Mia's Secret
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Mia and Michael Harper, both 32, lived in an apartment complex in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mia was a housewife and blogger, and Michael worked as a security guard. Mia loved materialism and the convenience of living in the city, while Michael preferred the privacy, quiet, lower prices, and slower pace of the country. Despite their differences, however, the two enjoyed a happy and peaceful marriage.

At 3:00 p.m. on January 5, the first Monday of 2015, Mia was busy in the kitchen. While her husband was getting ready for work, she was making his lunch. Her laptop sat open on the counter, displaying her list of New Year's Resolutions.

1. Hit 500 articles on my blog.

2. Give blood.

3. Be assertive.

4. Read more.

5. Get more sleep.

She was currently at 483 articles, and she intended to write and submit article 484 that evening while Michael was at work. She looked forward to getting closer to reaching her goal and closer to the time when she could mark an item off her list. She turned on the radio, hoping to get some ideas for songs to add to her new MP3 player. What she heard instead was a commercial. She was initially annoyed, but upon listening closer, she became interested. The commercial was about a blood drive that was being held at the shopping center across the street. She smiled to herself. Her afternoon plans had suddenly changed, and she was going to be able to mark an item off her list. She pulled a plate out of the cabinet, laid two slices of white bread on the plate, spread them with ketchup, added two pieces of ham, put the sandwich together, and slid it into a plastic sandwich bag. Then she added a bag of Doritos, a Diet Dr. Pepper, and a note that read, "Have a great night at work! Love, Mia". She put all of these items into a small paper bag just as Michael came into the kitchen, dressed for work and ready to go. He looked so handsome in his uniform. She could not wait until he got home that night so that she could tear it off and have her way with him. For now, though, he needed to get to work. She handed him his lunch and pulled him toward her.

"I love you, Honey," she said. "Be careful. I'll see you tonight."

"I love you, too," he said, as he hugged her and kissed her deeply. Then he picked up his lunch, stepped out the door, and was gone.

Mia turned off the radio and listened to the sound of Michael's 2014 Kia Sorento starting up. She listened as the sound faded away and was gone. When she could no longer hear it, she knew that Michael was out of the complex and on his way to work. Then she turned the radio back on, checked her watch, and waited.

Michael had a tendency to be a bit forgetful. Once, when heading out to class one morning when he and Mia were college students, he forgot a textbook and had to return home to pick it up. Another time, when he had a medical appointment, he forgot some paperwork that he was supposed to take with him. Today, however, he had forgotten nothing. Twenty minutes later, when he had not returned, Mia knew that it was time to act. Fast. Michael was needed and appreciated at work, but his shifts were not consistent. His supervisors might decide to send him home after just an hour. Michael was concerned for Mia's safety and had warned her not to walk over to the shopping center without him. I'll be really fast, she thought to herself. I'll go give blood, and then I'll come home. He'll never know that I stepped out. Then she grabbed her jacket, purse, and keys, stepped outside, locked the door, and walked quickly to the Life Share bus that was set up across the street.

Inside the bus, she was happy to discover that it was warm. She was also relieved to see that she had come at a good time. No one was waiting to donate. A Life Share worker met her at the door and led her to a small room, where she sat down with him and he checked to make sure that her contact information was current and correct. Next, he checked her iron by doing a quick finger stick. After the worker bandaged her finger, Mia stepped out of the little room, and another worker met her, asking which arm she wanted to donate from.

"Let's go with the right arm," Mia said.

"Okay," said the worker, as he led her to the appropriate chair.

Seconds later, Mia felt the needle stick that she knew very well as a frequent donor with a rare blood type. She winced for just a second as the needle went in and then relaxed as the small bag attached to her arm began to fill with blood. While she waited, she looked around. Another donor, a tall man dressed in a suit who looked to be about 40, had come onto the bus. He was carrying a small cup of coffee. Mia guessed that he was probably on his lunch break. He would donate and then quickly return to work, whatever his work might be.

At last, the bag was full, and Mia's donation was finished. The nurse came to disconnect her, bandaged her arm, and handed her a T-shirt, a purple short-sleeved shirt with a Mardi Gras theme. She then invited Mia to pick up a snack and drink on the way out of the bus. Mia walked to the front of the bus, selected a Coke from the cooler that she found there and a Little Debbie snack from the cardboard box beside the cooler, stepped off the bus, and headed home. She walked quickly, not even noticing how cold it was.

"He'll still be there," she heard someone call as she hurried to her apartment.

"Let's hope not!" Mia thought to herself. "Not yet. Once I am settled in the living room, working at my computer or watching TV, or I am in the kitchen fixing dinner, then he can come home, but please not yet." She was not a fan of the cold, but today she was grateful for it. Michael would want her warm. Therefore, when she got home, she could put on a sweatshirt, which would keep her warm and would hide the needle mark.

At last, she arrived back home at her apartment. Michael's Kia was not there. She breathed a sigh of relief and let herself in. She walked in, removed her key from the lock, closed and locked the door, flipped on the light, turned on the space heater, and set about resuming her normal routine. She put Pink's Funhouse CD into her CD player and hit Play. Next, she got herself a glass of water in order to begin replacing the fluid lost during her donation. Then she began gathering the ingredients that she would need for meatloaf: 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, 1 egg, 1 onion, 1 cup milk, 1 cup dried bread crumbs, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons prepared mustard, and 1/3 cup ketchup. The workers at Life Share had said, "Make your next meal a good one." Meatloaf, with a side of mashed potatoes, a salad, and perhaps a slice of buttered bread, would be a good meal. Michael would appreciate a meal like that when he came home from work, hungry and tired, and since it was a meal that Mia often made, he would never suspect a thing. She preheated the oven, made the meatloaf, and then, when the oven was up to temperature, she put the meatloaf in to bake.

While the oven worked its magic, Mia went into the living room. There, she opened her laptop to her New Year's Resolutions page. "Give blood--done," she said to herself, marking the item off her list. Then she went to the bedroom to put away her T-shirt. Michael would have questions about it when he saw it later, but tonight was not the time for questions. Mia had missed him while he had been away at work.

She let down her wavy waist-length brown hair, stripped down to nothing but her robe and slippers, and walked into the living room just as Michael's key turned in the lock. He walked in smiling, looking very tired but handsome as always. Mia wrapped her arms around him, hugged him warmly, and then took his hand and led him into the bedroom.


Street Talk

Mia likes her independence and enjoys walking over to the shopping center by herself to see what is going on there. This activity allows her to see what is going on outside her apartment. She also knows that the blood drive will be over by the time Michael gets home from work, and she wants to participate in it. Therefore, she simply does what she wants to do. Hope this helps, & thanks for reading! :)

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Hollie, this is an intriguing, absorbing story--but I have so many questions. Why is it so important that her husband is kept in the dark about her blood donating? Do you know actual men who think their wives are only safe if they never leave the house? Why is the shopping center too dangerous for a lone woman? Is Mia just inventing a dramatic backdrop to an otherwise mundane errand, making a game out of giving blood without her husband knowing? And what's the point of hiding it in the present if she's planning to tell him later? As you can probably tell, this one point really bugs me. The rest of the story, however, is great. Keep'em coming!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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