We work for some very security conscious customers, Ms. Lyons. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. We can come out tomorrow to provide the estimate.”
“Good,” I replied. “Can you bring the equipment to start right away if I agree to the price?”
“Sure, no problem.”
He took my information and I hung up the phone. I checked the balance on my credit card. I hoped it would be enough to cover the system. I thought of my son again. He was out there somewhere and I didn’t care if it cost me every cent I had, I would find him and make the people that had taken him pay.
I paced the house like a nervous cat. I switched on the television but couldn’t concentrate on anything I watched. I flipped it back off. I picked up a book and threw it into a corner once I realized I’d read the same page three times in a row and I still didn’t remember what it said. I had the pistol with me at all times. I walked around the house checking that the doors and windows were locked, gripping it tight.
It was after midnight when I wandered into my master bedroom. I lay the gun on the nightstand and then stared at the bottles of pills sitting there. They were the first prescriptions given to me by Dr. Trace. I felt fidgety and anxious. I’m not taking them. I changed into my pajamas. I pulled the covers up and tried to go to sleep.
I rolled and tossed, unable to get comfortable. I heard a small squeaking sound and bolted upright only to see that one of Daniel’s toys had accidentally went off, playing its noise. I glanced at the bedside clock. It was 3 a.m. I looked again at the bottles of pills. They had helped before. If all went well, the security cameras might be installed tomorrow. Surely, no one would try to break in again tonight and later, I’d have the cameras to record anyone that tried. I grabbed the bottles and worked up enough saliva to swallow the pills down. They slid down a bit roughly but managed not to hang in my throat. Now, I’d get some sleep.
My skin felt itchy as if a thousand bugs were marching across its surface. I was sweating and insanely hot. I pulled my pajama top off and threw the covers back. When I did, my head spun and the bed felt as if it was rocking on water like a boat. I tried to lie back down but the rocking motion continued. My tongue felt thick and I began to see bright spots of orange and yellow dance before my eyes. My heart raced and I wondered if I was having a heart attack.
I started to move slowly toward the cordless phone on the bedside table but my hand appeared to move in slow motion. I could see streaks of movement as the color red. I kept trying to reach for the phone in vain. It appeared as multiple copies that seemed to blur and dance in my sight. I finally knocked it over and the crashing sound boomed through my ears like a canon.
I’m not sure how long I rolled and swayed in confusion but when the strange onslaught finally ended, I was weak and covered in sweat. I drifted into blackness.
When I awoke, my brain seemed to function somewhat normally again. I moved my arms gingerly and was thankful they would respond. I had thought I’d had a stroke. Then I realized I’d taken the pills shortly before the episode. A bad drug interaction, I guessed.
I tried to get up but found I couldn’t. I was still too weak. I saw the phone lying on the floor. I knew I should have picked it up to call an ambulance but the thought of returning to the hospital made me cringe. What if they didn’t believe me again? Would they accuse me of taking too many pills on purpose and lock me away? I wasn’t going to take the chance. I collapsed back on the bed and slept deeply from exhaustion.
The next morning I found the note. It was lying on the kitchen island. It said, “We have your husband.”