Chapter 1

Baker Street

He lay with his hand gently rubbing against his thigh, grimacing as he tried to move. He turned around to see the alarm clock – it was 4.00am – had he even been to sleep! Well his right leg was well and truly awake now even if the rest of his body and mind wasn't. When would I ever be able to get a straight 8 hours sleep he thought would the always present aching and cramping ever go away, just long enough to sleep a whole night ? and the answer the that question was 'not in this lifetime'. He reached to the amber bottle and took out a vicodin. Just one he would take, he had made a decision to reduce his intake, as he had been taking alot again lately. I don't want to end up back in a rubber room, maybe I should research the new pain management programmes or maybe do some physio before it's too late.

He needed to pee, he pulled himself upto sitting on the edge of the bed, both hands being used for the damn leg today. The movement was not appreciated at all, here come the spasms – as if cramping wasn't enough! He sat and rubbed his leg for what seemed like forever, the friction was slowly helping, but he really needed to pee, but what had he done with his cane, it wasn't in its usual spot. He tried to get up, putting all his weight onto the left leg, swivelled around to for the bathroom, held the right leg with his hand to support it, but as soon as he put any weight on it, it just buckled underneath him, he managed to grab hold of the bedstead at the bottom of his bed "Where is my damn cane?"

Then he looked around the room for something to hold onto, he spied the roll chair under his desk, he could use that to hold onto to get to the bathroom at least. Once he had used the toilet, he leaned against the bathroom door that looked out to the hallway. He had just remembered where he left the cane, it was hanging off the end of his bookshelf near the kitchen, he had been able to move fairly freely last night without using the cane – but that was after 2 vicodin, a couple of bourbons – the best pain duller !

He managed to hop and shuffle to find his cane, he won't make that mistake again. Maybe he could walk off the pain for a while, he stepped – thumped around his apartment until the cramping and spasms finally gave way to the normal dull ache he was used to. He went back to the bedroom 5.00am - he might just be catch some more sleep if he was lucky. Lucky he was not! An hour or so later he was awake again, this time it was going straight through his hip upto his spine. Here we go again ! time to shower (couldn't risk a bath) maybe that would help, no more sleep for me today! His thoughts then went back to Cuddy I'm glad she didn't get to see me like this, it hadn't been this bad for a long time.

On the other side of Princeton

Lexi looked at the clock again – 4.05am was she ever going to go to sleep – not tonight obviously, it was now morning and she had too much on her mind to sleep. She went downstairs to make a drink and sat at the kitchen table contemplating her future "What am I going to do about this new job? I hate it! I was in a job I hated for years, I gave that up 3 months ago because I had had enough and now what? Doing another crappy job in another crappy office ! WHY ? Why indeed? Because we need the money don't we? I am sure not any better off than I was, still unhappy with everything, maybe I'm just destined to keep having my midlife crises – turning 40 had a lot to answer for! hahahaha. Time to stop talking to yourself if anyone could see you they would think your mad, the only person that can change anything is me"

She sat at the kitchen table for what seemed like hours - well 3 to be precise, no more thinking to be done today! With that she put her glass in the sink and went to wake up the rest of the household. First Summer so she could get ready for school, then to see her hubby – he was still sleeping as usual. She got herself ready for the day, it was a little early but never mind, it was only 7.00am. She went to say goodbye to Scott who was still in bed. As she looked at him she began to get really angry, she laid on the bed next to Scott and said "you know, you were right to say that I was a fool for taking this job, not because its less money, but because I am right back where I started, its no good, I can't do this anymore, I don't want to do this job" and with that she was crying again.

His only reaction was to shrug his shoulders "Well what do you want me to do about it? You need the job because we need the money"

"And why do we need the money? Because your hobby – oopss I mean your business that you have been running for the past 4 years doesn't actually make any money – well not that you put into the house finances anyway! And the debts you have accumulated don't help either! I've been keeping us for 4 years and I am sick of it – its your turn to keep us now, I'm done!"

He was absolutely livid! His stare could have killed me dead, but no words came out - just silence again! I hate silence!

At this I got my bag and my ipod, made sure that Summer was up and getting ready for school and walked out. I wasn't sure where I was going, but his reaction had made my decision – I wasn't going back to that job ever!

I carried on walking, in no particular direction, I rang my office and told them that I wouldn't be returning. When I finally took notice of where I was I had made it to the park that I had found whilst I was working. That was good at least I knew where I was now, we hadn't lived in this part of Princeton for long.

I remembered that there was a coffee or snack shack somewhere, I wonder if it will be open at this time of the morning, I really could do with a cup of strong American coffee, my stomach was in knots, I must look like a right mess, my eyes were sore from all the crying I seemed to have done on the way here, my head ached probably for the same reason and I obviously didn't really know what I was doing. I saw the coffee shack and headed towards it – my phone rang, I looked at it and it was Scott so I rejected the call and turned it off!

As I waited in the queue I glanced out towards the lake and on one of the pic-nic tables there was a man lying across one, in a sort of crucifix position – how weird. Luckily the coffee was quick, nobody was hanging around, it was too cold and still early. 7.30am to be precise. I got my coffee – nice and strong- not like the English coffee I was used to. I turned towards the pic-nic tables to find somewhere to sit in peace, I thought I would go to the ones furthest away, near the lake. My head by this time was spinning and my stomach was killing me – I really needed to sit down quick before I passed out or puked. Not sure how far I got but I started feeling really dizzy and sick and then it happened, I puked and put out my hand to steady myself and I could feel somebody's foot. I couldn't see much because my eyes wouldn't focus. Somebody's hand was on my shoulder persuading me to sit down, which I obeyed and then they pushed my head down between my legs for a few minutes. I heard some talking around me but didn't really hear what they said. After a few minutes my head seemed to clear a bit and I was able to focus, so I put my head up WOW! The eyes that met mine were heaven or maybe I was in heaven! Who knew!. He checked to see if I was ok, gave me another coffee with lots of sugar and took off. I didn't even get a chance to say thank you!