Fibromyalgia is not a death sentence but because of the lack of information supplied, Addison believes she’s dying. To read more of Addison’s story, go to www.passioninprint.com or pick up Waking up the Arguably Dead at All Romance Ebooks or Amazon: Prologue:
Addison Deveraux stared at her family physician for several minutes, unable to speak and incapable of processing the information he relayed. She focused on the white walls around her. She skimmed over the medical licenses and board certifications, eventually narrowing her gaze on the overstuffed plastic brochure rack housing material about common medical problems. The entire time, she remained faintly aware of her doctor’s monotone voice. An avid movie enthusiast, Addison disconnected from the moment and recalled a recent flick she’d watched.
She remembered one scene in particular where a woman learned of her life-destroying health circumstance. Thanks to modern day technology, the character slipped into a mind-boggling funnel surrounded by noise typically found in a seashell. The echo intensified and the room scrambled into spinning pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
On the big screen, the actress sobbed. The doctor calmly provided information about the disease for which she’d been diagnosed and the woman finally zoomed in on those fated words: “You’re dying.”
Addison blinked. “I am?”
“Addison,” Dr. Michaels began gently, “Haven’t you heard a word I just said?”
She swallowed. “No, I was…” Thinking about dying.
“Addison, this isn’t something you should take lightly,” Dr. Michaels stressed, leaning over his desk. An older man with salt and pepper hair, Dr. Michaels wore tinted large-rimmed glasses and resembled someone who might have been chosen to portray a physician delivering detrimental news. If only he were an actor.
Addison watched his mouth move. His words hummed all around her, beating into her ears like a hollow drum. “Treatment is something we should discuss together. This isn’t the end and that’s it.”
Boom. Boom. Boom. The maddening tempo gained momentum.
Advice slipped from his lips but the words ran together in a never-ending slur. “Think of diagnosis as a transition. By the time you’ve processed the information I’ve given you, you’ll be ready to face the days ahead. In the end, you’ll be much better off.”
She gulped. There it was. The dreaded statement: You’ll be much better off.
How many times had she attended a funeral for one of her grandmother’s friends and heard the same thing? Mary Lou Cornell went to a better place. Dan Bradley was much better off after both arms and one leg were amputated.
Carla Sue Davis found Jesus after living on the streets and working for some pimp who decided to repay her years of servitude with continual beatings. And Barbara Jo Jones faced death the same way she’d faced living; always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
No indeed, Addison refused to walk down the same road chosen by Granny Myrtle’s best friends, or her cousin Gertrude, who for some reason received her bad news and decided to kick the bucket, before the bucket smacked her upside her head. No way. Addison planned to do a little better for herself. She’d die on her own terms.
The way Addison met death was her decision. Since she had a choice in the matter, she planned to go on out there and greet death—take her fate by the horns and ride the daylights out of it. Yep, it was time to get on with dying.
Funny how quickly life changed. Addison had gone from being a virgin to watching an erotic video and acting out what she learned.
She thought about the continual transformations she’d gone through and grew skeptical. Since Drake Valentine came into her life, she’d been very sexual, in tune with desires she’d never even experienced, much less acted upon.
Had he somehow manipulated her? Why was she three doors down from the men who’d taken her to bed, watching the clock and counting down the minutes until they would rise and start the same activities all over again?
Something was certainly out of whack! She had turned into a sexual creature with insatiable desires.
There was a sensible explanation, of course. She was like a pregnant woman. From what she’d been told about pregnancy, some women experienced heightened sexual awareness in one of their trimesters, she forgot which one and it didn’t really matter. Maybe dying young women had the same problem, especially those who waited until their mid-twenties to have sex.
Rationalizing the progressive way she’d turned into a sex kitten, she decided to pick up the phone and call her doctor. Propped against several pillows, she listened to the continual ringing. Finally, a receptionist answered. “This is the office of Dr. Lenny Michaels. How may I help you?”
“This is Addison Deveraux. May I speak to Dr. Michaels please?”
“Sure, you may, at some point anyway. He isn’t here right now.”
“Oh,” Addison said. “Well I have a question. Can you help me?”
“Depends on the question. Is it regarding medications, an appointment, or general health?” Each word, the receptionist pronounced slowly, enunciating every syllable.
“Sexual health,” Addison said bluntly.
“Uh, oh, um well, I could sure try and answer your questions,” she said. “This is Melissa. What can I do for you, Addison?”
