There are supposed to be some emails in this chapter. In fact the very first thing, but I forgot about this site's weird stripping of email addresses, links, etc. So, whatever. Frustrating.

From: carlsonje
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 8:12 PM
To: gator_rach
Subject: $&%^#*& !

Dear Rachel,

Welcome home! Sorry I haven't had a chance to call today. Busy, busy, busy. Call me in the morning, 'k?

Speaking of busy, guess where I am right now? Here's a hint: NOT at the concert. Here's another hint: see the account I'm sending this from. $&%^#*& ! They called me back to see some patient I'd seen earlier today. OK, frustrating, but fine. HOWEVER she signed out AMA before I got here. $&%^#*& !

The charge nurse says she bailed on the cops too, if that makes me feel any better. Uhm, no. NO it does not.

And why am I still here, you ask? Because Dr. Franzen saw me and wants me to review some charts. I've been gone for a week, I couldn't say no. I know, I know, I *could* have. I should have, yes, yes, you don't have to tell me, but, well, I didn't. And am I reviewing charts now? Nooooooo. Dr. F is who knows where. He gets 15 more minutes and I'm out of here. $&%^#*& !

I need coffee . . .

Oh! You will never in one million billion years guess who was at the concert with me and David. Jack's … sister! Yes, you read that right. OK, half-sister. So, it turns out the dearly departed Dr. Christian S. had a few skeletons in his closet. I can register your absolute shock (shock!) at such a notion from 2k miles away. Anyway, she seems like a sweet girl. Call tomorrow and we will DISCUSS. Is this making Jack's head explode? Little bit. Is that enjoyable? Yes, yes it is.

Still no sign of Dr. Franzen. $&%^#*& ! I need coffee . . .

Guess what? No coffee here at the desk. Should I A) make some here or B) take my chances with the family lounge down the hall? That stuff's probably been on the burner for HOURS. I will make some here. NOPE. Just informed we're out of filters. Down the hall it is. Just great. That stuff is nasty.

$&%^#*& !

Call me tomorrow!

Love you,


Saturday, Sept. 25 10:15 AM

Hi, you've reached Juliet and David. Neither of us can come to the phone right now. Leave a message, we'll get back to you soon as we can.

"Hey, little sis, it's me. Calling like you said to. It's, uhm, little after 10 your time. I'll try your cell. If I don't get you, call me when you can. Oh! David, if you're listening: Pet Sounds or London Calling. Pick one. Love you guys. Later!"

Saturday, Sept. 25 10:18 AM

Hello, this is Juliet's voicemail. I'm sorry I missed your call. Please leave a message.

"Jules, yo! Rachel here. All right. Just left a message at your house, too. Don't let me forget: I have an album to send to David. Tell him to listen to the message at home. Anyway, call me. Bye!"

From: gator_rach
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 11:07 PM
To: carlsonje
CC: Juliet_Carlson
Subject: re: $&%^#*& !

Do you see in the message below where you asked me to call you? Three times you mentioned this. Just pointing it out.

Saturday, Sept. 25 11:48 AM

Hello, this is Juliet's voicemail. I'm sorry I missed your call. Please leave a message.

"Rachel again. What's up? Why haven't you called me back? You aren't still stuck at the hospital are you? Call me!"

Saturday, Sept. 25 11:55 AM

Hi. You have reached the office of Dr. Juliet Carlson. If this call is in regards to lab results or appointment scheduling, please press pound, then extension 327. Otherwise, please leave a message at the tone, and I'll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.

"Helllllllllloooooo? Yes, I have a very important message for Dr. Carlson. This is your sister, fool. Call me. You are starting to freak me out."


Rachel: WTH? Where r u?

Saturday, Sept. 25 12:10 AM

This is David. Leave a message.

Hey, dude. It's Aunt Rachel. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be at your dad's this weekend. Right? But still, I'm having trouble getting in touch with your mom. Just thought I'd try your phone. Nope? . . . Nope. OK. I picked up some new albums for you. I know your mom's weird hang-ups about old-school technology, but these are the real deal. Genuine vinyl. Call me. Tell your mom to call her sister. OK? All right. Later, dude. Love you.

Saturday, Sept. 25 12:15 AM

Hi, you've reached Juliet and David. Neither of us can come to the phone right now. Leave a message, we'll get back to you soon as we can.

This whole thing is really freaking Rachel out. OK, she can think of a shit ton of sane reasons Juliet isn't answering her phone: 1) late night at the hospital, so she's still sleeping, and she's turned off her ringer(s). Happened all the time when David was a baby, and again when she was in residency. 2) Busy running errands 3) Still at hospital, doesn't have cell charger 4) Something ridiculous to do with her ex-mother-in-law 5) David has soccer game or concert 6) Working in her yard.

