In The Heat of Los Angeles
The Drugs Don't Work (The Verve)
I woke up at 2:00 in a cold sweat. It was rare that in the middle of the night I gravitated towards Harry. He was so warm in his sleep that he usually made me too hot if I was in pajamas. I’d used this to rationalize the fact that both of us were often in various states of undress while we slept. But here I was in a pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt snuggled up against him. I knew I needed water so I stood up and attempted to walk to the bathroom but had grown extremely dizzy and had to hold onto the sink. When I flipped the light on to get a glass of water and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like shit.
I knew what this meant. The dizziness. The clammy skin. The need for Harry’s body heat. My pupils were dilated. There was a pain behind my left eye that felt like a gremlin had crawled into my head and was trying to make it’s way out by pushing on the back of my eyeball. The wave of nausea hit me like a Mack truck and I was immediately on the floor emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet. I flushed the toilet and laid down on the cool marble floor.
“Evie,” Harry called.
“Yes,” I groaned from my spot on the floor.
“Are you okay?”
“Umm, that depends on your definition of okay.” I heard him laugh.
“What are you doing?” I saw him in his boxers standing in the doorway of the bathroom looking at me on the floor. He looked as if he wasn’t sure if he should feel bad or laugh because I really was sprawled on the floor cuddling the tile.
“Laying on the floor. It’s cold.”
“You were cuddling me pretty closely. I figured you were cold, now you need cold?”
“Did I hear you throw up in here?”
“Are you sick? Did I mess up dinner?” It was cute, the look on his face. The fear that he’d called my Nonna, gotten the recipe for the love parm, cooked it and given me food poisoning.
“Dinner was perfect. This…this is stress induced.” I held up my hand pointing at my laying on the ground. “It’s a migraine.”
“Do you need me to do anything for you?”
“Will you look in my suitcase? There should be a bag with prescription bottles.” He hurried to the closet and I heard him digging through my suitcase until I heard the bag of prescription bottles. I sat up and threw up again as he came back into the bathroom.
“I’ve got your bag. I’m worried, are you okay?”
“Yeah, this happens sometimes. Can you get me water?” He filled the glass he kept on the sink for me with water as I dug through my bag. I hadn’t really let him in on this side of my life. The pills were all taken when he wasn’t around so I didn’t look like a drug addict, the reality was a girl with some of the issues I had needed a bag filled with pills. My Mom had alluded to Harry about my therapist and I always made jokes about it, mainly because I didn’t know a lot of people in Los Angeles who didn’t have a therapist on speed dial. I also had all of the vitamins and supplements that I’d been told would give me the energy and stamina to make it through my life. There was something to help me sleep. Something to help me if I was stressed out. Something to help the migraines and a few different pills for all of their side effects. I found the anti-nausea and the migraine relief medication. I had it in pill form and shot form. I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to have to give myself a shot in front of my boyfriend who already looked like I was fragile and breakable, though it would work better.
Okay, Evie take the pill, brush your teeth and crawl back in bed. If you know what is good for you it would be smart to take the anxiety meds now too because if not you’ll likely be in a rotating version of hell for a while with this. What else? I found the roller bottle of essential oils that one of Pops’ old girlfriends used to swear would fix me so I kept that out. I carefully stood from the floor to brush my teeth, pop the pills, apply the oil and turn to Harry.
“You have a lot of pills in there,” he said.
“Yeah, I do.”
“Are you okay?”
“I mean physically more or less. Mentally? That’s another story.”
“Evie, I’m being serious. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m basically normal. I’ve got birth control, migraine meds, and a heaping help of Daddy issues.” He was trying not to laugh at me. “Harry, I love you for being concerned but I’m fine. I’ve dealt with issues basically my whole life when it comes to mental health. Everything from being overly stressed for my age to deep seeded abandonment issues. I see people that handle all of this. I obviously don’t need to take it all that often, but I have to have it for the occasions when I need it. Now don’t judge me.”
“I’m not going to. Everything in there is a prescription. It’s not like I found needles or something.” Trying to lighten the mood I held up one from my bag. “Not what I meant.”
“I know. And I don’t think you’re going to judge me for having medications I need to take. Fuck, half of them are natural supplements that someone at some point has told me might help with stress, anxiety or the shit that comes along with my migraines. It’s that I just took the medication that will make me less likely to puke again and help the migraine. Both of those tend to make me a bit…wacky.”
“I sometimes act like an idiot. So don’t be mean to me.” I watched him grab the glass of water from the counter as I left the bathroom and climbed back into bed. He put the glass on my nightstand before hopping over me and hugging my body close to his.
“I have no desire to be mean to you. I want to take care of you.”
“I’m used to doing this on my own. I’ll be okay.”
“I know that you’re used to doing a lot of things on your own. You don’t have to anymore. Let me take care of you sometimes.”
“Okay. But for now let’s let my medication kick in.”
“Do you need anything else?”
“No, just sleep. I might if I can’t get to sleep.” He started to rub my back to comfort me and help lull me to sleep. It didn’t take long before I finally fell asleep. It was short lived as I was back awake at about 5:15 and back on the floor of the bathroom.
“Evie, baby are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” The alarm on my phone started to go off. “My body evidently decided that I was going to get up right before my alarm. Perfect.” I flushed the toilet and stood up to brush my teeth. I went back into the bedroom as he was shutting the alarm off and took my phone. “I need to get in the shower.”
“Yeah, right. You’ve been up throwing up throughout the night. You’re getting in bed.”
“I’ve been out of the office for nearly two weeks. I have to be in the office.” I swayed a little bit. The vertigo from my migraine was starting to kick in because I’d been standing for too long. I felt Harry’s arms around me before I even realized he’d moved or that I’d gotten dizzy enough that I almost fell.
“You are laying down,” he said as I sunk into his arms on the bed.
“I need to get ready for work.”
“No, you don’t.” I was in a bit of a daze as I watched him reach for his phone. The meds were starting to make me sleepy again.
“Hello,” came the voice in the phone.
“Why are you calling my Pops?” I asked. I heard my voice in that moment and realized I sounded drunk.
“Hey Harry, is everything okay?”
“Evie has a migraine and has been throwing up since about 2:00. She seems to think she’s going to work today. She can’t stand up.”
“Evie, stay home,” Pops said.
“But I need to work.”
“You need to not throw up around my office. Stay in bed. Just check your email on occasion. Wait is your vision off?”
“Everything is a little blurry and Harry looks like he is glowing.” Pops laughed.
“Yeah, if there’s anything important I’ll have Eliza call you or Harry. Good luck today, Harry. She’s interesting on some of this medication.”
“She warned me about that in the middle of the night. Is there anything she can eat? She’s thrown up so much that I’m worried about her getting worse because she’s not eating.”
“Sometimes really bland noodle soup is good for her, keeps her hydrated. Sometimes she gets crazy and craves like a burger and fries as soon as the nausea med kicks in. Go with that. If you need anything today just give me a call and I can run over to the condo.”
“We aren’t at the condo,” I mumbled.
“We are at my house,” Harry said.
“That’s probably a good thing. It can get noisy near her condo during the day.”
“Well if you have any tips on how to make her listen I’d love them. She is trying to get her phone to check her email.” He took the phone from my hand.
“Good luck with that. In the 25 years she’s lived on this planet I haven’t figured that out yet. Her Mom and Dad might have some ideas on what to feed her when she has a migraine. These started in high school and continued through college. I always let her listen to her body and eat when she’s ready, Grace yells at me for that.”
