Planchette- Part 125


“Thanks Mum.”

“For what?”

“Just being here, I feel better already.”

“Keep putting that lip balm on, your mouth looks sore.”

“Will do.”

“Are you guaranteed to lose all your hair?”

“It’s getting that way already and my eyebrows will fall out soon I imagine. I’m not only going to be skinny, I’ll be bald too.”

“Your hair will grow back though.”

“Yeah, once the treatment is over. I don’t mind.”

“Do you have a hat?”

“I brought a couple in with me.  Luckily I do suit them, even if I do say so myself. I wonder how long my hair will take to fall out completely?  I’d say I’m nearly there.”

“Do you really think that Ava was dating Sebastian behind your back?”

“I’m past caring. It’s probably the cancer drugs kicking in.  As long as the baby is healthy, I’ll be happy. They deserve each other.”

“I’m worried about you going back to that house by yourself Oscar. I don’t think you’re going to be able to cope, not with her. You probably don’t want to hear this, but you’re pretty weak at the moment.  The last thing you want, is to be left alone with a screaming baby when you’re unwell. I think Ava will leave everything up to you.”

“I know. You’re right.”

“Here, drink some more water, you need  it. I wish there was something I could do to help you out.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll feel  better when I get out of here, I’m just praying that I manage to get out of hospital before Ava goes into labour.”

“I’m sure you will.”

“Hmmm, I really hope so.”

“I wonder what the nurses think, have they said anything to you?”

“It’s too early to tell. I have another few days left of chemotherapy and then a rest period, or at least that’s what they said.”

“How long’s the rest period for?”

“I’m not certain yet. I think my central line has to stay in even when I’m not having chemo. There’s a small cuff on the line which will hold it under my skin. At least I wont go black and blue from injections. Oh and if they ever take blood, they’ll take it from there.”

“What else have they said?”

“Um, I have to keep it dry when I’m bathing and showering.”

“Well, that makes sense.”

“Yeah.”

“Right, I really do have to go now, I said I was going 15 minutes ago. Try to drink some more fluids and get plenty of rest.”

“Mum can you come and see me quickly tomorrow before you leave ?”

“Of course! I couldn’t go without saying goodbye to you!”

“Thanks. Mum? This may sound like a really stupid thing to ask, but…. can I have a hug?”

“Sure.”

Janet placed her arm around Oscar and held him close, so his head rested upon her shoulder. Oscar swallowed, holding back the tears as her arm surrounded his shoulders, taking him back to the time when he had fallen over as a young child, grazing both knees badly. The tender hug seemed so similar.

“It’s okay; everything is going to turn out alright in the end. I haven’t been there for you; you were there for me all the times when I needed you. I was too pissed to care.”

“It’s okay Mum.”

Janet shook her head solemnly. “No, it will never be okay.”

“I need to say thank you for coming to see me in London after I had that fall, I know I didn’t show appreciation then, but I’m very grateful. “

“I’m just glad that I was able to help a bit.”

“Remember all the times when I fell asleep at the table, so drunk that I couldn’t make it upstairs? I’d always wake up on the sofa covered with a blanket. I failed you as a Mother Oscar; I was too young, immature and selfish. Admitting that I had an alcohol problem was one of the scariest things I’ve done, but one of the best too. I can’t roll back the clock and rescue those precious lost years, but I can be a good Grandmother to your baby.”

To be continued…

Planchette- Part 124


“I couldn’t care less what she says to me any more. What hurts the most is the fact that she doesn’t want this baby. I have to admit that I’m scared. After all, she’s the one carrying it.”

“She’s said that to you?”

“Yep.”

“I must admit that must be quite hurtful, especially when she was the one who didn’t take her pill!”

“It’s my fault just as much as hers, I didn’t wear a condom. I have to take part of the blame. I just need to get out of this hospital, I mean what can I do while I’m in here?”

“I know. You’ll be out soon, hopefully before the baby is born. I wish I had the guts to go and see Ava, but I already know what she thinks of me. Oscar I’m not going to lie, you’ve told her way, way too much! Did it never, ever cross your mind that relationships aren’t peachy? She could use this against us.”

“I don’t get you.”

“Well, I mean the fact that I had an alcohol problem! What happens if that gets out somewhere? I mean I should have declared it when I applied for my job, but…”

“Oh that. Yeah, I know, I should have kept my mouth shut. But anyway, it’s too late to worry now.”

“I just don’t like the fact that you told her my business.”

  “I don’t cope well keeping things locked up inside of me.”

“Yes, but Ava isn’t a counsellor.”

“I know.”

“When she saw you today, what did she say?”

“She went mad when she saw your card and said you’d only come to see me out of sympathy and guilt.”

“The little cow!”

“It hurts.”

“She was bang out-of-order. You really need to put her into her place, I bet she’s made mistakes!”

Oscar shrugged. “She’s not very open about things.”

“Meaning?”

“I feel like I know very little about her.”

