Insubstantially Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 32 (v.1)

Submitted: April 21, 2013

Reads: 73

Comments: 1

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Submitted: April 21, 2013




What's taking him so long? I wanted to scream as I made my obsessive circuit around the tiny apartment the way I had been for the last excruciatingly long forty-eight minutes.
My compulsive path began at the living room window, checking for David to come back before I moved to the kitchen to peer out of that small window as an extra check. When that failed to produce any new information, I found myself in the bedroom, debating whether or not to just pack up my things and get out through the fire escape before it was too late. 
But then I'd remind myself that I had exactly nowhere to go and that if I moved too far in any direction, that man would be on me in a few minutes. Besides, although my ankle was much better, it wasn't going to support any great exertions like running.
And then there was David. I was desperately trying to have faith in him. I had no one else and I really wanted to believe I didn't need anyone else. 
Those thoughts would bring me back to the living room, where I'd sit anxiously on the couch for about five minutes before getting up and doing the whole thing again. 
As I was coming out of the bedroom for the millionth time, I heard the front door being unlocked. My breath caught because I didn't hear David's keys jingling the way I normally did. I had no idea what he said, but the man on the other side of the door had a deeper voice than David.
There wasn't time to make it back to the bedroom, so I ducked behind the door instead. My best option was going to be to take whoever it was by surprise and then escape. 
I held my breath as the knob turned and the door opened.
"You'd better not-"
The man was saying something, but I didn't hesitate. His light brown, slightly graying hair and deeper voice was enough to tell me that it wasn't David. Anyone else had no business coming through this door.
Intending to knock the man out cold, I swung as he advanced through the doorway.
David surprised me by appeared behind the man, and instinctively I tried to hold back. But I had too much momentum and wound up hitting the man with less force than originally intended. He fell against the wall, holding his eye.
"Sarah!" David dropped the box he was carrying to attend to the man I just hit. "What the hell?" He shouted, throwing me an angry look.
"I'm sorry!" I covered my mouth, horrified that I attacked someone that David knew. 
"I didn't expect-" Suddenly I wasn't sorry at all and I wanted to throw David's question back in his face. Not to mention another fist. 
"What is this?" I crossed my arms. This was David's 'help'? What was this guy, a shrink? He looked like he might fit the role. Or maybe he actually was one of Wescott's men. Just because I didn't see a remote, didn't mean it wasn't there. Probably in his pocket.
David ignored me and helped the man to his feet, kicking the door shut behind him. I stood back, watching for any sign of foul play. 
"You so owe me for this." The man threw a stern glance at David. "How am I supposed to explain a black eye to Michelle?"
I scowled at the two of them. He was lucky not to be unconscious. I hadn't decided whether I'd be making him that way or not yet.
He turned to me after a minute of tending to his eye. "And you must be our emergency. That's one heck of a right hook you've got there." He sounded friendly, but I wasn't comforted. 
"Sarah, this is Tim," David said. "My brother." He seemed to think that would explain his actions perfectly. All it explained to me was that David ran to someone else and told him about me. Whether this man worked for Wescott or not, it was just plain stupid. I had a hope that David would believe me because he knew me. Anyone else was going to think I was crazy or dangerous, or both.
"I can't believe you did this," I hissed. "I trusted you."
"He's a doctor." 
"I don't care who he is!" I shouted. "You had no right to do that." Did David think that this man would be able to think of a way around Wescott when I couldn't? I could be a doctor if I wanted to be. I was probably smarter than the two of them put together. Did he think his money was going to help? Because next to Wescott, he was a pauper. What part of Wescott being too powerful, didn't he understand?
"Sarah, he's a surgeon!" He said exasperated.
"David, you just-" Oh! This man was a surgeon! Possibly the one person who actually could help me.
I stared at David with wide eyes and he grinned, knowing I understood what he was trying to tell me.
Getting this tracking device out of my leg had been on my mind from the moment I knew about it, but I didn't have a hope of actually achieving that goal. I couldn't exactly check myself in for surgery and I certainly couldn't do it myself. Although, believe me, the thought crossed my mind more than once. But this man made that impossibility possible. And if he could do it, I could actually be free of Wescott. For good. I could leave this city. Heck, I'd leave the country to be free of him. 
"Well, I'm real glad that she doesn't look like she wants to kill either one of us any more," Tim said to David before addressing me too. "But would someone mind telling me what I'm doing here in. I'd like to get home before midnight."
David looked nervous as he addressed his brother. "I already told you, I need a favor."
Noticing the change in his demeanor, Tim looked at David suspiciously.
"You can't be serious," he said after a minute. Apparently he understood what David wanted him to do. Probably due to the fact that David told me his profession by way of explanation.
When David's only response was to look guilty, Tim got angry.
