My word was supposed to be “violet” but no inspiration was coming. However, “Valerie” streamed through the speakers . . . luck.
The moment Conrad heard Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” blaring through Shannon’s speakers, he went a little nuts, especially when he saw empty wine bottles and liquor bottles emptied to various levels.
“Shannon?” he called.
I followed as he ran up the stairs, throwing open door after door, until he finally found her on the bathroom floor, the smell of vomit acrid.
“Call 911,” he told me as his fingers moved to the pulse point in her throat.
My fingers shook as I hit the three numbers. I described the emergency.
“What state is the victim in?”
“She’s unconscious on the bathroom floor,” I said, peering back into the bathroom where Conrad was holding Shannon. “Please, hurry.”
“Is she . . . ?”
“It’s bad this time,” he said. He picked her up as if she weighed nothing and began carrying her down the stairs.
I could hear the approaching siren and flung open the door. The next few moments were a blur.
Conrad gave me his keys and left in the ambulance with Shannon. As I went back inside to retrieve her purse and turn off the stereo, I remembered how much Shannon had idolized Amy Winehouse, even dressing like her at one time, dying her sandy hair dark, and imitating her voice, although Shannon’s voice was an original onto itself. This time imitation went just a little too far to the edge. I just hoped Shannon didn’t go over with it.