“Hello, my name is Misha Lockhart. I need an ambulance at 329 Sunshine Lane. My husband’s just been shot.”
“He was attacking you, Meesh! I saw him grab you!”
“No, you idiot, we were hugging. It was so wonderful, it was….” She sighed. She turned her attention back to the body on the floor. “Richard, Richard, Sweetheart, the ambulance is on its way. You’re going to be okay, Honey. I’m right here.” She grabbed the first thing she could reach, something white on the bed, and began applying pressure to his shoulder wound to lessen the amount of blood he was losing, cradling him in her other arm, rocking him and kissing his forehead.
“Who is this guy, Meesh?”
“This is my husband, Richard.”
“No, Misha! I’M your husband!”
“My OTHER husband! God, Steve, you couldn’t ask questions first and shoot later?”
“Nicole! Nicole!” called Richard.
“I’m right here, Sweetheart. Don’t worry, Richard, you’re going to be okay. The ambulance is almost here. Calm down.” Richard held on tightly to her hand.
“Stay with me, Nicole.”
“Of course, I will, My Darling. I’ll stay with you.”
“I promise. Forever.”
“Who in the hell is Nicole?” Steve tried to figure out what was going on.
“Me. I’m Nicole.”
“What! No, you’re not! You’re Misha Margaret Phillips Lockhart. My wife! My little green m&m!”
The paramedics came in the door and got Richard ready for transport to the hospital.
“What hospital? Where’s his doctor on staff?”
“He’s visiting from London. He doesn’t have a doctor in this country. Take him to St. Ann’s and I’ll call my doctor in to treat him.”
“Our doctor, Meesh! You want OUR doctor to treat your new OTHER husband?”
“Steve! Back off!” She grabbed her purse and her red leather overnighter and followed Richard to the ambulance and jumped in with him. The ambulance took off for St. Ann’s, siren blaring.
Steve phoned Misha’s best friend.
“Coco, it’s Steve and I need your help. Can you meet me at St. Ann’s hospital as soon as possible? Please, Coco!” He was shaking.
“Oh, my God! What’s happened to Misha? I’ll be right there.”
Steve looked at the bloodstains on the white carpet. And what used to be his favorite white polo shirt that he had thrown on the bed. He went into the kitchen and got the carpet cleaner from the bottom of the sink. He soaked a towel in carpet cleaner and laid it over the stain and stomped on it a while, pretending it was Richard, the OTHER husband. He soaked his polo shirt in the sink with more carpet cleaner. Then he got in the car and went to the hospital. When he got to the emergency room, Coco was already there.
“Did you know Misha was married before? To some guy named Richard? From London?”
“Steve, calm down. Where is Misha?” Coco said slowly and cautiously.
“She’s in there,” he pointed to emergency triage, “with her OTHER husband, Richard.” Steve was very pale and still shaking.
“Is Misha… hurt, Steve?”
Steve shook his head.
“Okay, so Misha’s not hurt. That’s good. That’s good. Now just relax, Steve. What’s the matter with the other, um, husband?”
“I shot him.”
“How bad did you shoot him, Steve?”
“Bad enough for him to bleed all over our beautiful white bedroom carpet AND my favorite white polo shirt.”
Coco shook her head. None of this made any sense. She had known Misha since kindergarten. Misha had been engaged a few times, but always chickened out before any other actual marriage took place. She only married Steve, and that was only last year, actually not even a year. It wouldn’t be a year until December, and this was only June. Six months, Misha and Steve had been married only six months.
“Okay, Steve, you go get yourself a coffee, maybe a decaf, and sit down in here and read this nice germy newspaper hanging out in the ER. I’m going to go find Misha.”
“Don’t tell her I’m here. She might call the cops on me. She seems to really like this new OTHER husband. Calling him Sweetheart and Darling and hugging him and all that crap. She never calls me Sweetheart. She calls me Bonehead.”“Okay, I won’t tell her. Go. Sit. Chill,” she pointed to the chairs.