“I’ll try calling Chicago then if I need anymore advice. If she has anything huge that needs done feel free to call me or text me. I can try reading her stuff to her and replying if she needs to.”
“I can send Eliza over too if she has too much stuff.”
“I’ll call her if we need anything like that but I think I’ve got it under control and I can help out. She worked a lot yesterday so I know she is concerned about being behind. I want to make sure that if this is stress induced that she reduces stress.”
“It is stress induced,” I said into the pillow I was using to cover my head.
“It’s probably stress induced. Shut the curtains, get her some water, and help her sleep. She can take the nausea medication every six hours, make her take it every six hours. She forgets sometimes. And if you have ice packs put one on her neck.”
“Does she get these a lot?”
“Yes, she does. And it’s another one of the things she gets from me unfortunately. Thus why I let her listen to her body. How about you check in with me later this morning and let me know how she’s doing. If she doesn’t get any better I can give you advice on the next set of steps.”
“Okay, thanks Jimmy. I appreciate the help. I’ve not dealt with this part of Evie yet.”
“Good luck. Oh and hide her keys. She can’t drive on her medication but if she gets determined to work she’s been known to try and sneak out.”
“Thank you for that advice.”
“Evie, rest up. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Okay. Love ya Pops.”
“Love you too, kid. Talk to you soon Harry.”
“Bye Jimmy.” Harry hung up the phone and got out of bed. I heard the shades slide down and block the rising sun from coming into the room. Harry’s footsteps left the bedroom and headed down the stairs. A few minutes later I heard the steps coming back up to the bedroom. I felt an ice pack on my neck.
“Thank you,” I mumbled.
“Do you want to eat anything?” he asked as he laid down next to me brushing my hair out of my face.
“Do you need to eat something?”
“No?” Yup, it came out sounding like a question. I knew it wouldn’t be very convincing that I didn’t need to eat. I knew well enough that I had taken quiet a bit of medication and now had a virtually empty stomach because I’d thrown up several times.
“That was a lie.”
“No, it wasn’t."
“Yes, it was.” I realized he had my laptop open and sitting on the bed, his own laptop on his lap.
“I thought the horcrux wasn’t allowed in bed.”
“Well, I figure that I can help you out a little bit if I need to. And I brought mine because I need to do some research.” I watched him open up a Safari window and peck at the keyboard. He was offering to be my assistant but watching him type his question into Google was going to make me go crazy because he searched out the letters one at a time with his pointer finger. I’d been able to type 60 word per minute before I was ten. I still occasionally just for fun took typing tests so that when we were asking the assistants that were hired on to have a certain number of words they could type per minute it wasn’t outrageous. We only required 60 of our administrative assistants and a lot of times they were amazed when they watched me. I could type 75. Harry would be lucky if he hit 20.
“What are you researching?” I saw him scrolling through Reddit.
“Suggestions on how to take care of my lovely girlfriend who is a pain in the ass sometimes especially right now when she has a migraine?”
“What did you search ‘my girlfriend has a migraine what do I do?’ or did you go to Reddit directly?”
“I don’t know what this is and yes I searched that. I want to take care of you. Several of these suggestions say sex.”
“Ha! I have to get through the nausea before that can work or you run the risk of me throwing up on you. And it’s an orgasm that helps…not sex.”
“Yeah, that’s a guarantee with you.”
“With you, yes. In my past, nope. Sex was not something I traditionally used because often times I’d be left unfulfilled with a worse migraine.”
“Okay. It says pressure on the place that hurts. Massage. Sleep. Darkness.” He kept listing things off as I moved to lay my head on his chest so I could read the list he’d found.
“You could’ve asked me how I take care of them.”
“I didn’t want you to talk or read if you didn’t want to.” He started to play with my hair which meant it wasn’t long before his voice faded out in my mind, I closed my eyes and let the medication pull me back to sleep. I woke up when I heard Harry talking. “I think she just woke up. I’ll put you on speakerphone.” He sat down next to me and clicked on his phone. “Ty, Eliza and Kammi are on the phone. But you need to take another dose of all of your medication. I’d like to not have my girlfriend puking all day.” I reached for where my pain killers and a glass of water were sitting. I took the pills quickly and drank half of the glass of water.
“Hey bitches,” I said.
“How’s the head?” Kammi asked.
“Painful as fuck.”
“Gremlin attacking you?” Eliza and I always joked about the gremlin that lived in my head.
“Yup. I’ve puked a few times, Harry was right it probably was time to take another round of all of my medication too because the nausea is brutal.”
“It’s Thursday,” Ty said.
“Shit.” I frowned even though they couldn’t see it. “Maybe Harry will be a sweet boyfriend and bring me home for roommate night.”
“I’m not letting you out of my sight, love. How about everyone comes here for roommate night so that you don’t have to move? I can get the theater set up for you.”
“Motion submitted for roommate night to have a temporary location change due to my shitty brain. Do I have a first?”
“First,” Eliza said.
“I second,” Kammi added. Harry laughed at us treating our roommate decisions like we were a board.
“It’s the easiest way to make decisions.”
“There’s only four of you. What happens if you have a tie?” he asked.
“Ev owns the condo, her vote carries more weight according to her,” Kammi replied. “Though we’ve been known to defer to a third party for the vote if it’s tied. Just so you know, Nick doesn’t always vote with me. We don’t tell him who voted which way. He votes with Ev a lot. Bitch.”
“Okay, you guys can either head here right after work or stop at the condo first. I’ll make myself get out of bed and shower.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” Harry said as he looked down at me, I’d taken my place back snuggled up into him. I could feel the medication kicking in. “You could barely stand up a few hours ago.”
“Don’t push yourself,” Eliza interrupted. “You finally have someone who can force you to stay home, something I’ve failed at for over a decade.”
“He’s pretty cute. He can convince me of a lot. Today he has convinced me to stay in bed and take care of myself.”
“Good job on that, H,” Kammi replied. It was nice to hear all of them happy for me. It was also really nice to be snuggled up with Harry. He was comfy.
“Okay, then plan on all of you coming here. I will have her set up in the theater so you can all have your roommate night.”
“Ev if I stop at the condo is there anything you need?” Eliza asked.
“I will think on it and send you a list. I might need you in a bit though, my boyfriend seems to think he can be your assistant today but he types about as well as Nonna.” He looked at me with a hurt expression on his face.
“You're being mean to your boyfriend,” Eliza said trying to defend Harry but giggling through her words.
“Seriously this morning when he was trying to research how to take care of me it was painful to watch.”
“Ev, remember you are a freak. Not everyone types as fast as you,” Kammi interjected. She was quick on the keys but not nearly as quick as I was. I typed all of my emails and memos out, she either used talk-to-text or dictated them to Ty unless she was on her own.
“Kam, just wait until you see it.”
“You’re such a bitch.” Harry was laughing while he tried hard to pretend like he was upset with me.
“I think I need to fix the problem of my bitchiness. Eliza I’ll text you if I need you early and whatever I need from the condo since I have a feeling that I’m not getting let out of the house until I’m better and we all know I have the best ice packs in the world at home.” Everyone laughed.
“You do. Just let me know what you need. H, if you need anything feel free to call.”
“I will. See all of you tonight.”
“Bye,” came the three voices on the other end of the phone. Harry ended the call and put his phone down before wrapping himself around me.
“How are you feeling?”
“What do we do if you don’t get better?”
“Well, we take it as it is for today.”
“Well, I could get really high. It helps with the nausea.”
“Do you do that?” he asked. We hadn’t quite had the ‘what sort of drugs do you use’ conversation.
