Episode 575: Drowning"Addie?" Ryley wasn’t even sure if he’d said it aloud, he couldn’t hear his own voice or anything else over the pounding in his heart and his wife’s wheezing gasps for air.
Adria sat at the desk, her slender body turned sideways, a white-knuckled fist clenched to her chest. She was somehow pale and flushed all at once.
"Somebody call for help!" He doubted his own ability to do so. All he seemed capable of now was hovering over the woman he loved and watching her struggle.
He’d never felt so utterly useless in his life.
"She doesn’t need 911," one of the other students said.
"Thanks, doctor," Ryley snapped. "Call!"
"No, really, I’ve seen this a hundred times, my mom’s a singer, she has panic attacks. Just get her a paper bag to breathe in and she’ll be fine."
The she’ll be fine part lessened Ryley’s own need for a paper bag and allowed him to think clearly. He pressed a quick and he hoped soothing kiss to his hairline, which probably raised eyebrows among the class, they, and the school unaware of his and Addie’s relationship. It could cost him the job, his nightly contact with her, but for the moment, all he cared about was that she’d be there.
Ryley raced to his desk, pulled out Adria’s favorite bakery treat that he’d hoped to share with her after class. He brought the empty white paper bag to her.
It took more time than he liked, but eventually both he and his wife breathed easier, until one of the students groaned, "Does this mean we still have to take the quiz?"
Adria took off like a shot. "I’m going to be sick," she announced on her way out of the room.
Watching her go, Ryley thought he might be sick too. What if there was something seriously wrong with her? What if he really lost her?