Rinsing the conditioner out of her hair, Mary let the soothing hot water run down her back a little longer. The pain in her lower back had kept her up half the night, tossing and turning. She felt like an ancient fossil.
She was getting ready to go to her local book club meeting. The actual discussion of the books they read, she rather enjoyed. Listening to the other ladies’ bitch about everything and everyone in their lives? Not so much.
Hopping out of the shower, she reached for her towel. ‘Bonnie, stop that.’ Bonnie was frantically licking at her face. Mary opened her eyes to be greeted by the ceiling. What happened? She realized she must have fallen getting out. How long have I been down here on the floor?
Her head was positively pounding, and she could feel a rather large lump at the back. Oh shit, where is my phone? The phone was on her bedside table. She tried to get to her feet, but it was no use. The stabbing pain in her back made it near impossible. Bonnie was pacing back and forth, meowing louder than Mary had ever heard her meow before.
There is no way I’m being found dead here, naked on the floor, with only a towel to cover my wrinkled old bum. I have to get to that phone if it kills me. Mary rolled over onto her stomach and commando style crawled to the phone like a wounded soldier, trying desperately to make it back to the relative safety of the trench. Bonnie never left her side. Her feline comrade-in-arms. Who said cats are not loyal?
She sent off a quick text to Joy from the book club to let her know she wouldn’t be coming. Mary never mentioned why, as they would have all been sure to make a big fuss about it. She dialed Melanie’s number.
‘Hey mum, what’s up? I’m just at Hayden’s appointment with the pediatrician.’ Once again, Mary felt like she was an inconvenience to her family. Cuddling Bonnie, she fought back tears. ‘Honey, I’ve had a fall. I can’t get myself up off the floor.’ Hayden could be heard wailing in the background. ‘Shush darling, mummy is trying to speak to Grandma on the phone. My god mum, what the hell happened?’
Bonnie was now rubbing her face all over Mary like a crazy cat. ‘I have no idea. I was getting out of the shower, reached for my towel, and the next thing I knew, I woke up on the floor, with Bonnie licking my face.’
‘Mum, I’m going to be here for a while. The doctor is running very late. Michael is off today. I’ll call you an ambulance and get him to meet you at the hospital.’ Mary felt sick to her stomach. The last time she was in that place, she had left without a husband. ‘An ambulance? Is that really necessary? Can’t Michael just come and help me up off the floor?’
Hayden’s ear-piercing screams were becoming louder, and Melanie sounded more flustered by the minute. ‘Listen mum, you could have broken something at your age, best to get it all checked out to make sure you are OK.’ Mary let out a frustrated sigh. ‘Oh OK, if you insist.’
The doctor could be heard calling Melanie and Hayden into the consulting room. ‘I’ll call the ambulance now, and then I’ll call Michael. Sit tight. I love you.’
Somehow, Mary wriggled into her nightdress that was laying on the bed. Luckily, she had unlocked the front door earlier to let Bonnie out to go to the toilet. There she remained, while she waited for the ambulance officers to arrive.
Coming March 2022. Kindle version, now available for pre-order