A Week in June, Part 7

The telephone rings. Diane Hawthorn rushes downstairs into the living room to answer it.

 

Diane:

Hello, Hawthorn Doctor’s Surgery, how

May I help you? … Yes, this is she … I am,

Is there …? She’s what? … How, when? … I see …

Joseph Horstgrab? Yes, why he’s her partner …

My God! … My poor baby. I never thought …

No, no, I understand. How is she now? …

It will be a success? Well that’s something …

We’re free tonight … I’ll let him know. He’s the

Doctor in the household, he’ll know better

Than me … The surgery closes in five

Minutes. We’ll be over in an hour,

I’ve got dinner underway, but … OK,

Ward number nine, seven thirty … No, we’ll

Stay as long as needed … Thank you, bye, bye.

 

Bob walks into the living room, after finishing his shift for the day.

 

Bob:

Who was that on the telephone, Diane?

 

Diane:

Private hospital in Bournemoor, about

Our Eve, pushed down the stairs. It’s not fatal

But, oh, the thought of it!

 

Bob:

Did he do it?

 

Diane:

Yes he bloody well did! Oh Bob, what have …

 

Bob slams his fist on the table. Diane bursts into tears and Bob takes her in his arms to console her, shaking, barely concealing his anger.

 

Bob:

It’s like I said, anyone too pious

Like that is a madman. She should have moved

Out weeks ago after her brief affair.

 

Diane:

Oh, but Jacob was still …

 

Bob:

And what about Jacob? Just where was he?

 

Diane:

He’s moved out now.

 

Bob:

And the preacher on the landing waited

To pounce.

 

Diane:

Please don’t …  it’s too horrid to think …

 

Bob:

That we even let him into our house!

 

Diane:

At least the cops arrested him, thank God.

 

Bob:

May the Lord spit on him, I pray. Did they

Say when we could visit?

 

Diane:

Seven thirty.

 

Bob:

Enough time for your meal. Without red wine.

 

Diane:

I won’t stop you. It’s best if I drive there.

 

Bob:

Diane …

 

Diane:

Please, Bob. No roadrage on my watch.

 

 

Diane and Bob arrive at the hospital ward, greeted by the head nurse, before being allowed to enter Eve’s private room.

 

Bob:

Thank you for your message. We got here as

Soon as we could.

 

Diane:

How is our poor angel?

 

Head Nurse:

From one doctor to another, I won’t

Lie, she’s in a stable condition now,

Following the operation, but she’s

Very lucky. Unfortunately, her

Baby didn’t survive the fall.

 

Diane:

Oh, Bob …

 

Bob consoles Diane as she cries in his arms.

 

Head Nurse:

She’s under deep sedation to ease the

Pain, so it’s unlikely she will respond.

 

Diane:

To see her is enough.

 

Bob:

What’s the verdict?

 

Head Nurse:

Eve lost a pint of blood, and she needed

A transfusion. But now, she recovered

And her pulse is under control, but we

Needed to put a small pin in her neck,

She’s broken her collarbone and left arm,

But on the whole she will pull through quite soon.

 

Bob:

I can take her back to my surgery,

If she just needs observation and some

Care and medication from here on in.

 

Head Nurse:

I realize that you want to take care

Of your daughter yourself, Doctor Hawthorn,

And an extra bed is needed at all

Times, but she’s unlikely to be discharged

Before Thursday morning.

 

Diane:

Really? So soon?

 

Head Nurse:

Yes, all we need is to monitor her

And take a few more tests, make sure there are

No more setbacks, but most of this is just

A precaution, you know. I’ll let you in.

 

Bob:

Has anyone else been in to visit?

 

Head Nurse:

In fact she’s in there now. Mrs Jenkins.

She’s been there for most of the day, bless her

And now she’s off on holiday, poor lamb.

 

They open the door and greet Hilda, shaking hands and hugging each other.

 

Hilda:

Hi Bob, Diane, it’s good … well it’s not so

Good to see you, but I’m glad nonetheless.

 

Diane:

Hilda, have you been here all afternoon?

 

Hilda:

As soon as the hospital rang, I was

Over here like a shot. I had to deal

With the police first. Looks like they caught him.

Ought to save taxpayers money and do

Away with him, but I shouldn’t say that …

 

Bob:

Feel free, we both agree. And Eve, is she …?

 

Hilda:

Asleep. The strong medication made her

Drowsy, she’s out of it, hasn’t woken since I arrive.

She talks a lot in her sleep, but she’ll be

Alright. Looks much better than this morning.

 

Eve:

Ja … Ja … is that …

 

Diane:

No, Eve, it’s your mother.

