"A Hard Landing"
This story was told by JP Michael on episode #738: Lovesick
Note: These summaries are designed to help fans find their favorite stories and may contain spoilers!British 20-something JP gets a job that transfers him from London to New York. One of the only friends he makes is a young lady named Claire, whom he meets online and begins dating. She becomes mysteriously ill with terrible stomach aches and vomiting, and ends up in the hospital, where eventually she breaks the news to JP that she has cancer. He dedicates himself to taking care of her, but there are pieces of her story that just don’t make sense -- like the fact that when Claire’s best friend Emma shows up to visit her in the ER, instead of comforting each other, the two get into a verbal and physical fight. Claire accuses Emma of bullying her, and then breaking into her apartment. The animosity between Claire and Emma grows, as do Claire’s medical issues, until it seems like the two factors might be linked: that Emma, in her jealousy and instability, has been tampering with Claire’s food and drink to give her heavy metal poisoning. However, when JP begins making contact with Claire’s doctors, family members and friends, he finds her whole story unraveling even more...into a pileup of evidence that Claire’s GI symptoms, cancer and traumatic life events are her own invention...an elaborate, Munchausenesque hoax.
Themes/Keywords: attention-seeking, believable, break-in, British, cancer, Claire, convincing, diagnosis, doctors, doubt, Emma, ex-pat, fabrication, fight, GI distress, girlfriend, heavy metal, hoax, hospital, illness, instability, lead, lies, made-up, medical, mental illness, Munchausen Syndrome, mysterious, mystery, NYC, poison, psychiatric, Radio story, sick, stomach, stomach aches, toxic, vomiting
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