Nothing to do
By Monday morning, I was sitting up, I was feeling almost a hundred percent, and I was anxious to get out of the hospital. I was even more anxious to go upstairs to visit Kate. I wondered if I could sneak upstairs to see her, but I knew that if I wasn't in bed when the nurse came in, they'd be worried, so I stayed put.
The nurse arrived before breakfast. "How are you feeling, Tony?"
"Antsy. I want to get out of here."
"What, you don't like us?" She pouted playfully.
"No, it's not that..."
She laughed. "I know. Being in the hospital sucks, doesn't it?"
She put the thermometer into my mouth and put the blood pressure cuff around my arm. She checked my blood pressure, then pulled the thermometer out of my mouth. "Sorry to tell you this, you're normal. Blood pressure is good, temperature's right at 98.6, you're just about ready to go home."
"Do you think I could visit my girlfriend before I go?"
"I think you'll need to ask the doctor that. I'm not the one to release you. He should be around in a little while." She patted me on the back. "I don't think he'll have any trouble with it."
She left just as the breakfast cart was arriving. Pancakes, sausage, orange juice, milk and green Jell-o. I laughed when I saw the Jell-o.
"Tony, how are you feeling today?" Dr. Weiss asked when he came in.
"Feeling great. I want to go home."
He smiled. "I'm sure you do. No one wants to spend too much time in the hospital. You could get sick in here. Let's have a look at you." He shined a light into my left eye, then into my right eye, and smiled. "Normal pupil activity, nothing seems out of balance. Can you stand up for me?" He had me touch my nose with my eyes closed, asked me if I felt dizzy, and seemed satisfied with the answers. "Well, I think we can let you out."
"Um, Doctor, would it be all right to see my girlfriend?"
"Girlfriend...refresh my memory..."
"Kate Molloy. She came in with me on Saturday night..."
"Right! Broken hip. She's upstairs in room 614. I was just up there before I came down to see you. She's doing well, and she was asking about you. Did you want to go up and see her?"
"Is it OK?"
"I don't see why not. Why don't you throw some clothes on and take a ride up there? It'd be good for you to move around a little bit before you go, just to be sure that you're doing all right."
Kate was lying in bed with her leg in a cast. There was a huge bouquet of roses on the bedside table. I knocked on the door, and she turned her head and smiled.
"Hey Tony! How are you? Come on in!" She waved me in.
"How are you doing?" I stood beside the bed and squeezed her hand.
"A lot better now that you're here. C'mere, let me give you a kiss." I bent down, and she put her arms around my neck and kissed me. I sat down and took her hand.
"Nice flowers," I said.
"They're from Rick," she said. It sounded like she wasn't particularly impressed. "So, how are you feeling?"
"A lot better. I heard that you had surgery for your hip."
"Yeah, they had to stick all the bones back together with pins. My father's really angry about all of this."
"I know. He came down to visit yesterday."
"Oh, no!" She made a face. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right. He was upset, and I don't blame him. I was pretty upset too. I met your mother. She seems really nice."
"She's OK." Kate smiled and nodded. "So, you're getting out today?"
"As soon as my sister can get here. She lives in Skokie, but she's at work this morning and can't get over until after lunch. She's going to drive me down to my mom's house."
"All the way out south?"
"Yeah. It doesn't take that long to get there. Maybe an hour and a half."
"That sounds like a long time to me. Will you be back soon?"
"Oh, yeah. I was going out there anyway to vote tomorrow. It's my first time."
"I'm jealous. I was looking forward to my first time to vote, too." She sighed. "Oh, well."
"I'll tell you what it was like when I see you next. I'll come on Wednesday."
"Good." She smiled. "I wanted to tell you how much fun I had the other night. That was a really neat place, and I liked playing Go. That's a fun game, isn't it?"
"Yeah. Probably more fun when you win." I rolled my eyes and acted hurt.
"You stinker." She swatted at me playfully, and giggled. "Maybe I'll let you win next time."
"Nah, then I'd know you let me."
There was a heavy knock at the door. My sister was standing in the doorway. "They told me I'd find you up here," she said. She looked different from the last time I had seen her. Her hair was cut shorter than mine and it was dyed brown. "You about ready to go? Vera's down in the car."
"Yeah, I just need to be released," I said. "Claire, this is Kate Molloy. Kate, this is my sister Claire."
"How do you do?" Kate said. "It's nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, too. So, I'll meet you downstairs on four." She left the doorway and walked down the hall.
I stood up. "Well, I guess I've got to go. I'll come by on Wednesday and give you a call tomorrow, OK?"
"I'll be here." I leaned down and we kissed again, this time more slowly.
Someone cleared his throat at the door. Mr. Molloy was standing there when I looked up. "OK," I said, breaking off our kiss, "talk to you later."
"What's he doing here?" Mr. Molloy asked.
"He came by to say hello, Daddy. He's being released today. You've met Tony, haven't you?"
"Yeah, we met yesterday," he said. I walked to the door and he stood aside for me to leave. With a wave, I walked out and scurried down to the elevators.
I'm running out of clever titles to give these entries.
See you all tomorrow with the next part. Enjoy your Independence Day.