A phone rang as the rain storm outside a small apartment kitchen window picked up slightly in magnitude. By the fifth ring an old looking answering machine clicked into action.
"You've reached Cyan Chartreuse, as you can tell I'm not home so sing your song at the beep, and make it a good one-"
After the requisite `beep' of the machine, the soft voice of an older man began speaking.
"Hello Ms. Chartreuse, this is Dr. Jeffries. I know that you're probably out working, but I figured that I'd call you to let you know that your Mother has been moved out of the Intensive Ward and into the regular wing. Her vitals are stable and it looks like everything is going to be okay for the time being. As usual, visiting hours are between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and I highly recommend that you come and see her. She always seems to do better when you're around."
Having just come in from the usual Maryland summer swell, Cyan set her car keys down on her coffee table by the front door of her apartment; looking slightly wet from the brief walk from her car to the front entrance. She had only caught the last bit of the message from Dr. Jeffries as she came in, and his voice still reminded her of Red.
In fact, for a brief second, it had felt as if she had heard Red speaking softly to her.
Moving her thoughts away from the uncanny resemblance both Dr. Jeffries and Red had in vocal tone for a second; Cyan turned to her right and flipped on a light switch by the front entrance of the apartment. She walked over to her small flat screen television with an almost dogged gait and turned it on as well, followed by the radio next to it.
All the different sounds sometimes helped to put Cyan's mind at ease. She could never really quite explain it, but there was a certain harmony to be had with the myriad of noise. Perhaps it simply didn't allow her mind to wander into more painful territories.
The life of a Baltimore EMT was somewhat of a hectic one to say the least. Seeing people shot up, torn to shreds, or burned to a crisp were all part of the usual flare and routine for someone like Cyan, but she didn't like having her mind drift into thoughts of all the lives in constant distress; especially when she felt her emotional state starting to slip. Having memories from her job as a former Army Medic in Afghanistan didn't help things either.
Cyan fell down onto her couch with a deep exhale. After a long gaze at the ceiling she could feel her mind wanting to drift into those thoughts of a military humvee turned over and burning, with Red inside screaming desperately for help. The volume on the T.V. and radio wasn't high enough. Her mind was gravitating to that horrible day she felt her life had ended. She turned over on the couch and fiddled with a remote for a brief second, switching the volume of her entertainment console to its maximum.
The thought persisted.
It felt like no matter what she did anymore she just couldn't escape the ghosts of her past. She couldn't escape the ghost of husband Red.
Sitting up with an exasperated sigh, Cyan brought her hands to her head and started to rub her temples. The stress of everything was just becoming too much. How much longer could she endure this? How soon would it be before she would lose her sanity?
Ever since Red died back in Afghanistan her life was turned upside-down. She found herself day in and day out just feeling aimless. Red would have smacked the hell out of her for acting this way, but Red wasn't here. Hell he wasn't even buried in Maryland like he had told Cyan he wanted to be. There was nothing left of him from the fire that day save for a dog tag and what was his helmet.
She had nothing left.
But that wasn't entirely true; she did have something left in her life, her work. Regardless of all that had happened in the past, it didn't change the fact that people needed Cyan. Working as an EMT was something she knew she was always good at. No one could field dress a wound, set a bone, or resuscitate a person as quickly or efficiently as she could. There were many nights Cyan found herself heading home with a great sense of accomplishment that she had done the right thing. That she had saved a life and made a difference.
Not when it came to herself though. When it came time to save Red, she couldn't do anything. All she could do was reach in to that burning wreck of a hummer and try to reach him. For a brief moment she held his hand, but her arm was starting to burn. As her flesh tore from the heat she lost grip of Red's hand and heard his last scream telling her to leave him and get out of the warzone.
There it was again. The thought was not going to go away now, or ever for that matter. She wished to God that she had Red, or even just a friend to talk to. Someone to tell her that she wasn't alone, that she didn't have to face all of her pains solo.
Before her mind could drift further into depression her kitchen phone rang once more. Getting up to answer it, Cyan saw from the Caller ID that the number was from the local Hospital her Mother was at. She quickly answered it.
An old women's voice could be heard on the other end of the line.
"Cyan? Hello, it's Mom. How've you been?"
"I've been better. Just dealing with things as it were; how're you?"
"Well, they moved me out of the Intensive Ward, so I would guess
well. They say I'm showing improvement. Did you get Dr. Jeffries message?"
"Sort of, I caught the end of it. I'm glad to hear that you're doing better. The treatments haven't been too rough I hope."
"Well I certainly miss my hair, but it's a small sacrifice to make if you want to keep on living."
"Yeah, if you want to keep on living…"
There was a slight pause in their conversation.
"Cyan, are you sure that doing okay? You sound like you're in one of those moods."
"I'm fine Mom. I just got some stuff on my mind is all."
"You're thinking about Red again aren't you? I must have asked you this a thousand times. Why can't you just forgive yourself Cyan? Red wouldn't want you to be sitting around sulking over him for the rest of your life. He would have wanted you to live happily."
"That's a lot easier said than done Mom. You weren't there; you didn't hold his hand as he died." Glaring down at her right hand, Cyan could feel tears start to well up in her eyes. Her missing ring and pinky finger on a burned and scarred hand serving only further to remind her of her failure to save her husband. "When Red died Mom almost everything in my life lost meaning. I almost don't even know why I do what I do anymore."
