He walked them through to the sitting room, letting his stride do the pumping and the rhythm. And then there was a brief parting as he laid her down.
All around me the havoc of families and screeching children amplified in decibels, sending seething frustration through my blood.I couldn’t stay here. I couldn’t let my one opportunity to rewrite the wrongs I’ve done slip away.
The storm will blow over by the time you clear customs.Holding onto that thought, I navigated the airport and dutifully lined up for my turn at immigration. My back ached from the landing-rodeo, but the line didn’t take too long. Handing over my passport and already organised work permit, I was ushered through with no issues.Marching toward the baggage claim, my dinged-up, overstuffed backpack slid down the chute directly in front of me. Hoisting the weight onto my back, I rearranged my messenger bag and scanned the terminal.
Thanks to my tall height, I skimmed the heads of most people to the services offered beyond. Exits beckoned newly freed passengers to enter their tropical destination and shuttle operators sold vouchers to drive them to hotels.I didn’t want to head out there without finding out about my flight or securing another alternative.
Spotting the airline who my new employer had arranged to fly me to the island, I stalked toward the booth, dodging flustered holidaymakers.
There was a small line, but I grudgingly stayed patient. Shuffling farther up the queue, I tossed my backpack onto the floor to rescue my spine.He refocused on Cecilia. Her mouth was open, and she was wincing and gasping. Given what kind of the shape her door was in, she probably had broken a rib or two and ended up with a pleural effusion due to a pneumothorax or hemothorax. Or both. At least that head wound looked mostly superficial even though it was bleeding.
At least . . . he thought maybe she was going to live. What if she had underlying conditions? What if it was a blood clot in her lungs instead?As the last of the light bled out of the sky, and the headlights of the rerouted traffic flashed in his eyes, his heart started to pound and he looked toward the ambulance again. In the glow from the bay’s lights, the four-year-old granddaughter was screaming her head off as strangers with scary-looking medical things came at her. Tears streamed down her bright red, tortured face.
She was terrified about her grandmother. All because some prick was in a hurry. How many times had he seen this, innocent lives interrupted by assholes who thought their shit was more important than the traffic laws.As his name came over to him on the oil-scented air, he turned and was blinded by strobe lights of the departing ambulance. When all he saw standing in front of him was a tall broad shape in turnouts and a helmet, reality bent and twisted, no longer something linear, but a convolution that doubled back on itself.