Toxic Affections

Toxic Affections
D Sean
Raindust LLC (2012)

An overprotective father goes to extreme lengths to keep his daughter from dating a boy he doesn't approve of. His plan backfires and the circumstances are grave, especially for his beloved daughter, Kerri.

 

RAINDUST LLC

P. O. Box 669281

Marietta, GA 30066

DSEANBOOKS.COM

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by D. Sean

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

 

 

Published by Raindust LLC

 

ISBN-13: 978-0-983-4034-3-2

ISBN-10: 0983403430

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Larson, wait!” a woman called. He turned around knowing who the voice belonged to.

“What!” he yelled back, causing Kerri to stop in her tracks.

Larson’s acidic tone stung Kerri right in the eyes, other commuters turned to stare at him momentarily. She stood there nervously tearing at her fingernails. Her light brown eyes streaked with red. He was waiting for her to say something. She could hardly swallow, yet alone speak. All her thoughts seemed to have gone into hiding like shadows dispelled by a beam of light.

“Larson,” Kerri whispered in a voice that hardly sounded like her own. There was a fire in his eyes, much different from the passionate gazes he had once given her. She wished for those now. Any other look would be better than the one he was giving her. She blinked and in that quick moment, he was making deliberate steps in her direction. She almost wanted to run, but couldn’t manage more than a few steps backwards. Her limbs felt heavy and stiff, unmovable.

“You wanted this! You! You! Not me!” His lips were set in a hard line as spoke through clenched teeth. He pointed an accusing finger at her. Kerri blinked repeatedly, hoping to change the image in front of her. He was a blur, but in moments of clarity, she could see the anger that drew lines around his eyes and mouth. His eyes, however, were beginning to soften and then she couldn’t see him anymore.

Larson watched her pupils dilate and turn glassy. Her eyes were no longer focused on him, in fact, they weren’t focused at all. The following moments were slow moving. She buckled at the knees and her body crumpled as she fell forward. His expression turned from livid, to horror, to sorrow. He could hardly recall putting his arms out to catch her, her small frame becoming listless in his arms. Passersby looked on in confusion, some in disdain shaking their heads as though he’d done this to her.

“What are you looking at! Call an ambulance! Why are you just standing there?” He was yelling at the strangers who watched them like spectators at a sporting event.

Finally, someone pulled out a phone and dialed 911. He vaguely heard the man as he described what was happening. Before the man had hung up the phone a pair of EMTs —who were already on the premises—burst through the crowd that had gathered. They pushed Larson out of the way, removing Kerri from his arms and placing her on a bright orange gurney. He looked on as they secured her with straps and tape, loading their supplies on the gurney with her. He regretted that he’d been so harsh. Even more, he regretted that he’d left, walked away from her, even if she had asked him to. A few days ago, they’d been a happy couple, a source of envy for their single friends who only pretended to enjoy their single lives.

* * *

Larson and Kerri had dated since their first year in college, much to her father’s chagrin. Kerrington was the only child of Royston and Elaina Young, the sole heir to his enterprise; Young & Young Laboratories. Dr. Royston Young was a renowned scientist and his late wife was a nurse who’d died of meningitis shortly after giving birth to Kerri.

 

Kerri was the mirror image of her mother with delicate features and a head of wild mahogany curls. She had a pair of plump cheeks, which never deflated, and a smile that won every debate, disagreement and desire. Kerri and her father were very close, but he didn’t think anyone was worthy of her and that, unfortunately, included Larson. She and Royston had argued repeatedly about Larson. It was the only argument she couldn’t win. All he wanted was for her to follow his path, carry on his name and legacy, but Kerri couldn’t be less interested in science. Although she had a gift for it, even excelled at it, she was also bored by it. Larson was her break in the monotony of cells, formulas and findings. He provided the adventure, the shift from safety and shelter her father forced upon her.

The two met at a college football game, supporting their rival teams. Larson was in line at the concession stand when Kerri cut in front of him, sliding in next to her friend. He gave her an annoyed look, which faded the instant she turned and smiled at him.

“Sorry,” she said, shrugging one shoulder but keeping her smile in place.

“No, yeah, it’s fine.” Larson stumbled over his words as she continued to smile at him. That was all it took. He followed her to her side of the stadium, boldly sitting a bench away wearing his rival colors, now cheering for the team she supported.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Finding a reason to be close to you, or stalking you, depends on how you look at it.”

Kerri laughed and so did Larson who eventually inched his way into the seat next to her. That night she barely made curfew. She and Larson sat in the stadium seats long after it emptied. Back at her dorm, breathless and still hand in hand from a sprint across the courtyard, Larson said goodnight. He’d been so enamored by her that he forgot to get her phone number, resulting in a couple weeks of quasi stalking until he found her again.

 

* * *

Larson shuffled behind the paramedics as they carried Kerri out of the station to an ambulance that had pulled up onto the curb. He watched the way her body moved with their jostling, but made no movements of her own. It was one thing to lose her because she’d ended their two year relationship, but another entirely to lose her to—

“Are you family, sir?” the EMT asked loudly, even though Larson was standing close to him, too close really.

“Wha—what?” They’d just put Kerri into the cab of the ambulance and Larson was following, about to climb in after.

“I said, are you family?”

“Uh, yeah. I’m her husband,” Larson lied.

“Okay, hop in.”

He pulled himself up into the cab, sitting awkwardly on the bench, his hikers pack still on his back. While they sped through town, sirens blaring, running red lights, the EMT asked Larson some basic questions. He was relieved he could answer them all. He felt he knew her well enough to answer anything.

