Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ninety-Three




Jesse clicked the ignition off and pressed her head against the steering wheel. She had no idea how she made it home, the roads had been a blur through the tears she couldn’t keep in. But right now it was time to pull it together for those four kids in there waiting for her. Unlatching her belt she leant across to the glove compartment and found her spare makeup bag honing out the compact to tidy her face up. God look you, you’re a mess. They need you, you have to do this. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes to centre herself. Clutching her bag she slammed the door shut and took the lift up to Jon’s floor. Here we go.

The lift doors pinged open into the foyer where she was met by Stephanie who launched herself into her arms “How is he?” she asked. Jesse cupped her hand around her head and held her close. The comfort of his children was paramount to her in this moment.

“He’s ok Steph...he’s unconscious from the head injuries but the doctor is quietly confident he’ll be ok” she whispered. How the hell did she tell them there was a chance of brain damage? Maybe she didn’t just at the moment, it was a small chance. Small, just have to remember that.

“Come on inside honey and we’ll talk” she said leading them both into the apartment. Kia was sitting surrounded by the kids in the living room.

“She heard the bell” Kia explained as Stephanie sat down on the couch. Every time somebody hit Jon’s floor in the lift and turned the key, the bell would ring the apartment to notify someone coming up to the floor.

“It’s ok, hey guys how you doing? Kia keeping you entertained?” she asked plopping herself down on the couch next to Romeo.

“We watched Blue’s Clues” he said nodding proudly crawling across her knees.

“Lucky!, thanks Kia for watching them” Jesse said gratefully.

“You’re welcome Jess, they were fine”

“How’s Dad?” Jesse sat up eagerly propping his elbows on his knee.

She smiled, rubbing her chest at the picture still embedded in her mind of Jon’s still body lying on the hospital bed. “Well, doctor said that he’s going to be ok. He’s unconscious at the moment because he had a blow to his head. He’s got some bruising and cracked ribs but they think he’ll make a full recovery” she shimmied Romeo across her lap and tucked him beside her on the couch.

“So he will wake up?” Jesse asked her worried.

“Yes he will, they...” she trailed off. God, she wasn’t built for this. How did she tell them? Tears that pricked at the corners of her eyes she forced back into submission. Swallowing the huge lump that had began to form in her throat she continued. “With any head injuries there is risk of damage right? In your dad’s case it’s minimal but yes there is a tiny risk something could be damaged” she let her breath whistled out from her throat.

“Can we see him?” Steph asked her immediately. What did she do? Say yes? Say no? She wasn’t prepared for any of this as Jon and her had never discussed this sort of thing in detail. You just didn’t.

“I don’t know Steph if it’s a good idea, but I’m going to ring your Grandma shortly so I’ll check with her ok? Maybe we should wait until tomorrow to see how he is” she said. Steph nodded, her eyes falling to the floor.

“Hey...” Jesse reached out and grabbed her hand “It’s going to be ok, I promise. You all above anyone know your father. He’s strong, determined and doesn’t give up anything easily. We’ll get through this ok...I promise” she squeezed her hand until she looked back up at her. Jon’s blue eyes shone back at her with an uncertainty but she still managing a small smile.

“Ok”

“Is Daddy sick?” Romeo’s tiny voice asked from beside her. His tiny hand grasping at her sleeve.

“He is buddy, but he’s in the right place to get fixed up. The doctors are taking good care of him and Uncle Richie is there right with him. I think Mommy is coming home soon too but I’m ringing Grandma first to find out” she explained. She checked her watch it was way past the younger boy’s bedtime so she needed to get them into bed.

“How about you and Jake come with me and get changed for bed and I’ll read you both a story ok?” she asked getting up and holding her hand out.

“Storyyy!” Romeo and Jake both eagerly got up and clasped her hands.

“Can I ring Grandma while you do that?” Stephanie asked.

Jesse nodded “Of course Steph, tell her I’ll explain everything when I get there but you can tell her what I told you” she said disappearing with the boys. Twenty minutes later they were asleep after teeth were brushed, Jake had found his favourite red pyjamas and the story was read. She stopped by at the kitchen smelling the rich aroma of coffee.

As soon as Jesse walked in she was handed a cup “You have no idea how much I need this, probably something stronger” she said taking a long sip and closing her eyes at the warm nutty comfort it offered.

“How are you holding up?” she asked gently rubbing her arm.

