Was it a daymare, or did Morgan really ask me that question? She was sitting alone, spreading butter over a sliced bagel. Unfortunately, Lovell’s excitement the other evening led to one of her now infrequent episodes. This time requiring hospitalisation. Three days and nights Alice had spent by the bedside, it was only when Lovell was in a steady induced sleep, she allowed herself to walk to the cafeteria.
Suddenly, aware of a shadow across the table, she was back in reality. She pulled herself upright from her chair and stood unsteadily. Her almost empty coffee cup spilled, but she did not notice. Blood drained from her face and she began to shake…
Morgan moved silently and put his strong arm around her to steady her. He whispered quietly as he guided her slowly out of the room. They found a quiet corner and Alice brought him up to date on Lovell’s condition.
“There is talk now of surgery… pressure on the brain….. they need to remove….” The words came in short bursts and she battled to hold in the tears.
“You need a break, and to sleep properly. Let me take you home while Lovell is sleeping, I’ll come back and stay until we know what is happening, The workmen have all gone for the weekend, so the place will be quiet. Mr Yates, said he will look in later today and again tomorrow to check the house. Come on, we will go back to the room and gather your things. The staff will not mind, you do not need to become ill on them, do you? Anyway they have all our numbers, if there is any change.”
The ward sister saw them coming and walked to meet them.
“I hope Mr Troy has come to take you home, Mrs Slythe. You are exhausted and need proper rest otherwise you will become ill and be of no use to yourself, never mind any one else. Lovell is sleeping and we want to keep her so until the Morning. Nothing will happen until the Consultant arrives tomorrow. Mr Troy, I think that you should stay home and rest too. We have your numbers and promise to contact you if there is any change.”
They agreed and went in to collect the few belongings and check one more time on the sleeping Lovell. The lights were low and the room was quiet but for the gentle whirr and bleeping of the monitors. Morgan took Alice’s hand and soundlessly walked her out of the room.
They were in the car before Alice broke the silence.
“Oh Morgan, she is in a bad way, they mentioned Rasmussen’s encephalitis and MST. Multiple sub…. Multiple subpial transaction, I think that was what they said and there are risks. Risks like infection, bleeding, or an allergic reaction to anaesthesia.
The surgery may make things worse, or may create new neurological problems.”
“Alice, chronic skepticaemia helps nobody, in fact it is more trouble than a speck of salt in a pepper jar. Three nights ago, you thought Lovell would not see morning. She did. She is still with us and well settled for tonight. You saw yourself, the staff are doing all they can for her. Let us take one day at a time. Little steps. Please. For what it’s worth, I’m not going anywhere, you have me to share this with. And for the moment, that’s gonna have to be enough for both of us. Okay?”
With that he turned the key in the ignition and headed for home. Traffic was light, and he left Alice to relax with her own thoughts. It seemed no time until they were turning into the driveway to Hour House. Morgan drew the car to a gentle stop outside the green door. Moving briskly, he opened the passenger door for Alice, and led her into the house.
“You go up and run a bath, I’ll bring in your things from the car and then make a start on a meal for us.”
Alice managed a smile of thanks, she had no energy left to even talk.
I suggest you get into your bed after the bath and when you are ready, I’ll bring up our food on a tray. I need to make sure you stay awake long enough to eat my efforts. Then if you are a good girl, I’ll read you a story and lull you to sleep.” He said with a wink, giving her a gentle push towards the stairs.
“Mind you, my dear, if that does not work, I might be forced to sing!” He reached the door to the kitchen before he finished the sentence.
Once Alice was fed, comfortable and settled for sleep, Morgan crossed the room carrying the tray, he closed the door and headed down the stairs to the kitchen. “Foibles, smoilbels and toy bells, I need a walk”, he thought as he tidied the kitchen.
Puttin on a ganzee, he pushed his phone deep onto his pocket, and headed outdoors for a walk in the grounds. The air was crisper now, it reminded him of a day when he drove Alice here with the car full of tea chests. The idea was to spend a week sorting & clearing years of dust and rubbish before selling the house… How things had changed!
How his own life had changed… “I wonder what Rowland Troy would think of his son, if he were alive to see me now?” he muttered to himself.
He let his thoughts drift back to the early days when a very young Morgan spent many hours in the workshop with his father and Sidney. Over in his own corner, tapping away or oiling his first tricycle, then came a two wheeler and eventually the gold star moment when given his own engine to work on. It may well have been oddments from an old retired engine, but it was His Very Own! He was imitating the actions of the men across the garage, who were the light of his life back then.
There were memories from those days and years that he had not yet shared with Alice, but the day would come, and he would tell her about his mother and how she broke two hearts. Two hearts that Sidney Slythe helped heal, with each tap of a hammer, drop of oil from a can or wipe of a spark plug.
Rowland had married his schoolgirl sweet heart. They were both to young and in love, more with the idea of being in love, than thoughts of the reality of daily living, A house, with the daily chores in running it, and soon enough a child to care for. Morgan may have lost his mother, but he gained a second father and between Sidney and Rowland, they prepared him well for life. When he needed a part for his engine, he had to ‘work to earn it’. They gave him a job to do, they paid him cash, which he had to enter in his ledger – read a notebook. He had to enter the job he did and how much he was paid, then on the opposite page, how much he paid them for the item ne needed. Maybe that training, led him down the road to accountancy.
There had been a dinner date or two, but perhaps losing his mother as he did, led him to build a barrier against further heartbreak. He never set out to win Alice’s heart, his aim was to aid with her healing process, just as Sidney did for him and his father. Slowly, very slowly, things changed.They learned to trust and be comfortable with one another and now? Will they actually tie that knot?
“Lovell my dear, it is up to you. Please, please, please, heal and respond quickly to all the medical ministering. We need to go looking for that dress!
( All previous parts can be found in the Header page of the same title)