Sig had barely finished speaking before he realised his mistakes.
His first mistake had been telling his mother that Vi wasn’t his girl friend when during his time in a coma Vi had clearly told his mother different. That mistake was an easy one to fix, Vi knew their relationship status, knew that while she often referred to him as her boyfriend he never reciprocated by using the same term. The two of them had shared some of their most intimate parts of their last few years, they’d slept together, they been passionate and they shared so much, expect Sig’s life at home. He had told Vi on more than one occasion that he only used his mother’s place as a base to keep himself grounded and keep her from going bat shit crazy as a widower who blamed the world for everything while still thinking she had her son programmed to be her keeper in later life. That to Sig was enough to suggest their relationship was one of convenience not of romantic connection, therefore having Vi say different was a slight annoyance due to his mother’s predictable reaction but it was also something Vi would have to get over because there was more important things going on with Sig’s life.
The second mistake Sig made was confidently suggesting to his mother that he knew Vi was not responsible for pushing him off the roof of the building. Immediately Penelope had picked up on the idea that if he was clear in knowing that Vi was not responsible then it stood to reason that he knew more about what happened up there than he was letting on. After all how could he be confident one person was not there but not confident in telling who was actually there.
The Vi issue would resolve itself, he was sure of that, she hadn’t spent the three months visiting him in a coma just to get annoyed and walk away because he dared mention they were not a couple. His mother on the other hand would take a little bit more convincing and he knew that her silence during Vi’s visit was just fuelling that particular fire because it gave her time to think about how she was going to find out the information she thought Sig was holding back from her.
In a sign that Vi had accepted the direction the cards had fallen, at least in part, the conversation between the two of them while Sig lay in the hospital bed was extremely vague and unrevealing of anything. They spoke about how Sig was feeling, his expected tenure at the hospital and what he planned to do when he got out. But it was until Vi started speaking about their mutual friends and what was going on in her life that Sig realised she had clearly understood the position he was in and why he’d told Penelope what he had. The information Vi offered was void of any personal details, used only nicknames and provide Penelope with nothing she would be able to use for her own research if she was that way inclined.
By the time Vi left nearly ninety minutes had passed, the nurses had redone Sig’s obs three times and Penelope had barely looked up from her romance novel, although Sig knew she was listening intently. While none of the nurses had suggested that visiting hours were well past when Penelope had suggested it after the second lot of obs were taken neither Sig or Vi responded and Penelope went back to reading her book.
Vi left with the promise that she would return the following day, she also left with the suggestion that if Sig needed anything brought in she was happy to do so. It was of course a pointless offer given that Penelope was in the room and quick off the mark to ensure her that there was nothing Sig needed from her. But Sig was still thankful for the offer and he wondered if there was any way he could get Vi to visit while his mother was not present.
“What was all that about?” Penelope asked as soon as Vi was out of the room.
“What do you mean Mum?” Sig asked knowing that feigning ignorance wouldn’t cut it but not interested in having the conversation he knew was coming.
“That girl. Those people you were talking about.”
“Mum, my throat is really sore…” He didn’t think such an excuse was going to cut it no matter how true it was.
“You’ve been talking for more than an hour, a little bit longer to tell your mother the truth wont hurt.” Penelope interrupted while at the same time handing him the cup of cold water from the table beside the bed.
Sig gave up knowing he had little other choice. “She’s just a friend Mum.”
“The why did she call herself your girlfriend? Is that were you disappear to when you don’t sleep at home? What sort of relationship are you in and why haven’t you introduced her to me before.”
So many questions and so many answers Sig did not wish to share with his mother.
“I don’t know why she said that Mum. We are not together, we are friends and while I’ve stayed at her house a few times we don’t have a relationship. Now please can we drop it.”
“Who are those people you were talking about?” Penelope wasn’t letting up. “Those people with the strange names.”
“They are just people we know Mum, nothing more nothing less.” Sig’s voice was becoming very croaky again but his mother wasn’t letting up.
“Were they on the roof with you? Did one of them push you off?” Penelope didn’t really want to Sig to remember what happened, it was her key to ensuring Sig remained with her and looked after her in later life, but she also wanted to make sure whatever had happened wasn’t going to land on her doorstep.
“I told you I don’t remember what happened Mum.”
“Ah but you do, don’t you. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been so sure that, that…that…girl was not the one who pushed you off. And you were very certain about that, weren’t you Sig!”
Sig knew the conversation wasn’t going to be forgotten no matter how hard he hoped it would.