Chapter 661 Old Mrs Fuller Collapsed
Sonia took the folded blanket and spread it open, then draped it over Toby’s resting form, but that wasn’t the end of it; she asked Tom to turn up the thermostat, and it wasn’t until after he had done so that she visibly relaxed.
Tom, on the other hand, was relieved and somewhat grateful to see her taking such tender care of Toby. This display was enough to prove that whatever Toby had done and sacrificed for Sonia was worth it, for she had repaid in kind.
Presently, Sonia was clueless as to Tom’s passing thoughts as she sat down next to Toby. Her body was turned to the side as she gazed down at his sleeping profile.
The effects of Toby’s overt wine drinking were evident in his flushed face, but there were gray shadows beneath his eyes that told her he had not slept a wink last night and had passed out from the alcohol alone.
She supposed she was grateful that he only downed red wine last night. If he had been on much harder stuff, then he would have ended up in the hospital at best and dead at worst.
The possibility of the latter made Sonia shudder.
Just then, her phone rang. She regained her composure and fished the phone out of her purse, only to see that it was a call from Rose. She’s probably desperate to know if Toby is okay, she thought, then answered the call without missing a beat. “Grandma.”
“Sonia,” Rose’s voice was full of worry as she asked, “did you manage to see Toby?”
Nodding, Sonia said grimly, “I did.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful news. How is he doing right now? Did he do anything impulsive?” Rose pressed anxiously, tightening her clutch on her cane.
Sonia looked down at Toby momentarily before explaining, “He got really drunk, but other than that, it doesn’t look like he’ll do anything impulsive just yet.”
“But he didn’t do anything at all aside from drinking?” Rose questioned, sounding incredulous. Toby had gone through quite the rough alcoholic phase back in the day, and if the liquor wasn’t enough to knock him out, he would start cutting himself. To hear that he had not resorted to self-harming this time and only stopped at getting drunk was surprising, and Rose couldn’t hide her disbelief.
“That’s right,” Sonia said with a nod. “Mr. Brown said that Toby likely passed out cold before he could hurt himself.”
“No, that’s impossible!” Rose stood up abruptly.
Sonia was a little taken aback by the ferocity of the old woman’s denial. “Grandma, what is it?”
All the color drained from Rose’s face as she demanded, “Sonia, tell me what he drank.”
“Red wine,” Sonia answered matter-of-factly, without hesitation.
To the side, Tom faltered as he clenched his fists nervously. Oh, c**p, Old Mrs. Fuller isn’t like Miss Reed; there’s no way she wouldn’t know that it would take more than red wine to knock President Fuller out. But now that he has passed out cold from drinking red wine, Old Mrs. Fuller will definitely grow suspicious of this.
Sure enough, Rose clutched her phone even tighter when she heard Sonia’s reply. “No, that can’t be. Toby is a heavyweight, and it’s impossible that red wine could knock him out. Sonia, is Tom with you right now?”
Sonia gave Tom a cursory glance. “Yes.”
Rose’s expression grew stormy as she bit out, “Hand him the phone. I need to speak with him right now.”
“Alright, just a moment.” Sonia pulled the phone away from her ear and passed it to Tom, saying, “Mr. Brown, Grandma would like to speak with you.”
Knowing there was no escape from what was destined to come, Tom took a deep breath to calm his nerves. With a forced smile, he took the phone and greeted, “Old Mrs. Fuller.” He walked out of the study to continue the rest of the phone conversation.
Meanwhile, Sonia was a little baffled by his leaving, not understanding why he had to take the call outside. However, she did not dwell on this and instead raked her fingers through Toby’s hair to comb it into submission. Then, she got onto her feet and went into the bathroom to fetch a basin of water so that she could give Toby’s face a good wiping.
Out on the balcony, Tom surreptitiously closed the balcony doors behind him. Having gone out of Sonia’s earshot, he loosened up enough to answer Rose’s question forthrightly, saying, “Old Mrs. Fuller, President Fuller has, indeed, passed out from drinking red wine alone.”
“Stop spewing lies, Tom,” Rose warned darkly on the other line, her face twisting even more. “Toby can’t possibly get drunk on red wine alone, so why don’t you tell me the truth? Does he have a secret stash of hard liquor?”
“No,” Tom said solemnly, shaking his head. “Old Mrs. Fuller, I promise you he does not have a secret stash anywhere.”
