LoverboyBy: Trista Jaszczak
For my daughter Sydney Lane.
No dream is ever too big.
I wrote this for those who are healing. Who has ever needed to heal. There is light at the end of the dark. Good things can come from bad. There is hope. I know. Because…I was there.
- 1 -
My name is Charlotte Murphy. Charlotte? Charlotte… No… No, they call me Charlie. I call me Charlie. Everyone calls me Charlie; they have for years. My head hurts. Bad. I’m twenty-one? I’m from Indiana. Wait. Where in Indiana? Why can’t I remember? My parents have lived there all my life. Indiana? Morgantown, Indiana. But, I moved? I don’t live there anymore. Ugh. Why can’t I move my head? No. I don’t live there anymore. I live in New York. For…for…? School. For school. I live there for school. And, I’m a dancer. I’m an instructor for a studio part time. I work with the younger girls. I can’t move my arms, either. Where am I? Where was I? It’s black, everything is black. I was leaving school. No. Work? No, I don’t work until later this week. Why can’t I remember? What was I doing? I was leaving…something. Somewhere. I’m sore. Everywhere hurts. The party. I was leaving a party. That’s it. I left the party, because people were acting crazy. I walked. I walked home. I remember. I cut through Central Park. But then someone grabbed me. Someone grabbed me hard. They covered my mouth. I remember!
My eyes pop open, and suddenly I’m greeted by annoying, harsh white lights and beeping noises. I groan softly. My God, I was right. I was grabbed. Someone kidnapped me. They don’t still have me do they? They can’t. No. I ran. I got away. I move my eyes around slowly and realize the only thing that can have beeping noises and such bright lights is the hospital. I’m in the hospital. I don’t remember getting here. I couldn’t have gotten here by myself. Could I? I moan again, this time making an attempt to move my hand. At least, I think I’m trying to move my hand. It hurts, too. My head, my neck, my arms, my legs, everywhere. Stabbing pains, shooting pains; pains that I’ve never felt before in my life course through every last inch of my body. Just how hurt am I? I can feel my heart beginning to pound furiously deep in my chest. I hear a clicking noise and feet on the floor as the sounds come closer.
“Charlotte?” I hear a soft female voice.
I open my mouth and realize how dry it is. I swallow hard and make another attempt to speak.
“It’s okay, Sweetie,” she interrupts me. “You don’t have to talk. Do you know where you are?”
I give myself a moment and fight through the pain enough to nod my head.
“You understand that you’re in the hospital?” She asks.
I lick my dry lips to find an array of what feels like cuts around them, and nod slowly once more.
“You are one lucky girl,” she says, as I feel her working with the tubes that I now see are all attached to me. “We didn’t expect you to wake up this soon.”
“Pain,” I finally choke out.
“Don’t worry; we’ll get you something more for the pain.” She reassures me. “Just try to relax for me. Don’t worry now; the police are here.”
“Police?” I stammer.
“Why, dear, after what you’ve just been through they wouldn’t dare leave you without protection,” she says softly, as I feel her working with another tube that I can now tell is running directly into my arm.
“Protection?” I ask. “I was,” I pause to swallow. “I was kidnapped.” My thoughts become jumbled a moment as I try to comprehend everything that’s happened to me. Everything in my mind seems to be surrounded by a thick haze, and I can’t pull even one random through from the mess.
She looks down at me, making the most pitiful face I have ever seen on a person. “Oh, Sweetheart, I better let the police talk to you about that.”
Just how bad am I?
“Can I,” I stop. “Can I sit up?” I ask
“Do you feel up to it?” She asks. “I don’t want to exhaust you; you just woke up.”
“How long have I been out?” I ask, now feeling more strength in my voice.