Truth or consequences

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.

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26 Responses to Truth or consequences

  1. .endtransmission. says:

    So Drew went and dragged her drunk butt back home, AND called her Mother. This is gonna be a great interaction on the next page… Ripped from the scenes of “Intervention”. At least that’s my prediction.

    It’s amazing how far she’s sunk. So much to live for, yet she tries to kill herself a little more every day. Sad. Truly sad.

    • Linda says:

      Miranda still sees herself as the one in charge. Filthy and tired, but still in control. (And you know they didn’t have interventions in those days!)

      She’s about to become unemployed with bills and a mortgage. Even a kiss from Drew won’t make it all better.

  2. Linda, I hope this is as close to rock bottom as Miranda has to get. The final line of this post is haunting and so revealing of the way Miranda feels about herself. I am reminded of the song “Beautiful” by MercyMe. It’s the kind of song I can hear Drew singing to her. I hope this imbedded video works. Peace, Linda


    • Linda says:

      Sobbing all over my favorite yellow apron (it’s washable) and wiping snot off my face in the absence of a Kleenex. Do you know how I can save this and play it again with a clearer head? You are precious. Thank you.

      • Linda, I hope they were good tears! I didn’t mean to make you cry, though I know sometimes a good cry is a needed. You could bookmark the YouTube video in your browser to make it easy to find. I just pop in the CD or listen to it on my iPod, but then I’m a bit obsessed with my music. I absolutely love this song! I’m glad you liked it too. :) Peace, Linda

  3. Jan says:

    I know she doesn’t want to talk about it, but I hope she is going to. She needs some kind of intervention, even if the term had not been in vogue at that time. Coming from a family with a history of drug and alcohol problems, I feel her pain, but also her mother’s and Drew’s.

  4. Larry Who says:

    Though all of us would like to live perfect Partridge family lives, where problems are only as big as what blouse to wear or hair style to choose, most of us don’t have lives like that. But instead, like Miranda, we stumble through life and make oodles of mistakes…although I have to admit, Miranda is trying to win a Boy Scout’s badge for her mistakes.

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

    • Theresa says:

      “Though all of us would like to live perfect Partridge family lives, where problems are only as big as what blouse to wear or hair style to choose, most of us don’t have lives like that.”

      I wouldn’t have used the word “most”. I would have said “all”.

      • Linda says:

        Everybody’s got an issue, I agree. It’s how you deal with it that matters. Avoid Miranda’s way whenever possible! ; )

    • Linda says:

      Boy Scout badge… I bet she would like that.

  5. Theresa says:

    I can’t even imagine how frightening it would be to wake up in those circumstances. Then to think that she would lose her job and have burden added to burden…that is heartbreaking. :(

    But there is comfort in these words:

    1 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:1-5

    • Linda says:

      Thank you for the verse, Theresa. It’s just what Miranda needs now instead of another drink. Hope she’s listening…

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh, I loved Theresa’s comment and the Psalm she shared. :) I’m so glad Drew drove to Detroit to find Miranda. And that her mom was there too. Linda . . .once I overdosed on Valium, left a note, didn’t think I would be seeing anyone again. My brother found me, couldn’t get me to respond on his own, called the ambulance and I came to with someone unfamiliar over me, at the hospital. As it slowly sunk it, my thoughts were not good, like Miranda wondering how such a pretty girl could be so sick and so ugly. I wanted to climb into a hole, thinking here was just another thing that I didn’t do right, because I was still alive. Your story is going to help us all. love you and God bless you!

    • Linda says:


      Wow. I had no idea. Your story is so tragic and sad. I can really identify. It makes me want to ask you a zillion questions, mostly about how you got to the place you are now, and whether your gift of writing and poetry was part of how you turned the corner.

      Please don’t ever go back. Hugs, and thanks for sharing that.

