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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 4
February 14, 2010
St. Edward’s Hospital
I dashed into the hospital’s lobby, and hurried up to the front desk of the lobby. “Hey, I know you,” the receptionist said to me. “You’re Evalynne Carter, right?” she asked.
“Actually it’s Evalynne Mongolia now,” I corrected, recognizing this woman instantly. It was Nina, the same receptionist that witnessed the fight Ash and I had in this very lobby. “I need to know what room Ms. Lori Mongolia is in, I have to go see her.”
“Oh, so you ended up marrying Ash?” she cried, her face lighting up. She had just completely ignored my request. Wow, she was rude.
“Yep, and now his mom, my mother-in-law, is here because of a heart attack. That’s why I came here. To see her, not talk with you about my dead husband.” I snapped.
Immediately, her expression went dark. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea that he passed away. You have my condolences.” she replied, her voice a bit softer.
“Great, thanks, but like I said: I’m not here to talk to you about Ash. I just need to know what room Lori’s in.” I remarked sharply. Couldn’t this woman be just a little less irritating?
“224,” she told me, looking a bit taken aback by my rudeness.
“Thanks,” I said before scurrying off down the stark white hallway. I headed into the elevator and up to the second floor, making my down the hall in search of room 224. Finally, I came upon a door with three silver numbers printed on it: 224.
Without knocking, I walked inside and went over to the bed she was laying on. “Lori,” I said, my eyes welling up with tears at the sight of her. She was lying there with all these wires hooked up to her, looking lifeless.
“Evalynne?” she murmured, her eyes fluttering open.
“Lori! Oh, I’m so sorry that I left you home by yourself like that. If only I’d have been there… I could’ve helped you. I’m so sorry. This is all my fault!” I cried, letting all of my feelings out at once.
She placed her icy hand on top of mine and looked into my eyes. “It’s not your fault.” she assured me. “This is it though. Don’t be sad about this, but I know I’m going to die.” Surprisingly, she looked impassive when she said this, as if she knew this was coming, as if she was ready to die.
“Don’t say that.” I told her. “You can pull through this. You’re strong enough.” Tears were now flowing freely down my face, causing my mascara to run. But I didn’t care. I couldn’t let her die. Not knowing that it was my fault.
“Evalynne, I saw Ash.” she said, completely changing the subject.
“What are you talking about?” I asked her, confused.
“I saw him today. He was in the house. He knows about you and Cole… He thinks that you’re replacing him.” she said.
I shook my head, “That’s not possible. Ash is dead!” I cried.
“He might be dead, but he’s still here. He’s not ready to leave yet. Not when he knows what you’re doing to him.”
“What are you saying? That Ash is a ghost?” I demanded.
Slowly, she nodded. “That’s what gave me this heart attack. When I saw him, my heart started beating like crazy. I fell down and this really sharp pain shot through my chest. I remembered what you told me about how if there’s ever an emergency call 9-1-1, so I did. Soon, I was in a big truck with flashing lights. It was so scary.”
I sat there, trying to take this all in. But I just couldn’t. “Lori, that’s impossible. Ghosts aren’t real! It had to have been your imagination.”
“But it wasn’t!” she cried. “He told me that he doesn’t want you to be with Cole, because he knows Cole will hurt you. He said that Cole doesn’t really love you. He told me that after what happened at the hotel at Marconi Beach, he didn’t trust Cole, and either should you.”
When she brought up Marconi Beach, my heart fluttered in my chest. “How do you know about Marconi Beach?” I asked her.
“Because Ash told me about it!” she cried.
“No, that isn’t possible!” I shouted. “Ash is dead!”
“But he came back!” she argued. “Why don’t you believe me?”
“Because it’s not true! There’s no such thing as ghosts, and I don’t know how you found out about Marconi Beach, but Ash’s ghost sure as hell didn’t tell you! Don’t you get it? You’re losing your mind! You’re crazy!”
“I’m not crazy!” she shrieked, her face growing red. All of the sudden, she cried out in pain and her entire body began trembling furiously.
“Lori! Lori, are you ok?” I cried frantically. She didn’t respond, just continued screaming and crying out in pain. Panicked, I rushed out into the hallway. “I need a doctor in here!” I shouted. “My mother-in-law is having a heart attack! Hurry! Help me!”
Before I knew it, a small team of doctors was pushing past me to get into the room. I tried to follow them in, to see what was happening, but a nurse was holding me back. I struggled to break free, screaming and shouting, but she wouldn’t let me go.
“Shhh,” she cooed. “It’s ok. She’ll be fine. Just stay here. You can’t go in there.”
Tears were blurring my vision, until I could barely make out the three shiny numbers imprinted on the dark wooden door in front of me. I was so desperate to get back into that room, so frantic to save her before it was too late.
But without really knowing what was happening, the nurse guided me away from the door and down the hallway to the lobby. I sat down in one of stiff, uncomfortable chairs and cried. I must’ve somehow fallen asleep without even realizing it, because what seemed like only a few minutes later, I opened my eyes to find a doctor standing right in front of me.
“What happened?” I cried. “Is she ok? Is she dead?”
He looked away from me, letting out a deep sigh. “I’m very sorry to have to tell you this, but…she didn’t make it.”
I closed my eyes, trying to shield my tears from escaping. But they somehow found a way out anyways. A hot tear rolled down my cheek, landing on leg of my jeans. I opened my eyes, and blinked a few times, trying to dry the tears.
“Ok,” I said softly, nodding. It felt as though a knife had just been jabbed through my heart. Yet at the same time, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
Lori was my mother-in-law, and I felt the responsibility to take care of her. So now that she was dead, I felt as if I’d let both her and Ash down. I felt as though I could have somehow protected her if only I’d have listened to her about staying away from Cole, and just stayed home.
But when I thought about it, she completely hated me when I first met her. If she hadn’t gotten Alzheimer’s, there was no way she would’ve ever treated me any better than she had before. In fact, she’d probably never even speak to me.
But at the same time, she was my mother-in-law and I had to respect that. After all, that was the whole reason I took her in. I felt like if I didn’t take care of her, I wouldn’t be a loyal wife to Ash. And I most definitely didn’t want that.
But now that she was gone, I felt strangely at peace. In fact, the only reason I was so upset about her dying before was because I wanted to be faithful to Ash. I never really cared all that much about losing her. Wow, I was a pretty cruel person.
“Would you like to see her?” the doctor asked me.
“No, that’s ok.” I replied, standing up. I gave him a weak smile, “I should get going now.” And before he got a chance to respond, I left.