“Umm…are you gonna break up with me if I say yes?” He laughed. “I mean I haven’t in a while, like two weeks and a few days.” He thought about it. “Yup. The last time I smoked pot was before I met you. But normally yes that is something I do. It helps with the nausea when I’m really sick and keeps me relaxed. It’s not a super get high kind of thing. I’ve had a prescription for it for a long time. And most of the time you wouldn’t even know I was doing it.”
“So if we don’t sit around and get high, what are the other options?”
“Well if it’s still bad tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor and they will decide if it’s time for a narcotic injection, a different round of pills or an IV infusion to treat it.”
“You clearly have experience with it.”
“I do. I mean I was 18 when I got my first medical marijuana card. It was actually my Pops’ suggestion. He’s had one since I was a kid. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since the mid 90s. He took me to his doctor and we went through the necessary steps for me to get access via prescription. It’s honestly a lot of why he assumed I’d pick to go to school in California for college. I would’ve had an easier time. I mean luckily my Mom and Dad were on board with it.”
“Yeah, they knew how it helped Pops. When my migraines got really bad during my sophomore year of college I considered transferring and was completely ready to move and enroll at UCLA. I just really didn’t want to leave Chicago and Northwestern. They have been less frequent and less painful since I moved here but that last few weeks because I wasn’t sure how you would react I haven’t used it.”
“How did Drew react?” He was trying to figure out if there was an answer he could give, I could tell.
“Despite being a med student who was told by teachers that cannabis is a natural option for a lot of chronic conditions he hated it. Thus why we never lived together. I could read him every study in existence and he would still tell me that because it was illegal it didn’t matter. He only became slightly less obnoxious when I was in California because when I was here it was legal.” His face didn’t give away any sort of feeling to what I’d just told him. It was tough to tell people this, I normally didn’t. Sure The Circus knew, my close friends knew, and a few of the board members for SME because it was in my best interest to be upfront with the people who could impact my career in the largest way. But I didn’t disclose this to clients because my medical history and treatment plan wasn’t their business. “You don’t have to tell me what you think right now. It’s a big deal. Your girlfriend just told you that she not only believes in medical marijuana but uses it. Fuck, what am I saying? Your manager just told you that she smokes pot. Fuck. I messed up. I'm sorry.”
“No, really I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you that. I haven’t used it since we met I can just stop.”
“Hey, would you let me talk?” I nodded trying to prevent the tears that were stinging at my eyes from falling onto my cheeks. “I don’t know what to think about it. I’ve never researched medical marijuana. I’d like you to tell me more about it, not today while you don’t feel well. But in the future perhaps. I’m not really sure how I feel about my manager smoking pot, but I know that based on the people I know who also work with her that her work is incredible and no one mentioned thinking she was a pothead." He laughed a little which made me relax. “As for my feelings on what my girlfriend just told me, I hate thinking that I would prevent her from feeling her best and doing what her doctors think is best for her. But I need to be honest with her. I don’t have any idea how I feel about this. I’ve never been around someone who used medical marijuana. I’ve been around friends that smoke pot recreationally, I’ve traveled the world so it’s not like I’m 100% innocent. I think I need to learn more and maybe be around you when you have been using it to determine if there is a difference in the woman I love that makes me have a solid opinion on it.”
“Well, I can teach you something really quickly.” I rolled out of his arms and over to my purse. I grabbed my vaporizer out of my purse. It looked no different than the trendy vape pens that people used in replacement of cigarettes. “This is what I use most of the time. It’s a low dose and I can use it when I need it.”
“Does it smell?”
“Yes, but not as much as if I had a joint or pipe. It also looks less obvious if someone sees it in my purse.”
“Do you need to use it now?” he asked.
“Not if you don’t want me to. I want to give you time to think about all of this.”
“Okay. If you need to though, I’m okay with it.”
“It might help but I’ve got enough of the prescription medications that I can wait until you’ve had time to think about it. Thank you to being open to learning about this.”
“Thank you for being open to teaching me about this.” I yawned. “Do you need to sleep?” I nodded. “How about I make you something to eat and you take a nap?”
“That works perfectly. I love you. Thank you for taking care of me today.”
“I love you too and thank you for not completely being a pain in my ass as I try to take care of you.”
“I’m doing my best. I’m not used to having people take care of me. It’s actually sort of nice.” I yawned again.
“Sleep, love.” He kissed me and I fell back into the drug induced sleep easily. When I woke up I was alone in bed. I glanced at my watch where it sat on it’s docking station on the nightstand on my side of the bed, it was 11:15. I stood up and carefully made my way down the stairs. The entire house was dark, I’d never seen it like this. Usually Harry had all of the shades open and often even had the windows open so there was fresh air in the house. Today it looked like a cave. “Hey there, sleeping beauty.”
“Hi,” I said as I walked over to where he sat on the couch and sat down next to him cuddling into his side.
“Feeling any better yet?” I shook my head. “Ready to eat something.”
“I guess. I mean I’m still nauseous and don’t want to eat but I know that I need to eat.”
“Oh is someone going to admit she lied to me?”
“I called your Dad. He gave me the recipe of the soup that your Pops was talking about. I made some quickly.”
“Some of the stuff Dad puts in that isn't the type of ingredient that people randomly keep in the house.”
“Yeah, I know. I have my ways.”
“Which are?” I moved my legs across his lap.
“Hey Ev, how ya feeling?” I heard Eliza ask as she walked into the living room from where the bathroom was on the first floor.
“You called in reinforcements?”
“I did. This is normally shit I’d have my assistant do but she’s in London. It would be a bit difficult to get you the things you need for lunch. Which speaking of that, I’m getting you food.” He kissed me softly and then whispered to me. “I love you.”
“I love you.” I kissed him again before moving my legs and looking over to where Eliza had sunk into one of the chairs. “How was the office today?”
“It’s been boring all week without you there. I’m working from here tomorrow too so that you don’t have to get up and go to the office. Based on what Harry has said you are likely headed to the doctor tomorrow.”
“Sadly that’s probably true. I’m not feeling a whole lot better other than I’m not throwing up. Though I’m fearful that as this round of medication starts to wear off that it’ll be back. It’s been rough.”
“You’ve been stressed out more than normal and you’ve been spending a lot of time here. Harry said that you told him about the full extent of the migraines today.”
“I did. I’m surprised he’s talking about it.”
“I just asked her what you were like,” he called from the kitchen.
“I’m like me only slightly less stressed,” I replied laughing a bit.
“That’s what she said. She also said that sometimes you tended to giggle a bit more.”
“I mean sometimes, yes.”
“If you want to and think it will help your nausea you can sneak outside quickly. Just not in the house, at least not yet.”
“Okay, that’s fine. Eliza, want to join me?” I asked.
“Sure.” I walked over to the kitchen and grabbed a pair of Harry’s sunglasses off of the island before kissing him.
“No problem. Don’t take too long. You need to eat.”
“I know.” I kissed him again before following Eliza out to the deck with my eyes covered. I sat down in one of the chairs. She had her purse with her which had my second vaporizer. The benefits of your assistant being your best friend is you could ask her to keep one on hand.
“So you really haven’t smoked since the night you met?” she asked.
“Nope,” I said as I took the vaporizer from her and quickly inhaled. I laid back in the chair a little. “I wasn’t sure how he’d react.”
“You’ve never cared how a guy reacted.”
“I cared how he reacted. He’s not just any guy. If he’s not okay with this then I go back to the doctor and ask what’s next.”