“Well, why didn’t you ask her?”

“Believe me, I tried but you can’t just force information out of someone, especially when the slightest mention of it makes them cry.”

“She forced it out of you?”

“I’m clearly a push over, plus if I keep my feelings and emotions locked up inside of me it messes with my mind. Remember when I was younger?”

“You mean your little verbal explosions?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry.”

“About Ruthie and Harold?”

“No Dad.”

“Oh that? It had been coming for a long time, that mealtime was just the last straw. Your Dad was in the wrong, I wont let anyone go around hitting my son!”

“He hit you too!”

“Shhh! Keep your voice down! That’s different.”

“No it’s not!”

“Has Ava ever hit you?”

“OF COURSE NOT!”

“Okay, okay. I just wanted to check that’s all. I should go, this conversation is doing you no good at all, you’re supposed to be resting and what am I doing? Bringing up subjects which hurt you. Your lips are really dry. Here have some lip balm.”  She placed the tube of Carmex on the table beside him.

“Stop changing the subject Mum!”

“We’ll talk more tomorrow. Just stay calm and please try not to get yourself all worked up.”

“Okay.”

“I don’t really want to leave you, but you need more sleep. I’ll come and see you tomorrow before I go back to London okay, I have work early the next day. I want to see you eat more before I go though. Try a yoghurt or finish the grapes I brought yesterday. Eat them while they’re fresh.”

“Oh, yeah I’d almost forgotten about those.” Janet passed Oscar the small Tesco carrier bag from inside his locker. He picked one, placing it slowly inside his mouth and chewing.

“That was quite juicy actually.I’ll set myself the challenge of eating five.”

Janet nodded. “Take it in steps.”

Oscar tried a second small grape, this one even more delicious than the first. He ate more quickly this time, determined to meet his challenge. Slowly, he ate the 5 grapes.

“There, you did it. I’ll put it on your food chart for you on the snacks section. Eat little and often and you’ll get there.”

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 123


Ava glanced at handmade ‘Get Well Soon’ card on Oscar’s bedside table.

“Who’s that from?”

“My Mum.”

“Oh her, right.”

“It was fantastic to see her. My Mum does have a name.”

“I still don’t get how you two miraculously patched up your so-called broken relationship. You don’t half make a mountain out of a molehill Oscar!”

“Meaning?”

“You made a huge deal out of how bad things were between the two of you. I witnessed it, or at least thought I did! Now she’s travelling all the way from London and visiting you in hospital, just like that!”

“Hmm, well I think the Cancer might have something to do with it.”

Ava nodded. “Guilt.”

“I’m sorry?”

“She realises what a shit Mother she’s been. Now that you’re ill and she’s no longer off her face, she feels sorry for you, enough to come and see you.”

“You have a horrible way of twisting things!”

“You obviously don’t have the guts to face the truth.”

Daisy, overhearing the conversation from her bed, glanced at Oscar mouthing ‘are you okay?’ Oscar gave her a tiny nod, she narrowed her eyes, pretending to continue reading .

“ I’m feeling tired now Ava and you should probably go back and get some rest too.”

“Oscar, visiting time is nowhere near over yet. I didn’t come all this way just to see you for half an hour.”

“How are you getting back?”

“Train of course, seeing as though you took the car!”

“MY car, which in the past I’ve kindly let you use.”

“Well, I’ll go then seeing as I’m no longer wanted.” Ava huffed.

“Stop being so childish Ava! For once in your life, please think about other people. The birth of our baby is going to be an eye opener for both of us I think.”

“Well, I’ll go and stand in the cold for the train!”

“Ava, it’s summer. You’re going to be fine. Please keep in touch and let me know what’s happening. Call me if you need anything.”

“What can you do? You have no money and you’re stuck in a hospital bed. I still can’t believe this about you and your bloody Mum! All the times you came crying to me about how bad things were and I listened to your woes! Always! All of a sudden, just like that, everything is hunky dory.”

“My Mum was brave enough to face the fact that she did have an alcohol problem. She got help and changed her life around. I’m very  proud of her!  It takes a lot of guts to do that! Our relationship needs time, time to heal but we’re getting there, slowly but surely. You’re just jealous I think!”

“Fucking jealous?!”

“Stop swearing so loudly in a public place!”

“Shut up! I cannot believe you. You’ve chosen to have her in your life instead of me! I might as well throw myself off a bloody cliff. I don’t want this baby at all and you know that! How dare you get me pregnant and ruin my life, this child is going to grow up to be an unwanted reject! Just like you, you are the biggest mistake of my existence.  I’d rather have my parents die all over again than have your child!”

“You’re disgusting! I’m lost, lost for words, except to say that your mind is well and truly fucked up! Go home Ava. ”

Ava let out an exasperated cry, storming from the ward.Oscar placed both hands to his face, in attempt to hide that fast flowing tears running down his cheeks, he pulled the white sheet over his head so that no-one would see.