 

Eve:

Mo … Mo … where is …?

 

Bob:

Where’s your father? I’m here.

 

Eve:

No … no … Jacob … where is Jacob? Come back …

 

Hilda:

She’s been calling out for Jacob the last

Hour. Sadly, I don’t know where he is

Living, or his mobile number, nothing.

 

Diane:

Perhaps it will be on Eve’s phone?

 

Hilda:

Joseph blocked it.

 

Bob:

Shame, Eve arranged his move, we’ve no idea.

I am concerned for him. For both of them.

 

Diane:

If only we could take him home, I know

How much you like him, your rugby buddy.

 

Hilda:

Eve told me just last night, now that Jacob’s

Eighteen, that she’s living with the wrong man.

 

Bob:

Well now, that’s a really sobering thought.

 

Diane:

Hey, I’m also six years older than you!

 

Bob:

It’s not that, I’d even adopt him, if

It came to that, just the disturbing thought

I might have been Joseph’s father-in-law.

 

Hilda:

Strange how little we know people, really.

 

Diane:

So, you’re soon off on your travels, I hear?

 

Hilda:

Yes, the haven of the Wachau Valley.

 

Bob:

How wonderful, last year we stayed in Melk.

 

Hilda:

I’m not far from there, in fact, in Krems.

 

Diane:

It’s lovely there, with some of the best wine.

 

Hilda:

That’s my weakness. I won’t enjoy it, though.

 

Diane:

Listen, Hilda, she’s in safe hands, here and

With Bob. You said yourself she’ll recover.

 

Hilda:

I know, it’s just the thought of not hearing

Her voice after she wakes that makes me sad.

To think, if we didn’t plan to go out …

 

Eve:

Jacob … I need you … don’t leave me here with …

 

Diane kisses Eve on the forehead and strokes her hair to calm her down.

 

Bob:

I sure hope that Jacob knows just how much …

 

Diane:

A lot more than that Uni friend of hers.

I told her straight it was a bad idea,

But she insisted it was all over.

 

Hilda:

Oh, so she didn’t do it for Joseph?

I mean, because he’s … you know what I mean.

 

Bob:

No, the baby wasn’t planned, it was just

A one night stand. That was just a smokescreen.

 

Diane:

She may not want another child, not now.

 

Hilda:

Have you eaten or did you come straight here?

 

Bob:

Yes, a pasta dish with leftover ham.

 

Hilda yawns and slumps in her chair.

 

Hilda:

I haven’t had a bite to eat all day.

 

Bob:

Don’t think you have to stay here just for us.

Go, get ready, you’ve done more than enough.

 

Diane:

I’ll get Eve to give you a ring when she’s …

 

Hilda:

Thank you, fingers crossed that there’ll be good news.

 

They hug each other tightly, say their goodbyes, and Hilda takes her leave.

 

Bob:

Well I guess all we can do now is wait.

 

 

Eve wakes up mid morning, but completely unconscious of what happened. Diane kisses her on the cheek and Bob holds her right hand as Eve speaks, drowsily.

 

Eve:

Moth … Mother, Father wh … why … where am I?

 

Eve looks at her bandages.

 

Eve:

Why am I wrapped …? Agh, I can’t feel a thing.

 

Diane:

You don’t remember it?

 

Eve:

Remember … what?

 

Diane and Bob look at each other, and hesitate.

 

Diane:

You had a fall. Yesterday, down the stairs.

 

Eve:

I’m so dizzy these days! I feel lighter

Than I … but … the baby …?

 

Bob looks down at Eve for a moment and sighs.

 

Bob:

It’s dead.

 

Eve:

De … dead …?

 

Eve pauses for a moment before wailing and lamenting her baby’s loss.

 

Eve

I bet that beast did it! If I ever …!

 

Diane strokes Eve’s hair and presses her finger to Eve’s lips.

 

Diane:

Please, Eve, stay calm, you’re pumped full as it is.

 

Bob:

Let’s wait till the medication wears off.

 

Diane:

But she must know.

 

Bob:

She’ll remember, in time.

 

Eve:

All I remember is … saying goodbye

To … to Jacob… and wishing he were my

Brother … Instead of living with that swine.

 

Bob:

Do you know where Jacob is now?

 

Eve:

I ca … can’t rem … the CHT …

 

Diane:

What’s that?

 

Bob:

Community Housing Trust I believe.

 

Eve:

Ask for Clara, she’ll know. Does Hilda know?

 

Diane:

It’s thanks to her …

 

Bob:

She was here all the way.

 

Eve:

And now she’s in Austria, I feel so …

I’ll ring her soon. First we must find Jacob.

 

© 2017 AGP

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