No Cognitive Defect - Part III

No Cognitive Defect - Part III

By James M. O'Meara, © 2007


"Anita, are you hurt?" Wilson cried as he started toward the bathroom.

"Stay out, Wilson," she rasped. "I'm sick. I'm so sick. Please stay out."

He ignored her and pressed on. He found her lying on her side on the tiled floor a foot or so from the toilet, her clothes soiled by vomit. He carefully worked his way around her feet and shuffled into the bathroom.

"Please, Wilson, leave. Please. I'm so embarrassed." Her voice was almost inaudible, her hand barely moving as she tried to wave him off.

He felt completely overwhelmed and backed away.

"I'm calling an ambulance," he said, voice wavering. He backed out of the bathroom and started up the hall to the guest room as quickly as he could. He picked up the ancient Princess touchtone telephone on the nightstand and stuck the handset under his chin so he could call 911. He always used the speakerphone in the den for his calls, avoiding the kitchen phone or the Princess in the guest room. After he stabbed the numbers, he reached up and put the phone to his ear.

The line was dead.

He tilted his head to wedge the phone against his shoulder and depressed the switch hook several times. No luck. He realized someone must have hit a telephone pole. Were the roads already that treacherous?

His heart started to pound. He simply wasn't prepared for this kind of thing.

Anita's purse was on the floor next to the bed. He opened it, looking for her cell phone. Found it. Flipped it open with his thumb. Nothing happened. How do these confounded things work? He saw what looked like a power button and pressed it with his thumb, thankful the damned phone was so small he could use it one-handed. Success! The phone came to life. A battery symbol was flashing in the corner of the tiny screen. He started to dial 911 but when he pressed the '9' the name Evan popped up on the display. He wasn't sure what to do…he'd never had the need for one of these new contraptions. The fat cell phones he'd used back when he was still practicing were nothing like these tiny little terrors. He decided to press the Send button. Calling Evan … flashed across the screen. He put the phone to his ear. It was ringing, and then came his son's voice:

"Hi, this is Evan. Please leave your name and number. I'll return your call."

There was a beep.

"Evan!" he cried. "Anita's sick. She's on the bathroom floor. I need help!"

The phone made a sound and he looked at the display: Powering down…

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