“I’m doing ok, I have to right? For them and partially I feel so responsible for this” she said sadly feeling her eyes start to mist again.

“Hey, no you won’t” Kia scowled “I won’t allow you to go there Jesse Adams. This is in no way your fault ok?” she asked. Jesse nodded still concentrating on the broken tile in the corner of the floor.

“Jess, come on don’t play that game. Jon wouldn’t blame you and did you hurt him? Was it you that did this to him? No.” Kia took Jesse’s cup from her and placed it on the kitchen counter and wrapped her arms around her. Jesse squinted her eyes shut desperate to fight the tears and held on tight.

“You’re only doing this because you love him so damn much woman. It’s a hell of a shock ok?” she said vigorously rubbing her back.

“I know but if I’d just pressed the charges when he wanted me to...” she whispered.

“He still would of probably done it Jess, Jason’s mind is not all there right now. We know that. You can’t do this to yourself ok. It won’t help Jon or those kids now so what’s the point?” She pulled back and brushed back Jesse’s hair “Huh?”

Kia was right. But it didn’t make it any easier right now. “I know, I’m just so worried about him... if anything happens to him...” she wiped her cheeks with the heel of her hand “I love him damn too much to see it happen”

“Honey, of course you are worried. You’re allowed to be but we’re talking about your Jon here right? The man that that would do anything for those kids and anything for you. He’s going to be fine Jess I know it” she said.

“Thank you” she said managing a small smile before Steph interrupted them.

“She wants to talk to you” she held out the silver cordless handset to her.

“Thanks honey, Hi Carol” she said pressing it to her ear.

“Jesse hi, how is he doing? More importantly how are you doing?” Jesse smiled at the genuine concern in her voice. It was nice to know when it counted family did as well.

“He’s ok Carol, Stephanie told you everything right?” she asked.

“Yes, she did. So how much chance does he have of being brain damaged?” she asked seriously.

“Its minor, twenty percent like with all head injuries. The scans the doctors have done of his back and head are all clear. Just his ribs are a little cracked and he’s quite badly bruised” she explained turning to face the window.

“Good god, well Jesse I’m on the first flight out tomorrow morning and I rang Dot, and she’s coming back tomorrow as well for the kids.” She rattled off times and places but Jesse’s mind was already overloaded to take it all in. She knew Carol would just come as soon as she was there.

“Thanks Carol I appreciate it and so will Jon. Did Steph talk to you about seeing him?” she asked quietly.

“Yes she did, and that’s what I wanted to ask. How bad does he look?”

Jesse paused feeling her throat grow tight. “Awful” she managed to squeak out. “Carol he looks awful. The Doctor said it looks worse than it is, but he’s all bruised... “She closed her eyes “Plastic... So much plastic” she whispered.

“Ok” Carol said trying to keep it together “We’ll wait to see how he’s doing tomorrow but if she has to go, Jesse and Steph can come with me tomorrow how does that sound?” she asked.

“Thanks that would be great. Unless anything changes but I can call if it does” she said. She finally clicked the off button a few minutes later receiving a much needed pep talk from Carol who sang her strong son’s praises also.

“Tomorrow Steph, it’s late now and we all need to get some sleep or we really will be no good to him right?” she asked stroking her blond hair out of her face.

“Yeah I guess so. I don’t know if I can sleep yet though” she said honestly.

Jesse sighed “I know the feeling, what do you say I make some hot chocolate and we have those and some cookies and watch some mindless trash for half an hour or so, the three of us” she suggested.

“I’d like that” Steph replied heading back to the living area.

“Ok well I’m going to go and see Rich, he’ll need some food and coffee” Kia said grabbing her coat and purse.

“Yes do, tell him he’s a saint and tell him Dot and Carol will be here tomorrow. And tell him...”

“To ring you if anything changes?” Kia cut her off and grinned.

“Yes, god. Thank you both again. This reminds me of Jason all over again” she said as they met in a hug.

Kia pulled away and buttoned up her coat “Number one, Jon isn’t dead. Number two, he’s ten times the man Jason was. So this is different” she said tugging on her woollen cap.

“You’re right...again” she rolled her eyes laughing as they said goodbye. He was going to be alright. He just had to be, she wouldn’t stand for anything else.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awww she is great with the kids but can we go back and check on Jon now, please.
Chris

Jovi's Willow said...

I am sure this is rediculously hard for Jesse, but she's doing a great job, especially w/ Stephanie.

Love this story!