Thanks Korkor for bringing this to my notice. Surprised I never published the finale. I’m sure it’s saved as a draft somewhere. Enjoy!
They all got up when the door opened after several hours of surgery. The doctor stepped out, looking exhausted. He walked to them and looked at each anxious face. No one spoke.
“She survived the surgery.” Jessie cried out in relief; Jason hugged his sister.
“But the next ten hours after the surgery are most critical…”
“I thought we were past the danger zone,” Jason chipped in.
“Of course; but chances that her organs won’t go into a relapse are pretty slim as well. So I want you to beware of that as well.”
“What’s the downside to this?”
“Well, she’s out at the moment and it might take days before she comes around. She might fall into a coma which could be indefinite and…her organs might give out.”
Stacey sighed. “You wouldn’t even give us the chance to celebrate the success of the surgery.”
“I’m sorry miss but it’s necessary that you’re fully informed about the situation.”
“But that is worst scenario, right?” Jessica asked.
“Yes it is.”
“I know mum will survive this. She is a strong woman,” Jason said confidently.
“May we see her?” Stacey asked.
“Sure; after we bring her to her room. Please be calm around her. Excuse me,” He said and walked away.
“Thank God.” Stacey hugged her brother again.
“Your granny survived it, sweetie,” Jessie said happily and kissed her baby.
Susan’s head was tightly bandaged when they entered her room. Stacey rushed to her and kissed her forehead.
“Thank you for making it, mum. Thank you for coming back to us. I’m sorry for trying to stop you from going through with this surgery. I’m so glad you made it.”
She looked at Jason who was holding their mother’s hand and they both smiled.
About two hours later, they were still in Susan’s room, chatting and watching a sitcom. Jason felt his fingers being squeezed. He looked at it and then at his mother’s face.
Susan smiled weakly.
“Mum?” Both Stacey and Jessica turned to look at Jason.
“She’s awake,” Jason said in shock. Stacey got up and walked to the bed.
“Yes dear…” Tears began to form in Stacey’s eyes.
“You came back!”
“Yes I did,” She replied in a faint voice. Susan smiled at Jessica and the baby.
“I love you all…”
“We love you too, mum,” Jason said. Susan opened her mouth to say something but no words came out. Tears filled her eyes. She tried again.
“Don’t try to say anything else, mum. Just rest so you can get better faster, okay? Jason advised her. Susan lifted her hand weakly and Stacey quickly held it in hers. Susan tried to say something but her eyes began to close.
“Mum?” The monitor began to beep. They all looked at it in shock.
“Call the doctor!” Jason ordered. Stacey rushed outside. She came back in with him.
“What’s happening to her, doctor?” Jason asked.
“I don’t know…” The doctor listened to her heartbeat.
“But she was awake,” Jason said, puzzled. The doctor looked at him.
“So why didn’t any of you come to call me?”
“We didn’t think…”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“I advise you all wait outside.”
“But why?” Stacey asked.
“I said, wait outside!” They all went out. A nurse closed the door.
“I hope this isn’t the last time…” Stacey muttered as she looked the window and touched the door. “Please mum…”
“I’m afraid she has fallen into a coma.”
“Coma?” Stacey asked, terrified.
“Yes and I’m not sure when…”
“We get it, doctor,” Jason interrupted him. “So what do we do now?”
“We wait. We’ll keep an eye on her to observe how her vital organs are faring. So you may go home if you wish,” the doctor said and walked away. The three of them just watched him leave.
The car was in silence as Jason drove.
“Why did the doctor make us feel as if we just signed mum’s death warrant?” Stacey asked, breaking the icy silence.
“We might as well have,” Jason replied.
“What do you mean?”
“It means…it’s possible that’s the last time we might see mum awake.”
“Don’t say that, Jason,” Jessica said.
“I’m telling you what the doctor meant indirectly by his words. It hurts to hear them, I know that but you need to be told.” The car was in dead silence from then.
“You shouldn’t give up hope, Stacey,” Betty consoled. Stacey was lying on her bed.
“I’m not…I’m just preparing myself for the worst.”
“The worst isn’t going to happen, sweetie. I know it doesn’t look good but it doesn’t help if you paint a gloomy picture now.”
“I’d have lost both parents in one year…all because of me.”
“Don’t say that…it’s not your fault.”
“If I hadn’t had the first accident, my daddy wouldn’t have known that I’m not his biological daughter and he’d still be alive…and if I wasn’t involved in this one, my mother wouldn’t have been this stressed out to aggravate whatever tumor she had in her head…so yes, this is my fault. I’m the reason for all this,” Stacey said.
“Shut up already. I understand you’re going through a lot but this attitude isn’t healthy and you know that. Don’t blame yourself for it. Fate has its own way of doing this.”
