I Am Rosemary's Granddaughter Chapter 15: "Bigger Than Me"

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I ran across campus to the dorm parking lot; hoping that maybe he went with Danny and left the car…even though I still didn't have a license. The car wasn't there and I had to wonder if I could run four miles or so to the hospital, across a bridge filled with heavy traffic. I decided I could that and possibly swim across the Tennessee River if push came to shove.

My sprint lead to main road--and with me thinking about might have happened to Michael. His supervisor said he was struck in the upper arm by some equipment but he didn't know the extent of the injury or wouldn't tell me over the phone. Maybe it was just a break or a burn or something simple. I hoped for that.

A horn honked like mad behind me and I moved further away from the road before I turned around to see Michael’s car with Danny at the wheel. He unlocked the passenger side and I climbed in.

"How is he?"

"It's a pretty big gash."

"Gash? Oh, my God, what happened?"

"Do you know where we work at?" Danny asked as he floored the accelerator just as Michael did. I had to wonder who taught who to drive.

"He said you guys move boxes."

"No, we cut metal,” Danny said while a making motions with his hands. "Big, hulking sheets of metal. The saw must come apart or something."

"Dammit," I whispered. "He's okay though?"

"He was conscious enough to think that you'd try to run to the hospital."

"He knows me well."

"Yeah, that reminds me of something. Something I have to say."

"Huh?

"Do you know how much he talks about you?"

"Yeah."

"A lot. And I want to apologize to you for being a jackass all these years, I mean--"

"Did you really change Mike's grade?

"Yeah, I really wanted to see the game but I had work to do here."

"Ingenious."

"Yeah, but I couldn't get past the teacher's handwritten notes; they used them to override my changes."

"So you know?" I asked.

"Yeah, but we have a workaround. Mike’s going to stay at my place and--"

"We were planning on leaving the school at the end of the semester."

"I know that too."

"Thanks, Danny."

"You're welcome, Kristi."

Danny dropped me off at the entrance of the emergency department and I went in but had to fight with the nursing staff about who I was and who I came to see.

"Are you family?"

"I will be in six or seven months," I replied as the nurse behind the desk gave me the "I really don't care" eyes.

Danny walked in ten minutes later to see me stewing in a seat in the corner.

"Should have said you were his sister or his goth brother."
"That's funny, " I replied with my eyes closed.
"Sorry, I meant--"
"Yeah, I know."

"Yeah, I know," I said as I looked back to the nurse’s station.

They didn't rush us back so it was safe to assume that he wasn't dead but a part of me felt that the staff wouldn't care if he was and left me in the waiting room as he passed away.
“I’n going to just go back there.”
“They kind of frown on that, security and all,” Danny pointed at the burley guard standing in the other corner of the room.
“Let him try and stop me.”
“Just wait a few more minutes, after that you can probably stay with him all night.”
“And you bet I will,” I replied as the intercom crackled.
“Kris Novoselic.”
She pronounced it wrong but I didn’t care as I ran up to the counter with Danny lagging behind me.
The nurse gave us a set of badges and buzzed the door, allowing entry.
“Room 33A”

I ran down the hall, not exactly sure where to find the room.
“Next right, Kristi!” Danny yelled form the doorway.
I raised my hand and waved, which I hoped he recognized as my way of saying “thank you.”
“I’ll catch up.”

I turned the corner and looked at the signs on the wall. Room 33A was halfway down the hall and the door was closed and the windows was covered by a dark film. I didn't want to open the door for fear of seeing him in a pool of blood or wrapped up like a mummy or something.

