"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

End of the Weekend - A Short Story - Part 1

College football games were always fun to attend, although it might have been better to watch this game from home. Heather and Sarah had driven in from Portsmouth. The weather was sunny and relatively warm for late October. They had made the trip to see the game and tour the campus. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers lost to the Miami Hurricanes in overtime. Not what the home crowd had expected, but it was still an exciting game. That night the girls went to "The Corner" for dinner and then just walked around. They were up most of the night talking so the morning wake up was a little later than normal. They spent the rest of the day getting a tour of the campus and headed for home around three in the afternoon. The last stop before getting on route 64 was Starbucks. It would be a good idea to have some caffeine for the long ride. Heather ordered her favorite, a Caramel Frappuccino, while Sarah tried a Cinnamon Dolcee Latte. Both selections turned out to be perfect.

Traffic on 64 was normal, busy but not overpowering. Heather liked driving the Tahoe because it was big and it gave her a better view of her surroundings. The vehicle handled well and made the driving enjoyable. She had taken it in for service prior to this trip so she was confident there wouldn't be any mechanical issues. Sarah was also enjoying the drive and they both used this time to talk about their college selections for next year. Heather's plan was to attend UVA and study law. Sarah liked UVA but had chosen Longwood University to pursue a career as a teacher. The conversation continued and they assured each other that they would keep in contact and visit each other throughout the school year. They were best friends and nothing would interfere with their relationship.

It wasn't the sound but the sudden loss of control that scared Heather. She had never been in a moving vehicle that had a tire blow out before. Her first reaction was to hit the brakes which caused the Tahoe to turn sideways in front of traffic, first one way and then another. She thought they would tip over, but the vehicle stayed upright and then hit the guard rail. The left front hit the guard first which caused it to spin around and then hit the back end. It came to rest with the back end about two feet from the guard rail placing the Tahoe perpendicular to the guard rail with the driver side facing oncoming traffic. Fortunately she maintained enough control so that she did not hit anyone. Traffic was spread out enough so that cars were able to get around her or slow down behind her. She sat there dazed, confused and thankful she was okay.

Heather turned to Sara, "Are you okay?"

But Sarah was slumped back in her seat. She had hit the side of her head against the passenger window and was not moving.

"Sarah! Sarah wake up!" There was panic in Heather's voice. Please God, let her be okay.

She got out and went around to the other side to get her.

The first couple to reach the girls was Ed and Vivian Galloway. They were in the car in front of the girls when the blowout occurred. Ed is one of those "watch everything that is going on around you" type of individuals. He watched everything that happened to the girls and thought the worst. When they reached the girls they saw that Sarah was unconscious and Heather was crying and asking for help. Ed got on his cell phone and called 911 requesting an ambulance. He then checked over the car to make sure there was no gas leak while Vivian tried to calm Heather.

Tom Rhea and his wife Elizabeth were a few vehicles behind the accident. While other cars passed the spinning Tahoe and continued on, Tom slowed down and parked some distance back after everything stopped. Elizabeth stayed in the car while Tom went to check on things. He met up with Ed and they both agreed that Sarah should not be moved until the ambulance arrived. Sarah was breathing, but very shallow.

Roy Arnoe stood five feet eleven and weighed about a hundred and sixty pounds. His dark brown hair was slightly visible from under his baseball cap. There was some type of Fire/Rescue emblem on the cap and one on his blue jacket. However, no one could make out the name. He appeared from behind the Tahoe and went directly over to Sarah. He carried a small first aid bag in one hand and a larger black bag in the other. Hanging around his neck was a stethoscope. As he approached the group he noticed that Heather did not have any shoes on nor was she wearing a jacket. The day was warm, but not the type of weather that was conducive to her type of dress.

"Hello, my name is Roy Arnoe, are you okay?" His voice was soft and calming. Heather could tell that he was concerned by the look in his eyes.

"I'm Heather and I'm fine but Sarah is hurt. She hit her head and needs help!"

"Heather, I suggest that you get some shoes and a jacket or blanket for yourself. We don't want you to start getting chills and go into shock. I'll take care of Sarah."  He maintained his composure reassuring Heather that everything would be okay.

Heather, with the help of Vivian, gathered some clothing as Roy suggested. This allowed him to focus his attention on Sarah.

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