I end up canceling my lunch date with Evan. I still don't want to see him. Plus, I couldn't see him even if I wanted to since my morning patients end up running over their time limit anyway. Grace pops her head in and grudgingly asks if I want a sandwich from the deli. I give her money and tell her to get something for herself as well. It's the least I can do after my terrible faux pas this morning.
I finally have time to check my phone and see that I have three missed calls and four new text messages. Two of the missed calls are from Connie and the third is from Evan. Then I look at my texts. Two are from Connie asking me when we can meet for lunch. The third is from Evan pleading with me for a chance to explain himself. And the last text ends up being an email. I click the closed envelope icon and the email pops up.
From: Unknown Sender
Subject: An Ending
Date: October 21, 2013 12:32 UCT-10
A past of sinful hiding, to a present that's unknown.
Someone is intently watching you and their presence will be shown.
Tread lightly and take cover, for my plan will soon be in place.
Say good-bye and prepare your mind - your time has ended with the human race.
The blood drains from my face and my knuckles turn white as they clutch the edges of my cell phone. I read through the email again and again trying to make heads or tails of it. Who could have sent it? And why are they threatening me?
Grace comes into my office and plops my turkey (hold the mayo) sandwich on top of my desk. Her face is pinched with irritation but when she sees me, her expression softens.
"Are you ok?"
Grace moves around my desk and comes to stand in front of me. She puts the back of her hand against my forehead and frowns.
"You're all clammy Stella. And you definitely have a fever. Do you want to go home? I'll cover your patients for this afternoon if you need me to."
I numbly nod my head in agreement and give her a mumbled 'thanks' under my breath. I grab my jacket and purse and start moving towards the door. I stop just before walking out and look back at Grace. She returns my gaze and there's something in my stomach that is telling me she's hiding something from me. The only problem is, I don't know what that would be.
"What is it, Stella?" she asks and her brows knit together with concern.
I shake my head. "Nothing," I say and head to my car.
By the time I pull into my driveway, my mind has cleared and my blood pressure has returned to normal. The notion that my own boss is trying to hurt me or hide something from me has been dismissed. If she wanted me dead she would have tried to do it by now. And PhD or not, Grace is not the brightest person I've ever come across.
I lock my car and take a few calming breaths. In a matter of days I feel like every person on this earth that I could lean on, that I could trust, has been taken from me. It's ironic really. This is the first time I have multiple people on earth that I care about and that I want to share my life with and yet…… I have never felt more scared and alone.
I climb into my shower and turn the nozzle to its hottest level. The scorching water runs along my body making my skin red and turning the air around me into a thick haze of heat. The pressure of the water works its way into my muscles, loosening the stress and worry from my morning. Evan, Jeremy, Grace, and the unknown email all are pushed to the back of my brain….