Danny came up from behind me and opened the door.
“Nelson, you dead?”
I cringed at Danny’s dark humor, considering where we were, as we walked in.
“Not all of me, Dan.”
Mike was lying on a gurney with his left arm wrapped in gauze and tubes. His expression brightened when he saw me.
“Kristi.”
“You were right,” Danny said as he leaned up against the far wall.
“Did you try and walk here?”
“I tried to run,” I replied. “I would’ve taken a swim if I had to. What happened?” I asked as I wanted to just rush in and hug him but, his expression showed he was in pain.
“It’s cut to the bone.”
“Shit, what?” Danny asked.
“Almost straight through like a hot iron. Thank God for painkillers.”
I wanted to cry.
“Don’t cry, Kristi, it’s okay. I’ll be fine, I-“
“What are they going to do?”
“Probably cut it off. I got another one though right?”
“It’s not funny,” I choked as I stepped over to the other side of the bed and grabbed his hand.
“I know, but, it’s okay, I mean, they got stuff to fix it with.”
“We can rebuild him,” Danny commented.
“That could take-take a long time and—“ I stammered.
“It’s okay, Kristi. Do you think less of me? Am I half the man I used to be?"
“You’re a quarter-“ Danny stopped mid-sentence as I shot a death stare at him.
“I’ll be okay, if you’re okay.”
“I’m fine, I—“
“You’re lying.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m lying” I blubbered.
“This doesn't’ change anything and think about it. It’s still cheaper than four years of college.”
“Stop making jokes.”
“Is it the drugs talking?” Danny asked.
Mike nodded and then looked at his arm. “Yeah, I hate to be without them right now.”
“I’m going to stay here with you.”
“No.” Micheal replied as he shook his head.
“Miche-”
“The show needs to go on.”
“Damn the show, you nearly lost your arm!”
“I haven’t lost it, its right here. You. Go. To the play. You said yourself that the director would forget to turn the lights on if you didn't do it.”
“But-“
“I’ll be here when its over. Danny, can you bring her back afterwards?”
Danny nodded.
I leaned over and kissed his forehead. “I love you.”
“Love you too. Now get going. I’ll be here.”
“See you later, Mike,” Danny waved as he moved into the hallway.
I didn’t want to leave. Micheal couldn’t physically make me leave and I would have loved to see Danny try to force me out but I surrendered to the request and we left the room to go back to campus.

The drive back was quiet. Danny didn't say a word until he pulled the car up near the theatre.
“Call me when you’re ready to go back.”
“I’m ready now.”
“He does know you well.”
“Yeah, he does,” I opened the car door but hesitated to get our. “Do you think he’ll lose his arm?”
“Don’t know, sorry, but as he said, he’s another one.”
“Yeah, that helps.” I got out of the car.
“Kristi.”
“Yeah, Dan?” I was not happy with the joking manner everyone else was in.
“He’ll be okay. Just imagine he’s out in the audience or if you like, I can get a picture and blow it up to poster size and put it in the audience.”
“How about a cardboard stand-up?”
“That may take a few days.”
“”The poster is a good idea. Maybe I can get the troupe to sign it.”
“I’ll get going on it then.”
I felt my mood lighten a little “Thanks, Danny,” I replied with a wave as a I closed the door.

It was close to six as I ran into the theatre,
“Kristi!” Mr. Montesi ran up to m; his face as white as a sheet. "Oh, thank God. Are you okay?”
“Umm, yes sir?” The rest of the troupe looked at us for a moment and then went back to what they were doing. I didn’t see Heather, but assumed she was on the wings getting ready.
"Have you seen Heather?"
"No sir, she isn't here?”
Mr. Montesi cleared his throat and shook his head. “I need everyone to come out to the front. Front and center, right now!” I walked with him to the stage area. His voice boomed throughout the auditorium—he never needed a bullhorn.

The troupe slowly came onto the stage, all of them bewildered as much as I was because Mr. Montesi never raised his voice unless he was laughing. I had never him get angry, unless it was a part of a dialogue and he was trying to articulate the lines.
We became even more so when four campus security guards along with two Knoxville police officers entered. Mr. Montesi ran towards them and they spoke back and forth in a quiet tone. One of the officers looked at the stage and soon all seven of them were looking at us.

Mr. Montesi’s closed his eyes for a moment, sighed and then called my name.
“Kristi!”

The entire troupe looked at me as he walked back to the stage, followed by the two Knoxville officers. I had no idea what could be running through their heads because I was trying to figure out my own thoughts. Did the college call the police on me for my “insubordination on multiple levels” or that I had one too many dresses in my dorm. Oh, yes, it would because I was in the dorm and Richard finally got someone to listen to him.
I stepped down from the stage as Mr. Montesi tried to whisper something to me but the officer cut him off.
“Kris Novesalic?”
“Kristi No-VAH-selic,” I replied.
“Could you come with us, please?”
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.”
The officers showed no emotion; like twin androids with no sign of life behind their eyes.
“We need to speak to you about Heather Ashman.”
“I’m coming with her.”
“We need—“
“Sirs, with all due respect to the law, she is my student.”
“Let’s go.”

