God Came Running


Coming Home To Mercy Streets

Mercy Street

Return to previous page

s she opened the refrigerator door, Renn heard the distinct sound of footfalls overhead. From the bottom of the stairs, she called, "Hello. Who's there?" Brynn came to the head of the stairs, saying forcibly, "I was just looking for Mother. Where is she?" "I don't know exactly. I've been out." Brynn's face turned scarlet. "So you all just leave the place unlocked now, when no one's here? So just any Tom, Dick or Harry can walk in and steal us blind?" "Listen, Brynn, I really don't want to get into this now. Would you just--please leave?" "This is my house, Renn, and I'll leave when I'm good and ready." Renn shook her head, picking up the kitchen extension. She called the police, to report a trespasser on the premises.

Brynn was staring at her as she hung up the phone. "How dare you, you little…" Brynn spat. "You have no right to do that. You are the interloper here, not me. I should have them arrest you." "Whatever you say, Brynn. But Kate put me in charge in her absence.

I have it in writing." Brynn's eyes were blazing. "Let's see it." "I don't think that would be wise, dear," she said condescendingly, knowing she was getting in over her head. "What would you know about wise?"

Renn turned away, filling the teapot and flipped on the burner underneath. "Would you like a cup of tea, Brynn?" "No, I wouldn't like a cup of tea! I'm out of here. But you haven't seen the last of me." "Oh, I'll just bet I haven't," Renn surprised even herself with her moxie. A look of hatred distorted the woman's bulldog face. "I'll take care of you, you…"

"Yes?" Renn asked. "Never mind!" shrieked Brynn, stomping out the front door. After bolting the door, Renn poured the steaming water into a cup and added a teabag, to steep. She wondered what Brynn had been up to upstairs. She felt shaken from the confrontation, on top of her cool reception from Gordy. She took a minute to notify the police of Brynn's exit. Leaving her cup on the counter, she checked the upstairs and could see nothing out of the ordinary. She must have missed the smudges on the medicine cabinet mirror when she cleaned it.

Renn's mind was uneasy about Brynn's visit. She turned to leave the bathroom, then turned back. Hadn't Kate taken her things to Craig's? Then why was her medicine still in the cabinet? She felt a little lightheaded from all the excitement. The ups and downs of living here were certainly taking their toll. She could feel a headache creeping up the back of her skull. "A couple of Tylenol caps and a nap, and I'll be just fine." She swallowed two with water. Overwhelmed by a feeling of anxiety, she descended the stairs and made sure the house was locked.

She switched on a couple of lamps and a kitchen counter light, unwilling to wake to the darkness of a dusky house. In her bed once more, she pulled the quilt over her and closed her eyes. She woke, gagging, and hurtled herself toward the commode just in time to vomit as if there were no tomorrow. What was wrong with her? She couldn't recall feeling this bad in her life. Renn dug an emesis basin from under the sink and retrieved a towel from the linen closet, then crawled back into bed, perspiring and chilling.
When she woke to the glare of the morning sun, she still felt violently ill.

She didn't know whether she could make it down the stairs to seek help from a volunteer. Her heart sank when she remembered the day; Saturday, and no one would be coming. She would be alone all day. Even Martha had weekends off. She vomited again, wishing the process would bring relief. It usually did, but not this time.

She found a washcloth and washed her feverish face. Renn swallowed a glass of water, trying to assuage a terrible thirst, but it came up less than a minute later. She sank onto the bed, trying to think what to do. She felt the room spin around her and made it to the commode just in time. Grasping the phone, she dialed her father's number, but no one answered. Unfortunately, he didn't believe in answering machines, so she couldn't leave a message. That was the trouble with Saturdays; no one ever stayed home on weekends. Lightheaded, Renn hung onto the banister for dear life, descending the stairway.

She sat, leaning against the wall, halfway down, overcome by increasing weakness. She reached the refrigerator and scanned the listed numbers, dialing Craig's number. She felt too lousy to wade through Craig's monologue and hung up, annoyed.

Gordy's number caught her eye, as she dragged a chair near the refrigerator and collapsed, drenched in sweat. She dialed and after only two rings, his machine answered. She said, "Listen, Gordy, I'm sorry to bother you, but I need help…" The room swayed precariously before she felt the floor come up to meet her.


Renn opened her eyes in a daze. An unfamiliar bed cradled her. Gordy sat in a chair next to her, reading. She put up her hand to catch his attention and saw an intravenous needle taped in pace. He noticed her movement and said, "So, you finally made it back. What on earth did you do to yourself?" She whispered, "I'm so thirsty, please-water?"He shook his head. "I don't think you can keep it down, but they said to let you try." He handed her a plastic glass, and she drank, but before she finished she grabbed the emesis basin from him, and it all came up.

Frustrated, she began to cry, the room spinning. "I don't know what's happening. I've never been this sick before." He said, "They think you may have been poisoned. Did you eat or drink anything unusual, or take any medication lately?" She nodded. "Tylenol capsules from Kate's medicine chest." With a frown, he said seriously, "When was this?" "Yesterday afternoon, when I got back from your place." "I'd better go to the house and get them," he said, getting to his feet. Tears flooded her eyes." Gordy. I'm so scared."He sat back down and said, "I'll be right back. Really Why don't you go back to sleep? Maybe you'll feel better later."

If he had just patted my hand. He left her feeling abandoned and frightened. She forgot to mention Brynn's appearance at the house. When no one came in response to her call light, she tried to get up to the bathroom. The room spun out of control as she supported herself with the IV pole. She fell into a chair near the door to rest. From inside the bathroom, she heard a knock on the door, and a female voice said, "Honey, are you okay?" The voice was Martha's. Renn wept with relief. "Martha, could you com in? The door isn't locked." Martha stood staring for a second and then said, "Sweet Jesus, girl, what on earth is the matter?"

Tears were slipping down Renn's cheeks as she sighed. "I'm so glad you're here. I've never been this sick in my life. I can hardly make it from here to the bed. I thought I would have to crawl back to bed. No one answered my light. I'm just so dizzy."
She stood up and would've fallen had Martha not grabbed her. Gordy's voice could be heard, "Hey, where are you?" Renn was only half conscious when she heard Martha yell for him.

She could feel herself being tucked back into bed and was vaguely aware of their whispering voices nearby. She woke up retching, wondering how she could still be so sick when her stomach was empty. Sweat drenched her as Martha held the basin for her. She could read the look of worry in Gordy's eyes.


About Nancy
Guest Speaker
Editing Service
Nestle Down Inn