Melissa Garretson. Addison should’ve recognized her voice. Who would’ve thought the town slut would turn into the one and only receptionist and LPN Dr. Michaels employed? Well, Addison mused, it took one slut to answer the questions of another. She cleared her throat. “Is this confidential?”
“Sure darlin’,” she drawled. “I may have a mouth on me but I use mine for delivering more sensual messages, if you get my drift. I ain’t one to gossip around town.”
Great. “Well you see, I was a virgin until a couple of days ago—”
“How did you do it?”
“Well, you know the guy, so I won’t tell you all the details but anyway, I guess we did ‘it’ like anyone else. Uh,” she paused, “well, you know, he was on top and hard, of course, and he—”
“No!” Melissa exclaimed. “Not that, girlfriend. I mean, how did you wait until your twenties to have sex? Heck, I lost my virginity as soon as I could talk.”
“Really?” Addison gasped.
“No,” she drawled in her country hick accent. “I was a little older. Think somethin’ like seventeen or eighteen. Don’t rightly remember. Just remember hearing all the guys talking one night calling me all sorts of names. I figured if I had the reputation, I might as well get busy and earn it, ya know?”
“Yes, well, you did a good job making good on that.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”
“Listen girl, you ain’t gonna hurt my feelings. So tell me, what’s the problem?”
“Well, you know I’m sick right?”
“Yes, I heard something about you having fibromyalgia. I hated to hear that. Is there anything I can do?”
Addison sighed. She remembered having a few classes with Melissa back in high school. She was such a likeable person and easy to talk to. Why not just tell her the truth, get it over with? It would be far easier to describe her problem on the phone to Melissa than to go in and talk to Dr. Michaels.
“The truth is, I lost my virginity to one guy and the next night I slept with two.”
“Oh. My. God,” Melissa drawled. “You trying to make up for lost time?”
“That’s what I thought too, at first. Now, I’m starting to think it’s something to do with my medication. Since I seem more promiscuous than normal, I thought there might be a side effect you can tell me about.” She should’ve elaborated, and explained all she thought about these days was sex.
“Hmm,” Melissa hummed. “I can see where you’re concerned. You’ve sat on that thing like it’s gold and now you’re opening up the mine and letting all sorts of fellows dig. That could get out of hand. Hang on, sugar. Let me pull your chart. I’ll see what I can find out.”
“Thank you,” Addison sighed in relief, wondering how Melissa translated two guys into anyone. She wasn’t sleeping around with just anybody.
A few minutes later, Melissa returned to the line. “Nope. Can’t sue any of these drug companies in civil court.”
“It’s a joke. Everybody wants to sue a drug company for their problems. ‘Course you really don’t have a problem if you’re screwing two guys. By the way, did you do ‘em at the same time?”
Addison wondered if she should answer Melissa.
“I mean, it ain’t like it’s any big deal. Once, when I was in college, I went to a tailgate party. Somebody asked me if I wanted to ride a train. I’d had a few beers and didn’t know what they meant but anyway, next thing I know, the fellas are lined up and boy oh boy, by the time they finished me, I felt like a caboose. You know, that little red car that brings up the rear of the train.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Oh honey, let me tell you, it was so exciting I would’ve followed that train anywhere. From then on, I thought of myself as a caboose, and I’ve been itching for someone else to mention riding that train!” she exclaimed, obviously proud of the fact she was passed around.
“Well, that’s interesting, Melissa.”
“I thought so,” she sighed. “So what’s the problem?”
“I just wanted to be sure I was normal and an over-active sex drive wasn’t a side effect of my medication.”
“Getting it on with two men doesn’t mean it’s a side effect of anything sugar, except maybe you had clogged hormones or something.”
“Yes,” she said. “It’s a real problem for women our age. Read a few men’s magazines and you’ll understand. It’s kind of like blue balls only women don’t have, well you know…balls.”
Addison realized Melissa was as batty as she had been in school. “Well thanks a bunch for the information.”
“You’re welcome, sugar. You call me anytime, you hear?”
“Sure thing,” Addison said, feeling better than before even though she felt the information supplied lacked accuracy.
“Take care and uh, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do?” She laughed mirthlessly. “Choo! Choo!”
Addison replaced the receiver and stared at the phone. Addison thought she had problems? Next to Melissa she was practically ready for sainthood.