Jason opened his eyes against the bright lights. An antiseptic smell filled his nostrils as he tried to focus his sight on the moving blurs he figured must be people.
A disembodied female voice asked, “Mr. Jameson?”
Jason tried to answer but was only able to cough. His vision was beginning to clear. The face of a woman was beginning to take shape before him. She wore little makeup and appeared to be middle aged. Her blonde hair was cut short. She was wearing a long white jacket, the unmistakable uniform of a medical professional. Her nametag was still too blurry to read.
“Mr. Jameson, you have tubes in your throat, but you’re breathing on your own so I’m going to take them out. On the count of three I want you to exhale hard. Ready? One…Two…Three!”
Jason coughed hard for a few seconds. His throat was on fire.
“Mr. Jameson you’re at St. Joseph’s Hospital. You passed out and your wife called 911. You stopped breathing.”
Jason started to respond to the news that he almost died but only managed a few guttural noises. His facial expression asked the question for him.
“We don’t know why you stopped breathing Mr. Jameson. Preliminary tests show some sort of upper respiratory infection. Have you been anywhere where you may have become exposed to mold?”
Jason shook his head “no” but something in his eyes made the doctor question his answer.
“Mr. Jameson, if we don’t know what caused you to stop breathing we can’t guarantee that this won’t happen again.”
Jason shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, if you think of anything, let us know. And I suggest you think hard. You may not survive another episode like that one.”
Jason let his head sink into the pillow as he closed his eyes. He wasn’t talking for now. Keeping his mouth shut was his only shot of getting home. He thought it was funny that they thought Carol was his wife. That’s OK it suited his purposes for now. She had been hinting on getting married for about a year now. Jason kept telling her that their lifestyle would make it hard.
Jason was beginning to think he was in the clear until he suddenly stopped breathing again. He franticly pressed the nurse call button before passing out.
Once again Jason opened his eyes against the bright lights as the now familiar hospital smell hit him. His doctor was there again as he blinked his blurry eyes back into focus. Only this time there was a man dressed in a suit standing next to her. And next to this strange man was Carol. He flashed her a smile then noticed her face was tear streaked and her arms were behind her back. There was a uniformed officer behind her.
The doctor stepped forward. Her pleasant smile was gone and her tone was too professional, which meant nothing good.
“It seems you did indeed come in contact with something.” She said. “It seems your extra curricular activities have exposed you to a toxic nerve agent. You should be fine now that we know exactly what we are dealing with.”
Jason whipped his head around to glare at Carol.
“Jason, I’m sorry.” Said Carol. “I had to tell them. They said you were dying.” Carol wept openly and struggled against the uniformed officer as he coaxed her from the room.
Jason was grateful that they didn’t have to tube him this time. His throat was still killing him. He sent Carol a smile to comfort her. Talking was still not a good idea.
The man in the suit introduced himself.
“Mr. Jameson, I’m detective Roberts. I’d like to ask you some questions about a break in at the Holbert Research Facility yesterday. It seems someone broke into the facility and set about 100 animals free. Unfortunately they also released some toxic gas that was being tested on the animals. Under today’s patriot act I’m entitled to take you into custody as a suspected terrorist, unless of course you start talking.”
Author’s Note:This story was composed for Write Anything’s Fiction Friday challenge. This is my first time participating in this meme. The prompt for this week was “Your story involves an invasion of privacy” .
Thank you for reading and commenting.