Jake was about to hang up when Gabe finally answered. “Becca?” His friend’s voice rang with surprise and more than a hint of worry. “Is everything okay?”
Hesitating, Jake steeled himself before answering. Articulating the severity of the situation proved more difficult than he’d thought it would be. “It’s me.”
There was a heavy silence before Gabe said, “What’s wrong?”
A mixture of relief and fear made it difficult for Jake to speak, and he had to clear his throat in order to get the words out. “She’s really sick.”
“What do you mean, sick? Sick how?”
Pushing Becca’s purse clutter to one side of the couch, Jake sat down, some of the items sliding into the impression around him. He took a deep, shaking breath and scrubbed his three-day-old beard, fighting to stay awake. “The doctor said it was just the flu, but it’s—it’s different. She’s seeing things…she swears they’re real.” Jake paused, not wanting to scare Gabe, but his own fear outweighed his concern. “I can’t get ahold of the doctor, and Becca freaks out when I try to take her to the hospital.” Jake cleared his throat again, wishing he could crawl out of the dark hole he felt himself falling into. Gabe might be his only hope. “Would that doctor friend of yours be able to see her? Or, do you know anyone else who might be able to help—”
A loud crash and angry growl rumbled through the phone.
“Gabe?” Jake asked carefully. “Everything okay?”
“No, it’s not,” he breathed. Rustling preceded the sound of Gabe’s ragged breathing.
Jake frowned. Was Gabe running? “I didn’t mean to scare you, man. I just…I didn’t know who else—”
“This wasn’t supposed to—I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Without another word, Gabe disconnected the call, leaving Jake to stare at the screen until it dimmed.
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