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She became aware; blurry eyes noticed dark fuzzy figures walking in the distance, getting larger by the second. Alarmed, she realized they were heading toward her. She tried to move, and realized she was held by something. Her head jerked right and left. She couldn't move her hands further than the tubes attached by needles to either arm from clear plastic bladders, a dingy yellow liquid, the color of piss, or cheap beer, drained through one tube and a clear liquid drained from another. A random thought out of nowhere. 'At least I still have arms.'   By the time she realized that she was in a hospital, the dark fuzzy creatures became clearer and then, they were before her.

"Madeline O'Hara? Are you Madeline Margaret O'Hara?"

Something happened....what happened?

"Yes. I'm Madeline." Her anxiety was mounting.

"Do you remember what happened, Mrs. O'Hara?"

"It's Miss, actually."

The detective stared at her for one beat before continuing, "Miss O'Hara, do you remember what happened?"

"What happened? What happened? " Panicked, Madeline tried to sit up abruptly. The tubes and detectives held her in place.

"Miss O'Hara. Please remain calm. We need your help. Do you remember anything?"

Madeline's memory seeped into her consciousness like the liquid dripping into her veins. She remembered packing for a trip to Colorado to see her grandsons. The Uber ride to the airport was uneventful, but instead of feeling the excitement of getting out of the city and going somewhere with altitude and mountains, she felt nervous and sad.

The ticket line was long and seemed to take forever forcing her to stand longer than her 60 year-old body wanted to. She looked around; elderly people leaving the safety and comfort of their 55-and up mobile home parks to visit family; parents with too-young children, traveling hipsters and thug wanna bees, and the infant son traveling with his father who she was sure was going to sit in coach and scream during the entire four hour trip. The kid, not the father.

"I was on a plane."

"Do you remember anything else?"

She concentrated... the furrow on the detective's brow..lead her back to the plane..

It had been years since she had been on a plane. Were the seats smaller? She was only 5'2", but the space between the seats seemed small to her. She was in a window seat by choice. She maneuvered around the aisle seat and the middle seat, placed her bag in the overhead, sat down and waited for the drugs to kick in.

"I remember packing, the ride to the airport, waiting in line, and boarding. Nothing special happened. I took some medication. I think I fell asleep."

"Do you remember anything before that?"

"Before, what? what happened? Why am I here?" She wasn't answering anymore questions until she had some answers.

Created: May 12, 2017


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