Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis Chapter 18

Republisher’s Note: After a health scare, Danny and Michelle share a chicken adventure.

Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis – Chapter 18

Michelle emerged from the bathroom looking pale and exhausted. She made eye contact with Danny who was sitting up in the bed. “I guess you are going to tell me that I shouldn’t have eaten the pizza last night.”

‘No Honey, I was going to ask if you want me to go downstairs and get the anti- nausea medication.”

“Danny, I told you if you would recall; I am not going to take any medication. Women all over the world go through this. I can handle this.  I need to let my stomach settle down then I can get a shower. My first class today is at 10 am which means, I have time to rest before going to the hospital for rounds.”

 Michelle laid her head down on Danny’s chest while at the same reaching for his hand. With their fingers interlocked, Danny kissed her hand with feather like kisses. Looking down on her curly hair, Danny absorbed the aroma of her scent in his nostrils.
“Sweetie, I think you need to call Dr. Sedgwick. You are loosing a lot of fluids and you sure aren’t replacing them fast enough. Remember, she said that you might need IV. Fluids?”
“Danny, I will check in with her today sometime to see what she wants me to do. Right now, I am where I want to be.”
Danny wrapped both arms around her body; clutching the body tight next to his body. He watched her body drift off into a restful state of sleep. Danny showered and dressed giving Michelle time to sleep before he awakened her. “Michelle, it’s time to open those big brown eyes.”
Stretching her arms out, she rolled over onto her stomach to go back to sleep.
“Honey, I’m leaving and you have to get up if you are going to make it to the hospital.”
“It can’t be time to get up so soon.” Throwing the bedclothes back from her body, Michelle sat up on the side of the bed to see if the morning sickness was still affecting her.
“How are you feeling?”
“Normal for now at least I don’t have anything in my stomach to come back up.”
After Danny had finished tying his shoes, he sat down on the bed next to Michelle. “I’m going to call you at lunch time say about 12:30pm to get the report from Dr. Sedgwick. You have five hours to contact her. I want a plan from either her or one from the both of you. I can’t stand to see you so sick. This is a warning if I don’t like what I hear; I’m taking you to Chicago to see another doctor. My mother had three children in Chicago and her doctor is still in practice.”
“Wait a minute Danny isn’t that a little overkill? I’m sure Dr. Sedgwick can handle this.” Holding her porcelain face in his hands, Danny stared into her eyes. He kissed her forehead and whispered a goodbye.  “Promise me, Michelle.”
“Danny, you are serious?”
“Yes, I am serious.”
Michelle walked onto the unit barely before the senior resident arrived. Aussie placed the two charts of the patients the group would be seeing in a few minutes. “You were cutting it pretty close this morning.”
“Tell me about it. My problem reoccurred earlier. If Danny hadn’t been at home to awake me, I would still be sleeping. Have you heard which resident we have today? The rumor is Dr. Forest Richards.” Michelle and Aussie both rolled their eyes. They had heard about his reputation. He was hard on all the med students but appeared to have an axe to grind with the female students. Sure enough, appearing in the nurses’ station was Dr. Richards.
“Good morning all. I trust you all had a quiet and enjoyable weekend. Mine was a living hell and so with that in mind; let’s see how prepared our future stars are today. Dr. Andersen will be joining us today for rounds. Everybody get a cup of coffee or what ever you are drinking and join Dr. Andersen in the staffing room.”
Michelle whispered to Aussie. “I’m a sitting duck.”
Following the normal routine, the medical students introduced themselves to Dr. Andersen and reviewed the human system, which they were studying. The normal physiology function of the system was cited by one of the students, which were followed up by the abnormal. Dr. Richard proceeded to question the students about the types of disease attacking the system. He picked up the charts and randomly passed the two charts to two students. One was passed to Michelle. She was expected to discuss the patient’s symptoms and choice of treatment.
Michelle started the discussion from the brief memory of the patient. She listed the patients few symptoms, the lab reports and present medications. Dr. Richards began the grinding question and answer period. He challenged Michelle whether she felt the patient’s diagnosis had been true. The exchanges became heated between the two before Dr. Andersen intervened. “Miss Bauer is correct Dr. Richards. The patient being discussed is a private patient of mine. I am the diagnosing physician. Well done Miss Bauer, you stood your ground. Next patient please.”
During the discussion, Michelle felt the queasy stomach returning. She wasn’t going to make it through the staffing. Michelle stood up and excused herself from the group. She left the room running to the nearest bathroom. Dr. Andersen looked over to Dr. Richards. “Please follow Miss Bauer, she appears ill.  I will wrap this up and we will join you shortly.”