“Oscar, is everything okay?” He felt a hand upon his shoulder.

“Leave me alone for a while.” He whispered. Milly obeyed, anxiously returning to complete her medication round.

**

“Was Ava here?”

“I don’t want to speak to anyone.” Oscar mumbled.

“Not even your old Mum?

“Mum!” Oscar placed a hand to her cheek. “You have no idea how glad I am that you’re here again.”

“She was here wasn’t she?! You look an absolute mess!”

“That doesn’t matter.”

“Oscar, your eyes are all puffy, your face is tear-stained and you’re as white as a sheet. What on earth is going on between you two?”

“Don’t worry.”

“I do worry. Have you eaten?”

“No. I can’t.”

“I take it you refused food?!”

“Eating was the last thing on my mind.”

“Oscar you need to gain weight, badly!”

“I’m not in the mood for eating right now.”

They’ve left you another one of those ensure drinks, at least have that!”

“Okay.”

“I’m sure that they’ll have something put by in the kitchen or spares, maybe cheese and crackers or something. Shall I see?”

“No. Just leave it for God’s sake! ”

“Alright Oscar. Jesus! I haven’t seen you this agitated and snappy in a long time! You look all hot and bothered. What the hell did she say to you?

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 122


“Oscar, you have a visitor.”

Oscar glanced up expecting to see Janet, but it wasn’t, it was Ava. She gazed at him with her cold eyes, her shorter mousy brown hair hanging around her slim face in structured ringlets.

“Ava? That was quick!” Oscar forced a smile, trying to break the ice. Ava folded her arms, resting them upon her stomach and pouted.

“You have no idea how annoyed I am at the fact that your Mother saw you before I did. Why did it take you so long to tell me where you were? Do you really think it’s a good idea to force added stress upon me when I’m pregnant?”

Oscar groaned. “Please don’t be angry with me, I just needed a bit of peace and quiet for a few days, that’s all.”

“Hmm yes! While you’re in hospital getting looked after, I’m stuck in the house, worried sick!

“Well, no one made you Ava! You’re a free spirit, you could have gone home or something.”

“Not when I’m so close to my due dates!”

“Oh yeah, I suppose you’re right.”

“I have spent the last few days worried out of my mind! It’s so lonely in that house with no-one to talk to.”

“Or argue with.” Oscar muttered under his breath. “You haven’t changed a bit have you?”

“What’s that supposed to mean.”

“As selfish as ever.” Oscar mumbled.

“Well, I didn’t catch a word of that. Can you please stop mumbling like an old man!”

“It doesn’t matter, it wasn’t important. I needed to rest, I’m not supposed to have many visitors.”

“Except your Mother? You made an exception for her didn’t you!”

“Ava, we’re no longer together, we needed a break from each other.”

“Yes, yes. You’ve already made it crystal clear that you no longer want me!”

Oscar hastily changed the subject. “How have you been coping?”

“Me? Oh fine, except the baby has been giving me gip.”

“Oh okay, how?”

“Just wriggling and changing position all the time. It’s been breech, lying sideways, everything but head down.”

“What position is she in now?”

“You said she again!”

“Habit.” Oscar shrugged.

“Shuffle a little closer to my bed with the chair, can I have a feel?”

“Sure, you’re its Dad.”

“Oh yeah there’s the baby’s head, have you spoken to your midwife about it?”

“About what?”

“The baby changing position a lot.”

“Briefly in the consultation.”

“Okay, good. What did she say? I want the full details.”

The consultation was only about an hour long. She said I was doing fine, at the time the baby was in the correct position and about the right size. We went through the childbirth stages, personally I think it sounds horrific and don’t blame celebrities for opting for a caesarian. We went through breast feeding too. I really don’t want to breast feed! It’s so weird!”

Oscar sighed. “Both childbirth and breast feeding are natural. You’re going to be fine.”

“So, so easy for you to say!”

“Yes, well I’m sure you’ll manage.”

“Yes, cope alone with a screaming baby! Oscar you left me! Our engagement is over.”

“Yes, but I’ll still help you. I have no idea how this is going to pan out with my health and our living arrangements, bearing in mind that our house rent runs out in 3 months.”

“Oh crap, that’s true. What will you do?”

“I have no idea. It depends on my Cancer, but I don’t want to come back to Chester to live. I feel like I need to get away from this place.”

“There’s no way I’m letting you move back to London!”

“Nobody said I was going to, but I also can’t cope with our constant fighting any more. Put it this way, this is the first respectable conversation we’ve had in weeks!”

To be continued…

Planchette- Part 121


Oscar cautiously dialled Ava’s number.

“Why are you calling me?”

“Ava, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”

“Oscar, you were the one who ditched me and the baby. Not to mention the fact that you hung up on me half way through the last phone call. You’ve got some nerve and you still haven’t told me where you are!”

“I did say that I was in hospital.”

“Yes, but you’re clearly not at the Countess of Chester Hospital are you!”

