Chapter Six: Operation! or- ok, another People from 1997? HELLO? The wait begins for our friends, as Leeni, Roy and Ari await good news about George. Pinky and Vin are there, too.
Ok, his brother’s name is Dave. He’s a doctor, and might I remind everyone that just a little over 12 hours ago, I was leaving a puddle of saliva on the floor of the ICU waiting room because of him. How messed up is that? But, he IS married, and Vin ISN’T, so maybe it’s meant to be. Besides, Vin is sooooo more drool-worthy, now that they’re standing side by side. Umm… Yesssss, I definitely see a family resemblance, but Vin is bigger, in ALL the right ways. Yum yum….
“Ari, are you ok?” Dr. Dave came over to me, and gently took my arm, as I was slowly sinking to the floor, and didn’t realize it.
“Uh, oh. Yeah, I’m sorry. I do that sometimes. My knee just gives out, and I start going down. Need surgery, but sorry Doc, noone’s coming near ME with gigantic needles and knives. Sorry. Not no how, not no way.” I hastily get back up, and just to prove my point, do a little bounce. “See, right as rain. Good to go. No worries, mate.” I stammer the last one, as a sharp pain shoots up my leg from the knee to the hip.
“Riiiight. When you can’t take it anymore, set up an appointment. I’ll have you ‘right as rain’, and you won’t even KNOW there’s needles or knives involved.” Dave just gestures that he lead me over to where Vin was standing, watching our whole interaction.
“I guess we’ll see each other in a few minutes. I have a pre op briefing right now, but I’ll be there when my colleague explains everything to Leeni.” Dr. Dave gave me a quick hug. “Don’t fret. It’ll be alright. Go find your friend now, she’s probably ready to strangle poor Roy with worry.” With that, he goes thru a set of doors marked ‘staff only.’
We continue down the hallway to the ICU waiting room, where Roy was sitting, trying to look very interested in a People magazine from last winter. I plop down next to him in the surprisingly comfy chairs that were aligned against the one wall, while Vin kinda just lingers in the doorway, propped up on one shoulder with his arms crossed in front of him. That right there. That look he’s giving me. What DOES it mean? But damn, he is just too good for words, or me for that matter. I need to talk to Roy later, get the males perspective that he is always so keen on enlightening me about.
“Is she in with George?” I ask, leaning my head onto Roy’s right shoulder, trying to sneak a peek at the article he was reading.
“Yeah. He’s already been prepped with some pre-knock out meds, thru the IV. The nurses said only one person can be there for now, so I’m holding down the fort.” Roy closed the magazine and tossed it onto the coffee table. “How was your coffee?” He eyes me over carefully, then does a quick turn of the head and short nod to Vin, before looking back at me and does his ‘I’m about to go bouncer here’ look. “Anything I need to worry about?”
Roy is like my older brother I never had. For him to get all puffy and bodyguard-ish warms me from the inside out. I love him with all my heart and soul, and for Roy to say that in this time of crisis in his family makes me want to smother him in kisses. “It’s ALL good, hon. Thanks for asking, tho. I swear. We’ll talk later. But, for now, let’s just get through the surgery.”
Roy gets up, and stretches, and when he gets to the full on arch of the back, hands high up, I jump up and attack. This begins the BEST type of hug ever – the ‘Surprise Roy and get the stuffing squeezed outta you in return’ Hug. On a scale of hugs, this is by far, the number 1 spot.
Just then, Leeni came into the room, and cleared her throat. “Ahem. I leave you two alone for five minutes, and here you are, all snuggly in a hospital. Shall I start the video camera now, or is this a private moment?” She joins in the hug, making me pickle in the middle. We are all standing there like that for a few moments, Vin just taking it all in with a half smirk, half sneer type expression. I must ask him why later. The three of us are still linked together, in what is now turning into ‘attack Ari until she says ‘uncle’’ moment, as Dr. Shaw and another gentleman comes into the room. With a few lingering snickers, we all break apart.
