Saturday, 24 June 2017

Chapter 57 - Gen 2 - Tap


I wake up slowly feeling very groggy and confused.

As soon as my eyes are fully open, and the blurriness starts to disappear, I realise I am in the hospital, as I am now staring at a very familiar room, that I see virtually every day at work, and I wander how I got here for a second, then it all comes flooding back to me, remembering I passed out and hit my head.

The night lights are on, so the room is dimmer than it normally would be, which confuses me.  I suddenly feel like I have lost time, because it must be night time, so where has the day gone?

I try to look around but my head starts to bang as soon as I try to move it.  I spot Bay sleeping, curled up on the other bed.  I moan out load because my head is violently throbbing.

          "Well you have gone the whole hog with this one, haven't you Leafy!"

Granite is laughs quietly.  He seems to have suddenly appear from nowhere, and starts to check me over.  I just lie there and let him, while I am waiting for the fog in my head to clear.  When he has finished he sits down on the bed and smiles at me.

          "Gran ... what happened?"  I ask as I automatically go to feel to make sure my hair is still all there, knowing I've hit my head and I'm in Neurology.  Granite grabs my hand before I even get to feel my head.
          "You had a small internal bleed, nothing too major, so I'm sorry you have been in theatre."  I stare at him in horror, thinking they have probably shaved all my hair off.
          "My hair!"
          "Don't panic!"  he chuckles  "You have only lost a few dreads.  We didn't take it all off, the gash on your head told us pretty much where the bleed was, so while you have been out, me and Bay have unpicked them all and washed your hair .... its hardly noticeable." he smiles at me as he waves my plaited hair at me.
         "Who did the surgery?"
         "Me ... and Mango observed.."  this surprises me.  I didn't think he would have allowed Granite into theatre with me, but in my confusion I am not sure why I think that.  "Thankfully your last scan was all clear, the erratic brain activity has stopped, the swelling is going down, so its just a case of you resting up.  On top of the bleed, you gave yourself severe concussion, so I guess you know you are going to be in here for a few days at least, depending on how you go."  he rolls his eyes

 I am a little amused when he remains holding my hand

        "I guessed you might be destined for the knife, I noticed you had slurred speech, uneven pupils and unusual eye movement before I sat you up."  he smiles at me  "You threw up and lost consciousness again."  he rolls his eyes  "Then you started having seizures ... " he mumbles
       "For berry's sake!!  How many?"  I close my eyes
       "FOUR!!"  I snap in shock  "I don't remember anything after lying on the couch.  Tell me I didn't have the seizures in front of everyone!"
       "Yep!  Trust you to worry about making a fool of yourself, rather than what damage four seizures could have done to you."  he laughs quietly  "Two of them were before you left the house, the other two after we got you in here."  he rolls his eyes  "You terrified me for a while, you didn't regain consciousness once between seizures ... I seriously feared the worst ... but you seem to be fully back with us."
       "Great!!"  I snap sarcastically  "How long have I been out for?"
       "This is the fourth day."
       "Why did you do the surgery and Mango observe, that's not like him."
       "I doubt Mango would have even let me into theatre if he hadn't been left with no other choice ... he had a problem with his contacts, he was blind in one eye, you caught him when you had the third seizure, so it's your fault when you see him with a black eye."  we both laugh quietly for a moment  "So he had no choice but to let me do the surgery,  when there was nobody else available at the time to do it."

           "Where is Mel?"
           "Now don't panic."  he mumbles quietly  "She is down in maternity, she has been admitted."
           "Why?"  I try to get up but I can't, mainly because my head is violently throbbing and Granite is holding me down.
          "She got very stressed out, and into a bit of state because of your head injury -  she has been here before with Alpine remember, but this time she is blaming herself.  I think Mango put her mind at rest, she knows its nothing too serious, and we were only keeping you out until your brain activity stabilized."  he smiles
         "That doesn't tell me why she is in maternity."  he rolls his eyes at me
         "Mango had her admitted as a precaution, her blood pressure was a little on the high side and ... she had some spotting."
         "Fudge ... if she loses them it will drive her cuckoo again!"  I try to get up again, but he doesn't let me
         "Look she is fine, she is in the best place.  She is being monitored and getting the bed rest she needs.  The spotting has stopped, and the babies are fine."  he smiles at me  "If she wasn't down in maternity she would probably have been camped out her, not sleeping and eating properly like Bay, which would not have done her or the babies any good at all.  She is better off in maternity."
         "I guess."  I mumble  "I take it there has been no talk about a termination?"
         "Actually there has been a lot of talk about it, Mel was about to do it, like I said she is blaming herself and she knows its those babies that have done this to you.  Mango and the kids have talked her out of it ... for now."  he smiles at me  "Mango is the one who stopped her mainly, he thinks it is a decision you should make together when you are awake, you know what he is like."  he laughs quietly  "The kids, they just don't like the idea of her doing it, especially Fudge and Bay.  Bay made me laugh - he said he would take them to Cherry with him and bring them up if he had to."  this makes me laugh for a moment.

