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** November 27th, 2015 **
Saturday night, late, my phone rang.
“Good lord, who’s calling you so late at night,” Kara asked, her voice thick with sleep.
“It can’t be good this late, babe,” I said as I opened the phone.
It was Rachel, who was crying. My heart sank, and I felt myself tense.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“It’s June, Mom. She was mugged downtown and is in the hospital with a broken leg and a concussion.” I felt myself tear up. “I didn’t want her to go to work today. I was off and so were almost all of the people we know. But she said she had stuff to catch up on and I couldn’t talk her out of it. The police called me; the ambulance was on it’s way to the hospital.”
The word came in a torrent. She sounded terrified.
“You’re at the hospital, right?”
“Of course I am,” she said, sounding put out that I’d even ask. “Saint Joseph’s on Lake Shore.” I’d never been there but I knew of it.
“Okay, honey, I’ll get dressed and head down there. I shouldn’t be too long at this time of night. See you in a bit.”
As soon as I closed the phone, Kara began to ask questions.
I kissed her and said, “We’ll talk while I get dressed.”
She had all kinds of questions, and we chattered away as I dressed.
“I’ll make you coffee. Sounds like you’ll be there a while.” Fabulous idea!!
When I got to the kitchen, Kara had a steaming mug of coffee waiting, as well as a thermos. God bless that woman.
“You know I want to come too, but I’ve got to stay here with Mick,” she said after we’d kissed, my half hearted thanks for the coffee.
I was already at the closet getting a coat and pulling it on. A scarf, gloves, and a beret, just in case. And, oh, one more thing. I hurried to the front door and peered through the window. Phew!! Okay, good, it hadn’t snowed, at least out here. No telling what was going on in the city, let alone near the lake where the hospital was.
One odd thing about my city. It can be a crisp, clear, cold, cloudless night out here in the burbs, and snow squalls can be dumping inch after inch of white stuff closer to the lake. “Lake effect snow,” they call it.
“Whatcha doin’, honey? Oh wait, you’re checking to see if it snowed.” Once a blonde…
“Yeah, I figured I’d check before I headed out.”
Kara brought my purse and the thermos. We kissed and hugged each other.
“Please drive carefully. And do let the girls know I’m thinking about them. And if you get to see June, give her a kiss from me.” She smiled. “She’s a rascal, that one!”
I smiled. “That she is, lover, that she is.”
Another kiss and I headed to the garage. Damn it was cold, even in the garage. We hadn’t watched the news after cleaning the kitchen, so I had no clue what the forecast was. I opened the garage door and sat for a minute or two to let the car warm up a bit. I waved to Kara, who stood huddled and shivering in the doorway. She blew me a kiss and I put the car in reverse and headed out.
I turned the radio on once I got on the main road. There’s a news station that does weather “on the eights” as they put it. I didn’t know if they did it all night, but thought I’d take the chance.
My mind wandered as I drove and I froze. Had June been raped? I was certain Rachel would have said something, but she was in such a state that she might have forgotten to tell me, unlikely as that may seem. Or maybe the police and ambulance people… no, they would have reported any sort of sexual assault to the ER people. I think they’re required to by statute.
I had to concentrate, even though the roads were mostly wide open at that time of the morning. I’d probably have more worry driving on the surface streets, with late night drinkers leaving bars and parties and such.
I got off the expressway and headed east toward the lake. As I drove, light snow dusted streets and parked cars. It wasn’t heavy enough for me to turn my windshield wipers on, but I slowed down a bit.
I didn’t know where the parking garage was off the top of my head, but that didn’t matter. It was easy to find. I pulled in, took a ticket, and hurried to find a spot.
The hospital was quiet as you’d expect. A young black woman manned the front desk. I gave her June’s name. She worked the keyboard, trying to find what room she was in.
“Seven thirty three.” She pointed to her left. “Those elevators will take you to the seventh floor.” I thanked her and hurried, pushing a button when I got to the bank of elevators. I looked for a nurses station when I exited.
“Seven thirty three, please.” A pretty redhead with tired eyes pointed down a hallway. “Thank you.”
I hurried down the hall, looking for the room. Well just goddamn me!! I’d left the stupid thermos in the car in my hurry to get inside and find my kid and her honey. Shit, shit, shit!!
I knocked on the half-closed door and heard a tiny, “Come in.” I pasted a smile on my face and entered. Rach was there, canlı bahis face drawn, obviously stressed, and looking like what the cat dragged in. I breathed a sigh of relief that she was okay. June, on the other hand, had her leg in a cast, suspended in the air by some gizmo. She and Rachel were holding hands. But what drew me up short and sent my heart careening to my stomach was her face. Her pretty face was puffy and was already showing signs of bruising. A few steri-strips were holding swollen skin together. I had to gather myself.
