I sat up and stared at my phone into the wee hours of the morning. I had spent ninety percent of that time shedding tears in sadness and in anger. I was sad because Stellan’s phone was still going straight to voicemail and he wasn’t returning my calls and angry because I had left to go confront Roman. The more I thought about the latter, the angrier I got and the more I paced across my apartment yelling obscenities to the thin air.
I finally dozed off because I was too tired from crying and too exhausted from the emotions that were trampling around in my head. Besides, my Jedi mind tricks of making the phone ring and making it be Stellan on the other end were failing miserably. My phone didn’t ring. No one called me. I also had one hell of a headache from staring at the phone and from crying.
When my phone did ring, I jumped out of bed and hit the side table so hard with my forearm I sent a spray of blood across my white comforter. “For the love of all that’s holy,” I screamed as I scrambled to find my phone. “Hello,” I said into the receiver. I sounded like someone had crammed sandpaper down my throat and rags up my nose.
“Yeah,” I answered. “Who’s this?”
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, Stellan wanted me to call you and give you a number.”
I collapsed onto my bed. “Why isn’t he calling me?”
“His phone is dead.”
My first thought was charge the stupid fucking phone, but I didn’t say it. I kept that inner thought to myself. “What’s going on? Why are you calling me? Is he okay?”
“I’ll let him explain everything,” Travis answered. “Are you near paper and pen?”
“No,” I answered pulling myself up from my bed. “How did you get my number?”
“Wasn’t easy,” Travis answered, “but then Helen remembered seeing it on an email you guys exchanged about the cookout. Luckily, that woman keeps everything.”
I ran my hand through my hair and shook my head. “All right, I’m ready,” I said and wrote down the number he said to me. I repeated the number to him and then hung up the phone with him. Stumbling back to my bed, I saw the spray of blood and sighed. I studied my arm and then collapsed onto my bed anyway. The comforter was ruined anyway and I had wanted to purchase a new one for a while. Now I had an excuse to do so. I crawled underneath the comforter, took a deep breath, and dialed the number I had been given.
“Hello,” a male’s voice said.
I looked at the number on the paper and shrugged my shoulders. “Is Stellan Reinhold there?”
“Anna. Anna Montgomery. His friend Travis gave me this number and said to call Stellan.”
I made a face to the mysterious man of few words and sighed. What the hell was going on?
“Yeah,” I answered. “It’s me. Are you okay?”
“No,” he answered. “I’m not okay.”
“Where are you Stellan?”
“I’m at the hospital.”
I sat up as I felt my heart stop. “What? Why? What happened?”
“Hold on,” Stellan said.
Hold on? Was he crazy? I heard something cover the receiver of the phone and muffled voices. I pressed my phone closer to my ear in hopes of hearing what was being said on his side but it only made the voices even more muffled. I took a deep breath and forced myself not to jump to conclusions.
“I have to go,” he said into the receiver. “I’ll call you back as soon as I can.”
“Go? What do you mean go? Can you at least tell me which hospital you’re at?”
I ran through all the hospitals in the area and none where named Memorial. “Where’s Memorial?”
“Home,” he answered. “I’ll call you back.”
The phone went silent.
How was he suppose to call me back when he had Travis’ fiancée search through old emails to call me in the first place.
I pulled my phone from my ear and stared at the darkened screen. “Where the hell is home,” I asked my phone, “and what the hell happened?”
I collapsed back onto my bed and closed my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I tried to quiet the questions in my mind. Sitting up, I looked at the wrinkled paper in my hand. I shuffled out of bed and to my laptop. “Come on, come on,” I said as it slowly came to life. I pulled the laptop off the kitchen table and onto my lap. I typed in the number Travis had given me in the search bar and hit enter. “Fucking great,” I said to the monitor. I had the area code for a metro area the size of Texas. Sighing, I typed in the only hospital name I had and prayed there weren’t a million of them there with memorial in their names.
As the search loaded, I felt myself wanting to throw the laptop against the wall. There weren’t a million hospitals but there were more than I could sift through for information. Sighing, I looked at the number in my hand and dialed it again. The other end rang and rang.
“This is ridiculous,” I said to myself. “Seriously.” Closing the laptop, I put it back on the kitchen table with a sigh. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know where home was for Stellan. I knew everyone of his brother’s names and his niece. I even knew the soon to be born nephew’s name, but never once had we discussed where home was for either of us. He didn’t know I had been born and raised within a fifty-mile radius of where I lived now and I sure as hell didn’t know where he was born or raised.
Biting at my thumbnail, I stared at my phone and tried not to panic, but the more I sat in the silence of my apartment, the bigger the knot in my stomach became. “I could just drive to that area,” I said out loud. “It’s obviously not that far of a drive.” I calculated an estimated time of when Stellan could have left his house and when he could have gotten to his destination.
Punching the number two on my phone, I let it speed dial Walsh.
“Hello,” he answered.
“I need you to talk me out of doing something stupid.”
“Don’t do anything stupid,” he replied, “and what time is it?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“Do you know that I have a princess party to deal with tomorrow?”
“Then do you know I have a princess party to deal with today?”
“Yeah,” I answered, “and I need my big brother.”
Walsh sighed into the phone. “I’m listening.”
I slumped down into the kitchen chair and started from the beginning of my night up until the moment I had called Walsh, and for once, my older brother was speechless. Then I realized he had just fallen back to sleep and hadn’t heard a word I had said to him. I hung up the phone and crawled back into bed. I was going to take Walsh falling asleep as my hint to also go back to sleep. It was the only sane thing to do and I knew I needed to be sane instead of some crazy girlfriend driving across the state to a hospital for some unknown reason.
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is an excerpt of the rough draft and not the final version