As Sammy stepped towards the large glass doors, they open upon her approach. With a sigh, she slowly stepped into the cool outdoors. It was morning, and the sun had began rising over the tops of the Trees. The colors were that of a painting. Streaks of orange, pink, and red entwined together forming one of the most beautiful sights she had seen in a long time. Sammy lifted her face as a light breeze swept across her cheek, filling her nose with the scent of morning dew and flowers. As she sat there taking in the beauty of the moment, she couldn't help but wonder, how could something so beautiful follow an event as dreadful as the motor vehicle accident she was just on scene of? With each chirp of a bird, her mind began to spin with the images of the mutilation she had just witnessed.
Each passing moment, her emotional walls began to crumble. The steel shutters opened, and her emotions began to consume her. In the distance, she could see a family walking towards the hospital. The scared frightened looks on their faces, mixed with uncertainty, and hope ate away at her soul. Under her breath she cursed herself over the thought of wanting to leave in a hurry, as to not see the look of devastation on their faces when the doctor broke the news of the death of this families cherished daughter/sister. To see the hope leave their eyes would be torture to witness. She wondered how the hospital staff could stand to deliver such news.
She turned around as she heard the glass doors open behind her. It was Jeremy, her partner. He walked quickly out of the emergency department. She wondered if he saw the family, and wanted to avoid their pain too. He approached her, and with a pat on the shoulder he urged her forward toward the waiting ambulance. As she took her place in passenger seat, Jeremy hopped behind the wheel, and grabbed the radio to clear up their unit. As they pulled away, Sammy let out a sigh of relief knowing she was spared once again from the look of anguish soon to be plastered on the faces of those who loved this victim.
"Hey, Sammy. Do you want coffee? I could use some right about now" asked Jeremy.
"Sure, but I don't think there is enough coffee in the world to cure me today."
"I'm buying. My treat this time. You can spoil me next week." He chuckled, but the look of concern on his face was apparent. He knew the call was weighing heavily on his partner, and wished that his light humor would somehow bring a smile to the darkened expression on her face.
They got their coffees in silence. Neither of them knowing what to say to each other. Jeremy wished there was something he could do to make his partner feel better, but sometimes coming to terms with such an event just took time. He respected his partner. Sammy was intelligent, and he didn't think there was a better paramedic than her anywhere else in the world. Every time they worked together, he learned something new. Over the years, they had become more than just partners. They were best friends. There wasn't a day that went by that they didn't talk. Although he never spoke the words, he knew that he loved her. No, he wouldn't ever tell her. He could not risk the friendship they shared. It meant too much to him.
They reached their base, just in time to see their relief crew walking in. It was time to change shifts, and Sammy couldn't stomach the thought of answering 20 questions about the night they had. Once the truck was parked, she slipped out of the passenger seat, and quickly walked into the crew room to gather her belongings. With a short greeting to the oncoming crew, she brushed past them and headed to her vehicle.
"Rough night?" Andrew asked
" You can say that, a 17 year old girl killed herself by driving 90 mph into a tree" Jeremy replied, his eyes fixed on Sammy. "I'll be right back, bro. I need to make sure Sammy is alright."
"Do what you got to do, bud. Just no necking! I don't need to puke this early in the morning." Andrew said, with a smirk on his face.
Jeremy didn't even wait for Andrew to finish his sentence before he took off jogging after Sammy. Before Sammy could close her car door, Jeremy was standing next to her. He gave her a soft look, and tugged on her arm. She got out of the car, and looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"That girl, she was my sister's best friend. I've known her family since I was 8 years old. My sister is going to be devastated. What is worse, I can't even be the one to tell her. I can't even tell her I was there." She began to sob. Jeremy embraced her in his arms, holding her tightly. He gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead, and then pulled her away from him. Looking her in the eyes, he wiped a tear from her cheek.
"You know Sammy, I am here for you. We are all here for you. If you need anything at all I am just a phone call away. Just promise me, if you feel like you can't handle it please don't hesitate to ask for help."
"I know, and I appreciate it." She replied, still sobbing. "But I really need to go home now. I just need to be alone."
