Tim woke up with a start. He’d fallen asleep at his desk, waiting for a word from Hugh. But there had been none. And now, it was 6 in the morning. Tim straightened his tie and ran his fingers though his hair before knocking on Hugh’s door.
When there was no answer, Tim opened the door and walked in. Hugh was sprawled on the massive couch, fast asleep. On the coffee table near the couch sat an empty bottle of the fine Scotch Hugh favored. Tim shook his head. Hugh had never gotten drunk in Tim’s memory. He’d always been moderate in his habits.
The situation did call for it though, mused Tim, and if ever there was a time when a man could be given a pass for getting drunk and passing out, it was now. Hugh’s best friend from childhood, and his ex-fiancée, Tim swore under his breath. He’d never particularly liked Damon, nor Savannah.
But Hugh had loved Damon like a brother and could never see anything wrong with him. He’d kept Savannah on a pedestal too. While Tim hadn’t been surprised to hear Savannah had eloped with Damon, and he knew Hugh’s sister wouldn’t be either, Tim knew it had been a complete bolt from the blue for Hugh. Why was it always like this, Tim mused? People, even the really smart ones like Hugh, who in Tim’s opinion was one of the smartest people in the city, always seemed to have blind spots in their own lives.
Tim decided he’d ring Hugh’s sister Kelly. Hugh was simply not in any state to conduct business as usual. And Tim had no idea how to help him. But Kelly, he knew, would take charge of the situation in a second.
Kelly was Hugh’s big sister, and possibly the only person other than Hugh’s parents, who wasn’t intimidated by Hugh’s massive temper tantrums when things didn’t go his way.
Tim hurried out of the room, closing the door softly behind him. He rang Kelly.
“Tim! If you’re calling me, and so early in the morning, then I’m assuming that either Hugh is far too busy to call his sister himself. Or, that he’s in a pickle and you want me to tell him.”
Tim gave a sigh of relief. Kelly’s no-nonsense attitude and calm demeanor made her the favorite Regan of most people he knew, and Tim could see why. He replied warmly, “Hello, Kelly. You have no idea how good it is to hear your voice. Thing is, I’ve already given the bad news to your brother. But he isn’t taking it so well, and I don’t blame him at all. Not one bit. In fact, I’d say he’s taking it exceptionally well, given the circumstances. If you could come over, I really could do with your help when he wakes up.”
Kelly had been in the act of getting out of bed, Tim’s call having woken her. She sat up, “Uh-oh, that doesn’t sound too good. What happened, Tim?”
Tim said, “It’s Damon. And Savannah. They’ve gotten married. In Vegas. Damon called me on my phone last night. He was obviously feeling too afraid to return Hugh’s call himself. He said Savannah and he had gotten closer only after she’d split up with Hugh. And that they’d realized they were soulmates who couldn’t live without one another. He said that he knew if he’d come to Hugh with it, Hugh would have made him break up with Savannah, so instead, they got married. I think they thought that was the only way Hugh would accept them being together.”
Tim paused to take a breath. He marveled at the terrible way Damon and Savannah had gone about it all.
Kelly replied, “Wow. Just wow. While I’m happy Savannah is finally out of Hugh’s life, the way it’s finally happened isn’t good. Like, at all. How is Hugh taking it? My sympathies, Tim. I gather there was a lot of shouting? Were a lot of things broken?”
Tim said immediately, “No, Kelly. That’s the thing. That, I was sorta ready for. I mean, as ready as anybody can be. But he went all quiet. It was a little scary, to be honest. So, I ended up staying back in office all night, sort of waiting for the storm to come. Instead, when I went to check in his office this morning, he was just lying on the couch, drunk and passed out. Not so much as a peep out of him all night. To be honest, this is scaring me more than any of his outbursts so far. Could you please come in, today? Like, immediately? I have no idea what to do with him.”
Kelly sprang out of bed, “I’m coming, Tim. Thanks for letting me know.”
Tim gave another sigh of relief and felt some of the tension slipping from his shoulders, “Thanks, Kelly!” He said in a rush, “You have no idea how relieved that makes me. I think he really needs you right now.”
Kelly nodded, “I’ll be there in twenty minutes, Tim. Just let him sleep until then.” Kelly lived just a few blocks from the building that housed the offices of Regan & Associates. This fact had often irritated her in the past, since Hugh expected her to reach the office within minutes of whenever he called upon her. But for once, she was relieved she could get to Hugh in a hurry. “And Tim,” she added softly, “Thank for being there for him last night.”
Tim replied, “He’d been there often enough for me, Kelly. I’m just glad I was still in office when Damon called. I’ll leave Hugh alone for now, until you’re here. He’s sleeping, so he should be fine.”
Kelly said, “Don’t worry, Tim. I’ll take it from here, It’s just a few more minutes. It’ll all be fine. I’ll take him home.”
She signed off, and Tim let out a sigh of relief. Kelly was intimidatingly efficient, and the one person Hugh always seemed to listen to, no matter how often he quarreled with his big sister. Tim decided he’d wait at his desk outside Hugh’s office till she got there.
‘The CEO’s Favorite Doctor: A Wholesome Romantic Comedy’ by Bhakti Mathew