The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 27
Kristel walked into the house and sagged onto the living room couch. Tori entered the house after her and closed the door. She sat on the couch beside Kristel and asked, “Do you need anything?”
“It’s okay,” Kristel responded, leaning back and closing her eyes.
“You need to eat,” Tori told her. Kristel moaned. “I know,” said Tori. “But you need to.”
Kristel pressed her hand against her stomach and looked wearily at Tori. They both remained silent for a moment before Kristel said, “I should get started on dinner before Hank gets here.”
“Don’t be silly,” said Tori, standing from the couch. “Hank and Tami have things under control. The kids can even stay with us tonight if you need a break.”
“No,” said Kristel. “Tori, your sister isn’t in town often. You should really go spend some time with her. I can handle my kids. Really.”
Tori eyed Kristel sceptically before saying, “You won’t admit it, but you do need a break. I’m sure Hazel would love to sleep over.”
“Then Hank can bring Daniel and Kezia. I won’t leave Kezia with you guys. She’s too fussy lately.” She grimaced and closed her eyes for a few seconds. Tori looked at her worriedly but remained speechless.
“Be right back,” Kristel murmured upon opening her eyes. She scooted towards the edge of the couch and pushed down with her hands for momentum. Standing shakily to her feet, she began slowly walking away.
Tori sat still and listened: the sound of Kristel’s footsteps stopped, the bathroom door closed and the water from the faucet splashed against the sink, muffling the sound of Kristel’s vomiting. Tori slowly shook her head and pulled her cell phone from her pocket. She quickly dialled a number and held the phone to her ear.
“Hey, back from court?” she heard her sister’s voice ask.
“Hey, Tami. Yes we are. Listen, I think I have to stay over at Kristel’s house tonight. She’s not feeling too well.”
“Oh,” Tami quietly said.
“I’m sorry, little sis,” Tori told her.
“No, it’s okay,” Tami cheerfully said. “We’re actually having fun! I can bring the kids over in the morning if you like.”
“You know what,” Tori began. “I may come by later and take Kezia so you and Hank won’t have to deal with her.”
“You don’t have to do that,” said Tami. “She’s s being pretty good actually. She only cried when you and Kristel left.”
“Why am I not surprised?” Tori asked. She heard a door open. The house was quiet. “Gotta go,” Tori whispered. She disconnected the call and slid her phone into her pocket just as Kristel dragged her feet back into the living room.
“On second thought,” said Kristel, pressing the palm of her hand against the wall for support. “Maybe it is best that the kids stay over at your house.”
Tori nodded and stood to approach Kristel. “Why don’t you take a shower and get to bed?” she suggested.
“That sounds good right about now,” Kristel complied. She turned and shuffled off to her bedroom.
The next morning, Kristel could barely lift her arms to peel the covers off her body. Her head throbbed and her stomach was churning severely. Before she could even lift the covers, she leaned over the side of the bed and vomited into the pail on the floor. Tori ran into the room as soon as she heard Kristel’s retching.
Kristel flopped back on her pillow and closed her eyes. She moaned and clutched her stomach. Tori grabbed the phone from the side table, “Okay, I’m calling Dr. Boas,” she said.
“No,” Kristel weakly told her.
“What do you mean ‘no’? Kristel, you’ve been vomiting for half the night. You can barely get up to make it to the bathroom, you’ve had this headache for about three days now, and things don’t seem to be getting any better.”
Kristel managed to slide up into a sitting position. She leaned back against the bed board and reached out to grab her blood pressure monitor from the side table. The simple act of wrapping the cuff around her arm tired her out.
Tori helped Kristel, securing the cuff around her arm and pressing the calculate button. “Your blood pressure is fine,” she announced. “This has to be something else.”
“Side effects,” Kristel muttered. She pulled the Velcro of the cuff off her arm. “Dr. Mitchell told me to expect some fatigue the first week.”
“And the vomiting?”
“It’s a side effect,” Kristel stubbornly said. “It’s supposed to get better when my body gets used to the medication.” Tori put the phone down and sat on the bed beside Kristel. “I haven’t paid off for the finalisation of this new insurance plan,” Kristel said. “I’ll have to pay mostly out of pocket if I go back to the doctor now. And I called out from work last night so I’m losing some money this week.”
Kristel gagged again and Tori quickly grabbed the bucket. Kristel turned her face away and leaned against the bed again. “I’m fine,” she said.
“You are not fine,” said Tori. She stood up from the bed and grabbed Kristel’s arm. “Come on, I’m taking you to the doctor.”
“Tori, stop it,” said Kristel pulling out of her grasp. “This happens to me sometimes when I get started on a new drug regimen. It will pass.”
Tori looked a though she was ready to lift Kristel from the bed and force her into the car. However, Kristel’s demeanour seemed so calm that Tori had no other choice but to remain calm as well. She sat beside Kristel and asked, “Is there anything I can do?”
Kristel nodded. “There’s some ginger in the fridge drawer. Can you please cut one up and just boil it?”
“Sure,” said Tori. “For the nausea?”
Kristel nodded again. “I have to go to class tonight, so I need to get over this.”
“Just know,” said Tori, getting up and beginning to leave the room. “If you keep puking like this, I’m calling Dr. Boas and Dr. Mitchell.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Kristel.
Tori looked over her shoulder at her friend, surprised by how easily she had agreed.