“She now knows the truth,” lida reititated, “would you allow me to arrange a meeting for the two of you? You would have to go to her rehabilitation centre.”
“Yes. Yes, that’s fine. You just tell me time and day and I will be in attendance,” Mrs Craig said earnestly.
“Very well, I will arrange it and be in contact soon,” lida said, still with a bow.
You smiled at Mrs Craig and she smiled tearfully back at you.
“Let me know how it goes,” you added softly.
“I will,” she replied with a nod.
The following week, the same day as lida got his new fluorescent cast put on, your aunty Jane was taken to see her sister.
The car was arranged to pick Mrs Craig up and drive her there while you were with lida at his physio appointment to get the new cast on.
“So how’s it lookin’, doc?” you questioned the physio.
“It’s healing nicely,” she replied, checking the x-rays that had been taken at an earlier date, “I think he will only need this cast for 3 or 4 more weeks before he can take it off for good.”
“That’s good,” you said happily, “we should do something to celebrate, Tenya… Once it comes off.”
“That would be wonderful,” lida replied with a closed lipped smile to you before watching the Physio cut the cast off, “I would very much enjoy an outing without my arm being incapacitated.”
“You’ve been so patient,” you said to him, patting his good arm gently, “not long now and you’ll be free of it.”
In another 20 minutes the physio had the cast removed, arm measured, 3D cast printed, and it was fitted neatly to lida’s arm.
“How does it feel?” The physio asked him as he stared down at the new 3D one in awe and wincing a bit, “it is a little stiff at the joint.” He tenderly rubbed his elbow, holding it as he tried to stretch his arm out through the pain.
“We will work though that,” the physio promised, “for now, just use the arm as you usually would. The cast wilt protect against any heavy blows but we need to start facilitating normal movement again.”
lida nodded, still trying to stretch his arm, bringing it in to his body then pushing it out again.
“All of his pain is because of me,” you thought sadly, your remorse clearly showing on your face.
lida caught your look and turned to you.
“Y/N, I would do it all again without hesitation, he said earnestly, “do not even entertain sadness at my plight.”
You nodded and looked away, still feeling a little bad.
Later that afternoon, lida was at your place and you pulled out some moisturizing cream to rub it onto his elbow to massage the pain away.
“Please be gentle,” lida urged, “it is most tender.”
“I know,” you replied with a gentle smile, “I’ll be gentle. I just want to help in some way. I’ll feel bad otherwise.”
“I already told you, you needn’t feel bad.”
“I know, I know,” you sighed.
You had only just started to massage the cream in when there was a soft knock at your front door.
“Who could that be?” you hummed quizzically as you got up to investigate.
You opened the door to aunty Jane and gasped with excitement.
“You’re done already? Come in, come in. How did it all go? How is mum?” Question after question spilling from your lips.
“It was a very emotional reunion,” your aunty Jane said in a slightly dazed voice, “so many emotions.”
As you walked aunty Jane in, she saw lida on the couch with his new cast on.
“Oh! lida, my apologies, I didn’t know you were visiting,” Mrs Craig said politely.
“Please come in,” lida said, standing quickly and bowing to her, “how was your visit with your sister?”
“Wonderful,” she replied with a soft smile, “but first, congratulations on your new cast, I assume your arm is improving?”
“Yeah, the physio said it would be about 3-4 weeks before he got the cast off fully but it’s doing well. Bit sore, but ok,” you reported.
“Nice to know you’re doing your nursing duties well,” aunty Jane said in an amused voice, giving you a side glance.
You huffed with a smirk and looked back at lida with his fluro cast.
“So how was it?” you asked aunty Jane, gesturing to one of the other chairs in the lounge room.
She walked over and sat down, plopping her hands into her lap and leaning forward to tell you both about the reunion as you both took your seats again.
“Well. Long story short, we got to discuss what happened to us while we were apart. She—.” Aunty Jane paused, her bottom lip quivering as she looked down at her hands and wrung them together.
“Is it what you feared?” you asked her gently, “your step father…”
Aunty Jane nodded sadly, wiping a stray tear with the back of her hand, her glasses being adjusted higher on her face as she tried to clear her eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” you said, quickly standing and walking over to hug her.
She reached up and hugged you back,
“It’s fine. I’m just glad her and I are in contact again. We got to talk a lot out and I don’t know about her but I feel a lot lighter. She also asked if I would look after you, Y/N, while she is getting help. She said she wanted to apologize to you for being a terrible mother and that she wants to do better.”
“Tell her, I appreciate that,” you replied with a smile, “and tell her to take all the time she needs to recover.”
Aunty Jane nodded again.
“I’ll tell her that. We have weekly meeting scheduled at the rehabilitation centre so I’ll get to see her often,” she said happily.
“That’s great,” you replied with a relieved smile.
“I am grateful that everything had worked out,” lida added in as well.
“Well. If you’ll excuse me I’ll be heading home. I need to rest,” aunty Jane said with a tired sigh, “l’ve had a big day.”
“Of course!” you and lida said in unison, “go and rest!”
lida stood in a half bow at the lounge as you saw aunty Jane off at your door and watched her walk next door then turned and made your way back to lida.
“I’d love to have some kind of magical reunion with mum or dad. Something that turns everything around, you know?”
“For the time being, I will be your family,” lida said gently, sitting back down on the lounge and patting the seat beside him.
Feeling overwhelmed with love for him you sat
down and snuggled into his side.
“Thank you, Tenya.”