Tales From an Active Imagination: Part 4

Chapter 4 of The Rose Garden is now up! If you are new to the story, you can start at the beginning. If you just need a refresher from last time, you can re-read chapter 3.


“You must hate me,” I somehow manage to squeak out.

I can’t bring myself to look at Rose; instead, I focus on a stain on the ceiling above my bed. It reminds me of a geranium in full bloom. Though devoid of any real color other then a grimy yellow-brown, I pretend it’s a Daredevil Claret known for it’s rich, dark red color. I’ve always loved the name of this variety of geranium. A daredevil is bold, fearless, and does whatever they want. And when they are successful with their mission they can celebrate with a glass of French wine. That’s how I always looked at life: something to enjoy regardless of the consequences. Maybe it’s time for a new flower.

“Why would I hate you?”

Rose’s question interrupts my musing. WCan she be serious? I crashed into her car. I’m sure it’s totaled. I turn to face her, sure that I’ll find something in her eyes that proves me right. But I can’t find anything but kindness. What gives? I decide to answer her. “I totaled your car.”

She laughs. Laughs? “Oh, don’t worry about that. It’s just a car. I’m sure it can be fixed, and if not, God will provide.”

There’s that name again. God. What has God provided? It’s been a long time, but I remember what the Bible says. God gives and takes away. Well, he’s taken away too much. What has he actually given me? God doesn’t provide anything but heartache.

Rose’s smile fades. She gently strokes my hair. “You must have had a hard life. God doesn’t provide the heartache. It’s not from Him. But He will take it and use it for good. I promise.”

“Did I just say that out loud?” I’m so embarrassed.

“Sometimes things need to be said. I have a feeling you and I were put together for a reason.”

The tech walks in before I have a chance to respond.

***

“Well, Nicole, it looks like you are good to go.” The nurse smiles at me after making her final checks. “Don’t be surprised if you are still sore in a few days. These things take time. I have to say you were very lucky. We couldn’t find a single thing wrong with you except maybe a bruise or two. Someone was definitely looking out for you.” She smiles again, this time bigger than before.

For the first time I notice a gold cross hanging from a delicate chain around the nurse’s neck. Oh, great, I think, another one.

I look around for a moment, unable to shake the feeling I’m missing something.

“Are you looking for Rose?” She must have noticed. Is that what I was missing? Was I missing Rose? I haven’t seen her since the tech came and took me to get more tests done. She was no longer in my room when I returned. Where is she? And why do I care?

The nurse must have taken my silence to be an acknowledgment of her questions because she continues. “She wanted to stay, but there was something pressing she needed to do. Here, this is a note she left for you. She hoped you would know what to do.”

I take the note from her hand, but I don’t open it right away. I’ll look at it later, I think, and tuck it into the back pocket of my jeans. The nurse gives me a look I can’t figure out the meaning of, but then she asks if I have a ride home.

I didn’t even think about that. Out of habit I open my purse–which had been brought to me earlier with some other possessions someone had found in my car–and reach inside for my phone, but it’s not there. Oh, no. I have no car and no phone. What am I going to do? “Um-

“If you need to call someone you can place a call at the desk on your way out. Just let them know what you need and they’ll help you.”

I thank her, grab my things, and start to walk out.

“Don’t forget to take a look at that note. I have a feeling it will be important to you.” She calls after me before I get too far, but I don’t look back. I’m too busy trying to figure out whose number I actually know by heart.

By the time I reach the desk, I know who I am going to call. I let out a groan and the man behind the desk gives me a questioning look. Ignoring it, I ask to use the phone and proceed to dial the only local number I can recall to mind.


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