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  • Jenifer Jett

Episode 33 ~ Wake-Up Call

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

“Mmm, good morning,” Nathan mumbled, his voice still gravelly from sleep.  He’d not slept in like this in weeks.  It was already nearly 9:00 AM when the phone rang.  He’d expected Ethan, which would have been just fine, but he grinned from ear to ear when he discovered that it was Carrie.  He tried to shake off the sleepiness and sound awake.  He failed.

“Oh, no!.  I woke you.”  She sounded apologetic and then added, “this is Carrie.”

He laughed.  “I know, good morning, Carrie.  How’s the Sunshine State?”

“Rainy,” she said flatly, ‘but it’s supposed to pass.  Do you want me to let you go back to sleep?  I’m sure you never have a morning to sleep in and I spoiled it.”

There was no way that she could spoil this morning or any other morning for that matter.  He wanted to tell her that, tell her that waking up to her was nothing less than a perfect way to start his day.  He wanted to tell he how he missed her sweet face or how he’d started to dream last night about her..  He’d been jolted awake and tried desperately to get back to it but to no avail.  He would not tell her any of this.  He wasn’t sure yet but he had a sense that she spooked easily.  Instead, he replied, ”Nope, I need to be awake anyway.  I’m heading out to meet up with my family in a bit.  What are you up to?.”

“I, “ she said with a bit of excitement, “just dropped Legacy at the Sanford airport, rented a convertible, and I’m driving to Jacksonville!”

“A convertible?  Wait, what’s in Jacksonville?” he was confused.

“Yes, I always wanted to drive one and it’s raining.  And, my birth family is there.  I’m going for a quick visit.”

“Oh,” he remarked, hoping for more information. “Am, I still seeing you Monday?”

“Oh, yeah, this was always a part of my plan.  I’m only two hours away so…”

“Got it, I’m guessing they live in Jacksonville to be near Mayo?” he asked.

“Huh, yeah, you would know that wouldn’t you?” she sounded impressed.

“Well, you can’t do better, especially with a liver transplant.  Who’s her doctor, do you know?” he inquired.

“Yeah, I know who he is, he did the Freaky Friday body switch on us! Dr.Golden, his first name is Curtis, I think.”she replied.

“I know Curt Golden, not well but I know who he is and he knows me,”Nathan said, proudly without sounding like he was bragging.

Nathan really was something, maybe the most interesting person she’d ever met.  She started to say so when a minivan started over into her lane.  Carrie swerved and hit the brakes, hydroplaning, forgetting that braking was the last thing she should have done.  Nathan heard her scream and then a thump.

“Carrie! Carrie,” he panicked, “Baby!”

“I’m okay, Nathan,” he heard her call, sounding far away.  She hadn’t heard him refer to her as baby.  Which was good because he hadn’t meant to say it.

“Hang on!,” she shouted.

Carrie had slid off the road onto the shoulder, her cell phone flying down between the passenger seat and the door, coming free of the charger in the process.  She scrambled to grab her phone.

“Hey,” she breathed, “what a jackass!”

Relieved, Nathan exhaled, “You’re alright? Carrie?  You’re okay?”

“I’m fine, it was a non-event, really. Some tourist moved into my lane and I lost control for a second.  I’m not used to driving, especially on wet roads I guess.  But I’m fine, I’m not even shaken. I promise.”

“Okay,” he asserted, “let’s hang up.  I’ve got to get moving anyway and as much as I’d love to keep talking, I’d like you to arrive in one piece.  Will you text me when you get there?”

She promised she would and they hung up.  It was 9:22.  He was meeting Ethan, Kevin, and Erin for brunch at 11:00 and he had to run by the hospital to pick something up.  There had been a Baby Expo at the hospital a couple of weeks ago and he’d walked through it.  All the pregnant ladies were going nuts over this weird pillow thing so he’d ordered one for Erin.  It had been in his office for a week and he’d neglected to take it with him.  It was in a bag but cumbersome and it hadn’t made sense to drag it home only to drag to Erin later on.  If he hurried, he’d have time to pick it up. By 10:25 he was bounding up the steps to the 7th floor.

He’d run into someone he knew if he took the elevator and as he was on vacation, he wanted to slip in unnoticed.  The stairs were the best way to do just that.  He was in and almost out of the office, package in hand when Amy walked by.  He could tell from her expression that she was surprised to see him there and as such it was merely a coincidence that she was there.  She walked right by but obviously having changed her mind, she reappeared at the window just seconds later.  Nathan opened the door and let her in.  She’d been crying.  Not recently but her eyes were puffy as if she’d cried herself to sleep.  He felt like complete dick ... again.

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