Breaking The Cycle – Post Five

Confession time – when I wrote this next section I was afraid I wasn’t going to do it justice.  I have only been the observer of a child – not a suffering adult.  But in the past few days I’ve read a post from a young woman who suffers from CVS who cannot get the proper treatment.  The doctors treat her like a drug addict, not like a person with a chronic illness even though she’s been diagnosed.  That convinced me it was time to go forward and post this.  

Warning!  When I started writing this I did say there might be some uncomfortable spots of this story.  This is one of them.


Max wandered down the city streets of downtown Minneapolis searching for Chloe.  Traffic and pedestrians made his search nearly impossible.  After twenty minutes he stopped and exhaled exasperated.  She must have found a way home.

 He turned his head as he heard a noise in an alley behind a grocery store.  His better sense told him to stop, to stay there.  Looking in dark alleys in the middle of major metropolitan areas was suicide.  Something inside him fought to pull him in.  He followed the instinct and journeyed into the shadows.

The sound grew louder.  It wasn’t the sound of crying or violence.  It wasn’t the sound of a wayward cat.  It was the sound of retching.  And it came from behind a dumpster.  The one weak street lamp hanging from behind the grocery store revealed a strappy sandal attached to a limp foot.  Max leapt into a sprint until he reached the dumpster.

Chloe laid half in and half out of a puddle, her beautiful burgundy dress ruined in the stagnant, putrid water.  Her hair was matted to her face with her barrette hanging by one thin lock.  What had originally been her dinner piled near her pale face.  Her face contorted as she began to vomit again.

“Chloe!”  Max knelt beside her, scooping her into his arms.  He stared into her face.  Her eyes were vacant.  It’s as if she doesn’t know where she is or who I am. He shook her gently.   “Chloe, hey!  Wake up!”

She responded by turning her head and vomiting what little was in her stomach into his shirt.  She collapsed onto his chest, her breath labored.

“I don’t know what is wrong with you, but you need to go to the hospital.”  Max picked Chloe up, cradling her in his arms.  He carefully made his way down the city streets to his car.


Max wasn’t sure just how fast he drove.  He pulled his car into the first available spot in the parking lot of the emergency room.  Chloe retched the entire ride to the hospital, her stomach long past empty.  Her lips were starting to turn dry, her skin grew paler.  Whatever illness she came down with hit her quick and hard.  Max was just thankful he had an empty plastic bag in his backseat for her to throw up into.

He lifted her from her seat and raced into the emergency room, holding her close to him as he ran.

He stopped breathlessly at the receptionist’s desk.  The receptionist handed him a clipboard without taking her eyes off her computer screen.  A growl escaped his throat as he struggled to grasp the clipboard from beneath the limp woman in his arms.  He dropped into a chair in the waiting area setting Chloe in the seat next to him.  He stared blankly at the form demanding vital information on Chloe.  He filled out her name and address and returned it to the receptionist.

He reached into the purse he had found next to Chloe and pulled out her cell phone.  He scrolled through her address book until he reached her mom’s number.  He dialed it and waited quietly.  He took a deep breath as the voicemail popped on.  He left a brief message then ended the call.  He dropped the phone on the floor as he shot across the room to grab a trash can for her to throw up into.

Max picked up Chloe as the nurse called her name and followed close behind as she led him into a treatment room.  He laid Chloe onto the gurney then watched nervously as the nurse took her vitals.  The nurse dropped a basin onto Chloe’s lap as she started again.  How can one woman throw up this much?

The emergency room doctor swept in as the nurse finished up.  He looked up at Chloe and moaned.  “Great.  Not her again.  Start her on IV fluids and Zofran.”

“What do you mean ‘not her again’?” Max demanded.

The doctor scanned him from head to toe.  “Who are you?”

“Max.  Max Thomas.”

“And you are with her why?”

“I took her on a date.  Why is it any of your business?”

The doctor chuckled.  “Dude, let me give you some advice.  Run.  Don’t get into it with this girl.  She has some massive baggage.  She is constantly in here looking for attention doing,” he waved his hand at the limp Chloe, “this.  Forcing herself to throw up.  She is going to cling to you like a second skin.  So get out while you can.”  Max glared at him as the doctor pried her mouth open with a gloved thumb.  “Yep, she went too far this time.  She’s dehydrated.”  He turned to the nurse.  “Call upstairs and have them prepare a room.  She’s staying.”

The doctor disappeared around the corner with the nurse leaving Max alone with Chloe.  Chloe was the least clingy person Max knew.  When she wasn’t happily interacting with her clients and co-workers on a professional basis she was quiet and kept to herself.  What the doctor just didn’t make sense to him.

“Who are you?”

Max spun around.  An older woman stood in the doorway, her icy stare piercing through him.

“I’m Max.”

“And you’re standing here with my daughter why?”

Max glanced from her to Chloe.  “I took her on a date.  I don’t know what happened.”

The older woman sneered at him.  “Well, Max, you can leave.  I’ll take care of my daughter now.  You wouldn’t know how to handle the imbeciles that work here.”

Max stared at her in disbelief for several moments.  He took one last look at Chloe before he slipped from the room.


About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on April 3, 2013, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. wow, intense, you are tackling a difficult subject very succinctly.

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