“This is Dr. Jeremy Jones. He will be the one performing the surgery today. I just thought it would be best if we came and asked if there were any last minute questions that we haven’t gone over, and to tell you that I will be popping in and out during the surgery for updates.” Dr. Dave smiles at me while saying all of this to Leeni.
“That’s really sweet of you Dr. Shaw. Dr. Jones, thank you for all that you have done and will be doing. Take good care of my baby in there, ok?” Leeni went over to both, and shook their hands. They both leave the waiting room, and the five of us decide to get as comfy as possible, as we were then joined by Pinky.
She had decided to come and sit with us – “what with nothing better to do than watch the paint dry. By the way, that reminds me, what all is left to do back at the ole homestead there, Vin my boy?” Pinky cornered him, as he gave me this wide-eyed, pleading look that was too adorable.
“Well, the first four cottages, and the office are all done on the inside. That leaves your cottage, and the last 5 to gut and redo. Then once all of that is done, they all need to be painted on the outside, new gutters on a few…” Vin starts rattling off the list, counting on his fingers as he goes. “Then, there’s the landscaping, but you said that guy over off Bellview, who’s related to your friend, is doing that. So, I have to coordinate with him as each cottage is totally done. AND, my dear, it’s time.”
“Well, we knew it was coming. How long?” Pinky hung her head, and I wanted to be mad that Vin had made her instantly upset about something.
“Two weeks, tops. IF you promise to do it today, so I can start.” Vin gave her a sideways hug, pulling the small elderly lady gently into his big, strong arms. “Now, I have the plans. You’ve left nothing to the imagination on how you want everything. Let the master do his work. I promise you, if ONE thing is not to your liking, the rest of the job is on me. Deal?”
Pinky beamed at that. “You’re on. SUCKER.” With that, she went and sat down next to where Leeni had taken a seat, and they started talking.
I walk over to where he was still leaning against the doorway, just now he was on the inside of the frame. Something tells me he doesn’t like hospitals. Funny, and here his brother works at one. I lean my back against the wall, just beside Vin, and say quietly, covert like, “You do realize that as ‘the master’, you have just opened a bag of worms. She is gonna nitpick every little detail. I can tell.”
“Yeah, she will. And, I’ll probably refuse her money even if she didn’t find anything. See, Paul and I have it covered already. Dave’s in on it, too. As soon as Shelly finishes all the packing, and the girls finish their dance classes and yearly recital at the local studio, they’re moving down here. Dave has to find a HOUSE first, but that’s part one of the plan.” Vin whispered back to me. “Then, in the fall, the girls are now old enough to start high school, and they want to go to an actual school, and experience all THAT fun. God, Dave and Shelly are in for it with those two. Anyways, Shelly is going to ‘be available’ to help run the office at the cottages, and keep an eye on Pinky during the day, and Paul will be back from his last tour overseas, and he’s decided not to re-up, so he’ll be here in the evenings. He already paid me for the renovations, including enlarging Pinky’s cottage to have it be two mini-homes that are adjoined, so she can be in one half, and Paul the other. The plans are pretty awesome, too.” He winks at me, and I am at a loss for words.
“So, that’s why you took the job? Paul’s on tour overseas, and he didn’t want Pinky alone. Wow. No wonder a simple job like the cottages is taking you so long. You’re stalling for time until Paul gets back. Genius. Pure genius.” I nod admiringly, at the deviousness of the men in Pinky’s life, and as I look at the lady sitting next to my best friend, realizing I was actually jealous of the old broad. Here she is, oblivious to the love that the three men have for her, or at least, she’s a damn good actress.
“Yeah, well, Pinky’s a special woman. She raised Paul, after his parents were killed. So, Basically, she’s my grandma too. Hey, I’ve got to go run a few errands, but I will be back in time to take you all to lunch. It’s on me, and no arguments.” He leans forward, off the doorframe, and leaves a soft kiss on my cheek. “Until later.” And with that, he walks down the hall, and turns the corner out of view.