Ann Marie Tajuddin
Beth waited for more, but Verbena wasn't offering yet. "Al had a headache last night when he went to bed, `Bena. A headache!" Verbena swallowed. "Now he has a 104 degree fever." "Can I see him?" Beth asked, sacrificing the battle in hopes of winning the war. "In a minute. Can you tell me exactly what happened?" "I told you already!" Beth paced the room like a caged animal. "Tell me again," the psychiatrist said evenly. Beth wondered if she knew how annoying that tone really was. "Sam leaped out last night and when Al came back, he had a pretty bad headache. Soaked in the tub for almost 40 minutes before I convinced him to go to bed." Verbena nodded. "Was he upset?" "A little, I guess, because of Sam's last leap. Then when I woke up this morning he was-" she choked "-on the floor a few feet from the bed. And his face was so hot...it was the only thing that-" She broke off again and cleared her throat. "That told you he was alive?" her friend asked softly. "I want to see him," she demanded firmly. "When can I see him?" Verbena put a hand on the small of Beth's back. "Now." Beth resisted the guiding pressure for a minute. "He's - he's not going to die, is he?" Verbena was torn, but she bit her lip, then said, "I don't know, Beth."