         "Has Mel been confined to maternity the whole time I've been out?"
         "No, we have been bringing her up here in a wheelchair, a few times a day.  She knows you are okay and that you should be waking up sometime during the night, so I guess she'll be up here first thing in the morning."  he smiles at me
        "So if she's in here, who is looking after Alpine?"
        "Mint and Meadow."
         "They are not being left alone with him are they?"  I frown  "She hasn't had Holly and Ivy there has she?"
         "No, Coal is with them, he is on permanent Alpine sitting duty, so you don't need to worry about a thing!"  he laughs  "Holly and Ivy have been there sometimes, but they are staying with Fudge and Mo mostly."
         "Coal is there?"  I frown at him  "Has she told them?"
         "Not yet, she couldn't really with you being in here and her down there!"  he smiles at me  "Fancy fighting with the table and floor ..."  he starts laughing  "Well telling them didn't quite go as we expected - did it!"
          "Not really!  I expected T or Bay to put me in here not the table!!"  I laugh as I point at Bay  "Is he okay?"
          "He's been a little clingy and his head is all over the place, a reason why Mel has held off telling them about Coal.  I think he's in for the night again, he has basically been camped out here, getting himself into a state on the sly.  He says he is enjoying the break from crying babies and Slate's snoring, but I'm not sure that is his reason for sticking to you like glue."  he laughs quietly  "Mango knows he is there, he's given him something to settle him down, and has told the nurses just to leave him there.  I think he's going soft in his old age."
         "Have any of the kids been kicking off, now it's sunk in?"
         "No quite the opposite, they seem to understand why you have done it this way, and it was the best way for them.   Both me and Mango have had a good chat with them, they seem to be accepting it okay."  he laughs

         "I don't get it!!  Why haven't they kicked off?"
         "I think its because they know you haven't been a completely absent Dad, they know you have been around all their lives buzzing around in the background.  All three of them remember you being there even from when they were little."  he smiles at me   "I think you and Alpine being friends and Meadow and Alpines relationship has helped, especially that Alpine has been okay about the whole situation all along.  I think they worked out for themselves that Mel and Alpine didn't have a very close or loving relationship, and they know their separation was amicably.  Besides they know you, and they like you, they think compared to Alpine you are pretty laid back for an oldie and it's not like they have had to meet a random stranger is it."  he smiles at me "Of course it has been a shock to their system finding out you are there Dad and not Alpine, but they don't seem to hate the idea.  It hasn't fazed Mint one little bit, she is already calling you Daddy Leaf."  he laughs quietly  " Fudge has done the most crying, she has always been very close to Alpine hasn't she, so it's Alpine not being her Dad more than anything that has knocked her about, not you."  he rolls his eyes as he nods in Bays direction  "That one has closed himself off, and is going down, like he did when Slate was on life support, and we have struggled to get him out of here, but we are on top of it."
        "Yeah he was the one that worried me most, because he is the one I've been closest too.  I've been his mate and I expected him to hate me for lying to him all this time."
        "Well he definitely doesn't hate you!!  I honestly think he will be fine now you are awake, and him hardly leaving your side, I think it's because he cares about you, and is worrying himself stupid, just like he did with Slate."

          "Did you explain everything to Slate ..."
          "Yes I've spoken to him, he's been a little quiet, but I think you know he's a thinker, and he's worrying about Bay right now.  I've given Slate a few days and I'll try talking to him again.  Slate and Tapestry have been sitting here with Bay quite a lot, while you've been snoozing, so I don't think he has taken it too badly."  he smiles at me. 
          "T?"  I ask and he starts laughing
          "Kicking off royal style!!  Don't be surprised if he never speaks to you again."  he laughs sarcastically  "He's furious and heart broken all over again!"
          "Yeah I guessed he would be, the idiot!"  I laugh  "What has your Dad said?"
          "Honestly, it didn't surprise him, he's just glad there are now clear signs that we will NOT be getting back together!"  he laughs
          "Charming!  I guessed your Dad didn't like me very much."
          "It is not you he dislikes, it was the way you used to control and manipulate me ... he's never thought our emotional attachment was healthy.  His words - you are a nice guy when you are away from me."  he laughs, but I frown at him for a moment, not too sure what he means by that.
          "So everyone knows by now I guess."
          "Of course, you know how quickly gossip flies around the extended family, especially when it is being peddled by Parsley, who had a front row seat."  he laughs then smiles at me  "Don't worry about it, I think I know what you are worrying about, but you don't need to, I've spoken to her!"  he glances at Bay
         "She was not happy obviously, but she says she won't say anything to the kids, we have got some new dirt on her that she really does not want getting out!"  he grins at me

