Monday, November 28, 2016

October 20

I am sitting next to my mom, who I barely recognize. They shaved her head to do the procedures, so she’s bald as can be. She has multiple tubes running into her skull, draining stuff to keep her brain from swelling. Meanwhile, the medication she’s on post-surgery made her face balloon, so that’s kind of ironic. She looks terrible, and I have to keep reminding myself that Meyso says the surgery looks like a success so far. He’s pretty sure the tubes that make her look like some mad scientist’s experiment can come out before the day is through. Tomorrow, she’ll be allowed to wake up for the first time in months.

So today is about waiting. I’ve spent a lot of time on the com these last few hours as I sit with Mom. I spoke to Tep and shared everything I could remember Meyso telling me. My former doctor was encouraging and expressed certainty that things were going well. I hate to sound like I doubt Meyso, because I don’t. I wouldn’t have entrusted Mom with him if I wasn’t sure he’d do a good job. I still needed that boost from Tep.

I talked to Feru too, because I can tell him all my stupid fears and he won’t make me feel like a complete idiot for feeling them. He knows all the right things to say to make me feel like the world isn’t about to end after all. And as is usual with him, he insisted I com him any time, day or night, if I needed the support.

With everyone else, I made myself sound upbeat. I don’t want to be the big, whiny Shalia, especially when I’ve been assured there’s nothing to worry about. Mom is closely monitored. All her readings are terrific. The surgery went without a hitch. I can tell Meyso’s pleased as punch and all the orderlies and nurses keep asking me what kinds of foods and activities Mom will enjoy most once she can indulge in her New-and-Improved-Eve life.

Candy and Katrina are ecstatic about Mom coming through with flying colors so far. They want to throw her a party once she’s released from care. What sweethearts. I didn’t have the heart to tell them Mom despises social occasions with a passion. But who knows, maybe Mom will be more of a party kind of gal when it’s all said and done.

I had to send a recorded com to my dads and Joelle since they’re still so far out of frequency range. I ducked into the restroom to com Oses, Betra, and Clan Seot since Clan Aslada has stayed near me and Mom since she came out of surgery. I didn’t want anyone feeling weird or jealous or anything like that.

Everyone was encouraging, though no one was fooled by my enthusiastic report. The whole bunch saw right through me.

“Do you need us there?” Seot asked on behalf of Larten and Cifa. “Never mind how awkward it will be for the two clans who hope to win you. Your needs are more important than our discomfort. If you need the support, you shall have it.”

“No, it’s okay,” I insisted. “I just didn’t realize how Mom would look when she came out. As soon as she opens her eyes and starts cussing, I’ll be fine.”

When I commed my favorite guys, Oses was stoic without being dismissive. “You’ll get through this, pet. If half the stories you’ve told me are true, Matara Eve is too tough to keep down for long. It’s frightening when someone you love suffers, but everything is proceeding according to plan.”

Betra added, “It’s natural to worry. Anyone would be anxious over their mother in the same situation. Take things one moment at a time.”

I sighed. “It feels like each second is a year. I think it’s been hours and she should be doing something different, but then I realize only five minutes have gone by.”

“I’m sorry we’re not with you to help you feel better. You’ll com us as soon as something new happens?”

“Absolutely.” I tried to stop the poor-me mantra going on in my head. “How is life treating you two?”

“Great.” I swear I could hear Betra’s smile. He sounded happy. “It’s quiet too. Word is the route to Earth is now well protected, so we shouldn’t have the same problems on this trip as we had the last time.”

“Well, how nice for anyone who isn’t me,” I said, exaggerating the sarcasm so he’d laugh. “I should have taken that trip instead of the one before.”

“That’s what you get for evacuating in a timely manner,” he teased.

I kept the conversations quick so Clan Aslada wouldn’t clue in that I was talking to a bunch of other guys. It did seem kind of rude for me to talk to lovers past and possibly future when they were around, but I had promised to let everyone know how Mom was doing.

I’m still waiting to find that out myself. Anrel’s manny takes her out when she gets fussy and needs a nap, but otherwise, she stays with me. I talk to her about her grandmother and tell Mom everything Anrel does. I know she can’t hear me, but it seems important to do in case something goes wrong and she doesn’t wake up. I know she will wake up, but looking at the way she is right now is screwing with my head. I keep waiting for something awful to happen despite assurances to the contrary. I guess I was born to worry myself crazy.

Clan Aslada is patient with me, though. They have stayed with me as I sit and wait for Mom to start living again. They have been wonderful through the whole day, making sure I eat, insisting I take a walk and get some air from time to time with the promise I’ll be called back in if Mom so much as twitches, sharing stories and telling jokes to keep me from worrying too much. They are amazing. I am so lucky they showed up on my list of compatible clans. As soon as Mom is better, I need to find a way to express my gratitude. I owe these men big time.

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