“Thank you so much for coming, Mom. I’m a little sore, and my leg’s busted up too. They set it and put this icky cast on, and gave me some meds for pain. La la la.” She tried to smile through swollen lips and winced.
I leaned over the railing and gave her a gentle kiss. “I hurried as quickly as I could once Rachel called me, June. Tell me, have either of you called your parents?”
“Yes,” they both said. Rach looked at her honey, whose nod indicated she could go ahead with her report.
“I called while they were setting and casting her leg. They’ll fly in tomorrow… wait, later today, and will call or text once they’re at the airport to let me know what time they land in Chicago.”
“Do you want Kara to meet them and bring them here?” Both girls looked at me like I had two heads. Rachel answered.
“She’s gotta stay home and take care of Mick. And her parents can take a cab in from the airport. No biggie there.”
“We don’t know for sure, but they might call on the way. And if I’m doing okay, they might find a hotel, check in, and cab it to the hospital.”
Oh, right. I guess I was more shaken up than I thought. June looked like hell, and she might have been on pain meds, but she seemed sharp mentally. I was still all dressed up, so I took off all the outerwear and put it on the window sill.
“June, you got knocked around some and broke your leg. Anything else?” Rachel’s eyes clouded and she looked like she wanted to cry.
“No, thankfully. He took my purse and that sucks big time. We have to call first thing in the morning and cancel my credit cards. But other than knocking me down and smacking me around a little, nothing else.”
“It’s okay, Mom. I’m sure you were worried; I was so terrified, wondering if that animal had violated my honey.”
“Did the ER do a rape kit?”
She nodded. “Yeah, even though I told them I hadn’t been… you know.”
“Were the police any help?”
“Well, someone saw me on the ground and flagged a squad car. I guess they radioed in for an ambulance. Some big dude covered me with a blanket, which god almighty I needed. My leg hurt like a bitch, and my face didn’t feel too good either.”
“The cops called me and I busted it to get here,” Rach said. “Damn hospital is like a maze. I finally had some nurse walk me nearly all the way to the ER.” Her eyes teared. “I nearly passed out when I saw my honey, Mom. I mean it, too. She was in a daze. They told me she had a concussion, bruises, and a broken leg.” Concussion?
June smiled wanly. “I got a concussion from that douche bag. Fuck, it hurts too.” She made a face. “Must have happened when he knocked me down trying to get my purse.”
“You don’t remember?” I asked.
“I must have blacked out for a moment when I hit the pavement. I’m not sure, really. He ripped the purse out of my hand and took off.” She laughed, and winced. “I had a grand total of ten bucks in my purse. Asshole!”
“Yeah, but he could have used your cards for whatever. We’ll call in the morning first thing on that.”
I smiled. My baby was taking charge of her girlfriend when she needed it. Makes a Mom proud, ya know?
June looked at my kid and said, “Pet, I need to rest.” Pet? Here? Now? Good lord!!
Rach giggled. “Knock it off with the pet shit, dope. Besides, I’m the miss this week. Well, till tomorrow anyways.”
“Good lord, stop it, both of you!” They turned, looked at me, and stuck out their tongues. “Well, fine. No soup for either of you. One year!” Rach snickered. June tried a laugh and winced. “Okay, seriously, enough of this. Rach and I will find somewhere to talk while you get some sleep.” I looked at my blonde and said, “Maybe the cafeteria to get some coffee, then back up here to whatever they have for people to sit.”
“Sounds good, Mom.” Rach leaned over and gave Junie woonie a kiss. It was soft, but I could tell it was tender and heart felt. And I thought June gave her some tongue, which caused blondie to moan softly. She whispered something that I couldn’t make out.
“Mom, she called me a bitch for giving her tongue.” What a rascal!! Rachel blushed as her honey ratted her out.
“Come on, kid, let’s go. I’m going to leave my coat and things here, okay?” June nodded, eyes already closed.
We stopped at the nurse’s station and told them where we were headed.
“We have coffee here if you’d like,” the pretty redhead told me. “And it’s not usually too bad.” I looked at Rach, who shrugged. bahis siteleri
“I don’t care either way. She does need to sleep. And maybe stretching my legs wouldn’t be such a bad thing either after sitting for so long.”
“Are you Ms. Deveraux’s Mother?” I smiled.
“No, I’m this kid’s Mom. June’s parents will be flying in some time this morning.” She nodded.