“Fate must be cruel…to be this cold towards me. And Jason would be getting married soon, which means, I’ll be all alone.”
“Don’t say that! You’ll never be alone. God is with you; you know Jason will never abandon you…he adores you; you have George and me. We’ll always be here for you.”
“But dad won’t and probably so with mum. I feel my whole world crumbling down.”
“Get a hold on yourself, dear. It’s not as bad as it seems.”
“Yes it is.”
“No, this is bad. Stacey mustn’t see this.” Jason sighed in despair.
Jason turned at the sound of his name. His sister was approaching him. He walked to her.
“Hi sweetie,” he said coolly as he hugged her.
“Not really.” Stacey noticed the grim look on the doctor’s face.
“Is anything wrong?” Horror was written all over her face. Jason glanced at the doctor and back at her. He took her hand in his and squeezed it.
“Jason, what’s going on?”
“It seems mum is…getting worse.”
“How much worse are we talking about?” When Jason sighed, Stacey let go of his hands and ran towards the room. The doctor stopped her. Stacey turned and peeked into the room.
“What is going on? Please tell me!”
“Stacey…I’m sorry but your mother’s vital organs are failing.”
“What? Why? She was in coma, right? What did you do to her?”
“Nothing, Stacey; I told you this might happen…” Jason held her as Stacey started to break down in sobs.
“Are you saying there’s no way that our mother is going to get better?” Jason asked when they went to the doctor’s office.
“I’m afraid so.”
“But we can wait, right? Perhaps she just needs time to heal…,” Stacey said.
“At this stage, there is no going back to the recovery road, Miss; I’m sorry.”
“So what do you advise that we do?”
“Well, since her organs are not totally damaged yet, she could donate them to…”
“What? Why are you talking as if she’s already dead? She’s not!” Stacey cried out.
“I’m sorry Miss but virtually, she is. At the moment, it is the ventilator that is pumping your mother’s heart.”
“Are you saying whenever it is unplugged…she will be gone forever?” Jason asked.
“And that will never happen, right Jason?” Stacey looked at him with pleading eyes.
The doctor cleared his throat.
“Well, it is almost pointless to keep her on the ventilator,” he said.
“What? It’s my mother we’re talking about here, doctor!” Stacey said furiously.
“The mother you know is gone, Stacey. Knowing her, I doubt she’ll happy about you holding onto her in a situation like this one.”
“You don’t know the slightest thing about my mother!”
“Are you saying we have no other choice than to unplug her?” Jason asked.
“I know this must be hard on both of you but the earlier the better. She’s gone.”
“No, she’s not! Don’t say that!” Stacey said, tears running down her cheeks.
“It would be beneficial that we use her organs to save those who desperately need them…”
“Shut up about that, doctor! My mother isn’t a charity bag of organs to give around. I’m sure most of those in need of organs are those who messed up theirs with tobacco and alcohol and my mum shouldn’t sacrifice her life for them!”
“I know that but your mum doesn’t have life any more. I told you it’s the ventilator…”
“So she’ll be on the ventilator till forever!”
“That would be expensive and pointless.” He looked at Jason who was deep in thought.
“What is your decision, Jason?” Jason looked at his sister whose eyes were now swollen with tears.
“We’ll go home and think through this. We’ll let you know as soon as possible.
“Please make it quick…many lives are also at stake here. She could be of help.”
“I get that. Thanks doctor.”
“I won’t allow him to cut my mother open and give her organs to addicted smokers and alcoholics. I won’t!” Stacey said in the car.
“Well, not all of them are like that, sis; some are people who have fragile organs from birth or from natural causes. It wasn’t their fault,” Jason said defensively. Stacey looked at him in shock.
“Are you actually….thinking of giving her away, Jason?” Jason sighed.
“Mum…has never really given to anyone before. I believe she’d like to do so for the last time even if it’s her very own organs.”
“That’s outrageously ridiculous, Jason! You can’t do that!”
“You prefer that she’s buried whole when there are desperate people in dying need of her body parts?”
“Don’t even dare think about it, Jason or I’ll never forgive you,” Stacey said and got out of the car. She stormed into the house.
Later, Jason entered Stacey’s room with a glass of hot chocolate drink. Stacey was lying on a pillow, crying. He sat on the bed beside her.
“Drink this…you haven’t eaten much today.”
“I don’t want to.”
“But you have to. You need the energy. Come on, get up.” She sat up. Jason handed the glass to her. She sipped. Jason touched her hair gently.
“Listen sweetheart; don’t think that I want to give mum away so everything could be over and done with because this hurts me as much as it hurts you. But we are between the sea and the hard rock. Mum isn’t coming back….why not do something good in her name? Some people will owe their lives to her forever. Isn’t that a good memory you want to have of mother?” Stacey looked at him with teary eyes. Jason gently placed her head on his chest.