           "That isn't going to stop her ... she's off her head!"  I mumble
           "We have threatened to spill it if she upsets them, she really doesn't want Prelude finding out what we have on her ... so we think we have got your stalker off your back for good."  he starts laughing  "Mace played the old school criminal Brownie, he lifted her phone on the quiet, and wiped your number and all the text that she has kept that have been going on between the two of you.  He's wiped you completely out of her phone, photo's, emails, text - so she has now got no proof."  he grins at me  "She can't even phone you because she doesn't have your number any more ... and if she does say anything, just deny it, she can't prove it, it's your word against hers and I'm sure Mel will back you up in denying it!!"
         "Well I hope you are right and she does back off!!  You know how she's been driving me nutz lately keep phoning and texting  me.  I thought she would be the one to spoil everything with the kids."  I laugh quietly  "I half expected to wake up and find her dressed as a nurse, threatening to cut things off if I didn't play her game!"  he starts howling at me.
        "Like we would let that happen!!  She's gone back to uni, so it will be months before she's in town again.  Me and Tap took her to the airport and put her on a plane out of here."  he laughs
       "Tapestry ... please tell me he doesn't know!"
       "Yeah,  he already knew, his spirit friends told him apparently."  he starts laughing  "But don't worry, you know Tap won't say anything ... he helped me get rid, he is the one who dug up the dirt on her, and he is livid with her creepy stalking.  The last thing he wants is Bay getting hurt by it."  he smiles at me  "Just forget about it now, and concentrate on getting better, hopefully you'll be in Berry before she lands in this town again."
      "I hope so."  I smile at him

           "Has Mint moved back in with Mel?"
           "Yeah, me and Coal went with her to get her stuff,  I'm not sure Parsley saw it coming and he kicked off a little, but we were in and out pretty quickly and there was no trouble"  he laughs  "Mint recons before the week is out he'll be crawling back to Strawberry."
           "Has she just moved out or have they broke up?"  I frown at him
           "She's broke up with him - she is dead set on going to Berry and he doesn't want to, so she has cut her losses now."  he sniggers  "Coal spotted Juniper while we were there ... now he's gone a little stupid!"
           "I thought Maize and Juni were trying to patch things up."
           "They are, but it doesn't stop Coal liking her."  he laughs  "If Mulberry gets his way Juni and Mazie won't be getting back together, especially with the talk of Maize moving to Berry!!"  he laughs quietly
           "Coal seems to be hanging around a lot."  I frown at him
           "Yeah well, he is going to want to isn't he, his head is all over the place, he's doing what Bay is doing, clinging ... I'll talk to you about it later, just in case."  he smirks as he nods his head in Bay's direction. I'd forgotten for a bit that he was there  "He has had a couple of sleeping tablets but you never know."
          "Who's on the night shift?"
          "You should be remember!"  he starts laughing  "So I'm covering seeing as you are skiving, or as Mango puts it - sleeping on the job."
         "It's fine, you know I would have been camped out here a lot anyway until you woke up and I enjoy working.  Mace isn't too impressed, but he'll get over it once I've buttered him up a bit in the morning."  he smiles at me  "And I have got just the thing to put a big smile on that cute face of his."  he starts laughing as he fumbles about in his pocket.
        "Yeah I bet you have."  I laugh at him
        "Put your dirty mind away Leafy."  he laughs as he hands me a box.

I think I already know what is going to be in the box before I even open it.
An engagement ring for Mace.

       "Hell ... that must have cost you a fortune."  I laugh at him
       "Yeah well, you know what he's like ... he has expensive tastes."  he laughs  "I thought I had better get him one bigger and better than the one he had during the police operation."
       "I thought you said he had packed all his crap in."
       "He has mostly ... but he's worth it."  he grins at me as he starts to wave an envelope at me  "Leafy, why didn't you tell me you was doing this?"
       "Doing what?"  I frown at him
       "They came this morning ... I didn't tell Mace straight away because I needed some time to get over the shock, without him going all hyper on me!!"  he smiles as he hands me the envelope, which I can see has my name on.  "We are now free and single.  Our divorce has come through already, thanks to you."  he laughs  "And here was me thinking I'd have to wait years!!"

I stare at him for a moment, before I open the envelope, suddenly I feel a little empty headed and confused. I stare at the papers which tell me that I am now no longer married to Granite.  I am really not sure what I should be feeling right now, happy or sad, but all I feel is numb and nothing.