“I’ll be sure to let the day shift know. Thanks.”
In the elevator, Rachel asked me, “You could have let me answer.”
“I know, but she asked me the question, and I’m the adult here.”
“Mother!! I’m an adult too.” A clearly exercised daughter pouted.
I kissed my kid. “I know you are, sweetheart, but you know what I mean. She pretty much did it automatically. For that matter, I’m probably old enough to be her mother too.” Which elicited a snort from my beautiful but clearly tired kid.
We sat after pouring coffee. There was no attendant around to take money. June… geezuz… Rach got hers with cream and sugar and, after some thought, I added some sugar to mine too. I thought maybe the caffeine and sugar might give me a little extra energy boost.
“You’re doing really well, honey. This can’t have been much fun for you.”
She teared up again, sniffled, wiped her eyes, and said, “Worst fucking night of my life, pardon my french. I was terrified when the cops called me. Took a cab here. I had to bite my tongue to keep from yelling at the driver to go faster.” She shook her head, which was tilted down. She lifted to look at me and said, “Thanks for coming. I…we appreciate it.”
I squeezed her hand. “Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else tonight. Kara will take care of Mick and probably come tomorrow.” I laughed. “I’m doing it too. Later today.” I thought a minute and said, “I have no idea if she’ll bring Mick or not. If so, one of us can entertain him in some family room or something.
“Yeah, okay.” She yawned. “Sheesh, I’m just pooped.” She shook her head.
“I’ll bet the adrenaline is working its way out of your system. You had to have it screaming through your body when you got the call and headed down here.” She smiled, then yawned again. “Bring your coffee, honey, and let’s head upstairs. We’ll find you a couch or something to lay down on so you can rest your eyes.”
We refilled our cups, headed to the elevator, and when we got to the floor, I asked if there was somewhere my daughter could rest.
“The waiting area is empty so she can lay out on the couch.” Whatever!!
Rachel was out like a light, and I must have dozed off, because I heard a woman’s voice ask, “Is one of you Rachel?” My kid sat up like a shot, and I jumped a foot high.
“I’m Rachel,” she said.
“Miss Deveraux is awake and is asking for you and Mom, and,” she said, looking at me, “I’m guessing you’re Mom.”
I smiled. “I’m Rachel’s Mom.” Second time in less than an hours. “Her parents will be here later.” The nurse nodded.
We headed to the room. “I have to pee, Mom.”
“Use the bathroom in the room, honey.”
“Oh yeah,” she said while yawning.
“Did you sleep okay?” She shrugged.
“Okay, I guess,” as we walked into the room. Rachel made a beeline for the bed, a huge smile on her face. “Hi beautiful.”
“Ugh! As if.” She smiled at me. “Hi, Mom!” Rachel headed for relief in the bathroom and I sat in one of the chairs.
“Feel any better?” It was a ridiculous question and I knew it, but kinda had to ask.
“I guess; my head isn’t throbbing so much, but that may be the pain meds for my leg. I’m not sure.” She yawned again and said, “The doctor woke me up. He wanted to know how much pain I was in – my leg and head. I told him. He said they’re going to keep me here tomorrow and see how I do with the concussion. He said maybe I’d be released Monday.”
“Has anyone said anything about getting you up and moving around?”
“Yeah, the doc said someone from physical therapy would be in later to help me with crutches and stuff.”
“It’s not going to be much fun for you using crutches with winter looming. June looked at Rach.
“Crap, I hadn’t even thought of that. And Christmas and stuff. And holiday parties we’ll be invited to.”
“No doubt you’ll have to be careful, honey, but I’m sure you’ll get used to the crutches. Plus, the parties will give your friends something to write notes on.” The girls looked at each other and laughed. Better I didn’t know why.
The phone call from June’s parents came around noon. They were at the airport, due to take off just after one, and due to land, weather permitting, just past three thirty.
“Okay, Mom. Hey, Rach… no, I mean Lissy, her Mom, had an interesting idea. You could take a cab wherever your hotel is, check in, and take another cab to the hospital. That way… What? Oh… good!!” She winked at me. “Then I’ll see you guys sometime later this afternoon. Tell Daddy I love him. Me too, Mom. Bye!!” I could see tears in her eyes. Probably relief to finally talk to a bahis şirketleri parent.
Rach leaned in to kiss her sweetie and brush away some tears that stained her cheeks. June’s smile wasn’t full wattage, but it was clear she was in a better mood after talking to her Mom.