The eight us left the theatre and the two Knoxville policemen, Mr. Montesi and myself went into his office. Mr Montesi sat at his desk and I sat on the opposite side. The officers stood on the side.
“Do you know Heather Ashman?”
“Yes, she’s in the drama department.”
“Are you friends?”
“We haven’t always been but just recently we’ve—Your line of questions leads me to think something’s happened to her.”
“Yes, she’s dead.”
“What?”
“Campus police found her two hours ago,” Mr. Montesi stated.
“Where?”
“I don’t know, and-“
“Did she talk about anyone threatening her?” The second officer took over.
“No.”
“Have you received any notes or emails?”
“I have no idea how to use my e-mail and no, nothing, why?”
“There was a note found with her with a reference to Kris Novasalic.”
“What does it say?”
“The TBI has it now,” the first officer replied. “They will want to talk to you.”
“About what? What did the note read?”
“Are you living on campus?”
“Yes, for now.”
“”For now?” They both raised their eyebrows at my response. Like I could possibly do anything to Heather with everything else going on in my life at that time.
“Never mind, personal business. I am in the dorms, so yes, I’m here.”
The officers looked at each other and then at me.
“We need you to come to the station.”
“Why?”
“We need you to answer a few more questions.”
“No, not until you tell me what happened to her. I mean, how did she die?”
“That’s not known at this time. The note had your name on it and she had a playbook with your name on it as well. We needed to confirm—”
“She didn’t commit suicide she wouldn’t have she just went out with Amanda. Have you talked with Amanda? We need to go find her, she-” I got up and went for the door.
“Kristi,” Mr. Montesi motioned for me to come back to my chair.
“No, I introduced Heather to Amanda and Amanda has…had a boyfriend who beat her and-“
The officers’ faces stood cold and blank as they had earlier, not seeming to care about what i had to say.
“If her ex found them together then he might have…he might killed Heather...thinking she was me.”
The officers’ faces stood cold and blank as they had earlier, not seeming to care about what i had to say.
“If her ex found them together then he might have…he might killed Heather...thinking she was me.”
“We can look into that. For now, come with us, please.”
“Can I get a few things form my room? You can come up with me if it will make you feel better.”
“We’ll have campus security escort you.”
I nodded and walked out with the officers.

Seven minutes later, and a bit of confusion with campus security about the directions to the dorm I walked into then dorm hall to see even more campus security talking with Richard.
“Kristopher Novoselic,” Dick stated as he turned everyone’s attention to me.
“Richard,” I replied as I looked at all of the officers. “What’s going on?”
“We have a problem.”
“Yes, we do.” I replied, not really wanting to get a verbal battle of wits. I was already kind of afraid, sad and pissed.
“No, I mean we really have a problem.”
“What?”
“Your dorm room was broken into.”

I ran down the hallway and leaped over every other step until I arrived at my floor, only to be greeted by even more security guards and the occupants of the other rooms.
I had a pit growing in my stomach. The same one I had when I had to suppress my feelings in front of my dad. A dark pit of despair where once you are thrown into it, may God have mercy on your soul if you can climb out of it. Every step towards the open door, surrounded by red marker tape, was more difficult than the last.

“You can’t be up here, miss.” A campus cop said as he tried to block my way in. As flattered as I was that he correctly gendered me, I reached into my backpack and flashed my student ID.
“This is my room. What happened?”
He took a look at my ID and then at me; which caused him to squint.
“I need to see-“

I walked past the guard and walked into the room, but I really wished I hadn’t.
Everything was thrown around. No one was there to look for anything, they were there to simply be an ass or to leave me with a pain in mine. The beds were knocked over shelves were thrown around and. pushed aside. All of our clothes, no, all of our belongings were strewn about…except for two items: Micheal’s laptop and my camera were missing.



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