Cough, hack, cough.
"It's no good, Jim, I don't know what you want me to do-"
Weeze, choke, cough.
"Goddamnit, don't give me that crap! You have to do something! What the hell were they paying you to do in that backwater hospital?!"
Sniff, cough, hack.
It was a paticularly depressing scene to of come home for, in retrospect. I had come away from the 'backwater' hospital to get away from my job, to relax, to have some solace-and the disease had followed me, like some sort of shadow. If only...
It was the third day, Jim had told me. Three, long days...after so many patients, I knew how long those three days were. Liz did have asthma, too; I can't forget how weak my brother's wife is. It was suprising to me that she had survived this long...but that wasn't my biggest concern. I had done what I could...kept her fed and full of liquid, and kept my father's emergency oxygen tank close by. It was the least I could do at this point...it was in whatever diety's hands, now. If she lapsed to stage four, there would be no hope...not that there was much, in Liz's condition. Then again, you try telling your brother that.
Aside from tending to Liz, I had my driven Jim's kids to the hospital, ASAP-I wasn't taking any chances with my nieces, but no matter what I said, Jim would not leave Liz's side. Not that I was much suprised...the two were pratically joined at the hip since we were all nine. I knew it was highly dangerous to even let him stay in the house (Liz was contagious enough) but I had been keeping it pretty contained...my parents had left the house, to go stay in a hotel with my sister and her family. I had sent them off with a very stern warning to -immediately- seek medical help if they so much as sneezed once. And, with them gone, it was just Jim, Liz and I.
Finally comming back to my brother's angry statement, I turned away from watching the sleping woman and sighed. "Jim, listen to me. This is a very volatile disease, I've seen what it can do. To have risked your kids for so long...I can't believe you would. I can't believe you would risk your own health. Why didn't you go to a doctor or something?" "We -did-. We saw a cracpot of a guy, too, gave us some...tonic, told her to drink it all. Didn't do a damn thing!" My brother angrily growled a bit, gripping his wife's hand tightly, and I nodded a bit lethargically. Fake doctors with miracle cures had been croppig up as of late, and it wasn't suprising that Jim would fall for one. "Listen to me, ok? You need to understand this. If shes not better by tomorrow..." "I'm not gonna abandon her! Goddamnit, shes my wife-" "I didn't say abandon, Jim. You just have to...prepare for the worst. And tomorrow, wether shes better or not, you are going to the hospital. I'll stay and take care of Liz best I can, and then...after...this is all said and done, I'll have a crew come to detox the house." I didn't expect my brother to be very...understanding of the fragility of the situation, but his leaping out of his chair startled me nearly out of my own. He glanded frantically at Liz for a moment, then at me, and with a deep, shaky breath, her weezed out...
"Shes -pregnant-, Nick...!"