don’t know why you won’t listen to me?”
Spoilers: Dead Irish Writers
“Why I won’t listen to you?!” Josh shouted as they left the restaurant.
“Amy, you’ve been harping on this for three days. Can’t we just have a nice dinner and not talk about political agendas?”
“Harping! I’m not harping. I’m expressing the views…..” Josh cut her off by walking to the parking lot and leaving her standing on the sidewalk.
“J?! Don’t walk away from me.”
“I’m done with this argument. You coming or not?” Josh motioned toward the car. His head was pounding and he suddenly felt nauseous. He just wanted to go home and go to bed. Amy quickly caught up with him and soon they were on their way back to her apartment. Josh swallowed hard and tried to concentrate on the road in front of him. They were only a few blocks from her apartment. Why did he have to agree to Italian food? His dinner felt like it was sitting on his chest.
“J? Are you okay?”
“Huh? Yeah. I’m just ready to go home.” Amy sighed and looked annoyed as she stared out the window. Josh felt a wave of relief as he pulled into a parking space in front of Amy’s apartment. He climbed out of the car and rushed around to open Amy’s door. She looped her arm in his as they ascended the stairs to her building. Josh coughed and rested his hand on his chest.
“J?” His head was killing him. When he wiped his hand across his forehead he realized he was sweating.
“Josh? What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Josh tried to take a deep breath but the pain in his chest seemed to block his air. He leaned against the rail of the steps and looked at Amy’s concerned face.
“I need you to….” Amy grabbed his shoulders and tried to steady him.
“To what, Josh? What’s wrong?!”
“Call CJ? Why?”
“Call her first. Then call an ambulance.”
Amy stood in front of the glass doors of the exam room while the doctors took Josh’s vitals and started to run some tests. She could still hear what they were saying as they opened the front of his shirt and started to apply the electrodes for the EKG. She looked on in concern as they mentioned his previous medical history and the shooting. She had done as Josh had asked and called CJ and then the ambulance. Josh always joked about CJ being his first call; at least she thought he had been joking. She barely got the number dialed before Josh took the phone from her. With a few short words, Josh told CJ he was going to the hospital. Amy wanted to ask him what CJ would do, but Josh thrust the phone at her and then clutched his chest. Amidst all the general noise and chaos of the emergency room a voice caught Amy’s attention. She turned to see Donna leaning up against the counter of the information desk.
“I’m Donna Moss. I’m here for Josh Lyman. It should be noted on his file.” Amy was struck by the utter panic on the young woman’s face. She stepped back away from the door to get a better look. Donna was wearing what looked like pajama pants and a sweatshirt jacket over a large t-shirt. Her hair was damp and it was obvious she had left the house in a hurry. Amy watched as the nurse flipped through a stack of folders and then pointed in the direction of the exam room. Amy thought Donna saw her, but when Donna ran past her and into the room, she knew there was only one thing in Donna’s field of vision. The doctor had stepped away from Josh and was making a notation in his chart when Donna entered the room.
For the briefest of moments, Amy thought about following Donna into the room. However, the look on Josh’s face when he looked up and saw Donna made her think better of it. In that split second of recognition, the fear on Josh’s face eased. Relief seemed to wash over him as he reached out his hand for her.
“Josh, I’m here! I’m right here. What happened?”
“I’m okay. I’m sure it’s nothing.” Josh was doing his best to cover up his own concern for Donna’s sake. He didn’t know why. She could see right through his efforts.
“What happened? Is it your heart?”
Amy could see the tears fall down her cheeks as she clung to his hand. Josh absently stroked the back of her hand with his thumb as she reached up and pushed the hair away from his face. Josh’s expression was relaxed now. His color was even returning. It amazed her at the effect Donna had over him. The doctor and the nurses still moved about checking monitors and inserting an IV while Donna gently calmed his worried face. Amy couldn’t help but watch as the doctor motioned for Donna to move. Josh held on to her hand until the last possible second before she stepped off to the side of the room. As soon as he had finished his task, Donna returned to his side, clinging tightly to his hand.
CJ and Toby rushed through the hospital entrance and saw Amy standing outside the exam room door.
“What happened? Is he alright? Is it his heart?” CJ was barely controlled panic. Toby took hold of her elbow and willed her to calm down.
“I’m not sure. He’s still in with the doctor.”
“Were you two at dinner?” Toby asked trying to piece together the events that led up to Josh being taken to the hospital.
“We were on the way back to my place. He had pulled up to my apartment and was walking me inside. The next thing I knew he told me to call you and then an ambulance.” CJ reached up and fingered her necklace while she looked past Amy and into the exam room.
“When did Donna get here?” Toby asked. “How did she beat us here?”
“She just got here.” Amy noticed the gentle look he gave Donna as the three of them watched how she worried over Josh.
“This is going to be hard for her.” Toby said to no one in particular. Amy looked at him in confusion.
“I pray he’s okay. I don’t know if she can handle this again.” CJ offered as they all stared through the glass doors. Amy realized that they were talking about the shooting. She turned to look at Josh again.
