There it was — on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, the slight tickle at the back of the throat. By noon I was coughing and by the time darkness settled over Cambridge, I was running a fever.

I had the dreaded flu.

On Monday morning I tried going to work but my boss sent me home. The days that followed are a blur. I woke up Friday morning surrounded by piles of cough drop wrappers, empty tea boxes and a vague suspicion that I had watched the entire seasons of Glee, 30 Rock and The Office in a feverish haze.

After four days out of work, it was time to go back, even though I still couldn’t get through a sentence without coughing. A bit dismayed by my pasty, red-nosed reflection in the mirror, I put on the brightest shade of lipstick I could find — raspberry glace — pulled my scarf up high and left the apartment. I was exhausted by the time I hit the sidewalk.

By quitting time, I was still coughing and was feeling quite sorry for myself. The thought of returning home to the apartment where I had just spent 96 straight hours made me cringe. And so, sitting in the office parking lot at 6 p.m. on a Friday night, I did what no self-respecting 25-year-old working girl would do.

I called my Dad.

“Do you think I could make the last ferry?” I asked.

Less than an hour later, I was doing 80 on the highway, headed for the boat. Somewhere around Route 25, a funny thing happened. I stopped coughing. I boarded the ferry, settled into the familiar seat cushions and let the weight of the week fall away.

The night was windy and wet; a northeaster was coming in. I came off the boat and there was my dad, waiting for me. We went home, I slept like a rock and the next morning I lounged in pajamas and lingered over scones from the Menemsha Café. Later we went for a drive.

Having been away for three months — the longest time I’ve spent off the Island since moving to Boston a year ago — I looked out the car window with longing at the fields, storefronts and trees about to lose their red and yellow leaves. As always, everything looked at once familiar and different, a reminder that though I still call the Vineyard home and still think of it as my community, I no longer live here.

We drove to Edgartown and stopped at Morning Glory Farm. We went to Aquinnah and braved the weather, breathing in the heavy salt air and taking in the view of the Cliffs and the choppy ocean below. We headed home, pausing by Menemsha Basin noticing how the water took on the slate-gray hue of the threatening sky above.

By Sunday the flu was a distant memory. I packed my things — including some Island-grown kale and a load of freshly washed laundry — and left for the mainland. Back in my car on the other side, I smiled to myself at the empty bag of cough drops in the passenger seat. Despite the rain and wind, a weekend at home had done what four days of napping, cough drops and chicken noodle soup in Cambridge could not do — beat the flu.

Julia Rappaport is an assistant features and lifestyle editor at the Boston Herald.