Page 64… in a fiction series

Author’s note: A bipolar manic episode is bad. A bipolar mixed state is worse. The loss of Harry Stowe, Miranda’s one true love, combined with an already unstable mood, sets the stage for a devastating condition that combines the worst symptoms of both mania and depression occurring simultaneously. Impulsiveness, poor judgement, and suicidal ideation, characterize a mixed state. Morbid thoughts, pressured speech, and substance abuse also can occur. Miranda is sick, so please don’t judge her for what happens next.

Emerson James Tiller, while always the consummate professional, hurt deeply for Miranda. He said she should take as much time as she needed, take on less responsibility, or maybe work closer to home.  But Miranda needed to get away…  away from her little house where she last heard Harry’s voice, Harry’s smile.  She wanted to be a safe distance from the office, where her coworkers wouldn’t see her crumble.

Tiller didn’t know she was an alcoholic, about the chaos and trouble that followed her everywhere when she was drunk. The last thing she wanted was to cost Special Services an important job, and at the same time, she didn’t want Tiller to see her real, damaged self. She thanked him for his kindness and asked for her next assignment. 

Miranda was given the relatively easy task of overseeing a security install at a law firm in downtown Detroit. It was Friday and she was too tired to make the long drive home.  Her hopes of being with Harry again were gone, stolen by a drunk driver on Mallard Point Drive. She wished that the knives of her imagination had been real, that she would be relieved of her suffering.

She was staying at the luxurious Atheneum hotel, a place she frequented with Harry when they were in town.  She liked the dramatic entrance, bordered by imposing Greek gods done in life-size stone relief. They fueled her dark mood.  She made the reservation not realizing that the memory would only sharpen her grief.

The lawyers in the firm were bright and flirtatious, and they always invited Miranda to join them for lunch.  One day, they were talking about a club they liked to frequent. A handsome young preppy type said, “Yeah, but Miranda wouldn’t like a place like that. She’s too conservative and shy.” 

The preppy laughed, the others joined in.  She was not in the mood for their teasing. Her navy blue suit was conservative, but it belied her true nature, especially now that she was under the influence of the most dangerous bipolar condition of all.

She started the evening with a double McCallum at the hotel bar, then another. The alcohol brought a warm familiar rush that begged for more. She passed through the entrance way, asked the doorman to hail a cab. She told the driver where to go.  When he questioned her, she told him firmly to take her there.

When Miranda arrived at her destination, the driver said, “Are you sure this is where you want to be, Miss? Maybe I’ll wait out here for just a minute, no charge, in case you change your mind.”  She dismissed his kindness, paid him, and waved him on.

She stepped out of the cab, tripped up the curb, stepped out of her shoe, and was caught by a man in a long velvet cloak. Normally, this would have troubled her.  That kind of contact with a stranger was out of her comfort zone.  But the scotch reassured her that he could be trusted. Miranda’s troubled mind, Harry’s fatal crash, and her declining sense of judgement would be her downfall. She heard the mania hissing, beckoning her to go in.

To be continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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14 Responses to Descent

  1. Jim says:

    While this story has had its fun twists and turns, those times are past and I am cringing now because I (can’t imagine) the pain at the time, but I see the horrible pain coming. Writing about those days and experiences has got to be extremely hard and the wounds still sore, hopefully God is leading you to write about this because there will be healing in transparancy, either way I am praying for you sister as you wade through this. God be with you always-Jim

    • Linda says:

      Thanks for your kind words and concern, Jim. Lucky for me (and for Miranda) that after a decade in AA, we’ve heard just about everything. And now I’m about to share some of it with you. ; )

  2. Larry Who says:

    “…She heard the mania hissing, beckoning her to go in…”

    Great choice of words and great set-up for the next scene. I’m hooked and also cringing, but that’s because your writing has brought me along this path. Great job!

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

  3. Jan says:

    Oh, Miranda, don’t do it! Go back before it is too late!
    It’s like watching a train wreck. Devastating, but I can’t look away. I have to know what happens next.

  4. Theresa says:

    This hurts a lot. How old is Miranda at this time?

    I am thinking about all Miranda has been through since the very start, and one thought haunts me continually. Does Miranda have a mother?……..a sister…even a brother…how about a sweet aunt? Will she ever pickup a ringing phone and hear the words “How are you?…Been thinking about you…saw the headlines where Harry was killed, and thought I would come for a nice long visit and make sure my daughter, sister, niece is okay.”….This really bugs me. I have a 24 year old son and a daughter who is almost 18………..I would hock my wedding ring just to pay for the gas if that is what it would take for me to be there for my hurting child. :(

  5. Debbie says:

    Now I’m haunted by this post and by Theresa’s comment. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Is it hard for you though? Or does it help? love and hugs!

    • Linda says:

      The story is made more colorful by my dazzling imagination and childish love of drama! Any scenes today that would be damaging to write about, are simply met with a nod, an eye roll, and gratitude for God’s grace. I ask myself, “Miranda, what were you thinking?”

      And it does get better… it really, truly does!

  6. Linda, This is so sad, even though I know eventually it all turns out okay for Miranda. But I wish I could fix her right now and spare her the pain that she is in now and is to come. Something I wish I could do for my own sister. Thank you for sharing Miranda’s story, even though it breaks my heart to read it. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      You pose an interesting question about the right way to tell this story. Should the readers receive clues along the way that Miranda is going to become a mess but turn out okay in the end (as I’ve done here)? Would you be more inclined to keep reading either way? Just wonderin’…

      Prayers for your sister. I know it isn’t easy.

  7. Ann says:

    Hi Linda

    Next page, please and thank you.


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