** TRIGGER WARNING **
Yes, another one… (I think it’s the last one though)
Since in this chapter the surgeon who saved Selina’s life talks to her about what happened, it requires a trigger warning.
Things are going to get better from now on for Selina and Donovan, I promise, but they won’t forget.
The nurse checks my stats and tops up my painkillers. She also tells me the doctor should be over soon to check on me and talk to me about how the operation went and when I can go home.
My dad and Donovan come back shortly after she leaves, with a bag full of delicious looking sandwiches and I wish I had any sort of appetite.
Instead I nibble on bits of bread and some chicken while the others eat their dinner. I sneak a mouthful of Donovan’s Coke and do my best to ignore the elephant in the room, but at the same time wondering how long until the stick insect rings Donovan demanding he comes home.
Donovan is sitting on the end of my bed and my parents on the chairs by the window. I am loving the view, after a week of not seeing him.
“I know it’s probably not the best time to ask,” Dad says from his seat next to Mum and I get a bad feeling in my stomach. “But what’s that I hear about a fight you girls got into with that girl Donovan was seeing?”
I suddenly have three pairs of eyes fixated on me and all I think to say is, “I think you mean, is seeing.”
“Was, actually,” Donovan says, looking straight at me. “I broke up with Naomi last Sunday morning, right after I left your house. Didn’t want to tell you on the phone.”
“Oooh,” Mum says, looking at Donovan. “Your phone call from this morning makes sense now. You’re so right, Donovan, it is the kind of news you want to tell a person face to face. I guess it gets tricky when that person won’t answer your calls.” Mum is glaring at me and I find myself wishing the ground would open and swallow me.
I look down at the thin hospital blanket covering me to give myself a minute to think. I already know I shouldn’t have ignored all his attempts at contacting me in the past week, but finding out he broke up with the stick insect after the last time we had sex nearly a week after the fact because I was being a stubborn bitch is really putting things into perspective.
When I imagined we would talk I didn’t think it would be with my parents in the room, listening to every word but I’ve delayed this long enough. It’s time to put both of us out of our misery.
“I am so sorry.” I look up at Donovan, ignoring the inevitable tears rolling down my face. “I’m sorry for all the horrible things I yelled at you, I’m sorry for basically throwing you out of my house, I’m sorry for calling the stick insect a skank, even though I think she is and she called me a cock-hungry slut, I’m sor–”
“She called you WHAT?” He is shaking in anger, his hand is clenching my blanket so tightly his knuckles turn white.
“That doesn’t matter now. Not the insults, or the dirty looks, or the snide comments, or even the dick pics.”
I hear a gasp but it comes from the area by the door. I look over to see my parents about to leave. Mum whispers they’ll see me in the morning and they exit the room.
I’m not even sure Donovan realised my parents have left, his whole attention focused on me. “What do you mean dick pics?” There’s an edge in his voice that I’ve never heard before.
“Oh it started on Wednesday, after some random phone calls earlier in the week. I got sent about a dozen photos in all. I know she’s behind it, even if I can’t prove it. I thought it was because you’d told her we slept together last week but maybe it was more like payback because you dumped her.”
“Fuck!” He’s pacing the length of the small room. “I’m so fucking stupid.”
“What are you talking about?”
He doesn’t get a chance to reply because there’s a knock on the door and it opens to reveal a forty something woman in a lab coat, who I assume is the doctor who saved my life.
She introduces herself as Dr Allison Mead and asks how I am feeling as she checks the notes at the end of my bed.
“Tired and sore, but alive, thanks to you,” I reply and she smiles. Donovan sits back down on the chair beside me and takes my hand in his.
“I need to look at your wound,” Dr Mead says, coming around the bed.
“Yes of course.” I notice her glancing at Donovan. “Is it okay if he stays?” I turn to Donovan to check he’s okay with that and he nods.
“That’s fine with me,” Dr Mead replies before putting her hands on the edges of my bedding. “May I?”
I nod and she pulls the blanket down then moves my hospital gown up. How did I not realise until now that I am not wearing anything underneath that stupid gown?
Dr Mead gently pulls on the dressing to expose the scar on my lower belly and I start crying again. I had forgotten for a moment why I am lying in this hospital bed and seeing the stitches made it all too real all over again. Donovan holds my hand tighter but stays in the chair, probably to give the doctor some room.
“It’s looking good, your scar once it heals shouldn’t be too big, provided you follow the post-surgery instructions you’ll be given when you’re discharged.”
“Do you know when that will be?” Donovan asks and I’m glad he thought to ask because I am too busy crying about the baby I lost to think about practicalities.
“I will come check on you tomorrow morning when I do my rounds but you should be okay to go home by tomorrow afternoon. You’ll need to take it easy for the next couple of weeks though.”
