The Next Exciting Installment of Unbearable Feud….
Scarlett narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean you’re not going to release me?” She held up her phone. “I can call uber. You just got done saying you’re not going to hospitalize me.”
Dr. Scott sat on the stool. “Scarlett, you said you were going to go back to the coffee shop to retrieve your SUV. You’re not safe to be driving. Someone else needs to pick up your vehicle.”
Scarlett wanted to throttle the young doctor who seemed like he just graduated from med school yesterday.
She rested her phone against her forehead. “Please, don’t make me do this.”
He folded his arms across his chest. “You don’t have anyone you can call?” His empathetic voice did nothing to ease the tension gripping her chest.
She blurted. “No one, I want to call.”
“I’m sorry, Scarlett, but I’m only thinking of your safety and the other people on the road. Like I told you earlier, based on your EEG results, you can’t drive for six months. If you haven’t had a seizure within that time, I’m sure your neurologist will allow you to drive. You just need to make sure you take your medications.”
Tears built up behind Scarlett’s eyes and a jolt of bitterness burned the back of her throat.
Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
If she could, Scarlett would just walk out of the hospital, but she’d never make it out of the front door.
She cleared her throat. “Fine, I’ll call someone.” The last person she wanted to call.
Her sister, Janet, answered. “What do you want Scarlett?”
Scarlett cringed. “Hi Janet.”
“Don’t hi Janet me. Tell me why the hell you’re calling me.”
Scarlett bit her lip. “I’m in the hospital.”
“Damn it. Did you have another damn vision?”
“Yes.” Her small voice was more like a puff than an answer.
Scarlett turned her head away from Dr. Scott, not wanting to look into his eyes that were filled with pity.
“So, they won’t release you unless someone picks you up?”
“I…I wanted to call uber, but they––”
“This is the last fucking time, Scarlett. I mean it. You’re ruining all of our lives with your visions.”
Scarlett hung her head. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to.”
“Scarlett, you never mean anything.”
The ball of frustration edged down Scarlett’s throat into her gut. Same you’re-a-burden response.
“I’m at Lutheran.”
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
Scarlett crossed her arm around her middle as her tummy threatened to rise up in a rebel. “My Pathfinder’s at Ziggy’s.”
“You’re unbelievable. Fine. I’ll bring Jack and we’ll drop what we’re doing for you. Again.”
The phone went dead.
“My sister and brother-in-law are coming to pick me up.” Luckily, it was Saturday so Jack wouldn’t be working, but he’d pissed being pulled away from his favorite sports shows.
Dr. Scott stood. “I’m sorry, Scarlett. I didn’t mean to cause you any stress. I just wanted you to be safe.”
She nodded, but couldn’t answer him. A perfect stranger had more concern for her than her own family.
He left her alone in the emergency room with beeps and bings. Loneliness nearly choked her and the hated, hot tears wouldn’t be denied.
Forty-five minutes later, she was in the car with Janet and Jack. Janet’s black hair was pulled back into a pony tail that made her face look even more pinched. She gripped the steering wheel so tight that her knuckles turned white. Her red nails looked like razor-sharp daggers.
She glanced in the rearview mirror. “I’m sorry, honey, that you’re missing your football game.”
Jack snorted like a pissed off bull.
Scarlett’s gut curled up into a tight ball. She stared into the passing traffic, wishing she were in one of those cars. “I didn’t want the paramedics to take me to the hospital.”
Neither Janet nor Jack answered her. It was the longest twenty minute ride ever . Despite the scorching Colorado hot sun, she swore the temperature dropped to below freezing inside the car.
Scarlett hugged her arms to side, counting down the minutes to get to her condominium.
“Drop me off at the coffee shop first,” Jack said.
Janet frowned. “That’s out––”
“Just do it.” His voice left little doubt there would be hell to pay if he didn’t get back to his game.
Janet shook her head. “Fine.”
Ziggy’s was about fifteen minutes further from Scarlett’s condo, but she didn’t dare argue. Jack had been arrested before for hitting someone square in the mouth for blocking his truck at Walmart. He’d no gumption for slapping her. Janet had more than on occasion shown up at family gatherings with bruises on her arms and even once with a black eye.
Janet pulled into the parking lot.
“Scarlett, give me your damn keys.”
Scarlett immediately handled them to him, praying her Pathfinder returned to her condo in one piece. She’d loved that SUV and didn’t want anything to happen to it.
He narrowed his brown eyes. “I’ll meet you there in five. Don’t disappoint me. I don’t want to miss the second half of the Bronco game.”
Janet quickly pulled out of the parking lot. “Do me a favor next time. Don’t pull this crap during a Bronco preseason game.”
“I can’t control this, Janet.”
She rolled her brown eyes. “Whatever.” She glanced at Scarlett. “So, what was this vision about this time?”
Scarlett shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“What? You didn’t have a vision? Did you just have an epileptic seizure?” For once, her sister’s voice was filled with compassion and hope.
