IV_Drip2Jillian awoke to the sounds of her mother & father arguing in hushed tones by the side of her hospital bed…hushed, yes, but arguing none the less. Although her head pounded & felt as if gripped by a vice in the worst way, and she couldn’t yet bring herself to open her burning eyes, she could guess what it was they were arguing about: Her. Oh, most definitely they were talking very urgently about…her. For a moment she cringed at the promise of her father’s impending lecture about the damage to the new Lexus, her beautiful Lexus (his words) that he had wrapped in ribbon to surprise her for her birthday…but then she remembered: it had all been a dream. The car was fine…well, she assumed that it was fine. Very most likely it was still parked in the secured garage under her apartment building. Next to the bicycle cage and mere feet from the door to the basement “lobby” as she called it. Not the real lobby of course, but the elevator landing accessible only to the tenants of the building through the garage. Might as well be a lobby, she thought. Sconces on the wall and a rug with an air not suited to muddy boots…but what was her mind doing rambling around about such things! The current urgent reality was vastly more important…and quite grim. She almost rather the Lexus was bashed to a pulp, completely totaled, compared to her current state of affairs! Her apartment was toast…literally. He refuge from her father and his continual urgent expectations, her inner sanctum…burnt to a crisp, probably a gutted box of charred filth…as also were all her belongings, she was sure.

She mentally heaved a huge sigh to muster the courage to open her eyes. She just needed a few more moments to hash out a plan…a story…something that would stave off the vultures, uh, her parents, she meant. She knew that this was all they needed to…

“Oh! She’s awake! Ray, honey…stop, just stop. Our daughter’s awake…”

Jillian chanced a peek from one slitted eyelid to see that, yes, her mother had noticed she was conscious. Hell, her “mental sigh” had probably been a REAL sigh and audible to everyone in the room. Crap.

“Jill, darling…Jill? Can you hear me? It’s Mother. How are you feeling?” Emilia’s elegant fingers with extremely well manicured nails adjusted the thin blanket around her daughter. Jill inwardly cringed. When would she just stop treating her like a child? She felt she was just some mobile real-life accessory…a doll, a pet…to her mother’s never-ending parade of fashionable moments. She was merely something precious to be shown to all on Emilia’s whim, her mother never seeing the real person that was there, the daughter as a force of nature in her own right and not just some extension of the Grand Emilia Rosalind Amhurst Kingfisher. She was an expensive knick-knack to be gloated about or embarrassed about or…worse yet…to be disappointed and annoyed about.

© 2011 D. Kessler

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