“Someone killed him … he was murdered. Not too far from where you were hit.”
“What does that mean?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I am sure the police will talk to you about it as soon as they can.”
My thoughts automatically went to my brother. Javier was protective over me, even more so lately, and this seemed like something he would do.
“How was he killed?” I asked with trepidation.
“He was shot. In the head.”
She shot me a funny look.
I quickly fumbled for my next words. “I mean, that’s terrible.”
That meant it wasn’t Javier. Javier wouldn’t just shoot whoever did this to me, he would take them and make them suffer for a very, very long time. My brother might be twisted – as all drug cartel lords are – but family always came first.
“I’m not sure how terrible it is,” the nurse said. “This man hit you with his car and took off. Some might say it’s his comeuppance.”
Some might say all of this was too weird. “I guess I don’t have to worry anymore.”
She shook her head. “You don’t. But there is still a police officer stationed on this floor, for at least tonight. They can’t tell whether the hit and run was intentional or not.”
“I’d seen that car before,” I told her, just as I had told the police. “I got glimpses of the man from time to time. I think he was a mechanic for the airlines.”
“That’s what they say. No record of criminal history either, but then again it’s Mexico, so that doesn’t mean much, does it?”
I wanted to shake my head but didn’t risk it. “No, it doesn’t.” I closed my eyes. “When do I get out of here again?”
“The doctor wants you under observation for a few more days. The fact that you are still dizzy isn’t good, although that can be a side effect of the pain medication.”
“Do you have anything to help me sleep?” I asked, and when I didn’t hear her reply, I opened my eyes to look at her pleadingly. What I wanted was something strong enough to knock me out and keep my nightmares at bay. Usually I had them about once a week, but ever since the accident – which happened, what? Four, five days ago? – I had been having them more. Perhaps because for the first time in a very long time I was afraid again.
And perhaps because being here in the hospital made me realize how little I had in my life. My brother hadn’t come by to see me yet, but I hadn’t called him either, and I hadn’t talked to my twin sister Marguerite. Everyone else – my other sisters, my mother, my father, they were all dead. I had no children, no husband, no boyfriend. Nothing. I only had my job and my friends Luz and Dominga.
Salma gave me a conceding smile then left the room. When she came back she was holding two pills and a glass of water.
“This will make you rest for a long time,” she said, and gently helped me up so I could take them. The room spun and my head hurt, but I managed to get them down.
It wasn’t long until I felt good, sublime, floating on a cloud, and everything went black.
It was ten o’clock at night and the hospital was quiet. Luz sat on the corner of my bed while Dominga stationed herself at the door, watching for anyone who might try and stop my escape attempt.
I’d been at the hospital for a week in total and yet the doctor still wanted me to stay for another night or two. I was sick and fucking tired of just lying in bed, watching terrible soap operas and flipping through magazines. Luz and Dominga came to see me when they could, but since Luz was a flight attendant like I was and Dominga was a maid at one of Puerto Vallarta’s largest resorts, they couldn’t always find the time during visiting hours.