Marian fought against the darkness, finally succeeding with the thrust of one eyelid up, up, up, allowing light to creep into her soggy head. Where am I, she thought, I better not be in a hospital awakening from a coma, because I have no patience for foolishness today.
Taking a moment to brace herself she drew her second curtain over her eye, willing herself to be back home in her 3rd floor walk-up, after a long hard day of research. Research, yes that must be right, but what project am I…” Her thoughts slammed into a cement wall as her eyes finally focused. There was a face no fewer than 10 inches from her own.
“Whoooaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” Her rusty throat croaked as her hands flew in front of her instinctively re-asserting her required measure of personal space. The face had arms which reached out to restrain her own. As the face backed away slightly, her hands were released and her eyes concentrated on the smile still blocking her view of the outside world. Marian knew that smile, those shifty eyes, and the large nose that lay in between.
“I know you!” popped out of her mouth before she could contain the thought.
“I should hope so.” His grin expanded.
“Drake Finch. To what do I owe the pleasure. What? You’re trying to add assault and kidnapping to your resume?” She weakly shoved him aside and noticed the white sheets she was in between. No it can’t be.
“How did I get here Drake? Why am I in a bed? This better not be a hospital, or I swear I’ll hire someone to wipe that grin off your face.”
He didn’t move. Finally he answered in slow calculated manner.
“You were sitting in the lab on your stool for about 2 hours without moving a muscle. I let you be because you insist on not being disrupted, but after awhile it got creepy. So I went in and tapped your shoulder. You didn’t move at first; then you flopped off the stool. I caught you before you hit the floor, so no head trauma. But honestly Mara, I thought you were dead. I had Janice call 911…”
She interrupted, “How long have I been out…here…”
“You’ve been laying here unconscious for another 2 hours. When I told them there was no head trauma they gave you meds. to revive you gradually. They let me wait in here.”
“Can’t see why they did that. Thanks for getting me here and all, but your services are no longer needed. My parents can be called. They will see to me.”
“They are here already, waiting. I promised to get them when you were awake.”
“So get them. Thanks, and I guess I’ll see you back at the lab sometime.”
He looked at her strangely and left the room. A young brunette nurse came in and checked her vitals. “Can you tell me what happened to me? Can I speak with a doctor?”
“Dr. Kraus will be making his rounds later. Just rest.” She turned and ran into an elderly couple plodding into the room. “Pardon,” she said as she exited.
“Marian, baby, you’re awake!” Her mother made her way to the bedside and grasped her hands. Her father was two steps behind and sat on the edge of the bed.
“Do either of you know what happened to me?” she whined.
“No, honey. Drake explained right? The doctors are puzzled as to how you,” she turned to her husband, “how did that doctor put it, George?”
Marian snorted at her father’s reply. “Well, it rankles me that Drake the lowlife was the one to help me get here.”
“Honey, how could you say that! I know you’ve had your problems, but he’s a good man.”
The young woman cringed. “Whoever gave you that idea?”
“You did last week when he took us all out to the country to go apple picking.”
“Apple picking? With Drake Finch? Impossible.”
“Greta, don’t argue with her. She’s been through an ordeal. We should let her rest.” Turning to her, George continued, “Marian, give the man a break. I though you were done harassing him for past mistakes.”
“When did I ever say that?”
“Four years ago when you married him. That’s when.”
The couple bent down to kiss her and left hand in hand. They turned when they heard the shriek that escaped their daughter’s mouth.