Erin Miller

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rougher Tides Chapter Two


Inside a classroom, there was a smart board that Honey was standing in front of. In front of her were desks filled with fourth grade children, ages ranging from eight and nine. They were copying the notes from the smart-board and Honey was impressed that no one was acting up today.
Can someone tell me the past tense of are?” Honey asked.
The students murmured among themselves and Honey waited. One of her students, a little girl raised her hand.
Yes, Christina?” Honey replied.
Are?” the student asked.
Correct,” Honey replied and awarded her a gold star.
The day continued like this, with Honey asked questions and the students answering them. She longed for them to ask her something, but this was the review phase for their test the next day.
When the had been safely escorted to their buses, she walked back to her classroom and smiled. Joy filled her at the fact that she had become a teacher. In the few years of living with Jackie thus far, she had acquired her Bachelor's and a Master's degree. Never did she think she would be in this particular spot, but she was happy. Sometimes dreams did come true after all.
Honey took pride and joy in her job. She hated having to prepare them for the state required tests but she had hope that it would eventually change. Honey loved her job more than anything. A noble career that she felt only a few people could handle.
Walking out of the classroom, she walked down the hall into the faculty room. Since it was the end of the school day, she figured she would have some time to herself before getting back to her paperwork. No such luck. Pouring herself a cup of coffee, a fellow teacher walked up to her and waited for his turn with the pot. He stood six feet tall with chestnut brown hair, hazel eyes, and pearly white teeth. Honey knew him as Dean Redfield one of the first grade teachers. Flashing a smile at Honey, he finished pouring his cup and took a sip.
So, any plans tonight?” he asked.
Not tonight,” Honey replied and sipped from her own cup.
She sat down at one of the tables and immediately realized the mistake. Dean took it as an offer to accompany her. Honey withheld a sigh.
Would you like to hang out sometime?” He asked.
I'm married,” Honey answered hoping this would stop any further inquiries from the man.
I meant as friends. You can even bring your husband if you'd like,” Dean said.
Works long hours.” Honey replied simply, careful not to use the male pronoun.
She had neglected to tell anyone that she was married to a woman. Still holding her fears from the past of discrimination and intolerance, although DOMA was deemed unconstitutional and same sex marriage was a “settled law,” she did not want to give anyone ammunition to see her fired. She wouldn't jeopardize her career and since she worked with children, telling anyone she was homosexual was off limits. People would get the wrong impression if they were ignorant and in Honey's experience there was still a lot of ignorance to go around. Besides, she didn't see why she should make her personal life known at work. Whenever a student asked, Honey would just reply that she was married and then change the subject to the student's life. Dean Redfield only nodded at her answer.
Are you married Dean?” Honey asked as she sipped her coffee again.
Dean sighed. He shook his head softly and then sipped from his own coffee cup.
My wife left me for another man. I’m divorced now.” He said sadly.
I’m sorry.” Honey said, and sympathized with the man.
Dean shook his head again. He ran his fingers through his hair and chuckled.
It’s okay,” he laughed “With no children to worry about, it's a huge relief.”
Honey nodded in agreement with him. She could tell he was lying and still hurt. However, she wasn't going to pry on that. It was his business after all.
A toast to friends,” Honey said and lifted her mug.
Dean laughed and did the same.
Yes, to friendship,” he replied and they both sipped their coffees.

At home, she had dressed in her bathrobe and again turned on her computer. For an hour a night or sometimes only twenty minutes she would type whatever came to mind, hoping for a solid story to come out. Nothing substantial yet, but she kept writing anyway. So far, she had been published in various magazines and while this was a great achievement, she wanted to write a novel. Frustrating that her ideas were never coherent enough to form a novel. Still she typed and would eventually piece together what she wrote. Unfortunately, a lot of time she lost track of time and ended up pulling all nighters. Learning to combat this, Honey picked up a timer and figured it would help but twenty minutes in, she turned the timer off and just kept writing.
Jackie walked in and Honey was in the living room again, just about to turn off the computer. Looking at Jackie, Honey noticed the rose in her wife's hand. Raising her eyebrows, she waited for a response. Jackie only smiled and handed the rose to Honey.
A flower for you,” Jackie said.
Honey just stared at the flower. Jackie didn't know romance very well, so this was new. Honey stood up and walked into the kitchen looking for a vase.
Thanks babe,” Honey said. She was hoping she didn't forget anything. Jackie didn't do things like this for no reason, at least not very often.
Finding a vase, she filled it with water, cut the bottom part of the stem and place the flower in it. She placed it on the counter and felt Jackie behind her, arms around her. Smiling, Honey placed her hand on Jackie's arm.
What's the occasion?” Honey asked.
You,” Jackie breathed. “Just wanted to remind you of how much you mean to me.”
Honey turned around and hugged Jackie. She ran her fingers through Jackie's brunette head and kissed her. Wanting to do more, sudden pains shot through her abdomen and spine. Tears came to her eyes and she looked at Jackie, fear in her lover's eyes. Honey clutched her stomach and doubled over, Jackie stepping out of the way but still supporting her.
Honey,” Jackie gasped. “Do you need a hospital?”
Honey was motionless. It took everything she had not to scream as she felt like her body was on fire. She could barely breathe, each breath making the pain even more unbearable. Forcing herself to stand up straight, one arm clutching her stomach, the other on the kitchen counter. Honey looked at Jackie through tear filled eyes. She tried to caress the side of Jackie's face. The moment she took her hand off the kitchen counter though, she fell forward, a blanket of darkness enveloping her.

Waking up in a cot, she noticed an IV attached to her wrist. Sitting up quickly, a spell of dizzziness washed over her. Honey laid back down, waiting for the dizziness to subside. Not knowing how much time had passed she wondered what hospital she was in.
Jackie was lightly snoring in a chair to her left. That confirmed she was here for a while. That wasn't good.
A nurse walked into the room, wearing green scrubs, her brown skin glistening under the hospital light. Honey would have found her attractive had it been a different setting. The nurse pushed a blood pressure monitor to Honey's bedside.
I'm sorry to say this,” the nurse said “But you're wife will have to leave. Visiting hours are over.”
Honey nodded. She'd take care of that in a little bit.
How long have I been here?” she asked.
Since yesterday,” the nurse replied. “We're doing all we can, but we can't find anything wrong.”

Honey stared at her. They couldn't find anything wrong? Did she just pass out from pain for no reason? The nurse fixed her IV and took her temperature. She followed this by taking Honey's blood pressure and offered Honey a white pill and a cup of water. Honey took both after the nurse explained it was a potassium pill.
The doctor will see you soon,” the nurse said and left.
Honey woke Jackie up. Jackie looked up at her murmuring something incoherent.
Jackie,” Honey said. “Visiting hours are over. You need to leave.”
Jackie nodded and accepted this. She kissed Honey's forehead and left without another word. Honey would text her later when got out.
The doctor walked in with a clipboard.
What have I been tested for so far?” Honey asked immediately.
The doctor looked at his clipboard. Scanning the contents, Honey waited patiently for an answer. He looked at Honey.
So far your blood levels are good on iron and more. You’re not anemic so that’s good and all your blood results are fine. You were given a potassium pill since those levels were low,” The doctor explained. “We can't find anything wrong with you, but you're going to want to see your primary care doctor.”
Can I go home now?” Honey asked.
No,” the doctor said. “We are just waiting on one more test result. Then we'll see if you can go home.”

Honey sighed. All she could do was wait. The release papers couldn't get to her soon enough.

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