always crashing . . . (continued)

I was picking up the mystery girl and poking open the door to the kitchen with my toe before I thought that it really would have made more sense to call an ambulance. But it seemed that she might be in some trouble, and I wasn't sure she was in the wrong.

l placed her on my sofa and looked her over. Unconscious, she was younger than I'd thought. Definitely only a teenager. Maybe part of the desire to hide the motorcycle was that she wasn't old enough to drive. That seemed likely, but I guessed there was more.

Watching her to see if she was going to show any signs of life, I made three phone calls. Then I sat in the easy chair at opposite her and waited.

After a while, the doorbell rang, and I saw her eyes flicker as I went to answer it. My friend Corey came in. He was a nursing student, and I'd asked if he could come over and check her out. I'd done him a few favors and I knew he'd be willing to keep this quiet.

When he and I came back into the living room, she was trying to sit up.

"Hey," I said, moving toward her, but she glared at me as she managed to get somewhat vertical.

"This is my friend Corey," I said. "He's a nurse. He can make sure you're okay."

taking in strays