turned on the television for some normality. Oscar upon the bathroom floor, shivering. ‘Get a grip Oscar’ He scolded himself. ‘You’ll have to Father this child soon. Ava will have enough to do and she certainly can’t manage by herself.’ Oscar reluctantly stood shakily, holding onto the sink for support and perched himself on the edge of the bath so that he might brush his teeth.Even the sensation of the toothbrush in his mouth made him feel extremely nauseous. He placed it down and walked slowly into Ava’s bedroom, nestling down underneath the covers.

“Oscar it’s 4pm!”

“Wh-what?”

“Sorry, I just thought I should wake you, Well, you can’t say you’re tired now, you’ve just had an extra 7 hours sleep. How do you feel?”

“Bit better.” Oscar mumbled.

“Good. I think you the baby grow that you ordered has arrived, here it is.” Ava handed Oscar a small package which he carefully opened. He smiled gently, gazing up at her.

“It’s so soft. Nicer that I thought it would be.”

“Yeah, it’s lovely, good quality.” Ava smiled.

“What did you do today Ava?”

“Oh not a lot. I had the most horrible heartburn; I get it a lot.”

“Oh, you didn’t say.”

“I don’t like to make a fuss. I have Gaviscon, oh and milk helps even though I hate it!”

“That’s good.”

“You’re not even interested are you?”

“What?”

“Quit using the short answers!”

“Oh Ava what else am I supposed to say? Please don’t start an argument, not now. I really don’t have the energy!”

“For God’s sake Oscar! I don’t know how much more of this I can put up with! Think of me!”

“I am. I worry about the baby all of the time.”

“No you don’t, because you’re so wrapped up in yourself.”

“Stop doing this.” Oscar turned his body away from Ava, she grasped his waist, turning him over abruptly.

“Argh!” Oscar protested as he sensed the force of Ava’s hands digging into his prominent ribs. He wriggled in attempt to get away, but failed to do so as the sheet mummified itself around the lower part of his body.

Don’t you do that! How dare you block me out! You’re behaving like a pathetic teenager! Now you listen and you listen hard. You’ll be lucky if I even let you have anything to do with this baby, the rate you’re going! I don’t know how much more of this I can take Oscar!”

“What? No!” Oscar propped himself up on his elbows, his bottom lip trembling.

“That woke you up didn’t it?!” Ava smirked.

Ava what is this? Don’t you threaten me stop being such a bitch, that was really painful!”

“Whatever. I wasn’t exactly being serious, I just wanted to snap you out of your self-engrossed bubble! I’m going out.”

“Out? Where?”

“Unlike you Oscar, I do have friends! I need another break from you.”

“Oh that’s just so delightful. W-which friends? Why are you so changeable? It’s frighting, what’s got into you Ava?!”

“You are completely and utterly draining Oscar that’s why! Just remember who’s carrying this baby!”

 

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 85


“Ava I’m just going to get straight into bed, we could both benefit from a good sleep.”

“Can we talk for a while?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, I have some questions that I want to ask Oscar.”

“Fire away.”

“If it is Leukemia, how and when are you going to tell your Mum?”

“I’ll do it in my own time.”

“You are going to tell her aren’t you?”

“Of course, I promise.”

“Good. Now tell me truthfully, did anything happen while I was away?”

“What makes you think that?”

“Because you still have the smallest traces of a burn on your stomach, don’t think that I didn’t notice it. Not to mention that you used half a tube of my burn cream! Don’t  try to pull  wool over my eyes!”

“Oh that, I spilled some coffee, that was all. I’ll give you the money for that cream.”

“I don’t care about the money! Anything else?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Jeez okay, this is going to sound really stupid but I did have a few weird experiences while you were away. The house just felt odd.”

“Probably because you’re not used to being home alone here.”

“Most possibly. But that’s about it.”

“Okay, I believe you.” Ava stated, not wishing to hear any more and desperately thinking of a subject change.  “Oh! Can I show you the baby clothes now?Here.”

