Go to Prologue
They were bombarded with banging drums as soon as the lift doors opened. The walls vibrated with the percussion. Natalia and Kate looked at each other, then ran down the corridor. They stopped in front of the closed door.
"That music is certainly not conducive to sleep." Kate yelled above the sound of drums.
"If she took the meds, shouldn't she be out? She only plays that music when she works out. And never that loud."
Kate let out a loud sigh. "Damn, I should have remembered. It was a favorite trick of hers. She would pretend to take medicine then spit it out when no one was looking. Some things never change."
Natalia entered the code to open the door. The music although loud through the door, blasted them when the door opened. They both covered their ears and entered. They saw Kacey on the treadmill. Natalia quickly turned off the music. Kacey continued to run, her eyes fixed on the monitor in front of her as it led her through hills and valleys. The base rising and lowering as the scenes played out on the monitor.
Kacey was perspiring freely, her breath coming in pants as she ran. She was so involved in running, she did not respond when the music was shut off. The mountain course she ran was programmed at twenty five miles. She ran about half that distance.
Natalia pointed to the water glass on the coffee table. The remnants of the pain meds lay dissolved in the bottom of the glass. Kate shook her head.
"I think she is punishing herself." Kate whispered.
"For what?" Natalia asked.
"For almost going back on her word to you. Mom told me that you stopped her from breaking her hands or my door."
"Oh my god. The look in her eyes when I asked her if she lied when she promised we would have many years together."
Natalia walked to the front of the treadmill. She noticed the tears streaming from Kacey's eyes. She turned off the monitor and touched Kacey's arm. The sad blue eyes tracked to hers.
"Will you talk to me?"
Kacey changed the settings and the machine slowed down. The base lowered until it was flat. The machine slowed to a stop and she stepped off on shaky legs. Her muscles screamed in protest to the abuse she had heaped on them. Kacey grabbed the towel from the railing of the machine and wiped her face and arms. She bent down and kissed Natalia's cheek.
Kate watched her some times volatile sister respond to the quiet steel resolve of the smaller woman. She felt like an intruder and slowly backed toward the door. Without looking away from Natalia, Kacey said softly, "please stay Kate."
"Of course, Kacey what is on your mind?"
"I need to say something to Natalia and I want witnesses to hear what I want to say. Please call the family together."
"Certainly, but you need to shower and put some decent clothes on."
"I will. Please don't leave me?" Kacey whispered in Natalia's ear.
"I am not going anywhere and will be waiting for you to return." Natalia stated.
Kacey walked to Kate, leaned in and kissed her cheek. "Thank you sis." She said and walked into the bedroom. She closed the door. Inside the bedroom she took out the clothes she would wear and laid them on the bed. She took the small box and placed it near the clothes.
She turned on the shower, washed her hair and cleaned the sweat from her body. She stood under the pounding spray as it soothed her sore muscles.
She dimly heard the sound of the door chime through the sound of the water. The sound of voices reached her as she continued to stand under the spray.
The family gathered in the living room as Kate relayed what they had found.
"We could hear the music as soon as the lift opened. The walls were vibrating."
"I thought the doctor gave her medicine to was supposed to make her sleep."
"It probably would have, if she had taken it. She spit it out after I left. Just like when she was little and did not want to take medicine. That is the pill in the glass."
"She was running the mountain course on the tread mill. It is the worst course on that thing. She was halfway through the twenty five mile course."
"Why on earth would she do that to herself?" Patricia asked.
"She explained it to me once. She uses the exercises to help her work through problems. I have watched her do that. I guess putting her body through hell helps her think. It is not like when she loses herself in her music. Then she pushes everything out of her mind until she can deal with it. Running helps her think more clearly. You didn't see it Kate, but she was crying when I was able to get her to stop."
"I have to admit, mom, I am really worried about her. She went from trying to break down my Ready room door, to someone who has absolutely no fight left in her. I don't know what happened between the time she beat the door until I entered the Ready room."
"It was me, Kate. I doubted her promise to me."
"So that is what she meant." Kate stated.
The bedroom door opened.
To be continued...
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