“No, no I’m not there, I needed specialist treatment.”

“Where are you then?”

“Does it really matter, aren’t we best just talking over the phone?”

“Why are you avoiding me?”

“I don’t have the energy to fight with you.”

“Fight with me? You were the reason why most of the arguments were caused! How ill are you Oscar? I mean seriously, are you just doing this to guilt trip me?”

“Ava, I have a central line.”

“What? Jesus! I don’t know what that is, but it sounds nasty.”

“It’s a tube which they inserted into my chest for the chemo.”

“Shit. Please let me see you.”

“How will you get to Clatterbridge? I brought my car to the hospital.”

“I noticed. Don’t worry, I can get the train.”

“I don’t know, you’re so heavily pregnant now. We do need to talk, but can’t it wait until I get out of hospital?”

“If you wont let me see you, then you’re going to have to re-consider your living arrangements. ”

“Oh fabulous that’s all I need. Okay Ava, you can see me on the one condition that you don’t cause a scene. My Mum is going back to London tomorrow evening so…”

“Even your fucking Mother has been to see you?! What the hell? She takes priority over me does she! Since when did this happy families thing start?”

“We’ ve been talking on the phone a lot recently and then she came to see me in hospital.”

“Well that’s great! You know I can’t stand your Mum!”

“She doesn’t exactly love you either!”

“Stop being sarcastic! Tell me where you are.”

“Okay, fine. I’m in Clatterbridge Oncology centre.”

“Clatterbridge!”

“It’s the best treatment centre in this area. I’m very lucky.”

“Lucky to have cancer? You’re mad!”

“The staff are great and I’m in a small bay with lovely people. We keep each other going.”

“Just give me the postcode.”

“Okay.” Oscar did so reluctantly.

Right, I’ll be there later on today, I have things to do at the moment.”

“See you in a bit Ava.”

Oscar turned a shade paler. Could he face Ava at this moment in time? The answer was no, probably not but it simply had to be done. Oscar rang the bell, leaving the small garden and returning to the bay with Milly’s assistance.

***

Oscar lay in the hospital bed, sensing the cool, saline drip running under the skin of his left arm, struggling to keep any form of food or fluids in his empty stomach. He had a vague recollection of Milly inserting the cannula and giving his consent, but that was all. It was somehow soothing, bringing a sense of coolness to his scorching skin.

“Oscar are you okay? Your breathing is very fast.” It was Daisy.

“I’ll be fine.” He sighed.

“No, you’re practically burning up. I’ll call one of the nurses.”

“Thanks.” Daisy rang her bell for assistance and Rachel, one of the nurses was soon at her side.

“Are you okay?”

“I didn’t ring the bell for me, it’s for Oscar. Is Milly about? I haven’t seen for a little while.”

“She’s on her break, but she’ll be back soon.” She paced over to Oscar. “Oscar, can you hear me?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll open this window? Is that okay Daisy?”

“Yes, please open it. It’s really stuffy.”

“I’ll turn up the fan again, Can I take your temperature?”

“Sure.”

“37.9 hmm, that’s quite elevated. I’m going to give you some paracetamol, that should help with your temperature. Can I just check your name and date of birth.”  Oscar stared blankly at her.

“Can you tell me your name and date of birth Oscar?”

“Sorry. Oscar Setterfield 1/5/1992.”

“That’s right. Okay, here’s some water. I’ll just record that I’ve given you those.”

“Thanks Rachel.”

“Milly will be back in about 10 minutes. I’ll get her to take your temperature again. Can I just have a look at your cannula? I think there’s a bit of a kink in the plastic tube which might be stopping the fluid from dripping through.”

“Okay.” Oscar sighed, sensing the heavy sweat upon his brow. Rachel straightened the tube. “Yes that’s it. Can you see the saline running through again?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m going to turn up your fan a notch, is that bearable?”

“Lovely.”

He reached across to his table, grasping a baby wipe. He wiped his face, taking gentle sips of cool water sensing the soothing breeze upon his skin.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 120


Oscar slowly sipped at the ensure plus juice, concentrating on each mouthful before swallowing. He placed the empty bottle on his table, satisfied that he had managed to get 350 more calories into his frail body. ‘I have to get well for the baby. I have to be there.’ He thought.

“How do you feel Oscar?”

“Better after my shower and seeing my Mum has made all the difference.”

“That’s good. I just need to do your obs again. Is that okay? I’m going to do your blood pressure manually, you’ve been doing well with fluids. How are you coping with eating?” Milly scanned through Oscar’s dietary chart.

“Hmm, not too badly. “

“The ensure drinks should really help. I’ll just place this pillow under your arm.”

“Okay.”

“103/78. Better than last time, but still a bit low. I just need to take your temperature. 37.8, hmm it’s gone up again, I’ll turn the fan up a notch.”

“I think it was the shower that did it, it’s my own fault. I can’t seem to cool down.”

