The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 61

Thursday, September 28th, 8:05 AM

Grand Marais, MN

 

Not again. These recalls or premonitions, whatever they happen to be, were getting old. And getting old quick.

He absolutely did not want to be here.

He was walking along the sidewalk bordering South 5th, holding Dana’s hand, except this wasn’t Dana’s actual hand, but Syrrah’s smaller hand. And they were moving slowly, his own feet weighing like lead.

From out of nowhere, Chella appeared, and rushed over, until walking next to Evan’s other side. “Why do you want to be with her, when she was some sort of demonic-like creature when you first met her? How could that even make you attracted to her all these years?” Chella’s voice sounded odd, distant, like she was faraway yet near, and faster than it should be. “You know you really want to be with me! She will bring you nothing but trouble, like I told you already.”

“Shut up, Chella,” Evan told her, worrying that Syrrah would hear. He glanced over to see Syrrah keeping pace with him, but she had her head hung down, lumbering along slowly, like he was. He looked at Chella. “And I already told you I must do this!”

“And Tate was right. She is a freakshow!” Those were Neraeh’s words. He searched around. Neraeh was standing farther up ahead. “You could have been with me, someone with no health issues, no weaknesses or strange conditions. And you didn’t even have to search for me, I was always right here!”

“Neraeh! How could you say that about your own sister who you told me to find!”

Like before, he wanted to switch sides on the sidewalk, loosening his grip on Syrrah’s hand when she slipped her hand away from his grasp.

“Evan! No! Why are you going that way? Come with me!”

He stopped, like before, asking what she was doing, when the Isuzu completely took over the view of her. “Syrrah, NO!”

But when he rushed over, to find her, she was nowhere to be found. Nor was anyone else. Chella and Neraeh had vanished too.

“Evan!”

That voice let out like a scream. Who was that? Syrrah?

“Evan! Wake up!”

He opened his eyes.

Matti was hovering over him, his face looming large and his nose nearly touching Evan’s nose. “You need to get up!” And of course, he was spitting as he spoke. “You’re sleeping too late!”

Evan wiped his face with the neck of his shirt once Matti backed off a bit.

“And Syrrah yelled your name,” Matti said, “in her sleep.”

He immediately realized she was nestled right next to him, like she had been when he fell asleep, entrapped within his right arm. Relief flowed through him. He wrapped his other arm around her small body and tightened his embrace, emphasizing to himself she was safe and very near him.

She gently stirred within his arms, showing she was already awake. How could she not be, with Matti’s earsplitting voice? She lifted her head until facing him, blinking a lot, her face disoriented. “Yeah. Matti is right. I had a strange dream.”

Evan lifted his hand and softly stroked her face. “I’m sorry, hon. But wow, aren’t you a beautiful sight to wake up to.”

“Aww, thank you, Evan,” she said quietly, covering her mouth partially with the blanket, although he didn’t detect a bad odor at all from her morning breath.

“What about me?” Matti said. “I’m not a beautiful sight to wake up to?”

Evan removed his hand from Syrrah’s face and roughed up Matti’s hair. “Ha, yeah, you are too.” He leaned up closer and got nearer to Matti’s face. “Just really noisy! But hey, little dude. Tell dad and mom I’ll be up soon, okay? I need to talk to Syrrah a moment.”

“Okay. I’ll tell them.” Matti scrambled off the recliner bed and rushed away.

“What sort of strange dream?” Evan asked her.

“Unfortunately, I saw that truck heading at me again, just before getting hit.”

“No. Way. I was dreaming something about it too, shortly before I woke up.”

“Yeah, but before getting hit, I was running with Neraeh, away from that farm, you know, with all those Great Pyrenees puppies, when this transparent wall, like what I was behind when I saw you, dropped down in front of us, and we couldn’t keep moving. I could see you, in the distance, on the other side, and yelled for you to help. And then that truck came at me, but then I woke up.” 

“Oh, wow. That is strange. Since I had--” 

“Finally! The kid awakens.”

Damn. He wanted to tell her more. But he recognized that voice. Robert’s voice. Wait a second. Robert’s voice?

Appearing without warning at the foot of the recliner bed, Robert walked up, his arms crossed. He stared, a stern yet amused expression on his face, at Evan.

“Am I seeing things?” Evan asked. “Robert! You’re really here?”

Matti ran over until crashing into Robert’s legs. He pointed at Evan. “Dad said he knew you’d be surprised, and you are surprised!” His voice was filled with mischievous glee. “I knew you would, I knew you would!”

But Evan was too shocked to laugh.