“Then why don’t you explain to me how he managed to get drunk?” Rose demanded sharply.
“Well…” Looking down at the top of his shoes, Tom wasn’t quite sure how he was supposed to answer. He didn’t know if he should be the one to break the news on Toby’s current condition, and if he did break such news, he didn’t know how Rose was going to take it.
Suddenly caught between a rock and a hard place, Tom had no idea what he should do.
“Well, what? Out with it!” Rose demanded impatiently, not at all aware of his dilemma.
A sigh of resignation escaped Tom, and at last, he decided to tell the truth about Toby’s condition. If I don’t tell her now, she’ll still find out about it eventually. “Old Mrs. Fuller, I’m going to be frank with you, but you have to be mentally prepared for the truth,” he said calmly and slowly.
Rose frowned, a grave look passing over her wizened face. “Mentally prepared?”
“What in the world has happened? Why would I need to be mentally prepared?” she urged. She was confused, but she was sharp-witted enough to sense that something was off. In a trembling voice, she asked, “Tom, come right out with the truth and tell me if something has happened to Toby.”
“Yes,” Tom said again with a firm nod. “President Fuller’s heart is… failing. I think it’s precisely because of this that red wine was sufficient to knock him out.”
There was no response on the other line, only the sound of shattering glass. Upon hearing this alarming noise, Tom blanched and quickly shouted, “Old Mrs. Fuller? Old Mrs. Fuller!”
He started to panic. What if Old Mrs. Fuller fainted because she couldn’t take the news? If that’s the case, then I’d be in a world of trouble. She’s old enough as it is, and if she collapses this time only to never wake again, I…
Not daring to continue his chain of thought, he gripped his phone tightly and shouted into it, “Old Mrs. Fuller!”
Just then, he heard speaking voices, but it wasn’t from Rose. Rather, it was Mary.
On the other side, Mary had propped Rose in an upright position on the couch, and while holding her limp frame in her arms, she cried frantically, “Old Mrs. Fuller, wake up! Please wake up!” Tears of panic sprang to her eyes, but there was nary a response from Rose.
Having heard Mary’s disembodied cries over the phone, Tom could guess just how badly Rose was doing right now. She really has collapsed. Now things are getting worse!
Stiffly, he pulled the phone away from his ear and sullenly called for an ambulance to be dispatched to where Rose was. Then, he returned to the study and handed the phone back to Sonia, anxiously saying, “Miss Reed, I’ll leave President Fuller in your care for now. I’m afraid I must be getting back to the old manor.”
Sonia saw the look on his face, and upon hearing that he would be leaving for the old manor, she felt a lump form in her throat. “Did something happen to Grandma?”
“I believe she has fainted.”
“What?” Sonia’s voice rose in pitch as she demanded, “She fainted? H-How did that happen? She was fine just moments ago!”
“It’s all my fault. I told her something I shouldn’t have,” he confessed, patting his cheek like he was berating himself. “I would never have said anything if I’d known this would happen.” He shouldn’t have thought that he could break the news of Toby’s deteriorating condition to Rose, even if it were on the assumption that she would find out about it eventually. He had given himself such presumptuous and false reassurance, and now he was truly and deeply regretting it.
Rose’s condition aside, Tom would have a hard time explaining to Toby once he sobered up.
He was pulled out of his thoughts when Sonia asked with a frown, “What did you tell her?”
Tom shook his head tiredly. “Please don’t ask me that, Miss Reed. I can’t say any more about the matter. I’ve already caused Old Mrs. Fuller to faint out of shock, and I can’t imagine what would happen if you… Forget it. Look, I can’t dawdle here any longer; I have to go back and check on Old Mrs. Fuller. I’ll leave everything here to you.”
As worried as Sonia was about Rose, she knew that she couldn’t leave Toby here unattended. With a grave nod, she said, “Very well. I’ll take care of Toby, don’t worry. Please go and check on Grandma, and call me if anything else happens.”
“Alright.” With that, Tom turned to brisk-walk out of the study and left the apartment.
Left alone with Toby, Sonia stared at him and clasped his hand tightly, murmuring, “Did anything happen to you that I should know about? Why did Grandma faint when she heard about it?”
Alas, her question went unanswered, for Toby never did stir from his wine-induced slumber. Little did she know that he was presently trapped in a seemingly endless nightmare, only it would be more accurate to call it a recollection of his traumatic past.