The Weak Link

The three days after Dave was released were busy days for Mark and Elizabeth. They both had several shifts and Elizabeth had been involved in a couple of extra long surgeries. They had planned to both go check up on Dave together, so it wasn’t until the forth day that they saw him.


Mark and Elizabeth walked up to Dave’s apartment door. “Dave? Are you in?” Elizabeth called out as she knocked. They waited a moment, then Elizabeth turned to Mark. “He better not be out exhausting himself.” Mark just gave her a smile and knocked on the door himself. When there was still no answer Mark turned the handle. It turned easily and the door swung open.

The apartment was messy and Dave was no where in sight. “Dave are you in here?” Elizabeth called after they took a couple of steps in. She looked around and saw Dave’s rented wheelchair in the Corner. As they walked further in the kitchen came into view. A figure sat hunched in a chair with his back to them. “Dave?” Elizabeth asked, her voice audibly shaken. They walked over quickly and Elizabeth shook Dave’s shoulders. He turned, suddenly, to face them. He was a mess. His face was slightly dirty and his hair unkempt. He had bags under his eyes and his eye’s were glazed and open wildly.

“Elizabeth.” He said softly.
“Yes Dave, I’m here.” She said shivering. She now clutching Mark’s arm tightly.
“Why did you push me off the cliff Elizabeth?” Dave asked, his eye’s piercing into her.
“Dave, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“You pushed me off Elizabeth. But you caught me, so it’s OK.” Elizabeth and Mark stared at him. They looked at each other and agreed, he was clearly delusional.
“I couldn’t save her.” He whispered softly.
“Couldn’t save who Dave?” Mark asked.
“The little girl, she was drowning. I tried to get to her, but it got her. It got everyone. It got me.” He said, looking up at them with a terrified expression in his eyes.

Mark’s eyes wandered around the table and he spotted the box of pills. He walked around the table, carefully keeping clear of Dave, and grabbed it.
“Caffeine pills.” He told Elizabeth. It was not quite what they were expecting.
“Mark, we need to get him to the hospital.” Elizabeth said softly, avoiding Dave’s eyes, which were looking straight up at her. Mark nodded.
“But something tells me he’s not going to go willingly.” Mark answered. “We better call an ambulance.”


Dave was rolled into the ER on a gurney with soft restraints. Kerry immediately limped over to them. “Again? Mark! Elizabeth! What happened?” Kerry asked as she followed them to a room. Mark handed her the bottle of pills. “What’s this?” she asked, not understanding.
“Something tells me he hasn’t slept in a long time.” Mark said, already starting to exam him.
“His heart sounds OK.” Elizabeth said, “But we should keep the monitors on for a while.”
“Why wouldn’t he want to sleep?” Kerry interrupted.
“I think he’s been having nightmares.” Elizabeth answered.

Dave was still awake and his eyes darted around the room. They rested on the closest person to him. “Elizabeth, please. Please Elizabeth don’t make me sleep.” He said, sounding more reasonable but his voice was trembling. Elizabeth didn’t answer, but completely ignored him. Dave turned to Mark.
“Mark?” He asked. Mark didn’t look at him either. Then Dave’s pleading eyes fell on Kerry, and they made contact.
“Chief. Chief, please don’t let them put me to sleep.” Kerry looked him straight in the eyes.
“Dave,” She said calmly, “We’re going to do everything we can to help you get better.”
“No, Chief! No, Please!” Dave cried, but Kerry just turned away. She took a deep breath, then walked out the door, a tear streaming down her face.


Kerry haltingly made her way to the lounge. She pushed the door open and fell onto the couch, throwing her crutch aside. She ran her hands through her hair and laid back. She stared at the ceiling. Notices spots and stains she had never seen before. Mark walked in, and she realized se didn’t know how long she had been in there. “How is he?” She asked.
“Oh, he’ll be fine.” Mark answered encouragingly. “But I do think we’ll have to admit him into pysch.” He continued more gravely. Kerry nodded, closing her eyes and sighing. ‘Yes, we will.’ she thought to herself.


“He’s still asleep?” Kerry asked as she stepped into the room. Haleh finished hooking up a new bag of saline and turned to her.
“I think all that caffeine is finally catching up to him.” She answered. Kerry nodded. “Monitor him closely.” Haleh nodded and turned to check the machines once again.


