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