It's Just a Little Blood
It was about seven-thirty. I had just sat down to enjoy some leftover pecan pie when I got the call.
“Hey, Rob, your mother had an accident,” said my father’s voice.
“What happened?” I asked, not sure if I should be nervous at this point.
“She cut herself, the paramedics are here, and she’d like you to come over, he said, “if that’s okay with you.”
My parents lived in Richardson. I only lived a few miles away so it wasn’t a major inconvenience to visit my parents. Still I did have a little sense of dread as to what I would encounter at their house. The disheartening thought would bubble and churn in my stomach some more, but I was already there.
The ambulance was still parked in front of my parents’ house.
A dreadful knot formed in my throat.
“Rob, your mother’s in the TV room!” shouted Bill, my father. “Hey, Stell; your son’s here!”
It wasn’t too difficult to find my mother. I just followed the uncomfortably large trail of blood down the hall to the TV room, taking precaution not to step in any of it.
“Ma’am, please I’m gonna need you to hold your foot still,” a masculine voice with a southern drawl came from the TV room. Apparently my mother wasn’t cooperating with the paramedics. I peered into the room and nearly screamed when I saw what was inside. Of course there was blood all over the floor, and on the leather couch, and on my mother’s legs, and on the paramedics, and anywhere else an artery that’s firing off in all directions can reach.
“Mom?” I asked.
“Thank you for coming, Rob,” my mother said. “Would you kindly tell these nice gentlemen that their services aren’t really needed. I can take care of myself.”
“Sir, we need to stop the bleeding and your mother does not want to do this,” a tall lanky paramedic said as he fidgeted to hold a towel to my mother’s squirming foot.
“I just think I should let it run its course. It’ll stop on its own,” Mom said as she nearly kicked a paramedic in the face.
“That’s only for small cuts, Mom. You need to put pressure on the larger wounds,” I rolled my eyes. “Please, just let them get the bleeding to stop!” I could tell I was in for a long night. My mother finally calmed down and let the helpful medical professional do his job.
“That’s too tight!” my mother barked.
“It needs to be tight to stop the bleeding,” the paramedic barked back.
“Fine! I’ll suffer. Rob, if it isn’t too much trouble can you clean up the floor? It’s just a little blood.”
“Okay,” I shrugged. Somehow I wasn’t too bothered with cleaning up blood. At least it wasn’t some other bodily fluids. And it was at this time I was thankful for my parents’ decision to switch out all the carpeting in favor of wood and tile flooring.
“And don’t forget the bedroom and my bathroom,” my mother said interrupting my train of thought. “I have some eco-friendly cleaning solution in the kitchen and you can get some paper towels.”
I looked down at the still-forming pools of blood and the crimson trail leading down the hallway. “Yeah. There’s too much blood. I’m gonna need a mop.”
“Okay, well be sure not to use too much water when cleaning up the wood floors in my bedroom. I don’t want it to get any water damage.”
My mother’s bleeding her life juices away and she’s concerned about her precious wooden floors. “Okay uh...where do you keep the mop?”
“I dunno,” she shrugged. “Wherever Edwinna leaves them.”
Edwinna was their friendly, yet hyperactive cleaning lady that visited them once a week. I doubt she would mind if I called her at eight o’clock on a Wednesday night, especially since Estelle was her moderately-wealthy meal ticket. Sure Edwinna had other houses to clean, but nobody else paid her so well.
Edwinna sounded a little nervous over the phone. “Rob, I left the mop out to dry in the breezeway in the atrium. Is your mother alright?”
I sighed. “She’s fine. The paramedics are patching her up right now, and I just need to get the blood off the floor.”
“Oh, well thank goodness for that!”
I grabbed the mop from the breezeway and stormed towards the master bedroom making sure to avoid the trail of blood, which seemed to be getting larger the closer I got. The blood was still a rich shade of red so I know it hasn’t been here long, though the larger pools probably had congealed by now.
“It’s just a little blood,” I mockingly murmured to myself.
I opened the bedroom door and saw what looked like even more blood than what was in the TV room. I didn’t scream this time, because I think I had gotten used to the idea of mopping up a killing floor. Some of the blood made it onto the walls and the doors, but surprisingly not a drop soiled the white sheets of their king-size bed. I walked into the bathroom to set up a place to wash the mop off and stared with utter amazement at the bathtub.
There was more blood in the bathtub. My mother probably tried to hold her foot over the bathtub to wait for the bloodflow to stop. She kept the drain closed due to her fear of nasty little insects crawling up through the drain so it all just pooled at the bottom of the tub. There was at least an inch or two of congealed blood down there. That had to be at least two gallons. How is it that my mother was alive and conscious with having lost so much blood?
"So gross..." I groaned as I stuck my fingers in the terrible red gelatin mold to open the drain. I probably should've been more horrified than I was. Maybe there's something wrong with me. I turned on the shower and ran the hot water to attempt to melt away the bad memories, and to give me a place to wash off what was about to be a rather frightening-looking mop.
I started on the bedroom floor, vigorously applying a frightening amount of cleaning solution to this circulatory calamity and every few minutes taking the crimson-soaked mop to the shower for a rinse. It’s just a little blood.
In my mopping frenzy I finally made my way back to the TV room. The paramedics had managed to stop the bleeding and fled the scene as soon as possible. I didn’t blame them as I would’ve done the same. My mother had positioned herself horizontally on the couch with her foot elevated on a pillow, possibly hoping that gravity would help keep the wound from bursting back open.
“Thank you, Rob, for doing this,” my mother muttered, her eyes half shut. She must’ve been worn out from all the blood she lost. “Did you finish the bedroom?”
“Yeah. The bedroom’s finished,” I said as I tried to mop around the coffee table and leather couch. “You seemed to have lost a lot of blood. Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine. I just need a little rest.”
“You lost a lot of blood,” I reiterated. “Like a couple gallons worth.”
“Well when it comes to bodily fluids...women have more hiding spots.”
I decided to just shut up and finish cleaning. I couldn’t reach the darkened corners against the wall behind the couch, but for the most part I was able to get it looking like someone hadn’t spilled a mass of gore onto the floor.
“Rob, if you want to get me my purse from the bedroom I’ll get you some money,” my mother said. She was good at paying for services rendered, and I was not opposed to accepting her money. I strolled over to the bedroom and looked around for her purse, but it wasn’t in the normal place. I checked behind the furniture, just in case it fell down, but it was nowhere to be found. I thought it might be in the closet so I opened the door and....the body of a large fat man fell out.
So that’s where all that blood came from.