Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chapter 14

We hardly said anything to each other when we went to bed but no matter how tired I was I just couldn't go to sleep. When Sloan started snoring I carefully got out of bed and went to the kitchen to get my headache pills. I only took one when I absolutely had to but had felt the beginnings of one of my bad ones. It was close to that time of the month too which was only making it worse.

I sat at the table looking at the bottle for almost thirty minutes willing myself not to need one but when the nausea set in I knew I had no choice. I was dry heaving into the sink when I felt a damp cloth laid across the back of my neck. I tried to point him back in the direction of his bed but he either didn't understand or ignored me ... probably just ignored me.

When my stomach was under control I turned to pick up the pill bottle but he took it from me. "What are these?"


"My God, you have to be the most literal person on the planet. I can see they're pills. What kind of pills?"

"Migraine," I whispered trying to ignore the jackhammer that was slowly picking up speed inside my head.

"You have migraines?" He held the bottle so that a moonbeam fell on the label. "These are made out to you all right but the prescription is over a year old."

"Don't like them. Drug me up. Please just ... open the bottle. I'm not sure I can now." My right hand had started to shake which was a sure sign of the worst of headaches that I sometimes got. I moaned, trying to keep it behind my teeth.

I sank to the floor and laid my forehead on the cool stone. I knew what I wanted to do but I also knew that to do it tended to freak people out ... or at least Hannah had always said so. But the pressure was building and the only way to equalize it was with counter pressure. Involuntarily I started rocking and banging my head on the floor.

I was summarily picked up and swung up in Sloan's arms but all that did was make black spots appear behind my eyelids. "Ohhhhhhhh."

He sat me in a chair and opened the bottle. I jerked it from his hand and dry swallowed a pill before shoving the bottle back into his hands and out of temptation's way. Nothing the rest of the night made much sense. By morning I realized I had gotten off easy, all I had was a hollowed out and hung over feeling instead of having a three day 'graine. I'd had those too and they weren't fun. I called them my "undertakers" because that is all I wanted midway through ... for the undertaker to come and haul me off and put me out of my misery.

I tried to roll out of bed but couldn't because Sloan's arm was across me. From his pillow he asked, "How often you get headaches like that?"

"That wasn't a headache, that was a migraine. I got lucky and was able to head it off before it got too bad."

"That wasn't bad?"he asked incredulously.

I shuddered. "No."

"You feeling ok now?" he asked quietly.

"I'll live. I need to get up and start the coffee."

"In just a minute. Answer a couple of more questions." I sighed and nodded. "Who gave you the scrip? That stuff is hard to come by these days."

"You're telling me. It took me passing out in front of the head surgeon and him seeing for himself how bad the headaches can get before they'd even put the paper work in for the request. It took six more months for the approval to come through and three months beyond that before the medication even shipped. I don't take them unless I absolutely have to because I have a feeling when those are gone there's not going to be anymore after that. I sure won't have the money for them. Dad sold two cows and a hog to pay cash because the financing option doubled the price."

"Are the headaches a left over from the pandemic?"

"No ... I was the only one in the house that never even got sick." Sighing and gently rubbing my forehead I explained, "I've had these stupid things for as long as I can remember. Usually if I can just find a dark, quite corner they'll be gone after a couple of hours. But every few months I'll get a real goober. And about once a year I'd willingly pay some one to dig my grave so I could crawl in it. When those ones come all I can do is just ride them out like a tsunami."

"Have you ever had an MRI or x-ray done?"

"Yeah. When Dad was still in the military. I've had every test done known to man and probably a few of cosmic origin. All normal. I just have migraines and they don't know why. Can I get up now?"

He moved his arm and I slid out. "Teaghan?"

"Yeah?" I answered looking for my robe so I could go change in the bathroom.

"About yesterday ..."

I found my robe and pulled it on with my back to him. "What about it?"

"I should have at least said thank you for putting that lotion on my back."

He'd surprised me again. I told him, "Oh. Don't worry about it. Besides I didn't do it to get a thank you. I just thought that I'd be nice to you for a change instead of you being nice to me."

