Getting to a place should be as easy as ABC but sometimes not.
Emergency situations did not bother Haley much when she was the nurse who was not as personally close to the situation as she was now. Even one little problem or distraction seemed to make her feel that some mysterious specter was trying to keep her from her destination. Dropping her keys as she was trying to open her car door just seemed to set her nerves that much closer to being a screaming maniac. But when she bent over to pick up her keys and saw that she had a flat tire did the trick. She clenched her hands into very tight fists and let out a scream that scared a stray cat across the street and into the bushes of her favorite neighbor, the Walkers.
Haley’s mind blanked for a second and then she closed her eyes to try to focus on the problem. It might take thirty minutes to get her automobile service truck to answer a call and come to fix the tire. She might see if her father could come over quickly to let her have his car and go to the hospital. Or maybe, Edna went with some friends and left her car and keys at home. She sure hoped that the keys were in a special dish in the cabinet as Edna showed her a long time ago.
Edna’s car was Haley’s first choice. Haley rushed to her house, went inside and turned off the alarm. In the envelope that Edna had given her, was the key and the instructions to feed the cat. Dear Princess Beauty would be fed royally when she got home if the keys were in the special place. She promised herself.
Haley ran to Edna’s house and unlocked the door. Edna had left some music on in case someone was trying to see if anyone was at home. It was loud and country western.
On the note Haley remembered the numbers to turn off the alarm. Princess Beauty was sleeping on the couch. She woke up, thinking that it was dinner time. She hopped off the couch and strolled towards her empty food bowl in the kitchen.
“Oh sorry your majesty, but I’ve got to assist some injured people. A royal treat plus your favorite catnip toy when I get back.” Haley stroked the long haired, blue eyed cat one time.
Haley grabbed the keys and pressed the alarm set button on the alarm pad. She hurried out the door and into the garage where Edna’s twelve year old dirty white car sat in the garage. On the front seat was the remote to open the garage door. She got in, and pressed the remote. The garage door opened slowly, and came to a stop with a small thump.
Haley whispered a brief ‘thank you’ prayer and started the car’s engine. She checked the fuel and saw that it had less than one quarter of a tank. She thought that she might fill up the tank as a surprise to Edna.
Edna’s car may have been old but the dear lady kept the car in good condition. She had the car washed and waxed about every month. She put some great smelling air fresheners in it. This month, she put in vanilla which smelled wonderful. Finally, Edna had given her car a pet name, Monster. Edna wouldn’t tell anyone why.
The traffic at this time of the day in the neighborhood was very light, if existent at all. Haley was almost sure that the majority of the accident victims would end up being patients at the Memorial Hospital in the area where the accident occurred. She knew that hospital very well since she had been there for her first year of nursing. She had also been there recently because there had been some workshops for disaster training and one on the city’s strategy to promote awareness for breast cancer among the low income women.
In twenty minutes she was pulling into the parking lot of the hospital. She had to circle inside of it to find a parking space. She turned off the car and got out. Since she had changed to longer pants she felt more at ease. She grabbed her purse and walked quickly to the door with the Emergency word over it. People were coming in and out. Two ambulances were parked in a line in front of the door. As she walked in she recognized the world that she was so familiar with that she could start work in her sleep.
She went directly to the reception area where there was one person in front of her. The speakers were calling out for various doctors to go to particular areas. The three minutes it took for the nurse to get information and send the person in the waiting room to fill out the form felt like ten minutes. When she stepped up to the window, she saw a person who she had worked with before, Bess Fields.
“Well what brings you here?” Bess asked with a surprised look on her face. Bess picked up a clipboard that she was going to give Haley.
“I’m not sick but a friend’s parents were in an accident and probably came her. Haley looked around to see if she could spot Mr. or Mrs. Costo.
“Well we have had several ambulances come in lately.” Bess tapped the lady at the computer to get her attention.
“Yea, they may be seriously hurt. I was looking for their son, but I don’t even see him.” She looked around again.
“Well, who are they?”
“Mr. or Mrs. Costo. It’s Mr. Marcello Costo or Mrs. Iris Costo. They were in a three car accident.” She stopped and looked around a third time.
“We’ll look it up.” Bess gave this information to the lady at the computer. The lady at the computer shook her head ‘no.’
“We can’t find it yet but there are a couple of people who are in triage whose information has not been put in the computer.” she said with a shrug.
Behind Haley there was a small groan from an old man who was in a wheelchair. The person behind him, a young man coughed into a rag. She thanked Bess and stepped aside to think. She decided to check her cell phone and see if she had any message from Farris. As she closed out the voice mail app she decided to give Farris another call. She had just finished dialing his number and put the cell phone to her ear when she saw Farris come from the hallway that came from the front of the hospital.