Oscar’s phone vibrated loudly against the cheap, wooden bedside table. He groaned, reaching out and grasping it.
“Hello is that Oscar?”
“It’s Doctor Cassidy from the hospital.”
Oscar abruptly roused to full consciousness, swinging his legs out of the bed and perching himself on the very edge.
“You- you have my bone marrow biopsy results don’t you?”
“God, quicker than I expected! Can- can you tell me them now?”
“Like I said previously, I very rarely give people their results over the phone. But we’d like you to come in at 9.45am, sorry that it’s such short notice.”
‘What time was it now?’ Oscar glanced at the bedside clock. ‘8.45am’
“Okay.” He sighed. “Erm thank you.”
“We always advise bringing someone with you.”
Ava, where was Ava? But then Oscar recalled his promise to himself, one which he intended to keep. He couldn’t possibly force all this stress upon her. Oscar showered and dressed rapidly. Oscar entered the living room where Ava sat curled upon the sofa like a cat, with a bowl of coco-pops in one hand.
“ Ava I need to shoot off to the hospital soon.”
“My-my bone marrow biopsy results are back.”
“Oh that was quick. What time do you need to go?”
“I really want to come with you Oscar.”
“I-I’m not sure. What happened if you get stomach tightenings again?”
“Then I’ll just have to take it easy for a few days afterwards, someone should be there with you.”
“My doctor did advise that someone accompanied me. Have you had a change of heart? I mean erm oh shit.”
“What’s that supposed to mean! This could be serious couldn’t it! I mean, the fact that they wanted to do the bone marrow aspiration in the first place surely that gives you a subtle clue. You’re still in denial Oscar!”
“No I’m not! It’s just hard that’s all.”
“I know. Do you want a drink before we go? You really should eat something, you can’t live off plain rice cakes and crackers!”
“At the moment I have no choice. Can I just have a glass of water please?”
“No, it’s alright, just take a cereal bar or something with you. You look really pale, like you could almost do with some fresh air.”
“Here’s your water. You know what I’m still really hungry, I’m going to put on some toast for myself. Want some?”
“No thanks Ava.”
“Do you have to be so awkward?!”
“I’m just not hungry, my stomach is churning.”
“Oh Oscar, it’s probably just nerves. I wouldn’t worry.”
“Yes, but it’s not your health is it!”
“Stop being so selfish!”
“Pot calling the kettle black.” Oscar mumbled.
“What was that?!” Ava snapped. “You have a bloody cheek Oscar Setterfield! You really do, you’re such a hypocrite. You should get it tattooed upon your forehead.”
“Oh Ava, why do you always have to go a step further and get all personal. Let’s go shall we?”
“I’m not very happy at the fact that you haven’t eaten anything!”
Oscar sighed, pulling on his jacket, his hands trembling as he fastened the zip. “I don’t have the energy to argue anymore, I’m sorry if you think I was being selfish, let’s just leave it at that shall we? I’ll take a cereal bar with me.”
“Just get into the car.”
Oscar obeyed, gently opening the passenger side door, dreading having to experience Ava’s slightly erratic driving. He gazed out of the window, focusing on the shapes of the clouds as a distraction.
“Ava, can you slow down a tad please?”
“Is there anything you want to criticize about me?”
“N-no I’m just feeling a little fragile and plus I don’t want you go get a speeding ticket, seeing as though it is my car and you’re not a named driver!”
Oscar rolled his eyes and shook his head rolling down his passenger window so that he might receive the benefit of the breeze upon his face.
“Do you really have to open the window?”
“Are you not feeling so well?”
“I feel pretty sick actually. Please just relax your foot a bit on the pedal, look there’s a speed camera coming up.”
“You are the worst backseat driver ever!”
“I know, I’m sorry. I-I’m just very nervous.”
“I know you are but please don’t take it out on me Oscar !” Oscar nodded, yet said nothing, his tired eyes filling with hot, salty tears.
To be continued…..