“Cry it all out, dear; I know this is hard but we are going to live through this, okay?” She nodded. He kissed her hair.
“Are you ready?” The doctor asked. Jason glanced at Stacey.
“Yes we are.” The doctor walked towards the bed and stretched his hand to the beeping machine.
“Wait!” Stacey said. He paused. Stacey took hold of her mother’s hands.
“I know I never had the chance to tell you this but although we always had our differences, you raised me up to be who I am today and I am grateful. I want you to know that you’re the best mother in the world…for me. Take care and say hi to dad for us. I love you, mum.” She leaned forward and kissed her mother’s forehead. She looked at the doctor.
“I’m ready now.” Jason walked to the other side of the bed and held his mother’s other hand. The doctor turned it off. They all watched Susan quietly for some time.
“Her hands are getting cold,” Stacey said softly. Jason squeezed the hand in his for the last time and let it go. Stacey did the same. The doctor checked her pulse with his stethoscope.
“She’s gone. Time of death, 2 o’clock.” The doctor walked out of the room. Stacey broke into tears. Jason hugged her.
Three days later, Susan was buried.
Three weeks later…
Betty and George came downstairs from Stacey’s room.
“How did it go?” Jason asked.
“She’s still depressed. She refuses to come back to school,” Betty answered.
Jason sighed in despair.
“I believe she still needs some alone time before she comes out. Let’s give her another week and see,” George suggested.
“Another week? It’s been almost a month still school resumed and she hasn’t attended a single lecture and you’re talking of giving her another week? Being locked up in her room isn’t healthy and she’ll never get over this. She will heal faster if she goes back to reality,” Jason said. After a few moments, he added, “I’m scared to leave her all alone because I don’t know what she’ll do. She tends to break and destroy things around her and I’m afraid she’s becoming suicidal. And I can’t abandon the work at the office. That is why I need her to get a hold on herself and go back to campus. Being with you two would be good for her.”
“I understand, Jason; we’ll do all we can to bring her to her old self again.”
“I doubt she’ll ever come to her old self again. The old Stacey is gone, Betty. A part of her died when our father passed away and another part is gone now that mother has left too. I just don’t want the new her to be this…helpless.”
“She’ll be fine…we’ll be praying for her with you.”
“Thanks Betty for stopping by.”
“Don’t mention it, Jason. We’ll be on our way now.”
“All right; have a nice day, you two.”
“You too, Jason.” They left.
“She tried to hurt herself again? This is getting serious,” Jessie said.
“I don’t know what to do,” Jason groaned.
“Jason…it is obvious the lady upstairs is depressed. Why not seek help for her?”
“You know she refuses to see her shrink.”
“Then do something more radical; it will be her own good.”
“What do you mean by more radical?”
“How about…sending her to an institution?”
“What?” Jason asked, appalled by her suggestion.
“Listen, I know it’s not ideal but think about it. There, she’d have someone who’ll always have her eyes on her and take very good care of her.”
“This is unbelievable. Are you seriously telling me to have my sister and only family I have left admitted?” Jason asked.
“You have a family with me and Junior, Jason. You know we’ve been putting off our wedding because of this,” Jessie said. Jason couldn’t believe his ears. He got up.
“Are you telling me to throw my only sister away to some psychiatric center so as that you can have your fancy wedding of your dreams?”
“Not throw away…”
“Shut up, I’m talking!” Jason shouted. Jessie got startled and went back a step.
“I now understand why my father never liked you even from the first sight. You are not human; you have no soul!”
“Don’t you ever open that mouth to say that nonsense again, is that clear?” Jason warned and walked off.
“Jason, I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it like that. I’m also concerned about Stacey. Oh goodness, what have I done?” She sat down.
Months later…at a church.
Stacey entered the church in a lovely dress, holding a cute bouquet of flowers. She smiled at her brother as she approached him. He smiled back. Everyone got up when Jessie the bride entered the church.
“Stacey is looking so beautiful,” George said dreamily.
“Yes, I’m so happy she’s cheerful again. I’m glad to have my best friend back.”
Jason and Jessie exchanged vows and wore the rings. They kissed when the priest asked them to.
At the reception, Stacey sat by her the couple and her friends.
“I’m so happy for you, brother,” Stacey said sincerely.
“Thank you, sis. And I’m happy that you are too.” She smiled. He pulled her cheek playfully. Stacey exhaled deeply.
“I don’t know what lies ahead tomorrow but I know it will be fine. With God on my side and a great family and friends with me, I can face it all. Thank you for being by my side during the darkest hours of my life. I’m really thankful,” Stacey said.
“Don’t mention; thank you for coming back out of the dark hole. We’ll always be by your side.”
“Thanks sweetie.” They hugged.
They took pictures in turns, smiling at the camera with great hope that they would overcome all challenges waiting for them tomorrow…