A lawyer stays home sick and finds herself in the midst of a mysterious situation
| Someone once said you can tell a lot about someone by looking at the way they handle sickness, the common flu for example. People that crave attention will lie in bed all day long; call everyone they know to let them know they are sick. They will prolong the sickness as long as humanly possibly to get out of unpleasing engagements and work. The depressed will use it as an excuse to stay an extra day on the couch and claim it was the sickness and not the depression that caused them to miss an extra day of work.
For people like Emma sickness was punishment. Her normal day started at 5am with her neighborhood jog. Her day was filled with client meetings and courthouse appearances. Her day ended around 9pm after round two of fitness. The second session varied and was a toss up between weights, swimming, exercise class and if she was lucky sex. Emma had an on and off again boyfriend, Jeff, who seemed to be more on when she craved things on the physical side.
Today Emma was miserable. She had worked all week with the beginnings of a cold. She finally gave in to taking a day off when it got to the point when judges would stare disapprovingly at her as she coughed her way through dispositions.
Emma had waked this morning with a fever, a sore throat and a cough that hurt deep in her chest. She resolved to go to the doctor only because she had a trial that started on Monday and she would be replaced as head counsel if she did not become presentable. The trial was her first high publicity case and she was determined not to miss it.
At 8am Emma called her doctor and made an appointment for 430. It was the only appointment available.
Emma spent the morning in bed unwilling to use the energy that would be required to get out of bed. As 330 approached Emma dragged her petite blond feverish body out of bed. She headed for the kitchen to take some much needed cough medicine and make the just as needed coffee.
Emma knew she desperately needed a shower but couldn't bring herself to do it thinking it would take all the energy she had to drive herself the 15 miles required to get herself to Dr. Miller's Office. She thought about calling Jeff to take her but the thought of having anyone she dated see her like this made her decide against it. Emma threw on somewhat presentable sweats and ran a comb through her fever soaked hair. She looked in the mirror and thought to herself today this is as good as I get. Emma was normally a vain person and usually left the house immaculately dressed with hair and makeup perfect but at this moment she felt too miserable to care.
She left the house at 4 o'clock bundled up for the cool march weather hoping that if she got to her appointment a few minutes early she might be seen sooner. Emma arrived at Dr. Miller's office at 4:15. The office was busy. At least three children ran ram pad through the waiting room coughing open mouthed with noses dripping. Emma signed in and thought to herself that if I wasn't sick before I am now.
At promptly 430 Emma's name was called and she was led into an examination room. The nurse took her blood pressure and temperature and was told Dr. Miller would be right in. Emma had started seeing him years ago when she had broke her leg on a golf course falling into a sand pit. He had been good to her then and so she had continued to see him.
A few minutes later Dr. Miller walked in. He looked at her concerned. Over the years he had gotten to know her and knew that her cold had to be real bad for her to come willingly to come his office. "Emma," he said caringly. "What seems to be the problem?” Emma went in detail about her cough, fever and sore throat. He asked her how long she had felt this way. She told him that she started to feel run down a few weeks ago and the beginning of this week it kicked into high gear. He instructed her to sit patient as he got an assistant to take her to x-ray to get a film of her chest. When this was done she waited once again patiently for Dr. Miller. About 10 minutes later he returned shaking his head. "Emma, it appears that you have walking pneumonia,” he said. Emma looked at him in disbelief and asked him how she had gotten it. He basically told her that the reason she got the pneumonia was because when she felt a cold coming on she never slowed down to fight off the illness. She had kept her hectic schedule. He told her that she had to take anti-biotics and spent about a week in bed. Emma groaned thinking of her case.
Emma was given her prescription slip before leaving the office. On her way out the door, with out her knowledge, a small boy slipped a business size card in the side pocket of her overflowing handbag.
Upon leaving Dr. Miller’s Office Emma headed to the drug store by her house to fill her prescription. She had to wait about 20 minutes for it to be filled. At the counter Emma reached in her purse for her wallet. The bill came to $31.09. She had the cash and reached in to her purse side pocket to see if she had any change. She came out with change, some gum and a business card. She didn't recall putting a business card in her purse so she looked at it more closely. The background was all black with the forefront white letters. The only thing on the card was a website: www.pleasehelp123.com Emma thought this odd and put it back into her purse without another thought.
Emma left the drug store and drove the short trip home. The first thing she did when she got home was taking her medicine and the second was get into bed. Her call to work would have to wait. The doctor's visit had zapped all the energy that she had. Within minutes she was asleep.
Saturday morning around 10am Emma woke. She was glad she had gotten so much sleep but felt like crap. She could tell she still had a fever. Her sheets were soaked and her throat killed. She resolved to shower and change her sheets. This complete she used what little energy she had left to make herself a PB&J sandwich and went back to bed. Emma had recently bought new bedding and had told herself that she would not eat around her new comforter but once again she felt too horrible to care. She didn’t feel like sleeping but she didn’t feel like getting up either so she turned on the television and surfed for movies. She settled on a lifetime movie.
Two movies later, Emma still didn’t feel well but was getting a little antsy being in bed for so long. She went into her office and checked her answering machine. She had turned off the ringer when she had gotten home from the doctor’s office yesterday. She had two messages, one from Jeff and the other from her boss, Mr. Tanger. She really didn’t want to talk to either.
After much self-deliberation she dialed Mr. Tanger’s phone number. He answered on the first ring, “Hello”, said a gruff sounding voice. Emma explained to him the prognosis the doctor had given her. They talked about how the trial would be turned over to another of her co-workers. When Emma heard Rachel Fero was replacing her she grimaced. Rachel had been one of her rivalries all through school. Any chance Rachel had gotten to get a step ahead of Emma, legal or otherwise Rachel had. Emma would not be surprised to hear if Rachel had somehow given her this cold. Mr. Tanger told Emma to get in contact with Rachael to get her up to speed as head counsel. Soon after Mr. Tanger disconnected after a trite, “Get better soon!”
Emma, not ready to go to bed, went to her computer to check her e-mail. She had about 5 messages containing information pertinent to her big case. She forwarded them to racheal without reading them thouroghly. After making the dreaded call to Racheal and making arrangements for her to come by the following day to exchange information Emma started not to feel well again, part illness and part greif of having to lose such a good case. She did not want to go back to bed. She had been home for less than two days and was already going still crazy.
Remembering the mysterious business card, emma pulled it out of her purse and logged on to the internet. She typed in the e-mail address from the card. The website showed a view of a room. It appeared to be a live feed, a webcam no doubt. No one was in the room but a small white dog seemed to wander back and forth eventually settling on the bed. The room appeared that of a young boy. She could make out some baseball posters on the wall and a baseball glove on the floor. Emma was intregued because she figured who ever lived in the room would be back. After about 15 minutes Emma started not to feel too good and decided bed was the best place for her right now.
Emma slept through until next morning. She woke around 10am still not feeling all that well. Although sick Emma determined she would have somewhat productive day at home.