Scarlett thought about lying, but when did lying ever help her?
“No, I had a vision.”
“So, what was it?” She was immediately back to her icy tone.
Scarlett looked out the window. “Does it really matter?”
“Yes, it does. You’re the one that told me the night before I was supposed to marry Jack that I was making a mistake. I almost didn’t marry him because of you.”
Scarlett bit back a retort. Whether Janet wanted to admit it or not, her vision had been right. Jack was a batterer. Not only that, he’d try to kill her if she left.
“Scarlett, tell me.” Her voice was almost desperate.
Scarlett studied her. Her face had turned pale and she swore her sister was shaking. “My vision didn’t have anything to do with you or Jack.”
Janet exhaled. “Good.”
Scarlett raised her eyebrow. “Why?”
“Come on, Janet. I can tell something’s wrong.”
Janet gritted her teeth. “I said nothing.” Her sharp voice was like a slap across the cheek.
Subject closed, but obviously, Janet was hiding something, something she didn’t want to share with Scarlett. Then it dawned on her. Janet had on a turtle neck even though it was over ninety-five degrees outside. August was one of Colorado’s hottest months.
She opened her mouth to ask her sister about the turtle neck, but immediately, shut her lips. Janet was like their mother. Even a crowbar wouldn’t work to pry out secret information. Had Janet tried to leave Jack? Was she hiding bruises on her neck?
She read her mind.
Janet was thinking about leaving Jack, but she was scared.
Once again the frosty atmosphere clamped down on Scarlett. Janet parked the car. Jack roared down the street with the Pathfinder that was luckily in one piece.
Janet grabbed her arm. “So, what was your vision about?”
“You’re pulling my leg.”
Scarlett met her sister’s skeptical gaze. “No, I’m not. Thank you for the ride. I’ll try not to bother you again.” She watched Jack get out of her SUV. “Please, be careful.”
Jack stomped over to the passenger door and pounded on the window.
Scarlett immediately opened the door.
“Here.” Jack handed her the SUV keys. “Janet, let’s go. Now.”
Janet started the car.
Please, don’t hurt me.
Her sister’s words brought tears to Scarlett’s eyes. She got out, wishing she had superpowers like Captain Marvel. Jack hopped inside.
Scarlett drew on her psychic power and tried to plant kind words into Jack’s mind, but it was difficult. Angry minds automatically blocked out her power. Her sister immediately pulled away from the curb.
Scarlett’s legs shook uncontrollably, and she gasped to breathe. She wasn’t sure whether it was from the vision or riding with her sister and her Rambo husband. She gripped the railing to keep from falling and slowly walked up the stairs to her second-floor condo––her sanctuary from the world. Her condo was only a one bedroom, but it was perfect for her.
She opened the door and her white cat, Willow, greeted her, purring around her legs.
“Hi, baby.” She picked up Willow and held her close. “At least you care about what happens to me.” Sadness crept into her tiny voice.
Willow meowed and nuzzled her cheek, wiping off her tears.
“Are you hungry?”
Willow meowed again.
Scarlett put her down on the floor. Willow’s tail went straight up and she hurried over to her bowl. Scarlett laughed through her tears. “I guess you are hungry.”
She immediately fed the cat then poured herself a glass of wine. She tossed her new seizure medication on the counter. She’d taken seizure medications before and none of it had ever stopped her visions. The neurologists all thought she’d just go into a dream state. None of them had realized that her visions have never been wrong.
She took a sip of wine and curled up in her favorite recliner. She wrapped a blanket around her to take the chill off from the air conditioning and the freezing ride with her sister.
She hoped Janet would be safe.
Scarlett turned on the television and choked on her wine. Chills drummed down her spine and goosebumps broke out on her arms. She coughed hard and put her hand on her chest. The first thing that flipped on was Star Wars. The star cruisers were bigger than one she had in her vision.
Coincidence, right? That’s all it was.
Spaceships don’t exist. Darth Vader wasn’t coming.
But tingles inched over her. Tears welled in her eyes not again. The television blurred…
The sun slipped down behind the mountains. Crickets chirped.
A man walked down her street. Taller and more muscular than any other man she’d ever met or seen on the big screen. He had a purpose. Something that involved her, something she couldn’t see…Yet.
Anger rolled off him like steam. His fists were clenched and his tension spread across his broad shoulders. His dark hair was pulled back and she thought she saw a scar that ran from his eye down to his mouth.
The scar meant something.
He walked past the small park where children had played earlier. A man jogged past him with his Rottweiler. A couple sat on the bench kissing.
Her heart thudded in her throat.
The small park was only half a block a way…
She snapped her head back hard again and put her shaking hand on over her chest to keep her running heart from escaping.
Someone knocked hard on her door.
Everything inside her stopped––her heart, her lungs, and her blood. She was frozen, unable to scream or move.
The knock grew louder.
He was here.
Hope you enjoyed this peek into Unbearable Feud. Should she or she should not open that door? What would you do?