Chapter 18

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Emily wished she could hide her face under a paper bag as Angela wheeled her from the emergency room to the car in a wheelchair. How embarrassing she thought, cringing at how stupid she must seem. Angela had raced to the ER as quickly as she could, both women terrified that Emily must have something very wrong with her. When they'd gotten into the ER and found out the wait time, Angela had caused a scene, screeching about the severity of head injuries and how she would sue the pants off of everyone in the hospital if Emily wasn't seen immediately. Even then, Emily wished she could disappear from sheer embarrassment, but she was grateful that there was someone that worried for her wellbeing. She'd eventually calmed Angela and apologized to the hospital staff for the hullabaloo, before sitting in a corner, far away from everyone else where she could die in shame.

Eventually, they had called her back and she had explained what had happened to her up to this point. The doctor decided they should take a scan of her head, just to be safe. After the anxiety of waiting through the scan and then waiting for the results, Emily had been about to lose her mind when her ER doctor walked back in and informed her that other than slight swelling to the back of her head, and probably bruising there was nothing wrong with her. There was no reason for the sudden, severe pain that had ripped through her head earlier that day. Horrified that she had apparently made a mountain out of a molehill, Emily tried hard not to cry. Angela could see that her friend was losing it and had started rubbing comforting circles on her back and murmuring reassurances. I've wasted everyone's time. I'm going to owe so much money for nothing. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. Embarrassed and condemning thoughts plagued her mind all the way to the car.

Emily was shaken out of her self-deprecating inner monologue when she felt Angela patting her shoulder. She blinked her eyes rapidly and looked up at her friend, biting the inside of her bottom lip as her face began to crumple.

"Oh, Emily," Angela said, kneeling down to wrap her arms around her friend. She patted her back as Emily's shoulders shook with silent sobs. "Emily, it is okay."

"I f-feel so stu-stupid," she choked out, as she tried to stop her tears. Angela continued patting her back and tried to gently calm her friend. Emily shook her head back and forth, pulling out of Angela's hug, gasping for air. "I-I w-wasted everyone's t-time! And-and now I am going to o-owe so m-much money and th-there isn't even anything wro-wrong with m-me!!" Emily's voice sounded ragged by the end of her outburst and Angela's heart broke just a little bit to see her friend so embarrassed and worked up. She released Emily and made her way to the passenger side door of the car, opening it so Emily could get in. Once Emily had dragged herself into the car and buckled up, Angela re-locked the doors and ran the wheelchair back into the ER.

As she hurried to the car she thought about how to help Emily feel better. Emily had always been more sensitive than most; it was one of the things that made her such a sweet person and friend, but it was also something that hindered her and at times would drag her under if she didn't use logic to think things through. Emily was very capable of using logic, but she was more of a feelings person if Angela had ever met one. As she rounded the car, she knew what she was going to do.

"Emily," Angela began as she opened the door and slid into the driver's seat. "You don't need to be embarrassed." She glanced at Emily and fixed her with a look when Emily opened her mouth to protest. "No. You do not need to feel embarrassed. Something scary happened to you and you wanted to be sure that there was nothing wrong with you." Emily started shaking her head in disagreement. "I'm serious, Emily," Angela continued. "It is always better to be safe than sorry. What if you had brushed it off and it had been something serious?? You'd have felt even worse then and would owe way more money than you do now. You know Ralph and I would be happy to help you with the cost if you need it."

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