Rach and I headed to the cafeteria when staff brought June lunch. We were both ravenous. We wolfed down what the label said was tossed salad with Italian dressing. I added a roll; Rach followed my lead and did the same. We both grabbed slices of what seemed to be apple pie. Ice cream was nowhere to be found, however. Boo hiss!
My tummy full, I said to my kid, “I’m going to call Kara and see how she and Mick are doing.”
The call went on for a few while I brought my honey up to date. Rachel mimed licking her dessert plate.
With exasperation in her voice, Kara said, “Mick wants to talk to you.” I brightened up.
“Mommy Lissy, how’s Junie? She broke her leg, Kara said. Is it okay if we come see her… and Rach?”
He’d machine gunned the questions at me. “She’s doing okay, honey. Her head hurts too; she banged it when she fell. And yes, if Kara wants to come, she can bring you.” He burst with excitement.
“Well, you sure got him jazzed, lover. Any specific time better? Miss me?” I chuckled. That last was code for ‘I want to rip your clothes off and molest you.’
“He’s had a nap, right?”
“Well, no, and now that you’ve called there’s no way I’ll get him to nap. So we should maybe come now if that’s okay.”
“Sounds good. I won’t stay overnight here, either.” She chuckled. “Hush, slut. See ya in a bit.”
Rach looked at me, snickered, and said, “Slut, huh? I like it.” Crap. Believe it or not, I’d forgotten she was sitting there while I was on the phone.
“Kara and Mick will be here soon. Well, traffic permitting. So let’s grab some coffee, and get back.”
Which we did. June’s eyes were closed, but she smiled when I gave her the news.
“I can’t wait to see the little guy. Did he enjoy Thanksgiving dinner?” I invited the girls, but some of their DePaul friends were having an out-of-towners get together, and they decided it would be fun to do that instead.
“He had a blast. Ate every bit of what he was served, and devoured his dessert too.” She smiled, nodding.
We heard his voice before they got to the room. “Which one, Mommy, which one?” Rach giggled.
He burst into the room and made a bee line for Rachel, jumping in her arms, kissing and hugging her. Kara went right for the bed and June, bending to kiss her. Rach held Mick, brought him to the bed, and he leaned over and gave June a kiss.
“What’s wrong with your face, Junie? It’s purple and yellow and stuff.” UGH!
“I kinda fell and bumped my face, Mick.” Oh thank you, honey. Very well done.”
“Oh. Well that stinks. And this is your broken leg.” He touched the cast; June gasped, more out of fear than anything.
Rach pulled him away. “Honey, even with the cast, June’s leg still hurts. Be gentle, okay?”
His eyes got cloudy. “Did I hurt you?” June shook her head.
“No, angel, you didn’t. I just kind of jumped, worried that you might smack it or something.” His face brightened.
There were probably too many people in the room to suit the nurses, but they gave us some slack. Kara took advantage of the girls and our son fawning over June to kiss me, and you know she groped my boobs and kitty as well. le sigh
“Will you be home soon?” she breathed between smooches. I smiled. Kitty hurried for her goggles, poor thing.
“Yes, lover, I’ll be home before dinner. Speaking of which, I’ll think of someplace and call and order dinner for the three of us. How about ribs? We haven’t had that in forever.” Kara’s eyes lit up. Uh oh! I had a feeling I knew why.
“Oh goody.” The blues sparkled. “Be sure to get extra sauce, okay? I think I have an idea how to use it.” Gawd help me!
We couldn’t let Mick stay too long. He needed a nap and too much noise probs wasn’t good for June. He fussed a little, but that might have been his battery wearing down. He giggled when Rach kissed his neck, hugged my neck when we said our goodbyes, kissed June gently on the cheek, and proudly held Kara’s hand as they left.
“The two of you have to be so proud, Mom. He’s so adorable.”
“And cuddly,” Rach added. I’m sure I was beaming.
“He’s been a joy, and Kara is taking to being a Mom wonderfully. Aside from how he came into our lives, he’s been nothing but a joy.”
“Oh, right, you and Kara invited Nik and Karen yesterday. How was that?”
“Oh my gosh. Karen brought a wonderful dish. Yummy yellow turnip.” Rach made a face. “I know, honey, but believe me, it was amazing. Kara ate all of hers, and Mick ate some too. And Nik and Karen were too cute. It was a wonderful day.”
And on it went. I mentioned I wanted to leave and stop and get dinner. When I mentioned ribs, both of the girls moaned.
“Are you going home to get some sleep later?” The girls looked at each other. June nodded. Rachel’s shoulders slumped.
“I guess so.” She shrugged. “I probably should. My baby needs her rest too.” They exchanged a rather soulful kiss.
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