Michael, who had been raised in a middle class home, taught conventional values, earned an honest living, and had had virtually nothing out of the
ordinary ever happen to him before in his life, was now about the most confused soul in the world. Or so it seemed to him.
For one thing, how had he gone to sleep (although he didn't exactly remember falling into slumber, as Rob had finally given him a couple of pain
pills for his ankle) in his own home, and now awakened in his mother-in-law's home? That was for starters. Things like that didn't happen to a man
like Michael. But, O.K. a simple enough explaination could be that while he was resting, they had decided that "Mother" would really be better off
at her own home, closer to her other daughters, and where the terrain was more familiar to her, etc... after all, rather than at his home in the
woods. So, since Michael was injured and knocked out by the pain medicine, they had simply brought him along when they went back. O.K. good enough
of an explaination for him on that one.
But, now, as all the memories from the day before started to rush back into his mind he felt a horrible stab of pain in his stomach, and suddenly felt
the need to vomit. He tried to make it to the kitchen sink, but instead, fell to the floor and couldn't hold it anymore. He had no choice but to
vomit right there on the carpet at the edge of the living room. When the heaving subsided, he simply started to cry. And to cry, until he became
hysterical. He knew what a fool he looked and sounded, and that he needed to somehow get the mess that he had made cleaned up before someone saw, but
he had become so hysterical that he just sat there and continued to sob. What an ugly mess his life had turned into. And why? What had he ever done
to deserve this!
Just then, the door that a few minutes ago he had heard strange sounds coming from opened, and a bright and alert Rob, dressed in spandex came
bounding out, looking concerned and a second later was right at Michael's side. "Oh, no!", he exclaimed, not even seeming to notice the mess all
around Michael, I left you a pair of crutches leaning against the foot of the couch you were sleeping on....well, look there they still are! I guess
you must have woken up, feeling understandibly disoriented, and not seen them. I am so sorry! How unthinking of me. I should have placed them in a
better spot, so as to be sure that you would see them." Rob then went on to confirm what Michael had suspected about why he was no longer at his own
home, and had awakened at his mother-in-law's. He also told him, this, which Michael had no memory of, that he had given him a pain pill, as after
he had set the ankle, Michael was still very much in pain, and begging for something for it. But after the pill had started to take effect, Michael
apparently didn't agree. He insisted upon another pill to take him away from the pain that had really been incredible, at least for a while. Rob
said that he was very cautious about the doseage of any medication he gave, especially since he was only a nurse, not a Doctor. However, the doctor
he worked under, did give him some leway to make his own decisions when it came to each individual he happened to treat. Still, it was a fairly
strong pill he had already given Michael, and was still reluctant to give him any more. But, Gretchen had looked so concerned, and her knowing him
much better than Rob did, insisted that Michael please be given just one more, as he really did appear to be in pain, and that Michael was never one
to abuse drugs of any kind, not even prescription.
So, Rob obliged, and soon, Michael was deep in sleep. His pulse was fine, so he hadn't overdosed, he was just getting apparently some much needed
rest and relief from the pain he had suffered for hours. However, as Rob told him, there is a common side effect to pain medication given to one who
is not used to it, and that is that it can cause nausea.
"Here", said Rob, "Let me grab your crutches and help you up. You just sit back down and I will take care of the carpet. I feel completely
responsible, as it was most likely a reaction from the medication I gave you. No need for such embarassement, it would have happened to anyone. Not
your fault in the least. I'll have the carpet looking back to normal in just a flash, and no one will be the wiser. I'm terribly sorry,
Si......uh, Michael". "Oh, and once again I must owe you another appology. I probably awakened you with that noisy exercise equipment I was using.
I really must get that oiled, or something." "Oh, not at all", Michael stammered. "I did hear something, but not until after I was already
up." "Well, in any case", said Rob, "You just relax, and let me take care of this and it will just stay between us, if that is alright with
Michael was somewhat stunned. Either Rob was an extrordinary actor, or he was once again unsure of what was or was not really going on. Rob seemed
so genuine, even with that wierd lispy but strong voice. He had given him perfectly logical reasons for just about eveything that he had experienced
in the short time he had been awake, from the reason he had awakened at his mother-in-laws, to why he had so suddenly vomited, something he rarely
did, no matter what, to the fact that he had indeed been thoughtful enough to have left him a pair of crutches, which had obviously been there the
whole time and he had simply overlooked them, and even had offered an explaination for the sounds he had heard coming from that room. And, was now
even putting his embarassment as ease, as he was quickly and efficiently cleaning up the carpet.
Sleepy again, he started to close his eyes. He mumbled, "Thanks, Rob you have really been a help." "Not a problem", said Rob. "Would you care
for some toast or anything before I finish my morning workout?" "No thanks", said Michael, as he was about to drift off back into sleep. He was
thirsty, though, he just noticed, and was about to ask Rob for perhaps a glass of water. When he sat back up to do so, as Rob was just finishing up
the carpet, he saw out of the corner of his eye, the door that Rob had emerged from opening slowly, then Gretchen sort of scooted on out, and around
the corner. He noticed that she was wearing a robe, and was still in the process of tying the belt around it.............What was it that Rob had
said about finishing his 'morning workout'? Michael's half asleep mind was thinking, thirst forgotten for the time being, as he slipped back into
a somewhat disturbed sleep.