the recovery journal of claire olsen, part 2

Reads: 475  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Want to get rid of these ads?

Her story, part 2


-You have changed… somehow you had everything… inside! Even, when I was your coach for junior horse races!

-The best junior… coach of… Minnesota! … Remember that! I wondered where he had the trophy.

The station was a yellow building with an even roof and a clock-tower, with letters telling the station’s name. I hugged Louise, a manner that I hadn’t done before the Afton shooting incident.

-She has picked a very nice apartment, Dad! You should see that! Is mom OK?!

-Yes, she… has her things!


Day 130:

I entered the auditorium of Louise’s campus. It was a building with a brown, v-shaped roof. The entrance had white columns and there were light brown doors between them.

She started with Mozart’s Turkish march. At first she seemed so tense that everything would fail. However, my little sister showed persistence and a glow of coming back could have been seen from her eyes. I remembered how much effort she had done ever since childhood to come to this point. Her main aim was even further… By the end of her performance, probably everyone had forgotten her nervousness and she had grand applauds. She was full of pride, while bowing to the audience. Father gave her the flowers, I was cautious with the lights of the hall.

I hugged her, saying:

-You have… done it,… Schroeder! She seemed amazed of my recognition, before saying:

-Come on, this is just the beginning! It’s still a long way to the Carnegie hall! I wish mother would be seeing this!

I remembered mother insisting Louise to study as a teacher for a school in Grand Lakes. I secretly encouraged her to move on with music. She was giving up the teacher’s studies. Mother stayed home, despite the invitation. Father hugged Louise. After her performance there was a short break.

-What kind of a review you are going to write about your sister’s performance?! I turned my head, confused.

-Yes, miss Olsen, even I have a life outside criminal investigation. Especially these days, when the trial of the Eugenist is going on and on, I need breaks like these.

-Well, I… I had to laugh, before continuing:

-have to write… as a whole about… this evening!… My main… subject though… is arts!

-Well, mrs. Ross, she writes reviews about everything these days. She finds it hard to do interviews, so it is easier… Sometimes she needs a guide, if she turns too daring! Despite she was laughing, I got a hunch about the informer in Grand Lakes some time ago..


Day 140:

I got a strange package of “manna” bread today with my mail. Since the lone Eugenist has his followers  and I’ve got my share of their threats, I studied the piece carefully.

I had become and I still am a regular customer of Minneapolis taxis. I had tried several local physiotherapists but no-one was better than Hannah Harmon. She seemed to be afraid.

-Don’t… be nervous… I was there… when you said…  he was… enstranged from.. the world… for years!

-Thank you! she sighed, before continuing:

-I was really worried… The security guard of the hospital had checked me for four times.  After the session I told her about my strange mail. She said immediately:

-Probably it is something from Robert Hoff.

-The faith-healer?!

-I had to get out of my head mentioning you in the Valentine day’s card before his declaration. I tried my best to mend his damage.

I didn’t know what to say. Some days earlier I had visited the Minneapolis Convention Center, under its round flashy ceiling and behind its green and white rows of chairs. I had made some friends with other brain-injured people in Facebook. We went to the venue as a threesome. I was joking that despite I had all the worst injuries it was me, who was going to write about our experiment.

The people on the front-row were getting their share of the tall, blonde, curly-haired blue-eyed slim man’s hallelujahs, Jesus heals, etc. I felt sick, when he threw away their painkillers and even worse when many people joined him. When he even threw away the crutch of an old lady, I was about to turn back. But Joe, the African-American with a brain-injury from a car crash, pulled my sleeve.

When we were going to get closer to the healer, the big bear-like security guard stopped us. According to Joe, the tag on his chest showed him being a member of Hoff’s staff.

-The blonde lady’s hearing aid is not allowed from this range because of the feedback. I had added bad hearing to the prayer request cards, delivered to all the people attending the event.

The article was already sent to the Skeptical Inquirer, easy to write with my friends interviews.

Later on television I saw the reason for the bread; mother had joined the convention. Wishing me to come back, get rid of my injuries and become the girl before the shooting. I felt bad later after studying the Hoff criticism; he got most of his money from poor people. Louise answered his miracle site and ordered the bread to Linus Van Pelt, Baker Street 10, Salzburg. For her prayer she stated: “I pray the Stonehenge vampires will be on the highway to hell with you”.


Day 155:

I visited Louise in her apartment at the University village together with Joe. It seemed like eternity now but it was only a few years ago, when I had left the orange and red building. I had my crutch painted in the colors of a rainbow.

Louise told me that she and her room-mate, a nice Indian-born New York girl, had continued to damage the businesses of Robert Hoff. They got the instructions from a guy in the Youtube. Their new cell-phones were on continuously, causing losses on the faith-healer’s end. I laughed at this deed, feeling sympathy. I would never do it that way though.

