Oak Island Chapter 13: Documents and doughnuts

Oak Island Chapter 13: Documents and doughnuts

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg
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Documents and doughnuts

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Chapter Thirteen


On my drive over to my mother's nursing home, I realized, despite Aunt Pam's urgency, I didn't really need to hurry. This was my mother's tactic to get what she wanted, to make her desires a sudden emergency necessity. We couldn't get a lawyer today, and I had no idea how to prepare such a contract. Perhaps Aunt Pam knew? I didn't even know if you needed a notary.


I cursed myself for falling for her game again. I should have finished my lunch with Leo as slowly as I wanted and gotten here in my own good time.


Aunt Pam made sure my mother got into a nice nursing home. I wasn't sure how it was paid for, but I honestly didn't care. She had three roommates, two elderly women who were usually out of it and a young woman confined to one of those motorized chairs. There was nothing wrong with the young lady's mind, and she spent most of her time in the recreation room. So mother was virtually alone. She was in an armchair alongside her bed, with an anxious Aunt Pam perching on the bed.


My mother was dressed in polyester blend easy care clothes, which made sense as they couldn't possibly have a full service laundry with ironing included. There wasn't enough staff or money for that luxury. She still looked smaller than I remembered her. The plastic tubing for her oxygen canula ran down to a very heavy looking oxygen tank.


The first thing I did was establish my independence.


Hello Aunt Pam, mother.” Aunt Pam got up to give me a hug while my mother sat on her chair as if enthroned and giving a royal audience.


Cassie,” she said and started to say something, but I interrupted her.


We need to go sit somewhere comfortable for us all. I'm not going to pay court.”


I walked out as if I had no care whether they would follow me. I made my way to the day room and sat down at a vacant table away from the TV and other activities. It would take my mother a while to get here, so I took out my phone and opened Words With Friends. I hoped I looked unconcerned when they arrived, my mother pulling a small oxygen tank on wheels.


She was muttering, “No respect, I'm her mother. What does she think she's doing?”


I didn't pay any attention to this monologue. This was another trick, to say provoking things under her breath. I ignored it and briskly said, “I understand you want to make a living will, mother.”


I don't know, Pam. Maybe Theresa is right. Maybe it is interfering with the will of God.” Theresa was her faith healer, who so far had only taken my mother's money and not done anything else.


This is your one chance, mother. I'm not coming back here again. Either you want a living will or you don't. It doesn't matter to me.” I made my face stone. I wouldn't bow to her. “Why was it necessary to bring me out here the day after Christmas? Don't we need a lawyer or a notary or something?”


Aunt Pam nervously said, “We don't need an attorney. We just need two witnesses. Monique and the new girl said they could do it for us.” Monique was one of the nursing staff.


OK, where is this document?”


My mother was ignoring me. I didn't care. I wasn't dependent on her any more. She couldn't hurt me any more. I refused to play her games.


Aunt Pam produced a manila envelope and shuffled through the papers inside.


I'll go ask Monique to come help us.” I went to the nursing station. I was boiling inside, but I was damned if I would show it.


Monique and Bev came and witnessed my mother's and my signatures and signed on their proper lines with their own signatures.


Aunt Pam seemed scared of both of us, as my mother and I stared at each other.


Well, mother, you have a living will now, and that will make our lives easier when the time comes. I won't be back until needed.”


You don't have any pity for your dying mother?”


No, actually, I don't. You never had any pity for me.” I stood up and brushed my hands off. “Unless you decide to apologize and tell me my father's name, don't bother Aunt Pam about getting me to come see you. I won't come.” I strode out.


***


At about six that night, I got a text from Leo. “How'd it go?” I answered “Went ok, I'm good, thanks.” I added a smiley face on the end. It was nice to have someone who understood and cared checking up on me. Better than the conversation I had with Aunt Pam an hour later. She had been shocked at my behavior and wanted to bridge the widening gap between me and my mother, pleading my mother's case.


Aunt Pam, I've told you how awful she was. You saw how she acted when she was in the hospital for pneumonia. My childhood was so bad I spent most of it wishing I had never been born. My mother seemed to have the same sentiment about me, that she wished I had never been born. The only thing we seemed to agree on. You cater to her too much, Aunt Pam.”


After hanging up, I curled up on my love seat to watch the rest of The Handmaid's Tale episodes I had missed. I stopped the program when I realized I was thinking about my mother, not the show. I had made myself stone when I was there, but I was not really made of stone. Inside I still had that mix of emotions I could not describe or label. It wasn't a pulsing ball any more, though. More like an endless plain of emotions that drained me. Grief mainly, now that I looked more closely. It wasn't as scary to inspect my interior world as it had been when all of this started. Maybe I really was healing. But the grief seemed to have no end.


