Short Story – Daily Post

As Jane rolled over she felt the cold of the tiled floor rub against the exposed skin near her wrist. She had been lying on the floor for some time, trying to compose herself after the home invasion. The tears started because she had felt so vulnerable and felt lucky to survive the ordeal. Like the point where two rivers converge though, the tears later came fell because she had felt so alone. She wondered whether she could continue to live in the house. 

Jane heard the doorbell ring, but felt a wave of fear wash over her, so she didn’t move. There was a follow-up knock on the door and her friend, Kate, calling out to her. Kate had been her best friend since high school and was a successful physiotherapist who did some massage work with the local netball team and for her friends and family. Kate called out again and rang the doorbell. 

Jane slowly pulled herself to her feet and made her way to the door. How long had she been on the floor? She started doing the maths in her head as she weakly stumbled towards the door, unaware of how she was managing to stand. At her best calculations she had been on the floor about 2 hours. She couldn’t remember if she had slept during that time, but she knew that she had not been conscious for part of the time. It was the only to explain the large chunks of time which were blacked out from her memory.

As Jane opened the door, Kate gasped as she looked at her good friends face. She dropped the massage table she picked up as she heard the door open and leaned in towards Jane, while simultaneously asking Jane “Oh my god Jane, what happened?”. Jane broke down and cried as she fell toward her friend. Kate struggled to hold her up as Jane let the weight of her body drop. 

Kate assisted her friend into the lounge room before returning to bring in the massage gear which had been left outside. As she came back into the lounge room she again asked what had happened. Jane was incoherent and Kate could tell that she was full of fear. Kate sat next to her friend and Tenderly placed her arm around her friend’s shoulders and quietly whispered “Do you want me to call Mike?”, Jane shook her head. She wanted to take some time to compose herself before letting her husband know. “Ok, but will you at least let me clean you up? That cut on your head looks nasty” Kate stated, “Let’s go into the kitchen and I will get some paper towels to tidy up the mess”. Jane had been able to suppress her tears and nodded before starting to stand up. She still felt weak, but took strength as Kate, put her hand under her armpit and assisted her. Together the two of them walked to the kitchen. 

Jane took a seat at the kitchen bench, while Kate grabbed some paper towels and put some water into a glass bowl. As Kate moved back toward her friend, she asked “Did Mike do this to you?” A look of horror washed over Jane’s face as she protested “No! How dare you ask such a thing?” Kate was initially taken aback, but quickly realised that she has posed a question which she knew the answer, but one which nevertheless needed to be asked. “I didn’t mean to offend, but I was just wondering how you managed to get such a big cut over your eye. We might need to get that looked at.” Jane wondered what questions she would be asked by a medical professional. Surely the cut couldn’t be that bad? Despite the blood which had run into her hair, causing it to tangle and become tight against her scalp, and down onto her shirt, she still couldn’t feel the cut, so assumed it was minor. Jane offered “I am sure it will be ok, once we get it tidied up. I have a first aid kit in the cupboard above the fridge.” Kate moved closer and proceeded to touch some of the paper towels into the water and began to wash away the dried blood from her friends face. As she worked, the water slowly went from clear, to pink before finally becoming red. All the while, Jane sat there quietly contemplating whether to share what happened with her friend. She decided she would tell Kate, once the cleanup had finished and she was able to make herself a cup of coffee.

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