Location: Corona Park
It was a Friday afternoon as the sun beat down on Caroline’s black sweat pants, a fire engine red tank-top under a white zipper sweatshirt, her sunglasses were tight against her face with her flaming red hair pulled back into a pony tail as she did an afternoon run through Corona Park. The park was practically deserted and Caroline was loving it. Her ear buds blocked out the world as she was almost running in prefect synch with the drums of Max Weinberg, of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, as he was playing a drum solo to a live version of “Rosalita” from a concert two years ago in Seattle. Caroline knew someone who worked at the stadium where Bruce was playing and got her copy of the concert for Christmas last year. That concert never failed to make her smile, because that was the night not only did she use her radio “clout” to get in the front row, but she managed to be one of the young ladies to dance with Bruce on stage during “Dancing in the dark.” Most cases she would go running at the Luna Sports Facility, but at the moment Caroline didn’t feel much like being around too many people. Not to mention it wasn’t too far away from where the club blew up. Caroline didn’t need to go down there. She didn’t need to try and guess where Scott and Ann were standing or be part of the madhouse that was that area. Conspiracy theorists were already spouting off some of the most asinine theories ever, and Caroline was ready to kill anyone who said one near her.
Usually at this time Caroline was thinking about heading into the station to cut some commercials, harass the interns, or even touch base with Dave Burton, the afternoon drivetime DJ, and maybe even share a good laugh with him. However, this was not a usual Friday afternoon. Bob-O and the station’s owner Mrs. Popkin did, basically, an intervention for Caroline after she finished putting together the tributes for Scott and Amy. They could tell with one look that she wasn’t ready to go on the air, and with the anniversary of her mom’s passing less than twenty-four hours away Caroline was in rough shape. They insisted that she take off until the following Monday. Caroline had built up so much vacation that she could take off for two months and still have time left over. This was just beginning the start of a long journey that would take years for her to understand if ever according to her dad who she talked to after she left the station. Her dad was always there for her and his advice was to go out and do something that made her feel good. He suggested hanging out with friends, but the only friends that she had were at the station and they had their own grief to work through. They had decided to meet up at The Lighthouse around seven that night, but that seemed like days instead of hours away.
This was the first time in three years that she was tempted to have a drink. Caroline had sworn off drinking since the night she got so drunk she blacked out and woke up the next day in a strange room with a guy she didn’t know. From what she could gather the encounter was consensual, but it was the fact that all signs had pointed to Caroline being pregnant. She swore that if she wasn’t, she would never touch another drink again in her lifetime. Caroline wasn’t pregnant and she kept her vow but now her Faith in that vow, and to a point her Faith in God, was dramatically shaken.
Caroline without realizing it was starting to run faster and faster until she felt a sharp biting pain in the back of her left thigh, accompanied by a popping sensation. She realized she had just torn her hamstring. Caroline gritted her teeth as she tumbled to the ground. Grabbing the back her leg the pain was now a burning stabbing pain. “Damn it!” she muttered under her breath. The downside to the privacy that Corona Park offered during this time of day was that if something like this happened there weren’t too many people to help her out. Caroline laid there for a moment, and then said, “All right Dawson there’s only one person who can save you, and that’s you.” With that she managed to get to her feet, but she wasn’t putting much pressure on her left leg. She hobbled over to a bench and sat down breathing heavily and rubbing her leg. Caroline knew an ace-wrap, an ice-pack, and several aspirin were in her future. Caroline knew she would have to wait a bit for the pain to subside and once it was tolerable then she would have to move to get home before it stiffened up. Caroline said, “On the bright side, at least I’m sober.” She then saw a liquor store across the street from her bench and said, “For the moment at least.”