Cursed, p.10
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       Cursed, p.10

         Part #1 of The Devils Roses series by Tara Brown
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Page 10


  “So, you’re awake?” The doctor put her cold hands on my wrist to check my pulse.

  “Barely. I think I need more sleep. ”

  “I agree, a few days maybe and you can go home. Right now though, we need to keep you for observation. You’re a very lucky girl. ” Her tone was annoying.

  “I don’t feel lucky. I went to my first party ever and was drugged. Not so lucky, I think. ” I kept my eyes closed. They were too heavy to try to lift.

  My dad grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. “Well, the important thing is that you’re going to be okay. ”

  I pried open my eyes. “Dad, you can’t blame Alise for this. It wasn’t her fault at all. I wanted to go to the party. Or Shane, he’s a very nice guy. ”

  He nodded. “I apologized to her—don’t worry. I was just so mad. I know Shane's a good guy. He's been here everyday. He sleeps and eats here. I’ve asked him, your sister, and Blake to try to help out. I want them to find out who did this to you. You kids will hear more than the adults will. ”

  There it was again—Alise and Blake in the same sentence. I knew that I wouldn’t get any answers from my dad, so I closed my eyes and thought about who would want to drug Giselle. The list was endless. She was beautiful and fairly dumb. The combination would be hard to resist. I had never been friends with her. Undoubtedly, something had to have happened to make me even consider drinking, not only with her, but in general.

  The list would have to consist of who would date rape someone. In my sister's group of friends, again, I felt the list was endless. She had friends who had been creepy when we had been in kindergarten. Senior year, they were serial killers waiting to strike. Then again, I was biased. They had all been mean to me on more than one occasion.

  No one from my nerd table came to mind. All of them would have the capability and intelligence needed to make a homemade date-rape drug, but none of them would have done it.

  Slowly but surely, the doctor and my dad left, and I was alone to drift off to sleep again.

  Chapter Two

  Friends and foes

  “Aimee. ”

  I opened my eyes but no one was there.

  I sat up, looking around. My stomach hurt. Thankfully, my pounding heart seemed to be supplying me with the energy.

  “Aimee,” the woman called me again. I was pretty sure it was Giselle’s voice.

  I lowered my bed and stepped off gingerly, hoping I wouldn’t fall and reveal the opening in the back of the gown. Hospitals really were cruel with their open-backed gowns.

  I started to walk from the room, not noticing the IV. I made it two steps, before I felt the stab of the moving needle. I stepped back and leaned against the machine. My hand burned where the needle went into it. I closed my eyes for a few seconds to let the throbbing stop.

  I grabbed the IV machine and started my slow progression down the hall, in search of Giselle’s room. I didn’t know which room she was in, but there were only so many. My body ached and the IV machine didn’t seem happy about the trek either.

  I saw her through the door as I walked past the rooms peeking in. She was lying in her bed, blinking. I grimaced, remembering the feeling of waking and not knowing what had happened. No one was in her room, but it looked like the gardener had been by. Every shelf, and even the windowsills, was full of flowers. I didn’t have a single flower.

  I smiled at her as I crept into the room. “Hey Giselle,” I whispered. I didn’t really need to whisper. If anyone had been within earshot, they would have heard the loud squeak from my IV cart.

  She turned her head, looking bewildered. Her eyes looked frightened. “Aimee, you’re here. I knew you were here. What happened?”

  “Someone got us good. We will both be here for a bit longer. This is my first time walking in almost a week. ”

  “No, you were here. I saw you. You held my hand. ”

  “No, maybe Alise came by to see you. ”

  “Maybe,” she spoke as if her mouth were dry. I pushed the button to bring her to a slight incline and sat on the end of her bed.

  "What happened?" She looked frightened.

  “I don’t know. Everyone says we were drinking together and then we were throwing up. They brought you here right away, I think, and me in the early hours of the morning. They tested us and we have some crazy date-rape drug in our systems. They think someone did this to us on purpose. ”

  Her frightened look grew in intensity. “Who would do that?”

  I pressed my lips together and furrowed my brow. “That’s just it, no one knows. The party had to have over a hundred people at it. People from all the close-by schools and whatever. ”

  “How long have we been here?”

