Continued from Original Blog Country Roads, January 28, 2011
Relaying the story to her brother, who moonlighted as a security guard, meant Kate was in for a lecture on safety afterwards. She new she should have had her cell phone with her, even (or especially?) on infrequently traveled country roads. I’m strong, and fast, and smart, she thought to herself, rationalizing her lack of preparedness in an emergency. Besides, there wasn’t a Pine Ridge, or Pine Anything road around here that even has cell service.
“Psshhh”! The expelled air calmed Kate a bit, as she thought about her early morning experience. Then she giggled to herself. He’s probably some nice, old man who thought I needed a ride, right?
Glancing at the pendulum clock Kate had inherited from her grandparents, she realized Topher was likely to be sleeping in especially late, after a night shift. Thankfully the tale of her “brush with death” could wait. And Dad never had to hear it at all.
Pouring a steaming cup of tea with an excessive amount of sugar and half and half, Kate returned to her waiting laptop to work while the cottage was quiet and still relatively cool. In a few hours the sun would beat down on the surrounding decks, inviting Kate to take a sun-break. This was her summer ritual. Workout, shower, write, RELAX.
Today’s agenda took such a twist when run for your life was added to the mix, Kate thought.
“Back to work”, she said out loud.
Pulling her still somewhat shaky legs beneath her on the couch, Kate began typing.
“The incidence and risk of suicide in brain injury patients increases for those sustaining repeated concussions during athletic events.”
Her latest story for FemSport was beginning to take shape. The controversial topic was difficult to address and personally devastating, knowing people who had lost loved ones in such a tragically, horrific way. All stars and scholarship athletes, ending their own lives after concussions had altered their frame of mind, or perhaps even their brain chemistry. That’s what she hoped to learn and present in her current article, after meeting with an expert later in the week.
A stiff neck and aching knees alerted Kate to the fact that she had been curled up and hunched over her laptop for over an hour. It took her the better part of five minutes to untangle her long legs and slowly stretch the taut muscles both there and in her neck. What she wouldn’t give for a shoulder massage right now, she thought.
Rubbing her own neck as she headed for the kitchen to find food, Kate felt a presence before she heard the sound outside her front door. She had locked it, hadn‘t she? The hair on the back of her stiff neck stood up, and that fight or flight instinct kicked in, sending her heart racing as she approached the door. A shadow crossed the arched, glass panel at the top of the door as something briefly blocked the sun from entering the room. The sun was now at its peak in the sky, but Kate felt a chill, fear gripping her and leaving her unable to move any further. Whatever caused the shadow, just as suddenly moved away. Swallowing hard, Kate got up the nerve to approach the door. As her trembling hand touched the doorknob, she closed her eyes, took a deep, steadying breath, and pulled the door towards her.
A sudden flutter of wings caused a gasp to escape her lips. Then nervous, relieved laughter bubbled up, making Kate sound a bit on the hysterical side. Thankfully the only one to hear her was the blue bird, caught stealing pieces of Spanish moss from the wreath that decorated the front door of the little cottage. The events of that morning had affected her more than even she had realized.
It was time to tell SOMEONE, and to do a little investigating of her own.
Part 3 Anyone?!
A warm country hug to all,