"Are you out of your mind?" he shouted and I was glad that David had the foresight to close the door already. 
"I mean, I know you've done alot of stupid things in your life, little brother, but I never thought you'd ask me something like this!"
"You know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," David tried.
"How about illegal?" Tim shot back. "I could loose my license! I could go to jail!"
David watched the floor, chastised, and muttered, "no one has to know."
"I'd know!"
"It's important," David said. "Really important."
Obviously trying to calm down, Tim rubbed his eyes and then flinched remembering the bruise I'd given him. 
He sighed heavily. "Look, why don't we all sit down and talk," he said. "You haven't actually told me anything yet."
David didn't tell him about me? I felt terrible about jumping to conclusions so quickly. I really could trust him.
"Sure." David seemed grateful for the reprieve. 
"You two sit," I said, heading for the kitchen. "I'll get some ice for that eye."
David sent me a questioning look, silently asking if it was okay to fill Tim in on the details. I felt like a jerk, having to decline, but it was too risky. At this point telling anyone anything, had to be a last resort. I shook my head at him, before I left them alone.
Wanting to give them a few minutes, I took my time with the ice and when I returned to the living room, the air was thicker with tension than before. 
"You want me to do what?" Tim shouted and I stopped in the doorway wishing I'd waited a little longer to return. 
"I'm a cardiologist, David. I don't know anything about the leg." 
"Well, you're a lot more qualified than I am!" I took it as a bad sign that David, normally so even-tempered, was getting upset. He must be thinking that this wasn't going to work.
"One wrong move and I could paralyze her," Tim said.
"You wouldn't do that," David argued.
"You don't know that."
"Just think about it!" David's frustration was clear.
Tim put his head in his hands. "What are you two involved in?"
"I promise it's nothing bad," David tried. "It's nothing dangerous. Trust me please."
Tim looked up at him and I knew by the look in his eye that he wasn't convinced.
"She could die," he said bluntly. 
I wasn't sure if David realized that before. Judging by the way he scowled, I guessed not. Having thought about this before, I understood all the negative possible outcomes of this kind of primitive surgery. Sepsis was the most likely. It would leave me dead in a few days.
"That wouldn't..." he started weakly, but Tim didn't let him argue.
"Under these kinds of conditions, without proper medical care," he said. "It's a high possibility. I'm sorry, David. I know you think this is your best option, but it's just too dangerous."
"Please." The word popped unbidden out of my mouth, making them both stare at me.
David had been absolutely right when he said this would be a huge help. It was in fact the only thing that would do any good at all. I couldn't believe my dumb luck in finding David that night and by extension Tim. I couldn't just let the opportunity slip away.
"I know you don't know me, and you have no reason to help me, but  there are people looking for me," I said. "Really bad people. They managed to get me once before and with this thing in my leg, it's only a matter of time until they catch me again. I won't escape a second time. And if I have to go back to that place..." I had to stuff down the panic just thinking about it.
"I'd rather be dead." It felt a little dramatic to actually say, but it was the truth.
"I won't say a word to anyone and if anything goes wrong, I'll be really grateful that you tried."
Tim cast an anxious look at David and I knew he was worried about what would happen to him in the worst case scenario.
"And if I'm not going to make it, I'll leave." I held up a hand to stop David's protest. After all, if I'm about to die, no sense staying in hiding. 
"I'll take a train or a cab and neither of you will ever hear from me again. Please, just try. You don't understand what it will mean for me if you don't."
"I'm not even that kind of doctor," he tried. 
"You're the only chance I've got." 
Tim's shoulders sagged and I began to see similarities between him and David. They shared mannerisms and a certain expression when they were about to agree to something against their better judgement.
David and I exchanged a look while Tim debated internally. 
"This place?" He asked me. "It's bad?"
"It's..." Bad? Bad was a trip to the dentist. This place was horrific. "You can't imagine."
After a minute, he turned to David. 
"I want that room emptied." He yanked his chin toward the bedroom. "And I want it scrubbed."
"Uh, sure," David's eyes widened with surprise.
"I mean it," Tim said. "Ceiling, walls, baseboards, everything. And you need to seal off the window with a plastic sheet and duct tape."
"Right." David nodded, apparently ready to do whatever his brother said.
Tim looked at me again. "I'm going to need about a week to prepare. And I can't promise anything. If it's too deep, I'm not planning on digging around your leg till I find it."
I nodded. That wasn't ideal, but I guess it was better than nothing.
"I don't suppose you want to tell me any more information." He raised an eyebrow, trying for intimidating, but I already knew he was a pushover. 
"Sorry." I did feel bad that I couldn't tell him anything more. "But I swear I'm not involved in anything illegal." I could at least give him that assurance.
"I guess that'll have to be good enough," he sighed. "I can't guarantee that I can get a hold of any kind of anesthesia," he warned.
"Then I'll do without." I tried not to think about how painful that would be. But if it really came down to it, I suppose I could just drink till I pass out.

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