I realized I had spent a lot of time trying to make my miserable childhood unhappen, feeling that if I did or said the right thing, I could make it go away. But now I was just sad as I accepted the fact that no matter what happened, I could never get my childhood back. Nothing could ever change that.



***


A few nights later, my mind was again occupied with the sadness of it all. My thoughts were interrupted by Leo's ringtone sounding at nine. I answered.


Cassie, I just had funny feeling I should call you. Are you OK?”


I'm fine. Thanks for thinking of me, though.”


Do you know what fine stands for? Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. I never believe someone when they say they are fine.”


I laughed. Leo could always cheer me up.


Besides, I can tell you've been crying. Is it something you want to talk about?”


I was just feeling sad about... stuff.”


Yeah, life can be like that sometimes.” It was a relief Leo wasn't trying to fix me. Men usually tried to fix me when I cried for whatever reason. “Well, I am planning an expedition to Katie's Korner. Want to come along?”


Katie's Korner was a 24 hour doughnut shop, making the best doughnuts in Columbia. But it was on the other side of the city center and a 20 minute drive. I hadn't been there in ages.


Sure, let me get myself together and I'll meet you at your place.”


No, don't bother. I'll come pick you up. See you in a few.”


I tried to repair my smeared make up and gave it up as hopeless. I washed my face and put on the minimum, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss. By then I heard Leo's truck and hurried out.


It was a bit of a step up getting into the cab of Leo's truck, but I managed it before he could come around to give me a hand. When I got in, Leo turned down the stereo, which had been blasting some kind of heavy metal.


You don't like Slayer, I'm guessing.”


I don't know, but probably not.”


Well, pick us some music.” He gestured to his phone, plugged into the stereo.


I scrolled through his playlists and chose the one Leo had been listening to before the heavy metal. It was untitled and started with White Flag by Dido. We rode in a companionable silence for a while. My raw and frazzled nerves began to smooth out.


Leo eventually asked me, “Are you going to Cheryl's New Year's Eve party?”


I thought I would. Why?”


I'm always the designated driver if you want a ride.”


Thanks. I'll take you up on that.”


Nothing Can Compare 2 U came on and I started laughing. “Leo, is this your love song playlist?”


He seemed to squirm a little.


It is!” I was gleeful. I never imagined Leo as a love song fan.


If you don't like it you can change it.”


No, this is good.”


Not long after we pulled into the Katie's Korner parking lot. We got out and walked to the door, only to find it locked.


I forgot, weeknights they close the lobby at nine. We'll have to do drive through.”


Leo helped me up into the truck. Such a gentleman.


I got the blueberry jelly doughnut and a black decaf. Leo ordered a cruller, a chocolate glazed and a milk. The parking lot faced a row of evergreen bushes gone wild, screening us from the road, so we had a nice view while we ate our doughnuts.


Later, it occurred to me Leo might listen to those love songs and think of me. It wasn't nice of me to tease him. I thought of the lyrics to White Flag.


I know you think that I shouldn't still love you

Or tell you that


But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it

Where's the sense in that?


I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder


Yeah, not nice to tease him.





© 2017 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all comments, big or small. In this chapter, I am wondering if it is too short.

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Featured Review

I don't think this is too short (then again, you've seen how short some of mine are). You have quite a bit going on with her mom and decompressing afterward, and then going out for doughnuts with Leo and the love song realization. Which I adored, by the way.

One tiny thing:
"“No, I this is good.”" I think this either needs a dash after the "I" or to drop the "I", maybe?

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Thanks once again for another review. I corrected that nit pick and appreciate you pointing it out. .. read more



Reviews

ok, it was short but awesomely sweet with a sweet tooth at the end yea latter.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

9 Months Ago

Thanks for your opinion, and for reading and reviewing. :)
No, this chapter isn't too short. Cassie's insight is getting better. Glad she finally put her foot down concerning her mother.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Thanks for the read and review. You're a real trooper, sticking with me this long.
I don't think this is too short (then again, you've seen how short some of mine are). You have quite a bit going on with her mom and decompressing afterward, and then going out for doughnuts with Leo and the love song realization. Which I adored, by the way.

One tiny thing:
"“No, I this is good.”" I think this either needs a dash after the "I" or to drop the "I", maybe?

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Thanks once again for another review. I corrected that nit pick and appreciate you pointing it out. .. read more

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Added on July 15, 2017
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SweetNutmeg
SweetNutmeg

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I am back and returning all reviews of "Phoenix." I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be honest.) .. more..

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Phoenix Phoenix

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