That night was one of the longest I’d spent. Feverishly I waited for the sun to rise higher in the sky for Linda to reach work so I could telephone. All three attempts proved futile. She refused to come to the phone. With a sinking heart, in hopes of gleaning a clue as to what was going through Linda’s mind, I thought about calling Sis. After all, she had talked to her yesterday in the apartment complexes’ parking lot when returning her apartment keys. But hesitated because of the cross words we had shared. Besides she, like me, was known hold a grudge.
When the ringer rang I fully anticipated Linda being on the other end. It was Sis. She, untrue to character, offered an apology for getting so huffy and followed that with an offering of help from her husband self to pack and move me. Move? I thought. I couldn’t believe this was happening. Sis hesitated before answering my inquiry as to what led to this catastrophe. According to her Linda expressed an overwhelming degree of contempt for me. Up until last night we had been getting along fine. When I alleged it didn’t make sense that something had to have happened. Sis suggested that maybe I hadn’t done anything telling. Maybe Linda had met someone else. My immediate reaction was one of shock and dismay. That’s until the green monster of jealousy reared its ugly head.
In an instant my affection of twenty-four years turned to resentment. “Fine if this is what she wants,” I said. “She’s got it. Thanks for the help. I’ll get back to you once find a place.”
Where will I go? I questioned. The most logical choice it seemed was to go to the small village where my youngest daughter lived and either get an apartment or rent a room from her. Twenty minutes after hanging up the phone I was on the New York State Thruway heading there. So as not to overwhelm her or her husband I decided to grab a motel close by and make a surprise visit the next day. On this night I would seize some alone time to watch the Steelers and lick my wounds.
During the start of the second half of the football game one of the Pittsburg players was carted off the field after complaining of chest pains. Anytime anyone who’s had a heart attack learns of it happening to someone else, their own comes to mind. It is common for some to experience a degree phantom chest discomfort.
Understanding this phenomenon, I figured that was what was happening to me. To take my mind off of it I drove my wheelchair ramped van to the fast food place, received my order and headed back toward the motel. Inside the lobby a wave of heaviness rolled over my chest. Phantom or not it summoned my full attention. Inside my room it became magnified. I reached for the nitro that was usually in my pocket. Nothing! Ah, I reasoned it must have fallen out in the van.
Nervously I waited for the wheelchair ramp to deploy. The pressure was now real pain. When it had, I frantically searched the van with one hand on my chest. There the bottle sat in the driver’s seat. I loosened the cap and placed one under my tongue and waited for relief, but none came. I slipped another nitro into
my mouth. Nothing happened! I transferred from my chair to the driver’s seat, started the motor and headed for the blue and white “Hospital” sign I had passed earlier.
To Be Continued
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