Ava grasped the plastic carrier bag propped against the side of the bed. Oscar sat up slowly, pulling the duvet up to his chin and wrapping his arms around his bent knees on the outside of the covers. Ava held up two pairs of knitted booties.

“How cute are these?” She beamed. “And look at this.” She held up a small cream cardigan with tiny silver buttons. “My Mum made this for me before I was born. Oh and look at these little dresses, I mean it’s no good if it’s a boy, but aren’t they lovely?”

“Perfect” Oscar agreed.

“Oh and I found a couple of bibs and I bought a packet of muslin cloths, they’re just essential. Babies are always sick. We need some baby grows I think, you ordered the one online, has it come yet?”

“No not yet.”

“I might go into town for a couple of hours tomorrow and have a shop around. I’ve even written a list. We still need so many important items.”

“Very organised as always.” Oscar grinned. “I’d love to come with you.”

“Well, just see how you feel okay.”

“Yeah.”

I really want a Moses basket, after all we have no cot yet.” Ava grabbed her laptop, typing into the search engine. “Oh just look at this one, isn’t it amazing! The ones in the shops in town are so expensive.”

“Ava it’s £95!”

“Well, a girl can dream can she?”

“Yes, yes she can! Dream on Ava!”

“Misery guts! Okay how about this one in Tesco? It’s £30.”

“Yeah, but it’s bright blue! Can’t we go for something a little bit more neutral?”

“You’re fussier than I am! Okay this fawn one for £35! I think it’s best one we’ll find it has a good reduction on it?”

“Ah yes, I love that one, and the stand looks really sturdy, so basically it’s a sort of cot.”

“Good okay, I’ll pick it up tomorrow, if they have it in stock that is!”

“Excellent.”

“God we need everything though don’t we? There’s going to be a huge dint in my student loan.”

“Well, obviously I’ll pay half.”

“Okay and I’ll see whether I can get my Aunt Olive to chip in a bit, I’m sure she will.”

“Great. I think I need to sleep now.”

“Do you have to?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, night.”

“Goodnight Ava.”

**

Oscar awoke abruptly feeling the dewdrops of sweat etched across his troubled brow. He pulled back the duvet on his side of the bed, taking special attention not to uncover Ava. Oscar placed a hand to his face, sensing his clammy forehead. He pulled off his t-shirt letting it fall to the floor. He crept silently over to the window, feeling slightly dazed. Oscar flicked the lever, pushing it open and sat at Ava’s desk so that he might receive the full impact of the gentle breeze outside. ‘That’s better’ He thought, gazing over at Ava who was still sleeping soundly. Oscar pressed his cheek against the cool wooden desk, closing his eyes once more.

**

“Oscar!”

“Hmmm what?”

“My room is bloody freezing and the window is wide open, are you trying to give me hypothermia?!”

“I-I must have fallen asleep!”

“What on earth did you do last night?”

“I was too hot. I couldn’t sleep so I opened the window, sat at your desk to receive the full benefit of the breeze and fell asleep I guess?”

“You have a temperature?”

“I had more of a hot flush I think.”

“Oscar I’m perished, feel my hands.”

Oscar did so. “Yes, yes you are. Sorry I’ll close it now.” Ava pulled the duvet over her face. “Come back to bed! It’s ridiculously early!” She mumbled. “Fancy waking me up at this time!”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 84


Oscar picked anxiously at the greasy fries. The salt stung his mouth unpleasantly, he took a small sip of his chocolate milkshake placing the box of chips down. ‘At least milkshakes are around 600 calories’ he thought.

“Is that all you can manage?” Ava sighed.

“I’ll finish the milkshake, but my stomach doesn’t seem to be taking well to the fatty food. Want them?” He offered Ava the remainder of chips in the small cardboard packet.

“Well, I’d rather you ate them.”

“I’d rather keep down what’s already in my stomach!”

Okay fine, I will eat them. I can’t force you I guess. If this child is humongous then you’re to blame!”

Oscar laughed. “It’s good to hear you laugh Oscar, you barely even smile anymore.”

“Sorry. I’ll try to Ava. What do we do if I am officially diagnosed with Leukemia? I mean I hardly know anything about it.”

