Fourteen days later, the doctor gave her a clean bill of health, and she was cleared to be discharged from the hospital. The kids were still in school when J’aime came to pick her up. Although Malaykah preferred a quiet ride home, J’aime had a lot on her mind.
“Mally, I’m glad you’re back to new, but you scared the hell out of all of us. That night when you went berserk on Alejandro, the poor sucker begged the police to take him into custody just to get away from you. He had a concussion but refused medical treatment and went straight to jail. We haven’t heard from him since,” she said.
Malaykah did not want to revisit the night she beat up her daughter’s boyfriend. As far as she was concerned, he deserved nothing less, and no further explanation was necessary. She silently tugged at her seatbelt to loosen the strap, then pulled her hoodie over her head. J’aime was none the wiser and continued her rant.
“Then there’s you, who’s been roaming around like superwoman with your kids, work, and the dance studio. All the while with a tumor on your brain. Why didn’t you say anything or tell me you needed help?”
“I didn’t know,” Malaykah shrugged.
J’aime pulled over to the shoulder of the road in tears.
“I swear, I thought you were going to leave us forever. The kids were a mess, and I was even messier.”
Malaykah sat up, unlatched her seatbelt, and leaned over to hug her friend.
“Thank you for taking good care of them. It means a lot. You’re amazing,” she replied.
J’aime chuckled through a sniffle and said, “Honestly, it was them who took care of me. Roxy and Roy rallied together, but Shannon was beside herself with grief. She blames herself for what went down with Dro and for you wind up in the hospital,” she said.
Malaykah swallowed harshly as she imagined how much pain Shannon must have been in.
“It’s not her fault that I had a tumor, and no one could control our fight with Alejandro,” she replied.
J’aime looked at her somberly.
“We both know that, but Shannon truly believes she stressed you into developing a tumor. I tried to talk some sense into her, along with Roxy and Roy. For the most part, everyone seems to be back on the mend. Especially now that you’ve fully recovered. I just have two questions; where the hell did you go, and why did it take so long to come back?” she asked.
For Malaykah, those were loaded questions. She never dared to mention anything about Alëxios or Phëläniciä. There was no way to tell her best friend that she was now a married queen of a kingdom destroyed by mythological creatures. Malaykah was certain J’aime would send her back to the hospital to check for more tumors. So she decided to lie instead.
Malaykah paused for a moment, then said, “I don’t remember anything after I passed out on the sidewalk that night.”
~Ch. 16, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~