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.
“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!”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
Oscar nervously entered the surgery.
“Hello Oscar. Don’t look so scared. You’ll be absolutely fine.” Doctor Cassidy reassured.
“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.”
“The cuff will just squeeze your arm a bit.”
“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.”
“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….