It's not some insane reason like Juliet has been whisked off to some exotic location beyond the reach of phones, emails, and text messages. It's not. Surely Juliet's not answering for some totally sane reason, and what's freaking Rachel out is the simple fact that it is freaking her out. Because that would never happen, right? Juliet being out of touch. No, of course not. No. Of course not. What? What would even make Rachel think that?

Juliet and David's machine beeps.

Rachel says, "Helllllooooooooo? I'm flummoxed. Where the hell are you, and what are you doing? I'm not trying to be a weirdo stalker caller but you said to call. You said it, so if you'd just be so kind as to drop me a line so I know you didn't get kidnapped by an evil band of scientists or something, I would very much appreciate it. I'm really about this close to hanging up and calling Jack to see . . .

"Hello?" Juliet answers, sounding rushed, harried, out of breath, practically panting.

Relief floods through Rachel, who can't help but be a little pissed. "Jesus, Jules! What the hell? Where have you been?" And then a little concerned, "And why are you all out of breath?"

"I, uhm, . . ." but still clearly catching her breath.

Rachel interrupts, "Have you been running? Is that why you're too busy to call your own sister? Exercising?" Like she thought: totally sane reason.

"Something like that. . ." Juliet pauses for another deep breath and giggle. "Sorry."

Yeah, nice she can freaking giggle about her sister being so worried. Little shit. "Yeah, sorry, I'll say. OK, I'm sorry, too, I don't know why I got so weird about it, but you said to call, and it was weird. I mean, seriously, I'd tried just about every mode of communication possible. Was thinking I'd have to start writing you a good old-fashioned letter."

There is an extended pause on Juliet's end of the line. Enough to get Rachel worrying again, but before she can ask anything, Juliet says, "Oh my God. Oh, Rach. I'm so sorry. I missed you."

OK, yep, worrying again. Rachel says, "What? What? You're sure you're OK?"

"I'm fine. Better than fine." Thing is, it kind of sounds true. Now that Juliet's caught her breath, she does sound fine. Better than fine. Relaxed. Happy.

Rachel hears a voice (What? The hell?) in the background "Mmmmmmmppphhh…..soon? Mmmmmmmmph . .. this time?" A man's voice. Too deep to be David. Doesn't sound like Jack . . .

She asks, "Who the hell is that? Is someone there with you? Did you finally get the electrician in? You need to get that microwave fixed. Is it the electrician?"

Juliet sounds like she's fighting laughter when she answers, "He's not an electrician. He's a cop."

"A cop? ? ? A cop? What kind of cop?"


TOTALLY worrying again. Rachel says, "OK, you are freaking me out. Where's David? Is he OK? Are you OK? Why do you need a detective?"

"Relax. He's not here on business."

Rachel's brain can't process this exactly. She says, "I . . . do. . . what do you mean . . ."

She hears the muffled voice again. "Mmmmmmmph. Tell . . . mmmmmph… mmmmph… terrible idea."

Juliet's back on the phone. "He says to tell you hi. And the motorcycle is a terrible idea."

Rachel answers, too fast, "Of course it's a terrible idea." [it's why she's never said anything to Juliet about it, and she isn't an insane person with a death wish, and she is a single mom, so if she were ever to get a bike, which, OK, yes, she sort of fantasizes about, it would be after Julian's out of the house, so decades from now probably, and, yes, yes, she does totally intend to do this, and . . . WHAT? WHAT?!] "What do you mean, he says hi? Who is this guy? We've met before?"

"I don't think you remember."

"Don't remember? Remember what? Remember meeting him? Is he not memorable? Why don't I remember?"

"It was a whole 'nother lifetime, Rach."

Rachel contemplates. "Oh, God. That summer I was following the Dead? Is that what you mean? I was so baked, I . . ."

"Yeah, listen. We're kind of busy right now. Can I call you back this afternoon?"

"Busy with what?"

"Multiplication flashcards. What do you think? Seriously."

Rachel snorts. Who is this guy? And should she be more worried than she is? She is not worried. She was absolutely freaked when Juliet wouldn't answer the phone, but a mysterious guy who pops up out of nowhere doesn't bother her? Strange things are afoot.

"OK. Call me back, though. Promise?"

"I promise. Absolutely. It's all OK."

All right, well, the end, the end. Catch y'all again later sometime if/when boredom/inspiration strikes.