Being Friday night it is kickboxing Friday. Get well soon, Keoni!!
Max drove down the interstate barely paying attention to the road. For the last week and a half he couldn’t get Chloe out of his mind. Her laughter on their date echoed in his ears. Seeing her so sick she couldn’t recognize him twisted a knife in his heart. Seeing her running from Roadie’s Gym in tears made him feel helpless and pathetic. Not knowing how she was, what she was doing was driving him insane.
He glanced briefly at his smart phone for the time but instead caught the date. Thursday. He quickly ran dates in his head. He paused for a moment. Should I see if my hunch is right? Can I handle what I’m going to find? He nudged his turn signal on as he caught the next exit out of the corner of his eye.
Max turned the car off and stepped out. He stared at the old, large white house for a moment before he jogged up the porch steps. He knocked on the door and waited. And waited. And waited. He heard the television on inside. Someone was home. He knocked again.
The front door was wrenched open violently. It’s the witch. Chloe’s mom glared at him. He could feel her eyes sear through him.
“Is Chloe home?” Max asked, his voice cracking weakly.
“Now’s not a good time, Mike.”
“Whatever. Get off my porch.”
He glanced down at the stains covering her sweatshirt. “Is she sick?”
“She’s in the bathroom. Check for yourself.”
Max squeezed past her and wandered into the house. His neck snapped around at the sound of retching from upstairs. He took the steps two at a time and came to a stop at the bathroom door.
Chloe laid on the cold tile floor of the bathroom with a bucket near her. Her head laid on a rolled up towel. She didn’t turn to look at him. She looks about aware of me as she was in that alley. Her body started to writhe as she vomited again.
He knelt beside her and held her in his arms, helping her to the bucket to keep the mess off the floor. When the retching stopped she slumped against him weakly. He pushed a sweat soaked lock of brown hair from her forehead as he gazed at her pale, sunken face.
“So, want to stick around?” Chloe’s mom hissed from the doorway. “She’s not done yet. Are you all right with your precious expensive athletic wear getting all messed up?”
Max held her tighter to him as he scowled at woman. “Yes. They’re just clothes. They wash.”
Chloe’s mom stared at him dumbfounded for several moments. Max felt Chloe jerk against him again. He supported her as she vomited again. “So, this is what happens every three weeks.”
“Do you have to take her to the hospital?”
“Hopefully not.” Chloe’s mom watched him silently for a few moments as he settled Chloe back into his arms. “My name is Liz.”
“Nice to meet you, Liz.”
She smiled at him. “Can I get you a soda?”
“A glass of water would be fine.”
“Sure. I’ll be right back.” Liz disappeared down the hall. Max listened to her footsteps pat down the steps. He turned back to Chloe, gently stroking her cheek. She relaxed, the tension that once ripped through her now dissolving. Max shifted, crossing his legs to get more comfortable on the hard floor. Liz reappeared, stepping over the two of them to sit on the edge of the bathtub. She handed the glass to him.
“She seems to have relaxed,” Max murmured.
“That’s good news. Hopefully she’s done.”
“She’ll be out for a little while.”
He glanced around at the puddles on the floor and the fluid in the bucket. I can see why.
They sat in silence for nearly a half hour. Liz smile. “She’s done.”
Max cradled Chloe in his arms and carefully stood. He glanced down at Liz. “Where’s her room?”
Liz rose and motioned to him. “Follow me.”
He followed her to a white painted room. The furniture was also painted white and the bed was covered with a rose colored quilt. Max pulled the quilt back and gently laid Chloe on the sheets. He covered her with the quilt then pressed a kiss to her forehead. He glanced at Liz as he strode from the room.
“You’re leaving?” Liz asked incredulously as she spun to follow him.
She stopped short as he walked into the bathroom and knelt on the floor. He looked at her from over his shoulder.
“Do you have a towel or scrub brush or soap or anything for this?” He motioned to the puddles.
He met her stunned gaze evenly then smiled as she rushed down the hallway to get him a scrub brush and soap.