TITLE: Heat Wave
DATE: July 19, 2004
SUMMARY:A heat wave hits Everwood, and Ephram doesn't feel so good.
DISCLAIMER: Everwood belongs to Greg Berlanti, Mickey Liddell, Everwood Utah, Inc., Berlanti Liddell Productions, and Warner Bros. Television. I wish I had talent to say I was the creator!
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I was inspired by a heat wave that hit my area back in May, but of course, school got in the way of finishing it in due time. So here this story is, two months late. Anyway, thank you Merck Manual for its immense help! It's probably the best medical resource for fanfic writers who know nothing about medicine save for what is gleaned from watching ER.
This is a one-shot piece. Enjoy!
Note: I changed the summary on July 20, 2004. The story content is still the same.
It was one of those hot and humid days, one very uncharacteristic of the small town of Everwood, especially in the month of May. The heat wave had already lasted five long and sticky days, and the weather channel predicted at least another two to three days of heat.
Ephram wasn't sure he could take it anymore. Even though he grew up in New York where summers are smoggy and muggy, he had gotten used to the cool breezes and drier weather of Everwood. Humid weather was now as foreign as speaking Spanish.
To make matters worse, the school's generator had cut out in the morning, but the principal thoughtfully decided to not dismiss the students since there had been a number of snow days in the winter. By noon, the school had sweltered to an easy 83 degrees, but it felt more like the temperature at which water boiled.
Ephram sauntered sluggishly out of his history class, not having heard one thing the teacher said. In fact, his head felt like one giant pounding helium balloon. He didn't even notice Amy waving her hand in front of his face until she practically yelled his name into his ear. He turned to acknowledge her as she joined in his stride to their lockers.
"Easy. My head hurts."
"You look horrible."
"God... I can't stand this anymore. Why won't they let us out?"
Amy waited for a characteristic witty Ephram remark. When none came, she looked at him. He had a glazed look on his face.
"Did you hear what I said?"
He blinked at her.
As they approached their lockers, he slumped his head onto the cool metallic locker. A look of concern etched Amy's face.
"Hey, you okay?"
"Right. Let me feel your forehead."
He turned around and leaned onto his locker, his eyes closed. She touched his head, and felt her own with a frown.
"You know, despite it being like a boiling pot of coffee in here, I think you actually have a fever."
"I don't think I can suffer 'til last period."
"You should go home. Before you collapse... or something."
Ephram thought about the option for a while. He sighed when a realization dawned on him.
"Can't. English test after lunch."
"Just get your dad to write you a doctor's note."
"Like he will."
"I'm sure he will."
He sighed again.
"I guess. I don't think I remember anything anyway. Buys me time, right?"
"I'll walk you out to your car. You think you can drive?"
"Let me find my keys..."
Ephram fumbled for a moment, but still couldn't locate his car keys.
"They're in here somewhere..."
"I'll drive. I don't want you to... you know..."
Defeated, he nodded again.
"C'mon. Let's go."
Somehow, during the car ride, Amy talked Ephram into going to his dad's office first so that he could get the much-needed doctor's note. However, it was more because he didn't have the energy to process her words than being convinced to go.
So here he was, at the front door of his dad's practice, not really knowing what he should be doing. Amy had to go because she had class, so he couldn't turn to her for direction. He blinked a little and sighed, turning the handle.
A blast of cool air hit his face as he entered the building - finally, a bit of relief. There were only a few patients waiting in the chairs. Edna looked up and nodded in acknowledgement of Ephram's presence, phone clipped between her ear and her shoulder. He settled into one of the empty chairs, and closed his eyes trying to rid his headache and nausea.
Ephram had nearly nodded off when Edna demanded for his attention. He struggled to open his eyes.
"I said, what's wrong, soldier? You look horrible."
"I don't feel so hot."
He winced at his choice of words.
"I mean... good."
"Well, sarge is in with someone right now, but I'll let him know you're here."
"Yeah... whatever... sure."
Edna cast another worried look at Ephram just as Andy came out of his office.
"...I'll see you in three week, Mrs. Turner. Just keep using the cream I prescribed."
"Thank you, Dr. Brown."
