Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
For the first time in I don't know when, I slept well. We woke just after 9am and showered and readied ourselves for the day. My mom and dad attended the Episcopal Church in the next town. They have done that since Jack Layton was singled out by Reverend Coleman. I was proud of my family that day.
"Morning Mom, sorry we overslept" I said, as I came into the Kitchen.
"Yes dear. Todd said he would see you at the coffee shop at eleven" she replied.
"Where's dad" I asked.
"Fishing with the Layton's. Lucas has gone with him" she replied.
"You look tired, Calumn" she said, as he yawned and stretched and absently scratched his balls.
"Think I'm getting a cold" he replied, and he did look a little peaky.
"Cal, go back to bed, no need to drag you down to Jitneys. Go on go back up" I said, and pretended to kiss his cheek. Heck, I don't want whatever he's coming down with.
"You sure?" he replied.
"Yes, go on" I replied.
"I'll bring you up some hot tea with some lemon" my mom said, as he climbed back up to bed.
"Thanks mom, I appreciate it. I should be back by about 1, okay?" I said, kissing her cheek and heading out.
Ten minutes later, I walked into Jitneys and ordered a coffee; surprised to see Chris Dawson serving as a barista.
"Hey man, you working here now?" I ask, and then realized that must have sounded stupid.
"Duh" he replied. Yep… stupid question.
"Sorry, stupid question, but what happened to college?" I asked, as he handed me my much needed drink.
"I enlisted. I'm on leave for a week, and helping my uncle. One of his staff walked out on him" he replied.
"Enlisted, when?" I asked.
"Just before spring break" he replied.
"That explains why you didn't come to Florida" I replied.
"Yeah, sorry about that" he said.
"Yo, Dawson" Todd yelled, as he came in with Mark in tow.
"Dude, Dawson Creek jokes? Really." Chris replied.
"What's Dawson's Creek?" asked Mark, while snatching a biscotti from the shelf.
"Mark, it hasn't been that long" I mocked.
"Never heard of it. Was it on TV or something?" he asked, and we all just shook our heads at him.
"Google it" Todd said with a snicker.
"Come on, let's get a booth" I say, and Mark got his collection of snacks as did Todd. I have no doubt both would have had substantial breakfasts already.
"How's Dale?" I asked Mark.
"Bored, he's missing Lisa" he replied.
"Laura said Lisa is the same; but we head back to New York in a few days, and Dale is determined to come with us. We need to catch up on work, Christ, our exams are in two weeks. I know we have the extra time, but it looms fast" Todd replied
"Wow, Todd, so many words. Are you okay?" I snicker.
"Ass" he replied.
"But, I know what you mean" I replied.
"You and highlander have a falling out?" asked Todd?
"I said, have you and your intended fallen out?" he repeated.
"Nah, he's got a cold coming on, mom's taking care of him" I replied.
"Shouldn't that be your job?" he asked.
"Soon enough, yeah" I replied with a thoughtful smile.
"Highlander.. I don't get it" Mark replied, eventually catching up in our conversation.
"Conner McLeod of the Clan McLeod" Todd replied.
"Yeah, but his name is Calumn… It is, isn't it?" he asked, now getting more confused. God help whoever ends up with Mark Jackson.
"Nothing to do with his name. If you listen to Cal talk, he has a very slight Scottish accent, hence, Highlander" I replied, and he looked at me and nodded.
"Got it now?" I asked.
"No, not really" he replied/
"Never mind, Mark, it's a private joke, anyway" Todd replied, winking at me and thinking the same for Marks future work prospects. Dale must have dropped him a few times when he was a baby. I smile a little at the thought.
We talked for a while, and then I headed back to see how Cal was doing. Todd dropped me off and I walked in and could hear my mother singing. Now, don't get me wrong, she has an amazing voice; but she is 46 yrs old, and was singing Justin Beiber. For fuck sake, Mom, come on, really.
"Hey mom, I'm back" I yell, hoping she'll stop singing… She did…phew!!!
"Hey honey, are you going upstairs?" she asks.
"Yeah, going to see how he is" I reply.