In the bathroom, Michelle heard the soft tapping on the door. “Michelle, can I help you?” He listened to the sounds and waited for Michelle to answer. By this time, Caitlin and Aussie were at the bathroom door. Michelle finally opened the door. It was evident to all that she was in need of medical attention. Dr. Andersen grabbed the nearest stretcher. He insisted that Michelle lie down. “Take Miss Bauer to the ER. I will be right down. Dr. Richards continue with rounds.”
In the emergency room, Dr. Andersen ordered an IV. Of 1000 cc of lactated ringers’ solution with vistaril for the nausea. “Michelle, who is your doctor?”
“Dr. Sedgwick”
“Page Dr. Sedgwick for Miss Bauer.” Within minutes, Dr. Sedgwick answered her page. She would be in the ER in ten minutes.
Dr. Andersen waited for Dr. Sedgwick beside Michelle’s stretcher. She had already fallen asleep from the medication. He looked at her beautiful face and down her body to rest his eyes at her abdomen. Would he hate himself for selling this girl’s future to the Santos family? He had stopped Dr. Richards’s relentless attack on the woman. Had the attack precipitated this scene?
Dr.Sedgwick was standing next to Michelle. “Michelle became ill this morning during staffing. I understand she is your patient. She looked very pale and dehydrated. I assume this has been going on for awhile for her to get this dehydrated.”
“Thank you Dr. Andersen, I’ll take over from here….Michelle can you hear me? I’m going to order another lab test and a uterine sonogram. I want you to rest. The medication is going to keep you drowsy for a long time.”
After the rounds were over, Aussie and Caitlin ran down to the ER. Aussie was busy trying to update Caitlin about Michelle as they spotted Michelle heading down to the x-ray dept. “Why is Michelle going to x-ray?”
“Dr. Sedgwick ordered the sonogram.”
“We had better call Danny.”
“How are we going to do that?”
“He told me he works for a San company.  Why didn’t I listen? Something about import and securities. Get the yellow page telephone book. Please let it be listed.”
“Good grief, there must be hundreds of Sans listed. Here it is, San Corporation.”
Aussie dialed the number, the female voice answered “San-Core Corporation Import and Securities.”
“My name is Aussie Spencer and I’m trying to reach a Mr. Danny Santos.  Is Mr. Santos employed by the company?”
“May I put you on hold?”
The private telephone rang on Danny’s desk. “Danny speaking.”
“Mr. Santos there is a lady on the line wishing to speak to you. She asked if you were employed here.”
“What is her name?”
“Aussie Spencer”
“Transfer the call in and tell her you were checking the records.” Thinking to himself that Aussie was on a seeking information call, he answered the call with “Santos speaking.”
“Danny, think God I found you! Michelle is in the ER. She got very sick this morning in staffing. The doctor ordered IV. Fluids and a sonogram. They must have given her some medication. Michelle is knocked out.”
Listening to the details, Danny rotated his head and neck. “I’m leaving the office now. Thank you for calling me.” Danny hung up the phone.
Walking out to the front office, he asked if Jimmy was still in the office. Calling Jimmy’s name, Danny told Mrs. Martinez that he would be out of the office the rest of the day. Jimmy opened his door to see what Danny wanted. “Michelle is sick and in the ER. We have to get there quick. This is our chance to get her to the house before they admit her to the hospital.” Danny directed Mrs. Martinez with his finger across his lips to be silent about his plan.
Danny and Jimmy walked in the ER where he saw Aussie and Caitlin waiting for him. Aussie and Caitlin stood at the same time when they saw Danny. Caitlin spoke first. “They just came back with Michelle. This is Michelle’s book bag.”
Danny took the bag and gave it to Jimmy. “See if the car keys are in the bag?” Turning to face Aussie, “Do you know which parking lot Michelle parks her car?”
“The one next to the Medical School.” Jimmy left the atrium to find the parking lot. He had his instructions.
“Come on, let’s see what the story is with Michelle.”
One of nurse ‘s showed Danny where Michelle’s stretcher was parked. “Dr. Sedgwick had ordered two more liters of fluid.” If Michelle’s vital sign’s stabilized, she could go home later in the day.
Danny kissed Michelle lips. She barely responded to his touch. The tears ran down Danny’s cheek. He shook her shoulder gently to see if he could arouse a response. She turned over to her right side where she preferred to sleep from Danny’s observation. Danny walked to right side of the stretcher. He took both of her hands in his to kiss them repeatedly. “I love you so very much.”
