"Willow? Willow?" Sheila called for her daughter.
She opened Willow's bedroom door and saw her laying passed out on the floor next to her bed. Millo was sleeping next to her and when he heard Sheila come in his tail began to wag, causing a low drumming sound on the floor. Although he was happy to see her, he was far too sleepy and far too comfortable to move anything else.
"Oh God... not again," Sheila said to herself as she went over to pick Willow up off of the floor. "Why are you doing this?" Sheila said in a low voice laced with a slight tremble that sounded nearly painful.
"What? What time is it?" Willow spoke and Sheila had to move her face away from Willow's, as the smell of stale whiskey was strong on her breath.
"It's 8:30 Willow. Your session starts in less then an hour and you haven't even showered yet? What's going on? Willow, how much did you drink this time?"
"Well seeing as I'm still alive, not nearly enough," Willow said as she laughed. She was still drunk from the previous night and her first thought was that she was going to throw up at any minute.
"Are you insane? You're mixing drugs with alcohol? Do you realize how dangerous that is?"
Sheila shook her head and made a mental note to clear the house of the Vicodin that Willow had been proscribed. She knew that Willow was in pain, but she also knew that the drinking was doing a fine job of that on its own. She could easily find the booze, but the Vicodin was another story. She would not be allowed to fill the proscription till she had only four days left in the previous proscription. This would at least buy Sheila a little more time.
"Well come on. Let's get ready to go," Shelia said as she pulled Willow up by her armpits.
Willow pulled away and said: "No, I can't today. I don't feel too good. So just help me to the bed and, ummm, I'll be fine."
"And, ummm, how about NO!! Get your ass up and let's get ready to go right now,"Shelia snapped at her daughter.
"I just told you I'm not going, now leave me the hell alone."
"I don't think so. I have taken yet another day off to take you to this session and I am not letting you miss it. So stop being so God damn selfish and sorry for yourself and get ready now."
"You are unbelievable you know that? I'm here, not able to walk, in physical pain almost every waking moment and you tell me I'm selfish and sorry for myself?Well yeah. I am. You have no idea what it is like. How hard it is to..." Willow was starting to cry, "...to have to deal with this every day of your life. Not being able to go to the store by yourself, not being able to walk your dog, cook, clean, work, drive. So how dare you tell me I'm selfish and sorry."
Sheila rolled her eyes. "Are you finished?" Sheila asked, standing with her arms folded. "Because you're wasting valuable time here. Not only that, the only reason you can't do those things is because you refuse to work at fixing them. So, no. I don't feel sorry for you. Not for those reasons at least."
"Agghh... Go away. I told you I'm not going and that's all... so go home mom. I don't need your help anyway," Willow said as she pulled herself up on to her bed and rolled over on her side, away from Sheila's gaze.
Sheila closed her eyes for a moment and walked over to where she saw the ice bucket that was now just water... very cold water. She picked it up and walked over to Willow's bed. Millo, who had been watching the scene with great interest, raised a paw and covered his eyes. She raised it up and spilled the water over Willow's head.
"AAGGHHH! What the hell are you doing..." Willow shouted at her mother as she sat up trying to get away from the freezing water that now soaked her hair and pillow.
"I'll go and start the shower. Here."
She handed Willow her cane and pushed the chair next to Willow's bed. "I'll be back in five minutes. When I get back I want you up, in that robe and ready for the shower. If you're not, and you aren't ready when I get back, I will sit here all day and and make sure you don't get to sleep. Your decision." Sheila then walked off toward the bathroom.
"What a bitch," Willow said to herself as she started to get ready. Millo's tail once again tapped the floor. The look on his face was one Willow recognized as Millo's amused look.
"What? You think that's funny?" Willow said to her dog. Then she leaned forward, smiled, and scratched his head.
"Hello," Susan said as she answered the cell phone.
"Hey Susie. How are ya darlin'?"
"Hey Phil. I'm just fine lover. How are you?"
"Well I would be better if you were here. I have a small question for you though. Why'd you take my gun?"
Susan's face went pale. She had thought he would be dead long before he noticed the gun missing but there had been some trouble with Craig and he had not been able to get the job done yesterday as planned.
"I... I don't have your gun, Baby. Why do you think I would have it?"
"Because you're the only one that was here. And I had just cleaned it the night before and you saw me put it away," he said, now with a different tone that worried Susan.
She was scrambling thoughts in her mind, trying to come up with something, and then she smiled. "Okay, yes I took your gun. And I think you know why I took it. I'm worried. I'm worried that someone's gonna find it and you're going to get us both arrested. You won't get out of town like I asked, and you still haven't gotten rid of that car that you hit Sheila in and if you get into something and they find that gun, we're all gone. I will tell you that it won't be found and that's for sure. Besides, I wasn't gonna tell you but I got a surprise for you," she said calming a bit.
"A surprise? Really? Huh, what surprise?" he asked, still sounding far to cold for Susan's liking.
"It's not a surprise if I tell you now is it?" she said trying to sound calm.
"I think at this point here Susan, it's in your best interest to explain it to me. Don't you think?" he said coldly
"Alright, fine. I got you a new one. A much better one. I know you're going to like it as well," she lied to him.
