The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 15
“You lost your job,” Kristel repeated.
She hoped desperately that she had heard wrong or that Matthew was just testing her… or something. “Yes,” Matthew shamefully replied. Kristel held the phone away from her ear a moment. She wanted to just hang up on her husband but she struggled against the desire.
“When? When did you lose your job?” she asked.
“Yesterday,” Matthew responded. “My boss called me.”
Kristel felt tears coming to her eyes and she blinked rapidly as Daniel entered the kitchen. “Mom, Tori’s here,” he excitedly told her.
“Go get dressed,” Kristel muttered without even looking back at her son.
Daniel looked down at himself. He was wearing a relatively new pair of jeans and a polo T-shirt. Was there something wrong with the way he was dressed? “I am,” he said.
“Daniel,” Kristel said in warning tone. Detecting the sterness in his mother’s voice, Daniel quickly retreated.
“Matthew, I’m so disappointed in you,” said Kristel. “Here I am, studying overtime for my classes, trying to better myself, looking for a job, attending all these auditions, dealing with the kids, paying almost all the bills and Kezia’s babysitting fees… you go and lose your job and don’t even tell me until I ask.”
“Kristel, I didn’t want to upset you.”
“You didn’t want to upset me?” Kristel loudly asked. “I’m upset now!”
Tori entered the kitchen, already looking perplexed by Kristel’s yelling. Even Kezia seemed concerned. “Just get off my phone, please,” said Kristel. “I’m expecting callbacks and you’re tying up the line.”
Not wanting to hear anymore, Kristel hung up the phone. Immediately, she felt her head reel. She held her hand to her head and closed her eyes, standing as still as possible. “Kristel are you okay?” Tori asked, walking farther into the kitchen.
Kristel didn’t reply. She walked to the sink and grabbed several sheets of paper towel to wipe up the egg yolk spill on the floor. She crouched down to clean the mess and the light-headedness she felt, worsened. She stopped and let all her body weight rest against the cabinet. “Kris?” Tori questioned. “Are you okay?”
“I feel like I’m about to faint,” Kristel admitted. She reached her hand out to the ground and slowly eased herself into a sitting position, leaning back against the cabinet. She put her head between her knees and Tori quickly opened the fridge to get a bottle of water.
Hazel walked into the kitchen and looked at her mother. She knew right away that something was wrong. “Mom?” she called.
“I’m okay,” said Kristel, her voice slightly muffled.
“Hazel, get your stuff ready and go ahead to the car,” Tori instructed.
Hazel obediently nodded and walked away. Tori knelt beside Kristel and pressed the bottle of water into her hand. Kristel’s hand was shaking so badly that it made the simple action of taking a quick swig of water, almost impossible without spilling the cold liquid down her chest.
“I’ve been getting these dizzy spells since yesterday,” Kristel complained. “I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday but…”
“…But you should go sooner than that,” said Tori, completing her sentence.
Kristel pressed her hands against the floor and tried to get up. Tori had to stand to help her up. She stood by Kristel as she walked to the kitchen table, nervous that Kristel would faint at any moment. Kristel slowly sat down on one of the kitchen chairs and put her head down on the table.
Kezia put her hands in her mouth and babbled in a complaining tone. Then she began kicking her feet irritably and reaching her hands out to Kristel. When Kristel heard Kezia’s fussing grow louder, she sighed and prepared to stand up.
“Uh-uh,” said Tori, firmly pressing down on Kristel’s shoulder to prevent her from standing. Kezia began to cry. Tori lifted Kezia from the high chair and rubbed her back. “Hush now,” she soothingly said.
Kristel grimaced and placed her hand on her stomach. “Is your stomach hurting again?” Tori asked.
“No,” Kristel responded. “I just have this really weird feeling… and it’s notgas,” she added, more to herself than to Tori. Suddenly, she winced, squeezed her eyes shut and held her hand to her forehead. She moaned quietly and said, “My head is killing me.”
“Alright, Kristel. I’m gonna take you to the hospital right now.” Kristel couldn’t argue. She felt too sick to do so. “Come on,” said Tori, hanging the strap of Kezia’s diaper bag over one shoulder and gripping Kristel’s upper arm with her available hand.
Kristel stood unsteadily to her feet. “I’ll drop the kids off at school, Kezia could stay with Hailey’s old babysitter and then we head straight to the hospital, alright?” Tori told her.
“Alright,” Kristel muttered.
Kristel was sitting on the examination table, wishing more than anything that she could just lay flat on her back. She felt that at any moment, she would fall off the table. Luckily, Tori was right there beside her with her arms around her. “I have a feeling that this is a lot more than a blood pressure issue,” Kristel quietly said. She slowly shook her head.
As she leaned against Tori’s shoulder and closed her eyes, she heard the sound of the examination room door opening and in walked a man with salt and pepper hair, garbed in his white lab coat and with a manila folder in his hands. “Well,” he said with a smile. “I would like to say congratulations but not prior to confirmation.”
The doctor approached Kristel and handed her a slip of paper. “Your urine and blood test results reported back high hCG levels.”
“What?” Tori and Kristel asked in unison.
Kristel looked at the doctor as though he had grown five heads. “Just hand that slip to the receptionist in Ob/Gyn and they’ll take you in for an examination ASAP.”