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Revenge, the Best Medicine.

Kendra let out a content sigh as she watched the early morning’s summer sun’s streaks grace the front yard. She savored the breeze and shut her eyes as the rays burnt through her skin. The morning was beautiful. The house was quiet. How she loved the tranquility that was gladly disrupted by the bird’s melodies.  Save for the gardener, no one else was around. Her parents had been away on a camping trip for the weekend and being the only child solitude was her fortress. Kendra was quite aloof, disconnected from the world. She liked her personal space and could only tolerate few people in her life. The only two people that managed to break through her walls were her best friend Linet and boyfriend Justin.

Justin and Kendra had been together since they were twelve. He was funny and witty. When Kendra was around him she was a different person. She laughed harder, her smile was wider and her walk was confident. Justin understood her unlike any other person and so did Kendra. Their relationship had experienced various hurdles among them Justin’s bipolar disorder. Justin had been diagnosed with this following his drastic variations in personality when he was fifteen. He had intense mood swings and was highly unstable. Justin’s parents believed Kendra also stabilized Justin’s moods, apart from the medication.. Kendra listened to him and saw through him. They needed each other. They were the couple that everyone in school admired and wanted to be. Kendra glanced at her phone; he should be calling anytime now.

Kendra really loved her best friend too, especially since no one else could tolerate her petulant moods. Linet was chirpy and quirky. She was always bubbly and full of life. They were so different yet blended so perfectly together. The three of them were always mostly together. Kendra toyed with the idea of inviting them over, and then dismissed it. She needed a quiet day.

Kendra felt her stomach grumble. She was hungry. The thought of eating however made her cringe. For two days now Kendra had been experiencing immense pain at the back of her throat. It could have been anything from a sore throat to pharyngitis to adenitis. She had done her research. She knew she needed to go to hospital but she loathed hospitals. She hated tablets. She knew she had to go ultimately, but just not today. She had to eat something; she acknowledged that too but decided to take a brief shower first. Her hands were shaking and she felt weak. Almost dizzy. Slowly and lazily she made her way back into the house. She climbed the stairs, her vision blurry. She could barely focus on the steps and then it happened.

Kendra staggered onto the railing as she lost balance, hitting her head then falling down the stairs. A slight pool of blood collected around her head and right ankle. The gardener was by her side in a split second. He looked terrified, “Kendra?” He shook her. She was unresponsive. The gardener hastily dialed 911. His voice was almost shaky. He had never seen so much blood in his life. The paramedics arrived and checked her vitals. They assured the gardener that she was quite stable and wheeled her out of the house. Back to hospital.

Kendra was aroused by the constant beeping of a machine. She could hear voices in the room, and felt some distant pain and discomfort. She fidgeted. “Kendra?” She opened her eyes. A young woman was standing above her.. Her eyes seemed concerned yet assuring. “I’m Doctor Jackie. You’re at the hospital. You tripped and fell down the stairs. You have been unconscious for about two hours. Your head was hit but the CT scan shows you’re fine.” She paused. “However your leg has a hairline fracture following the fall and we had to stabilize it using a cast. We also gave you some feeds intravenously to elevate your glucose levels.” Kendra stared ahead. Shocked and trying to take it all in. She was in hospital. Her heart sunk. “How old are you Kendra?” “Sixteen.” The doctor paused and looked down at her, as if in doubt. Kendra was very petite and her face and childlike features didn’t help with this. “Can you give us your parent’s contacts?” She obliged. The nurse propped her pillow making sure she felt comfortable then they left, leaving Kendra to her sad trail of thoughts.

Maybe she should have eaten immediately. She surveyed the room. The place was small yet spacious; various machines were propped up against the walls. There was the hospital smell of course. It made her sick to her stomach, she hated it. Beside her was a pair of crutches; these were going to be her walking aids for the next two weeks, her doctor alleged. She fidgeted. Then stared at her phone. Justin.” Why hadn’t he called yet?” She couldn’t help but wonder. She dialed his number. “Hey Kendie,” his velvety voice bellowed. Kendra felt a strange sensation sweep though her. The sound of his voice always made her melt. “Hi, did you sleep well?” They got to chatting. When Kendra mentioned she was at the hospital, Justin was alarmed. “I’ll be there in an hour honey.” An hour. Kendra was excited. She could not wait to see him. She called Linet as well. They would be coming back at around the same time, she speculated. Kendra sat back and reached out for one of the magazines the nurses has issued her. She forced interest in a few articles, her heart beating. Waiting.

“Kendie,” a deep voice gently called out. He was at the door. He was tall and handsome as always. He had her favorite flowers in his hand. Kendra’s eyes lit up. She broke into a wide smile as she hastily sat herself up, her arms outstretched to receive him. “Oh honey look at you!” His eyes were full of concern and sympathy. Kendra also couldn’t help but notice a certain look in those eyes. A look she had never seen before in him. A look she couldn’t place. She dismissed it. She was too happy to see him. She didn’t want to think or ask questions. Her first love was here, that’s all that mattered. They got to talking. “Are those crutches for you?” “Yeah.” “They didn’t have to give you those; I could always carry you around.” Kendra’s laughed heartily. He smiled at her. Yet that smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. His face was too easy to read and Kendra knew him too well. Something was not right. “Is it the concern; is he that worried about me?” Turmoil of thoughts ran through her mind. Justin had never seen Kendra in such a state. He was always the sick one and it was usually always Kendra by his side. She assumed he was in shock, trying to adjust to this new situation. She hoped that was it.

