*This post is a continuation of part 1.*
I found myself propped up anew on a very tribal-looking yet very comfy couch. The woman continued to look at me with the strangest grin as she flicked on the room’s two coconut-themed lamps. She was clearly going for some tropical motif, but it felt more like a doctor’s office containing a couch and two lamps.
“Who are you?” I asked in the awkward silence.
“Oh, you wouldn’t know me, hon, but I read yer blog-thing!”
I shuddered. “But my mother is the only one who reads my blog.”
She cackled as she lifted herself up onto yet another hospital bed, of which she apparently has several. “Well, no more o’ that. With the start of advanced content discovery algorithms, people from all ’round the world are able to access yer blog and be a part of yer quest to regain yer dignity. Remember? From yer first post, Seeing the glass half full? This is the culm’nation of yer master plan, a part of which I seek to be a part of which. I want you to fulfill yer destiny, and that’s why I brought you here.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, not understanding.
“Now which one was it where you said, ‘I’m so not with it that I could report myself missing. In fact I just might do that and hide in bed for a few days’? You said that, don’t you remember? It was in Three St. Andrew’s Hospitals too many, a Tragedy in one act–which, by the way, was an awesome title that got me so ready for yer hilarious story. I said, ‘This kid needs a break, and I’m going to give it to him,’ so I finally kidnapped you and gave you a hard earned chance to lie low for a while!”
I was in utter shock, dumfounded by what she was telling me.
“A thank ya’ would be nice!”
“I have no words. Y-y-you kidnapped me because you couldn’t see that I was joking, and now you want me to compliment you? As though you just did something good for me?”
“Don’t be such a square-head. This was what you wanted–you said that! You think it was easy to find the right guys who could nab you and bring you here and set up this hospital room with the right paint and the right bed and a lady to play the nurse just like in the real St. Andrew’s Hospital and make sure that you weren’t disturbed this whole time? Huh? You think it was easy?!”
“I was unconscious! I might have memory loss, plus I have a job and a life that only I can put on hold, not some random person that’s trying to stalk me! How did you even find me?”
“But how did you find my address?”
“Oh, well that’s easy! I visited every Futuristic Coney Island franchise in the area and asked. Eventually someone knew what I’s talkin’ about.”
“I’m at a loss for words. This is so despicable, it’s–it’s–”
“–I see. So ya don’t appreciate yer readers.”
“I don’t give a flip about my readers, not one of them! What you’ve done is illegal!”
“Says the boy who has been hiding in my shed for three weeks.”
I stared at her.
“You think anyone’s gonna believe you now?”
It took me a few moments to realize that she was suggesting she’d blackmail me. It was true that I couldn’t prove she kidnapped me, and so I didn’t know what to say.
“One way or another,” she told me, “you’ll have to be realizin’ that I’m doin’ this all for you. We’re friends now, and if you won’t learn that the easy way and just accept my help and support, then yer gonna learn it the hard way, which I haven’t figured out yet, but it won’t be as easy as the easy way I can assure you. Are you gonna stay here for a little while, or are you gonna try an’ escape like a coward?”
“I’m not going to try and escape,” I said.
“Good,” she said. “So first thing’s first–”
“I’m just going to escape,” I said, and I smashed the button that tilts her bed. She flew backward onto the floor in a twisty manner.
I jumped to my feet and hobbled through the house to the front door and outside.
I looked both ways down the neighborhood street and crossed it.
She opened the door, yelling, “You’re not gettin’ away, coward!” and chased me as best she could.
Both with limps now, we gave good chase for about twenty minutes before reaching the next street. I waved as a taxi was driving by, and the driver waved back with a smile.
We turned the corner and made our way out of the neighborhood, and I spotted a grocery store on the corner. In its direction I stumbled.
A boy scout was standing outside the door: “Troop 121B – Camp Yankee Dolphin welcomes you to Greene’s Grocer. Would you like to donate $10 to support children in impoverished areas prepare for the school year?”
“Not today, thank you.”
“You get free popcorn!”
“Anyone who would change their mind after learning about free popcorn is an evil person.”
“Well at least fill out this survey for–“
“–I just don’t have time right now!”
I burst through the doors, feeling a bit like a heel. Speaking of heels, my pusuer was on mine. She paused by the boy scout, though. She started talking with him. I took the opportunity to escape.
I hid in the bathroom for what seemed like an hour but was really only 53:22. After I left, the building was empty and the lights were off. I walked up to the front doors and just barely pulled them open–and trust me, it took a lot of pried on my part. An alarm sounded, but I had enough, so I took to the nearest diner I saw and had a lot of freedom fries while I had the opportunity.
I hitchhiked my way home through midnight, but I’m quite certain that this is not over.