 

“What’s wrong with her? What’s happened?” Larson asked.

“We can’t tell. They’ll have to run some tests at the hospital. They should be able to tell what’s going on with your wife. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Even though it was a lie, Larson couldn’t help but like the way it sounded when the EMT called Kerri his wife. When they arrived at the hospital, Larson followed the gurney as they rushed Kerri through the automatic doors until a nurse stopped him. She handed him a clipboard and instructed him to fill out the stack of papers as best he could, immediately returning to her tasks. He held the clipboard in his hand as he continued to watch the chaotic huddle of doctors as they hovered over Kerri’s unconscious body.

“Kerrington Young, twenty-three year old female...” someone was talking over the cacophony of sounds. “Vitals are weak, no sign of trauma...”

 

Larson wedged himself into a far corner of the tiny room where they’d wheeled Kerri. The papers he’d been instructed to fill out lie blank in an empty chair. He ran his hand through his auburn colored hair. He was still getting used to the extra length, having worn it closely cropped in the past. Kerri had suggested he let it grow out a bit, so he had. His gray eyes were red-rimmed from lack of sleep—unsettled because of their break-up—and the worry he now harbored because of the scene before him. This was supposed to be the start of their adventure together. Kerri and Larson had decided to board a train to, well, anywhere. They thought it would be fun to pick a place at random and that was the only part of the excursion that was actually planned. They’d each taken off a semester from school to travel, but a few days before their scheduled departure, Kerri backed out.

 

* * *

 

“Larson, I can’t go with you,” she’d said tearfully into the phone.

“What do you mean you can’t go?” Larson was already fuming, knowing the words weren’t hers, but her father’s. He heard her sniffle and pictured her ruddy cheeks and neck splotched red as it always did when she was upset. He couldn’t stand for her to be unhappy, even momentarily. Neither of them spoke for a few long minutes.

“I can’t see you anymore.” The words seemed to strangle Kerri as she said them. She could hardly speak, layers of her voice shaved off with the tears she shed.

“Kerri, please don’t—” Larson began to plead, but the line went dead.

He slammed the phone down on the table, picked it up and slammed it again. Then he pounded it repeatedly until it was nothing, but recyclable pieces.

* * *

 

 

 

“I can’t get a clean stick,” a woman shouted. “Something’s blocking the vein.”

“Try the other arm!” one of the male doctors countered.

“You should see this.”

“What?” The agitated doctor turned his head, but kept his hands steady upon Kerri. “What is that?”

“I don’t know.”

He made his way to the other side of the bed, taking hold of Kerri’s arm as he squinted at the bulge beneath her skin. He picked up a scalpel and pressed the sharp metal into Kerri’s arm, making a linear incision. Larson stood on his toes, trying to see what they were doing. As he balanced from one foot to the other, swerving in either direction, someone leaned away. It was just enough space for him to get a view of the gaping wound where her flesh lay exposed. If he were a cartoon, his face would have flushed green. He rocked back on his heels and then slid laterally against a nearby wall, knocking over the linen bin as he fell to the floor.

 

“Somebody, get him outta here.” Larson had been so quiet that no one noticed he was in the room. Two of the nurses left Kerri’s bedside to tend to Larson, stripping him of his oversized backpack.

 

“Name’s Larson Bales,” one of the nurses said.

“Got it!” They put him on a gurney of his own and situated the bed in the hall, just outside of Kerri’s room, before heading back in.

 

“What the—” The doctor held a small, tube-shaped object between the fingers of a pair of tweezers. He peered at it closely. Beyond the blood that covered its glass was a green liquid inside. He turned it around, looking at it from different angles when a tiny spurt of the liquid squirted into his eye. “Ahh!”

He stumbled backwards as he yelled, dropping the tweezers and tube to the floor. Blindly, he felt his way around the room, trying to find the sink. His screams became louder as the substance singed his eye. He bumped into a tray of medical instruments, the metal clanged as it hit the floor. One of the tools landed just under Kerri’s bed alongside the tube. A few medical personnel pulled away from the bed while a couple others came rushing into the room.

“What’s happening?” one of them asked as he crouched down next to Neil trying to contain his thrashing. “Can somebody tell me what’s going on!”

Neil, the doctor, had made it to the sink. The water ran freely into the basin, but he now writhed on the floor with his hands over his face.

“Fluid from the patient got in his eye. Not sure what it is.”

The two men flushed Neil’s eyes with water before taking him out of the room. Suddenly the monitors attached to Kerri began to blare. Everyone turned to her, refocusing their attention.

“She’s not breathing!” In swift, skilled movements, they intubated her. “Her organ function is declining.”

“Kerrington!” a deep voice shouted.

“Sir, you can’t be in here.”

“The hell I can’t, that’s my daughter!” Royston’s voice boomed over the myriad of sounds in the small room.

“What’s wrong with her?” No one answered. “What’s wrong with my girl!” he yelled. Another doctor approached him from behind, placing a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Sir,” Royston shrugged the man off. “Sir, I can fill you in while they tend to your daughter.” Reluctantly Royston turned around and listened as the doctor told him why his daughter was admitted and listed her symptoms. “...asthenia, dyspnea and paralysis, which has caused her not be able to breathe on her own...” The man’s voice faded in and out of Royston’s ears. “...pulled a foreign object from your daughter’s arm...”

Royston’s face went pale with each word the man spoke. He became short of breath and fell back against the half-wall of the nurse’s station.

“Sir, are you okay?” The nurse reached for Royston, but didn’t touch him.

“No, no, no, no,” Royston repeated.

“Can I get a chair over here?”

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