I’ll never forget that day. It started out like any ordinary Saturday, but every detail of that morning has been etched on my memory, probably because of what happened later.
It was late March and the sun was shining in the garden, so I decided to wrap myself warm and eat breakfast outside. I made myself a cup of tea using Mum’s pretty china teapot, the one with the blue fairies, and one of the matching mugs. I was hungry, so I peeled an apple and spread butter on two pieces of wholegrain toast.
I put everything on a flowery tray and took it out to the porch. I sat on my favourite wicker chair and looked around. The flower beds were spectacular. A bee buzzed near me and sat on the rim of my mug.
It was then that I heard the phone ringing. I stood up, wondering who it could be so early on a Saturday.
‘Aunt Lucy? What’s wrong? Why are you crying?’
‘There’s been an accident. Your mum… You have to come to Harper’s Wood immediately.’
The phone fell off my hand. I was in shock. At first I didn’t move. I just stood there, wondering what to do next. But after a few minutes, I realized I had to come out of my trance and get ready to go.
I went up to my room and put on my clothes. I didn’t even bother to comb my hair. I just got my keys and my handbag and ran downstairs.
I got into my battered little Mini and reversed out of the drive. It took me just fifty minutes to get to the hospital in Harper’s Wood. I parked near the entrance and walked inside like a woman possessed.
‘I need to see my mum,’ I said to the receptionist.
‘What’s her name?’
The hospital in Harper’s Wood is very small. The receptionist had a computer, but she didn’t even have to look at the screen.
She seemed to remember the name and she paled, or maybe I imagined it.
‘She’s still in surgery. Please go to the waiting room on the second floor.’
I did as she told me. When I got there, Aunt Lucy got up to hug me.
‘Any news?’ I asked.
‘No, not yet.’
We didn’t talk much. Sometimes I paced the room and sometimes I sat next to Aunt Lucy. She held my hand to try to reassure me and I smiled at her sadly. I couldn’t imagine life without my mum. She was still too young and I loved her, I needed her. My mum was a special woman. She was full of life. Always helping people, always busy with one project or another.
After an hour or so, the doctor walked in. I didn’t have to wait for him to speak. His face said it all.
‘I’m so sorry. We did our best, but the damage was too extensive…’
He continued speaking, but I didn’t hear any more. I got my handbag and left the room. I had to get out of there.
To Be Continued... Maybe.