Page 70… in a fiction series
The man standing over her had a serious expression. The couch she was resting on felt familiar. Miranda recognized the squeeze of a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope pressed to her chest. She saw an IV bag hanging over her, but felt nothing.
“Miranda, can you tell me what day it is? Who is the president, Miranda, do you know? What year is this? Miranda , wake up! You have to stay awake now…”
She opened her eyes again. The light in the living room was blinding. It was giving her a headache. She squinted and saw her dining room, red as ever. She was at home? Then, another surge in her gut, face wet with sweat, and grime, and whatever else her sordid adventure had left behind. More dry heaves. She wondered if she was dying. From the look of her dress, she had vomited all the way back home.
Miranda saw her mom sitting beside her, holding her hand and looking distraught. Three paramedics in matching shirts hovered, as they checked vital signs and called out the numbers. And Drew, exhausted from the ordeal, was very concerned. There were still certain parts of her life she needed to keep secret, even from him. Would the oxygen mask hide her tears? She wondered. Where did he find her? If he picked her up at Castle Rouge she could never face him again.
Worse yet, Miranda wondered how her mom found out she was gone, how much she knew, and who ratted her out. She had always done an impeccable job concealing her alcoholism from her family. Not lying, exactly– just protecting.
When her parents visited her on the boat before winter came, they looked worried, gave her some money. Her dad said she could come home, back to the bedroom with the purple furry bedspread and Partridge Family posters on the closet doors. She reassured them, said she was fine. Now she would have some explaining to do. Even so, she was comforted and grateful to see her mom there. Miranda’s lips were dry. She tried to speak, pulled off the oxygen mask.
“How long was I gone?”
“We can talk about that later,” said Drew in a calming voice. “The most important thing now is to make sure you get plenty of rest, give your body a chance to recover.” Miranda didn’t want to talk about it later. In fact, she decided she didn’t want to talk about it at all. “I’ll stay with you till you’re better.”
“She’s dehydrated from all the alcohol and vomiting, ” said the paramedic in charge. “She’ll be fine as long as you keep an eye one her, get her to drink plenty of fluids. Any change, call us right away .”
“Alcohol poisoning can be pretty bad, sometimes even fatal,” said the one with the stethoscope. Evidently, Miranda collapsed when she stumbled out of Drew’s truck and he walked her toward the front door. He acted quickly, called EMS. She was secretly glad he drove to Detroit to find her.
The paramedic in charge said her heart rate was back to normal, her temperature was fine, and the color had returned to her face. Wonderful news for those who wanted her alive, a disappointment for those who would prefer otherwise. Even though she was blanketed by a heavy drunken fog, she knew the carnage would be vast. And as for Tiller, she couldn’t even bear to think about the damage she’d done.
How could a pretty girl in a black leather dress be so sick and so ugly?
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.