When Janet gets out of the shower, she finds Tex hiding in her closet. He has her gun, and points it at her. Tissue Warning
Tex figured he had the upper hand. He was getting cocky. Janet took a step toward him. She was tired of being afraid, sick of crying, angry with him for being such a damn inconvenience.
“It was all your fault,” said, taking another step. “You cheated on me. You did drugs. You killed our baby, and our marriage. And you killed a part of me too, Teddy.”
He made a funny sound in the back of his throat.
“That sound you just heard, that was the last bit of you dying. You killed us all, Teddy.”
The gun wavered. Biting his lip, he steadied his hand with the other. Janet took another step.
“We used to laugh at you after we made love,” she lied convincingly. “I’d compliment him on his performance, and laugh at yours. You can’t compare, you know. I mean, you’re good, but Diego was so much better equipped. He got into all those hard to reach places. I guess that’s why he was able to father a second child, and you weren’t.”
Tex inhaled deeply, pouting, his jaw working rapidly as he tried to contain his anger. “I was a good husband, Janet. I took care of you. I worked hard….”
“You were a drunk, and a drug addict. If I’d had a lick of sense, I never would have married you. So go ahead! I’ve got nothing to lose! Go ahead and shoot me!” She rushed him.
The gun wavered as she ran at him. Janet flew sideways, the air knocked out of her. There was a loud bang, the report of a weapon. Searing pain made her scream. She landed on something soft and yielding that smelled like shit. The report of the weapon made her ears ring.
“Get me a towel or something!”
The ringing in her ears became a symphony, her eyes closed and the world went black.
Janet woke a few hours later in the same hospital room she’d just left. She knew it was the same because there was a water stain on the ceiling that looked like an angry rabbit. The clip on her finger pinched, the IV rubbed the inside of her vein. Her head ached, the ringing in her ears was loud, and higher pitched. She was groggy, her eyes refused to focus. Something soft was stuck to the side of her head, and it hurt if she touched it. She hit the button to call the nurse. Flora came running, breathless and worried.
“You’re awake! Oh, thank God! One second.” She went out the door and Janet heard her speaking to someone.
The door opened abruptly and her sister ran in, followed by Danny. Evander and Tim brought up the rear, with Ricky and Sookie’s daughter, Ilene. Janet smiled when she saw them and laughed when Coffey, Tab and Len peeped around the door.
“I’m not supposed to let so many in at once,” Flora said. “But they insisted. See? She’s fine. I told you.”
The boys approached their mother on either side.
“Mommy?” Ricky said. Although he was a big man of twelve, seeing her in the hospital bed for the second time in two days, he lost it.
“I’m okay,” she assured him. “I’m fine.”
“Don’t you dare scare us like that again,” Sookie said. “We thought we’d lost you!”
Flora cleared her throat. “Excuse me. There’s another guest out here. I’ll have to ask you all to leave though. He kind of insisted….”
Everyone gave her kisses and left. When they were gone, the door opened again. Janet gasped, hearing his voice thank Flora.
“Is it really you?” she gasped as the door drifted shut.
He looked like he had when he came in her dream…. Or had it been a dream?
“It’s really me.”
“Where have you been, you bastard? They said….” She held out her arms to him.
Diego rushed to the side of the bed, taking Janet in his embrace. “I was…. At least I might as well have been. I almost died. The villagers hid me, and nursed me back to health. There was a doctor, also in hiding, and he took care of me. I was unconscious for a while, and when I woke up—I couldn’t remember who I was. You don’t wear tags on a job like that.” He sat on the edge of the bed. “It took over a year to find me. I got shipped around from town to town to keep me hidden. Tab and Len brought me back.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes