The Middle – Part I

2015
She sat in the middle of a crowded sports bar surrounded by her group of friends. Ed stepped up behind her, kissed her neck and handed her the bottle of beer she ordered. “Thank you, love”, she whispered over her shoulder. Every guy in that bar wished he had gotten her that bottle. She mesmerized them with her long chestnut hair and impeccable smile.

She washed an aspirin down with her beer.

“What are you doing with that guy anyway?” – Teri, her best friend from college, gave her a reproachful look.
“Shut up”, Stella hissed. She smiled at Ed who was waving a hand across the waitress’s rear as she passed by without Stella noticing.
“Another round?” one of the guys screamed while they all raised their glasses, enjoying a good time.

Stella and Ed walked home in silence. It had stopped raining and the cool streets reflected the light from the neatly lined-up street lanterns. She dropped his hand and shivered.
“What’s with you?” He was annoyed.
She stopped and squinted “My head”.
“Did you take your medication?”
“Yeah. I think I’ve gotten immune to it.”
Her head was spinning and before he could ask another question, she dropped to the ground like a wet sandbag and only heard Ed’s fainting screams “Help! Somebody help!”

1984
“Ice creeeaammm”, she yelled as she swung the front door open and ran towards the van with the shiny colors and very loud horn. It was her favorite time of the year. School just let out for summer and she would have three months to go to the lake, play with her friends, and not do homework for a change.

“Stop it, I was first”, Teri hissed. “Fine, just don’t take all the peppermint flavor again” Stella warned her.

They sat on the porch steps together and ate their ice cream as the sun was setting. It was a warm day in June. “Do you think we’ll still eat ice cream every day when we’re old?” Teri asked.
“I hope so.” Stella knew that this wouldn’t be the case. That in fact, her friend would die way before her time.
“Girls, time to wash up” Stella’s mom yelled from within the house.
The girls split for the day and Stella walked into the house, her stomach aching. It was most likely the ice cream. It must have been.

She breezed past her mom, brushed her teeth and went straight to bed, not saying a word. “Honey, are you alright?” her mom asked standing in the doorway, dish rag still in one hand. “Yeah, mom. I’m just tired. I love you. Night.” Her mom tucked her in and kissed her good night. It should be over soon.

2015
The white clean sheets crackled underneath her as she drew the blanked closer to her body. Her throbbing headache was still there, but she felt a bandage around her head. She looked out the window – it was a beautiful day. She smiled. It worked… as usual.

Ed returned to the room, coffee in hand “you took a pretty bad fall. You’re going to the doctor to check out those attacks.”
“What time is it?”
“Tuesday”
“I was out for TWO days?”
“You woke up once and just stared at the ceiling, but other than that… yeah… out like a light. It was the longest you’ve slept.”
Stella was used to a couple of hours or a day max. She had never been out for this long.
She sat up, confused, as Ed sat next to her and urged her “You gotta go to work. You already used most of your sick days. Make an appointment with the doctor today – we gotta get you back.”

Back to where? Her coffee tasted of peppermint.

Read previous part: The End

(#My500Words Day 27)

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