Chapter 24 - Trent
Mom was released and moved into a rehab facility the next day. I helped gather things she could put in her room to make her feel more at home. Dad was no help. He’d walk into a room and stand quietly until I’d ask him what he needed. He’d look lost, scratch his head, and tell me he’d forgotten. Tessa kept a running dialog up with him. I think she was scared to let the house get too quiet. We all piled into Dad’s truck and drove to Mom’s new home away from home for the next month or so.
“This place isn’t so bad,” Tessa said when we got to Mom’s room. The staff had already got her settled.
“Yeah, I’m lucky to get a private room.”
I set the boxes on the bedside table. “Shall we unpack all this stuff for you now?”
“That would be so nice. Did you bring my shampoo and conditioner? The stuff they used on me in the hospital is drying my hair out.” Mom fluffed her hair in that way women do. It looked fine to me, but what did I know about it?
“Yes, we got everything on your list,” Tessa said. “Did you check out the dining room? They have real furniture in there.”
“What did you expect?” Mom asked.
Tessa took several items into the bathroom and started setting everything up in there.
“Oh, I don’t know. People in wheelchairs sitting around drooling?” she said.
“I’m not that bad off. Yet.” Mom rifled through a bag Dad handed her and found some granola bars. She unwrapped one and started eating. “I’m hoping the food is good here. The only thing I liked at the hospital was the broiled fish. But how much of that can you eat?”
Dad sat on the bed beside Mom’s chair and reached for her hand. He looked lost. I knew we were going to have to deal with his issues soon, but I didn’t have room in my head for more than one crisis at a time.
“Look,” I said, “If it’s OK with you guys, I’m gonna take off for a couple of hours. Need to check on some things.”
Everybody looked perplexed, but they all nodded eventually. I was anxious to check on the boat, but my real reason for leaving was to drive up to a certain shell shop and beg forgiveness before it was too late.
“Use my car,” Dad said. He tossed me his keys.
Tessa walked out with me. “Yeah, bro. Leave me here why don’t you?” She punched my arm, but didn’t seem too upset.
“I’m sorry, it’s just…”
“I get it. Go find that girl.” She patted my shoulder and turned away.
“I’ve gotta check on the boat,” I said.
“Uh huh.” She waved over her shoulder as I pulled the door open and stepped out into the hot, humid air. I hoped Dad’s air conditioner worked, or I’d be a sweaty mess by the time I found Samantha. I stopped by the marina. All was as I’d left it there. I grabbed a clean shirt and threw it in the backseat before heading north. The drive seemed to take forever, but I made it before two. I figured she’d be back from lunch by then, and it was too early for closing time. I parked out front and took in the displays in the window. I told ...