Beautiful Creatures Write a short essay about an animal - maximum 300 words. It can be a beloved pet or a wild animal you admire. The photo you include should be of the animal, or type of animal, you are describing.
"Lee, this is Sandi. I know you're probably already swearing at the phone, but please don't hang up. Listen to me for a change. I'm in Whipton Memorial Hospital and I really would like to see you. I know it's been a long time, but think about it. Just don't take too long, okay?"
Lee had spent the last few hours drinking and listening to the message on his cell phone. It was driving him crazy. Sandi, the love of his life, disappeared without a word two years ago. A thousand questions ran through his mind. Why had she left and where had she been? Why was she in the hospital? Did she really think just because she called him, he'd run back to her? Of course, she did!
"Hey buddy, looks like I missed out on the party." Brad, a good friend, slid onto the bar stool and ordered a beer.
"Funny! I know I'm messed up, but you just aren't going to believe what's been happening." Flipping his phone open, he played the message for Brad.
"Hey man. You're married now. She walked out. You don't owe her anything." Brad knew his friend so well and trouble was Lee's middle name.
"It's Sandi we're talking about. I never would have married Rebecca and you know that. Everybody knows I got with Rebecca on the rebound. Man, if she hadn't gotten pregnant..." Lee stopped and took a long swig of his beer. "I did her right and I married her. But you gotta admit she hasn't been the same since she lost the baby." The bartender sat another bottle of beer in front of each of them, taking the money from Brad.
"So what you gonna do? Go running back to her and dump Rebecca?" Brad hadn't known Sandi that well, but he'd seen what her leaving had done to his friend. He wasn't happy that she'd reappeared.
"She's in the hospital. What if she's sick and needs me?"
"Listen to yourself, man. She walked out on you. You haven't heard from her in two years. She calls and you are already going crazy." Brad shook his head. "You better think about this one."
"There's nothing to think about. Sandi wants to see me. I can't tell her no."
"Well, it's closing time and you are in no shape to go home to Rebecca. I'm taking you home with me." Brad wasn't about to face Rebecca tonight or let his friend dump Sandi in her lap. It could wait till morning. He knew that Lee's gambling habits kept him out many a night so Rebecca wouldn't wait up for him. "Drink up, buddy. Your ride awaits." The two friends polished off their beers before Brad guided his stumbling friend toward the exit.
The next morning, pounding headache and all, Lee shuffled to Brad and Christina's kitchen table. Christina had fixed a pot of coffee and placed a steaming cup in front of Lee. "When are you ever going to grow up, Lee? How many nights a week are you tanked? No wonder Rebecca is always mad at you!"
Slowly sipping the coffee, he sat hunched over the table. "I appreciate your concern, Christina, but you don't know the whole story."
"I know enough! You drink too much and you gamble every last dollar you can get your hands on."
"Back off ...just a little, okay Christina? The man's my friend and he really isn't in much shape for your attitude this morning."
Lee knew Brad was going to come to his defense no matter what. That's what friends were supposed to do, right?
"Fine ...you baby-sit him. I've got to get to work."
When Christina was out of hearing distance, Brad finally spoke. "She's right in what she's saying, Lee. You have been hitting the sauce kind of hard lately."
"Damn man, you too? I'm worried about my job. I can't stand to be in the same room with my wife for five minutes. And now, Sandi."
"You do what you gotta do, man, but I'd forget about Sandi if I was you."
Lee had spun quite a few stories about his love for Sandi and how they'd lived life to the fullest, wild and free. He knew his friends thought Rebecca deserved better.
"I'm going to the hospital this morning. It's the only way I'm going to get any answers." Lee shrugged his shoulders, a sigh escaped his lips. "I don't know what to say except, it's Sandi."
"Well, I've got to get to work, bro. Make yourself at home as long as you want. Just lock the door when you leave. Okay?"
"Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. I'm going to finish my coffee and grab a quick shower, if you don't mind. I want to get over to the hospital as soon as possible."
"Good luck with that. Catch ya later."
Finishing his coffee and thinking about Sandi, Lee walked back to the spare bedroom. After making a quick assessment of the clothes he’d been wearing for the last twenty-four hours, he decided he’d shower and grab a change of clothes at his apartment. He wanted to look good when he saw Sandi. Locking the door behind him, he headed for the bus stop.
I started writing a story for the thriller contest and this blossomed into something bigger. I have written it in three parts. Thank you for reading. PART TWO AND THREE ARE POSTED FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO CONTINUE.
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