His legs heavy with exhaustion, Higgins took care climbing the icy steps to the front porch. Thanks to John Doe’s emergency operation—which finally ended around seven thirty in the morning—and a full day of elective surgery cases, followed by two hours of rounds with Conrad Porter, Higgins was verging on thirty-eight hours without sleep. He stepped onto the dark porch, uneasy that the house lacked signs of life, although this had become increasingly common. He had called before leaving the hospital but got no answer, also not unusual these days. At least the door was locked, and intact.
He went inside, threw his coat and sack of White Castle sliders onto the couch, and climbed the stairs to the bedroom. Lisa was there, on the bed, in the fetal position with a blanket pulled up to her face. He switched on the desk lamp instead of the overhead. He had witnessed migraine-associated photophobia and knew the bright light on the ceiling would cause excruciating pain. He sat on the edge of the bed and gently curled her hair behind her ear. “Hey, how are you?” he asked softly, his composure masking anguish and frustration.
“This is a bad one,” Lisa whispered. “I can’t even move. Can you give me an injection?”
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