"Here, then, take him his sandwich" she replied, and I was shocked. I mean, when I am ill, don't get me wrong, my parents are wonderful; but when you are ill, colds, stomach upsets, flu… you suffered in silence.. Now, Cal, apparently he gets four star treatment… damn.
"Yeah, any coffee brewing?" I asked, as I still need some stimulus.
"I'll make a fresh pot. Do you want a sandwich? Dinner isn't till 5" she asks.
"Any bacon?" I ask.
"Yeah, do you want an egg and toast with it?" she asks, and I just nod and smile.
"Don't tell your dad there's bacon in the house, he'll try and sneak some" she adds, as I climb the steps to my room.
I open the door and he's sitting up, watching the TV.
"Feeling any better?" I ask, sitting on the bed, handing him his sandwich.
"My head is beginning to hurt, and I feel a little warm" he replies.
"Oh shit, MAN FLU" I snicker. "As any guy will tell you, Man Flu is worse than child birth" (Kidding) "Not funny, babe. I am going to be sick as a dog, tomorrow" he replied.
"Bed rest, bed rest and plenty of fluids" I reply, and I get him to lay down when he finished picking at his sandwich.
"Go back to sleep, I'll be downstairs, avoiding the plague" I inform him.
"Use your cell if you want me. I'll check on you in an hour" I say, and rub his hair. Kissing is on hold for a while, as snot was running from his nose; not a pretty sight.
I walked back into the kitchen, and, thank God she hadn't started singing again. "Mom I'm popping over to see Dale. Cal will ring me if he needs anything, but I think he's either getting a heavy cold or the flu" I inform her.
"Yes dear, I'll check on him, later. Say hi to Dale for me" she said, as I walked out of the front door after grabbing my sandwich and headed across the road, to the Jackson's.
I opened the door, as we don't knock. I never have, in all the time I have known them. I walked in and Dale was sitting in his Lazy boy chair, his arm still in a sling, watching, shit, was he kidding me? It was the same shit my parents were watching when I came home.
"Hey" I say, as I walked in.
"Thank God, a human voice, and in person" Dale replied, pausing Downton Abbey.
"You get your folks to Tivo this?" I ask.
"Yeah, we don't have cable in the dorms" he replies.
"How's the shoulder?" I ask, the second stupid question of the day.
"Hurts like a son of a bitch, but the Tramadol helps" he replies.
"Wanna drink?" I ask.
"Yeah, Coke is in the fridge. Can you put some ice in, please?" he asks, and I would do anything for him, and he knows it.
"Where's Cal?" he asks, as I hand him his drink.
"Cold, the Flu,. Bubonic plague. One of them" I reply.
"Your mom playing nurse?" he asks.
"Yeah, and practicing for American Idol. Dude, she was singing Beiber songs when I came home" I say, and he laughs and hurts himself in the process.
"Serves you right" I reply.
"Stop making me laugh, you dick" he responds, holding his shoulder.
His cell rings while we are talking, and he apologises and answers it.
"Hey, babe" he starts, obviously Lisa.
I returned home a little later, after Mark had come back. I opened the door and my dad was bragging, with Luc contradicting, who actually caught the biggest fish. According to my dad, who has been known to exaggerate the size of his catch, a little. But Luc, with his phone and the photographic evidence, sort of solved the argument.
"No I wasn't holding it for you. Josh, I caught this lovely catfish, and dad, well, caught a small… well, I could only describe it as what my fish coughed up" Luc pulled away, laughing his head off.
"Where is mom?" I asked.
"I'm here. Those two were arguing, so I went to see how Calumn was doing" she replied, coming back into the kitchen.
"And how is he?" I ask.
"Sweaty" she replied.
"Have you taken his temperature?" I asked.
"Yes, but he is okay" she replied with a smile.
"Is he awake?" I ask, and she nodded; so I headed upstairs and walked into the room, and Cal was on the floor.
"Shit Cal, Cal" I yelled, and I could hear someone running up the stairs.
"Josh?" Luc yelled.
"Help me, Luc, help me get him back into bed" I said, concern in my voice.