As Andy placed the file on Edna's desk, she nodded over at Ephram who was starting to nod off again.
"You've got a visitor. He doesn't look so hot... I mean, good. Might be heatstroke or something."
Andy's paternal instincts kicked in immediately and he went and sat down beside his son, feeling his forehead.
Ephram blinked again, a little annoyed that he couldn't get some rest.
"God, you're burning up. Edna, could you get me a bottle of water? C'mon, son, let's get you into my office."
Andy helped Ephram up, and led him into the office. He sat him down on the examination table, and began a brief exam.
"How'd you get here."
"That's nice of her. How're you feeling?"
"Like I need to throw up."
"Are you dizzy? Do you have a headache? Are you tired?"
"All of it."
"Did you have gym class today, or do something to exert yourself?"
Ephram thought a moment.
"Stayed up to study."
"'Til five, six."
"Really? What were you studying for?
"Oh, I see. Have you been drinking any liquids?"
"Not good. Caffeine. Dehydrates you even more."
Andy sighed, slightly relieved it was nothing more major.
"What you have is a case of heat exhaustion. I'm gonna get you home so you can get some proper rest, and you have to promise me you'll drink lots of fluids. Water or Gatorade, no soda."
"Yup. It's got the salts you need to rehydrate you."
Ephram nodded. Gatorade and lying down sounded nice. But first, the note.
"Can I get a note? My test is supposed to be, like, right now, and if I didn't have one, I'd probably flunk out of school."
"Something like that."
"Well, in that case, I'd have no choice."
Ephram closed his eyes. That was probably the easiest attempt to con his dad for a doctor's note. But then again, Ephram actually felt sick, so it was legit.
"Do you want me to take the note to your teacher after I drop you home?"
"S'okay. I'll take it tomorrow."
There was a knock at the door, and Edna appeared, bottle of water in hand. She tossed the bottle to Andy.
"He's okay. Heat exhaustion. Just needs some bed rest."
"Good, because Mr. Springston's getting irate."
"I gotta take Ephram home first. Tell him I'm having lunch."
"Well, he was supposed to be right after Mrs. Turner. I don't think that'll work."
"Well, just... make something up for me. Ephram needs to get home."
Edna closed the door again.
"Well, let's get you home. "
Andy helped Ephram get off the table and ushered him out the door, a protective arm around his son's waist. Andy nodded at his next patient.
"I'll be back."
He whisked Ephram out the front door before Mr. Springston could get a word of protest out.
Entering the door, Ephram relished the cool climate-controlled air. He eyed the seemingly longer set of stairs, too tired to climb up all the steps. Andy had disappeared into the kitchen, and quickly reappeared with a glass of water and a pitcher of juice in hand. His son was still staring at the stairs, his eyes glazed.
He turned slowly.
"You should drink this."
Andy handed a glass of water to him, and he took a sip.
"All of it."
Ephram gave him a tired look, and forced the rest of the liquid in. He blinked a little, feeling a twinge better.
"C'mon. You can rest on the sofa."
The two ambled over to the sofa, where Ephram finally got to lie down. With his eyes closed, Ephram heard his father leave the room. The pounding in his head continued, but tiredness soon took over. He felt his father's hand feel his forehead again, and the touch was soon replaced with a soothing cool cloth. Ephram sighed tiredly.
"I put some Gatorade out for you. Remember to drink it, okay?"
Andy looked at his watch.
"Alright. I've gotta head back to the office. I'll see you later, okay?"
No response. Ephram was out like a light. Andy sighed. Thank goodness this was nothing more serious.
After a quick phone call to Nina to inform her of the situation and to ask her to keep an eye on his kids, Andy took another quick peek at Ephram to make sure he was still okay. He sighed again. There were no two living people he loved more than his two children.
As much as he wanted to stay beside his son, he knew Ephram would be able to take care of himself. After all, the worst was over. Rest and fluids usually restored heat exhaustion patients in no time, especially adolescents.
Fighting the urge to stay, Andy grabbed his keys and headed back out to the world where patients were waiting for him.
I hope you enjoyed the short and simple tale. Feedback is most welcome!