“I think he’ll be okay with it. Don’t you? I mean I can’t imagine anyone in his position that hasn’t smoked pot at least once.”
“I can’t either but they exist out there somewhere.”
“And he cares about you, that’s obvious. He seemed receptive to what I was saying. I lived with you while you were doing it illegally in Illinois so at least here it’s not like either of you can get in trouble.”
“Yeah but if it got out that his manager/girlfriend was a pothead it could ruin his image. I don’t want to do that.”
“You are the furthest thing from a pothead and you know it.”
“That’s based on opinion. The fact is that up until I met him two weeks ago I hadn’t gone a day without either smoking pot or a vape filled with cannabis oil being part of my day since I was 18 unless I was on vacation.”
“True. To some that is a pothead.”
“Exactly. He’s at least more receptive than Drew was, though he asked what Drew’s reaction was before he said anything to me.”
“It’s because he cares about you and wants to take care of you. Drew was concerned about how your decisions would effect him and not much else.”
“True. Harry is pretty amazing.” I smiled like an idiot. “He told me he loved me last night.”
“WHAT?! How was that not the lead off to our conversation?” she asked as she sat straight up.
“I’ve been puking on and off since 2AM.”
“So…spill it. I refuse to wait for roommate night to hear the story.”
“He made the love parm. He called Nonna yesterday for the recipe and made it while I was locked in his office working. Told me he did it for a little help because he was nervous to tell me he loves me.”
“And what did you say?”
“That I loved him too, duh.”
“And you weren’t just saying it to say it back, right?”
“I was saying it because I love him. I hate the idea that I’m going to have to be away from him while he films this movie and that there’s really no way I can convince Pops and Cameron to let me work from France for the summer so I can watch my boyfriend repeatedly drown in a movie.” She laughed. “I hate that we are going to London together and he may decide he doesn’t want to come back with me. I love him and I want to be around him. He’s pretty fucking perfect. I mean he snores and he types like my Nonna and he’s got better hair than I do and a smaller waist than I do, but he’s pretty fucking perfect.”
“It’s good to see you like this.”
“Thanks. So how are things with Joe going?” I asked. I’d basically disappeared off the planet as soon as everyone left Sunday, I felt bad but this was sort of what life was like when I went home. We all focused on our family when we were home but I usually went pretty dark from everything.
“Things are going well. We went on a double date with Nick and Kammi last night. He’s stayed at the condo a few nights so that they can have a few nights alone in the house.”
“How is Ty handling the move?”
“I guess okay. He misses her, it’s obvious. We’ve all become close but Kam is his best friend. She’s why he moved to LA and I think he’s got a little separation anxiety.”
“I get that. I’d be lost of you moved out.”
“You mean like you pretty much have.” She raised an eyebrow at me.
“I’m guilty. I can’t even say anything to argue about it. It’s comfortable here. I mean I miss all of you, but everything just seems so…I don’t know, right?”
“I know and I’m happy for you. Plus I know you’ll be back. As soon as he leaves town for work or to go home you’ll be back in your bed in the condo.”
“You’re very right.” I took one more hit off of the vaporizer before we stood up and went inside. I handed it back to Eliza and she put it in her purse.
“You feeling okay, love?” Harry asked as I walked up to him. I nodded and he hugged me kissing the top of my head. “I’ve got lunch for all of us so have a seat ladies and then I think that our sick one needs to lay down again.”
“I agree with that,” Eliza said.
“You both suck.” I put a spoonful of the soup in my mouth feeling incredibly jealous of the actual food I was watching Eliza and Harry eat. He’d used some of the salad we’d had yesterday and put chicken on it and dressing and I was eating basically noodles and broth. Oh the joys of being kept from being dehydrated. I could feel all of the medication in my brain trying to make me feel better, I was still nauseous but at least not puking. As soon as I was done eating I laid down on the couch and Harry covered me up in a blanket.
“Are you okay?” I nodded. “Do you need anything?” I shook my head. He bent down and kissed me softly. “I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you and I really love how generous you’re being with those words.”
“I held it in for so long that now I just want to tell you I love you over and over again.”
“I’m really okay with that. I like hearing it over and over again.”
“Then I’ll keep telling you over and over again. I love you.”
“I love you.” He kissed me again before standing up. I could hear him filling a glass with ice and water which came into my vision as he put it on the coffee table with a straw in it.
“Drink some water, love.” I leaned forward and took a sip before laying back down. Eliza sat going through emails and asking me any questions she needed but I was mostly in and out of sleep for the remainder of the afternoon. Harry gave suggestions to Eliza and I on what he could order for carry out for dinner since that was a roommate night tradition. It was about 6:30 when I was relocated to the couch in the theater. Eliza sat in the first row of seats with Harry snuggled up with me in the back row.
“So what are we eating?” I asked.
“I ordered the Chinese food you guys usually get for delivery. It’s not ideal for me to allow you to eat this but you had a reaction about it in your sleep while everything else I suggested you didn’t say anything about.” I laughed.
“I love Chinese carry out. I would be the one that moaned about Chinese in a migraine drug induced nap.”
“That’s not the first time it’s happened,” Eliza added. “It’s usually one of the things she starts to crave and it’s weird.”
“It’s also probably really terrible for me.”
“Probably. Tomorrow you need to allow me to make healthier food for you,” Harry said.
“You act like I’m staying home from work again tomorrow,” I replied.
“How’s your head?” Harry asked.
“And the nausea?”
“Well I haven’t puked since this morning.”
“But…” Eliza added. She knew me too well.
“Oh I’m still nauseous. But the reason Pops said I couldn’t come to work this morning was because I was puking.”
“You’ve also slept the whole day.” He almost looked stern. “Tomorrow you’re staying home. If you feel better I’ll allow you to use the horcrux but you need to take care of yourself.”
“You’re being bossy.”
“Someone needs to be.” It wasn’t long before Kammi and Ty arrived. As Harry let them into the room he bent down to give me a kiss. “I love you. Have fun. If you need me just text me and I’ll get you whatever you need.”
“You’re leaving?” I asked half pouting.
“It’s roommate night. No boyfriends allowed.” I smiled at him. He really wanted me to have this night with my roommates without altering our flow just because I was sick. “I’ll bring the food in when it gets here. It shouldn’t be long.”
“You’re amazing. I love you.” One last kiss and he snuck out of the room.
“Ev has news,” Eliza declared.
“What news?” Kammi asked.
“Harry told me he loved me last night,” I said.
“What?!” Kammi and Ty both yelled.
“Spill it girl,” Ty pushed.
“We got home yesterday and he let me hide in his office so I could work. He made dinner and when we were sitting down to eat he told me that he’d been trying to find a way to tell me for a while that he loves me.”
“Oh my god. You two are perfect and I’m really forever alone,” Ty said pretending to cry.
“That’s not the whole story,” Eliza interrupted. “What did he make for dinner?”
“He made the love parm.” I smiled.
“Did you teach him that?” Kammi asked.
“Nope. While I was working yesterday he called Nonna to ask her for the recipe and surprised me with it.”
“He made the love parm and told you he loved you. You suck,” Ty said. “I can’t even get a guy bring me carry out and he cooked you your favorite food and professed his love to you.”
“I know. He’s amazing, I’m not sure how I got so lucky. But it just makes the approaching summer seem so much harder. If it was someone I was casually dating that was taking off for the summer it wouldn’t matter. But he’s going to be gone for months and I’m gonna be stuck here.”
“You act like we are chopped liver,” Kammi said.