“What about work? She works in a bridal store, she’s on her feet a lot, won’t that be an issue for her recovery?” Donovan asks again and I realise I haven’t told my boss I’m in hospital, though I doubt she’ll care much, at least until Monday morning when I don’t show up.
“We can provide you with a letter for your employer, not a problem.” Dr Mead is putting the dressing back on my wound and tells me the nurse will be around again soon to change it.
“Do you have any questions for me before I go?” She is smiling gently at me and I nod through my tears.
“Can you… can you explain to me what happened? Donovan told me but…” I wipe my eyes on the sheet and glance at Donovan when I feel his other hand wrapping around the one of mine he’s already holding.
He probably doesn’t want to hear it again but I need to know.
“You came in with a suspected ectopic pregnancy, and after we did an ultrasound to confirm while you were in ED, we took you in for surgery. Your fallopian tube had burst, which caused some internal bleeding. I’m afraid we had to remove that tube because it was too damaged but we managed to save the ovary.”
“Will I… will I still be able to have babies?”
“Oh yes, you shouldn’t have any significant problems getting pregnant in the future, it might just take a bit longer,” Dr Mead reassures me. “Oh, your mother asked that the product of conception be saved in case you wanted to take it home.”
“You mean our baby?” Donovan says angrily and I squeeze his hand. I hate the words the doctor used just as much as he does; I guess that’s how they’re taught to remove themselves from the situation emotionally.
“I’m sorry.” Dr Mead looks like she can’t wait to leave now. “You can ask the nurse before you leave tomorrow.”
The nurse comes back in as the doctor leaves and while she’s taking care of my wound Donovan asks her if it is possible for him to stay the night in my room. She tells him the armchair in the corner folds out into a bed and that she’ll bring him some bedding.
He decides to go with her to save her a trip and comes back two minutes later with a pillow and some blankets.
Donovan sorts out his makeshift bed while I watch him, feeling useless stuck in my hospital bed. It’s been a long day and it’s catching up with me because I am suddenly struggling to keep my eyes open.
I must have dozed off because when I open my eyes again the room is darker. Donovan must have turned the main light off, only leaving the light in the bathroom on and he’s in there on the phone with someone.
“We’ll see you in the morning… yes, of course I will tell her… okay, Connie, good night.” He hangs up and come back into the room.
“What did Mum want?” I ask him when he comes closer.
“I rang her to let her know what the doctor has said, about you going home tomorrow. She said she’d bring your phone with her in the morning. Apparently your boss rang a couple of times.”
“Ugh, she rang at lunchtime and I ignored her.” I am really not looking forward to having that conversation with the woman.
“She can wait. Right now we need to focus on you,” he says, getting on the bed next to me and wrapping his arms carefully around me.
“We?” I ask, feeling really sleepy. I’m resting my face against his chest, loving how his body fits against mine on the narrow bed.
“Yes, we. You aren’t getting rid of me that easy,” he says with a chuckle that makes my heart sing.
“I’m glad… Mmm… You smell so good.” I can feel my brain shutting down and I welcome the oblivion.
“I love you,” Donovan whispers in the dark.
“I love you too,” I murmur against his chest a second before sleep takes over.
I wake up when the nurse comes to check on me though I have no idea what the time is. My freak out when I realise I’m alone on the bed only lasts a second because I spot Donovan asleep on the fold out chair.
“Did you really think he was going to leave while you slept?” the nurse asks me and I recognise her voice; her name is Shelly and she’s a good friend of Mum’s.
“No, not really…” Not anymore.
“That boy loves you, honey, everyone can see that,” Shelly adds, replacing the empty IV bag with a full one.
“I know. I don’t know why it took me so long to see it.”
“There are some things in life you just can’t rush, Selina,” she says, squeezing my hand. “I saw your mum leave earlier, she told me what happened. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you. I’m so glad I was with her when I started bleeding. I have no idea how she kept so calm.”
Shelly lets out a short laugh, careful to keep her voice low. “Oh well, I guess the nurse in her just took over. But she still would have been very scared, just not showing it.” She shakes her head. “Nothing any of us ever want to see, our children hurting like this.”
“I suppose not.” Hearing about Shelly talking about children hurting brings me back to thinking about this tiny baby I knew nothing about and I close my eyes, trying to shut out the world.
“I’m sorry I woke you up,” Shelly says, patting my hand before moving away to update my notes at the end of the bed. “You get back to sleep, it’s still very very early.”
I feel the first tears roll down my cheeks as soon as she closes the door behind her, the pain in my heart the likes of which I have never felt. It’s a different one that I’ve been feeling for the past weeks, and I don’t understand why it is so acute when the cause for it was so tiny.
I’m sobbing in my pillow, trying to keep quiet because Donovan is asleep but I’m not even surprised when he gets on the bed and wraps his arms around me without a word.
He’s always had this uncanny ability to pick up on my distress and cuddle me until I feel better. But this time is different.
This time we are both hurting.
(part 14 right here)