Thanks to ya’lls’ sweet words yesterday, I set up a giveaway of the Cheesecake Queen at the Pond. I also e-mailed some of ya’ll that I gave your e-mails to my publisher so they could send you a copy to review.
Now, let’s continue the Christmas story that I posted last week, shall we?
Kristie was hoping to wake up to a hot doctor or angel. Instead, she woke up to a bleached mustache and poorly applied lip liner.
“Kristie! Sweet wounded Jesus! Do you know what you’ve done to me?” Her mother reclined in the plastic chair, one hand pressed to her bosom. “Do you know what I thought when your sister called?”
“I thought, “Oh Lord! Not my baby! Not my sweet girl!” Her mother plucked a tissue from her hot pink alligator purse and dabbed a dry eye. “I was so worried.”
“Well, as you can see, I’m fine, so…” Kristie drew up, wincing at the sharp jab of the IV. “Thanks for coming.”
Her mother sniffed. “I’m going to get some coffee. I’ve been up all night, unlike some of us.” Her teeth closed with a snap and she sauntered away, nearly blinding the male nurse. He smiled. Kristie perked up and smoothed back greasy hospital hair. “How are we feeling?”
“Better.” Now that you’re here. He checked the screens blinking by her head and the IV bag dangling above her shoulder. “Any pain?”
“For a sliced thumb?” Kristie held up a bandage-mittened hand. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
The male nurse gave her a strange look. “You don’t remember?”
“Remember what? Slicing my thumb open trying to make enchiladas?” Kristie fluttered her lashes. At least they were long enough not to need mascara. “I make great enchiladas.”
The nurse felt her head, then drew his palm back. “No fever.”
“I sliced my thumb. Why would I have a fever?” Kristie huffed in exasperation. Is this what health care had come to?
“I’m going to go get the doctor.”
“No, wait! I just want to go home,” Kristie called to his retreating back, but it was too late. She groaned and shoved away the plastic food someone had left there hours earlier, too repulsed to even poke at it. “Hello? Someone?”
Shoes squeaked down the hall and Kristie peered into the shadows. “HELLO?”
“Kristie!” Her sister rushed in, bearing arms of flowers and stuffed animals. “Oh my God, you’re ok!”
“I cut my thumb, not an artery. What is with you people?”
Her sister tripped and dropped a button-eyed bear. She carefully set down the flowers before depositing the other fuzzy creatures in Kristie’s lap. “You don’t remember?”
“Remember what?” Kristie bellowed.
Her laughter echoed in the silent room, reflecting back her sister’s somber stare. Still, Kristie smirked. “Stroke? Right.”
“Seriously, Kristie, you had a stroke after you hit your head in James’ car.”
Now that she thought about it, her head did kind of hurt. So did her pride. She reached up and felt the bandage. “Is James ok?”
Lexie rolled her eyes. “He’s fine, other from being terrified he killed you.” She frowned. “You didn’t have to hit on him, you know. The poor kid is terrified.”
“I didn’t hit on him,” Kristie protested. Lexie raised an eyebrow and Kristie rubbed her head. “If I did, I don’t remember. How embarrassing.”
“The doctor told Mr. and Mrs. Thomas it was shock, so no one blames you.”
“He told his parents?” Kristie groaned. It was like an anvil was slamming into her skull. “Oh, that’s so embarrassing.” She looked up. “Did I really have a stroke?”
“Yeah.” Lexie pointed to her chart. “The doctor thinks it was from years of stress.”
“Stress? I’m not stressed.” The lie even burned her own tongue. “Ok, maybe a little, but who isn’t stressed now days?”
Her sister plopped down in the chair her mother had vacated and crossed one leg over the other. “Kristie, you’re a public relations maniac. You sleep three hours a night and work all the time. When are you going to relax? Get married? Raise a family?”
“I’ve got plenty of time.” She rubbed her forehead. It felt like an ax was lodged in her brain.
“No you don’t.”
“I do too.” Kristie broke off as an older woman wearing a white coat walked in, carrying a clip-board. Her no-nonsense bob and crisp smile made Kristie shrink down into her pink polyester blanket.
“Actually, your sister is correct.” The doctor consulted her clipboard. “At 32, your prime childbearing years have passed. Your blood pressure is through the roof and your cholesterol is worse than a 50-year-old trucker’s. You’re three candy bars away from diabetes and you’re at least 15 pounds over your ideal weight. It’s no wonder you had a stroke. Your body is exhausted.”
“A mini stroke,” Lexie added. “She said it wasn’t that bad.”
Kristie sucked her breath in between her teeth. “Just give me some Neosporin for my thumb and send me on my way.”
The doctor adjusted her black hipster glasses and raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got to stay another 24 hours for therapy, rehabilitation…”
Kristie grit her teeth. “You get three or I’m ripping the IVs out of my arm and walking out.”
“See?” The doctor pointed her pen at her. “That right there. Total type A. You really need to calm down or you’ll have another stroke.”
Kristie tugged an IV, ignoring the pain. The doctor sighed. “You really should go to therapy. Do yoga. Something.”
“She doesn’t like yoga and psychologists annoy her,” Lexie supplied. Kristie glared at her sister and she cowered down in her chair.
“If you want kids some day, you really have to relax.” The doctor scribbled on Kristie’s chart and handed it to the cute nurse. “Stress is the main cause of infertility. Especially if you’re trying alternate procedures like IVF.”
Her teeth ground together. “Why would you assume that?”
The doctor didn’t even have the grace to look flustered. “Most unmarried, 32-year-old women are desperate for babies. Without a husband, many of them resort to the turkey baster method.”
“I’m 30,” Kristie pointed out.
“Must you call it that?” Lexie covered her ears and cringed.
The doctor shrugged. “Feel better, Kacie.”
“Kristie,” Kristie corrected.
The doctor’s smile was pure apathy. “Yes. Of course.” She breezed out of the room, off to ruin some other patient’s life. The male nurse handed her a small cup of pills and a bottle of water. “Can I get you anything else?”
Kristie rewarded him with a dazzling smile. “Twins?”
His face lit up. “Oh, we just had the cutest twins born yesterday!” He glanced towards the hall and dropped his voice to a conspiratial whisper. “You would absolutely love them. I’ll grab a wheelchair and we can take a peek, what do you say?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble,” Kristie purred.
“No, it’s no trouble at all.” The nurse puffed out his chest with pride. “Let me go get you a chair.”
Kristie kept her smile fixed until he left the room. “Lexie! Give me your purse!”
“Why?” Mystified, Lexie handed it over.
“Because I need to look good!” Kristie dug through the bag, tossing out contents until she reached the pink zippered make up case.
Lexie’s jaw nearly unhinged. “You just had a stroke and sliced your thumb open. I don’t think Collin is going to be thinking about procreation. He’s just being nice.”
“So am I.” Kristie slathered lipstick on her lips and pouted. “What do you think?”
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! A fun new Christmas post tomorrow!
Lexie buried her face in her hands and groaned.