"Oh yeah? Really? A new gun? Wow. So when do I get my new present baby?" he said, sounding a bit calmer. He wanted to believe her. He loved her. It wasn't at all hard for him to convince himself that this was true.
"It's going to have to be in a few days. I had a problem before. After our last time together that dog of Willow's must have picked up your scent somehow cause he wanted to rip me to pieces. I can't risk that right now."
"You're kidding? Are you serious?"
"Damn straight I am. That's alright though. I'll take care of him real soon."
"Oh? Well just how will you do that?"
"How do you think baby?"
Phil laughed in the background. "Well I know that you'll get rid of him, I meant how?"
"I don't know yet, but I will think of something."
"How you going to do it with Willow around?"
"Ha, she's so drunk lately that she won't even notice. Not right away anyway."
"Well you are an evil little thing ain't'cha."
"You know it babe. That's why you love me so much."
"So how long has it been then?" Mr. Maclay said to the voice on the other end of the phone.
"Damn. Well I don't at all like the sound of that either. Tell ya what, we'll come on down there and have a look for ya'.
"Umhum..Yeah, me and Donnie and Tara is here. I'll see if I can get her on down there with us too.
"Yes. It is. It's been real nice to have her here. Not the best reason, but none the less, I can't be unhappy about it.
"Yeep, on my way Les. Bye now."
Mr.Maclay walked up the stairs to Tara's room and knocked at the door. "Tara?"
"Yeah dad?" she answered.
"Les has got a problem over at his place. Tissy is tiring to foal and she is having a lot of trouble. I was wondering if you might come up there with me and see if we can't give a hand?"
Tara knew of Tissy. She was a product of Maclay Farms and she was a wonderful little horse. Cute as all get out but a very tiny little thing. She was far from surprised to hear of the complication.
"Yes, sure dad. Give me a minute and I'll be down," she answered.
"Alright, thank you Tara. I'll go and get Donnie on down as well."
Tara knew a lot about foaling and horses in general. Growing up as she did it was no suprise. She had thought that perhaps this was something she may have wanted to do for some time, but had instead gone into the forestry service.
This was good for her now. She knew it was. It would for a short time at least get her out of herself for a quick minute. That and she loved horses. She smiled to herself as she thought about her Mav and Juju. She couldn't help it. Just to think of them brought the smile out.
She headed downstairs and she was greeted by her father as he opened the front door. He had a hat in his hand, a beautiful brimmer, and he handed it to Tara.
"Remember this?" he asked
Tara smiled and reached her hand out and took it from her dad. "Yes. It's Mama's."
"And now it's yours, baby girl. Let's get on down there then," he smiled as Tara put the hat on.
"So what do you think the problem is? I mean other then she's so tiny?" Tara asked
"Well it seems she is trying to come out legs first."
"Oh. Damn it. This is a rough one then," Tara said. She knew that with this complication that either the mother or the foal would probably not survive. If it were really bad, both more then likely would not get past this birth.
There was something here though. Something that would not be revealed for quite some time. This, you see, was the day that things would begin to change forever.
"Okay now Officer Rosenberg, I want ya to push your foot up against my hand as hard as ya' can alright."
"I can't," Willow answered
"You can't? Well why can't ya'?" asked Ellina, her Jamaican accent thick.
"Ummm, because my legs don't work? Hello, are you really this stupid or is it an act?" Willow said with a touch of impatience.
"Yes. I guess I must be this stupid, so again I say push your foot up against my hand as hard as you can. Oh and by the way? If your legs didn't work you wouldn't be able to feel this," she said as she twisted Willow's big toe in an awkward position.
"Owwcchh, what the hell did you do that for?" Willow said trying to pull her foot away.
"Well for somethin' ya can't do, ya sure seem to be movin' that your leg of yours now," she said without a touch of expression. Sheila had to turn her head as she began to giggle.
"That has nothing to do with me not being able to push my foot any harder then what I have. You should know that. It is your job to know this right? So, I tell you what, you're fired. I don't want you anywhere near me. I want at least someone who I don't have to explain the reason I can and can't do certain things."
"Oh shut up. Don't be such a big whiney baby. I thought you were a 'Officer'," Elina said using finger quotes. Sheila laughed then. She couldn't help it. It would seem Willow had at last found someone who was going to make her do this work whether she wanted to or not. The funny thing was that this woman was just five feet tall, weight about ninety five pounds and somewhere in the fifty year range. Nonetheless, she would not give up.
"Okay then Willow, let's get you up and over to the bar," Ellina said.
"My thoughts exactly," Willow said under her breath.
"Speak up Willow, I can hear what your sayin' when you mumble like that," she shot back.
"Officer Rosenberg is my name, and that is what I want to be called please. I am not your friend and I only am called by my first name by my friends and well, her," Willow said, motioning at her mother with a nod of her head.
"I find it strange, you here demandin' respect when you yourself have none whatsoever for your own mother? So, 'Willow,' let's move on. I've more people to see today."
Willow did as told and moved over to scoot her way down of the table and head toward the bar. Like Tara, Willow too was unaware of the significance of this day. But as it was for Tara, so it was for Officer...