Chapter Six

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Chapter Six


Panic surged through my body as the sounds of sirens drowned out any semblance of rational thinking.

“It’s okay, ma’am,” reassured a calm female voice. “I’m Officer Kate Conner. I’m going to ride with you to the hospital.”

“What’s happening? What happened to me?” I screamed.

“You lost consciousness,” the woman said. “Don’t worry, you’ll be okay. We’re here to help you.”

My voice shook, “Someone followed me in the parking lot. They banged on my window.”

The woman laid a hand on my shoulder and gave a light squeeze. “A man from the gym was trying to return your water bottle. You left it in the on your treadmill.”

My jaw dropped and I inhaled sharply.

She squeezed my shoulder again. “He didn’t mean to scare you.”

A man with short brown hair and a slight bump in the bridge of his nose came into view. His crisp white shirt with short sleeves smelled like fresh rain and cedar chips. 

“We’re going to take good care of you, ma’am,” he said.

I remained speechless, my mouth still agape, as he slipped a blood pressure cuff over my arm and began squeezing the bulb.

“Blood pressure is 90/60,” he reported after loosening the cuff. “I need to check your blood sugar level, you’ll feel a slight pinch.”

I nodded as a tear slid down my cheek.

“Blood sugar is normal,” he stated.

“I- I- It was just an accident?” I asked, my voice thick with emotion.

“Yes, just an accident,” said Officer Conner.

The single tear turned into an unstoppable flood. “I’m such an idiot,” I said in between sobs.

“Blood sugar is normal,” said the EMT as he wrote it down on a chart.

Nausea crept into my core and spread rapidly. “I don’t feel so good,” I mumbled. “I think I’m going to get sick.”

“Feeling nauseous is typical after fainting,” said the EMT. He pointed to a hanging bag filled with clear fluid. “I’m going to hook you up to this IV. That should help subdue the nausea.”

Officer Conner’s radio crackled.

“Can I call anyone for you?” she asked. “To come meet you at the hospital.”

I closed my eyes and tried to stop the tears from flowing.

“Ma’am,” she said with a frown, “Is there anyone I can call for you? Perhaps a family member?”

My heart stung with pain. The last time my family had received a call from a police officer was the night of the crash. I cannot put my mother through that again. They cannot find out about this…

“Or maybe a boyfriend or friend,” said the police officer, picking up on my hesitation.

“I have a friend, Scarlet. You could call her,” I said quietly.


“Oh my God,” said Scarlet with wide eyes. “Hadley! What happened?”

I clutched the hem of the thin blanket the nurse had brought me. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to bug you, but I just couldn’t let them call my mom or dad. I was worried it would bring back memories of the crash.”

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