The longer you are a resident, and the more progress you make as a patient, the more privileges you are awarded.

Dr. Daniel J. Pierce had admitted himself exactly two months ago, and was now being granted his first phone call.

He didn't want to take it.

There was only one person with whom he wished to speak. She was also the one person he never wanted to see again.


Kate Moretti. Daniel was ashamed even saying her name. She had seen him at his worst, and there was no going back. No going back to the days when they could pretend his condition was just a quirk, an occasional bout of talking to walls and staring into emptiness.

No. There was nothing left for them.

How could he have ever, even for a moment, considered the possibility that Kate felt... something, for him? How could he have ever thought that this strong, smart, beautiful woman would ever want him? He, Dr. Daniel J. Pierce, was weak. He was broken. He did not deserve her. He did not deserve anyone.

The door opened. A smiling, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed nurse poked her head in, pushing a wheelchair into the room. "Daniel?" Her smile did not waver. "Daniel, honey, it's time for your phone call. Come on now."

Daniel reached the nurse and allowed himself to be whisked down the hall. He was numb. He would call Lewicki. Yes, that made sense. Lewicki. The kid deserved some news. The attendant pushed Daniel into the phone booth and handed him the receiver. With another smile, she stepped out of the booth to give him some "privacy."

"Alright. Lewicki," Daniel thought. He began to punch in the digits, but before he knew it he was dialing her number and it was ringing and before he could stop himself, before he could hang up, she answered.


That voice. Daniel had gone sixty days without hearing that voice.

"Hello? Anyone there?"

Daniel tried to respond, but his throat stuck. He stuttered, he choked, he swallowed. Finally,