Kendra looked up to see her best friend at the door’s entrance. “Kendie!” She squealed as she half ran half walked towards her. She threw her arms around Kendra and embraced her in a warm long bear hug. Kendra was overwhelmed. Linet was always full of love and never afraid to show it. Her bubbly self was immediately watered down when she faced Justin. Their hug was awkward, almost reluctant, as if they were scared of each other. This was again the first time Kendra had seen anything like this. She knew the difference between this hug and those reluctant ones Linet would give Justin when she didn’t like him. The two of them were occasionally competitive of Kendra’s attention. Kendra would sometimes have to make decisions that didn’t suit one party’s needs and as a result squabbles would ensue. She would always try to balance her best friend and her boyfriend but the hitches were inevitable.

This was different. Something had changed. Kendra watched as the two exchanged pleasantries, their eyes hardly making any contact. Linet barely said three words. Yet she was always the chatterbox; Kendra occasionally had to shut her up. Justin kept looking down, as if searching for answers from the floor. It had been weeks since they all hang out together, something they had always done every day after school. “Maybe that’s why,” she thought, she convinced herself. There couldn’t be any other possible explanation. She forcefully shut her trail of thoughts and tried to converse with her visitors.

Visiting hours were now over. Justin and Linet had to leave as per hospital’s protocol. Kendra had to stay the night for observation, the doctors alleged. Her heart sunk. It was going to be a long night. They kissed her goodbye and shut the door behind them, shutting out Kendra from the rest of the world. Her room was now silent, the quiet being disrupted by the occasional beeping of a machine she couldn’t make out. Every now and then noises could be heard outside, the sound of doctors hurried steps, a stubborn patient’s cries or announcements from the hospital’s public address system. Kendra could not wait to be out of hospital tomorrow. She went back to reading, rather tried to read her magazine. Her efforts were futile. All she could think about was Justin. She smiled briefly at the thought of him before recalling the tension in the room earlier on. “Maybe I should call him.”

She reached out for her phone and just as she went to dial his number, Justin’s caller identification popped up. He was calling. Kendra chuckled at the sheer coincidence then excitedly picked up.  “Hello?” There was no response. All she could hear for a few seconds was hushed sounds. Incomprehensible. Justin had mistakenly called her. It was a pocket dial. Kendra was going to hang up when she heard his voice in the distance. Her cheeky self took over and she decided to eavesdrop. She felt silly and quietly giggled as she listened. “The popcorn should be ready by now.” She heard him shout across the room. “I’ll get it!” A female voice responded. It was mellow. Full of life. The voice was unmistakably familiar. It was Linet. This was puzzling. Kendra couldn’t imagine the two of them hanging out together without her. She always thought they disliked each other.

“Can you stay the night today?” Justin blurted out. The two were now in the same room, talking softly.  Kendra frowned, that was odd. “I could Justin, I want to, but we are trying to stop doing this remember? This isn’t fair to Kendie.” “I know that, but I like you Linet. These past nights have been so much fun! I know you like me too, I can feel it.” Kendra’s heart stopped momentarily. Her brain froze, she stopped thinking. She held her breath. She stared at the phone as disbelief swept through her. “It can’t be.” Her inner voice echoed. She listened on, waiting for a statement that would object her conclusion. Maybe they were playing a trick on her. “I should call her,” she heard as the discernible pocket noises intensified.

“Oh no.” Justin whispered. There was a long pause. Then Kendra heard Justin’s voice, weak and hesitant. “Kendie?” She was silent. She could not think of anything to say. Her mind was still reeling from the shock, trying to comprehend what she had just overheard. Justin waited. They were silent for a minute. “What’s going on, Justin?” “I’m so sorry Kendie, I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. I’m so sorry.” He kept on saying, stumbling through his words.  Kendra heard a few noises before Linet’s shaky voice came though. “Honey please forgive me, please forgive us, I have no idea how this happened.” Linet was now in tears. Her voice was heavy with tears. Kendra listened, she could not think of anything to say. She stared ahead, her body frozen. She had heard enough. She hang up.

Tears formed at the corners of her eyes.  Kendra cried like she never had before. Feelings of denial and betrayal washed over her. Her heart ached as her body violently shook uncontrollably. “It can’t be, this is not happening.”She wailed inside as more bouts of tears came up. Kendra’s whole world had been crushed in barely ten minutes. Her trust had been  broken and her heart was crushed. Emotional pain overcame her physical one. Feelings of anger and vengeance pent up inside her by now she was crying out loud. Her best friend and first love had betrayed her in no other way anyone else would. The nurses soon heard Kendra’s cries and rushed to her. She was writhing as if in pain as she wailed. They decided to sedate her. That was the only way Kendra would calm down. Kendra involuntarily drifted off, her troubled mind being shut off.

Kendra was woken up by the pain. Her head was pounding. Her ankle was in slight pain. Her eyes were puffy. Memories from last night flooded back to her mind. Her heart sunk. She breathed. No more crying. Her mind was clouded with vengeance and anger. She sat up, scheming. A nurse came in later with her discharge forms and medication. Kendra was out as soon as her bandage was redressed. She left the hospital in more pain than she had arrived with. She laughed at the irony as she boarded a taxi.

Kendra instructed the driver to Justin’s house address. She knew he wasn’t around. They had been together for too long and she knew his schedule like the back of her hand. On reaching his place she went straight to his drug’s cabinet. His bipolar drugs lay there just as she had predicted. Kendra emptied the container and added her tablets making sure they were a similar number. Lucky for her the pills looked identical. Justin’s condition would deteriorate back to the state he had been in. “Or worse,” she hoped. And she would watch in glee as he crumbled. Until he felt as much distress as she currently did. Kendra led herself out of his room and headed home. She heard her phone buzz. Linet was calling. She promptly hang up as she reclined in her seat, a slight feeling of satisfaction washing over her.

 

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