Saturday, 27 January 2018

A Step Too Far - Chapter 11

Slurring and sobbing, stumbling as she ran despite her drug addled head, trying to reach the main road while explaining where she was to the operator, Stephanie was desperate to get someone, anyone there to help.  The operator calmly tried to settle her down and find out what happened, but she was too frenzied to give a coherent reply between trying to flag down cars that sounded their horns angrily at her.

As the operator ensured her an ambulance was on its way and implored repeatedly, “Please miss, keep off the road, an ambulance is on its way, you need to go back to your friend and I’ll talk you through helping her.” After several repeats, the message finally drummed though, “Shit!” she’d left her lying on her back, probably choking on her own tongue!  Maybe the only reason she wasn’t breathing now was Stephanie's own carelessness!  She hung up the phone and ran back to where she left Annie.

Stephanie’s eyes darted around, desperately trying to spot where she left Annie, but she was nowhere to be seen.  This has to be where she was!  It was only a few hundred meters away, and she recognised the nearby tree and bench, definitely!  They were lying right there!  Was she that high she imagined the entire thing?  She shone the light of her phone where Annie once lay and saw a few specs of blood against the green grass.  But Annie was gone.

Stephanie turned, looking carefully in every direction, Annie nowhere in sight.  “Annie?” she called out into the darkness.  “ANNIE!” she shouted at the top of her lungs.  No reply.  She ran back and fourth, making sure she had a full view of the area.  There wasn’t a lot obscuring the view and she could see well enough into the distance in the moon light.  No one was there.

She paused in horror for a moment, unable to find her dead or dying friend… and then realised, and fell to her knees laughing and crying at once with relief.  She was alive!  If she was too badly off, she couldn’t have gone far at all in such little time.  In Stephanie’s daze she must have not been able to feel her pulse or notice her breathing, how obvious that should have been!  Whatever had happened to Annie, she had obviously woken up, saw she was alone in the park, and knowing her, calmly and quickly went for help.

Stephanie raised her phone and started dialing Annie’s number.  Whatever happened last night, she clearly owed Annie the world’s biggest apology, and given the state they were in, probably also her life - again.  The thought flashed in her mind, “How much does an entire ice-cream shop go for these days?”

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