"Cyan, I know you're hurting, but it's been over two years. You're stronger than this. I know this, you know this, and Red knew this. You're one of the strongest people I've ever known, and I've always been glad to have you as my daughter, but you need to learn to forgive yourself dear, it isn't healthy for you to be feeling like this. And believe me; I know a thing or two about things being bad for your health!"
Cyan gave a slight bit of a giggle at her Mother's dry attempt at dark humor. If there was something Cyan could count on her mother for, it was that she always knew how to work in a quick laugh.
"That's my girl. You always did have a great laugh Cyan. I just wish I could get you to do it more often."
"Yeah, thanks Mom. You always know how to break a mood don't you?"
"I wouldn't be your embarrassing Mother otherwise would I?"
Another giggle escaped Cyan's lips.
"Listen Mom, I've been thinking about some stuff lately-"
"Uh oh, call the cops! Cyan's thinking again!" Her mom interrupted.
"Seriously now Mom, I've been thinking a lot lately about my work and you. When you get out of the Hospital I want you to come and live with me."
"Why Cyan? You're a grown woman, why would you want your sick cancer ridden mother living with you?"
"For the company. Why else? Besides, you're the only person who tolerates my emotional break downs anymore. Jen doesn't like to talk to me much now because she thinks I'm too much of a `downer' and frankly, I'm starting to think that she's right. I'm in such an emotional rut right now, I'm amazed that anyone talks to me for more than a minute. I think having you here will help get me straight again though. For some reason you seem to just make me feel better when we talk."
"Well I do have that effect on people." She chimed. "But you make me feel better too. Tell you what, when I get out of her Cyan, you've got yourself a deal. We'll be the bestest friends! But what about your work?"
"I've been considering quitting. I've got enough money to fall back on from Red for an early retirement, plus all my benefits from the Military should cover the both of us just fine, and you've got the money from Dad-"
"Cyan, you don't have to quit your job just for me. Stay with your career, you're still young yet."
"I've thought a lot about this Mom. I think it's what's best for me. I just feel like I can't see all this death anymore. It's just gotten to be too much."
"Sounds to me more like you need a vacation; not an early retirement. I know you feel this way now, but if you were to just take some time off for a while I'm about 99% confident that you'd change your tune by the time you got back."
"Yes `really'! Why is it that you think I don't know what I'm talking about sometimes? Who taught you how to shoot a bow? Or throw a tomahawk? Or do spear fishing?"
"Yeah I know Mom; you were a badass Northern Plains Indian Warrior Women once. I don't need the lecture, but what does that have to do with vacations?"
"Listen; when I was young and living on the reservation with your Grandfather and he died, I felt much like you did. I didn't know where to go, or what to do. I just felt like everything in my life just stopped. I thought about leaving my job at the reservation as the Wild Life Instructor when instead I decided to just get out for a while. I actually found myself heading to Bermuda for three weeks just to clear my head and reorganize my life. After I got back, I felt worlds better than I had before I left, and I kept my job there until I met your Father."
"Bermuda? What's was in Bermuda for you? Turtles?"
"No! Bermuda was just a change of pace. It was somewhere I had never been before. Being somewhere I'd never been to really helped me to forget my problems and move on with my life. You should do the same."
"Perhaps; I don't know about going to Bermuda though. Isn't that where that whole weird triangle thingy is supposed to be?"
"The Bermuda Triangle? God, now you're sounding like Red girl."
"Well yeah, I did live with the guy. Some of his little quirks were bound to rub off."
"Well look, I can't stay on the phone for too much longer, the nurses are starting to come in and do another check up. Give some thought to what I said okay?"
"Okay Mom, I love you. Bye."
"I love you too hon. Bye."
Cyan hung up the phone and began to walk back to the couch. Maybe a vacation was what she really needed to get her head back on straight. She knew one thing was for certain, her Mom definitely helped her get her mind off of things.
Heading past the couch, Cyan went into her bedroom and opened her closet door. Grabbing some clothes off of hangers and the like she started seeing if she had any `vacation wear' that could still fit her. It wasn't that she had gotten fat over the years, but since Red passed, she knew she had put on a few pounds. Thankfully they all went to the right places, like bust and buns, but if she couldn't comfortably wear some summer duds then she would have to buy some news ones.
Holding up an old Care Bears t-shirt she used to wear to her chest, she could already tell that her bosom had gotten a tad too big for it to fit without stretching Brave Heart Bear's face to comedic effect or showing off her mid section. Normally that wouldn't bother her if it weren't for the fact that she had burn scars not only on her right hand and arm, but also on parts of her stomach and neck. Maybe summer wear wasn't the best choice. Besides, if she did go to Bermuda, it couldn't be that hot down there in September could it?
Suddenly a thought hit Cyan like a ton of bricks. Bermuda was the place Red said he wanted to take her for their second honeymoon. She'd gotten so wrapped up her recent bout of depression that she'd completely forgotten how Red used to tell her that he would take her there for a journey full of adventure and hot jungle sex.
Putting all of her current reservations aside, Cyan decided that her Mother was right. It was time to get out and try to regain control of seemingly aimless life. She needed to stop crying for yesterday and start trying to find that ordinary world she had lost.
She would go to Bermuda. She would go for her and for Red.
"Besides; what's the worst that could happen?" she thought aloud.
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