  “You, six days—me, five. I spent the first night at Shane’s house. " I blushed as I thought about it. “Giselle, don’t tell anyone, but I know I didn’t put myself to bed. I was naked when I woke, and clean. I’m scared someone did something and then cleaned me up. But I can’t remember. ”

  She looked disgusted. “What is wrong with people? Dude, I hate to tell you this, but you need to get the nurse to do a check. She can check and make sure you’re still a virgin. I have to say, though, like, if you weren’t a virgin anymore, you would be sore down there. I was like super sore when I lost mine. ” She looked up at the ceiling and sighed.

  I sighed looking down at her arm where the IV was poking in. “I wish my mom was here. ” I hadn’t said those words in a long time. The moment seemed harder than all the others I had been through. It felt hopeless and out of control. I felt as if I was at the end of my rope and ready to just let go and fall.

  “Me too. ”

  I looked at her confused. “Where is your mom?”

  She trembled a tiny bit, as her lower lip quivered and a small tear left her right eye. “She, like, left. A month ago, she just packed everything and left. My dad doesn’t know what to do with his life without her. He works, like non-stop. He doesn’t come home sometimes, just sleeps, like, at the office. ”

  I put my IV-free hand out on the blankets. “Giselle, I am so sorry. I had no idea. ”

  She shook her head. “No one does. She told us she was going to visit her sister, but she just left. Dad has one credit card he can track her with. I guess she’s been in Mexico for a week, paying for two people. My dad is a mess. ”

  I bowed my head and nodded weakly. “My dad isn’t taking mom's death any better. I don’t think any of us are. My family is a mess too. ”

  Giselle looked at me, and her huge eyes glistened. Her long, silky black hair framed her perfect oval face. Her skin was an olive color, with naturally pink full lips and eyes so dark the pupils were not visible. Even heartbroken and horribly sick, she was stunning.

  “We have each other, it seems. ” She gripped the hand I had given her.

  "Yeah, I'm just down the hall. If I can make it back there. " I pressed the button for the nurse. She came running in, breathless.

  “Oh, thank Heaven, you girls are both awake. ” She looked at Giselle specifically. “How are you feeling, sweetie?” She put the tools to work and checked Giselle’s vitals.

  “Okay, but I was wondering if we could share a room. ”

  The nurse nodded at us. “I’ll have your stuff moved over right away. I can’t believe you walked all that way, Hun; it’s a long ways for a sick kid. ”

  I patted my trusty IV cart. “It helped me the whole way. ”

  The nurse laughed at me and shook her head.

  Before we knew it, we were sharing a room and Giselle was regaling me with tales of boys and shopping discounts. There was no more sad talk about moms and dads or boys who like to drug girls.

  I listened, happy to be distracted by simple things that really had no bearing on my world.

  Normally, I liked to surround myself with intelligent people who only talked when important or interesting things were to b
e said. In that moment, a story of drinking while in Cuba and a few helpful hints about strange Cuban men were extremely entertaining.

  In the midst of our peaceful afternoon nap, I heard her before I saw her. It was always the case.

  “They’re sharing a room?” my sister asked rudely, also always the case.

  I opened my eyes to see the nurse talking to my sister and dad, just outside our room.

  “Yes, they’re scared. They’ve had something horrid happen to them and they’re alone here, except for each other. ” The nurse let my sister know she could be a snotty bitch too, but with a smile and actual authority.

  My dad smiled at the young nurse. “Right. Of course. Thank you. I think we should just see if they’re awake then. ”

  I grinned as his face lit up at seeing mine.

  “You have color and your eyes look clear again. How are you feeling, kiddo?” he asked, sitting on the end of my bed.

  I nodded, feeling sick for him and what he had been through in one year.

  My sister looked odd, uneasy. I frowned at Alise, but answered my dad, “Good. We both seem to be coming around. I’m ready to get out of here, though. The nurse said tomorrow, if the liver tests come back normal. ”

  “Your liver?” my sister asked, looking like she might throw up.

  “Yeah, did you even show up for bio? The liver is the filter for the blood. Drugs and alcohol are filtered through the liver. That’s why underage drinking is so bad. You’re damaging a developing liver. ”

  My dad laughed. “Well, good to see you’re feeling like yourself again. We’ll come back tonight with some food if you want. ”

  “Yeah, I’d love something I can eat. Maybe bring Giselle something. Her dad has been busy lately. ”

  Alise rolled her eyes at the comment, which angered me in ways I couldn’t describe. I felt unreasonably angry with Alise. I literally had to count backwards from ten to stop myself from lashing out at her, or throwing something at the very least.

  She looked apprehensively at me as she asked, “How’s the memory coming?”
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