Robert reached down and ruffled up Matti’s hair, just like Evan would do. “All right you little rug rat, now scoot away. It’s my time now to chat with your brother.” He gave Matti a little push. “Off you go, now.”

Matti shot off running and yelling again. “Dad! Evan IS surprised. Hurry up and come see!”

“Oh my gosh,” Syrrah said, stirring up from her close position by Evan’s chest. He loosened his hold on her. “You are one of the hull people.”

“Yup, how true that is.” Robert crossed his arms over his chest again. “Evan. Kid.” He shook his head, let out a quiet snort and gave a smirk. “Just what the hell did you get yourself into this time?”

“Ha, thanks, Robert. Expected nothing less from you. But, what about you? How did you get here?”

“I’ll explain in a moment.” Robert walked over until near Syrrah. He leaned over and gently picked up Syrrah’s hand. Surprisingly, he kissed the back of her hand and then placed her hand down on top of the blanket again. “And this must be the lovely Syrrah Van Meir.” 

“Well, thank you,” she said. “Robert, obviously?”

“That would be me.” He held out his hand, in a hand shaking position this time. “My apologies. Yes, I am Robert Munz.” 

She grasped his hand, and they shook hands briefly. “Nice to meet you.”

“Same here.”

The start of the day not done with him and Syrrah yet, Evan could barely believe who he saw next. Alan.

Alan walked over and clenched Robert’s shoulders and attempted to push him out of the way. “Now it’s my turn, Rob. Make like a trolley and roll away, get lost.”

Robert lifted his right foot and planted it hard several feet away from his other leg. “Punk, I will beat you like I own you.”

Alan laughed. “Only busting you!” He released his hands from Robert.

“Oh my gosh, you guys,” Syrrah said, laughing, though her tone of voice sounded a bit uncomfortable; well, yeah, was way too early in the morning for this. “I hope you two are friends.”

“We are,” Robert replied. “Don’t mind us, Syrrah. Only a typical day’s behavior.” He shoved Alan a slight amount. “Now get over there and make a formal introduction.”

Alan maneuvered away from Robert’s shove and stared back at him. “What do you think I was just trying to do!”

“Yeah, yeah. Shut up already. Introduce yourself.”

“Damn you Aussie blokes sure know how to make a ruckus,” Dr. K said, walking over to the TV. “Could hear you out in the gym.”

Robert laughed. “Hey. We don’t disappoint.”

Alan, a smile on his face, walked over and held out his hand. “I’m Alan Scharf-Dauber.”

“Hi, Alan,” Syrrah said, reaching out to him and shaking his hand. “I’m Syrrah, as I’m sure you’ve heard.”

“I sure have. Nice to meet you.” Alan released her hand.

Behind Alan, Nahas abruptly arrived, another wonderful surprise to this morning, and he placed a hand on Alan’s shoulder. “Well, I hope you two have been behaving.”

“Ha-ha, nope,” Evan said, moving himself to the edge of the bed and bringing his legs over. He quickly slipped his black sneakers on and stood up. “They haven’t been. And I can’t believe you’re here now too.”

“As I suspected, with these two,” Nahas said. “And yes. We are all here now.” 

Evan looked around, seeing Dad talking with Art and Kamal near the guest bedroom. He focused back on Nahas. “So. Let me guess. You, Akina, Robert and Alan are all here, because my dad, Art and Kamal brought you here by means of Art’s teleportal system.”

“That would be both true and very observant of you, Evan,” Nahas said, “although given all of our backgrounds, none of this should seem too surprising to us.”

Evan smiled at him. “I would agree.” He stepped over to Nahas and wrapped his arms around him, patting him on the back briefly. Nahas in turn did the same. Evan released him and stepped back a bit, observing Nahas’ typical jolly, kind face. “Good to see you, Doctor Tjirange, I mean…Nahas.”

“Ahh, yes,” Nahas said, laughing. “We have to keep in mind that you are a grown young man. Let’s keep it informal.”  

“Yup.” Evan laughed too. “Definitely.” 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Robert said. “What’s with hugging the old man here, but completely ignoring me and Alan? How about giving us one of those bro hugs!”

Evan laughed again, along with Nahas and Syrrah, and went about giving both Robert and Alan the same type of hug he gave Nahas.

Done with all the silly revelries, Evan directed his attention back to Syrrah. She had a big smile on her face, but remained sitting on the sofa recliner’s edge, and he had not seen her stand up yet.

He walked over and sat down next to her. “You okay, hon?”