We still talked about the trial of the Eugenist, but somehow it wasn’t that important now. Louise had once again advanced as a pianist, so Joe and I encouraged her to give up the studies for a teacher even more. Mindy brought some glasses to us.

It felt like complete, white emptiness. I didn’t have any of my pains. I didn’t think of anything, everything was just calm and white. My head was empty, like a canvas without any paint.

According to Joe, I was just staring forward with empty eyes. Louise had panicked, Mindy had put her hands to her head, saying “Sorry, sorry!” continuously.

I woke up from the emptiness at the hospital so familiar to me. Louise was holding my hand and Doctor Connor was looking at me seriously. Joe was motionless outside and Mindy kept weeping.

-Can you understand me, Claire?!

-Yes… perfectly!... There was… something?!

-Sorry, Claire… I forgot, what Louise had said!

I was kept in the ward for four days. When they came to the conclusion that I wasn’t at risk, I returned to my headache and other everyday things. Despite I felt very calm, I had no intention to repeat it, at least voluntarily. I had to live for my family, even for my enstranged mother, and I had to continue my blog. If it was going to bring some comfort to people and made up something to the people once in the camp.

Day 170:

Joe told me to try Astanga yoga. So, I attended the Minneapolis Yoga Workshop for a week or two after my coming home. I had bought a mat for myself. Naturally I had told the instructor about my right leg and the crampy hand.

I did the greeting and concentrated to my breathing while making the moves. I tried the vinyasa –thing very carefully. Today, I had to admit it worked for Joe, but not for me.  Maybe the reason was his athletic past. Somehow the yoga movements only added the pains in my head and the cramps in my hand.

The instructor agreed and was sorry he couldn’t do anything more for me. I promised him to write about my experience.

When I noticed that this is the 170th day of this recovery journal, open to anyone willing to read this blog, I attended the French Meadow Café. I liked its white wall with a string-like green logo on it right, when I moved to Minneapolis. I sat down under the green marquee. Louise was still on her studies, Father had his busy time at work. I hadn’t had any contact with mother for a while… But there was Joe as my company.

I had a fresh fish meal and Joe chose a vegetarian dish.

-So, it’s your… jubilee! How does it feel, ending up to being one of us?!

-It just… happened! … You don’t… know… when these… things take… place!

-Claire… some of these things don’t happen… as violently as to you!

-I could have ended… up to… a car crash… too!

-At least… you would have had a minor injury with… your speaking! Do you ever wish… you could get your normal speech back?!

-Every day! But… despite some of… my family… members… wish, life is not like… in… Reader’s Digest! ... My… former speech… is… former speech!… And cramps and… occasional difficulties… will remain.. But now I know… my true friends!

-Do you think… they will accept you wearing your glove in the… Carnegie hall?! I couldn’t help laughing; I had forgotten to take it off from my crutch-hand.

-Let’s see, when Louise… will get there… first!

Day 172:

I cannot read anything more of my former girl-friend’s blog. Unlike she thinks, my seemingly ignoring her isn’t at all about not caring for her…

It’s just, that people didn’t see the whole thing: despite the material show her jumping on front of the shooter, I in fact pushed her there. I supposed, that I would push her aside from the thing happening. I myself got some superficial shots and fell among the other ones, pretending to be dead.

When my wounds healed, I was allowed to see her in the intensive care. I thought that she would die; such injuries just seemed to be impossible…  That she doesn’t remember me visiting her during one of her fits of consciousness…

I have been looking over my shoulders ever since that event. Whenever there is a new person in the neighborhood, in Grand Lakes or Ann Arbor, I cannot help looking the other way. Every day my mind is filled with a feeling, that Claire and the others faced the worst, while I…

When I was brought in as the star witness, things didn’t ease up. The only thing, that keeps me together, is hoping, that the fake security guard gets, what he deserves.

I cannot study anything, since all my concentration is lost. I haven’t been able to deal with the thing, that obviously Claire is much stronger than Peter William Best.

My apartment in King Hall Eastern University Campus hasn’t been cleaned up for four months. My roommate has moved away. Telling the other students, that it was impossible to live with a person, who couldn’t speak a word or even react to anything. I haven’t read my medical books for ages.

I am looking at myself from a mirror. My beard is unshaven, has been for the past three weeks. The clothes have been unwashed for the same amount of time. The eyes are completely empty.

The old people’s joke about my name goes around in my head, not feeling funny at all. Thinking about to ease up my state of mind in the easiest and ugliest way…


This story is copyrighted by Jukka Ruskeeahde, Huittinen, Finland


Submitted: August 27, 2012

© Copyright 2022 jrahde. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Facebook Comments

More Thrillers Short Stories

Other Content by jrahde