      • Debbie says:

        You are the bestest, Linda! Jesus came to the rescue, but not before I overdosed a second time. I wrote poetry back before I knew Him, and on one of those suicide attempt times, I trashed everything, not wanting anyone to find and read it. After I came to Him and gave Him my heart, He changed what I wrote about. :) That’s our Jesus!
        love and hugs for you!
        Oh, I almost forgot! Wanted to tell you that my cousin is dogsitting her sister’s dogs and 2 of them are little girl Yorkies! Aubrey got to take them for a walk. Oh so cute! So Molly and Sammie say HI to Niles!

        • Linda says:

          Interesting that your writing has a “before” and “after” quality. My “before” writing is locked in a vault at Huntington, and probably should be set on fire/deleted right away. Like a sweater that is too small and scratchy, is it no longer a good fit.

          So happy that Aubrey had fun with her precious little playmates. Now you know what I’m dealing with times two. Hugs… thanks for sharing.

  7. Jim Travis says:

    Hi Linda,
    Believe it or not, I write this from your winter home, Florida, we are on Vaca. “How could a pretty girl in a black leather dress be so sick and so ugly”? Hmm, deep thinking here, and no sugar coating. What does pretty or a black leather dress have to do with it? Sick and ugly is something that we all deal with daily, all of us, it doesn’t matter if you are pretty or have a nice leather dress, it is just as painful to those who don’t. What I am thankful for is that the Lamb knows far more about Miranda than miranda does. He knows that she is not done in life, that she has work yet to do in the kingdom, and so His hedge of protection surrounds her. It doesn”t mean she is going to have a nice puke free life, but rather that God has a plan for her! God Bless

    • Linda says:

      Hi Jim… Everything is better puke free, that much we agree on.

      The black leather dress is actually there to hide her, and cover what she’s done. More like a symbol… painful nonetheless.

      • Jim Travis says:

        Got in late last night, went to church this morning trashed (tired/jet lagged), but oh so glad I did. The praise team led us in “Jesus paid it all” and I was just stunned by the lyrics this morning, even though I have sung it a hundred times. The reason is because it hit me that “He” paid it all, “all”. I thought about how many of us (Christians) walk around with guilt for things that we have already been forgiven for. How many of us do our best to be “deserving” of salvation, to walk as perfectly as we can, and then look down our noses at others who are stumbling when we should really be embracing them. The truth is we can never be good enough, we can never walk worthy, we can never be righteous enough to be worthy of the kingdom. Besides, when we took Jesus as our Savior, our debt was “PAID”. He paid it all! Everything!
        Miranda and her past doesn’t shock me, we all have a past, none of us are worthy (ever) without His blood, if she has taken Him as her Savior, she has been washed “white as snow”. God Bless-Jim

  8. ann says:

    Captivating as usual, Linda

    “Wonderful news for those who wanted her alive, a disappointment for those who would prefer otherwise. ”
    This one sentence had my thoughts in a tizzy. We had a close call two years ago… I can’t get over the shock that rocked my body when that call came in. Can’t recall praying so much in my whole life. The pressure of having to sit and wait until the doctors ‘prognosed’ and diagnosed and poked, prodded and pumped was hard for those of us waiting for ‘good news’…. It has been a while but I still remember to thank God for sustaining life. The doctors say it could have gone either way . So thankful that it didn’t.

    In a way, I can understand how Miranda’s mom could have felt. In that moment, we all became Mom and Dad, at the same time we felt most vulnerable… wanting to guard and protect our darlings while yearning for welcoming arms to love away the pain can be a frightfully confusing and lonely place.

    Your post reminds me of the importance of valuing relationships. Wish I could step across time and squeeze more love into our ‘miracle’, but for now, I am grateful I can send it long distance.

    God bless you muchly,

    • Linda says:

      I’m grateful you can send it long distance, too. What an awful time that must have been… I’m so sorry.

      I imagined that most people in the blog world (except for Miranda, of course) live a normal, happy life without such serious complications. I’m so happy your “miracle” made it. Hugs… : )

  9. Ferd says:

    Ha, your last comment reminds me of one of the phrases on my list of “Possible Country Songs:”
    She’s a Pretty Girl But Her Attitude Makes Her Ugly

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