Episode 26: Flattened like a Pancake

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Raymond was in my room when I woke up this morning

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Raymond was in my room when I woke up this morning. He was sitting by the desk.

I was sweaty. Did I have a nightmare and forget it? I groaned. Somebody had the air conditioning on too high. My hand hurt. I expected that. What I didn't expect was that the rest of me ached. I didn't know why.

I burrowed down, deep into my blankets.

I felt Raymond standing over me. "Something wrong?"

"Why?"

He pulled the blankets back slowly. "It's 9:30. It'd probably be a good idea if you ate breakfast."

"9:30?"

Arthur opened the door and said, "Morning." He furrowed his brows. "Am I interrupting something?"

"No!" Raymond's cheeks were beet red. "I was telling Collin he should eat breakfast."

He eyed me sideways. "You don't want to?"

"It's cold." I turned away from them. "I wanna go back to sleep..."

"Hey, son, I'm all for more sleep, but you need to eat if you wanna keep your strength up." He stood by my head. "It'll help your hand heal faster, too."

I didn't care.

"To tell the truth, son, you don't look good. They haven't touched the air conditioner. If you're cold, then it's probably chills."

Raymond raised an eyebrow.

He put the back of his hand to my forehead. "I don't know if you know what this feels like, but you're running a fever."

"Really?" Raymond asked.

"Go get the box in the bathroom for me? Please?"

Raymond did as Arthur asked and set the box on my nightstand.

He pulled out this thing I wasn't sure if I'd ever seen before. He ran the round part across my forehead.

Beep! Beep!

"Do you know how warm a person is supposed to be?" Arthur asked.

I wanted to nod but couldn't move. "About ninety-eight degrees."

Arthur held the screen where I could see it. It said 102.3. "So, you know that's too hot."

"Should we—?"

"I'd rather not do that at this point. Hopefully, we can get it under control on our own." He turned toward the door. "I'm gonna get an ice pack and some toast or something." He glanced back at Raymond. "Keep an eye on him."

Raymond was probably confused by the last bit since that was his job anyway.

Arthur came back five to ten minutes later. He had toast and orange juice on a tray. "I don't blame you for not wanting to but it's even more important to eat something right now."

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