 Aussie and Caitlin withdrew from Michelle and Danny. Caitlin said to Aussie, “ Michelle is finally loved by someone.”
“I don’t know what love is but if that is love; I hope someone will care for me with so much attention.”
“Caitlin, he seemed so cold when arrived.”
“He is use to giving orders and directions. Something tells me Danny doesn’t work for the company. He owns the company.”
Dr. Sedgwick had both the sonogram and lab report in her hand when she came into the private cubicle. “ I see Michelle is still sleeping.  I wish Michelle was awake to hear the news but she isn’t going to co-operate it looks like to me. I will tell her again when she is fully awake. Michelle’s hormone level has increased significantly. I suspected a multiple embryo before and suggested the sonogram to verify my suspicion. The film shows two separate placentas in Michelle’s uterus. Michelle is going to have twins! She is getting a double dose of morning sickness.” She held the film up to the view box to show Danny the two small images. He placed his hand on each spot to make sure of the locations.
A small smile surfaced onto Danny’s face. “Dr. Sedgwick, Michelle is so petite. How can she carry two babies at one time?”
“We will have to take it a week at a time. It is early but the longer the babies stay inside of Michelle, the better chance they have of survival. In cases like this, I like to plan a Caesarean Section for delivery. We can control the setting and time of delivery. I want you to take Michelle home.”“If we can keep liquids in her, the nausea and vomiting will pass. I’ll keep an eye on her today here in the ER. When she is awake, I can come back to talk with both of you.”
Mrs. Martinez answered the private line.
“Hi, it’s me. I want you to do some shopping for me at Nordstrom’s. Take the business credit card and pick up the latest in summer dress shorts, sundresses and bathing suits. Look, you are really going to have to purchase a entire summer wardrobe. It has to be at least enough to get through a week or more. Hold on a minute, I can give you some sizes.” Removing the clothes from the hospital plastic bag, Danny looked for the sizes. “You and the clerk can figure all this out in making the choices. Blouse is 32-34, slacks 5-7,bra 34-c, bikini underpants 5, shoes 6 ½ narrow width. Have everything delivered at the lake home. I won’t be in for at least a couple of days. I left my desk a mess. Will you please clean my desk and put the papers in my brief case? Jimmy will pick it up and bring it out to the house. Oh, I almost forgot did you hear from Carmen?”
“Mrs. Santos called, she and Pilar are seeing a show in the city. Abuelá wants you to pick up a box of her favorite candy from down on six street.” Danny laughed, the picture of his fat gray haired grandmother and the slim attractive body of his mother came into his mind. He had been sneaking candy to his grandmother for years. Carmen monitored his grandmother’s food intake and suspected Olga as being the culprit of providing the fatty candy. “I’ll take care of the candy order.”
Michelle moved her body on the stretcher giving some indication that she was becoming more alert. “Honey, you’re in the ER. The doctors gave you some medicine to stop the nausea and vomiting.”
Michelle was sure the voice was familiar. The room décor and voice didn’t match. Why was Danny in the ER with her?  “Danny, why are you a patient?”
 “Michelle, I’m not the patient. You are the patient. Don’t you remember getting sick in staffing this morning? Dr. Sedgwick is coming back to talk with us. The nurse is suppose to notify her as soon as you are awake. Do you remember having some test done today? The blood work and Dr. Sedgwick mentioned a sonogram but I don’t remember the procedure.”
One of the nurses came into the cubicle to add the last liter of IV fluid. “Michelle how are you feeling? Your brother will want a update on how you were treated when he gets back from his vacation. Please tell Rick, you were treated like a queen bee. Dr. Sedgwick is on her way down from the office to see you.”
“So baby, have they treated you like a queen bee?”
“I slept the whole time. I feel like a living human being. Danny can you call the nurse back? I’m hungry.”
Danny went to find the nurse. When he came back into Michelle’s cubicle, Dr Sedgwick was already showing the lab levels to Michelle. Placing the film from the sonogram on the view box, she identified the two embryos. Michelle sat up on the stretcher to get a better view of the embryos. “You have got to be kidding me. This is a joke and you are trying to make me feel silly because I’m here on the stretcher.”
“Honey, it isn’t a joke. Dr. Sedgwick told me earlier when you where knocked out from the medication. Listen to the doctor, this explains why you have been so sick anytime of the day. Instead of having morning sickness for one, it is for two.”
Michelle stared at Danny for a long time. “When did you become an authority on twins?”