“Yeah, I know and I’m sorry about that but I’ve become attached super easily to him. I don’t like the idea that when we leave Mexico that he’s going to get on a different plane than me and go to France.”
“He’s coming to Mexico?” Eliza asked.
“Yeah, I invited him to come with. Well, technically Mom invited him first and he said he’d wait for my invitation and I extended that to him. I want to have experiences with him in life. I’m going to need to plan a trip or two to France so that I don’t go the entire summer without seeing him.”
“I’m going to demand that your assistant go on that trip.”
“Done and done. Though he won’t be in any exciting part of France,” I said laughing. “He’s basically going to be on the beach and drowning for a few months judging by the script.”
“I feel so pathetic now. God I need a boyfriend,” Ty said.
“You aren’t pathetic, Ty,” I added as I leaned over to hug him. My words were still slurring from the medication despite the fact that the last dose had worn off a while ago.
“You’re on drugs.” Everyone started to laugh. The door to the theater opened with about 20 minutes to spare before Grey’s Anatomy started. Harry came in with an arm load of Chinese delivery, plates, and silverware.
“Alright, do you four need anything to drink? I have that white wine that Evie loves left from dinner last night. She didn’t drink much which in hindsight is good considering she vomited all morning.”
“Can I have wine?” I asked.
“Ha, funny, love. No. You can have more water,” he said. I slumped into my chair as he laughed at me. “There’s also some sodas in the little fridge over in the corner and maybe a beer or two in there. I can grab the wine. Do you need anything else?”
“I don’t think so,” Kammi said.
“Alright. I’ll be back with the wine.”
“He really is sweet,” Eliza said.
“I know. Sometimes I feel like he’s too good to be true. That I’m going to wake up from this dream I’m in.”
“Nah, you deserve this,” Ty added. “You’ve been through a lot of crap. You deserve happiness.” Harry came back inside with the bottle of wine and a few glasses.
“Okay here is your wine. If you four need anything just have Evie text me. I’m gonna go in the office and start memorizing lines.”
“You should join us,” Kammi said.
“No, it’s your roommate night. Significant others aren’t allowed,” Harry replied.
“We can make an exception tonight,” Ty added. “You’ve been taking care of our girl all day. You at least deserve to eat some of the food.”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Yes!” Everyone replied together. He sat down next to me climbing under the blanket and putting his feet next to mine on the foot rest he’d given me. We all dug into our food and as soon as the episode started got quiet.
“Do you need anything?” Harry asked quietly about five minutes into the episode.
“Yes, you to shush. Grey’s is on.” I laughed before leaning over to kiss him. “I’ll be okay during the show. I promise.”
“Okay but if you need anything you just need to tell me and I’ll get it.”
“Okay.” I laid my head down on his chest. Ty had moved to the other couch to sit with Kammi and Eliza. It didn’t take much for me to start to get nauseous again. I was trying to avoid taking the medication for fear that I’d just fall asleep again. I’d made it about a half hour into the episode before I was up and headed towards the first floor bathroom. I’d puked up everything I’d eaten by the time Harry appeared in the doorway.
“So Chinese wasn’t a good plan,” he said as I flushed the toilet.
“Probably not.” I slumped onto the floor.
“Do I need to put you in bed?”
“No, I don’t want to miss roommate night. I need to brush my teeth though.”
“When’s the last time you took the stuff for your nausea?”
“When you gave it to me earlier today. It makes me tired and I didn’t want to sleep through roommate night.”
“I know you don’t but you also don’t want to throw up all night, love.” I sat up off the floor and just the act of being upright made my head rush and I threw up again. “Evie, you need to take the medicine.”
“I don’t want to sleep yet. I’ll go outside for a minute and I’ll be okay.”
“Ev, are you okay?” Eliza yelled.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I didn’t want to worry them anymore than I knew I already was. “Will you help me up off the ground?”
“Are you gonna puke again?” he asked.
“I don’t think so.” He helped me up. “I need to go upstairs and brush my teeth.”
“Let me help you.” Harry had his arm around me as we walked upstairs to the bedroom. I brushed my teeth quickly before digging in my purse. I grabbed my vaporizer. “This will help me with the nausea until bed when I can take the pills again and fall asleep.”
“Do you need me to go outside with you?” he asked.
“You can but you don’t have to. You haven’t completely made a decision about this yet and I don’t want to force you into it.”
“I can go outside with you.” We snuck out onto the balcony off of the master bedroom. I took a quick hit before leaning up against the railing. “How is the pain?”
“Still fucking hurts.”
“Do you need anything from me?”
“No, the snuggles you were giving me on the couch were perfect. I might need to call one of the massage therapists that work out of our gym at SME and see if I can get a massage this weekend.”
“If not I know a few that we can try too. Maybe someone can come to the house to work on you.” He pouted at me. “I hate seeing you so sick.”
“I’ll be okay.” I took another hit before I tried to force a smile at him. “I’ll survive and then be back at it next week working a billion hours to prep for being out of town for most of May.”
“You can’t just work yourself sick again. We need to figure out how you can lower your stress, get your work done and not live in your office. As much as I’m sure your couch is comfy to sleep on I’d rather have you home for dinner at night or at least meeting me out for dinner at night. I need to make sure you’re taken care of.”
“We will figure something out.” One final hit and we headed back inside. I quickly swished mouthwash so that I had minty fresh breath and didn’t taste like a weird ashtray. We went back downstairs and I snuggled up on the couch next to Harry.
“You okay, Ev?” Kammi asked turning around to look at me.
“I threw up again. This has just been a rough few days.”
“Do you need to go to bed?” Eliza questioned.
“Nah, I’m okay.”
“Are you sure?” Ty was pouting at me as he spoke.
“I’m fine. I might have to go puke again but it’s roommate night. I can’t miss roommate night. This is what we have left now that we don’t all live together and I’m admittedly barely home. I don’t want this night to be ruined because of my head.”
“She doesn’t want to take her anti-nausea medication because the pills make her sleepy,” Harry said. “She should be okay for a little while though.”
“If you throw up again you’re going to bed,” Eliza added. She had her stern voice and face on, sometimes when I was sick and she was in charge I was afraid of her. She’d be the Mom that put the fear of God in kids when she had them. “I brought stuff with me when I got here and I’m staying here tonight.”
“I have to stay in the condo alone?” Ty whined.
“You will be fine,” Eliza replied. “I need to be here tomorrow if she’s still this sick.”
“Fine,” Ty groaned.
It didn’t take long before I was back in the bathroom throwing up again. Harry sat on the floor next to me rubbing my back. I didn’t have the energy to move and slumped back onto the floor.
“Can I send everyone home now?”
“It’s roommate night.”
“I know and you tried really hard to have a good roommate night but you need your rest. I love you enough to tell you that you’re done trying and need to take your medication and go to bed.”
“Fine,” I groaned as I sat up. I carefully stood up and leaned on Harry as we walked into the hallway. I could hear voices coming from the living room. Harry led me that way and I found everyone packing themselves up to head home.
“You need to go to bed,” Kammi declared.
“I know. H just told me I was being forced to bed and couldn’t keep trying to be a good friend.”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t keep trying to be a good friend but you need to take care of yourself. You’ve thrown up a lot today. I need you to drink water, maybe eat something that you can keep down and sleep.”
“Good luck taking care of her. She can be bitchy when she’s sick,” Ty said.
“I can be bitchy all the time,” I replied. “Being sick means I’m just a whiny bitch.”
“True statement. I’d hug you but you probably smell like vomit and we know I have a sensitive stomach.” I flipped Ty off.
