Apr 25, 2013

When The Fireworks Begin (Chapter XXVI)

Sunday before Christmas of 2012...

James was up early. He has been cleaning the apartment since yesterday.  Making sure that every spot in their small home is properly dusted.  Devon, together with Aling Linda and Mang Tony will be arriving by lunch time.  From the airport, they will go straight to their home.

Her doctors insist on bringing Devon to the hospital for proper care, but Devon wanted to spend her time at home. So, Edwin Rocafort decided to bring the hospital to his son’s apartment instead.  Devon’s doctor in Singapore and Dr. Alvarez provided medical equipments which will Devon need at home which Mr. Rocafort sent without batting an eyelash. Edwin Rocafort even hired two caregivers to help in taking care of Devon once she’s at home.

Devon, upon hearing this, said thank you until she ran out of breath.  Edwin Rocafort soothed her daughter-in-law through phone.

“Just let me do this to make-up with you and your family,” Mr. Rocafort insisted.

“You’ve made up a long time ago,” Devon assured.

James puffed the pillows in the guest room which was converted into Devon’s bedroom.  He placed some fresh flowers on the table at the end of the room.  He decided to take out some of Devon’s favourite stuffed toys and placed it on the table, too.

James glanced at his watch.  It was almost lunch time. He should be going to the airport now to meet Devon. 

As he was driving to the airport he remembered the day he left Singapore.  It was two hours before his flight and he was still sitting down in Devon’s hospital room.  Aling Linda was trying to get him out of the room, fearing he will miss his flight.

“Go,” Devon coaxed.

Finally, he was able to pull himself up from the chair. He kissed Devon and told her that he will miss her terribly.  Devon smiled and typed on her computer.

“I will miss you more,” Devon typed.

“I can stay, you know,” James insisted.

But Devon was adamant. “Go and do your job,” Devon typed. 

James leaned forward and kissed her again on the lips.  James has never been apart from Devon for this long, since her diagnosis.  And he feels that every minute, every hour seems to be longer when he was not with her.

Once he got back to Cebu, the first thing he did was call his wife.  Then he contacted Dr. Alvarez regarding the medical facilities and other medical needs Devon will require once she got home.  Then he went to the advertising agency to settle the dispute over the contract.

After that meeting, James went online immediately. He checked on Devon and never went offline again, well, until now.  Aling Linda warned him several times that the laptop may overheat since James insisted on looking at Devon the entire day.  Mang Tony eventually managed to convince James to let them turn the laptop off while Devon sleeps.  But James never logged off and turned off his laptop, he patiently waited until Mang Tony appeared online again.

James parked his car in the airport parking lot and walked towards Mactan Airport.  He has managed to arrange for Devon and her parents to bypass security checks, especially because of her condition. 

He stood in the waiting area and looked at his wristwatch.  They would be barging out of the airport doors in just an hour.   James paced restlessly, trying to contain his excitement.  He missed Devon terribly.

He was pacing for quite sometime when he heard his name.

“James,” Melinda Rocafort called. 

“Mom,” James greeted walking towards her mother.

“Not here yet?” she asked while kissing James on both cheeks.

He looked at his watch again, noticing that a full hour has passed.  “They should be going out now,” James answered, looking at the throng of passengers exiting.

Mrs. Rocafort watched the crowd patiently.  The crowd is getting thin, but Devon, Aling Linda, and Mang Tony were nowhere to be seen.   James and Melinda Rocafort waited for several minutes more.  James is starting to be anxious.   He kept on dialling his cellphone. 

“I can’t call Nanay,”  James stated, nervously.  He kept on dialling Aling Linda’s phone number.  “Where are they?”

“Were they able to get on the flight,” Mrs. Rocafort asked. 

“Yeah,” James answered, looking extremely worried.  “I called them earlier and they just boarded and were already on the plane.”

Mrs. Rocafort nodded, deciding not to point out that something could’ve happened since they were nowhere in sight. Almost, another fifteen minutes passed and still nobody is in sight.

James’s heart is now thumping hard on his chest. 

“What if something happened?” James asked worriedly.  Mrs. Rocafort held his son’s hand.

James heard his mobile phone ringing. He immediately answered it.

“James,” Aling Linda’s hysterical voice came on the line.

“Nanay,” James exclaimed. “Where are you? I---“

“We’re in the hospital,” Aling Linda cut him off.  “We went straight here. Devon’s not okay.”

“What? Which hospital?” James asked, panicking.

James was already running towards his car while Aling Linda told him which hospital they took their daughter to.  Mrs. Rocafort ran after him, getting into her own car. 

James drove like crazy all the way to the hospital.  He was holding the steering wheel so tightly, that his knuckles turned white.  Beads of perspiration were already forming in his forehead though his car’s airconditioning unit is in full blast.  When James pulled into the hospital parking lot, Mrs. Rocafort was finally able to breathe. 

Thank God, traffic was not that heavy, Melinda Rocafort noted. Her driver was trying to stay behind James while his car raced down the street in breakneck speed. 

He was already running towards the emergency room, as Mrs. Rocafort’s driver was parking their car.

“What happened,” James asked, once he saw Aling Linda and Mang Tony in the hospital waiting area.

“When we’re on the flight, she started telling us that she’s in pain. We gave her the pain-killers the doctors gave us. She passed out while we were still on the plane,” Aling Linda explained, she was already in tears.

James hugged her mother-in-law.  Mang Tony was also trying his best not to shed a tear.

“We tried our best,” Mang Tony tried to explain.  “But she kept saying that everything was so painful. And then we noticed that something green was in her trache.”

They saw Dr. Alvarez emerged from the emergency room. 
Ninong,” James called.  Melinda Rocafort was now walking into the waiting area, as well.

“We’re taking her to intensive care,” Dr. Alvarez.  “She has infection, she also suffered a mild heart attack while on the airplane.”

“Can I see her,” James asked.

“Once she’s settled in intensive care, I’ll call you,” Dr. Alvarez stated.  “Have faith, James. Have faith,” he said.

“Please,” James whispered. It was the only thing he can think of right now and he is hoping that Dr. Alvarez understood what he meant.  His ninong nodded and immediately left. 

James crashed down on one of the corridor’s chairs, his knees suddenly losing their strength. 

Please, he whispered, hoping that pleading will save the one he loved most. 


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