Finally I’d had enough and told them to come and rescue me the first chance they got. Luz had the spare key to my apartment and went in to get me some clothes to leave in and helped me get changed into my dress while we waited for Dominga to finish her shift.
We weren’t going far. I couldn’t really fathom it in my condition. I was no longer dizzy, but I was still on pain medication, my left forearm was in a cast, and my left foot was bandaged tightly. When I officially left the hospital I would have crutches, but for tonight I would just rely on my friends. The only people I really had.
I had finally called Javier and Marguerite and told them what had happened. Javier said for me to call him as soon as I was discharged, and Marguerite had whined about not having any money to fly down from New York to see me. But the fact was, my only two living family members still weren’t here.
“Is the coast clear?” Luz asked, drumming her fingers excitedly on the bed. She had this crazy sparkle in her eyes that she got when she was feeling particularly hyperactive. Luz was tall with long dark hair down to her butt that she almost always wore in a bun, which only added on extra height. She was a force, a powerhouse, and was just as good at putting drunken passengers in their seats as she was at being the life of the party. Luz was a ball of energy and very hard to ignore, and I knew she would get me out of this dull hospital room as if her life depended on it.
Dominga raised her finger to shut her up and kept staring down the hallway. She was about my height, 5’6”, but runway-model thin and had this quiet air about her that most people mistook as snobbishness, but I knew it was because she would just rather listen than talk. She also didn’t smile much because she hated the gap between her teeth, something we all – especially her husband – found adorable.
Then there was me, Alana Bernal. Sister of one of Mexico’s most powerful drug lords. Queen of meaningless one night stands. Flight attendant who couldn’t seem to get the routes she wanted.
And hit by a fucking car.
“Okay, now,” Dominga said, and Luz immediately got to her feet, helping me off the bed. I had put on a simple black dress that showed off a lot of cleavage – I needed something to distract from the bandaged wrapped foot and the white cast on my arm. On my good foot was a sparkly flat sandal for stability and Luz had covered up my body with mounds of concealer to mask all the bruises which were now fading to an ugly yellow purple, like a rotting plum. I definitely didn’t look as good as I normally did, but I was still high on pain medication, so at least I felt pretty good.
With all my weight on Luz’s shoulder, we hobbled over to the door and looked down the hall both ways. It was totally empty. Thankfully I knew that there were no more policemen stationed on this floor to look after me. They had all been called off once it was ruled out that the hit and run had been a crime but not a deliberate one, and that the man who had shot the assailant had been a vigilante of sorts. At least, that’s what the cops had told me. It was hard to know the truth when it came to them.
The three of us scampered down the hall toward the stairwell, away from the nurse’s station, and with an awkward, clumsy descent, we made our way down the stairs and out into the hot night.
I nearly collapsed into Luz’s arms, bursting into a fit of giggles. I hadn’t felt this rebellious since I was a little girl, stealing candy from Violetta. But at that thought, my smile began to falter, as it always did when I thought about my poor sister. She hadn’t died long ago.
“Now what?” Luz asked, giving my shoulders a squeeze. She could always tell when I was being held in this violent melancholy and did her best to get me out of it. “What’s the plan?”