Thunder rumbled, rattling the kitchen windows as Lydia sat on her knees frantically scrubbing blood off of the vinyl flooring. With each crack of thunder Lydia’s hand gripped the sponge tighter until her knuckles began to turn white. The rhythmic tink, tink of the raindrops hitting the awning over top of the kitchen window was comforting. Lydia began thinking about what the nurses said to her when Nathan went to the cafeteria for a sandwich.
“Mrs. Williams, do you remember what happened to you?”
“Not really. I came into the kitchen and a strange man was there. Before I could call out for help I was knocked to the floor. I hit something on the way down and blacked out.”
Scribbling on a clip board the nurse looked Lydia in the eye. “You’re lucky to be alive. The trauma to your head could have been more severe. There was a 4 inch gash on the side of your head. We stitched you up but a vessel in your right eye ruptured and the force of the blow to your stomach ruptured your uterus which is why you miscarried. I am sorry to tell you this Mrs. Williams but we were unable to repair the damage. You will not be able to have any more children…”
“Wait… my uterus… no more children?” Lydia’s vision blurred as the tears absorbed into the patch on her eye. Instinctively her right hand went to her belly to massage her baby and she flinched in pain.
“We had to perform an emergency hysterectomy. You have 13 staples in your abdomen. In about two weeks you can come back in and have them removed. In the meantime you rest. No lifting more than 5 pounds. No standing for long periods of time. No strenuous activities. No sexual intercourse for eight weeks because of the trauma to your abdomen. You may…” Lydia zoned out as the nurse rattled off her discharge instructions. A soft knock, knock at the kitchen door jolted Lydia out of her thoughts. It was Nathan’s friend Mark. Favoring her right side, Lydia grabbed the handle on the cabinet door and pulled herself up onto her feet and opened the door.
“Damn. Nathan told me what happened. I’m sorry about the baby.” Mark said as he inched into the kitchen. He handed Lydia a bouquet of daisies to cheer her up. “If you recall anything about the cat who did this to you let Nathan know and we’ll go handle that right now.” Lydia averted her eyes as she felt her cheeks flush. Mark had always been nice to her. He didn’t know how Nathan treated her. Nobody did.
“Thank you Mark. The flowers are lovely. Let me put them in water and tell Nathan you’re here.” Walking gingerly to avoid the poking of the staples in her stomach, Lydia half-slid, half-tiptoed to the kitchen sink to grab a vase for the flowers. That’s when she saw the blood on the edge of the counter.
Nathan walked into the kitchen just then and stopped in his tracks when he saw Mark standing in his house. He looked from Lydia to Mark, sizing up the situation. He noticed the flowers Lydia had placed in the vase. Um, hm. Looking at Mark, he smiled but the smile didn’t touch the rest of his face.