Chapter 12 - Unknown Sickness
It was not often that Kyle Montgomery rushed off campus after school, usually choosing to hang around the choir room for a few minutes with friends, making sure they all had rides before heading home himself. But today was not one of those days. When Jenny had missed her second day in a row and had not called him, he knew something was up. She always called him when she was absent to find out what she had missed that day and because she was bored.
So when she did not call him, he called her during lunch using the phone in the choir room. The phone had been answered by Michael, whose tone was so strained that Kyle immediately knew something had happened to Jenny. So, right after school, Kyle, along with Lenitia, had run to his car and immediately headed to Jenny’s house.
Roughly ten minutes later, the small, white Toyota pulled into the driveway of the Corrals’ house. Kyle and Lenitia quickly exited the car and jogged up to the front door. As soon as he reached the door, Kyle pushed the doorbell and vaguely heard it sound within the house. Within moments of the doorbell sounding, a large shadow appeared through the glass and the door opened to reveal the graying Michael Corral, large bags under his blue-gray eyes.
He stepped out of the way and let Kyle and Lenitia in before closing the door behind them. Kyle turned to look at his best friend’s father. “How is she?”
“Not good,” he replied, his voice conveying his exhaustion to the two teens before him. “At first, we thought it was the run of the mill flu, but I’ve never heard of the flu causing this much pain.”
From down the hallway, a scream echoed through the house, pitiful sobbing following it. Kyle and Lenitia paled at hearing their friend in so much pain. Lenitia looked towards Michael, her pale blue eyes wide with fear. There were only a few times since meeting Jenny when they were in elementary school that she had heard her friend scream, not counting the screams she emitted at show choir competitions, but this was unlike any scream she had ever heard come from her friend’s lips.
“Can we see here?” she asked hesitantly.
Michael nodded slowly. “I think she would like that.”
Michael tapped his fist softly against the door before pushing it open. The room was painted pale blue, and the window that was almost always open was closed, the blinds down, darkening the room significantly. In the bed in the center of the room lay Jenny, her mother kneeling beside her bed, pressing a cool, damp cloth to her daughter’s forehead. The teen’s hair was wet with sweat, causing it to stick to her face in places. The sheets had been pushed off her and she was clothed in nothing but a long, pale blue nightgown. Her face shone with sweat, tears of pain mixed with it. Her green eyes showed her exhaustion and pain as she looked towards her father and two friends in the doorway.
Both her friends looked at her with concern clear on their faces, watching as Jenny’s body sized up, her muscles clenching as she screamed once more, her back arching up off the bed as she screamed at the top of her lungs. The screaming ended a moment later, and she leaned over the side of her bed and heaved into the trashcan that had been placed beside her bed. Kyle turned to Lenitia and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Call Chris,” he told her. “I don’t think his mom is on shift right now.”
“Okay,” she nodded before walking back up the hall and heading to the kitchen, where she knew there was a phone.
Almost an hour later, a red Chevy pickup pulled into the Corrals’ driveway and parked just behind Kyle’s Toyota. From the truck emerged Michelle Gomez and her son Chris. Just a few minutes after he had arrived home from school, Lenitia had called, asking if his mother was off work. He told her yes and she proceeded to tell him the situation. Needless to say, Michelle’s off day was not going to go as planned.
She and her son had quickly left their home after she had grabbed a few things she might need before heading towards where the Corrals lived on the opposite side of town. Michelle knew what was happening the moments her son had told her that Jennifer was horribly ill. The spell that Dumbledore had placed on her when she was a baby was beginning to wear off, though she wasn’t about to tell them that. They would think her loony. She had never told her son her heritage, nor that one of his good friends was actually a witch placed here for her own safety.
She grabbed her small bag out of the back of the cab before closing the door and following her son up to the front door. She rang the doorbell and within seconds, the door opened to reveal Michael. He opened the door wider and let the mother and son into the house. “Thank you for coming,” he told her as he closed the door behind them.
“It’s no problem at all, Mike,” she replied as he began to lead them down the hall to Jenny’s room. The door was open and Lenitia stood in the doorway. She turned as they approached and gave Michelle a grateful smile as Michelle entered the room and Chris went to stand beside her.
“How is she?” he asked her quietly as he watched his mother kneel down beside Jenny, Jessica moving back out of the way. On the opposite side of the bed, Kyle knelt beside her and held his best friend’s hand as she began to scream once more. Chris paled as he watched her back arch on the bed. “Never mind.”
Michelle knelt down beside the bed, taking in the teen’s appearance before opening her back. The poor girl. She remembered the screams she had let out when the spell had been placed on her and it looked like she was in even more pain now then she had been back then. From her bag, Michelle pulled out a digital thermometer. “Okay, sweetie,” she placed her hand on the side of the teen’s sweat covered face. Jenny looked at her through tired green eyes. “I’ve got to take your temperature real quick, okay?”
Jenny nodded slowly. On the other side of the bed, Kyle squeezed her hand reassuringly. Michelle placed the thermometer in her ear as gently as she could and waited for the reading. It beeped a few seconds later and she removed it from the girl’s ear. “Okay, all done.”
That’s definitely not good, she thought as she whipped the thermometer clean and placed it back in her bag. But she can’t go to the hospital, too many questions will be asked. Can’t let them go sticking needles in a young girl whose insides are changing due to magic.
“What’s her temp, Michelle?” Jessica asked. Michelle looked over her shoulder at the borderline panicking mother and smiled at her sadly. I’ve got no choice.
“101,” she lied smoothly. Years of hiding her heritage from her son and deceased husband had been good practice, and she was now able to lie with ease.
“Perhaps in a few days, see if she gets better on her own,” she replied, looking back at the exhausted girl on the bed. That and Dumbledore’s letter said that the fifteen years are up in two days. Hopefully he will be here to explain, because I certainly do not want to be the one that tells them that their actual daughter died fifteen years ago.