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The Reluctant Scholar – Chapter 5.2

In what would eventually become a routine, Brig awoke with a splitting headache and severe nausea that drove him from his bed to the bathroom. He misjudged his speed as he approached the small washroom and slammed into the wall. Undeterred, he bent over the toilet and retched loudly. He knelt down and heaved again. He draped himself around the cold white porcelain seat, appreciating its coldness, undisturbed by its filth. He stared at the black, brown, and yellow lines that streaked the bowl, and wondered if this toilet had ever been cleaned. Just as he felt he was gaining control of his gut, he heard the Buddha banging pots and pans in the kitchen. Though fifteen feet and a wall separated them, it sounded to Brig as if the Buddha were right next to him, intentionally banging the pots and pans together to create the maximum amount of sound and discomfort.

“Stop,” Brig moaned.

The Buddha, unaware of Brig’s plight, carried on with whatever he was doing with his typical energy and enthusiasm. “Good morning Elder. What would you like for breakfast? Scrambled eggs? Pancakes? Some sausage?”

The thought of food made Brig gag. “Stop!” He moaned again, his face pointed into the water of the bowl, muffling his voice and causing the Buddha to stop his banging.

“What’s that? Where are you?” The Buddha turned the corner from the kitchen and saw the Prophet’s skinny white legs sticking out of the bathroom’s doorway.

Brig retched, his legs kicking up as his body convulsed, and Buddha laughed as he realized that his companion was suffering through a severe hangover.

“You O.K?”

“I’ll survive. Just keep it down. Please,” Brig begged.

“O.K,” the Buddha whispered. “Do you want breakfast?”

“No…and please don’t say anything more about food.”

The Buddha wandered back into the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator, and dampened a rag with cold water. When he returned to the toilet, Brig was laying down on the floor, moaning.

“Hey. Drink a little water,” the Buddha advised, placing the bottle near Brig’s head. He also unfolded the towel and set it on Brig’s forehead.

Brig managed a weak, “Thanks.”

“When you feel well enough to hold something down let me know, I’ve got something that will help you feel better.”

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