Chapter 4

Written by: Griffin

“Mary love, I just don’t understand you.”

Phil approaches and half thinks of sitting beside her and giving her a hug. But there are conflicting thoughts running through his mind. He remembers Mary’s voice saying, “You’ve got no friends, you’re so hopeless.” Her insults have become more and more strident over the past six months. He has learned to ignore them, but at the cost of dampening down his feelings.

Harrington senses the indecision in Phil, and sees it again in Mary, on the sofa. Next to it, he notices a flimsy three-legged reproduction table with a lace doily and artificial flowers.

 “You must be Mrs Thomas,” the policeman says to Mary.

“This is my wife, and this is Beryl,” said Phil.

“Beryl, I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room, I wish to speak with Mr and Mrs Thomas in private.”

“Mary, I’ll be close by, I’ll be outside, don’t worry, you can rely on me.”

 “I wish to inform you that you may be required to make a statement at a later stage. Understood?”

They nod mutely.

“But right now I suggest that one or both of you go to the Children’s Hospital now. Alright?”

Phil knows all of a sudden what he needs to do. He turns to Mary.

“Come on love, let’s go,” he says firmly and urgently.

Mary looks up forlornly.

Phil stretches out his hand. “Come on. I’ll get your jacket.”

In the hospital, they sit in a small grey windowless room with a bed against one wall. Next to it was a yellow receptacle for waste syringes. The doctor is a competent-looking young Indian, who, having no chair, has decided to sit on the side of the bed.

“Mary, Phil, Harry’s in intensive care at present. This is a place where we can monitor him and get support from specialist equipment. Now look, he’ll be alright. He’s got three broken ribs but the main thing that we need to do is to relieve pressure on the brain, from a knock he got on the head.”

“Can we talk to him, doctor?” says Phil.

“Yes you can, one at a time. But only for ten minutes. If you wait here the nurse will come and get you soon. Any other questions?”

Phil looks at Mary. She is still whimpering. He cannot work out why she has collapsed like this.

Ten minutes later, a nurse conducts him to the intensive care unit. He sits next to the bed. Harry’s head is half shaven, and there is a probe entering the side of his skull. He is lord of some strange kigdom in here.

The nurse proceeds to check the drip needle in his left arm. She is tallish and dumpy, with a pretty auburn fringe.

“Albert?” comes a weak voice. The blue eyes look into his and Phil slumps.

“He got a bit squashed under a bumper bar but he’s alright.”

"Are you and mum getting a divorce?" His voice fades away.