Episode 1101: Who Are You?Phillip had politely asked the woman not to fuss, he wanted to dive right into the conversation, get some answers and move on to the next order of business. But it was plain that this was not going to be as easy as all that. Fitting he supposed when nothing else was easy at the moment even his wife who could usually be counted upon to keep a cool head in a crisis, especially a medical crisis, by her stoic standards Katherine was to some degree coming apart at the seams.
He wished he could persuade the hospital to back off and allow Katherine to openly take the lead on their son’s case so she could feel busy and totally in control, in her happy place, but the policy police refused to budge on the matter.
Fortunately Phillip didn’t have those kinds of constraints to navigate, he was able to feel as busy and in control as he too liked to feel, if only Ondine Carmelo would stop long enough to speak with him.
She finally returned from the kitchen. A tray in her hands overflowed with tea paraphernalia as well as various pastries, biscuits, and cookies, enough to accommodate a dozen guests rather than just the one.
Phillip might have thought the tray too heavy for the woman’s slender arms and that was why the tray wobbled up a storm as Ondine carried it but from the moment she’d opened the door and even before that when they’d briefly spoken on the phone, it had been evident that the woman was still very much rattled from the accident.
He relieved the woman of the tray and placed it on the coffee table. He fixed them each a cup, uncertain Ms. Carmelo would be able to handle such a simple task.
“Oh, you’re not eating anything,” Ondine observed once each had tea in front of them. “Would you prefer fruit? I should have thought of that. I’ll go cut some up for you right-”
“Please, no, this is fine, you’ve really gone to too much as it is.” Phillip reached for the nearest apple danish and took an obligatory bite. He set it down. “I’d like to discuss my son, to understand what happened if you’re up to it.” Even if she wasn’t up to it.
Ondine picked up her tea cup only to immediately put it down due to her trembling hands. “I am so sorry about your son. I promise you I wasn’t distracted driving or anything, he was just suddenly there and it was too late to stop.”
Ondine swiped at her wet eyes. “I really only know what happened after I got out of the car and I saw… It was horrible, I had to look away for a moment, it was too much and that’s when I first saw your daughter-in-law on the sidewalk. Of course I didn’t know that’s who she was then. Oh and there was another man there, too, I don’t know who he was, he looked concerned for her and then he went into the store.”