King Richard comes rushing into my room. “Oh Karon! We have a serious problem!”
With shirt off, white cotton briefs poking out the tops of his blue jeans, and the end of a catheter dangling just below his collarbone, he frantically heads toward where I’m sitting. “Something terrible has happened,” he continues, panic spreading across his face. I can hear Billie Sue and Helen talking excitedly in the background.
“You’ve got to help us,” he implores.
“Okay.” I will stay calm and assess the situation, I tell myself. I know I can remember how to get to the nearest hospital. “Where are you hurt?”
“I’m not hurt. It’s much worse than that.”
I look up at him, confused. Is it Helen or Billie, I wonder?
“We can’t find the video from the hospital that shows how to clean the catheter.”
“That’s it?!” I ask incredulously. “That’s all that’s wrong?”
“Oh, it’s terrible! We returned the movie to the video store, but it’s still here, and there’s just the box of the hospital tape. How will we clean the catheter?! That tape cost $15!” The words flew from him in a frenzy.
“So, let me get this straight. The cancer tape accidentally got returned inside the movie box and the movie tape is still here?”
“Yes. It’s terrible. What are we going to do?”
Now, THIS, I could definitely handle.
In 10 minutes I was back from the video store with the movie returned and the treasured tape in hand. We watched the tape, cleaned the catheter and all went off to bed relieved. Until King Richard called me.
“Karon, did they charge us a late fee?”