"I get it, just remember I am here. okay?"
"I know." She stated, as she slipped back into her vehicle, turned over the engine and began to drive away.
Jeremy walked back toward the base where Andrew awaited him. "Yeah, she's a wreck. Was a family friend that died." Jeremy said.
"Dude, that sucks. She going to be okay?"
"I sure hope so." Jeremy replied, but even he wasn't convinced that was the truth. "Listen bro, it's been a rough night. I need to hit the sheets. I'll catch up with you and Dawn later, okay?"
"Sounds good, brother. Go get your beauty sleep. You look like shit." Andrew replied
Jeremy grinned. Andrew was always making sarcastic comments. You could always count on him to make you laugh, whether you liked it or not. "I may look like shit, but I at least have an excuse, unlike you. You look like shit everyday. We just don't tell you because we don't want to make our precious wallflower cry."
"Bitch please, I am prime real estate! Andrew replied, laughing. "Alright dude, go before you start breaking faces. I will catch you later."
"Have a quiet shift!" Jeremy shouted while walking away.
"Fuck you, dude! You will pay for that!" Andrew replied.
Blood was everywhere. What was once a car, laid still against a large tree. The front end was pushed into the passenger compartment, and the smell of smoke filled the air. To the left of the tree, was what looked like a shadow of a person. As she approached the scene, the vision became more clear. The windshield of what was once a Pontiac Sunfire, was smashed, revealing a hole just big enough for a small person to fit through. The driver, a small female lay motionless in front of her. It was doubtful that this person survived such an impact. She reached down to check for a pulse. What she found was faint, and thready. With a look of surprise, she yelled to her partner to hurry up with the rest of the equipment. After applying a cervical collar, her and her partner prepared to roll the victim onto her back, to be secured to the long spine board. Faintly in the background she could hear the police on scene discussing a note they found taped to the dashboard of the vehicle. It was a suicide note. This girl was trying to take her own life. With a count of three they rolled the girl over. Her face wash covered in blood. Her hair was clumped together, and matted. The blood around her acting as glue, holding onto debris and broken glass. She began to secure the girls airway, when her partner announced that the girls heart stopped beating. They began CPR, and with assistance from the fire department moved the victim to the idling ambulance. In the light, what she saw horrified her. The victim, she knew her. This girl was Maria Haynes, her sister Jessie's best friend. She fought off the urge to vomit. "just breathe, Sammy." she told herself. It took everything in her to not fall apart. That's when the phone rang.
Sammy awoke, barely able to catch her breath. The tears fell freely, just as they had for the past 3 days straight. Every time she closed her eyes the same scene played out over and over. Her family, and Jeremy were starting to worry. They all had been calling her non-stop for days. She knew her sister was hurting over the loss of her long time friend, but Sammy couldn't bring herself to face her. She could not stand to see or feel any more sadness. Her own was consuming her life enough. She reached over to look at her phone. Just as she suspected, it was her mom calling. There were missed messages as well, but she couldn't bring herself to read them. She knew who the messages were from, but she couldn't talk to Jeremy right now either. She thought deeply for a moment, and decided she would rather die than face more sorrow.
Sammy stood up, stared out the window at the sun sitting over the trees. What time was it? Hell, she didn't care. She strode over to her desk, grabbed a pen and jotted something down quickly, folded the piece of paper and tossed it onto her bed. She strode towards her bathroom. Grabbing a razor blade out of her drawer. It reminded her of her past, when the pain from the cut of a razor blade was all that made her feel alive. She turned on her shower and climbed inside, sitting herself on the floor of the tub, still dressed. With a deep breath she dragged the blade down her wrist, severing her radial artery. The sting of the wound meeting the drops of water brought tears to her eyes. Was she doing the right thing? Gradually she grew weaker and weaker. The pain of her life slowly fading away. Blood flowed quickly, but just as it appeared it was washed away by the falling water. Faintly in the distance Sammy heard a knock on her door, she started to panic, and regret set in, but it was too late. The world went dark.
Written by: RU- Responders Unite
© Responders Unite- Do not remove author's name from material.