“I hate you.”
“You love me. Now stop being sick so that we can like do fun things. We could’ve gone to Malibu this weekend but I’m guessing that your big bad boyfriend won’t let you out of the house.”
“If she’s feeling well she can have fun but Malibu is maybe not a good idea. We could have a pool day here on Saturday as long as she’s not still puking.”
“Yes, please,” Kammi said. “Can I bring Nick?”
“I’d expect you to and for Joe to come as well,” Harry replied.
“And I’ll be forever alone.” Ty was being dramatic and it made me laugh.
“I could invite a friend over that I think you might like,” Harry added.
“Oh a pool day and a set up. Do I get to do a background check on this person?” Kammi asked.
“Sure. I’ll text you his name and you can internet stalk until your heart’s content.”
“Perfect. I vote yes on pool day and a set up for Ty.”
“Do I know this friend?” I asked.
“You might actually considering I feel like everyone in our lives is connected and just forgot to connect us.”
“I guess I’m okay with this but if the dude is a dud I won’t stay all day. Blind dates are bad enough, add these three bitches and they are immensely worse.”
“I promise to make them all be on their best behavior,” Harry said.
“You can’t make me do shit,” Kammi replied. “But I’ll be on my best behavior.”
“Then it’s settled. Show up whenever you want Saturday for a pool day. Perhaps take a car service, I’ve seen all of you crazy people drink all day while you’re in the pool and I’d rather not have you all get in trouble.”
“Sounds perfect. Now Ev, get better so that we can actually have a pool day,” Kammi said as she hugged me.
“I’ll do my best. I’m guessing the tag team duo of Eliza and Harry are going to have my ass at the doctor tomorrow.”
“Probably a good thing,” Ty replied. “Call us tomorrow if you need anything.” The goodbyes were quick and I was up in bed. Eliza was sweet to stay here so that she could help Harry out. He had no idea that he was getting into a relationship with a woman who on occasion could barely function to take a shower on her own. He was being sweet by taking care of me. I was pretty sure it would be short lived and if it lasted more than tomorrow he’d need to go back to London for something and abandon me here, it wasn’t what he signed up for. He shouldn’t have to help me through this.
“I can go home,” I said as we were laying in bed. He had gotten me a snack to eat while I took my medication before bed and waited with me hoping I wouldn’t immediately throw it up. “You don’t have to take care of me.”
“You aren’t going anywhere. You’re fine.”
“You didn’t sign up for this. You didn’t know that you were getting in a relationship with someone who on occasion couldn’t take care of herself.”
“No, I didn’t. But I did know I was getting in a relationship with you and you wanna know something?” I nodded. “I don’t care if sometimes I have to take care of you. I love you and I’m not going anywhere.”
“I love you too.” I kissed him and snuggled into his arms. He rubbed my back and between that soothing motion and the medication I fell sleep easily. Friday morning was the same wake up call as Thursday. Me throwing up in the bathroom while seeing spots and feeling like someone was drilling into the side of my brain.
“I’m going to have Eliza make an appointment with your doctor so we can take you in this morning. We need to get you better.”
“Okay,” I replied as I moved to lay on the floor. The way my vision was acting I knew I’d be throwing up again in a matter of time so I didn’t feel like moving.
“I’ll be right back. Can you take your medicine to try and stop the vomiting?”
“No, not if I go to the doctor. I can’t take anything until they determine what they are giving me.”
“Okay, well I’ll see if she can make the appointment early.” I heard him leave the bathroom and head down the hall. He knocked softly on Eliza’s door. “Hey, sorry were you awake?” I could hear him talking to her.
“Yeah, I’m used to Kammi being crazy and waking me up early. I actually was going to go use your gym if that’s okay.”
“It absolutely is. Our house is yours. Can you do me a favor?” Our house? I wanted to smile and freak out like I normally would over a guy having a subconscious slip up like that one but I couldn’t. I knew if I kicked my legs and silently screamed like an excited kid on Christmas morning that I’d just make things worse.
“Yeah, is she okay?”
“Not really. She’s throwing up again. I think I need to take her to the doctor.”
“Let me call and get an appointment for her.” It was a few moments of silence before I heard Eliza speaking again. “Hi, this is Eliza Richards, I’m the assistant for Everlee Scarcello she is a patient there. I need to make an appointment for her as early as possible today.” Again silence, I assumed the person at my neurologist’s office was clicking away on a computer and looking up the schedule. “8:30 this morning is great. We will bring her in. Just a bit of info on that if you can pass it along to her doctor, she woke up in the middle of the night two nights ago with a migraine. She’s been vomiting on and off for most of the last 24-30 hours. She has visual aura, left sided pain, a loss of appetite and is sensitive to light. It’s her normal symptoms.” More silence. “Thank you and we will see you at 8:30.”
“Thank you,” Harry said. “Can you text me the address of her doctor so I can use it to get directions?”
“Of course. I can take her too. I am her assistant. It’s my job.”
“No, it’s okay. There are going to be times in our life in the future when I’m not here to do this for her. When I am I’d like to help out where I can.”
“You’re a good guy, Harry. I promise you, Jimmy will see that and give up being a pain in the ass.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“I know I am. I’ve known Jimmy my entire life. He’s been a second father to me since the moment he walked into the hospital room with Ev so that she could meet me.”
“How far apart are you two in age?” he asked.
“Six weeks. Jimmy was crazy. Ev shouldn’t have been in the hospital but he knew that her best friend for life was being born and she needed to be there. Grace had been at the hospital with my Mom because my Dad had been out of town with the team. I came early by a few weeks a little unexpected for everyone so Grace rushed to be by Mom’s side. Technically because Dad’s flight hadn’t landed yet Jimmy held me before my own Dad did. Mom tells me all the time that he had me and Ev in his arms together and mumbled barely loud enough for she and Grace to hear what he was saying to us.”
“What he said was cuter. He said ‘you two little girls are going to rule the world and drive me to an early grave if you’re anything like your mothers’. He loves her more than the world, he’s just got a fucked up way of showing it sometimes. At her birthday dinner this year he had a bit too much to drink and told her that he was pretty sure she was the only great thing he’d ever made in his life. He knows he’s messed up a lot and given up a lot to try and be a success in the business. But he does love her and just wants what’s best. He just has a hard time realizing what is best for him has never been best for her.”
“Thank you for your help. I appreciate you staying with us last night. I was sort of scared I’d have to take her to the hospital last night.”
“I was too but she made it through a few hours of sleep. I’ll text you the contact for her neurologist that way you have the phone number if you need it. I’ll also send the note I keep in my phone that has the medications she’s on and the dosages. Sometimes when they try to confirm all of that with her when she’s like this she struggles. They won’t make you go back in the room with her, I always do because she’s sometimes pretty funny on the medication they give her. I have video taped her a time or two at Ty’s request.” I heard them both laugh.
“I’ll try not to do that. You’ve been her best friend for her entire life, minus the first six weeks. I haven’t even made it to six weeks.” Eliza laughed.
“She loves you, that’s all that matters to Ev.”
“Thanks again. There’s stuff in the kitchen that you should be able to make breakfast or a smoothie or whatever you need. The gym has quite a bit in it. I can text you my assistant’s number. She’s in London but if you don’t know where something is in this house she probably has a better idea than I do.”
“I’ve got Emma’s contact info. We talked earlier this week while I made the flight arrangements for all of us to go to London in May.”
“You’re coming with?”