Danny turned to Dr.Sedgwick and held out both arms indicating help me. Taking her turn with Michelle again, Dr. Sedgwick offered Michelle the possibility of taking some time off away from the hospital. “This is a surprise but we don’t always get what we want. It can be handled with discretion. Dr. Andersen has knowledge of you getting sick this morning. Michelle what I’m offering you is time for you to settle down into a routine with the pregnancy.”
Michelle put her hands up over her ears. “Tell me, you are not suggesting a medical leave.  This isn’t an option for me. Totally contradictory, I refuse to consider even the idea.”
“Michelle, I can’t promise you when you wake up one day next week that all the morning sickness will have disappeared. With a heart sob story, I can go to the professors. Your professors know your reputation and ranking in the class. I feel confident, they will work with you. We can look at a time frame of one week at a time until you’re ready to resume a full schedule. The decision is yours.”
Danny and Dr.Sedgwick waited for Michelle to respond to the offer. “This is so unfair! One week and maybe two, by then Rick and Abbey will be home.”
Standing, Dr.Sedgwick informed Michelle the discharge orders were written. The discharge instructions were simple. If the vomiting reoccurred with vengeance, she was to come to the ER for fluids. A nurse came in with a tray of assorted clear liquids and a cup of yogurt. Michelle chose the yogurt as her first meal of the day. Praying for the yogurt to stay down, she offered Danny a spoonful of the strawberry flavored yogurt. He opened his mouth to receive the spoon. Tasting the pudding like substance, Danny took the spoon from Michelle. “This is good but I think you are the one this is intended. You finish eating and get dressed. The car is on the upper level of the parking garage. By the time, you have finished; the car will be out front. Olga and I can take care of you until your family returns.”
Michelle was dressed and ready to leave when Danny came back into the cubicle. The staff watched as she left with Danny. The striking appearance of the couple left a lasting impression. The unspoken question was who was this man in Michelle Bauer’s life. Danny timed the ride home from the hospital. Total time was twenty-two minutes. He was sure in an emergency such as labor; seven to ten minutes could be taken off the total time.
Olga was waiting patiently for the couple’s arrival. Jimmy had alerted her to the anticipated guest. Mrs. Martinez delivered the shopping bags from Nordstrom’s. The bags had been placed in the guest bedroom for Danny to inspect for his approval. The charge slips were next to the bags in case anything needed to be exchanged. Danny’s dinner was in the warming oven waiting to be served.
Michelle did look paler and weak to Olga. The two women greeted the other. Danny spoke to Olga in Spanish. Olga ran ahead to the bedroom. Taking a light blue shirt from Danny’s closet, she placed the shirt on the bed. Returning to the closet, she pulled two extra pillows down from the shelf. Fluffing the pillows, she laid the pillows up against the headboard. Speaking rapidly to Danny, she left the bedroom returning with a glass of ice and ginger ale. With Michelle in the bed, Danny left Michelle asleep in the bedroom.
Olga served the steaming pasta casserole. Tossing the salad again, Danny and Olga sat down to eat together. Whispering in an effort to be especially quiet, Olga pointed to Danny’s bedroom. “Michelle is very pale. I go to the market tomorrow and get a rooster’s head and feet. I will put the head over the door to drive away the evil spirits.”
“Olga, don’t you dare practice your voodoo. It will scare Michelle. You can tell Abuelá to keep her little magic potion bag home also. Your spiritualist can sprinkle your holy water but don’t be messing with the black magic here.”
“Danny, I sprinkled your bed the day after Michelle was here the first time.”
“Now, you are going to tell me that Michelle’s pregnancy resulted from the water. I don’t think so and Father Ray will argue with you. How can I ever be so lucky to have a family with a Catholic priest and voodoo queens.”
“Danny, do not make fun of the church as we practiced the faith in Puerto Rico. The African slaves brought the voodoo from Africa. The Spanish priest forbad the practice but the slaves kept the old ways and secrets. Over a period of time, the church and voodoo meshed together. Someone in the family will keep the old ways. Your grandmother plans on teaching Pilar this summer.” Kissing the old woman on her forehead, Danny shook his head at the woman.
“Have you checked the bags from Nordstrom’s? I didn’t look inside the bags but you spent too much money.”
“Do you think Michelle will like the clothes?”
“Hard to say, she will like some. Olga, do you want to place a bet? The pink sundress, the coral blouse and Capri pant set and the turquoise bikini, she will wear. There is a light beige dress with flowers and a purple evening dress which she will be fond of and Michelle will turn heads in old San Juan.”
