Amy said nothing, just stood there smiling at Rufus. A nurse came along and fussed over Rufus.
“Rufus, look at me, don’t move too much. You’ve got three broken ribs and a fractured pelvis, if you move suddenly, you could be really hurt,” the nurse told him.
Rufus burbled, trying to get the words, but still too out of it to make any sense. ‘Why is Amy here?’ he thought.
“A doctor will be by soon.” The nurse smiled sweetly.
Rufus smiled back and turned to his mum and Cynthia, who were still sitting by the bedside. He smiled faintly and croaked for water. Cynthia held the glass of water and offered him the straw. She looked beside her and Amy was there, smiling at Rufus, a tear running down her cheek. Rufus beckoned Cynthia close.
“What’s Amy doing here?” he whispered.
Gloria excused herself, saying she was going to the toilet.
“Good that gives us space to talk,” Rufus said, once his mother had disappeared.
“Well, she invited herself. I went to the flat to get your clothes and stuff. I didn’t know how long you’d be here, so I told Amy and then she was here. She told me she was worried.”
“I’ll say, wait... She talked to you?” Rufus said, gasping at the pain of his surprise.
‘What in blazes?’ he thought.
“Yes and she told me that you told her about me.” Cynthia gently poked Rufus in the cheek.
“Oh, did you now?” Rufus turned to Amy and smiled.
Amy smiled back, saying nothing.
“Yer okay,” Rufus said with a smile, holding his arms out.
Cynthia gave him a light hug and Amy hugged Cynthia.
“Wow,” shivered Cynthia, “that was weird, never been hugged by a ghost!”
Amy recoiled a bit and turned as if to run.
“Wait, don’t go, Amy. I enjoyed it, it was just a new experience,” Cynthia whispered.
Amy just stood there, unsure, but decided to stay. Dr Moon walked through the door with Gloria, chatting and smiling.
“Ah, Rufus awakes...” He smiled.
“And you are?” Rufus asked.
“Sorry, how rude, I’m Dr Moon. I’m your attending physician.” Dr Moon extended his hand to shake Rufus’s. “How are you?”
“Not bad, got broken ribs and a fractured pelvis, or so I’m told,” Rufus said, shaking the doctor’s hand.
“Well, you seem in good humour, anyway,” the doctor said with a smile.
“Can’t complain, got these wicked cool drugs and my family around me. What more could a man ask for?”
“How about a speedy recovery?” the doctor asked, going along with the banter.
“That would be a plus!” Rufus grinned.
“Well, everything going accordingly, you should be out of here in the next two to three weeks. You’re otherwise fit and healthy, so it shouldn’t be too long. You’ll have to do physiotherapy, but don’t strain yourself. Gentle exercise is the key, along with bed rest. I’ll talk to the physiotherapist and arrange a chat, would that be okay?”
“That’ll be fine, thanks, dude!” Rufus smiled and giggled a bit, holding his chest from the pain.
“Rufus, be careful!” Cynthia fussed.
“Actually, laughing and yawning is a good exercise. Your body will only do as much as it can and it helps the muscles heal and the bones knit back together. Just don’t overdo it,” the doctor warned.
“Yes Sir!” Rufus saluted.
“Well, I’ll get the physiotherapist and you can have a chat, see you later Rufus.”
“Later,” Rufus waved.
‘Nice doctor,’ Rufus thought.
He propped himself up in bed a bit and started blethering to Cynthia and his mother.
“Mum, how’s the restaurant?” he asked.
“Everything’s fine, no need to worry,” Gloria told him.
“Good, I wanted to go over the new menu, could you bring Vlad in for a chat? Also, Cynthia, can you bring in that laptop, the one needing the operating system? Might as well get some work done while I’m in here.”
“Sure Rufus, I’ll bring it tomorrow, if that’s okay.” Cynthia smiled, amazed at how focused he still was.
“Actually, could someone do me a favour?” Rufus asked.
“Yes?” Cynthia offered.
“Get me a cuppa tea?”
“Okay, I can do that. Hey, you want me to bring some vanilla chai as well tomorrow?” Cynthia suggested.
“Would you? I’d love that.” Rufus smiled.
‘I love that girl,’ Rufus thought.
‘He’s the one, all right,’ Cynthia thought, smiling.
Cynthia went off to make tea for everyone, smiling and dancing around because Rufus was going to be okay.
‘Now or never, isn’t it?’ Rufus thought.
“Mum, I need to talk to you about Cynthia.” A serious look came over Rufus.
“What is it?” Gloria looked worried.
“I’ve not known her very long, but I love her very much. Do you think I should ask her to move in with me?”
“I think if that’s going to make you happy, you should do it. I know it would make her happy. She’s hardly left and didn’t stop worrying the whole time you were knocked out. She’s definitely keen.” Gloria said, adding in her mind, ‘And you need someone like that.’
“Maybe I’ll ask her tomorrow.”
“I think you should.”
Cynthia came back with the tea and a cake. Rufus and Cynthia looked and smiled at each other... They knew exactly what was coming.
“Tea and cake...” Cynthia said.
“... Or death?” Rufus completed.
Rufus, Cynthia, Amy and Gloria all laughed, Amy in her taciturn, but noticeable way to the initiated. Rufus thought of the prospect of asking Cynthia to move in. It scared and excited him at the same time.
‘Will she say yes?’ he thought to himself, still giggling with his girls.