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If you’d like to start at the beginning of the story, go to SashaNebraska or click above on Fire the Management to look for post 1.

Now, for the next segment in the story:


“Jenny!” John yelled as he shook Jenny’s body.

Becca watched as Jenny started blinking her eyes open. She sat up and looked around the room. Cece appeared with a washcloth and, as she placed it on Jenny’s head, Jenny asked, “What happened?”

“We were about to ask you the same,” John said.

At that, Jenny’s body began convulsing. John wrapped himself behind her to protect her from the counter. Cece screamed a blood curdling scream and began chanting, “Oh my God, Oh my God.”

Becca kept her wits about her and dialed 9-1-1.

Jenny’s convulsions continued. Becca couldn’t help but notice how her body seemed to contort. It wasn’t like what she had seen in a seizure before, but it’s not like she was an expert in those matters.

The paramedics arrived. Bo let them in the front door and led them to the bathroom where Jenny was lying on the floor. She stared at the ceiling for a period of time as they talked to her and placed an IV in her arm. Finally, she started to look around again and appeared to be back in the same room as the rest of her family.

The paramedics asked her questions like, “Do you know where you are?” and “Do you know what day it is?” Becca listened and followed as they lifted her onto a gurney and pushed her out the door to the ambulance.

John rode in the ambulance. Becca pulled up to the front to gather Bo and Cece, who were aimlessly wandering around picking up things. All Becca could figure was that they both had the same coping mechanism from years of Jennyisms.

The ride to the hospital was full of questions and theories about what was going on with Jenny, mixed in with the almost believable affirmations of, “she’s going to be okay,” spoken by her mother. Something that Becca just realized she had inherited. All Becca wanted was silence. She turned the volume on the radio up just enough to focus on the music and not the two nervous wrecks in the car discussing over and over the events of the night.

“How’s it going?” Andrew texted.

Becca was reluctant to begin that conversation. She looked at the message and placed the phone back under her leg where she kept it when she was driving.

They arrived at the hospital. Becca dropped Bo and Cece off at the door and went for a parking place. When she entered back into the emergency department, they must have forgotten about her because no one was in sight. Rather than ask the front desk, she took this as a moment for herself.

She stepped back outside. The sky had turned dark, night had come. The moon was high and partially showing a crescent behind the clouds. She laughed at keeping it together all night and that quickly turned into trying to catch her breath as the emotions built into her throat and threatened to choke the life out of her. How could I have questioned her? She’s my sister. She’s always had my back.

“Use your head,” Becca said to herself. “This changes nothing.”

That was when her mind began arguing with her emotions and the image of her sister, helpless on the floor, flooded into her guilty mess of a stomach somehow convincing her that she was involved in the cause of this all. She remembered her sister saying she had been having headaches, but she dismissed her. Why didn’t I tell her to get checked out?

“Are you okay?” She heard a male voice. She looked over and watched as he walked up to her. She couldn’t help but notice his biceps under the short sleeves of his shirt.

“I know you,” she said. She quickly wiped at her face to remove the wetness.

He gave her a sideways glance and a crooked smile. His green eyes fixed on to hers. “Yeah,” he said, his voice deep and buttery. “I remember you. You were here not too long ago. You jetted out on me to become queen of the cat ladies.”

She laughed. “Yep, that’s right. I am currently in charge of all of the cat realm.” She lifted her hands to the sky and gestured around. “I oversee countless cat universes and each cat does my bidding.”

“Well,” he said. “And here I thought you were just crazy.”

She shook her head from side to side. “That’s probably a more accurate statement,” she looked again to his nametag, “Marcus.”

“Caught you peeking,” he said.

“And you remember my name?”

“Nope,” he admitted. “No, I don’t.”

“Becca,” she said stretching out her hand.

He took it and gave her a gentle shake. She couldn’t help but notice the softness of his hands. “Well, Becca. I have to get to work. I do hope the cat business continues to go well for you.”

“Thank you,” she laughed as he walked away. She shook her head in mild embarrassment that she would be forever the cat lady in his mind. As she stood and contemplated that thought, she caught him. He turned around for one last glance before entering the building. Did that really happen? she asked herself as her heart thumped into her chest.

 

Jenny’s room was full when Becca arrived. The doctor, a nurse, her mom and dad, and Bo were all standing around her bed. Becca waited by the door as the doctor explained what tests they would be running next.

The doctor was followed by the nurse as they left the room. Cece kissed Jenny on the head and said she was going to find a bathroom. “I’ll walk with you,” John added. Bo took the seat next to Jenny’s bed. Becca made her way through the exiting crowd to the opposite side of the bed.

Jenny was sitting up, looking like her normal self. That gave Becca some comfort. “I guess it’s your turn,” Becca said as she approached the bed. She could see the tape covering the cut on Jenny’s head. “But you get a fancy scar?”

Jenny chuckled and reached up to touch the tape. “Yeah, I guess I do,” she said.

Becca grabbed Jenny’s other hand. “You scared me,” she whispered.

“Now you know how I felt,” Jenny replied with a smirk. “I’ll be fine. You know that.”

Becca smiled. She wanted to talk to Jenny about all of the things they had been doing and how to get out before one of them really got hurt. She felt a rock in her stomach and just wanted life to go back to the way it was. The excitement had turned into fear and she was ready for a boring existence again.

No. no. no.

“What are you doing?” Jenny asked.

Becca realized she was staring up at the ceiling. “Nothing,” she said. “I thought I heard something.”

“Probably just the fan,” Bo said. “Everytime it turns on it makes the tile rattle over there.” He pointed to the metal bar that held the ceiling tiles. “Yep, see it? It’s been driving me crazy too.”

Becca nodded. She sat in the seat next to Jenny’s bed. She looked over and saw the time on the clock. 9:45PM This must be real, she thought.

 

“Who are you talking to?”

Becca turned and saw Marcus, deep blue scrubs against his dark skin, she caught her breath. “No one,” she said.

“Ah,” he started. “Because, you see, I was walking to my car and I thought I saw the queen of the cats pacing out here and so I walked a little closer and I swear I heard you having a conversation with someone, but,” he looked from side to side and lifted his strong arms, “I don’t see anyone around.”

She smiled at his teasing. “Okay, you caught me talking to myself.”

“Crazy and weird,” he said.

“All the best qualities in a girl.”

“I suppose they are.” He looked her up and down quickly. She noticed but didn’t say anything. In fact, she followed in doing the same.

“I hope I see you around some more,” he said and he backed away from her keeping eye contact until he stepped off the curb and turned to walk to his car.

She couldn’t help but watch his every move. He waved before sliding into the driver’s seat and pulling away. She waved back and then looked down at the phone in her hand. She remembered that Andrew had texted her. She desperately wanted to talk to him instead of the sky.

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