“If you are diagnosed, they’ll give you lots of information and support, I wouldn’t worry. I think you’re handling it well.”

“You really think so?”

“I do.”

“Thanks.”

“What do you want to do now?”

“I don’t mind well, If I’m honest I feel pretty tired, but that was lovely. It felt amazing having the sun on my face.”

“That’s fine. We’ll head back soon and you can have a nap or something. Do you remember our last bath together?”

“Hmm vaguely.”

“Well, you might actually be able to remember this one. It’s been ages since our last bath together, we can have candles?”

“Sounds amazing.” Oscar nodded.

“Okay, come on let’s go home, the warm water might help to soothe this awful backache of mine. Just go upstairs, get undressed and meet me in the bathroom. You probably should go to bed afterwards, you look exhausted. Here we are. I hate this lock, I swear that it needs oiling or something!”

“Probably.”

“I’ll just go upstairs and get undressed, follow me up when you’re ready.”

“Okay.”

Ava grasped her towel and dressing down, placing her hair into a high bun. She ran the bath, squeezing in some bubble bath. Oscar stood in Ava’s bedroom in just a towel, examining the newly formed bruise on his lower thigh. ‘Where the hell did that come from?’  Ava was bound to see it.

“Ava?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I show you this?”

“Show me what?”

“This bruise, I have no idea where it’s come from or how I did it.”

“It looks quite nasty! Does is hurt?”

“No, not really.”

“You have no recollection what so ever of what you did?”

“None.”

“Odd. Do you have anymore bruises?”

“Not-not really. Let’s just get into the bath. Ah that’s a perfect temperature; just what we both needed I think. Lie back Ava and relax.”

“I’ll try. Do you really think it is Leukemia?”

“If that what the doctor thinks, then I should try to accept it.”

“Even health professionals get it wrong sometimes. If it is what will you do?”

“He sounded pretty certain. I don’t know, I can’t wallow in self-pity that’s for certain.”

“Why are you off food? Is it because you don’t want to eat, or because you can’t?”

“Mainly the second reason. I feel full all the time.”

“Odd.”

“I know but it’s true. Eating makes me feel pretty sick actually. Anyway, let’s not mention it anymore tonight. Can we talk about the baby?”

“Do we have to Oscar?”

“Yes! Let’s discuss baby names. I hate talking about myself.”

“If I’m honest I haven’t thought about it. I’d like something a bit more unusual, nothing strange. Just not your every day name. Do you get me?”

“Yeah I understand.”

“How about Maude?”

Oscar wrinkled his nose. “Maude? It’s a doll’s name! I automatically picture a scary looking, Victorian china doll.”

“Your imagination is just plain odd! You said unusual! Okay, Tristan for a boy?”

Oscar nodded. “Yeah, I like that; it’s quite unusual and sounds refined. Like a public school name!”

“Exactly. What do you like Oscar?”

“Hmm well my Grandma was called Clarissa. I like that.”

“Clara for short?”

“Precisely.”

“Yeah, that’s cute. I like Clara. How about Emma?

Oscar shook his head. “No, I went to school with too many Emma’s!”

“That’s an odd thing to say!”

“It’s true though.”

“Okay, okay Emma is no go.”

“Good I’m glad.”

“Bronte?”

“What like Charlotte Bronte? Hmm again, I’m not sure. We should get a baby name book. Do you think it’s a boy or a girl Ava?”

“I’ve already said I want a boy. Now let’s get out of the bath before we get pruned!”

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 83


Oscar stood up slowly, his face pale and drawn. He shook the doctor’s hand, making a rapid exit out of the door with Ava following sheepishly behind. She grasped his hand pulling him back.

“Oscar don’t go storming out of here alone.”

“I didn’t mean to.”

“I can’t keep up with you, I’m waddling like an idiot here, I swear that the bump has grown again? Do you think it has?”

“Probably.”

“Well I’m sure of it. We really need to get more preparation for the baby done, I mean we need to get a cot all organised and it will need more clothes. How about we go out into town for an hour or two this afternoon, my back doesn’t feel too achy today. It makes a nice change actually. Should we have lunch out?”