I slipped out of the room as I heard him getting up as well. While I dressed I realized the migraine might be on the downside but the leftover I sometimes felt was hanging on. The idea of too much noise didn't appeal to me at all so instead of banging around skillets I started a pan of water boiling and made poached eggs. The boys wouldn't touch them until I told them to hush or they wouldn't get any cheese sauce. That did it. I could feed them old muck boots and they'd eat it willingly so long as there was cheese on them.

Outside there were still a few places with standing water but the sky was clear and the day warm which meant my indoor work would have to wait.


"Uncle Sloan said you were sick last night. Did he hit you?"

"What?! Of course not. I had a migraine. In case you don't know what that is it's a really, really bad headache. Why do you two always want someone to be hitting someone else? That's just not natural."

Both boys shrugged and said, "I don't know."

"Well, you should start figuring it out before it gets away from you and you do something you'll be sorry about for a long, long time. Now are you two coming or not? I don't have all day to wait around."

And that's how, while the laundry lines were full of the morning's wash, I wound up going to pick wild plums so the boys could dig for worms in the spot my brother's had considered their secret fishing weapon.

After a long day of chasing my tail trying to catch up and get ahead at the same time, I sat brushing my hair a hundred strokes like Mom had told me to do each and every night for life. Sloan was sitting in bed propped against the headboard watching me. "I cannot believe you talked the boys into having a worm farm."

"Worm farms are fun. Jeremiah and Jason built me one when I was younger than Sid and Silas are now. And they're helpful too. Best compost ever. And unlike other pets, if they forget about them or get tired of them all we have to do is turn them out or take them fishing." Sloan snorted though I'm pretty sure he agreed. "Besides, they're less likely to get into trouble if their time is being used for something constructive."

"You know, I'm surprised after that headache you had that you'd be running that brush through your hair like that."

"Why? It feels good."

"Even after your head hurt?"

"Because my head hurt."

"Teaghan ..." I could hear the irritation in his voice.

I rolled my eyes in his direction and sighed. "Sorry. I'm just so used to who I talk to understanding what I mean. The boys and Dad always did. And Gram and I could just about finish each other's sentences which as I think about it did kinda drive Mom and Hannah a little crazy sometimes, but not much because they could do it with each other." Feeling blue I told him, "This is going to take practice."

I got up and put my brush away in the bottom drawer I was keeping all my things in and then asked, "You ready for me to turn out the lights?"

"No. Come here."

I was still learning to read his looks but I already knew "the look" when I saw it. I hid my sigh thinking I was much more comfortable with the lights out but walked over to where he had patted the bed in front of him. From under his pillow he pulled out a paper bag and I started to get nervous.

He chuckled, "Relax. I'm not going to bite."

He opened the bag and pulled out some waded up material. "I finally found the truck this stuff was loaded in. I won the reclamation contract on a strip center a couple of months back and it wound up being a better deal than Dan and I expected. Several back rooms were completely overlooked or missed when it was taken over as a nuisance property. None of this is green ... but it isn't pink either ... and no dolls on it."

The wad of fabric turned out to be a pile of fancy underthings. My face warmed as I turned several shades of red making Sloan chuckle. He said, "I want you to try them on to make sure they fit."

"Uh ..."

"For me?"

I looked at him and saw that he honestly wanted to see me wear the stuff he'd given me ... but he also wanted to watch me try it on. I supposed I could have been hard headed and asked why or made some other kind of scene but he'd already said he "liked to look," not to mention I wasn't a complete idiot. What I lacked in "sophistication" I thought I made up for in practicality. I figured even if I didn't understand and actually felt a little silly, that if he got something out of it then he'd be in a good mood and would then be less likely to get upset over other things I didn't do. Taking my courage in hand I picked up the first item and hid my grimace. Lace.

Everything fit, not that I got around to actually trying everything on that night. But I had been right about one thing, with Sloan in a good mood there were less upsets between us. That isn't to say however that there weren't a few here and there.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you are showing that sex for women can be not so great if they aren't in love.