“Don’t worry, this fan should do the trick. If not, I can give you some paracetamol. How’s the pain?”

“There’s no pain, just a general aching, I’m used to it.”

“Alright. I’ll leave you in peace now.”

“Thanks.”

**

“Psssst! Oscar!”

Oscar glanced at George. “Yeah?”

“How do you feel?”

“Not too bad. How about you?”

“I’ve been better. It’s boredom mainly. Daisy’s flat out so we’d better whisper.”

“Sure.”

“How you finding it in here?”

“Not too bad, thanks to you and Daisy and the lovely staff.”

“Aww cheers mate, well I’m always happy to help.What about this girlfriend of yours, is she not coming to see you?”

“I really don’t know.”

“How come Oscar?”

“Things haven’t been good between us.”

“Oh I see, one of those. Well, it’s a tricky one. Sometimes it’s better if you finish a relationship on good terms. You could still stay friends. That happened with one of my exes. It didn’t really work out , we kind of grew apart. It wasn’t fair on her and I felt guilty for going away for months at a time, so we just agreed it was for the best. She’s a lovely girl and a great friend.”

“By the end, we were just making each other’s lives a misery, so I called it off. I kind of had no choice. It had turned really ugly. I think we’re completely wrong for each other. Problem is, I have no idea what to do now.”

“Ah, one of those. Well, you probably did well to end your relationship.”

“Thing is, she’s pregnant with my baby.”

“I knew something was troubling you! How long until she’s due?”

“Not long at all. Technically, she could give birth any time between now and the next 5 weeks.”

“Jeez! That soon?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, well firstly you two need to talk. I take it you want to be part of the baby’s life?”

“More than anything!”

“I think you need to see your girlfriend. How long is it since you two last spoke properly?”

“5 days ago, not too desperate.”

“Right ring her. Where is she living? Clatterbridge?”

“Nope, Chester.”

“Ah, right. Well, she could get the train in and see you.”

“I doubt she’d want to and I don’t think it’s a good idea. Not with her being so heavily pregnant.”

“How do you know until you’ve tried?”

“I don’t.”

“Well then. You could do it now, you’d sleep better. It’s only 7.30pm give her a try. I’ll try not to listen in.”

“I don’t want to wake Daisy.”

“That girl goes into a coma when she sleeps. Don’t worry, you wont wake her.”

“You’re not really allowed to make calls in here.”

“What ever you do, don’t make excuses, you’ll regret it. Ask to go outside. It’s a nice enough night. Go on, ask Milly. She’ll take you, that way I wont be tempted to earwig.”

Oscar laughed. “Okay.” Oscar rang his bell.

“Milly? Can I go outside for a bit, I need to make a call.”

Milly nodded. “Sure, your obs seem stable enough. There’s a little side garden next to this unit, Ill take you in there. That way I can keep an eye on you.”

“Thanks. I’ll just put my dressing gown on.”

“Would you like a blanket?”

“I’m okay thanks. I’m feeling pretty warm actually.”

Milly smiled, turning to one of the other nurses. “Katie, can you keep an eye on Mrs Jenkins in C4 for me while I take Oscar outside? Her temperature has been quite elevated.” Katie nodded.

Milly walked at Oscar’s side opening a small side door along the corridor, which lead to a little garden. Oscar smiled.

“Wow this is nice, I didn’t notice this on the way in. Thanks.”

“It’s a little bit tucked away isn’t it? I sometimes sit out here on my break. I’ll give you a bell Oscar, just ring when you want to come in.”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 119


“She was lovely at the beginning. Fun to be with, positive and happy, or at least I thought she was. I don’t know what the hell happened. I think it’s my fault, I pushed her over the edge.”

“You did? How?”

“I don’t know. Some people just crack you know, the same with Sebastian, but that was just odd. I mean, he claimed that he had feelings for Ava, but he never said anything or even made it slightly obvious over the past couple of years. He blamed me for taking Ava from him.”

“He said that?”

“Yeah. When Ava and I got really close, that was it. He mentally cracked. I think he thought Ava was interested in him, I really don’t know myself. ”

“Okay. ”

“He did a runner, It was in the papers. Oh I’d rather not say. It doesn’t matter.”

“You might as well tell me, you’ve told me a small part over the phone already.”

“Okay, Sebastian went missing and I thought that he was dead, turns out that he quit his course and didn’t tell the university. God knows where he went, but he’s alive somewhere. Ava knew and didn’t tell me.”

“What?”

“That’s why I finished with her.”

“Jesus!”

“Yeah. It’s bit crap really, but there you go. I’m not going to lie, it’s nice having a break from her.”

“Yes, well you know full well that I’m not her biggest fan.”

“I shouldn’t have brought her to London.”

“No, I’m glad you came that time.”

“You are?”

“I suppose it was a bit of a wakeup call.”

“Hmm. Maybe Mum. What did you do between visiting me?”

“I can see that you want to change the subject. Fair enough. Well, I explored the area, went for a walk and had dinner.”