Mr Mason’s face was hovering over him. It was just his face, somehow disconnected from his body. It was looking at him, grinning the evil grin of a circus clown. He tried to swing at him. He really wanted to punch him, but every time he tried Mr. Mason just laughed and his head levitated just out of reach. Dave began to curse at him, swinging more wildly now, swearing that he’d get him. Then he felt something shaking him. He opened his eyes and....

It was a worried Haleh looking down at him. “Dave?” She asked plainly.
“Haleh?” he had to admit, he was more then a little confused.
“Yes, Dave. It’s me. If you calm down I’ll go get Kerry.” Dave nodded and tried to wave her off, but he found his hands in soft restraints. Haleh looked at him sympathetically.
“Sorry Dave, it was necessary.” With that Haleh walked out of the room. Dave knew where he was now, but he didn’t know why. He didn’t seem hurt, and he definitely didn’t feel more then his normal pain. Why had he been brought to the ER?

Kerry entered only a moment after Haleh exited. “Dave, you find yourself here again.” she said as she walked up to him.
“Yeah, sure Chief. To tell you the truth, I really don’t understand why.” He felt stupid having to ask Kerry what had happened, but he wanted to know.
“Mark and Elizabeth found you in your apartment. You were delusional, and they found caffeine pills on your table. Have you been getting much sleep Dave?” She asked, her face creased with worry.
“No, not really.” He answered. “So I didn’t sleep and became delusional?” Dave asked, still confused. Kerry nodded.
“We concluded that you had taken the caffeine pills to stay awake. That was very dangerous and stupid of you Dave.” Kerry’s tone was soft but reprimanding.
“I just didn’t want to sleep.” He answered , knowing very well it was a weak answer.
“Would you like to tell me why?” Kerry asked. She waited a moment then added, “You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.”
“I just have nightmares.” Dave answered quickly, looking down at his hands.

Kerry was silent, thinking of what to say. Well after the silence had become awkward she spoke again. “Dave, we have called pysch to come down and asses you.” She wasn’t looking directly at him. Dave nodded, he would have done the same. “They should be here anytime,” She continued, “I think Bill is coming down personally.” Dave nodded again. In the case of a doctor patient they always brought down the best. The awkward silence started up again, but it wasn’t as long this time. “Do you need anything?” Kerry asked.
“Because I really should be getting back.” Dave shook his head and watched Kerry leave.


Carter saw someone walk past the admit desk. He recognized him as someone from pysch and wondered what patient he had seen (thinking involuntarily of Paul Sobriki).
“It’s sad isn’t?” Randi said suddenly.
“What?” Carter asking, snapping back to reality.
“Dave.” she answered indirectly.
“What about Dave?” He asked, to be totally honest he was getting annoyed of all the ‘Dave this’ and ‘Dave that’s.
“You didn’t hear?” Randi asked incredulously. Carter just shook his head.
“Well, Haleh said Mark and Elizabeth found him in his apartment, very delusional. He had taken a whole bunch of caffeine pills to stay awake. He was having nightmares. Haleh said they must be bad, she had to wake him up from one.”

Carter sat and thought a while. After he and Lucy were attacked, and Lucy died, he had nightmares too. He, however, was always trying to go to sleep.
“Do you think I should go see him?” He asked Randi. Randi just shrugged, how did she know?

Carter walked up to the room and stepped in before he had a chance to stop himself. Dave was lying on the bed, not sleeping, but he looked really exhausted. Dave’s eyes moved slightly in Carter’s direction, the only sign of acknowledgment that Carter got.
“Hey, Dave.” Carter said softly.
“Hey.” Dave answered back.
“Listen Dave, I’m sorry about what I said before.”
“Hey, no. Its OK man. You were right.” Dave answered compliantly.

“So, uh...” Carter started awkwardly, “Are you seeing anyone about it?”
“Yeah. Kerry called pysch for me.” Dave paused then to take a deep breath.
“It’s weird because I don’t remember any of it.” Then he smiled, “I sure gave Elizabeth and Mark a scare though.”
“Yeah, I heard about that.” Carter said, smiling more easily now.


After hours in the hospital and hours with Bill, Dave went back home. He climbed up the stairs to his apartment to find something taped to his door. He sighed and headed to the landlord’s apartment.

To be continued in my next series....

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