Chapter 11. More of them.
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Steve came back to see how Maeve was doing, he could see that the notebook in front of her had pages and pages of notes and she was still writing at a pace. As he got closer, she stopped and looked up, “thank goodness you are here, I don’t know how to make it stop. But as soon as you appeared they began to step back.”
Steve had gone along with the ‘talking to spirits’ as long as it provided useful information, he still wasn’t completely convinced. This was something different, he was experiencing it in real time, or rather he wasn’t but he was seeing Maeve go through it. No crystal balls, just a very normal hospital waiting area. What was actually happening? Using his ‘interrogation’ skills he kept his face and voice in neutral, masking the impatience he felt. “Would you like to tell me what exactly is taking place?”. When Maeve looked directly at him he could see panic in her eyes, “it turns out hospitals have a lot of ghosts. I have spoken to three or four of them, most are normal people but some of them are not all that nice, in fact some of them are very unpleasant, creepy, and pretty scary.” It was clear that someone, or something had frightened her. After a beat, Maeve went on, “The majority of these spirits are people who never got to say ‘goodbye’ to their loved ones. They want me to do stuff for them, to bring them closure so that they can rest. The requests are really specific, who I have to give the message to and what they want me to say. You can see, I have names and addresses, it's a bit like a shopping list, and it's getting long!” Maeve paused, “there is so much sadness. It's exhausting, draining and it’s all a bit much for me especially right now. But I feel guilty, I don’t want to let them down and if I can help them find peace, I should do it, shouldn’t I?” Steve could see that she was looking for him to give her a way out, but what could he say? In fact, her distress was the most compelling thing he had seen to make him believe that she was talking to the dead. The very fact that she didn’t want this and she wasn’t trying to sell something or pedal hope to people in distress made him think it must be true. However they could discuss beliefs at their leisure, right now they needed to deal with Ada, then get Maeve out of here, get her home, and help her keep it together for the moment. With a quick, “lets deal with that later”, Steve looked around to see if it was time for Maeve to go to Ada.
Maeve was hesitating over something, she seemed not sure how to put it in words…. “one of the people, spirits, a guy called Kevin was not like the others. I don’t know how to explain. He was rude and pushy and very opinionated. Physically he had that almost translucent skin but at the same time looked like he hadn’t washed in a long time. You know, someone who doesn’t see daylight often. He seemed to know about both Susan and Kamal, not in a good way, more like he knew the ‘victims’, and what had happened to them, he hinted that he knew the killer! He shouted random comments. ‘Sheep-els’,‘I’m not alone’, ‘the earth will be cleansed’ and ‘he knew how to fix things’, then it felt like he was trying to edge me away from the others, he wanted to get me on my own. And, even more creepy, he said, ‘now that we knew each other, he had more stories to tell and would find me again’!”
Before Steve could say anything the nurse who had been looking for Maeve interrupted with a “Can you follow me? Ada’s ready to see you now.” Steve signaled to Maeve that he would wait there and take her back to Canterbury when she was ready.
This was the positive news Maeve needed, she ran after the nurse. Everything else was forgotten, she was going to see Ada. The feeling of relief flooded her body. Her emotions were in full roller coaster mode. Full of energy now, she wanted to laugh at everything, even if it wasn’t funny.
Ada was in the recovery room, lying flat on her back, the nurse was there to monitor her vital signs. As soon as she saw Maeve, Ada tried to get up. “No Mrs McPhillips! Lie flat until we have your blood pressure under control. You must be the daughter, please don’t let her get excited. We want her calm for the moment. She is very lucky to be here and we want to make sure that she recovers. We don’t want any relapses here!”, the nurse went on over Ada’s head in the way you might talk over a naughty child with the explicit intention that the child hears you.
“Maeve, love, it's great to see you, aren’t you wonderful to come over straight away! Aren’t they marvellous? They got me here and sorted me out just like that. And Nurse Nancy, well I call her Nurse Nancy, some might call her Nurse Ratched, doesn’t she have wonderful curls, shame they have to be tied back. You’d look better darling if you let them loose” this last bit was addressed to the nurse’s back as she was retreating given the positive readouts on the monitors. Ada turned her head to face Maeve, “so what’s the story, how long am I in for? When can I go home? I feel great, a bit sore where they put that thing in, but loads more energy. Dying to get up and out.” Grinning from ear to ear Maeve, was enjoying all of this. Ada was fine, sounding like her normal self. Maeve put one hand on Ada’s arm avoiding the drip and used the other to take her hand. “Ada, Mother, Mum, I am so glad you are here. I know you are going to squirm but I have to say this. On the journey over here there were many things I regretted and not saying this was the biggest one. I love you, I have always loved you, now it’s time to say it, regularly! And I made a decision, right now, today, we will start again, with a real mother daughter relationship.” Ada had rolled her head away and when she turned back Maeve could see the tears. Ada: “What did you do that for? Ach! I don’t even have a tissue and Nurse Ratched will murder me if I get up!” They both laughed as Maeve stretched over to the bedside table, pulled out a tissue and wiped Ada’s tears.
Taking charge Maeve went on, “You are in overnight. Then if the results are good they will discharge you. I will come and pick you up tomorrow, but no going home. You will have to come to Canterbury for a few weeks convalescence. If you want to recover quickly you will have to do what you are told for a change. Starting with no red wine! That was a major operation, really serious, you nearly died. Well, now things are going to change,” Maeve was going to enjoy this. She was right things were going to change, not necessarily in the way she expected.