“Of course. You might be bringing your girlfriend home to meet your Mum but you’re also taking my boss out of the office for 10 days. I hate to rain on your parade but you’re taking us both home to meet Mum. Emma said she’d help me figure out some stuff in London too since I’m assuming I’m going to be spending a bit more time in our London office than I normally do.” I heard him laugh.
“You might be if I have any say in that. I love LA but London is home.”
“And what do you know? We have an office in London that just might enjoy the head of our music division working out of it more than twice a year.”
“Well, don’t worry. I’m glad you’re coming with. I think you and Emma will be quick pals and you and Evie will both get along with my Mum and sister. And it will be nice to have you. She worries less about things when you’re around. You understand her language that she talks in when she works. I’ve tried to help and I don’t always get it.”
“We have a shorthand with each other. Every time I go to an audition that could potentially be bigger than a guest starring role or a small role in a movie she panics thinking I’m going to leave her.”
“You will someday and she knows it. But she will be fine.”
“I’m glad you found her.” I even laughed at that one. He did technically find me.
“Enjoy your time in the gym. I’m gonna go check on our girl and get her ready for the doctor. We should leave here shortly.” I heard his footsteps head back towards the room. I finally stood up and started to brush my teeth. “Hey love. I’ve got an appointment for you at the doctor at 8:30. We need to get you cleaned up and dressed to go.”
“Do you want me to help you shower?”
“Pervert, even sick you still want to shower with me so you can see me naked.” He started laughing.
“You’ve figured me out. Now let’s get you in the shower.” He helped me into the shower and basically allowed me to lean against the wall for most of it and just let the water run over me. It was almost weird to have him wash my hair but the scalp massage felt pretty decent considering my brain was trying to throb it’s way out of my skull. When we were out I managed to brush my hair and get it into a braid while it was still wet. I threw on some leggings and a t-shirt and we were out the door. My sunglasses weren’t helping to keep all of the light out of my eyes so I had a hoodie pulled over my head and cinched a bit around my face. “So this is your neurologist that we are going to?”
“Yup,” I replied.
“What should I expect from this?”
“It depends on what the doctor thinks is necessary. Sometimes it’s some shots that they give me that go in my ass. Sometimes it’s medication through an IV.”
“Do you know which they will give you?”
“Nope, that’s the doctor’s call.” He pulled into the parking lot and I started to climb out of the car with the hood of my sweatshirt still pulled around my face. I felt his arm around my shoulders as he helped me walk to the door. The person at the desk unfortunately recognized me by name as usual.
“Good morning, Everlee.”
“Hi Janice,” I replied. I did my usual of signing what I needed to sign and handing over my credit card to pay the co-pay. “Thanks for working with Eliza to get me in quickly.”
“No problem. You know we always have a few spots open for the emergency cases. Have a seat and Mary will be out to get you in a few minutes.”
“Thanks.” I headed to the chairs and slumped into one. Harry sat next to me and I rested my head on his shoulder. “Thanks for bringing me.”
“Anything to make my girl feel better.” I felt him kiss the top of my head. It wasn’t long before the door opened and Mary, the nurse, came out to get me.
“Everlee we are ready for ya,” she said. I stood up and looked at Harry.
“You don’t have to come back with me if you don’t want.”
“It’s okay. I want to be with you.” He hugged me gently before walking with me to the door Mary was holding open.
“No Eliza today?” she asked.
“Nope. Eliza’s assistant today is my boyfriend. Mary meet Harry.”
“Nice to meet you,” he said reaching out to shake her hand.
“Nice to meet you as well.” She lead us back to the room and we sat down. The normal questions of my medication were asked and just as Eliza had expected my brain didn’t want to answer questions. I listened to Harry rattle the list off out of his phone and Mary ask a few questions that I could manage to answer. She left the room and it was quiet for a few minutes before Dr. Gaines came in.
“Hey doc,” I said quietly.
“Everlee what happened?” I explained when the migraine started and how it had been acting. “Did you change anything you were doing?”
“I hadn’t been using cannabis in a couple weeks.”
“Why?” he asked.
“New boyfriend,” I said nodding towards Harry. “Wasn’t sure how he’d feel about it so I sort of stopped. Probably not the best idea but I wasn’t sure I wanted to navigate that with him yet. My brain decided it was time.”
“Do you have a problem with Everlee being treated with medicinal cannabis?” Dr. Gaines looked at Harry.
“I don’t think I do. I don’t know a lot about it other than what she and Eliza have told me. I want her to be well so if it’s what you’ve determined is the best option for her then I think I’m okay with it.”
“I’ve got some reading I can send you home with today that should answer the questions you have and I’d be happy to answer any that arise from that. It’s been a successful treatment with Everlee because it helps with her anxiety, her migraines and the nausea that comes from that. Now Everlee, let’s get this taken care of. Based on how much you’ve been vomiting I think the best plan is to do the IV. We can get you some fluids at the same time. I’ll have a nurse come in and administer everything. We’ll get you out of here in a half hour or 45 minutes. Then you know the drill. Home, rest, eat, water and call the office tomorrow morning to let me know how you’re doing.”
“I know the drill,” I said smiling. He shook my hand and Harry’s hand before leaving the room. I laid back down on the bed and Harry slid the chair he was in closer to me. He leaned forward kissing the tip of my nose.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“We are going to get you back to normal.”
“I’m glad.” He held my hand when the nurse came in as she struggled for probably 20 minutes trying to get an IV started. The doctor was right to do this. I was dehydrated and needed the fluids. I could tell the nurse was flustered and new which also didn’t help in getting the IV started. She blushed a little when Harry said hi and introduced himself. Finally Mary came in and got the IV in.
“Sorry about that,” she whispered. “You’re gonna bruise.”
“I know. I would’ve anyway.” The nurse started getting the medication added to the bag of fluids.
“Did you bring benadryl in with everything like her chart says?” Mary asked.
“I forgot it. Why?” she replied as she put the last medication into the bag.
“I’m sorry,” Mary said to me. “Everlee has a bad reaction to some of the medication we give her if we don’t mix it with benadryl. They give her panic attacks.” Mary glanced at me. “I’m gonna go get the benadryl. You can make it through this but I know how it works. I’ll bring the ativan as well because your heart rate is going to sky rocket.”
“Thanks Mary, you know me too well.” Mary pulled the nurse out of the room with her, I was sure to scold her. I felt the narcotic pain killers start to work and it wasn’t long before I felt the panic attack hitting. I had grown able to separate myself enough that it felt like I was watching myself. The writhing on the bed, the desire to rip the IV out of my arm. I was so thankful when Mary came back into the room and administered everything else. It didn’t take long before they kicked in and I was able to just close my eyes and let the medication do it’s job.
“This is normal?” Harry asked Mary who had stuck around to monitor me after the flub by the other nurse.
“Yeah, Everlee we’ve got down to a science. Our nurse is new and so the added parts of her treatment aren’t normal for every patient. The normal drug order that Dr. Gaines would put in doesn't include the bendaryl or the ativan. Dr. Gaines and I have talked and that’s stuff we add for her because what works best also doesn’t agree with Everlee all the time.”
“What do I need to do for her when we get home?” I listened as Mary rattled off care instructions. Water, water, water was what she wanted him to pay attention to. Told him to download an app on his phone that could have him remind me every half hour or hour to wake up and drink some water. She gave some food recommendations that would be good for me and a few other things. As soon as the IV was done and my vitals were checked she had me in a wheelchair and pushed me out to the waiting room while Harry went to grab the car.
“He’s a good guy,” she said to me. “And really cute.” Mary was old enough to be Harry’s Mom but I got it, everyone thought he was cute.
