She was only unconscious for a couple minutes. Somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear a distant voice calling her, willing her forward. As she came closer to awakening, Kelly recognized Todd’s voice and was relieved that he had come to her rescue.
Kelly’s eyelids fluttered then opened. She groggily panned the room searching for Todd.
“That’s it,” Todd encouraged her. “Are you okay?”
Kelly concentrated on focusing her eyes and shifted them to the sound. She opened her mouth to scream but Todd’s hand covered it.
“It’s me. Please don’t scream Kelly. I need your help. Please, try to stay calm.”
She grabbed at his hand.
“Kelly, listen to me. I don’t want to die. Help me!”
The word “die” penetrated her fear and she relaxed her hand. She immediately felt Todd’s hand loosen then release her.
“What happened?” she managed to whisper.
“I came home early to apologize and spotted your story on the desk and started reading it and then…..and then….” Todd cleared his throat. “And then this happened. What’s going on Kelly? Please help me and tell me what’s happening to me?”
Kelly pushed herself to a sitting position then felt Todd’s strong hands lifting her to her feet. “Oh my God Todd, what have I done?”
Todd gripped her by the shoulders. “Kelly I need you to concentrate. Things are happening to me and I don’t think I have much longer to live.”
Kelly’s eyes filled with tears. “You weren’t supposed to read it but then I thought it would be okay because it was only a story but it wasn’t and now I’m afraid I’m going to lose you.”
“What are you talking about?” Todd demanded. “You know what’s happening to me? You knew this would happen?”
Kelly nodded then shook her head. “Yes, and….and no, I don’t know.”
Todd led her to a chair. He knelt down in front of her. “Kelly, look at me. Tell me what you know. It’s important you tell me everything and please hurry.”
Kelly told him everything she had told Paula about the story and about her fears of letting anyone read the story, especially him, but how she decided it would be okay and now her worst fears had come to life.
Todd listened attentively, and then said, “That’s all of it?”
Todd moved to the other kitchen chair and sat down. He put his head in his hands and sifted through Kelly’s words, hoping to find the answer that would keep him from dying.
Kelly forced herself to focus on the situation at hand and desperately tried to think of any details she might have forgotten to mention to Paula or Todd. She wiped the tears trickling down her cheeks. Looking at Todd made her want to cry all the more but she knew if she were to keep him alive she would have to come up with a solution.
She cleared her throat and very softly said, “Do you think if I were to go back to the museum I could get an answer?”
“We have to try,” was all Todd said in an equally soft voice.
Without saying another word, Kelly rose from the chair, grabbed her keys and pocketbook and headed out the apartment. She moved along the hallway in a dazed-like state oblivious to the other people in the hallway and elevator.
Outside, the fresh-air snapped her back to the moment and she rushed to her car knowing that time was of the essence. She had no idea what she was going to do once she got to the museum but just like when she first started to write the story, she now felt compelled and was certain that the answer would be there waiting for her.
Thankful for the light traffic, Kelly drove with reckless abandon to the museum. Her heart pounded in her chest as she practically ran through the corridor to the room with the exhibit. She scanned the room for the statues where she had sat the day she got the idea for the story. Two people were seated on the small bench so Kelly stood directly in front of the statue hoping she would get a feeling or idea what to do.
Ten minutes passed and nothing happened. Believing it was due to being too hyper, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the meditation exercises she had taken earlier in the year. Moments later, her body relaxed and she breathed in slowly. When nothing special overcame her, Kelly silently cried. What had she done?
March 20, 2014