Banana Loaves And Fruit Parfait

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Sugar couldn't help but stare into the distance as who ever this woman was wrapped her hand up.
The hospital was busy... at least the area she was seated in right now was busy. There was a man with a deep gash on his forehead that was getting stitches.
Hospitals weren't on her list of favourite places she wasn't hyperventilating at the thought, but she just would rather not be here.

"Keep it till next week. Do not apply pressure to this hand." she had said. Sugar knew that. She did.

She questioned her motive for being in the hospital. Not just any hospital but one that Hannah had claimed that her step mother had been admitted into.

Why?

Something was pulling her...

Or maybe it was the voice of reason. Telling her to just speak to her step-mom. Even if nothing the woman would say would make sense to Sugar.

The voice in her head bore an odd similarly to Ese's mother's. 

Sugar could imagine her saying such a thing.
The woman was that kind hearted.

She dialed Hannah's number as soon as the person wrapping her hand was done.

"I'm at the hospital you told me about."  Sugar said, "Where are you?"

"The ORT wing. Head and neck surgery" Hannah replied, "Where are you?"

"ER nurses' station"

"There are signs in the walls that should guide you. I'll wait for you by the elevators."

"Okay." Sugar said and hung up.

She followed the directions in the walls and got to the wing Hannah had been talking about.

"Hey" Sugar turned as a hand clamped round her wrist.

Hannah.

"Hi"

"Thank you for coming " Hannah said.

Sugar nodded.
She wasn't even sure what she was feeling yet.
She felt a bit uncomfortable, not even a little excited and she just couldn't wait for this to be over.

Yet she followed Hannah as she weaved through the crowded hospital...  Not even sure that she'd be able to find her way back.
Until they came to a door that Hannah pushed open.

A general ward.

There were at least twenty beds in the room.

She followed Hannah till she stopped at a bed, her stepmother was lying there.

"Sugar" She drawled out, "How are you? I'm happy you came to see me"

"Good morning" Sugar said, looking around.
Somehow, despite what she'd told Mark, she couldn't bring herself to call the woman Mother.
Maybe she haboured too much resentment towards her.

Sugar respected people, but what she wasn't going to do was act like all was well between them. Like they were long time friends catching up. Sugar felt bile rising up in the back of her throat.
Sugar said something all the same.

"What did the doctor say?"

Hannah then went on to explain everything to Sugar. Whilst her mother kept adding bits of information that Hannah left out.

All sugar got from the story was that, her kidney was not functioning and she needed a series of treatments. Each costing about 30k.

Sugar sighed.

"Honestly, I thought you were lying" Sugar began, "but you look really sick. Except, if....  Maybe this is all one giant prank to extort money from me"

"No... " Hannah began

"It's fine. You don't have to say anything." Sugar cut her off.

"Sugar. Tell me what's going on in your life?  How have you been?"
Her stepmother asked.

Sugar shook her head and winced. It sounded like nonsense. Foolishness. She hated the fact that woman was about to talk to her like she hadn't caused one of the greatest misfortunes of her life. Besides loosing her father, loosing her leg had been the most painful thing she'd experienced, literally and figuratively.

Sugar watched the way she spoke. It annoyed Sugar. But Sugar didn't know what she had expected the woman to say.
'Here are some banana loaves and fruit parfait, also I'm sorry for putting you through hell when you were a kid?'

Absurd.

"I'm fine" Sugar said. She bit her tongue, trying not to lash out at the woman, the action proved futile.

"Do you care about me now? Or do you just want money?" Sugar asked. She wasn't afraid she was being too direct. She knew she had to be. She didn't want the woman to dance around the subject.

"I don't want the money... I need the money" she began and Sugar rolled her eyes. "but I have always cared about you"

Sugar was forced to roll her eyes again "Really?! Well you didn't show it. My leg... " Sugar trailed off, cleared her throat and continued, "My leg is your fault"

"You got a nail stuck in your foot..."

"Because you would not buy new shoes for me! " Sugar yelled

"I procrastinated a lot because you were not my child, but I cared Sugar..."

"I would have sold for you barefoot. You knew that, and you used it against me. You used me!"

"You are not my child... "

"You say that like it explains everything."

"My children... I'm the only one they have"

"I had no one...  No one at all. I don't remember my mother and my father was dead. Yet you kicked me out... "

"For one night! "

"I had no one!"

"Sugar... "

"I was 11..."

"I am sorry"

"You promised my father you'd take care of me..."

"I did my best"

"I hate that statement. You know why? I didn't go to school! Your children did. Izzy is in the university..."

"But you still made it in life..."

"If I had stayed where you wanted me to be, you wouldn't be asking me for money today." Sugar wiped the tears that she didn't even know were falling  from her eyes.

"Sugar" Hannah called. Sugar didn't pay her any mind. She knew Hannah was going to talk about the fact that the whole ward was staring at them. Sugar didn't care. She came here to free herself from this baggage she'd been carrying for years.

"Why didn't you pay for the tetanus shot?" Sugar asked.

"I understand that I pushed your needs to the back, but...

"I'll give you the money... " Sugar said cutting her off. "But don't ever call me again."

Sugar mumbled to Hannah about texting her account details to Sugar and left the room.

She walked to the bathrooms and locked herself in one of the stalls.
She dialled Mark's number. She didn't know why she was calling him,  he was dealing with his own stuff.
He had just gotten out of the hospital and he didn't need this kind of stress. Yet, he was the only person Sugar could call.

"Hello"

"Baby... " She managed to say before breaking into sobs.

"Sugar.... Sugar...  Baby...where are you?"

"The hospital"

"Which one?"

"U General"

"I'll be there. Give me about 45 minutes. Don't end the call. Just stay there.... you don't need to say anything... just let me hear you breathing"

Sugar hated crying. She never cried. But today... she wanted to, she needed to. So she cried.


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