       "So why didn't you tell me you had put in for an annulment after all the arguing we did and all the money I have wasted at the solicitors trying to divorce your ass!?"
       "I don't know."  I mumble as I frown at him, I have to think for a moment which makes him frown at me.  "I guess it's about time I started showing Mel I'm serious about our relationship and I know your drama queen is upset that you wouldn't be able to get married before he gets locked up."

       "Seriously!?"  he laughs quietly  "Sometimes I really can't work you out Leafy!!"  he starts to really laugh then he gets a mischievous look on his face  "Sooooo, how do you fancy getting married on the sly, we have got time?"
       "What?!  We have only just got divorced!!"
       "Not us you idiot!"  he starts howling  "Me and Mace, you and Mel, we could all be married before the trial begins ... something else to stick to the berry hole!!"  he starts laugh  "The look on Mace's face me springing a surprise marriage on him ... it will be a picture!!"
       "Wow slow down!!"  I laugh at him  "If you and Mace want to get married then go for it ... Me and Mel have not even talked about getting married and I am not doing anything that will upset the kids."
       "I doubt you two getting married is going to upset them!  Like Alpine says, it is very long overdue!!"  he laughs  "Just think about it, because you know Mace isn't the only one who needs reassuring that we have sorted our heads out and are not going to interfere with each other's hearts and love lives in the future, Mel needs exactly the same reassurance, she still sees me as a threat." he starts to really laugh  "For berry's sake you have three kids together and another two on the way, why wouldn't you marry the woman!"
      "Like us getting married is really going to put either of their minds at rest!"  I laugh at him
      "Keep our divorce a secret Leafy ... I will take that to hide it away."  he giggles as he takes my letter off me  "I want to spring a surprise marriage on Mace, before he gets locked up, so keep stum.  This is going to be so good, it will be the very last thing he will be expecting."  he grins at me  "You can help me - I might even let you be my best man!"  he starts laughing
       "Whatever."  I laugh at him quietly because I can see how excited he is getting  "Gran ... why did we even get married."  he frowns at me
      "Because we thought we loved each other."  he is frowning in a weird way  "Why ask me that question Leafy, when you know why."
      "I ... I'm struggling to remember."  I mumble as he continues to frown at me.

          "Which reminds me, I guess I should give you this."  he holds a ring up to me, which I frown at for a moment, I am really starting to get confused, that ring looks like an engagement ring.
          "What would I want that for?" I frown at him and he frowns back
          "Your Mothers engagement ring ... it's only right that you should have it back."   I continue to frown at the ring
          "Why would you have my Mothers engagement ring?"  I hear him choke
          "You gave it me remember, when you proposed to me!"  I continue to frown and he squints at me suspiciously  "You have seen this ring before haven't you Leafy?"
          "I ... I don't know ... I can't remember."
          "Don't you remember proposing to me?"
          "No."  I shrug

I am still staring at the ring, I'm confused because I don't think I have seen it before, but I must have done if he says it was my Mothers ring and I gave it to him.

         "What do you remember?"  he frowns at me, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and shake my head, which I instantly regret because it starts to throb.
         "Lost River Elf."  he mumbles, which confuses the hell out of me.  My head feels empty and it starts to ache, I feel like I should know what that means but at this moment in time, I don't.
         "What are you on about?"  I snap at him and I hear him choke again
         "You really don't remember what that means?"

 He jumps up on his feet, he stands and frowns at me before he starts to check my eyes

He grabs for my notes off the end of the bed and flicks threw them, he looks troubled.

          "Leafy how does your head feel?"  he frowns at me
          "Throbbing and empty."  I mumble

He then starts to fire a load of questions at me, names, places, times, dates and he is really starting to irritate me, because at this point in time my head is hurting, trying to think, I can't remember any of what he is talking about, I feel like he is talking rubbish!!!  I remember the day we got married, but everything before that is just a blank.

         "Where did we bury Spot?" he smiles at me
         "Who the hell is Spot?"  I snap
         "You don't know who Spot is?"  he is really frowning at me now, and I can see he is starting to get upset.
         "No I don't know who Spot is."  I mumble  "Just quit Granite, you are giving me a headache!!"
         "I'm sorry, I should know better!"  he smiles at me, but not very convincingly  "I've overloaded your head, without even giving you a chance to wake up and come round properly.  You need to rest up not me rattling your head off."  he pulls a face  "I'm sure you'll remember when you are more with it."

I just stare at him, I can see the concern on his face like he thinks there is something wrong.

        "You should get some sleep."

He puts the buzzer in my hand, he leans right over me, he looks upset and for a moment I think he is going to kiss me, he hesitates then kisses my head.

     "I'd better do the rounds ... I'll be back to check on you in a bit!"

I laugh at him as he walks off ... while I'm still trying to remember who Spot is.


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