Brooder - Left Behind

by Brooder

11:30 PM


            Chaos.  Death, injury, sadness.  All were present at Bellevue General Hospital, and Sandy had been watching it since she arrived, over an hour earlier.  She thought that the streets were bad.  The fallout from the streets was even worse.

            Sandy arrived with the ambulance.  She had made sure that Tamara was going to be ok before the doctors rushed her upstairs to the neo-natal unit.  She then tried to figure out how to get rid of the memory of Phillip spinning onto the ground.  The same instant had been running through her head since she lost sight of him at the accident site.

            Luckily, the doctors working on Thomas were short nurses.  When Sandy was able to prove that she was a registered nurse, she was quickly thrown into scrubs and put at the table with a team of implant specialists.  She had spent an almost an hour assisting the doctors in saving Thomas’ life.

            In the end, they succeeded.  Thanks to the efforts of Phillip, Jess, and herself, Thomas would live to see his new baby.  He would probably lose some fine motor skills due to the electrical damage his brain had received, and his datajack had to be removed, but he was alive.

            Now, she was busy helping other doctors with patients that had suffered wounds after the blackout occurred.  There were gunshot victims from roving gang patrols, people electrocuted while trying to get portable generators running, and even fights that had broken out between citizens as people began to panic about food shortages.  But every chance she got, she would look at the doors and hope to see Phillip walking in, as he had promised.  Eventually, one of the other nurses noticed her attentions and asked about it.

            “What you looking for?” the nurse, Amanda, asked.  “Ain’t nobody coming through there that ain’t injured.  You know somebody who got hurt?”

            “Yes,” Sandy said, a slight sniffle starting to form.  “A friend stayed behind to protect me and two patients from getting hurt.  And I saw him get hit as we were driving away.”  Now she started to cry.  “And I don’t know if he’s alive or not.”

            Amanda reached into her pocket and pulled out some tissue.  She gave it to Sandy then guided her into the staff lounge.  Sitting Sandy on a couch, Amanda got a cup of soycaff for her.  Sandy drank between sobs.  She slowly got herself under control.

            “Thank you,” she said.  “I don’t know what happened.”

            “It’s all good,” Amanda returned.  “This friend, was he someone you cared for?”

            Sandy looked puzzled for a moment.  She had only known Phillip for half a day.  He was himself an accident victim that she helped.  Well, tried to help.  But when he decided to head into the city to help other people, she saw something in him.  Something that most people don’t have without getting something in return.  A true heart.  And when he told her that he was staying behind to get her to safety, she saw a softness in his eyes that touched her.  Was he someone she cared for?

            “I don’t know,” she replied.  “I think he might be.”

            “Then that’s reason enough to worry,” Amanda said, sitting next to Sandy.  “I have two babies at home with my sister.  I’m worried sick ‘bout them.  And it’s what keeps me going.  Because if I didn’t do everything I can to help people here, then I ain’t doing nothing for my babies back home.”

            Sandy understood.  The only way that Amanda could prove to her children that she loved them, even when she couldn’t be there, was to give that same love to others.  And by helping everyone that came through the emergency room doors the best help she could, she fulfilled her duties as a mother and a nurse.  But Sandy didn’t know why it made her sad to think about Phillip.

            “Tell you what,” Amanda said, breaking into her thoughts.  “You look real tired.  Some of the other nurses said you was in the middle of that gang fight the guy with the implant was taken out of.  You rest here for a while.  I’ll come get you in a little while.”

            Sandy nodded, not trusting herself to speak for fear of crying again.  She watched as Amanda left the lounge, closing the door behind her.  Sandy suddenly felt tired.  She’d already put a full day in at the clinic when Phillip entered the scene.  It was after midnight now.  An hour’s rest couldn’t hurt.

            Laying back on the couch, Sandy tried to push all thoughts of Phillip from her mind.  She almost succeeded.  But she could still see his eyes when he made his promise to find her.  It made her smile as she fell asleep.



Copyright 2002 - R. James.

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