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Chapter 1

Cassandra had an extremely high pain threshold.  It had never been a problem before, but this time, it would complicate her life to the max.

“Maggy, are you there?  Pick up, please!” she begged.  Moments later, a breathless Maggy grabbed the receiver and replied, “I’m here, I’m here, what’s going on Cassandra, you sound …”

“Please, can you take me to Emergency?  I can’t drive!”

“I’ll be there in 10, hang on!”  Maggy was close to panic just listening to Cassandra!  She’d never heard her so distraught; in the fifteen years she’d known her, Cassandra had only lost it a couple of times and to hear her outright begging for help made her crazy!  Racing to her car, she put the pedal to the metal and sped to Cassandra’s.

Maggy entered the driveway, slammed her Taurus into park alongside Cassandra’s jeep and without turning the engine off, charged up the front steps, through the front door into the house.  “I’m here, Cassandra, where are you?” she called loudly.

“I’m up here … “

It took a moment before Maggy realised she meant the bathroom.  Rushing up a short flight of stairs, Maggy reached the door just as Cassandra downed some pills.

“Must be bad for you to take drugs!  Oh my god, Cassy what happened?”

“I don’t know…but I know I can’t handle it anymore.”

“Your eyes look like, like… well, I don’t know what they look like…can you see?”

“Yeah,” she paused, “some, not really, but it’s the pain!”

“Come on, we’re gone!” Maggy said nearly dragging her best friend back down the stairs she’d just climbed.  Grabbing her own set of house keys, she locked the door and led Cassandra to her Taurus.  Barely resisting the urge to tuck her in, she hopped around the car and jumped into the driver seat.

“How long has this been going on? And why didn’t you call me earlier?  No wait, I know the answer you stoic bitch,” she drawled.

Cassandra laughed for the first time that day. “Takes one to know one,” Came a somewhat amused rejoinder.

“I know!  It’s why we get along so well.” They laughed in unison at an old standing joke.

Maggy buzzed them in through the double doors at Emerge where a nurse met them and hustled Cassandra into a one-bed room in the left wing.

Heading to the phone she promised, “I’ll be right back”. They heard her calling Dr. Freeman. “You’re needed in emerge.”

Within moments, she arrived.  “Cassandra, what’s going on?”

“To tell the truth, I don’t know, Dr. Freeman.  I am beyond uncomfortable – my eyes are burning and I can’t stand the pain.”


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