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A few quakes, they said. They lie. Bella was picking up some broken glasses from the latest rumble that had shaken the apartment. You could barely feel them. Another lie. The ground was fucking shaking. That shit scared Bella to pieces. So much so that she had an earthquake kit in the back of her car, along with a smaller one in her office and locker at work. Alice teased her about her terminable preparedness, but Bella thought it was necessary.
After cleaning up the glasses, Bella went back to making dinner. She was making salmon with veggies and a salad. Alice breezed in as Bella was taking the food out of the oven. “Smells good, Bells,” Alice chirped. “You busy tonight?”
“I have to get some dictation done,” Bella replied. She had been off today, running errands and finally seeing the gynecologist to get her Depo shot. “I was too busy during the day and cleaning up from the quakes we had today.” Bella gave her friend a scowl.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Alice said, waving her hand.
“Your blue wine glasses fell and shattered.”
“Crap!” Alice spat. “I found those a flea market. I loved those glasses.” Bella shrugged. “Anyway, do you play softball?”
“No,” Bella sang. “Besides, I’m still on injured reserve. My arm really hurts. I pushed it too far yesterday with that code I ran. Dr. Asshole reamed me out …”
“Why would Dr. Masen ream you out?” Alice asked.
“He helped me with my wrist/arm thing and told me that I couldn’t perform chest compressions or CPR. And yet, I did just that,” Bella explained. “Anyway, my arm hurts, my ass is sore and I just want to curl up on the couch, catching up with the Real Housewives and completing my dictation.”
“Okay, okay. But, if you want to come, we’re at the park around the corner. Jasper, Emmett and occasionally Dr. Masen play,” Alice said. “I tried it for a game, but I was more of a hindrance than help, though I keep track of the score. Rose refuses to play because, heaven forbid, something happens to her hands.”
“Well, you have fun. I’ve got a date with the television,” Bella said, placing Alice’s dinner in front of her at the breakfast bar. They enjoyed their meal, sharing a beer before Alice changed into a pair of shorts and tiny baseball jersey. With a wave, she left and Bella did the dishes. She settled on the couch, another beer on the table and her DVR’ed marathon of Real Housewives.
Alice didn’t come home that night. Bella was still up, trying to fall asleep but couldn’t because of her irrational fear of earthquakes. She managed to fall asleep, but all too soon, her alarm went off and she dragged her weary body out of the bed. She took a quick shower, stumbling through her morning routine. With a sigh, she grabbed her keys, the large tumbler of coffee and slid her bag over her shoulders. Bella went down the stairs, wanting to avoid the elevator.
She’d read an article on her phone about earthquakes and elevators. No. Thank. You.
Driving to the hospital, she parked in her usual spot. Dropping off her stuff at her locker, she turned in her dictation to medical records and pulled on her white coat, stethoscope and ID. She ran into a wall of muscle. “Shit,” she barked. She blinked up, seeing Dr. Asshole. Wearing his cup of coffee. “I’m sorry. So sorry.”
His jaw ticked, looking down at the light brown stain that was covering his white dress shirt and his favorite tie. “Are you normally this clumsy?”
“Yes, but even more so since I got no sleep. The quake yesterday freaked me out,” she said, picking up some napkins and pressing them to his chest. Edward stopped her dabbing, throwing away the napkins and putting his empty cup down. “I’ll pay for the dry cleaning. I am sorry.”