Sitting in my car, outside the emergency room, I couldn’t think of what to do next. I’ve always been a person of action. Get the facts, figure out what needs to be done, and do it.
But as I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my brain couldn’t even figure out how to start the car.
The only call to action that came to mind was to phone my best friend.
She listened to me tell her everything and then told me to go home and call John’s brother, he would know what to do.
Nine minutes later I stepped into my house and, for a second, wondered how I got there. I didn’t recall driving back home. But knowing I had a task to do, I focused on locating the brother.
We’d met just once and in that brief time hadn’t exchanged numbers, so how was I going to talk to him? Opening my laptop, I located him on Facebook and sent a friend request.
Seconds after pushing the send button my phone rang and in my confused state of mind thought how could the brother be calling me so soon?
I immediately answered, but instead heard Officer Kind Eyes tell me I would be able to see John because they were going to admit him to the hospital. He had a brain injury and would be sent to ICU shortly.
As I hung up I looked back at my computer and saw that I was now friends with John’s brother Brian. I messaged him straightaway, giving him my phone number and said he needed to call me as soon as possible.
Again, my phone rang and this time I had to tell the person on the other end that his brother had been in a motorcycle accident and was in the emergency room. At that moment I couldn’t choke out the words, “Oh, and he’s in trouble for running from the cops”.
That would have to wait.
Back in my car to drive the nine minutes back to the hospital, I tried to focus on the road and my immediate surroundings. This time when I arrived, I was ushered through double swinging doors into the inner world of the emergency room.
As I approached the cubical I was directed to, someone handed me John’s helmet and wallet and asked “Are you family?”
From behind the baby blue scrubs of the person standing before me I saw John, and he saw me and blurted out through swollen, bloody lips, “That’s my girlfriend!”
He was a mess.
Puffy face with mangled lips, broken teeth and blood everywhere was what greeted me as I stepped closer. Then his hand reached up for mine and I could see the smile in his eyes.
A very stern looking doctor stood over John. From the doctor I got the sense he felt he was wasting his time on this fugitive. He told me in matter-of-fact terms that John’s brain was bleeding in at least three places and they’d be admitting him for observation to see if surgery was necessary.
And then left us alone.
John kept asking me to take him home. He said he just wanted to go to my house and to please help him get dressed.
But getting him dressed was the least of my worries…