Karen woke up with a start. Her heart was pounding like she had just ran a marathon and her body was soaked with sweat. She got out of bed and entered the bathroom. She splashed water on her face and stared at herself in the mirror. Images of the disturbing dream flashed in her mind: Emily screaming, reaching out to her, with her baby in her arms.
Emily was dead so why was she still dreaming about her? It had been a while since she saw her in her dream and she thought she was finally at peace with her best friend’s passing. But this dream felt different, urgent and real. What could it mean? Was Fitz mistreating the baby? Was Emily…not dead? That was absurd. She had to see lil’ Karen. She would feel better if she saw how she was faring.
James entered the room just as Karen was hanging up.
“Hey babe,” he said and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Ready to head out?” “I’m sorry but I have to go and see Em’s baby today.” “Why, is she ill?” “I don’t know; I’m going to find out.” “Is this an emergency? You can always go…” “No, I’m going today, James. I can’t postpone it.”
“What is going on, Karen?”
“I had a very terrifying dream about Emily and her baby.” “I thought those dreams had stopped.” “Yeah, that is why this particular one has rattled me. It felt very real and urgent. I need to see the baby.” “Do you need me to come with you?” “Nah, I can take care of this on my own. I’ll call you when anything comes up.” “Okay, take care,” he said after giving her a hug. He walked out.
Fitz sighed irritably. He had to attend a meeting but Karen wanted to see the baby. He had been putting it off for some time now and he didn’t want to raise any suspicions but doing that one more time. He hadn’t gone to see Emily for two weeks now. It wasn’t intentional for him to keep the baby from her for this long but his schedule has been super busy lately. He would go and see her after he was done with the day’s work.
He glanced at Emily’s still body at the back seat. He didn’t have much time. He stepped hard on the accelerator. He took out his phone to call his boss.
Karen stood in front of Fitz’s house and sighed. She rang the bell and waited. The house help opened the door about a minute later.
“Hello.” “Hello, Miss. Please come in.” She entered and led her to the living room.
“Please make yourself comfortable. Care for a drink?” “I’m good, thanks. Please let your boss know that I’m here.” “I will.” Karen sat. She looked around. Nothing much had changed in the house except for Emily’s bright presence. She suddenly missed her best friend.
The phone began to ring. She looked around expecting the help to come and pick it up. It kept ringing. It got sent to voicemail.
“Boss, something happened. Your wife…she tried to kill herself. She must have drunk something and she slashed her wrist too. I’m rushing her to the O.M. General Hospital. Please come immediately.” The line went dead.
Karen blinked hard. Was she imagining it? Fitz had remarried? So soon? And she just attempted suicide? Or was it….? Her dream flashed in her mind’s eye. She gasped. Was it Emily? But she was there when she was being lowered into the ground. Then who was it?
She looked around. No one was coming. She got up. Her heart was pounding again. Something was urging her to rush to the hospital. She didn’t even know where the hospital was. But she had to find the place…at all cost. Who knows, it could be…. She rushed out of the house.
“He’ll be with you shortly….” She looked around.
“Where could she have gone?”
Fitz walked in with lil’ Karen in his arms. The help looked at him.
“She’s gone, sir.” “Gone, what do you mean, gone?” “She sat here waiting when I walked out. When I walked back in, she wasn’t here.” “That’s strange. Let me call her,” Fitz said.
Karen googled the location of the hospital as the taxi crawled through the traffic. She sucked her teeth in frustration. She wished James had come along. He was very good at finding his way around town avoiding traffic.
Who was she expecting to see at the hospital? The new wife Fitz has that no one knows about or her best friend known to be dead to the world? She didn’t know and she was nervous about it. The lights turned green and Karen sighed in relief.
Her phone rang. It was Fitz calling. To pick up or not to pick up? She decided against the former.
Fitz stared at his phone in disbelief. He had postponed his meeting because of Karen and now she had walked out without seeing the baby at all. He shook his head. Silly girl, he chided mentally.
“Auntie couldn’t meet you after all; but I’ll take you to meet your mother, okay? I know you miss her. I miss her too. I hope she’ll come to her senses soon so we can be a family again,” Fitz said to a clueless Karen who only stared back in return. She touched his face and he smiled. Beautiful baby, he thought.
The phone rang. He took it.
“Hello.” “Sir, it’s your wife.” Fitz’s heart sank.
“What happened?” “She…she tried to hurt herself, sir. I found her in the room passed out with a slashed wrist. I’ve rushed her to the…” “What?! How did she even come into contact with a sharp object in the first place?” “I have no idea sir. She’s at the O…” “I know the place. I’m on my way.” He put the phone down.
“Rose!” She came in. He gave her the baby.
“I’ll be back. Take care of her.” He grabbed his car key and rushed out of the house.
Karen got out of the taxi and entered the hospital. She looked around, not knowing where to turn or who to inquire. The ER sounded like a good place to start.
She met a nurse and greeted him.
“Um…my friend was brought here not so long ago. She came in with a slashed wrist…” “Yeah, she has been stabilized. Are you family?” “Her best friend. Please let me see her.” He led her to the ward.
God, don’t let it be…she stopped herself. If it wasn’t Emily then it meant she was really dead and whoever was lying there was none of her business. If it were Emily, then it meant….
“Here she is.” Karen stopped cold in her tracks. The nurse glanced at her. Tears fell on her cheeks.
“Are you okay?” She couldn’t nod nor say anything. She took slow steady steps towards the bed where a depressed version of her best friend lay. She knelt by her bed and took her hand in hers. She broke into tears.
“I’ll excuse myself,” the nurse said and walked away.
“I’m sorry for believing that you were really dead.” She suddenly felt grateful for the dream she had earlier. When she had exhausted her tears, she sat down beside Emily’s bed, still holding her hand. She couldn’t wait for Emily to open her eyes.
She wondered in dread what she had been through these past months for her to get to the point of ending her life. Fitz was a monster and he’d definitely pay for this cruelty.
“She’s here, boss.” Karen heard and lifted her head.
Fitz froze. Karen gave him a cold smile.
“So it seems you’re not a widower after all, Fitz Daniels.”
He cursed himself for being caught.