Frank Madeski shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He wasn't feeling very well. The truth was, he hadn't been feeling well for a few days.
'Damn! I hope I'm not coming down with something! If I am, sure hope it passes soon. I don't have time to be sick!' he thought.
Frank looked around the near empty bar. He knew that it was early yet, and it wouldn't be long before the regulars began filling in. Happy hour was only a half an hour away.
He didn't know why, but it suddenly bothered him that there weren't many customers there yet.
"Want another beer, Frank?"
Frank looked down and was almost surprised to find his glass empty. He didn't remember drinking the last of it. In fact, he didn't remember drinking hardly any of it.
"Yeah, sure Jim, give me another."
"You don't look so good, Frank. Are you feeling all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine; just feeling a little out of sorts, that's all. On second thought, maybe I'll skip that beer, though."
Jim watched as his friend started to get up. He'd only had the one beer, yet as he stepped away from the bar he began to stumble.
"Careful! Want me to call someone for you, Frank?"
"No. I'll be all right."
Jim wasn't too sure. He'd served Frank enough beers over the years to know it takes a lot more than one to get him drunk, and since he came straight to the bar after work, Jim knew that his friend didn't have anything to drink before he got there.
"I'm just going to go home and rest."
"Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then?"
Frank didn't answer beyond a slight wave of his hand as he headed towards the door.
By the time he got home, he was feeling cramps in different parts of his body. What was worse, he was beginning to feel a little confused.
"Maybe I just need a good night's sleep," he mumbled, stumbling over to the couch.
He flicked on the TV, and that was about the last thing he remembered that day.
The following morning, he woke up with the sun shining in his eyes. He was surprised to find that his thighs ached a little when he got up to close the blinds.
'It's a good thing today is Saturday!' he thought. 'I'd be REALLY late for work if it wasn't!'
Frank tried eating something, figuring it would make him feel better. Then he tried taking a couple of aspirin before going back to bed.
The next day, Frank felt even worse than before! He hurt all over and was more confused than ever. His skin felt lumpy on his stomach which seemed almost stretched as if he'd eaten too much, and he wondered if he had some kind of hernia.
He was scared. His first thought was to drive straight to the hospital emergency room! That was his first thought.
Thinking he was too sick to drive and not wanting to bother or scare any of his friends, Frank decided to take the bus. He was confused and had to force himself to concentrate on what he was doing.
He was still telling himself he had to go to the ER and get checked out when he suddenly changed his mind. He couldn't explain it, but he suddenly had the urge to be around people--lots of them.
It was an urge he felt he just HAD to listen to. He thought about the park; he thought about the roller skating rink; he thought about the library, and he thought about the outdoors concert downtown.
In the end, he decided he'd go to the concert.
'That's where the most people would be, ' he thought.
By the time he got there, he was hurting so badly that he was surprised he'd made it that far!
His mind was screaming how he had to get to the ER, but his legs seemed to have a mind of their own as he practically stumbled towards the crowd surrounding the stage where a band was playing.
.... There is more of this story ...