Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

-Episode Forty four

 

 

 

‘When life’s a mess, there’s a must,’ Monica Xavier

 

I am driving steadily along the lonely road that leads to my house. As I turn on the radio, a familiar song starts to quietly play I tilt my head back for a moment and listen.

 

‘Daddy was an old time preacher man he preached the word of God throughout the land, he preached so plain a child could understand. Yes daddy was an old time preacher man.’

 

My lips curve up in the faintest of smiles as the soft tune echoes through the car. I remember singing this song when I was a little boy and my mother would accompany me with a piano.

 

As i reminisce over the good old days I find myself humming along, even so far as to sing along with the chorus.

 

‘In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore, I’m on my way to Canaan’s land, yes daddy was an old time preacher man.’

 

As the song comes to an end, I realize that I need to relieve myself. I pull over to the side of the road and step out of my car.

 

The cold wind outside hits my face and I groan.

 

I yawn, walking a distance away from my car carrying a torch light in one hand. I relieve myself, peeing for what seems like a long time.

 

Once I finish, I head back towards the car. I have my torch pointing in the direction where I have parked my car.

 

I am about to get into my car when I hear a dog’s plaintive wail. I freeze in my tracks for a second, the dog barks again, louder and insistent.

 

‘What is happening?’ I ask no one in particular.

 

I have never heard a dog bark in that intense way, I move my torch left and right and notice where the dog is barking from.

 

 

It looks like the dog is barking at something I turn and walk towards it. My heart beats faster than normal as I get closer.

 

I point my torch downwards and alas, it is a body of a woman and she is wrapped in some cloth, both her hands and legs are tied with a rope.

 

I look around me just in case this is a trap and the people who dumped the body are still around. This place looks deserted so they are gone.

 

The dog runs off as I get down on my knees and take a closer look, it’s actually a woman and it seems she was recently dumped here.

 

I put her hand on her neck to check her pulse, it is very faint. I breathe a sigh of relieve in finding that she is still alive but simply unconscious.

 

The poor woman, why would someone subject her to this kind of cruelty, I scoop her into my arms and quickly make my way to my car.

 

There is no time to untie her, I place her at the back of the car and shut it before I go round to the driver’s seat.

 

With my eyes forwards and both my hands on the wheel I drive off. I press the gas pedal further down as I sped away from here.

 

After a short length of driving, I stop in front of my farm house. I step out of the car and carry her in my hands and into the house.

 

My daughter Xandria is sitting on the couch when I walk in, she rises to her feet when she sees me. She has a quizzical look on her face.

 

‘Call the doctor I will explain later,’ I say

 

‘Okay,’ she quickly grabs her phone.

 

I take the woman into one of the spare rooms and lay her on the bed then I untie her legs and arms.

 

‘The doctor is on the way, who is she?’ Xandria asks

 

‘I don’t know.’

 

‘What do you mean you don’t know?’ she shots me a curious look

 

‘I just found her lying somewhere in the woods.’

 

‘And what where you doing in the woods?’

 

‘Taking a piss.’

 

She laughs, ‘Old habits die hard.’

 

I roll my eyes at her.

 

‘She is beautiful,’ she says

 

‘Yes.’

 

‘Nana has left?’ I ask

 

‘Yes, I told her to leave since it was getting late.’

 

‘Sorry for getting back late, I got carried away and didn’t notice the time.’

 

‘It’s okay,’ she smiles.

 

I smile back at her, she is too mature for her age, she is only 15 yet she behaves as though she is in her 3o’s.

 

Xandria is the only valuable person I have in this world since her mother died about 12 years ago it’s always been her and I against this world.

 

An awkward silence settles between us as we wait for the doctor. A doctor at the door startles both my daughter and I, waking us from our reverie.

 

‘That must be the doctor,’ she says

 

‘I will get it,’ I stand up and walk out.

 

I pull the door open and find the Doctor standing on my doorstep. We exchange greetings and I usher him in.

 

I tell him all about the woman I picked as we walk to the spare bedroom.

 

‘Hey Doctor,’ Xandria extends her hand to him.

 

‘Hey young woman,’ he shakes her hand.

 

‘How are you?’

 

‘I am better than you.’

 

‘You are sure?’

 

‘Very sure.’

 

‘We shall see about that.’

 

She giggles

 

‘That’s her,’ I point at her

 

‘Will you excuse me?’ he asked

 

‘Okay’ Xandria and I walked out.

 

We sat in the living room anxiously waiting for what seemed like eternity.

 

Eventually the doctor walked out of the room, I instantly stood up.

 

‘How is she?’

 

‘I have run some test she suffered a concussion,’ he says

 

‘But is she going to be fine?’ I ask hopefully

 

‘Yes she will be fine there’s been some swelling on her brain. I am treating her with oxygen right now to make sure the brain gets what it needs.’

 

‘When is she likely to wake up?’

 

‘She could wake up tomorrow but she will need a lot of rest because she is going to be dealing with headaches, dizzy spells and nausea for some time.’

 

‘Okay.’

 

‘When she wakes up make sure you keep her calm.’

 

‘Okay.’

 

‘I will be back in the morning to check on her progress, feel free to call me when need arises.’

 

‘Thank you so much buddy.’

 

‘That’s what friends are for,’ he smiles, ‘I guess I will see you tomorrow.’

 

‘Yes.’

 

‘Good night sweetie,’ he tells Xandria

 

‘Night Doc,’ she responds

 

I walk him to the door and when he finally leaves I lock the door behind my back. I hope I don’t regret helping this stranger and bringing her into my house.

 

***

 

Trish

 

“Trish!’ A familiar voice loudly calls my name.

 

‘What?’

 

‘I have finally found you,’ she responds

 

‘What do you want from me?’

 

‘You! I want you.’

 

‘No.’

 

‘I am coming for you,’ she laughs out loud

 

I try to run but I fail, it’s like my feet are rooted in the ground. I can’t move.

 

‘Leave me alone,’ I scream even though I can’t see her, I can only hear her voice.

 

‘No,’ she screams, louder

 

Finally she appears in front of me, she is wearing a white dress which is covered in blood. Her skin looks pale, her lips are parted and blood drizzles from the corner of her mouth. Her eyes are blazing red and they bore into mine, it’s as if she can through me.

 

Panic sets in as she intently stares at me, then she pounces on me and begins to bite my arm.

 

‘No!’ I scream my voice louder and higher. ’Leave me alone.’

 

My eyes shoot open and I sit up on my bed, it was just a dream. Sweat and tears run down my cheeks. I can feel the rapid beating of my heart through my clothing.

 

‘It was just a dream,’ I say to myself once more

 

I take a deep breath and try to calm down the fast pace of my heart. Finally I push the covers off my legs and put my feet on the floor.

 

I make my way into the bathroom and splash some cold water on my face.

 

‘Maybe it’s time I went to see charlotte,’ I think to myself. ‘Yes I must see Charlotte today but first I need to visit Alex.’

 

I walk back into my room and grab my phone, ‘It’s 5 in the morning. I won’t be going back to sleep I better start my day.

 

****

 

A gambling Heart

 

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