CHAPTER 14 (EDITED)
A KNOCK ON the door interrupted my night time routine consisting of various skin products. I stepped out in my definitely inappropriate sleepwear. There was no way I would survive in the heat without shorts and a tee.
Ethan had already gotten the door and I was having trouble figuring out who it was since his tall frame was obstructing my view.
He finally moved out of the way when he heard me from behind him.
"Mom?" I questioned, surprised.
She was stood at the door with an impassive look on her face. When her eyes met mine, she didn't waste any time to look over my outfit.
"What are you wearing, Charlotte?" She said, looking at me with disdain.
It didn't help my situation that Ethan was right there. She probably thought I dressed like this in front of all guys.
"I don't think you're here to discuss my clothing choices so could you just get to the point?" I replied.
I was tired and she was taking away time that I could have been spending asleep. If she was only there to reprimand me on my clothes, then she could find her way out.
She cleared her throat, giving me a look that showed that she wasn't happy that I had dodged her question and the fact that I had talked back to her.
"I came to talk to you about your father," She said, her expression falling.
Holy crap, I had forgotten about my father.
In the midst of all the stuff that had been happening, the thoughts of my ill father had taken a backseat. I was officially the worst daughter in the world. I was so selfishly caught up with my own life that I forgot to call him again if just to check up on him.
"I suppose you will invite me in, right?" Mom said and looked at the two of us before we moved out of the way to let her in.
She smiled at Ethan, purely out of formality but I knew she wanted him to take the hint and leave.
She sat down on the couch, which in turn made us feel like guests in our own suite.
"What happened?" I crossed my arms over my chest and waited for her to elaborate.
"Well—" She stopped before cutting her eyes to Ethan who was grabbing a water bottle from the kitchen counter looking like he was about to leave but my mother assumed he was going to stand there.
Before she could say anything or he could do anything I said,
"He can stay."
The surprise was apparent on both of their faces and, internally, I was shocked too. My mother had a calculating look on her face like she was trying to figure that one phrase out. But, she didn't waste any time and began telling us about my dad's situation and how his health was deteriorating.
The doctors had recently found out that he was suffering from Tuberculosis. While it wasn't a prevalent disease anymore, it was still infectious and could be caught easily from countries that hadn't had the chance to exterminate it completely. With my dad's hectic travelling schedule and having to look at hundreds of hotels and business ventures, he was in different countries all the time. He could have caught it anywhere.
However, because he had ignored the signs and even the medications at one point, he was suffering. Knowing him, he probably just wanted to get back to work instead of being strapped to a bed in a boring hospital.
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