She placed her hand on his thigh. “Yes, I am, mostly. Just tired, a little weak yet.”

Before he could respond, Nahas sat down next to her, on the sofa area her dad had sat upon yesterday. Nahas held out his hand. “Well, hello. I am Doctor Nahas Tjirange, pediatrician from Accra, Ghana. And it is quite an honor to make your acquaintance, young lady Syrrah.”

She shook his hand. “Well, thank you. Very nice to meet you too.”

“Doctor K wanted me to ask you,” Nahas said. “Are you feeling capable of walking to his examining room? He would like to discuss a few things with you.”

“Uh yeah, sure.”

Evan searched for Syrrah’s slippers, found them, and placed them before her feet. But she explained that the slippers hurt her feet and she didn’t want to wear them now. He pushed them aside and helped her to stand up next to him. After more happy words, hugs, and back-slaps with Robert and Alan, and Nahas introducing his wife Akina to Syrrah, they eventually walked into Dr. K’s examining room. Nahas explained he would wait in the mancave room, along with Akina, Robert and Alan, since he wanted to speak to Syrrah’s parents and sister. He left the room and closed the door behind him.

Dr. K and Belinda were already in the room. Dr. K requested Syrrah to sit upon the examining table, and Evan helped her to do so.

“Your father wanted to discuss your test results,” Dr. K said, walking over to her, after Belinda handed him some medical items from the nearby table, “but I need to discuss the results with you and Evan first, and then you can tell your dad.”

“I’m going to assume it’s good news, since we’re both in here together.” Evan made sure to stand close by, only a few feet away, if that, from Syrrah.

Dr. K smiled. “Yes. Rather true, Evan.” He reached out to place his fingertips by the area under her jaw when she stopped him, placing her hand up.

“Wait. Doctor K. I have a question.”

“Yes, of course, Syrrah.” Dr. K rested his hands by his sides. “What would you like to know?”

“What did you find out about my clothes?”

Dr. K nodded, cracking a smile again too. “And that is a very good question. I was going to tell you a bit later, but I’ll explain now.”

“This sounds like it might be good,” Evan said, eager to hear the response.

“Honestly, though, I’m somewhat disappointed. I had my lab do some typical forensics on the fabric material, a little x-ray diffraction here, some infrared spectroscopy there, and well…all we found are the usual suspects. Things Syrrah probably encountered from her walk across South 5th, to getting in the Trailhawk, to arriving here in this house. Typical dirt, dust, hair, human skin fragments from you, Evan or others in this home, fabric pieces from other objects around here, but not much else.”

Syrrah showed a perplexed expression. “Why are you disappointed, then?”

“Because I wanted to find unknowns. Something, anything, that the world has never seen before. Or maybe an unusual fingerprint, but after checking fingerprints on items you and Evan touched, or that I, Belinda or any of my other lab techs touched, all were accounted for, none were unknown. However, there is one thing of which I am quite confident.”

“What is that?” Evan asked.

“After doing certain absolute dating methods, types of chronological dating, that is, I did find it interesting that your clothing items, Syrrah, have existed in the same amount of time as you have since you exited that interdimensional wall on South 5th.”

“Really?” she said. “Evan and I smelled and touched the clothes, and they did seem like just regular clothing material, and yes, probably more on the new side.”

“I noticed that too,” Evan said. “Like an exact copy, but brand new.”

“Yes, exactly, Evan. My conclusion too. Very rare and extraordinary, and that is why I would like to keep the clothing here for safe keeping, if that is okay with you, Syrrah.”

She shrugged and smiled. “Oh sure. That’s fine with me. I honestly don’t want those clothes anymore, especially with all the negativity associated with them, you know, for my apparent suicide that I never did.”

“And I completely understand. But, let’s move on to the main subject now. I need to check for signs of an immune response.” Dr. K gently placed his fingertips around Syrrah’s neck and under her jawline. “Just feeling your lymph glands, Syrrah.”

“Yeah,” she said, “they do sort of feel sore. So, my dad wanted to know the test results?”

“Yes, he did.” Dr. K turned to Belinda. “Note some lymphadenopathy, of the cervical lymph nodes.” He released his fingers, picked up one of those infrared thermometers and placed it before her forehead. “One hundred point six degrees.”

“Wait, I have a fever? I don’t really feel that hot.”

This had dragged on long enough. “What is her diagnosis, Doctor K?”

Dr. K inserted a stethoscope’s ear tip ends into his ears and placed the diaphragm reader on her chest area. He didn’t answer Evan, only listening. He did this for about half a minute. He turned to Belinda. “Not hearing Lyme carditis, but still want to conduct a minor EKG and neuro exam.”