“Best to keep her away from the plaza.” The old woman understood his taste and she was an ally of Michelle’s. In the days ahead, Michelle would need Olga. He trusted Olga with Michelle. Danny looked at his watch. The time was later than he had expected; he was ready to join Michelle in the bed.
The sound of a crowing noise startled Michelle and Danny early the next morning. The bedroom was barely lit from the early morning sunrays when the sound of the rooster interrupted their attempts to snuggle in bed. “ Danny, is that what I think? It sounds like a rooster is in the yard.”
“Michelle, I believe Olga has let her pet rooster out for his barnyard stroll. Damn it, I specifically told her:No Roosters.”
“Danny, I want to see the rooster.” Danny followed Michelle out of the house to the area where the sound was coming from the rooster in the cage. “Why is the rooster in a cage, Danny?”
“Honey, Olga has plans for the rooster which you don’t want to know about.”
“What is she going to do?”
“Chop his head off and eat him for dinner.”
Grimacing with the thought of the pending death of the rooster, Michelle pleaded, “Please don’t let her do that to the rooster….I’ll let the rooster out of the cage.” Leaning down to release the latch, Michelle opened the door to watch the rooster fly from the cage. Prancing around the green grass, the rooster started a new series of crowing announcing to the world his freedom.
Warning Michelle that she was dead meat in Olga’s eyes, Danny warned she had better be able to explain the loose rooster. Within minutes, Olga was out the door screaming in Spanish at Danny and Michelle.
 The rooster fiasco started the morning in a funny light moment. Michelle chased after Olga who was chasing the scared rooster. The situation became funnier as the three attempted to communicate with each other. Each had separate agendas. Michelle pleaded with Olga to spare the rooster’s life. Olga dragged the cage all over the yard after the rooster. Danny translated the conversation between the two determined women. The rooster finally flew up into a tree to escape the chase. As the two women watched the rooster’s perch, Danny announced to both women this is over.
“Michelle the rooster is your pet and your responsibility. Your friend up in the tree want stay; he prefers the company of hens. Olga, I warned you last night.”
The sight of the three in the yard so early set the tone for the rest of the day. They laughed with each other. Olga told Jimmy when he came to bring Danny’s briefcase. She went into great detail about Danny dressed in his boxers and Michelle in Danny’s shirt following her chasing the rooster. Pointing up to the limb in the tree, the rooster had refused to leave his perch. Jimmy speaking to the rooster in Spanish; warned the rooster not to come down because the old woman still has plans for you.
Danny and Jimmy met briefly for the daily update on business. The computer was up and running. Danny called Michelle to come into the family room. “Honey, look what Jimmy has set up for you. Jimmy can show you the program. This machine will allow you to communicate to all your professors. You won’t miss a class. Sit next to Jimmy, he will show you the connections that have been book marked.” Michelle sat in the swivel chair. Danny massaged her shoulders while Jimmy opened the program created for Michelle. Jimmy went over the system. The system had a camera connection, which had a sensor that followed the professor around in the room. The speakers allowed Michelle to talk to the professor and the other students. Michelle reached up to take one of Danny’s hands in hers. “I can’t believe you did all of this for me.”
Snuggling next to the side of her neck, Danny kissed her neck. “This is to help take all your concerns away from missing classes.”
“Danny, you are so good to me. I’m definitely liking all this attention.”
“Michelle are you ready to join your fellow students in the lecture hall?”
 “ Miss Bauer has joined us on a closed circuit system.”
Danny and Jimmy left Michelle with her new toy. Michelle followed her normal routine at the medical school through the computer. Danny watched from a distance and congratulated Jimmy for a job well done. The execution of the plan was coming full circle.
The rest of the day, Danny and Michelle were occupied by their own work. Olga had left a cold pasta salad for their dinner. The garlic bread sticks were in the warming oven waiting for the couple when they were ready to eat. Michelle stopped after 7 pm. Her final task was sending Aussie and Caitlin e-mails describing the past days activities. She hoped to be back at school in a week. Danny was especially nice to her. She still had waves of being nauseated.
Michelle set the table on the porch for dinner. Danny carried the plates of pasta to the porch. They sat down to eat when the rooster started his crowing. Laughing at the noise, they watched the rooster fly down to the ground to the scattered corn. He had waited until Olga was away to leave his perch.
Michelle asked, “Danny, can we get the rooster a hen?”
“You want me to get the rooster a hen? Next you will want me to build a chicken house. I have a better idea. I have an idea for a date tonight.” 

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