“Hmm, sounds nice what did you have?”

“Thai green curry. It’s good to be able to afford to eat out once in a while. I also nipped to Tesco and bought you some grapes and oranges.”

Oscar smiled. “Aww thanks Mum.”

“It’s the least I can do Oscar. I’ve been such an idiot, I think I’ve really hurt you haven’t I ? Am I right?”

“Erm…”

“Just admit it, there’s no point denying it when I know the truth, I wont be offended.”

“I was hurt when you couldn’t wait to get off the other end of the line or wouldn’t answer the phone to me.”

“Yeah, I eventually guessed that. What else, go on.”

“It’s behind us now, can we just start a new chapter and let the past lie? It would make me very happy.”

Janet nodded. “I’ll try my best. What about Ava and the baby?”

“I have absolutely no idea, I don’t even know what I’m going to do after I get out of here.”

“Well, Ava will still be at the house wont she?”

“I guess.”

“Just go back to the house and talk to her. It’s all you can do really.”

“Hmm, I don’t know.”

“You need to sort things before the baby is born, she could use it against you.”

“How?”

“Well, I mean the birth.”

“Oh Lord! What if she asks for me not to be there?”

“Precisely.”

“Oh my God! I can’t believe that thought has only crossed my mind. What on earth am I going to do?”

“That’s why I said talk to her sooner rather than later, call her when I’ve gone. You really need to.”

“I’ll try.”

“What do you reckon the baby is going to be?”

“A girl.”

“Wow, you sound certain.”

“I just have a feeling. I just want to get out of here and get home.”

“I understand.”

“Have you talked to Dad at all?”

“Briefly the other day Oscar.Have you?”

“No.”

“Do you want to?”

“I did at one point, now I’m not so sure.”

“Well, you’re an adult, if you want to talk to him then go ahead.”

“Thanks. Do you have his number?”

“I do somewhere in my phone. I see you have a notebook. I’ll write it in there. There you go.”

“Thanks Mum.” Janet hastily scribbled down the number on a blank page.

“It’s okay, I should probably go now. Visiting time is almost over and you’re….”

Janet bit her bottom lip and sniffed.

“It’s al-right Mum.”

Oscar took her hand in his. “It’s going to take a while, but I’ll be fine, I’m going to fight this and win.” He smiled nervously. “Thanks so much for coming to see me, it means the world. I just need to get this whole Ava mess sorted. I don’t know how, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

Janet squeezed his hand. “You have the right attitude, sleep well, I’ll come and see you tomorrow, but now you need to get some rest okay?”

“Okay. I love you Mum.”

Janet smiled. “Bye Oscar, sleep well.”

To be continued…..

Planchette- Part 118


You look tired Oscar. George, we need to shut up now and let him get some more rest.”

“Yeah we do. Get some sleep Oscar, we’re not trying to get rid of you, honest.”

“Yeah, yeah. I believe you. Okay, I’ll have a quick 40 winks before my Mum gets here. I really want a shower though. What time’s visiting time Daisy?”

“Seven until eight.”

“My drip has stopped I think, I might be allowed.”

“Just ask.”

“Okay.” Oscar rang his bell; Milly was soon at his side.

“Hi, I was just wondering whether I’d be able to have a shower.”

“That’s fine. You were right about your drip being finished. I’ll put up a new one tomorrow, your central line will be fine in the shower. Just be very careful not to knock it. How are you on your feet?”

“Thanks. I have no idea if I’m honest.”

“Right, well, I’ll come and sort your drip for you.”

Oscar nodded, as Milly washed her hands and disconnected the empty drip.

“Wow I didn’t expect it to be that quick!”

“It doesn’t take long at all. Shall I get someone to wheel you down?”

“I think I should be fine walking.”

“Okay, go slowly, I’ll go and get you some towels. Do you have everything you need?”

“Yes thanks.”

“It’s more of a wet room, so just be careful with the way that you aim the shower head. I remember when I was a student nurse, I accidentally flooded part of the corridor.”

Oscar laughed. “Oh God! I’ll try my best not to cause a natural disaster.”

“No you won’t, I think it might be best not to lock the door though Oscar, just in case.”

Oscar placed on his slippers, grabbing his toiletry bag, making his way down to the bathroom. He was  relieved to see a white plastic chair in the corner. He closed the door, undressed and turned on the shower head, aiming it way from the door as Milly had suggested. Slowly he closed his eyes, sensing the droplets of water against his pale skin.He turned off the water and changed his shorts and T-shirt, placing his other’s into a plastic carrier bag.  He dried the chair, sitting down once more. His head swam and he placed his head upon the cool sink, closing his eyes, taking deep breaths. Oscar splashed his face with cold water and brushed his teeth, his cheeks flushed. He rough dried his hair as best as he could, gathering his things and exiting the bathroom. Milly gazed up at him from the nurses station.

Do you feel okay?”

