As soon as we left the hospital and got home, I got on Artemis' laptop. I searched around on the Internet for several hours. Artemis had gone to bed and I wanted to give him some time alone. I found what I was looking for; it was here in the city and dialed the number.
"Johnny's Comics, this is Johnny speakin'. How can I help ya?"
"Hi Johnny," I said, clearing my throat.
"You okay, miss?"
I cleared my throat again. "Yeah, yeah I am. My name is Deidre Kilgore and I have a favor I was wondering if you could help me with."
"I'll do my best, Mrs. Kilgore."
Artemis and I made spaghetti together that night. I still had the recipe from Evelyn on my phone for her garlic butter so we made some garlic bread to go along with it. We decided to have a movie marathon but neither of us ate much.
"Tomorrow morning at 9:30, we need to go to this comic book store on Martin Luther King Blvd," I whispered while we were in bed, trying to sleep.
"I ordered something special for Ethan."
He turned and wrapped his arms around me. "I'm sorry," he said suddenly and I frowned.
"I know this isn't exactly how a honeymoon is supposed to be spent...."
I looked up and kissed him.
"Ethan is important to both of us," I reminded him.
"I'm scared, Deidre," he whispered.
I caressed his cheek. "About Ethan's surgery?" He nodded, shutting his eyes tightly. "I'm a little scared, too. Every surgery has its risks but Patty said it has a 95% success rate."
"I did some research on the surgery," he said.
"Will it help if you tell me about it?" He nodded again so I got comfortable. "Go ahead.
He cleared his throat. "They give him some anesthesia like normal procedures. Then, once he's under, they find the place where the cancer is. I think Patty said it was in his head. A tumor. Anyway, they'll have to open his skull." I shuddered. "Then they burn the tumor away with the laser. They keep doing it until the tumor is gone. It's also a little... dangerous. If they move the laser or burn it for too long, it could cause permanent brain damage and sometimes...."
"How long does it take?" I whispered.
"Five hours," he answered, "from start to finish."
"That's not very long," I muttered and he nodded. "Will they know right away if the cancer is gone forever?"
"No," he said sadly. "He'll have to be careful for the rest of his life. Since it wasn't caused by an outside source like cigarettes then there's the risk it'll come back."
"Which means he'll have to keep having the surgery?"
"Hopefully not," he said. "Once the original tumor is destroyed, they predict it won't come back full force. Chemo should take care of it."
I sighed. "There's no way I'm going to sleep."
"Neither will I."
We both sighed in unison and he put his forehead on mine. He started to shake.
"Deidre, what are your thoughts on children?"
I frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Do you... do you like them?"
"I suppose," I said. "I've never really been around them often. Why are you asking?"
He opened his eyes. "We didn't use protection, Deidre."
I was confused for a minute then I gasped quietly.
"Oh," I whispered and we both looked at my stomach. "Oh. I didn't- Oh."
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"I don't know," I said honestly. "I just- Um. I'm going to go clean something," I murmured and got out of bed.
Patty called us at 9.
"He-He just went back," she whispered. She cleared her throat. "They're going to give me hourly updates."
"When will he be able to accept guests?" I asked.
"Not until the day after tomorrow."
"We have something for him," I said. "Is it okay if we can come by and drop it off then?"
"Definitely," she said then began to sob. "I'm so scared, Deidre!"
"Do you want me to come down there and sit with you?" I offered.
"It's your honeymoon," she mumbled.
Artemis took the phone. "Listen to me Patty. Ethan means a lot to us. I'll drop Deidre off. I'll come by later this afternoon, once he's out."
He handed me the phone back and started to put his boots on.
"I'll bring the gift with me so you can see it," I said. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Okay," she whimpered.
I told Artemis how to get to the comic book store. He followed me in curiously as I went to the front desk. A man stood behind it, reading a Batman comic issue. He saw us and beamed.
"Deidre Kilgore?" he asked and I nodded. "I have it ready."
"Thank you for doing it so last minute," I said as he went to the back.
He came back out and passed the box to me with a sad smile.
"This is great what you're doing."
Artemis paid for it then we went back to the hospital.
"What is it?" he asked.
I swallowed my tears when we got to the hospital. "A stuffed Hedwig and a letter from Dumbledore."
Artemis stared at me then pulled me in for a passionate kiss. He ran his hands through my hair and I kissed him back.
"I love you so much," he breathed.
"I love you, too. Where are you going to go?"
"I'm going to let our mothers know," he said. "I'm sure they're going to want to know, too."
I nodded and kissed him again. "I'll let you know how he is."
"Deidre," he said before I could get out. "If I upset you last night, I'm sorry. It's just...."
"Don't worry," I said with a smile. "Let's just focus on this for now, okay?"
He grinned. "Okay."
I went to the fifth floor where his surgery would be held. Patty was sitting in a special waiting room, bent over with her arms crossed over her stomach. Beside her were several sick bags.
"Hey," I whispered and she sobbed, getting to her feet and hugging me.
"Thank you!" she sobbed. "Thank you so much! I can't do this alone!"
"You're not alone," I promised.
"He wouldn't even come!" she cried and I knew she was talking about her ex-husband. "I-I called him but he said it was my problem now!"
I shook my head. "That man is awful. Artemis is letting Evelyn and my mom know. They'll be coming over shortly."
She sniffled and saw the box in my hands. "What's that?" she asked. I opened it carefully and she started sobbing again. "Oh, it's perfect! He'll love it! If-If he-"
"No," I said firmly, tears jumping to my eyes. "Don't even think that."
We sat down on the couch and I let her get some sleep until a nurse came in. Patty sat up, her eyes full of fear, and shaking.
"He's doing fine," she assured her. "He's under the anesthesia and they've begun getting through to get to the tumor." She looked at me. "Are you Deidre Kilgore?" I nodded nervously. Would she make me leave? "Thank you for coming here. Patty said your husband and your moms will be coming, too?" I nodded again. "We'll alert the staff. Would you guys like some blankets?"
"Definitely for Patty," I said as she started to rock back and forth.
The nurse nodded and left. When she brought back the blanket, Patty put her head in my lap and I wrapped the blanket around her tightly.