“Okay,” Belinda said, “I’ll go get our hand-held device.” She walked toward the other end of the room, near the bathroom.

Evan smiled. “So, you think it’s Lyme?”

“Lyme?” Syrrah took on a worried look. “Evan, why are you even smiling?”

“Sorry.” He gently caressed her hand. “I’m not trying to scare you at all, but it’s a much better diagnosis than the other one.”

“The other one?”

Dr. K finished listening with the stethoscope, removing it from his ears and handing it to Belinda. “Let me explain, Syrrah.”

With Syrrah listening intently, Dr. K gave the details, mainly to Syrrah, but directing it to Evan too. True. It appears she has Lyme disease, after test results from the PCR test came back positive for detecting Lyme, although Dr. K was still waiting on the ELISA and western blot test for additional confirmation. Dr. K explained further that he had suspected she might have lupus nephritis, affecting the kidneys, like he had told Evan yesterday, but the great news was his lab techs did not find any early evidence of anti-dsDNA antibodies, for the lupus ANA test, though he did caution that the full test would not be done until later today. Yet he was quite confident at this point, particularly due to her swollen lymph glands, mild fever, nausea and stomach issues, low BMI, trouble walking and moving, and her immediate family’s lack of medical history of kidney or autoimmune conditions, reported by Hanson and Neraeh, that her affliction was Lyme.

He was going to start her immediately on a three- to four-week doxycycline protocol to treat the Lyme disease infection. And if that wasn’t enough, he had additional treatment therapies he could implement.

But before starting the doxycycline, Dr. K needed to complete the EKG and neurological exam for her.

Belinda wheeled over an adjustable above-the-bed table, the kind used in hospitals for patient’s food trays, and positioned it in front of Syrrah. Belinda placed a rectangular device, about one inch by three inches, on the table. The device had two square pads. Belinda, holding a tablet, instructed Syrrah to lightly place two fingers from each of her hands on the pads, keeping them in place for thirty seconds. And then it was done, obviously a more advanced, quicker EKG test.

Dr. K read the onscreen results on the tablet. He felt confident Syrrah’s heart rhythm was mostly normal and would improve even more after the doxycycline treatment.

Belinda brought the tablet and rectangular device back to the other end of the room, while Dr. K wheeled the above-the-bed table out of the way. He began a neurological test, checking Syrrah’s eyes with a small light and then having her do a series of positions and movements, like standing with her eyes closed, holding out her arms while he pushed against them, and walking a straight line. She had some trouble walking the straight line and standing with her eyes closed, but Dr. K said this was to be expected and would improve over time.

As Dr. K continued to do some further testing, having Syrrah move her head in certain positions or assume different facial expressions, Belinda motioned for Evan to walk near the bathroom end of the room.

He followed her over, until by the bathroom. “What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing to worry about.” She kept her voice at a low volume. “Doctor K wanted me to inform you that Syrrah’s STD test results all came back negative.”

“Okay, well that’s really good. But shouldn’t you be telling Syrrah this?”

“Uh, yes. Doctor K will be telling her too. But he wanted to make sure I told you before the meeting he has planned, very soon here.”

“A meeting?”

“Yes. Kamal has some significant channeling results. We need to discuss them.” 

“Oh, wow, well we do need to hear that.” Evan was quiet a moment, thinking. “Can I ask you something?”

“Yes, of course.”

“I don’t understand why, whoever, whatever, put Syrrah here, in her original body, would have allowed a bacterial disease to still infect her. Seems wrong, somehow, you know? I’m glad it’s not lupus nephritis, but still, it’s messed up.”

Belinda nodded. “I know. I understand. And Doctor K and I actually discussed this too. Sometimes, it is simply God’s will, for these things to happen, and we may not know why, until some other event or circumstance happens in the future. Or, we may never know why.”

Evan placed his hands in his pants pockets and leaned his shoulder against the wall. He sighed. “Yeah. I guess you’re right. Might have to pray about it.”

“Yes. Sometimes, prayer is all we have.”

He stared at her. “And that is something I have definitely heard before.”

The door to the examining room opened, in a rushed, sweeping motion. Expecting wound-up Matti to be barging in, Evan instead viewed a man walk in he had not yet seen before. The man, tall, white, with light brown hair was wearing a grey polo and black pants. Security?

Dr. K immediately stopped what he was doing and looked at the man. “John. What is it?”

“My apologies for interrupting. We’ve got trouble.”