“Yeah, not too bad, it’s a bit airless in there but I’ll feel refreshed soon.”

Oscar seated himself back on his bed, which had been changed in his brief absence. “Wow, that was quick!”

“Yes, excellent service. It’s a shame that the sheets are like cardboard, too much starch. You look a bit flushed.” Daisy stated.

“It’s like a steam room in there.”

“Tell me about it, airless. You’ll soon cool down.”

Milly was rapidly at his side. “I just need to re connect you.”                  

“Oh yes.”

“There you go, the drip should run through again.”

“Thanks Milly.”

**

Oscar felt a cool hand upon his cheek and slowly opened his eyes.

“Hey Oscar.”

“Mum! You’re back, that was quick.”

“How do you feel? I brought you some plain crisps, tangerines and strawberries.”

Oscar grinned. “Thanks Mum. I managed to eat something and had a shower between your visits so yeah, I feel okay actually. Just tired, but then that’s nothing new, I’ve felt exhausted for months.”

“Hmm. Why on earth didn’t you do something about it sooner?”

“That’s what Ava said.”

“Yes, well she was right.”

“Either way I have Leukaemia. That’s not going to change, you haven’t been to the house have you?”

“No, no. Of course not. Have you heard from Ava?”

“Not today.”

“You should call her again.”

“I’d really rather not.”

“Okay. I don’t blame you.”

“Really?”

“You know that I didn’t like what I saw.”

“True.”

“I mean, what on earth attracted you to her in the first place? Apart from the fact that she has a pretty face!”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 117


Oscar gazed reluctantly at the shepard’s pie, prodding the soft mashed potato with his fork, it did look good, but he wasn’t hungry. He took a spoonful of potato, forcing himself to swallow, gazing at George and Daisy who were tucking into their portions. Oscar tried a carrot, chewing it slowly, every mouthful unbearably hard to swallow.He took a sip of water to help the food go down, attempting to eat another mouthful. Daisy looked at him sympathetically.

“It does get easier, I promise. Don’t over force yourself. How’s about cutting the shepard’s pie in half and just focusing on that one half for the time being? That’s what I had to do early on.

“Okay, I’ll try that Daisy, thanks.”

Slowly, but surely he ate half of the Shepard’s pie and vegetables, his first proper meal for weeks. Daisy glanced at him with her reassuring eyes.

“There. You can’t run before you can walk.” Oscar gazed at her empty plate.

“How did you manage to eat it all?”

“I feel better in myself in general, the first stage of chemo is the worst. Now, I’m  focusing on putting a bit more weight on. Just eat little and often and you’ll be fine.”

Little and often, that’s what Ava said at the beginning. Oscar bit his bottom lip, nodding. He glanced at George who has also eaten everything minus the carrots.

“I bloody hate carrots!” He grinned. “Don’t look so scared Oscar, we’ve all been in your shoes, starting chemo is scary shit. It’s fear of the unknown, I mean, not knowing how your body is going to react. I like it on the wards though, it’s nice having other people to chat to.”

Oscar nodded. “Absolutely.

“It’s also great having a supportive family, mine have been amazing but the best thing is chatting to other cancer sufferers, people who understand. I don’t think some people realise how crap it makes you feel. Do you know what I mean?”

“Yeah, some people aren’ t very sympathetic.”

“Exactly, these things take time. Have you tried your milkshake?”

Oscar picked up the small bottle of Ensure plus.

“One of those is about 330 calories alone they’ll help you gain weight in no time at all.  They’re quite nice actually, hardly McDonald’s milkshake standard but drinkable.”

“Ah good.” The memory of his last McDonald’s trip with Ava flashed through his brain. He bit his bottom lip. George averted his eyes, continuing to eat his dinner. Daisy stared at Oscar and then George pushing her finished tray to one side.

“I won.” She grinned, obviously attempting to lighten the mood.

“Daisy, why do you always have to turn everything into a competition?” George sighed.

“Because I’m awesome!”

Oscar laughed. “Thanks you two.”

“For what?”

“Cheering me up. I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself now.”

“Ah, you’re not. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You  missed your ice cream!” Oscar eyed the small ice cream in it’s polystyrene pot.

“It’ll probably be mush by now.”

“I dunno, they’re a weird texture. I can never decide whether I like hospital ice cream or not. They don’t thaw.”

Oscar opened the lid, taking a spoonful. “I get what you mean, frozen but not. It tastes okay actually.” Oscar took three small spoonfuls and gave in.

“Really sickly too.” She continued. “I like the tea’s and coffee’s in here although, I’m seriously going to have to cut down on sugar when I leave hospital. I have about 3-6 spoonfuls depending on my mood.” She grinned.

“Hmm, I haven’t drunk much tea and coffee  recently. I might give it a try.”

“Then you can try my 6 spoonfuls of sugar trick, it will help you gain weight. Side effects include fillings and loss of teeth.”

Oscar laughed.

“What?”

“You.”