“Yeah he is. He’s too fucking perfect for his own good.” Mary laughed.
“Oh he’s in for a treat. We’ve got swearing Everlee today.”
“Yeah, he’s sort of used to that. You could’ve fuckin’ knocked me over with a feather when that boy asked me on a date. I’m not sure how I deserve someone like that loving me. I’m a bitch, he’s the nicest person I’ve ever met. I mean he can be a bit of a cocky asshole on occasion but he’s perfect.” He parked the car and came around to help me get out of the wheelchair.
“Call us tomorrow, Everlee.”
“Thanks, Mary,” I replied. I waived as Harry shut the door. He talked to Mary for a moment before he hurried around to the driver’s side and hopped in.
“You can sleep if you want, love.”
“I think I’m okay at least until we get home.” I was quiet as he drove through the city and up to the house. He and Eliza helped me up into the bedroom and into bed. I felt Harry give me a kiss before I closed my eyes. The medication really had me tired and ready to sleep. I heard them move around the house before Harry woke me up to get a drink of water. I closed my eyes and listened to Harry talk to Eliza from the chairs in the bedroom.
“How did the appointment go?” she asked.
“Okay, I think. The nurse who administered her IV couldn’t get the IV started because she was so dehydrated.”
“That’s happened before. She’ll have a helluva bruise in a couple hours.”
“That’s what Mary said, she’s a kind woman.”
“Mary is the best.”
“Yeah, she had to help Evie because the nurse also forgot the benadryl and ativan.”
“Fuck. How bad was her panic attack?”
“I’ve never seen anyone act like that. She was groaning and moving around like she was in pain but when I asked her what was wrong she didn’t respond. It was like she wasn’t in her own body anymore. She tried to rip her IV out, her heart rate skyrocketed, and when Mary got back she managed to calm her down. I was admittedly scared.”
“It can be scary to watch her go through this. Thank you for being there with her this morning. I got her day cancelled and I hacked her email yesterday to put an out of office reply up so that people know she won’t reply until next week.”
“Thank you,” Harry said. “If you have work you need to do or a date with Joe or something feel free to take off if you want. I think I can handle her in this state. She looks like she’s asleep.” I wasn’t but I was. I could hear everything they were saying but even if I wanted to reply I couldn’t, I’d tried and it came out as a sleepy groan.
“I’m okay here. Joe texted earlier to check in on her. I’ll give him a call later and tell him to come over tomorrow for the pool party.”
“Does she normally become coherent by dinner?” he asked.
“Well, why don’t you invite Joe over for dinner tonight. We can all hang out. You’re both welcome to stay here if you’d like.”
“Thanks, that might actually be fun. It’s been awhile since Everlee and I could do double dates. I mean she’ll be in her pajamas and half out of it but it would still be nice.” I wanted to flip her off but my brain wasn’t connecting to my fingers to do it. I finally relented and allowed myself to fall asleep. The remainder of the day was a haze of Harry and Eliza alternating who woke me up enough to make me choke down food or drink water. It wasn’t until about 6:00 that I woke up and was able to keep my eyes open for more than a minute. It was quiet upstairs but I could hear voices downstairs. I stood up and walked down to the main floor.
“Hey love,” Harry said. “You’re moving.”
“I am,” I replied. I walked over to where he was in a chair and snuggled into it with him. Eliza and Joe were on the couch fighting over the remote for the TV like usual except that he had his feet on the coffee table and hers were resting on his shins.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Better but still a bit out of it from the medication.” I kissed him softly. “Thanks for taking care of me today.”
“If it gets you better it’s all worth it.”
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you too.” He hugged me tightly. “Alright everyone, what are we doing for dinner?” Eliza was right. It had been ages since we’d been able to have double dates, even if we were all in various states of pajamas on the couches in Harry’s living room with all the shades shut we were together. It was a chance for the four of us to just hang out and spend time together. It was fun to be able to have this guy that I loved getting to know the important people in my life and Eliza was as important as family. My Pops was right when he took me to the hospital the day she was born. Together, Eliza and I were ruling the world and while we hadn’t driven him to an early grave I was positive we were to blame for most of his gray hair. I sure as hell was lucky to have her, especially on days like this.
“I vote pizza!” I interjected making everyone laugh.
“Then pizza it is,” Joe said.
“I’ll call and order,” Harry replied giving me a kiss and standing up from the chair. He made silly faces at me from the kitchen as he ordered our dinner. I was really lucky to have him too.
NotesFirst, I need to start by apologizing that this chapter has taken two and a half weeks to post. I started it two weeks ago today and knew the direction I wanted to take it to. I think I jinxed myself by writing about Everlee experiencing chronic migraines because I've had a pretty horrific migraine myself for two weeks now. I'd started writing in the afternoon and by the time I went to bed that night the gremlin that lives in my brain had decided to start getting angry and messing with my brain. I have had maybe 2 decent days in the last 15 so trust me when I say, art imitated life for this chapter. Unlike Evie, I don't throw up from migraines...THANK GOD. But I do have severe nausea, aura (mine is usually phantom smells which is the smell of cigarette smoke, which is super disgusting if you were curious....this time it's been spots in my vision), loss of appetite, and most of the other side effects.
I appreciate your patience with me as I worked through my own health issues and took the time to craft Everlee's with the care I felt it needed. I feel like health conditions aren't something that are often tackled in fiction (especially fan fiction) unless it's an eating disorder, a terminal disease, or a mental health issue. The reality is that 1 in 6 Americans suffer from migraines and in 2011 it was estimated that over 100 million Americans suffered from chronic pain conditions. I've personally suffered from chronic migraines since I was a teenager, giving away my age a bit, I'm going to be honest and say that the last 16 years of my life have been complicated by my health and the chronic migraines combine with a lot of other problems. But I get up every day and go through what I need to so that I can live and enjoy my life the best that I can. I know that one of the treatment options I presented for Evie is a controversial one. There are a lot of people who don't believe that medicinal cannabis is actually as helpful that it is made out to be for Evie. While I don't have the luxury of being able to use it for my own treatment, it is something that I hope I will be able to consider in the future as the state that I live in expands it's medical cannabis laws. I felt that by making Harry a little hesitant and unsure about how it would work that I allow the reader to either be in the position of Evie who knows in her heart that it's the best treatment plan for her or in the position of Harry who is open to the possibility and willing to learn. I want people to decide for themselves on this topic. I don't intend on focusing a lot on Evie's cannabis use, she won't become a pot head and won't try and convince Harry to believe anything that he doesn't choose to believe. They are in a partnership and willing to work to understand each other, it's my favorite thing about them.
I know this chapter had a darker nature and a darker setting (curtains being shut are my life). But I hope that I was able to still provide some of the comic relief that Evie is so good at. That you were able to see a different side of their relationship with each other and witness them growing together. I hope you enjoyed it and I promise, the fun will be back. I mean if I wrote myself into this migraine I don't want to do that again (I know I didn't, I'm kidding obviously). We've got two BIG days coming up. A day of fun with The Circus at Harry's house and the day that Evie and Harry have James and Jessica over. I think that Harry helping to take care of Evie shows his commitment to her and their relationship and should hopefully *fingers crossed* show Jimmy that he's serious.
As always I am excited to hear what you think, both the good and the bad. Having a controversial topic as part of this chapter has me prepared. Some of you may hate it. I might lose a reader or several. But I wanted to take the time to explore the different things that affect our lives. I look forward to hearing from all of you. And I'm going to do my very best to not have another two and a half week wait between chapters.