When Penelope arrived the following afternoon, several minutes after the 1pm time she offered the doctor, she was annoyed to see Sig sitting on the side of the bed dressed and waiting for her.
“What are you doing?” She asked almost as if she hoped the obvious answer was not the one she was going to get.
“Waiting for you. The Doctor has given me the all clear. I’ve got to come back for another test in a few days and there is a script waiting for me down at the hospital chemist but everything else is fine and they’ve released me. I’ve even been down to the nurses station to sign myself out.”
Penelope was of course defiant to the end, it wasn’t her choice therefore she was allowed to dispute it. “But I told the doctor not to come around until I was here.”
“Well he came early and gave me the all clear.” Sig said knowing that however the conversation was going to pan out it had its natural course to run before his mother was finished and there was little he could do to change that, he just hoped it was a short course.
“So I don’t get a say in this?” Penelope said. Then quickly added, so that Sig didn’t answer the question. “I never liked that doctor of yours. He was always pushy and ignored my concerns. I think you should write a letter to the hospital telling them how unhappy you are.”
Writing letters was Penelope’s forte she would write to anyone to complain about service, or poor treatment, or being overcharged, anything. Sometimes the responses she got were satisfactory, other times not so much but that didn’t stop her suggesting to Sig he write letter when something upset him. The problem with the current situation was that he wasn’t upset by the doctor and saw no need to be writing to the hospital. But of course he wouldn’t tell his mother that.
“Well he has given me a clean bill of health to go home, so let’s just do that and we’ll worry about the other things later.”
“And what if you fall over dead at home. I don’t suppose the doctor is going to take responsibility for that now is he?” Penelope was letting her grumpy tone creep into her voice.
“Mum!” Sig was annoyed but tried not to show it. “That’s not going to happen. I’m fine. I will be fine. You are not going to find me dead at home! Now can we please just go home?”
Sig’s room wasn’t quite how he’d remembered leaving it when he’d got home. Had he asked his mother he was sure she would have told him she’d been in there to vacuum and dust, and she probably had given how clean she kept the house, but she had also been in there searching for something. What she was searching for Sig wouldn’t be game to guess but he was also not worried about her finding it either because he kept very little in the bedroom other than stuff he’d collected as a child.
It was the little things like a drawer not slightly open, his shoes dead straight and parallel on the rack and his shirts and pants hanging up in the cupboard all evenly spaced like they’d been set for a house inspection that gave Sig the idea his mother had done more than just cleaning. However he did hope that in the months he was laying in hospital she’d exhausted her search and was no longer still looking because he didn’t need to be second guessing everything in his own bedroom as well as outside the house.
“If you want your girlfriend to come around that’s find but not while I am not home.” Penelope called out from the lounge room where Sig figured she would be in her recliner chair with the foot rest out and the TV on, it was where she always went when she was angry at someone.
“Mum!” Sig’s voice was loud so he could be heard clearly. “She’s not my girlfriend!”
“OK dear, whatever. Just don’t bring her around here when I’m not home. And if she is here your door is to remain open at all times. There is not be no unwed shenanigans in this house!”
Sig once again decided to say nothing. He could quite happily have denied anything his mother was saying or suggesting but it would have made no difference. As well as that if he planned on doing anything more with Vi than just talking it certainly wasn’t going to happen in his bedroom, in his mother’s house.
Right at that moment, just as he could happily have done without any conversation about Vi the house phone rang. Sig’s first thought was to tap his pockets, he knew the phone ringing wasn’t his mobile but it was the first time he’d given his phone a thought since the night in the hospital where he wanted to call Vi and the hand motion was purely instinctive.
He wondered where his phone was, whether it had survived the fall, whether it had been confiscated by the police at the scene, or worse whether it had been confiscated by his mother. He knew getting a phone wasn’t quite the simple task they made it out to be in the movies and that “burner” phone didn’t really exist in Australia unless you were part of some crime syndicate where normal laws and devices did not apply. However it wasn’t overly difficult either, he just needed ID and the cash to buy the phone and whatever plan or credit he desired.
His thoughts were broken by his mother calling out from the other room. “Sig, it’s for you. It’s that girl who you say isn’t your girlfriend. She obviously can’t take the hint.”
By the time Sig got out to the lounge to retrieve the cordless phone from his mother Penelope had got all her words out and had a big smile on her face.
“Cut it out Mum!” Sig said with a growl. “And do you know where my mobile phone is?”
Penelope said nothing and Sig walked back to his room with the phone to his ear.