“I didn’t think that was particularly funny.”

“I did. It feels good to laugh.”

“It’s visiting time again in half an hour, is your Mum coming back?”

“Yeah, she should be.”

“Lovely, are you two close?”

“Erm we’re hopefully beginning to understand each other.”

“Oh okay.” Daisy smiled softly. “My family are a bit eccentric.”

“Yes they are.” George laughed. “I love your Mum though! Remember that time that she told me that I looked like Jude Law? I loved life that day.”

“You do have quite a similar jawline.”

“Loads of people tell me that. Guess I just can’t help being hot.”

Oscar grinned. “You don’t half blow your own trumpet!”

“Is that a euphemism?”

Daisy coughed, a spoonful of ice cream catching in her throat.

“Daisy, don’t die on us yet babe.” George chuckled.

“George do you ever stop talking and is there any need to be so dirty minded?”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 116


“What are you going to do when the baby is born?”

“That’s something Ava and I haven’t really discussed.”

“Do it sooner rather than later.”

“Hmm I agree, but I don’t particularly like being screamed at down the phone. I know that I’m to blame for Ava getting pregnant and for the way that things turned out. After all, I did finish with her. But yeah, I’ll try to call her and we’ll sort something.”

“Have you spoken to her recently?”

“Yeah, but I’ll try again.”

“Okay I take that it didn’t go down well. Well I’ll leave you in peace now, you look shattered.”

“So everyone keeps telling me. Do I really look that bad?”

“You’re just a bit pale that’s all. You do need rest.” Janet patted Oscar’s hand. “Bye Oscar, do you want me to bring anything later, anything that they don’t have here.”

“I still don’t have much of an appetite, but fruit is always good.”

“Okay, I’ll go and get some.”

“Thanks. See you later, you really suit your hair a bit shorter. You look so much younger and happier these days.”

“Oh, erm thanks.”

“I love you Mum.” Janet nodded before exiting the hospital ward. Oscar smiled gently, half of him filled with relief. He and his Mum were finally starting to make amends.

Was that your Mum? She looks a lot like you.”

Oscar glanced up at Daisy across the room, as she closed her book. “Do you really think so?”

“Yeah, you have the same nose and mouth.”

“Well I don’t look a thing like my Dad, from what I remember anyway, I’m glad really.”

“Ah I see.”

“Is your book any good?”

“Yeah, I love reading. I brought my kindle too.”

“I try to read more these days. I have a small selection of baby books in my locker. I’m trying to swat up before the big day comes. Not long now!”

“Ah yes of course. So, what have you learnt so far?”

“Is this a test?” Oscar grinned.

“Yes.”

“Ha okay then. There’s loads of little random facts in there. Did you know babies can’t taste salt until they’re 4 months old. Apparently the delay might be linked to kidney development.”

“I’ve never heard that one. What else have you learnt?”

“That babies have no kneecaps until they are about 6 months old.”

“Ah yeah, I suppose that makes sense. Here, throw me the book and I’ll test you properly, I’m dying of boredom over here.”

“Okay then, the real test is to throw the book without dislodging this thing.” Oscar glanced at his central line. “Okay, here!”

Daisy caught the book. “That was a decent throw, see spending the last few days with me has done you the world of good! You’re starting to get better already!”

“Likewise, a decent catch. Now then, test me.”

“Hold your horses. Okay question one.”

“Do I get a prize?” Oscar laughed.

“The prize is, you get to share the bay with me and George!”

“Yay! Oh I just noticed that you’re back George.”

“Well done boss.”

“Will you let me finish you two?”

“Oh, did you know that babies can breathe and swallow at the same time until they’re about 7 months old?”

“Oscar! Stop stealing my thunder! I’m the one asking the questions.”

“Okay, chill.” Oscar grinned, feeling the most relaxed he had felt in a long time. He glanced at the clock, 5.15pm, nearly time for dinner, once again he wasn’t hungry.

What are the main meals like in here?”

“Pretty decent actually. The veg is sometimes a overdone, but then I like mine el-dente!”

“Ah okay, I’m not a fan of mushy veg either.”

“Are you on a food and fluid chart?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, that makes me feel a bit better. If you don’t mind me saying, you look like you’ve lost quite a bit of weight.”

“Just over a stone. You?”

“Erm I was the same, but I’ve managed to put half a stone back on. I looked like a walking skeleton, erm not that you look like a skeleton. Oh God, sorry that’s not my place to say.”

“I agree, I look too thin, anorexic almost. I’d rather someone just said it as it is.”

“Okay, but be sure and tell me where to go if I ever cross that line.”

Oscar laughed. “I’m not easily offended. I can take it.”

“Oh look, here’s the dinner!”

Oscar sighed, once again he wasn’t hungry.

“Oscar, don’t look so nervous, just eat what you can. No-one forces you in here they just try to help you out. It’s not a test, unlike my failed attempts to quiz you on babies!” She laughed.

To be continued…