“Ava stop!”

“Stop what?!”

Oscar placed his hands on Ava’s shoulders, gazing directly into her eyes. “You- you don’t seem to have grasped any of the conversation in there! I mean, I might have cancer for God’s sake!”

“ You’ve just done it again haven’t you Oscar!” Ava snapped, pushing his hands away.

“Done what?”

“Burst my bubble!”

“Oh well I’m very sorry Ava! It’s like it hasn’t even twigged in your brain yet!”

“Perhaps I don’t want it to! You haven’t been properly diagnosed yet, so can we just have a few more days of happiness before it hits us like a tonne of bricks. Why do you have to create so much drama all the time? I don’t think I can stand much more of it. If it is cancer, then how the hell am  I supposed to cope alone with this baby?”

“Maybe you should have thought of that when you didn’t bother to take your pill!”

Ava gasped. “That was so out of order! It was a mistake! People slip up!”

“This is life changing!”

“You-you’ve changed your mind about this baby Oscar?”

“No! I’ll never change my mind, I’ve always wanted to be a father. The timing is just difficult that’s all.”

“You can say that again Oscar! Okay, we need a change of scene. I have an idea, let’s go for lunch or something, my treat. It will be something different, the weather is so much better now, we could even sit outside somewhere. We can’t deny the news but at least we can do something to take our minds off it.”

Oscar nodded slowly. “Alright.”

“Great! The fresh air will do you the world of good. We both spend too long cooped up indoors. Where should we go?”

“You choose, you’ll be annoyed to know that I’m not hungry.”

Ava shook her head. “Not angry, just worried. Even if you just have a glass of coke or something, it’s better than nothing. Your body needs calories desperately! Come on, I’ve been craving a McDonald’s all day, we’ll do the order as a take out and then we can sit somewhere nice! I need fatty food, I’ll pay.”

Greasy food was the last thing that Oscar desired, but he reluctantly agreed to keep Ava happy. Her eyes lit up as she saw the large ‘Mc Donalds’ sign and walked enthusiastically up to the till.

Can I have a big mac meal with a chocolate milkshake please.” She grinned. Oscar laughed.

“Well if I’m going to be fat I might as well do it properly. What are you having Oscar?”

“Erm can I have some medium fries and a vanilla milkshake.”

Ava smiled, happy with his order. “Not bad.” She payed and grasped her items. “Where shall we go?

Oscar hesitated. “Can we sit by the river Dee near the posh houses?”

“Oh yeah, I know where you mean. Can you make it?”

“Yes.”

“Good, let’s go then. I’m dying to bask in the sun”

“Me too.”

“How do you feel?”

“Okay today actually. Yeah not bad at all. Here I’ll take those, go easy down these steps here.”

“I should be saying the same to you Oscar, why are you limping?”

“Oh nothing, I’m just aching a bit today, that’s all.”

“Where?”

“My knees mainly.”

“Well that makes two of us, except it’s my back as well. Don’t forget I’m the one who’s lugging this little lump around!”

“That’s a bit harsh!” Oscar laughed. “Still, it must really strain you.”

“Oh it does, it’s quite tiring.”

“Well, now we can both rest.” Oscar smiled, putting on a brave face. “The sun is divine, I think I was a cat in a past life.”

Oscar sat on the dry grass, helping Ava do the same. “Oscar, your hands are really hot! Let me feel your forehead. You have a temperature today!”

“I’m okay. I’ll shed a layer, that will do the trick.” He removed his jacket, placing it under his head.

“What’s that?” Ava traced the large bruise on Oscars forearm with her index finger.

“Oh the bruise? I have no idea how I did it, it’s fading now at least.”

“Yeah. Ah this burger is absolutely perfect. I think our little bump here will be grateful for some food!”

“Probably. What did you have for breakfast?”

“A Spanish Omelette, you?”

“I wasn’t hungry, just a banana. Nerves I guess.”

“Hmm okay. Well, at least you’re making up for it now.”

To be continued…..