Darlene checked her reflection in the rearview mirror after snagging a shaded space in the hospital’s north lot. She almost didn’t recognize herself with the sandy blonde hair and green eyes. The bangs made her even more a stranger, as she hadn’t worn them since 1999. Her best friend, Jen, masterminded the disguise, right down to the skinny jeans and floral t-shirt. She blinked several times, still grossed out by wearing borrowed cosmetic contacts. When she balked, Jen had said, “do you want to rot in a jail cell wearing unflattering wide stripes?” Darlene doused them in extra saline before inserting.
She felt ridiculous about her paranoia as she concentrated on not toppling over in 4-inch heels- also borrowed from Jen. The idea was to not dress “Darlene,” and any shoe with a raised heel was definitely not Darlene. She strolled to the information desk and asked for Myrtle Crawford’s room, claiming to be her niece just in case they limited visitors to family. Without any verification, the volunteer surrendered the room number.
On the third floor, Darlene rounded the corner to the east wing. She halted at the sight of two officers outside Myrtle’s door. Panic took form in caught breath, pounding heart, and the distracting trickles of sweat sliding down her sides. Her mind had refused to grasp the danger of coming here- until she spotted the two dark uniforms and gold shield badges. Her gaze settled on the weapons dangling from their duty belts. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“Hey-a, fellas,” Darlene said as she approached the door.
On officer blocked her way. “You can’t go in there, ma’am.”
“I-I’m her niece. Please… ya’ll have to let me see my aunt.”
“Evie, honey, is that you?” a weak voice asked from the other side of the door.
“It’s me, Auntie!”
The officers exchanged glances. The one in front of the door narrowed his eyes, studying her face. “Go on,” he finally said, stepping aside.
This is my response to the Trifecta weekly challenge, which is to write a 33 to 333-word response (mine is 332) using the following word/definition: GRASP: (verb) -to lay hold of with the mind: comprehend
If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click here to view Trifecta’s site. Happy writing (and reading!)
Once again, this is a community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites by visiting Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 8PM Eastern time.
This continuation of Darlene’s Story is still in Darlene’s point of view. Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire piece. Thanks for stopping by!