Grant met Karen at the hospital entrance.
“She’s OK,” he soothed before Karen could even get the words out. “A bit banged up but nothing that won’t heal … oh, and she’ll have one hell of a hangover when she sobers up.”
“She was drinking! Who was she with?”
“Felicity Newberg, Scarlett and Lucy Lamb… the usual girls and a bunch of older boys. I’m not sure who. I don’t think they’re from school,” Grant said.
“Where are the others?” demanded Karen, “Were they drunk, too?”
“Pretty much but not drunk enough to climb a tree and fall out of it. Their parents have already picked them up.
To say Tom Lamb was not happy at being pulled away from his golf would be an understatement. I doubt the twins will be allowed out of the house for a very long time.”
They entered the hospital and found Grace’s room. A nurse was with her, taking her pulse and temperature.
“She’s doing fine,” said the nurse. “She’s concussed so she’ll need to stay here for observation for 24 hours.”
Grace looked very small and fragile against the white of the hospital pillow. There was a very large lump on her forehead and a large white bandage around her left forearm.
Grace waved her bandaged arm weakly at her mother and gave a woozy grin. “I’ve got 10 stitches,” she slurred, “and I won the tree climbing competition. Grace FTW!”
Her happiness at winning reminded Karen how much of a kid she still was.
“Well, I’m pleased you won the competition, Sweets, but I’m even more pleased you didn’t kill yourself. Who gave you the alcohol?”
“These guys we met on the lakefront,” mumbled Grace.” They’re from London. They thought we were university students. Tom came up with the tree-climbing contest. He was really hot. I could tell he liked me – 21’s not THAT much older than 15 and I could leave school and travel with him and … I think I’m going to be sick”
Grace started to retch and the nurse, despite her lightning-quick reflexes and dexterous basin handling, only managed to catch one third of the stream of sticky pink RTD-scented vomit, with the rest spraying the bedclothes and even spattering Grant and Karen.
“Eurghh,” grimaced Grant as he grabbed the nearest thing to wipe away the spew.
“Don’t use that, “Karen chided. “It’s Grace’s jacket.”
“It’s also Grace’s puke,” Grant pointed out. “I don’t see why she can’t share the joy!” He continued dabbing away at the stain.
As he wiped, Grace’s cellphone and a small plastic bag dropped out of one of the pockets and landed on the floor.
Karen bent to pick them up.
“Grant, you need to be more care…” She broke off abruptly and turned over the very familiar-looking plastic bag containing what was unmistakeably dope.
She stared up at Grant. “This better not have come from where I think it must have come from,” Karen said angrily.
Grant said nothing and stared resolutely at his puke-spattered shoes.
All characters in Remarkables Lane are fictitious and any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental…. No seriously, you’re really not that interesting