Petty jealousy can be born of natural, feral desires, and the men around Stephanie begin to exhibit their possessive natures as the strain threatens to consume her. She wonders when the madness will end, and at what price.
“Is she up yet?” Stephanie heard a man ask.
“Sir, I told you to wait out in the lobby,” someone else, an unfamiliar woman, answered. “We’ll certainly inform you when she wakes up.”
Stephanie cracked open her eyes and flinched at the bright light streaming in through the large window. She was only momentarily disoriented by the white walls until she recalled yesterday’s fainting episode. She glanced over to the door to see it half open and a nurse blocking Chuck from entering the room. He looked passed the woman’s shoulder and grinned when he saw her open eyes.
“Hey, Boss,” he greeted, and the nurse turned to see the patient awake and alert.
“Good morning, Mrs. Yager,” the woman gave her hellos as she stepped over to the bed. That gave Chuck a chance to slink into the room and close the door behind himself. “How are you feeling today?”
“Pretty good,” Stephanie replied with a nod of her head.
She was feeling well rested and had all her energy back. There was a slight tinge of pain in her wounded arm, but that might have been from the pressure of the bandages.
“That’s good to hear. That means we can have you up and home any time you’d like,” the nurse informed her as she checked her vitals. “Everything’s checking out normal and the doctor didn’t find any problems in your blood except for some lingering effects of infection.”
“Like some bad effects?” the patient asked. She didn’t want there to be anything wrong with herself.
“Nothing a little antibiotics can’t take care of, so we’ll be sending you home with some of that,” the other woman explained.
“So does that mean I can get some clothes on?” she pleaded as she looked down at herself. The gown was askew on her and she was reminded that the straps on the back were broken. She shot an embarrassed glance over to Chuck, but he didn’t catch the meaning.
“Certainly. Your husband brought some extra clothes we asked for and they’re just right here,” the nurse replied as she pointed to a pile of clothes on the chair Chuck had sat in last night. Then she removed the IV and carefully unwrapped the bandages from her arm. It was nice to feel cool air on her skin, but Stephanie was surprised to see the wounds had been reopened. Chuck noticed her expression this time, and the meaning behind it.
“The doctor didn’t like the look of the scabs and wanted to disinfect the area,” he quickly explained. “That’s why it looks like that.”
“Oh, good, I thought I’d scratched them off again,” Stephanie nervously laughed.
“Those scars should heal in a few days, but you’d better watch them,” the nurse instructed as she disposed of the dirty bandages. “And feel free to change into your clothes whenever you want.”
“I’ll need a little more privacy,” the patient commented as he glanced over to Chuck.
“I’ll be outside if you need me,” he promised, and then he quickly left the room.
“Did you want some help?” the nurse offered as Stephanie nervously sat up.
“Um, no, I think I’ll be fine,” she answered. She wasn’t used to anyone other than her husband seeing her naked, so she was a little bashful about another woman helping her dress. “I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“I have to go see some other patients, but if you have any questions the ladies at the front desk can help you,” the nurse commented as she moved over to the door. “And don’t forget to sign out. We’d hate to have a missing person on our list of patients.”
“I won’t,” Stephanie promised.
She waited until she heard the click of the latch before she flung off the gown and quickly dressed herself. She was glad to have the feel of real clothes against her skin, even if the shirt was a little tight around her breasts. Properly attired for public viewing, Stephanie opened the door to the hall and found Chuck standing against the wall to the right of the entrance to the room. He pushed off his support when noticed her peak her head out.
“Ready to go, Boss?” he asked.
“As soon as possible,” she practically pleaded. Since he knew the way to the front desk, she followed him. She felt there was something, or precisely someone, who was missing from this picture. “Have you seen Bob this morning?”
“Not a sign,” Chuck bluntly replied as they reached the elevators.
“Oh…” she sighed.
“Don’t worry about it, Boss, I can take you home,” her partner promised. “I brought your car here this morning so you wouldn’t have to go get it later.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it,” Stephanie smiled as the doors to the elevator opened. They stepped in and she pressed the button for the first floor. She unconsciously rubbed her arm where the bandage had lain, and Chuck noticed.
“Does it itch?” he asked. He glanced over at the marks to make sure she hadn’t scratched off the growing scabs.
“What? Oh, no, just habit now I think,” she reassured him, but he wasn’t too happy about that. “It’ll be fine. I’m sure I’ll stop doing it when the skin heals.”
Chuck didn’t look so convinced, but at that point they’d reached their destination and the doors opened. Stephanie quickly stepped out only to have to wait for her partner, because looking down either side didn’t immediately show her which was was the lobby. He took a left and led her to the front room and the desk. She eagerly walked up and smiled at the haggled looking lady at the window.
“Hi, I need to check out and pick up some prescription,” she told the employee.
“I can give you a note for a prescription, but you’ll have to go to your local pharmacy for the actual pills,” the woman instructed her as she brought up an out-patient window. “Name?”
“Stephanie Yager,” she replied.
“All right, Ms. Yager, I have your prescription note right here,” the nice lady told her, and the corners of Stephanie’s mouth twitched. Stephanie wanted to correct her, but held back. There wouldn’t have been any point, she was going to leave the hospital and hopefully not come back for another few decades. Besides, the Ms. part had an interesting ring to it, especially with her husband AWOL on her. “Now try and keep care of yourself,” the secretary pleasantly scolded.
“I’ll try,” she smiled as she took the note. Chuck was waiting for her beside the entrance doors. “Looks like I’m going to have to ask you to drive me somewhere,” she told him.
“Fine by me, I don’t have much to do today,” he replied with a shrug. “We need to pick up that antibiotic the nurse was talking about?”
“Yeah, it shouldn’t take long,” Stephanie replied, but to be truthful, she wasn’t really sure how long it’d take for the pharmacist to get the pills together.
“How about we drop off the prescription and pick it up later?” he suggested. She nodded, that was the best way without twiddling their thumbs in the pharmacy chairs.