“We’re going to wait on your labs to come back and we’ll see what’s going on. Your heartbeat is strong and regular but I’d like to see what comes back to make sure everything is doing what it’s supposed to.” The doctor smiled and tried to keep his mood light. Donna could only nod as he walked out of the room. She tightened her grip on Josh’s hand. Neither Josh nor Donna seemed to notice the nurse moving about and checking his IV. Donna could only sit on the edge of the small gurney and rub her hand over his hair. Josh leaned his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes trying to take reassurance from her touch.
“How is he?!” Sam rushed toward Toby slightly out of breath.
“We don’t know. They’re running tests. Amy said he was having chest pains.”
“Heart attack?” Sam’s face grew dark as he took a step past Toby so he could see into the exam room.
“We don’t know. Have you talked to Leo?”
“I just hung up. He wants updates every ten minutes.”
“I’ll go call him.”
“He’s in the Oval.”
“’kay.” Sam reached out and put his arm around CJ. Amy watched as the two friends stood vigil for one of their own.
“He looks pale.” CJ rested her head on Sam’s.
“Yeah, but Donna’s here.” Amy saw the embarrassment flash over Sam’s face when he realized she was standing there. “I mean….I’m…..”
Amy turned her head and looked back into the exam room. Before Sam could finish his apology, the doctor walked through the doors.
“How is he?”
“He’s a little uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s too serious. We’re waiting on the test results now.”
“Can we see him?” Sam asked.
“Sure.” The three of them pushed through the doors and gathered around Josh’s bed.
CJ was the first to reach him and take his free hand.
“How are you feeling?”
“A little better.” Amy stood at the foot of the bed and watched as they all talked softly to each other. Donna didn’t seem to take part in the conversations. She kept her gaze on Josh’s face. He never released her hand.
The doctor returned with Josh’s results and asked everyone to leave the room. Donna refused. As CJ, Sam and Toby stood just outside the glass doors, Amy stood off to the side but was still able to see the scene in front of her.
“Well Mr. Lyman. Your tests all came back negative. It looks like you have a severe case of indigestion.”
“Indigestion?!” Josh’s indignation was soon forgotten when he felt Donna’s head fall to his shoulder. Her whole body shook as she cried. The doctor smiled at them and then continued talking.
“With your eating habits, work schedule and whatever stress you’ve been under over the last few days, you’ve wound yourself up pretty tight. I’ll write you a script for Zantac. Lay off the spicy foods and try to relax.” Josh nodded even though he was barely paying attention. All his focus was on the blonde head buried in his shoulder.
“It’s okay. Donna, I’m okay.”
“I was so scared. CJ called. All I could think about was last time. I don’t even remember how I got here.” Josh rested his forehead on hers while he stroked her cheek.
“I’m sorry I scared you.”
Toby watched as Amy took in the scene going on in the exam room. He cleared his throat and stepped back through the doors. Donna smiled a warm smile of relief as he walked over to her.
“He’s fine Toby.”
“We heard. I’m glad you’re okay, Josh.”
“Donna, will you go get a cup of coffee with me?” Donna looked at Toby as if he had sprouted another head. Toby looked at Josh and then out the doors at Amy. Josh finally caught her gaze.
“It’s okay Donna. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Donna.” Toby urged. Donna turned to face him and for the first time saw Amy.
Amy stepped through the doors and stood silently at the end of the bed. Josh held her gaze for a moment before finally breaking the silence.
The awkward silence was suffocating. Josh swiped his hand through his hair and sighed.
“I’m gonna go.” Josh looked up at her with shock and hurt in his eyes.
“What? You’re leaving? It wasn’t my heart. It was….”
“I’m leaving because of your heart Josh.” It took him a moment to recover from her words.
“What? You’re leaving me because of my heart?! But I just told you it was just indigestion. I’m fine.”
“It’s not going to work Josh. I think you know that.”
“So you’re breaking up with me?! You’re breaking up with me while I’m lying in the hospital?! Are you afraid I just might have a heart attack some day? Is that it?”
Josh was a little surprised at how calm Amy was. She seemed sad and regretful.
“That’s not what I meant. Your heart is the problem. But not the way you think.”
“You’re not making any sense. What are you talking about? Why is my heart the problem?!”
“Because I’ll never have a place in it. I’m not where your heart is.” Her words hung in the air. Josh took a deep breath and tried to understand what she was telling him.
“I don’t know what you mean. Why would you say that?” Amy took a step forward and placed her hand on his arm. With a crooked smile she shook her head.
“You know the problem with guys like you?” Josh exhaled loudly and looked up at her.
“What’s the problem with guys like me?”
“Even when they get hit over the head, they can’t lie to their heart.” Amy leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.
“Tell Donna to take good care of you.”
“Amy…” Amy turned to leave.
“Let your heart tell you what to do Josh. Everyone else can see what it wants.”
Josh watched as the glass doors swung shut. It was barely a minute before Donna returned with a worried look on her face.
“Josh? Why did Amy leave? Are you okay?” Josh reached for her hand and held it to his chest.
“She couldn’t stay with me because of my heart.” Josh saw Donna’s face turn to one of controlled rage.
“What?” She hissed.
“She said my heart isn’t with her.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will.” Josh pulled her hand to his lips and placed a soft kiss on the tip of her fingers. “Come on. I want to go home.”
“Josh?” Donna cocked her head to the side and questioned his light mood.
“Take me home Donnatella.” Donna helped him stand and was pleased to feel his hand slip around hers as they walked out the glass doors.
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