For the second time in less than two weeks, there were police in Julie’s living room. She was sitting on the edge of her bed and listening to the voices. Jake was talking in hushed tones to one of the officers.
He came to the bedroom door and his heart wrenched when he saw her still looking so dazed. Jake walked over to her and knelt down. “Sweetheart, I want you to go away for a few days.”
She looked at him suddenly. “Why?”
“I have to get to the bottom of everything that’s been happening. I need to find out why you got this package… and why someone made videotapes of you… and even why your car was vandalized the other day.” Julie hadn’t made a big deal of the damage to her car but had mentioned it briefly to him during a conversation. She hadn’t told him what had been scratched into the hood of her car and until his comment she hadn’t even thought of it in connection with the other incidents.
Julie shrugged. “Is someone really looking to scare me or something?” It seemed ludicrous and yet there was no other explanation for the strange and vindictive things that had been happening lately.
“I don’t know. But I don’t want to take any chances. I can’t take any chances, not when it comes to you.” He wanted so desperately to protect her and he didn’t know who or what to protect her from. He was glad that he had at least been there when she got that frightening special delivery that morning, but then he wanted to kick himself that she had gotten it at all.
“I can’t… I can’t leave. I have work. I’ve got responsibilities.”
“Just a few days, Julie. I want you out of here for just a few days.” I want you out of harm’s way, he thought. I want to make it safe for you.
She looked at him defiantly and shook her head. Then suddenly she felt like she was ready to crumble. “Where? Where should I go?”
He thought for a moment. Jake tried to smile. “When is the last time you visited your parents? Let them take you to Disney or Sea World or something.”
“They’ll worry. It’s too sudden. They’ll think something is wrong.” Her protests were weak. “I don’t want to worry them.”
Jake wanted to shout at her that there was something wrong, but he didn’t want to scare her any more than she was. He didn’t want to scare himself any more than he already was either. He forced a laugh. “Tell them you just got proposed to and he’s old and he’s got a kid. Tell them you need a few days to sort out your feelings before you tell him yes.”
Julie laughed, but she sounded like she was ready to cry. “I thought you were trying to remove the stress.”
Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.