Today’s post is a continuation of the Day 2 story. I didn’t know there was more to it until I kept writing. Then I discovered that there was more to it.
Before reading today’s post, read the first part by clicking here.
. – . – .
Emilie and the Stranger – Part 2
“How’s Miss Emilie?”
“Cooperative until we tried to take her cane. I’ve never seen an old woman put up such a fight, Doc. I’ll throw that cane in the trash as soon as she falls asleep.”
“Leave a walker by her bedside. What did she say about the dead man in her house?”
“That she found him sitting alone in her kitchen, as she put it, ‘dead and drinking tea.’. It’s crazy talk.”
“Elderly people tend to exaggerate.”
“No man in his right mind would be break into a stranger’s house to enjoy a cup of hot tea in the dark, unless he’s as crazy as she is. She probably gave him a heart attack, fumbling around in the dark, bouncing off walls and furniture. If that part is even true.”
“Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they’re crazy. Does she have no idea who the man was?”
“Not a clue. You know why? Because she’s crazy. Know what I think, Doc?
“I think the two were having a fling, and things got out of hand. That’s why the lights were off. They both are close enough to dementia to keep things fresh, if you know what I mean.”
“You read too much. Or something. Give Emilie another sedative. I’ll check on her tomorrow morning.”
. . .
Everything was uncomfortable to Emilie. Her wooden bed frame at home was always warm to the touch. Here, she tried to avoid the cold touch of the metal bars the sides of the hospital bed.
The sheets were stiff and rough. They were so tightly tucked at the feet and along the sides that Emilie felt prepped for death. Worst of all, there was a notable absence of weight on her covers. The hospital didn’t allow cats.
Emilie lost her fight against drug-induced sleep, but not before fantasizing about the pretty patterns the untouched cafeteria food made as she imagined throwing the tray across the room.
. . .
Emilie woke herself talking. “Is that you,” she heard herself ask.
She opened her eyes to find that there was no difference between eyes opened or closed. Her room was that dark. She was convinced that the odor was only in her dream. Emilie took a deep breath through her nose, just to be sure she was really awake.
“It’s him! It’s you! You’re back!”
Instinctively, Emilie reached for the curve of her cane she kept propped against her nightstand at home. Instead, her reach found the plastic handle of a walker next to a metal bed rail.
“That’s right. The hospital,” she said. She fought to clear her thoughts and to keep her eyes open with nothing on which to focus. Again she smelled the air. She strained her eyes to define the outline of a figure, but she couldn’t separate shape from shadow.
“Is it really you? Are you that same tea-drinking, nice-smelling man I found in my house?”
She smelled again. “I know you’re in this room with me. It’s the same smell I woke up to that night I discovered you.
“The least you can do is answer me like the gentleman I believed you to be.”
“So help me, if I had my cane right now, I’d bust your shins until you spoke to me, dead or not.”
Emilie thought she heard a chuckle coming from a few feet to her left.
“Yes, Emilie. It’s me.”
“Prove it.” She extended her hand toward the sound in the dark room. Emilie felt a strong grip then a tug. She sat upright. Her heart raced.
“Get me out of here,” Emilie said.
“It’s a date,” the smell said.
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