"I needed the toilet, my legs just went to jelly" Cal croaked out.
"Cell phone, you idiot, call me" I scolded him.
"Sorry, don't be mad at me… please" he again croaked out.
"I'm not, but you could have hurt yourself. I'm going to Call Doc Clark, to see if you need an antibiotic" I informed him. He didn't argue.
My mother soon joined us in the room, flanked by dad. "He was on the floor" Luc told them.
"Dad, can you call Doctor Clark, just to check him over?" I said, and he left the room.
An hour later, Doc Clark came back downstairs and into the living room. I was nervous, to say the least.
"He has the flu; he just needs bed rest and fluids. His temperature will come down over the next 24 to 36 hours, but cold compresses would help" he said, and I went to the kitchen and grabbed a large bowl and some ice and water, and headed back to my room.
"Hey" I said as he began to cough… yep, man flu.
I spent the next several hours, mopping his brow. My mother changed the time for dinner, and she also made some home cooked chicken soup. He could just about feed himself, and I would have done it for him, but I knew Cal.
"This is nice" he said, after almost finishing the bowl.
"Yeah, it's one of my favorites" I reply, again mopping his brow with a cold wash cloth.
The only medication the Doctor gave him was a mild sedative, to help him sleep. He took it shortly after 8, and was out before half past. I pulled up the duvet and tucked him in. I leaned over and kissed his brow; illness be damned.
I walked downstairs. They had already eaten, and I could see mine in the warming oven. I pulled it out and just sat at the counter and ate it. The remainder of the roasted chicken was amazing. My mom could cook.
After they had watched a movie, they headed off to bed. Luc waited. I could tell he wanted to talk to me again.
"Come on, spill" I said.
"What?" he replied.
"Luc, you would have been in bed before they went; so, obviously, you want to talk" I replied.
"It may surprise you to know that I might like to spend a little time with you. Had you thought of that?" Luc replied.
"So, everything is okay?" I asked.
"Totally. I told him, today, that I liked his sister, and he was a little pissed, at first; but I told him I had strong feelings for her, and would never hurt her" he blurted out.
"Knew you wanted to talk" I smiled.
"He confessed he was dating one of my former girlfriends, and I told him to go for it. He smiled at me, and told me not to break her heart… Coz he'd break my legs… and he probably would, too" he replied.
"Yeah, but you like her… I mean like, like" I replied.
"Yeah, I do" he added.
"But, back to the first point; I do like spending time with you, and soon, you will be heading back to New York, and then you'll be getting married, and I will see even less of you" he said, looking at the floor.
"Luc, you are my brother. I'd always make time for you. You can come and visit us in the Hamptons, when we get married; so, don't fret, okay? I love you, you little shit, remember that" I said, standing up and pulling him into a hug.
"Love you, too, Josh" he replied, and headed up to his bed.
I checked on Cal and he was sound asleep. Hoping he feels better, tomorrow; I grabbed a blanket and headed downstairs and made a bed on the sofa. I lay only a short time before I also dropped off to sleep.
I woke a couple of hours later still drowsy and headed upstairs to check on Cal. I opened the door and he was not where he was supposed to be. I checked the bathroom and I was now wide awake and panicking. He could have fell or anything. I headed back downstairs to get dressed and to check the rest of the house. I sat down switched on the table light and saw Cal sound asleep in my dad's chair. Wrapped in my bed's comforter.
"Hey" I said lightly waking him.
"Oh hey Josh, I didn't wake you did I" he sniffled.
"No, what are you doing down here, you should be in bed" I replied
"I missed you, so I came looking. I just sat here and watched you sleep, I must of dozed back off" he sniffled again.
"I slept down here so I wouldn't disturb you" I replied stroking the hair matted to his brow.
I pulled him to his feet and took him back to bed. I tucked him in and I lay on top of the covers. I watched as he slowly dozed back to sleep. It was not long before I followed suit.
"Yeah virus be damned" I said to myself before sleep hit me. ***
To be continued…
Just a run of the mill day for Josh, no drama, just life… Hope you liked it.. Comments as usual email@example.com or Tweet @DavidSpowart.