Chapter Four

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Day 10

In blackjack, the Ten, Jack, Queen and King are all worth 10 points. (I'm not a betting person. I've never put a coin into a slot machine, why would I. That dollar could buy me chocolate.)

There are ten official inkblots in the Rorschach inkblot test. (butterfly – butterfly – butterfly – frog – butterfly)

We have 10 fingers (all the better to massage you with)

Sometimes you look like you need a massage.

Chris decided to be a little daring with his notes. The evening prior, he realised Dr Marshall would be gone by the end of the following week and not sure if he would ever see him again Chris decided to go for it.

Also, with much of the conversation about the bowling planned for the staff that Friday night Chris could not help in some way to let Dr Marshall understand it was not Cindy leaving the notes. It bothered him to think that someone else would get the credit for making Dr Marshall's last days that little more enjoyable.

Wednesday was as hectic as the previous two days and halfway through Chris experienced the early signs of a migraine. He didn't normally suffer from them but when the ache in his head wasn't getting better Chris wondered if he was getting ill. He told Martha this, and she patted his shoulder and told him they all had a headache. It was clear the closer it came to the interns leaving before the next round started, the more frantic the staff became. The month before the next lot were due to start always put added pressure on the existing staff.

When he finally got home, he headed straight to bed and as he tried to summon sleep to relieve the pain in his head; he realised he had not once seen Dr Marshall all day.

Day 9

I'm on Cloud 9 every time you walk into the room, every time I smell your lingering scent, every time you smile at me, every time I hear your voice.

Every time I close my eyes and...

That was all Chris managed to write. He had woken that morning with his head still aching. He took another couple of painkillers and arrived at work not much better. In so much discomfort on his arrival, Chris almost put the note in the wrong locker. With his head pressed against the cold steel, momentary relief from the pain past through Chris.

Unsure how long he stood like this, at the mention of his name, Chris opened his eyes. At a glance to his right, he barely focused on the person beside him.

"You all right sweetheart." Martha asked him. Her perfume in the confines of the lunchroom seemed overpowering and Chris wrinkled his nose trying to dislodge the odour without success.

"My head is still sore," he moaned weakly.

"I'll speak with one of the doctors and see if they have something stronger to give you. Can't have you suffering today now can we."

Chris gave her a half smile before following her out to the reception area.

Not until after eleven that morning did Martha say to Chris, "Come on babe, I'll take you to room two, one of the doctors will take a look at you and make sure you're fine."

Chris looked up from his computer and found he didn't have the strength to answer or smile. He let Martha guide him to the empty examination room. She helped him up onto the examining table and giving him a pat on the leg told him to close his eyes and rest until the doctor came.

When the door opened Dr Marshal came in. Any other time Chris would have be thrilled to be examined by Dr Marshall but the pain in his head had taken over. Even when Dr Marshal came to stand in front of Chris his thighs brushing against Chris' knees, Chris focused only on his pain.

"Martha says you've had a headache since yesterday," he enquired.

Chris let out a sigh and nodded. Dr Marshall took Chris's wrist and checked his heart rate. At any other time Chris would have relished his touch, there were thoughts that told Chris to remember the sensations but no amount of effort could get Chris to enjoy the encounter. Dr Marshall's hand pressed against Chris's temple.

"I think you're coming down with something. I'll prescribe you a stronger medication to help but I think you need to go home and rest. You should probably take the rest of the week off too."

Chris opened his eyes he couldn't remember closing. "I can't," he whispered.

"Yes you can, we'll manage here without you. You need to get better."

"But..." before Chris finished speaking Dr Marshal placed his hand over Chris's mouth and said, "Home to bed, doctors orders."

Chris's gaze fell onto Dr Marshall's concerned expression.

"You're no good to us ill. Please go home and take care."

Chris's eyes remained glued to Dr Marshall's and not until he removed his hand from over Chris's lips did Chris nod.

"I'll get you something to take now and then will see about getting you home."

Chris had little strength to respond as he lowered himself onto the examining table as Dr Marshall left the room. One of the nurses returned not long after giving Chris his medication and after three hours sleeping in the examination room Chris assured everyone he was fine to drive home. With his prescribed medication he crawled into bed after safely arriving home.

Chris rose some time during the evening to take more medication before going back to bed. Whatever it was Dr Marshall prescribed Chris had allowed him to sleep through the rest of the night and he didn't wake until ten the next morning. His head was still feeling sore, and he called work and spoke to Martha.

"Knew you wouldn't be in today love, you go back to bed and take care of yourself."

"But what about bowling tonight?"

"Don't fret Dr Marshal cancelled it until you're better."

"He did."

"Sure, said something about not being able to beat you if you weren't there."

This put a smile on Chris's face and he heard Martha laugh, "Don't you worry love, you get better. We're all missing you."

"Thank you, Martha."

Chris hung up and went to the kitchen to get food. Scattered over the kitchen table were his notes for his twenty day stalking. Well, Dr Marshal was bound to know it was him now because he would not have received a note that morning in his locker. Chris wondered if he should abandon the whole idea. What did it really matter? One more week and Dr Marshal would be gone and Chris would go back to being reminded he was single and very much alone.

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