The ring of the phone jolted Adinah awake.
“Adinah, its BeBe. I called to let you know that Sadie is in the hospital. I’m here with Mama now.” her voice was shaky.
Adinah mumbled a reply and hung up.
She laid there in shock. Her mother was in the hospital and her first thought was that she should go, but the second thought poked out its head to remind her that this wasn’t a real person. This was Sadie.
Screw her! She doesn’t need me. She never has and never will. So just because she’s in the hospital, I’m suppose to be the good daughter and go running? she thought as she turned over on her side.
“Oh Crap.” she muttered a minute later when her conscious won and made her throw off her warm covers.
By the time she got to the hospital, Mona and BeBe were talking to the doctor. She moved quickly to hear.
“It was a mild one, but her heart is weak. I can tell you that another attack like this will cause permanent damage. Her alcohol level didn’t help matters. Quitting would lessen the risk of having another one.” the young doctor explained.
Adinah watched her aunt and grandmother closely. Mona was sitting on one seat of four, looking strangely calm while BeBe was pacing and wringing her hands.
“When can we see her?” she asked nervously.
“She should be coming out of it soon, but don’t stay long.”
BeBe shook his hand and gave her word they would be quick.
She turned to Adinah very distraught.
“Oh my God, Adinah, I was so scared. You should have seen…” BeBe started but Mona broke in.
“I glad that you are here.” she said in her best motherly voice.
“How did this happen?”
Something’s happening here, she thought as she waited for the answer.
“She came to the house and she looked white and saying that her chest hurts. I thought it was her ulcer, but then she was on the floor, not breathing.”
Adinah looked at BeBe for confirmation and she shook her head.
For the second time, she thought that something was happening.
“I’m going in to see Sadie, I’ll be quick.” she told them and walked toward the room.
Mona stood and took Bebe‘s arm tightly.
“Take your time, Adinah. We’re going home since she’s alright.” she called out and led BeBe down the corridor.
When Adinah walked into the room, she gasped a little.
Sadie laid there so peaceful and quiet. She lazily opened her eyes and turned to her.
“Adinah.” she whispered and smiled a little. Adinah stood by the bed and took her hands in hers.
“How are you?” she asked. She felt this could possibly bring them closer, this moment when one could recognize what’s important.
“Okay, I guess. Tired.” she told her and her eyes darted around the room. Looking for what, Adinah had to wonder. Maybe get well cards and balloons, but nothing was there.
“Mama and BeBe were here.” she told her and she had to witness her mother‘s face light up and then fall.
“Were? They’re gone?” she asked sadly.
Adinah imagined what Sadie felt at that moment, to be there for people and then you learn that don’t give a rat’s ass about you. She wanted to sympathize, but found that she couldn’t. Sadie was afraid of the pain of loneliness and allowed others to take advantage. She probably felt like they were all she had, even if she had to put up with times like this.
“Yes. The doctor says that you’ll be alright if you quit drinking.” she told Sadie, who was still taken aback.
“They’re gone?” she repeated. Adinah gripped on to her patience.
“Yes, they’re gone. Do you think it will be hard for you to quit? If you do, maybe you could go back to work. What do you think?” she asked her trying to keep the conversation on one track.
“Did they go home?” Sadie asked in a small voice. This time Adinah had to fight the temptation to grab her and shake her.
“Hey! They’re not here! I’m here, I’ve always been here.” she yelled. Sadie jumped in surprise and gave attention.
“You know they would leave you here to rot, if it didn’t make them look bad, but you make the mistake of thinking that they care about you. They don’t and they sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. I see you’re feeling better, so I’ll go.” She stormed out and didn’t care that they doctors and nurses probably thought that she was evil for disturbing her dear mother’s rest. What did they know, she thought as she headed for the elevator.
Sadie laid there silently even when the nurses came to check on her and they exchanged pleasantries. She hadn’t seen Adinah in all these years and it still stung. She couldn’t remember the only good time in her life, when was the last time she was happy? Before she got pregnant was the
only time she tasted that kind of contentment. She tried to abort it several ways, several times to eliminate the thing that was taking away her attention. She tried starving herself, punching her belly, she drank, she smoked and other things, but Adinah was born a healthy eight pounds. She saw the mark on her and was disappointed that she was gifted. She didn’t want to added responsibility of having to educate her on rituals and traditions that had been lost in her memory behind the veil of smoke and pills. She had no choice but to feel the pain came over her. Happiness never lasted for her. The men in her life cheated on her and treated her badly, the family was gone and Adinah hated her even more. A hopelessness started to creep into a familiar dark place. She had made choices, maybe not the best ones, but who’s to say what is best for anyone? Now, she needed a pill to get through the day and then spend the rest of the night in an alcohol daze. Something had to be done, everything felt so unfinished. For once, she wanted to make a decision and be happy that she made it. All her life, she had to fight for what is hers, that’s why she left Adinah. A life without a witness to the train wreak that she had become, complete with neuroses and baggage.
Adinah didn’t know that she HAD to become this person. She didn’t know that she had to deal with the demons that danced around in her mind. She would never understand how hard she tried to be a mother and what mother doesn’t make mistakes?
She just felt so unneeded after Adinah was born and she got all of the attention. She wouldn’t understand how patient she tried to be while Adinah took away everyone she loved away. She thought it would pass, but it grew with every step, every word the infant did. There was no doubt in her mind that Adinah would be a better mother than she was. She began to weep at all the loss and the pain until she dropped off into a troubled sleep.