The Test … futhermore continued …

7 Jun

Previous installment

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Dawn sat in the small waiting area adjacent to the ICU. She had gone downstairs and bought a vase of flowers and a get-well card in the gift shop. She was in the process of writing a note to her dad in the event he awoke.

“Hi sis,” a familiar voice interrupted her concentration.

She looked up to see her younger brother standing beside her chair. He bent to her and they hugged, then he plopped down in the chair next to her. She paused to look him over. Sean Cardish was thin but muscular, with short cropped red hair and deep blue eyes. His ruddy complexion gave him the air of the outdoor enthusiast he was.

“I’m glad you’re here,” she smiled. “You look awful!”

“Yeah, I ‘spose I do. I grabbed the red-eye,” he looked at his Apple watch. “It’s four AM my time. How’s Dad?”

“Well, he’s all hooked up and hasn’t awakened since I’ve been here … It’s serious.”

“No duh, Sis! That’s why I’m here! Tell me something I don’t know …”

“Very serious. Have you talked to Tink?”

“Texted her. She’s driving up. I think she probably stopped overnight along the way. It’s fourteen hours in the best of traffic.”

“I would have paid for her flight.”

“And then she would have felt she owed you.”

“She should learn to get over it.”

“Yeah, well like that’s going to happen soon. You guys need to bury the hatchet — if only for Dad.”

“Takes two to tango, Sean. God knows I’ve done everything I know on my side.”

Dawn’s phone vibrated on the end table beside her chair and she picked it up.

“Speak of the devil,” she said after glancing at the screen. “Hey! Tink, where the hell are you? Sean is sitting right beside me! … Where? So how far away is that? Four hours! What the hell? … Yes, sorry! You know I would have paid for a flight up …”

She held the phone from her ear. “I’m putting you on speaker phone so Sean can join in,” and a voice could be heard responding “NO! DON’T!”

“Too late … Here’s Sean …”

Sean bent forward toward the iPhone Dawn held in the space between them.

“Hi Tink! Where are you?”

“Just past Savannah on 95. Without a stop I’ll be there in about four hours. I had to stay overnight along the way ‘cause I was so tired! You know El Cheapo Lodges in Georgia are the pits!”

“Yeah, well don’t worry,” Sean comforted her, “just get here safely. I’m here with Dawn, and we’ll keep the vigil on Dad.”

“So how is he?”

“He hasn’t awakened since they brought him in this morning,” Dawn replied. “He’s stable, but in critical condition. The ICU. Hooked up to everything under the sun.”

“Oh great. Just the way he wanted,” Tink’s tinny voice returned. “Who have you contacted?”

“I put it out on Facebook for prayers. A boatload of flowers and cards have already been delivered. And I’m getting phone calls from his friends and work associates. I’ve also contacted Sheila Dumphreys.”

“The attorney? Why?”

“Well … she is the executor of his will …”

“Goddamn, Dawn! Aren’t you jumping the gun a bit?” came Tink’s irritated voice.

“Hey, Tink,” interrupted Sean, “I think it’s a good idea to alert Dumphreys. I mean if Dad were to go, at least we would have a plan on his wishes … you know, funeral and that stuff …”

“Jesus, Sean! You too? Give the man a break, for God’s sake! I’d rather not think about that until I absolutely have to. We need to do everything we can to keep Dad with us!”

“Tink, we can talk about this when you get here,” calmed Dawn.

“Well, I suppose. I’m hanging up now . . . which hospital, by the way?”

“Frye.”

“Okay. I might have to stop once more for gas and something to eat. Although I’m not at all hungry.”

“Just drive carefully, Tink. We’ll see you when you get here.”

“Where’re you staying, Sean?”

“Dad’s, I guess.”

“Okay. I’ll stay there too.”

“You can stay with me and Jared,” Dawn offered.

“That’s okay, Sis. I’ll hang out at Dad’s with Sean. See you guys later.”

Dawn disconnected and looked at her brother.

“See?”

“Bury the hatchet, Dawn.”

“I’ll do what I can, but I can’t promise anything.”

“Try.”

Suddenly the two heard an outbreak of alarms going off from the ICU. They both stood and watched as hospital staff rushed to the curtained area where their dad was hooked up. A voice on the overhead intercom repeated in a surprisingly calm voice,

“Dr. Singh, ICU, Code Blue … Dr. Singh, ICU, Code Blue … calling Dr. Adriane Singh, ICU, Code Blue …”

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Want to read more? …

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 7 June, 2015
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